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06-25-2018, 05:19 PM   #1
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K 3ii back up to my K 5

This is probably going to sound all over the place so bear with me. I bought my K3ii 3 years ago (I think) and loved the camera. I shoot every Friday night on the football field during football season and always use my K 3ii. My sons wrestling matches, not to mention all the portrait shoots I do thought out the year (Mostly summer and fall) but about a year ago (give or take) I noticed it was really inconsistent with focusing. sometimes back focus, sometimes front focus, sometimes whole photo is soft, sometimes tack sharp. Same photo, same settings, same everything, just not always same sharpness. It seems to do okay with my 50 - 135 lens. but my 50 mm and especially my Tamron 17-50mm i get really inconsistent results. So, I get my 50 mm and my 35 mm out. Set my daughter up on the deck, use both lenses on both my K3 and my K5, same exact settings, same photo set up, same lens etc.... Results made me think I was nuts, the K3ii was amazing. Then I go and use it out and about, photo shoot, in the woods, pictures of my dog etc.... I get inconsistent results. I dont' trust it to be my #1 so I treat it as a back up to my K5 which is crazy! I'm not sure why I'm posting, what I"m asking, what I expect. I just don't know if I'm crazy but I want to trust the camera and not worry about the results I"m going to get. I read a similar post from someone on here who said they had spots on the mirror. No spots on mine. It's never been dropped. Should I clean it? Send it in for repair?

this evening, I shot a High School Senior and I took my K3ii along with, but shot the entire session with my K5. I don't even think about using my K3ii for something like that anymore.

06-25-2018, 05:58 PM   #2
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Have you tested for front/back focus and applied adjustments to the K-3 ii?

Fixing Front and Back Focus - Introduction - In-Depth Articles

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06-25-2018, 06:44 PM   #3
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Maybe dirty AF sensor

Have you tried blowing off the af sensor and cleaning the lens and body contacts. With what you are describing it sounds as if one or both of those things could be the problem.
06-25-2018, 06:53 PM   #4
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Yes, the K-5 is a fine camera but it does not match a properly functioning K-3ii.

06-25-2018, 07:08 PM   #5
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A professional cleaning might help. It's kind of a gamble so I wouldn't spend more than $100 on it.

I really like to know what the exact problem is before any kind of service. So I would try to pin it down, which will take time. Checking the AF in a rigorous way will give you some good information. The two cameras have different AF systems so maybe check both, though that's double the work.
06-25-2018, 07:45 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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You may want to check the K-3II to see if the AF area is set to "Spot" (center point) mode. If it is not, try it in that mode. When other AF area modes such as multiple points are used, sometimes the focus may not be made on the specific area you want it to. Using "Spot" mode is just a suggestion for checking to see if your camera still focuses on a specific point.

I have a K-3 II and I almost always use it in "Spot" mode.

If you need to use a blower for your sensor, below is an internet address of the Giottos Rocket air blower at B and H. It works well.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/318545-REG/Giottos_AA1910_Rocket_Air_Blower.html

Last edited by C_Jones; 06-25-2018 at 08:07 PM.
06-26-2018, 07:20 AM   #7
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Maight be a dirt sub mirror

I would bet in dirt on af sub mirror and the af lens.

The simptons seems likely. I have had that before.

It could get easily dirt or get some moisture and you would never notice it until you get AF inconsistencies.

Take it to a trusty service center to check it, as they are sensible parts that could get easily damaged.

Last edited by sungibr; 06-26-2018 at 07:34 AM.
06-26-2018, 09:36 AM   #8
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First, a big thank you to those whoe responded and offered advice......

QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Have you tested for front/back focus and applied adjustments to the K-3 ii?

Fixing Front and Back Focus - Introduction - In-Depth Articles
I did run it through some tests, I forget exactly what I used, the chart shown in that article or a ruler, I can't remember exactly. I at one point had adjusted the AF to a +10 and I thought it seemed to help, but I don't think it did because I feel like I am getting very inconsistent results again.

---------- Post added 06-26-2018 at 12:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by macman24054 Quote
Have you tried blowing off the af sensor and cleaning the lens and body contacts. With what you are describing it sounds as if one or both of those things could be the problem.
I have cleaned the lens and body contacts but have not blown off the sensor. I will look into doing that. I assume I need one of those bulb air blowers to do that? I'll look up some info on a safe way to do that. thanks for the suggestion.

---------- Post added 06-26-2018 at 12:39 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
You may want to check the K-3II to see if the AF area is set to "Spot" (center point) mode. If it is not, try it in that mode. When other AF area modes such as multiple points are used, sometimes the focus may not be made on the specific area you want it to. Using "Spot" mode is just a suggestion for checking to see if your camera still focuses on a specific point.

I have a K-3 II and I almost always use it in "Spot" mode.

If you need to use a blower for your sensor, below is an internet address of the Giottos Rocket air blower at B and H. It works well.

Giottos Rocket Blaster Dust-Removal Tool (Medium, Black) AA1910
It is on Spot metering. I've also tried using some of the other focus points with the same results, Inconsistency. Thanks for that link, I will check it out.

---------- Post added 06-26-2018 at 12:42 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sungibr Quote
I would bet in dirt on af sub mirror and the af lens.

The simptons seems likely. I have had that before.

It could get easily dirt or get some moisture and you would never notice it until you get AF inconsistencies.

Take it to a trusty service center to check it, as they are sensible parts that could get easily damaged.
Wonder if any camera shop will clean it? Guess I could make some phone calls and see if any place around would service it for me.

