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06-15-2010, 06:40 AM   #61
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gene

I would agree on the second point you make. Ideally, since the focus detectors have a physical size, having them marked on the viewing screen might be a good solution but only if the precision of assembly would permit.

even then, there will be occasions where the focus indicator sees things at different distances, and gets it wrong. Imagine shooting a fence post from the top down, does the indicator see the top or bottom? I'm sure we can all think of situations where the focusing could be fooled or fail. That's why I am waiting for mindread.exe

06-15-2010, 10:50 AM   #62
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Wow. So many responses. I'll try to answer a few...
06-15-2010, 10:55 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christemo Quote
My AF is just fine on mine. Fast and pretty darn accurate.
Mine is also great in many circumstances.

When panning through trees, I'm very impressed with the speed and accuracy of the screw drive.

BUT, when picking up the camera and trying to take a picture of a helicopter or bird (clear sky, dark object, 5 point AF), the camera has to go through the entire zoom range, back and forth before, maybe, locking on.

By that stage the opportunity has passed. 2-3 secs is an age with birds.
06-15-2010, 11:00 AM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by noahpurdy Quote
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.
I haven't had the opportunity to use a 1D, but the 5D MkII is impressive. I think I'll stick to APS-C though as I prefer something smaller.

06-15-2010, 11:04 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
LOL...they're kids that move like butterflies on fire
Love it!
06-15-2010, 11:09 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by opiedog Quote
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
Very interesting. I didn't know that. Thanks.

Are Canon/Nikon/Sony using 2.8 on APS-C?
06-15-2010, 11:12 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by Unsinkable II Quote
Mine is also great in many circumstances.

When panning through trees, I'm very impressed with the speed and accuracy of the screw drive.

BUT, when picking up the camera and trying to take a picture of a helicopter or bird (clear sky, dark object, 5 point AF), the camera has to go through the entire zoom range, back and forth before, maybe, locking on.

By that stage the opportunity has passed. 2-3 secs is an age with birds.
but why are you using multipoint AF with something like a plane or bird in the first place, that is just wrong
06-15-2010, 11:14 AM   #68
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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.
This thread has received some very interesting replies. This balanced and informative reply is gratefully received.

I must apologise if my thread title seemed dismissive... I do not want to leave the Pentax fold.

I just get tired of swearing at my camera...

06-15-2010, 11:37 AM   #69
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Not as if users have any major say in what should be in the upcoming product releases.

Most camera releases are simply response to another manufacturer specs rather then something new.

At least knowing the limits of the system gives one good reason to bring a camcorder along.
06-15-2010, 01:26 PM   #70
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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.
I've also had difficulty with the AF on my K20D, despite using the AF adjustment for front focusing issues. Now I'm using MF lenses exclusively, and will likely switch brands at some point.
06-15-2010, 01:31 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
What I found with my K20D is it's best to use Center Focus Point, and AF-S with rapidly tapping on the shutter button to get the camera focuses faster, or more accurate at the point I want to focus on .
You may notice that you see the subject be sharper through the view finder when it is in focus .

This pic I also used Center Focus Point with AF-S . I followed the bee (it was slow though) and kept tapping on the shutter button until I got the bee in focus then my finger went all the way down to shoot.



As you look at the picture, with all the leaves and flowers, there was no way for the camera to know what I wanted to focus on, if I used Multi Point .

Well, Dragonfly, don't be disappointed in Pentax AF, once you work it out and you'll like it .

Happy shooting .

Best regards Dragonfly

Ken
you bring up a good point ken.

you could also switch the AF to the AF button and tap that instead and fire away w/ the shutter.

it takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes 2nd nature.

Last edited by opiedog; 06-15-2010 at 01:35 PM. Reason: added text and fixed typo
06-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #72
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Might want to check out the facts first before making any decisions -

Popular Photography (PopPhoto.com) is one of the very few places that actually tests the AF speed over a range of lighting levels -
here are the AF speed tests of the most recent offereing from Pentax and Canon
Pentax K-x and Canon Rebel T2i


ref: Camera Test: Pentax K-x | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips
Camera Test: Canon EOS Rebel T2i Gallery | Photography - PopPhoto.com Offers Camera Reviews and Exclusive Photo Tips

The Pentax K-x is actually faster than the Canon T2i in good light - while the Canon T2i is faster in very low light.

I shoot a lot in what I consider very low light conditions eg: ISO5000 f/3.5 at 1/4sec - about the limit of my handhold ability even with SR - that's about 1/8 foot-candle or 1.3lux LV= -1, and although there is some noticable AF lag it is still more than adequate and a lot faster than I could have focused manually.

Does make one wonder how anybody manage to take any photos with manual focus lenses?
06-15-2010, 01:51 PM   #73
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The D300s (equivalent market segment) technologically tramples the K-7 in AF. I used it, filled up my B&H shopping cart with Nikon gear, then woke up and deleted it all. That said, the K-7 is excellent and well-rounded, perfectly capable of serving a professional photog to a certain extent. You learn to adapt to and compensate for its limitations. Honestly, I don't know if I'd really benefit much from faster AF.
06-15-2010, 02:58 PM   #74
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
as opposed to most posters in this forum, and most survey starters, who suffer from foot in mouth

Actually the real issue is that things such as focus based upon scene selection (face recignition is the best example) is something that can only be automated with the sensor being powered 100% of the time, like a P&S.

In fact I think that is where most people who complain about functions like this belong, because clearly they don't understand for the most part what they are doing
Touché. Some of you guys are just too sensitive LOL!

EVIL cameras will evolve to the point where they are credible competitors to entry-level dSLRs. And I'm certain that their displays AF systems will evolve, as will their displays. I for one can't wait for an EVIL display that shows a live histogram, zebra stripes for blown highlights, and focus/DOF overlays to show me exactly what part of the frame is in focus.
06-15-2010, 03:30 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrazyNuts Quote
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.
Exactly. Photographers do not need to let their gear do their thinking for them. MF is not that difficult with the stock camera and screen -- it simply takes practice. Using the focus bracket technique helps as well.
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