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07-31-2007, 07:46 PM   #1
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quick auto focus k100d

Hi, I'm new to the forum. I have a k1000 that I bought in '78 or '79. It still works but I usually use an Olympus Stylus 500 to take digital photos and video of my 2 year old.

I miss lots of shots with the Olympus. It is slow to take the shot. Usually it's trying to AF, and usually indoors while my son is moving. So I miss all the time, and get really frustrated. Sometimes I want to mash this camera.

I was wondering if folks can tell me if their k100d misses shots like my Olympus does. I am thinking about getting the k100d. I've tried it at the store and thought it was missing shots too while waiting for the AF, but I'm not totally sure.

Thanks. I like this forum.

07-31-2007, 11:49 PM   #2
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and this forum likes you too 8)

pentax doesnt YET traditionally have a lightning fast AF..i think they are working on it.

i have a k10d and i dont know if they have the same computer for AF

but i find if i just point my focus point to an area of high contrast it works fine.....kinda
08-01-2007, 09:20 AM   #3
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Welcome Dave, so much has been discussed re the AF speed of the Pentax lineup, I have a K100 with the DA16-45 as all around lens, mind you I did not have problem with it's AF even indoor with a single 60 watts as the only available light. I pesonally think this AF issue is blown way out of proportion. I tried the K10 in the store and this I can say, it's AF is way more than enough for my need. The new K100 super will be able to use the new lens lineup from Pentax and as I read even in this forum they are awesome. Only suggestion I can say is try them in the store and see for yourself if they meet your criteria.

Cheers,

Rene R
08-01-2007, 09:36 AM   #4
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I'm trying to ween myself off auto focus at the moment. It's a bad habit.

Also, the k10d is lightening fast - try using a pentax compact, that's what i was used to!

08-02-2007, 04:13 PM   #5
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I guess most cameras AF works it's best when pointed at high contrast when shooting in low light. I need lightning fast focus MJB. I am really tired of missing so many shots, only to have the camera fire about 2 seconds after I press the trigger.

I've tried the one at the store and felt I was missing shots of moving kids, OPTMEKX&. But it was a limited area and only one lighting condition so I was hoping folks here could tell me their experiences photographing kids, and if the shutter fires when they press the button every time, or if they miss shots in low light or indoors.

AF is faster than me, pixelpruner. IF the kids are running all over the place and their distance to the camera is rapidly changing, AF will be faster than me focusing manually.

I tried the NikonD40 and it missed shots too. I think I'll try the Cannon 350D.

I really like pentax. My K1000 still works after nearly 20 years. It has retired though. I enjoy the digital instant gratification of viewing photos without needing to process the film first. I still take a few photos with the K1000 though for nostalgia.

If anyone else has an experience with taking photos of moving kids, please let me know. In particular, if you seem to miss shots due to a slow K100d I'd like to hear about it. Or if you've had great success and don't ever miss a shot due to a slow K100D.
08-02-2007, 08:55 PM   #6
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Compared to a high-end-flagship Nikon or Canon? Not sure, there's lots of debate over it.

Having a fast lens (as opposed to the kit lens) will help. More light = faster and more accurate AF.

Compared to any point and shoot I've ever used - Even the worst DSLRs will destroy nearly any P&S camera in terms of AF speed, metering speed, and shutter lag. My K10D eats my Panasonic DMC-LX1 (which was basically their highest end compact before you got to the pseudo-SLR FZ series) for lunch in terms of "speed to shoot".
08-02-2007, 09:37 PM   #7
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Let's see......kids moving fast.....no time to focus........fast glass.......still no time to focus.........bingo!! f4 - f8 @ IS0 400-800 with a good strobe and kit lens..........don't even have to get close with the AF.

Dude...a short dof is going to kill you when kids are running. The only two things I can think of is 1) Get really good with a fast manual focus prime and shoot in burst mode or 2) get a good swivel head flash and practice flash lighting techniques. Can anyone think of any thing else?

Here's a sample: K100D wt. kit lens and a $99.00 Quantarray 9550

It won't win any awards but I like it!!



Chuck
08-03-2007, 04:24 AM   #8
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Spiderman is great. Love that. Did he get hurt on the landing? I can just imagine him hamming it up for the camera and forgetting about the landing, or not seeing the coffee table in time. Crash.....Ouch.....crying! Chuck Lee, do you think you could have gotten the same result not using the flash while using a higher ISO with the K100D?

I really want the K100D but I don't want to make a hasty decision and regret the purchase, cause I already have a camera that misses shots all night long. :-) I'd say that 90% of my photos are taken inside the house in the evening after sunset. The only light is from the lights in the room and usually they are not super bright.

Using my PnS camera without a flash, and 400 ISO, all my shots are blury, not to mention grainy. It's very frustrating.

I don't mind doing the manual focus thing. I grew up on manual focus for nearly 20 years so it is an option.

08-03-2007, 04:36 AM   #9
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Dave, is there a reason why you don't want to use flash? Fast lenses autofocus lenses are quite expensive, whereas you can just get a used a vivitar 285hv for under $60-70 and would work just fine.

When you say "all my shots are blury" I understand it's because of motion blur and not misfocusing. If your p&s can focus than the k100d won't have a problem with it. As long as it is not pitch black focusing is not that bad. Normal house lights are fine for focusing.

Also high iso shots are much better on the k100d than on p&s cameras. I comfortably shoot at iso1600 when I have too and am very pleased with the results.
08-03-2007, 04:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dave21 Quote
I guess most cameras AF works it's best when pointed at high contrast when shooting in low light. I need lightning fast focus MJB. I am really tired of missing so many shots, only to have the camera fire about 2 seconds after I press the trigger.....
Dave, what you are describing there is "shutter lag", an all too common problem on P&S camera from all manufacturers. While it may, sometimes, be related to slow autofocus it also happens when things are in perfect focus from the start.

