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05-21-2015, 08:33 AM   #1
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K50 won't change AF.C mode, bad focus on kit lenses

Help! Having a terrible experience with my new K50. First, I am brand new to DSLR land and am baffled by blurry pictures and inability to get the camer out of AF.C mode. It won't change to AF.A or M when I slide the lever around. Does this sound like a defective camera? The AF.C outcome is having 2- 3 pictures that have no focal consistency. Every now and then I'll get a clear shot but it is rare. The only modes I have tried for shooting are the auto and scene modes. The kit lenses 18-55 and 50-200mm are hit and miss for getting a clear focus. The closest Pentax camera shop is at least a 4 hour drive. I really don't want to send this entire camera to Pentax repair with summer coming up. Also, I had the camera for more than 60 days before I took a DSLR class. And so the retailer will not do a thing to help me.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!

P.S. Since I'm new to the DSLR game, there could be other things not functioning correctly that I don't even know about at this time.

05-21-2015, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clary Quote
The only modes I have tried for shooting are the auto and scene modes.
That would be part of the problem.
QuoteOriginally posted by Clary Quote
P.S. Since I'm new to the DSLR game, there could be other things not functioning correctly that I don't even know about at this time.
Most new DSLR users go through a rough period because of the learning curve. A DSLR is NOT the same as a point & shoot or cell phone camera. It takes a moderate amount of skill and knowledge to get a good picture. When I bought my first DSLR I very nearly sent it back because all the pictures I took were horrible.

So a suggestion. First read the manual. I know, you don't want to do that. A better suggestion is to read the manual twice. Seriously.

To get you started: Put the camera in Av mode. DO NOT use auto or the scene modes, in those modes you have no idea what the camera is doing so no one can help because we have no idea what the camera settings are. Set the the aperture to f/8 to which is in the middle. Go outside on a nice sunny day and find something that is a good target and not moving. Start with very simple subjects and work your way up one step at a time. Change only one setting at a time so you learn what that setting does.

Take a picture and post it here with the EXIF intact, that way we can see what settings you used and the results.
05-21-2015, 09:01 AM - 1 Like   #3
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In addition to what Jatrax suggests, be sure that the AF lever is on AF.S. Press the shutter button halfway to get the focus done, it's only when everything looks fine in the viewfinder that you should fully press the button.

Another thing that can help you is to set the camera to use the central focus point. You will then know the camera will focus on what is in the center of the viewfinder. I think the default is Auto 5, meaning the camera decides where it focuses, which may not always be where you want the focus to be...
05-21-2015, 09:09 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
In addition to what Jatrax suggests, be sure that the AF lever is on AF.S. Press the shutter button halfway to get the focus done, it's only when everything looks fine in the viewfinder that you should fully press the button. Another thing that can help you is to set the camera to use the central focus point. You will then know the camera will focus on what is in the center of the viewfinder. I think the default is Auto 5, meaning the camera decides where it focuses, which may not always be where you want the focus to be...
Good points!

Most important when starting out (IMHO) is to eliminate as many variables as possible. The learning curve is steep and if you are juggling a dozen things that could affect the image you have no way of knowing which factor is causing the problem. Start out very simply and learn to get a good image of a simple, static, well lit subject with as few camera options as possible. Once you can do that reliably introduce a new control or technique.

05-21-2015, 10:14 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Maybe page 103 of the (English) manual can shine a light on it.

Certain scene modes switch AF.C on. Also, in AF.C you can take pictures while while the subject is not in focus..
05-21-2015, 10:37 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I would suggest using P mode to start with rather than Av - it is closer to the auto scene modes whilst allowing more overrides and choices.
05-21-2015, 10:50 AM - 1 Like   #7
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Thank you all so very much! It is a bright sunny day outside. I will take all of your advise into consideration and try each suggestion. Then I will report back. It is so nice to have such a kind group of people in this forum. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

---------- Post added 05-21-15 at 11:14 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Maybe page 103 of the (English) manual can shine a light on it.

Certain scene modes switch AF.C on. Also, in AF.C you can take pictures while while the subject is not in focus..
AF.C problem solved! Thank you so much!
05-22-2015, 04:28 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Clary all I can suggest is to practice, practice, practice. Learn about exposure, lighting, ISO, etc. If you haven't done so yet, start a Pinterest account and pin photography tutorials. Watch YouTube videos. I am not a beginner DSLR'er but I am FAR from knowledgeable and I am constantly referring to tutorials to help me make the most of my photography.

Good Luck!

05-22-2015, 08:24 PM   #9
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Thanks Boatwidow! I'be never tried so hard and remained so clueless at anything. I've got a couple books and love the YouTube & Pinterest ideas.

Wishing you the best of luck as well!
05-23-2015, 04:58 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Michael Brown photography, search it on YouTube and kiss your day goodbye.
When I ordered my first DSLR not long ago, I burned up a Saturday watching YouTube. This guy has a great series of how to, and why. Start to finish teaching.
When I got my DSLR a few days later I tossed it on manual and looking good within 100 shots
Really helped me with the learning curve.
Make mistakes, they give you answers when you fix them.
05-24-2015, 08:39 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SininStyle Quote
Michael Brown photography, search it on YouTube and kiss your day goodbye.
When I ordered my first DSLR not long ago, I burned up a Saturday watching YouTube. This guy has a great series of how to, and why. Start to finish teaching.
When I got my DSLR a few days later I tossed it on manual and looking good within 100 shots
Really helped me with the learning curve.
Make mistakes, they give you answers when you fix them.
Well....that was a time suck!!!!

Just looked up Mike Browne on YouTube and spent about an hour and a half. His videos are great. Thanks for that tip! He is easy to listen to and not condescending at all!
06-12-2015, 04:29 PM - 1 Like   #12
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I guess the scene modes are trying to make all the decisions for you, but the reality is that it's a hindrance because you don't know what decisions are being made for you! I admit I didn't expect that scene modes would take control of the AF mode! I guess if you were using the sports mode that might make sense. But it would better surely if it didn't allow firing until focus was confirmed.



I hope you enjoy learning with your great new camera!
06-24-2015, 11:55 AM - 1 Like   #13
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I just wanted to update those who helped me troubleshoot and learn about my camera. I sent it in for warranty repair. There was a problem with the camera auto focus. Also, the repair receipt said the firmware needed adjustment even though I had the latest firmware. Both lenses checked out ok.

Now I can start working with AV mode and flip back to auto focus to get clear pictures. Thanks to all of you for offering your help. This forum rocks!
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