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09-21-2010, 07:37 AM   #1
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K10D and focus problem

For many years I enjoyed taking photos with ZX-5n camera. I had 50mm 1.7 and F 70-210 1:4-5.6 glass. Came time, and I sold the faithful analog body to replace it with K10D.

50mm 1.7 was great analog companion, but was less so on digital body. First, due to the focusing issue (that I realized just recently). It 30mm behind. Second, color reproduction on K10D was never the same as on ZX-5n. The zoom lens do not have focusing problem and produce OK images.

I've tired to go recommended route and sent 50mm and K10D to Pentax Repairs asking for adjustment estimate. They came back with $300 for the adjustment cost! Thanks, but no thanks.

My dilemma:

- focusing issue on Pentax cameras is so prevalent, that I'm considering switching to another brand all together and get rid of my little Pentax stash.
- or, should I buy one of the new D lens (to replace 50mm) and hope for the best
- or, should I upgrade to the newest K-7, K-x or K20D, and again hope for the best

Thank you
Oleg

09-21-2010, 08:51 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

Re your problem. The K10d was notorious for being off, especially with the auto focus 50mm lenses and Auto White Balance, particularly in low light. Try manually setting the white balance to the type of light you are shooting in. Go to M mode, set your lens aperture manually (with the aperture ring) to at least f2.8, and give that a shot. The lens is held wide open until you press the shutter release and it may be confusing the AF system on the K10d. Failing that, Here is something you can try.. Hopefully you haven't updated to v1.31 on the firmware. If you have, this isn't going to work.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/3158-k10d-service-...us-adjust.html

What you are looking for is the AF adjustment. Be aware however that this will affect ALL lenses, not just the 50mm. You mentioned that your zoom is working fine.

With respect to the color etc of your results, that is all affected by processing. I suggest learning to post process and shoot RAW (PEF or DNG). You can also adjust things like color, saturation, WB, etc for the JPG files in your K10d. The K10d is more than capable of delivering film like color but until you learn to make adjustments, you may continue to find yourself disappointed.

As to buying a D type lens, The DA40 is reported to be among the fastest and sharpest out there for Pentax. I've not tried one, just passing that along. A different camera could help, the K20d and later allow slight adjustments to AF for up to 20 different lenses. I found however that once I upgraded to the K20d, most of my focus issues went away, with the same lenses. The K7 is again, an improvement on the K20d in terms of focus and focus speed. