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06-13-2010, 07:43 PM   #31
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I am taking shots all the time of my 14mth old grandson. He is a real livewire at times but my K20d is coping very well thank you.
I have some great shots, great to me anyway and thats what counts.

And thanks to FullertonImages for your post.
That is a very good read and states the case very well.

06-13-2010, 08:29 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
That doesn't mean I'll drop Pentax, but I'll choose the horse for the course.

Having young children, the horse will often be the Canon for the forseeable future tho...

Gosh, I don't want to be a sheep...

Hmm.

Hmph.
good for you.
06-13-2010, 10:54 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
...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.
No offense, but I think this post exemplifies a lot of the confusion about what AF is supposed to do.

Firstly, the job of your AF isn't to freeze the moment - that's the job of your shutter speed.

Secondly, the AF did find focus - just not on the subject you wanted - it focussed on the high contrast areas at the back of the scene, not the guys in front and centre. How the AF behaves under those circumstances depends on how you have set the focus area and also how 'intelligent' the AF is. But AF intelligence is over-rated - just try using AF on any system when birding, and try to obtain focus on a bird sitting in the middle of a bunch of foliage to find that out. You can't expect AF to be as intelligent as you in figuring out what is the real and interesting feature of a scene. Even on a high end Nikon.

Third, if you wanted more of the scene to be in focus, you would have taken steps to boost the depth of field as much as possible by using a way smaller aperture - eg f11 and up. Which isn't practical in poor light with a telephoto even on a K-x, but with a D700 or 5D2 (with their enormous usable high ISO headroom) is entirely workable. But if you managed to pull this off, it wouldn't have been an achievement of the AF, but an achievement of the wider DOF and high ISO capabilities of the camera.
06-14-2010, 04:25 AM   #34
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The problem that I have is that it seems like the auto focus often hesitates a couple of times on its way to locking focus. It doesn't do this in good light, but in mediocre to poor light, it will pause on its way. I do agree with those who say that the most important thing is to learn and to know your equipment. In general, once you know your equipment's limitations, you can find ways around it.

I do think that Pentax will improve auto focus algorithims in the next camera, although how much remains to be seen.

06-14-2010, 04:54 AM   #35
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I have loved my K7 more since the day I went MF lenses (SMC-A).

I actually DISLIKE AF now as I find it is more of a hinderance.

I can consistently take 90% of my pictures in perfect focus and I'm not THAT much slower than AF, especially in low light conditions. In fact, in low light I have more keeper shots in MF than I ever did in AF.

That being said, I think the AF in the K7 is actually very accurate. I even thought the K10D AF was quiet accurate too.
06-14-2010, 05:49 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrazyNuts Quote
I have loved my K7 more since the day I went MF lenses (SMC-A).

I actually DISLIKE AF now as I find it is more of a hinderance.

I can consistently take 90% of my pictures in perfect focus and I'm not THAT much slower than AF, especially in low light conditions. In fact, in low light I have more keeper shots in MF than I ever did in AF.
Are you using a focus screen; and if so, which one?
06-14-2010, 05:58 AM   #37
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What happened to unsinkable I? did he run into an iceberg?

If You REALLY need,want,crave fast AF: get a Nikon D3 and an AF-S lens.

go on, get one.
06-14-2010, 06:02 AM   #38
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Seems to me that the locked target was the tiger board in the back. You can see the border around the letters clearly. And the canon word seems to be in focus, because canon are.


QuoteOriginally posted by Reportage Quote
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.


06-14-2010, 07:05 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Secondly, the AF did find focus - just not on the subject you wanted - it focussed on the high contrast areas at the back of the scene, not the guys in front and centre.
That's what I thought as well. The background should not have been as sharp if it really locked focus on the soccer guys. I've shot tennis before and had the same effect when I've missed focus.

For you guys having focus issues, switch to using the AF-ON mode (using the AF button to focus instead of half-press). Nikon and Canon users still use this (if AF works like magic on those systems, you wouldn't need to eh? ). It took me a week or two to get used to it, but it's what I prefer now. It's pretty much "assisted MF" so you concentrate on thinking about planes of focus and locking at a distance and waiting for something to get there. You'll get a lot more keepers...on any system...

Now, if you want annoying, the Pentax cross sensors cover a lot more area than the little dots in the display. That's a quirk Nikon/Canon systems don't have AFAIK...
06-14-2010, 08:01 AM   #40
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I broke my K-20 and was reluctant about getting another pentax. But i bit the bullet and bought a K-7. I have had some problems in low light. But not what i had with the K-20. And I shoot wildlife. I am very please with it.

That said I wish it handled noise better. But at 1600 it is very acceptiable. I have seen some canon pro bodys with 3200 coming out of the camera just beautiful. Also some pro bodies from nikon that are stunning. But there is about 4 thousand dollars price difference. I am staying with Pentax. They will get there I think and i will buy one....

That being said. Here is a photo I took. I took about 15 shots all with auto focus. This is with a 300mm f2.8 lens with a 2x tele-converter. So 600mm f6.4. at IOS 1600. I have tried MF and I cannot do it period. When you have to shoot fast and no time. I do not see how anyone can MF better than AF. It is very fast and for me much better. Now that is with middle focus point only. So what i am pointing at when the focus locks is what i get... Most of the time...
That is just me. But my friends that shoot large lens say the same.


Last edited by garyk; 06-14-2010 at 08:23 AM. Reason: pics
06-14-2010, 08:31 AM   #41
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I wish I had the money the OP has, he has said he is not quitting pentax bnut wants to go out and get a pro canon camera as well.

Must be nice
06-14-2010, 08:42 AM   #42
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Some shots are very difficult for the AF of any camera to lock on. Telephoto shots of birds are one of them as a lot of stuff is in the immediate area of the target. While one brand may be a little better at these kind of shots, browsing through forums of the different camera brands will hear the same complaints. Auto focus has come a long way and it gets better with each new generation of camera body but it still requires a certain amount skill in the hands of the photographer. I used manual cameras for many years and I'm still amazed at how fast and accurate the AF is. That said, there are times when you just have to use manual focus. Going back to the OP and his remarks about playing kids, with those shots you are usually panning and following the kids as they run and other objects come into the frame in the background and foreground and the AF has trouble knowing what to lock on to. That will happen with any brand.
06-14-2010, 09:34 AM   #43
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Just byte the bullet and get whatever you think is better. Don't wait, you're missing to many shots.

Bye

PS Why could people take photos of playing children over 20 years ago without any problems?
06-14-2010, 11:37 AM - 1 Like   #44
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Would it be sacrilege to mention video as a means of capturing rapid toddlers, with stills for the quieter moments?
06-14-2010, 12:17 PM   #45
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I'd just like to mention that it takes a lot of effort to figure out the pentax AF system. I use center focus a lot because I don't have to think about AF points. However, even that is not foolproof. I was at a wine event and was taking pictures of the wine pourers and even though the carafes had plenty of contrast I was still getting pictures with the areas inside of the server's arms in focus (meaning, the background behind the server).

If there was a way for the camera to actually measure the distance that might help more than just contrast detection.

The selectable points on the AF grid has helped me a lot, though. If you use the top/bottom points you can flip the camera over to switch them instead of using the menu. That saves some time. I haven't resorted to inverted shooting, though.

Here's an example of how I failed to use autofocus properly:


I can't be changing focus zones all the time, but I'd like the camera to ignore those chairs in the background.

Last edited by dragonfly; 06-14-2010 at 02:38 PM.
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