Frankly, very few modern DSLRS have any discernable "shutter lag". My K110D fires as soon as I fully depress the shutter button, So does my K10D. The only time they don't shoot is when I've exceeded the buffer during burst mode.

That said, as others have mentioned, the AF on Pentax DSLRs isn't perfect (no mfgr's is although some do better than others in diff situations), but with the new DA* lens should improve significantly.
08-03-2007, 05:17 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
Frankly, very few modern DSLRS have any discernable "shutter lag". My K110D fires as soon as I fully depress the shutter button, So does my K10D. The only time they don't shoot is when I've exceeded the buffer during burst mode.
The K100D is a little bit slow to react. It's a very tiny difference, but after using a friend's Canon 30D for a while, I have to retrain myself to anticipate a little bit earlier or else I miss expressions with the K100D. But we're not talking seconds, here -- it's 1/100ths of a second.
08-03-2007, 05:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dave21 Quote
I really want the K100D but I don't want to make a hasty decision and regret the purchase, cause I already have a camera that misses shots all night long. :-) I'd say that 90% of my photos are taken inside the house in the evening after sunset. The only light is from the lights in the room and usually they are not super bright.
You won't regret the purchase. It's great camera. The AF is reasonably fast indoors. Realy depends on light and what you point it at. If you point it at smooth white wall it'll hunt, pitch dark black t-shirt without texture, it'll hunt again. But anything just a bit under light and bit of texture or contrast, is no problem and AF will lock on fast, very fast. Prefocusign manualy can help here too, and since DA lenses (kit including) have very nicely worked out manual overide it's easy. And as well wether you leave it in manual selection of AF points mode, or auto selection mode makes difference. Auto usualy works tad faster, but sometimes it may pick an unwanted object to focus on. But this can be easily sorted out by framing (frame filling) and stopping down to f8 or so (so wheter camera will focus on your child, or sofa he/she is sitting on, both should remain sharp) but then you'll have to use flash.

without flas at high ISO you should be fine, 800 stil works fine, but I'm not sure if even that would be enough for something like the spiderman shot in this thread. I think fash makes the differnece. If you are worried about too white faces, use flash compensaiton in negative way, in main menu. And shoot RAW, it's easy to fix then.
ok, I think that's long enough to read to get boring so I'll just sumarise:
You won't regret K100D, It'll certainly be better than any P&S, and yes you still may miss some pics, but I'd say like 5 in 100, that's good rate, isn't it?
08-03-2007, 05:32 AM   #13
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Dave21,

He was jumping from the sofa to the ottoman so it was an easy landing. No injuries. He and I both were having a blast!!

If you look at the exif I was set to ISO 400 f4 @1/125s. With just a couple of incandescent lamps in the room I doubt I could of gotten that without flash. The best I could do with the kit lens at that zoom would of been f4.0. Even at 1600 I don't think I could of done any better than 1/15th - 1/30th. He would of been blurry from motion. Shoot, he's even a little blurry at 1/125th but a little motion blur conveys movment. Also, do to where the lamps are, his face would of been extremely dark. I would not shoot at ISO 3200 unless I absolutely had too. I love available light photography which was the reason I bought the K100. The K100D does a great job at high iso for the price. I read all the reviews I could and compared the Canon 400D. The in-body image stabilization will win that battle every time. Still though, even a Canon XTi@ 3200 ISO (if it can do that) would not have captured my boy flying through the air in a informal inside light situation like I wanted without flash. Search the forum for "davemdsn". Find a link to his flickr or pbase account and see what he does with flash. There are many others but his just comes to mind. I like his work, it's awesome. I was playing around when I took the flying spidy shot. If done right, a couple of cheap flashes with a slave controller can get you an available light feel without having to push the ISO range so high. Lot's of light can cover a multitude of sinfully tedious settings, post processing and low keeper rate. I surrendered a long time ago to that reality of photography.

Chuck
08-03-2007, 07:51 AM   #14
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If you're comfortable with manual focus then it's no-brainer. There is no shutter lag to speak of, at least when compared to your P&S and if you pre-focus, you should have no problems. However, shooting indoors with just one 60W bulb somewhere will inevitably lengthen shutter speed to extent that even SR will not save pics from being somewhat blurry.

But if you're ready to shell out some more greens for external flash (bounce!) and diffuser then you're all set. Also, flash may provide (not sure about all compatible flashes) AF assist light which will greatly help in focusing. Builtin flash strobe for AF assist is basically unusable, if you want to take flashless shots, since you have to close the flash manually after focusing.

AF speed has been sufficient to countless of people so far, but it's also a general consensus that Pentax is not exactly a speed demon in AF department. But then again K100D is current reigning king of features/quality/value ratio in DSLR land.
08-03-2007, 08:17 AM   #15
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Hello Dave, welcome again. The lens combination is also important in relation to the AF, we have seen so many posts hereand in different forums re the AF capability of the Pentax lineup. There were bike riders, racing cars, a dog running around and streaking jets, granted that the lighting condition maybe different but then again, shutter and aperture always go hand in hand. There maybe some variation to the combination and that is where the user's input come into play. With regards to the Pentax SR, there was a lawnmower test by Janneman in the other forum that clearly shows the effectivenes of the SR and a German Fotomagazine confirms the result through their sceintific evaluation and tests. The Pentax system IMHO has proven its worth and it is very cost effective as any lens you mount to the body the SR is there to vail you out in some situation.

Cheers,

Rene R
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