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06-17-2015, 07:44 AM   #1
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Advice: K5 focus issue

I noticed I was getting some front focusing with my K5 + F*300 lens. Here are the steps I've taken so far:

1. Using a focus chart, I tested the K5 with multiple lenses and they all front focus pretty badly.
2. Tried to use AF Fine Adjustment feature to fix the problem but it seems to make very little difference.
3. Focused using live view and it hits the target perfectly.
4. Repeated the test with the same lenses on my K10d and it focuses properly.

I called Pentax/Ricoh this morning and they referred me to precisioncamera.com for a quote/instructions. It looks like the base rate is $206.50 for K5 repairs. I bought the K5 used a couple years ago so there is no warranty.

I have also contacted Eric but I'm not sure if this is something he deals with or not.

It seems to me that at the quoted price I would be better off putting the money toward a K5ii or K3.

Curious to know what you guys think. Thanks.

06-17-2015, 07:49 AM   #2
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I haven't tried it but I think there is a way to get into the K-5 debug mode which would enable you to make a large adjustment / re-zeroing of the base AF (i.e. if you could do AF adjustment of +20 or +50). Presumably that's all precision would do unless there is actually something physically wrong with your camera. (Google "k-5 debug mode")
06-17-2015, 07:55 AM   #3
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My suggestion would be to look for a k-5IIs or k-3. Both had better AF than my k-5 and putting money into a k-5 at this point seems better used moving up.
06-17-2015, 08:23 AM   #4
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At least you can still use it in Live View! Better than being broken completely...

06-17-2015, 08:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron_Man Quote
At least you can still use it in Live View! Better than being broken completely...
With the speed of live view focus at least my macro photography can still keep going! Except that my macro lens is manual focus...
06-17-2015, 12:10 PM   #6
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Considered a replacement screen?

QuoteOriginally posted by vagabond79 Quote
With the speed of live view focus at least my macro photography can still keep going! Except that my macro lens is manual focus...
A cheaper alternative could be to replace the screen.

I replaced mine (K5) with an S type screen from focusingscreen.com (US$75-85 + postage), and found that the standard shim resulted in a focus error so replaced it with the supplied shim and it's now spot on.

It may not be the solution for stopped down macros, and maybe the investment is more than you seek, but it is an option to consider.

The K5 list can be found here: Focusing Screen

Tas
06-17-2015, 12:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
A cheaper alternative could be to replace the screen.

I replaced mine (K5) with an S type screen from focusingscreen.com (US$75-85 + postage), and found that the standard shim resulted in a focus error so replaced it with the supplied shim and it's now spot on.

It may not be a solution, and maybe the investment is more than you seek, but it is an option.

The K5 list can be found here: Focusing Screen

Tas
The screen will help with manual focusing (a lot), but it doesn't affect the AF error. (I have an S-screen for sale in the marketplace right now, btw.)
06-17-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
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Doh!

QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
The screen will help with manual focusing (a lot), but it doesn't affect the AF error. (I have an S-screen for sale in the marketplace right now, btw.)
Yes, I 'focused' on the second part talking about manual focus, forgetting the issue is with AF. ta for pointing out my inability to read.

06-18-2015, 05:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagabond79 Quote
I noticed I was getting some front focusing with my K5 + F*300 lens. Here are the steps I've taken so far:
Your F 300 is screw drive AF. Check all your screw drive AF lenses for front or back focusing.

The last time I had an issue with front/back focus was on a Sigma 10-20mm. Folks at the time claimed that if screw drive af is out, it will show up on other screw drive lenses. If its out then your K-5 needs to be sent in for re-calibration.

Whats good is your contrast detect in live view is spot on.

Take off the lens, put the mirror up and see if there is any dust sitting on the AF sensor. Blow it out or get something to clean it off with, like in a sensor cleaning kit. Google "Nikon oil on sensor" - there should be some good cleaning tips there.

Failing that, shop around for a repairer.
06-18-2015, 06:04 AM   #10
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Oh, some have mentioned that the AF sensor (or is it a mirror) which can be seen on the bottom of the mirror box when the mirror is up can sometimes get dust on it that can interfere with focusing or cause front/back issues.
06-18-2015, 12:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
Your F 300 is screw drive AF. Check all your screw drive AF lenses for front or back focusing.

Take off the lens, put the mirror up and see if there is any dust sitting on the AF sensor. Blow it out or get something to clean it off with, like in a sensor cleaning kit. Google "Nikon oil on sensor" - there should be some good cleaning tips there.
Yes, multiple screw drive lenses are front focusing.

I will try blowing off the AF sensor. I didn't know dust could mess that sucker up.

Will let you know. Cheers!

---------- Post added 06-18-15 at 03:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by zoolander Quote
The last time I had an issue with front/back focus was on a Sigma 10-20mm. Folks at the time claimed that if screw drive af is out, it will show up on other screw drive lenses. If its out then your K-5 needs to be sent in for re-calibration
Did it turn out to be a problem with just the Sigma 10-20mm or the whole focusing system?
06-20-2015, 03:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagabond79 Quote
Did it turn out to be a problem with just the Sigma 10-20mm or the whole focusing system?
it was the 10-20. it would back-focus open at f/4, but was fine at any other aperture. The even bigger problem was with a circular polarizing filter it would vignette badly. The worst problem was it wasn't too sharp. Got a DA 12-24 and I do cartwheels of joy now.

All my other screw drive lenses were spot on at the time.

I tried every lens by watching where they ended up with focus on the focus scale on the lens - compared to live view (contrast detect) and phase detect AF.
07-06-2015, 10:03 PM   #13
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I have a free AF testing, checking and correcting set of Charts. They are free.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_44neE8iNsXUzRQSEpjRnpoYUU/view?usp=sharing
07-07-2015, 11:55 AM   #14
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Don't waist your money. I have seen K5iis go for as little as $400. Light years ahead in focusing.

Good luck

Randy
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