---------- Post added 06-26-2018 at 12:52 PM ----------

Well that didn't take long. I found a camera service repair and retail store just about a half hour from me that actually has Pentax listed on it's website as a brand it works on!


Last edited by BethC; 06-26-2018 at 09:41 AM.
06-26-2018, 03:03 PM   #9
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Spot metering is not the same thing as spot AF. If you keep the setting on spot metering, you will certainly get inconsistent results in your exposures, unless you use the spot meter carefully with each scene, and in Manual mode, or by using the AE-L button.

With the spot or center-only AF sensor elected, which I do most of the time, you train the center "bullseye" on that which you want in sharpest focus in the scene, use the half-press of the shutter button, or the rear AF button to hold that focus while you reposition the camera to frame the scene to your liking. This is the best method for getting accurate focus in the opinion of many.

The K-3 II has more focus sensor points than does the K-5 series cameras, which can be a plus or sometimes a minus if a sensor should grab onto something other than where you prefer focus to be sharpest.
06-26-2018, 03:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
Spot metering is not the same thing as spot AF. If you keep the setting on spot metering, you will certainly get inconsistent results in your exposures, unless you use the spot meter carefully with each scene, and in Manual mode, or by using the AE-L button.

With the spot or center-only AF sensor elected, which I do most of the time, you train the center "bullseye" on that which you want in sharpest focus in the scene, use the half-press of the shutter button, or the rear AF button to hold that focus while you reposition the camera to frame the scene to your liking. This is the best method for getting accurate focus in the opinion of many.

The K-3 II has more focus sensor points than does the K-5 series cameras, which can be a plus or sometimes a minus if a sensor should grab onto something other than where you prefer focus to be sharpest.
My mistake... I checked, I usually keep my cameras on spot mode, but in the past have switched it to AF-C (which is for continuous if I remember right? ) But only when shooting football games and to see if it made much of a difference. I couldn't remember if I ever switched back to AF-S but that is what it was set to.
06-26-2018, 07:29 PM   #11
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You can use the spot AF center-only sensor, and also use AF-S (most usually) or AF-C (unlikely) which would require more care in using. The idea of AF-C is the AF continually refocuses in order to compensate for a subject in motion, or in some cases for macro or closeup shots hand-held, where the slightest body movement of the photographer, or of the subject due to wind, would otherwise alter the focus point enough so a fixed focus would then not be accurate. Focus is more critical in closeup and macro work. For moving subjects at some distance, and using AF-C, multiple AF points instead of spot AF will theoretically allow the AF to switch sensors as the subject moves in the frame. But AF-C is far from 100% in the results it produces. The idea is, from many shots taken of a moving subject, more of them will be in focus vs. AF-S. But if one can manipulate the camera to follow the action accurately, and is quick enough on the trigger, AF-S with center-only sensor spot AF, might still be better.
06-27-2018, 06:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
It is on Spot metering. I've also tried using some of the other focus points with the same results, Inconsistency. Thanks for that link, I will check it out.
I meant Spot AF Area, not Spot metering, just in case you didn't know what I meant.

Good luck.
06-30-2018, 08:54 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
I did run it through some tests, I forget exactly what I used, the chart shown in that article or a ruler, I can't remember exactly. I at one point had adjusted the AF to a +10 and I thought it seemed to help, but I don't think it did because I feel like I am getting very inconsistent results again.
This is one of those things that has to be measured with the utmost degree of care. Otherwise the adjustments may actually backfire.

I strongly recommend using the professional tools unless you are comfortable making a custom rig with proper alignment and good targets.

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06-30-2018, 09:06 PM   #14
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Hello Beth

Hmm seems like a problem better solved by a technician, did you send the camera to repair?

Good luck!
06-30-2018, 09:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
This is probably going to sound all over the place so bear with me. I bought my K3ii 3 years ago (I think) and loved the camera. I shoot every Friday night on the football field during football season and always use my K 3ii. My sons wrestling matches, not to mention all the portrait shoots I do thought out the year (Mostly summer and fall) but about a year ago (give or take) I noticed it was really inconsistent with focusing. sometimes back focus, sometimes front focus, sometimes whole photo is soft, sometimes tack sharp. Same photo, same settings, same everything, just not always same sharpness. It seems to do okay with my 50 - 135 lens. but my 50 mm and especially my Tamron 17-50mm i get really inconsistent results. So, I get my 50 mm and my 35 mm out. Set my daughter up on the deck, use both lenses on both my K3 and my K5, same exact settings, same photo set up, same lens etc.... Results made me think I was nuts, the K3ii was amazing. Then I go and use it out and about, photo shoot, in the woods, pictures of my dog etc.... I get inconsistent results. I dont' trust it to be my #1 so I treat it as a back up to my K5 which is crazy! I'm not sure why I'm posting, what I"m asking, what I expect. I just don't know if I'm crazy but I want to trust the camera and not worry about the results I"m going to get. I read a similar post from someone on here who said they had spots on the mirror. No spots on mine. It's never been dropped. Should I clean it? Send it in for repair?

this evening, I shot a High School Senior and I took my K3ii along with, but shot the entire session with my K5. I don't even think about using my K3ii for something like that anymore.
Send it in and have the shop check to ensure the focus point indicator in the viewfinder corresponds to the actual focus point. If there is even a slight misalignment it can cause your AF to be all over the map. This presumes you have checked the simple stuff like grot on the AF sensor.
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