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06-13-2010, 11:50 AM   #16
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The OP's gripes aren't unfounded. The SAFOX autofocus in Pentax cameras is the sole reason I've abandoned all but my K-1000 and a 50mm. It's absurd that they haven't revamped the entire system.

I switched from a K-7 to a 5d Mk II. Comparing those two, the 5d is infinitely better. The people that gripe about the 5d's autofocus are comparing it to a 1d series camera it seems. I don't see how it could get better.

06-13-2010, 12:05 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by borno Quote
You are kidding, Right??
Tom. No. Dead serious. I mentioned it to show every system has pros/cons, even the infamous "Canon has the best AF system because it's used by sports shooters" reputation.
I pay attention to the Canon/Nikon forums because I like knowing what's out there (pros/cons, etc.). As kalison has confirmed, if you read the DPR forums long enough, you'll see these patterns as well.

And the 5DmkII's non-center point issue is fairly well documented too...marginally better than the 5D's which if you've followed it for a while, had the same complaint. The outer AF points aren't as accurate so you miss focus with them fairly often. Wedding shooters w/ the 5D nearly always focus/recompose. The 5D AF feels roughly the same as the K-7's AF speed to me, unfortunately; both are way faster than a K20D. The 1D is in a different world :O

As for 2yr old's up close, I doubt you'd get a high percentage of keepers unless you use a Canon 1D. That is the best AF system (sorry, it still beat's Nikon's latest effort which is quite good). Is a typical Pentax user willing to drop $2-3K on a body? LOL...sorry...

Kid shots are purely a numbers game, which is why I went to shooting models for lighting/composition practice. It was frustrating to no end, and I've tried friend's Nikon systems (D200, D300, D700) and it's still the same. Sure you get more FPS. Sure it AF's a bit faster sometimes. Do you miss craploads of moments? Do you get eyes closed everywhere...kids looking the wrong way...kids making faces at you...LOL...they're kids that move like butterflies on fire
06-13-2010, 12:23 PM   #18
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each system has its own pro's and cons.

however, pentax's SAFOX VIII is many years old and if i'm not mistaken, the only DSLR that still has a f5.6 sensitivity in the middle.

i too am expecting and hoping that pentax upgrade that center to a f2.8 sensitive sensor and revamp their AFC tracking

if pentax sticks with their f5.6 SAFOX VIII in their upcoming DSLRS, i will be disappointed

will i switch? maybe not. i love the Kx and the AA batteries although i have a few wish list for improvements and one of them is indeed better AFC tracking
06-13-2010, 01:25 PM - 2 Likes   #19
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No system is perfect. I spent last weekend shooting the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, and the other official shooter who I was working was using a 1dMkIII and 500/4L, 300/2.8L, 70-200L, 24-70L lenses. I was mostly using a k-7 and a K20d, and 16-50, 55, 50-135, 200 and 300 DA* lenses. He's got the best AF system there is right now, and I've got a Pentax. I started complaining one night (we were sharing the same condo) about the Pentax AF, and he jumped right in and started complaining about his 1D. I was surprised and said that I thought it was supposed to be the best. He said it is, but it's so fast and predictive that it frequently ends up ahead of it's subject, or just flies right by it without getting a lock on the way by. He said without learning how to work with it's finicky nature, it'll miss as many shots than any other camera, and that just because it's so fast, doesn't mean it's any easier to use. We were both shooting the same stuff, with two different flawed systems, and we were both making good shots. Neither of us were brand nazis enough to claim that our brand was better or more awesome, and we have both learned to work around our brand's problems, and we were both able to look at each other's shots, and really appreciate and enjoy them. He loved lots of my shots, and I loved lots of his. So who had the better camera? Neither of us. We both had a camera, and both had learned how to use them to make good photos.

06-13-2010, 01:45 PM   #20
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Is the issue with Pentax AF the total speed of the AF 'experience', or the accuracy of the AF? Or both. Or something else entirely?

If it's the speed, are perceptions of the issue different if one uses SDM vs non-SDM lenses?

And with the issue of accuracy, is what is at issue the ability of the AF to (a) detect what it is appropriate to focus on in a (sometimes complicated) scene (b) obtain focus on that point or subject area and then (c) optionally do stuff like track a subject and maintain focus on them?

The whole issue seems rather complicated.
06-13-2010, 03:27 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I
If it's the speed, are perceptions of the issue different if one uses SDM vs non-SDM lenses?
...
The whole issue seems rather complicated.
SDM vs. non-SDM is another long gripe issue. SDM isn't faster...just quieter. Unless you use a Sigma HSM lens which uses a ring motor, so it's faster (more torque). The SDM is a just a quiet micromotor...

Yes, it's complicated. I don't know any 1D owners (just fiddled w/ it in a store), so thanks for that feedback Fullerton
06-13-2010, 03:36 PM   #22
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I don't think your kids are faster than my grandkids.

Last edited by Ahab; 06-17-2010 at 07:16 AM.
06-13-2010, 03:51 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
Gosh, I don't want to be a sheep...
BAA-AA-AA-AA-AHHHH!





QuoteOriginally posted by Christemo Quote
My AF is just fine on mine. Fast and pretty darn accurate.
x2. No complaints here.

06-13-2010, 04:25 PM   #24
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If the next Pentax isn't a Canon, then I'm getting a Nikon!

QuoteOriginally posted by FullertonImages Quote
No system is perfect. I spent last weekend shooting the Teva Mountain Games in Vail, and the other official shooter who I was working was using a 1dMkIII and 500/4L, 300/2.8L, 70-200L, 24-70L lenses. I was mostly using a k-7 and a K20d, and 16-50, 55, 50-135, 200 and 300 DA* lenses. He's got the best AF system there is right now, and I've got a Pentax. I started complaining one night (we were sharing the same condo) about the Pentax AF, and he jumped right in and started complaining about his 1D. I was surprised and said that I thought it was supposed to be the best. He said it is, but it's so fast and predictive that it frequently ends up ahead of it's subject, or just flies right by it without getting a lock on the way by. He said without learning how to work with it's finicky nature, it'll miss as many shots than any other camera, and that just because it's so fast, doesn't mean it's any easier to use. We were both shooting the same stuff, with two different flawed systems, and we were both making good shots. Neither of us were brand nazis enough to claim that our brand was better or more awesome, and we have both learned to work around our brand's problems, and we were both able to look at each other's shots, and really appreciate and enjoy them. He loved lots of my shots, and I loved lots of his. So who had the better camera? Neither of us. We both had a camera, and both had learned how to use them to make good photos.
Thanks for sharing. It's an important point - each camera, each lens, each flash, each system takes time to learn. And if you are patient and diligent, you should be able to get good shots out of nearly any modern dSLR. I look back on some of my missed motorcycle shots and for each one I can think of one or two things that I, the alleged photographer, could have done differently to improve the outcome.
06-13-2010, 04:28 PM - 1 Like   #25
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Personally i think if fast AF is the priority, then go Canon or Nikon. There are no 2 ways about that.

I stay with Pentax because it is the system i am comfortable with (there are somethings i complain about though) but if you find canon is better for your shooting requirement, by all means, use canon. Afterall, we are after taking good photographs and camera gears are just part of the equation to achieve that goal.
06-13-2010, 04:43 PM   #26
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Heck Im taking pics of my 2 little kids using my K-X and Takumar MF lenses
06-13-2010, 04:56 PM   #27
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I somewhat agree. Especially if doing a pro league sports event.



The target was locked but still could not freeze the moment. Using a Tamron 75-300 at f/5.6 for the night match as it was all i got as still deliberating the 50-135, 70-200 and 300mm fast lens.

Last edited by Reportage; 06-13-2010 at 05:09 PM.
06-13-2010, 05:11 PM - 1 Like   #28
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1/400 is marginal for stopping the action, plus you're at f5.6, so not a f2.8 lens? So probably slower to focus (not letting as much light in as a f2.8 lens), plus you're using a K20D. K-7 is faster AF.

I take lots of sports pics, you can check my website in sig to verify. The K-7 does very well with my Sigma 70-200/f2.8 (screw drive). However, from my readings on the internet, I'm sure Canon or Nikon would do better FOR THAT PURPOSE. Thus I am saving to replace my K-7 one day with a C or N. But, I would really love Pentax to step up with better tracking focus, PLUS suitable lenses (with the faster ring focus and f2.8 instead of all these f4 lenses).

I enjoy being the only Pentax on the sidelines, but I've come to the conclusion that Pentax won't, maybe can't, compete in that area, fair enough. They compete in every other area I would say wrt cropped sensor cameras.

Summary: The K-7 focus is fast, maybe as fast as the others (?), but doesn't track like them, so probably appears slower.
06-13-2010, 05:56 PM   #29
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Reportage: that shot also looks backfocused. Look at the 3rd guy in the background to the left...he looks sharper than the guys kicking the ball...

Ahab: photos of far away kids is much easier than kids up close (running around in a room) for a camera to AF on...even Nikon/Canon's systems have problems w/ kids in a room...
06-13-2010, 06:45 PM   #30
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I think it's just motion blur. He's probably moving a lot slower, plus is farther away, so the motion isn't as exagerated.
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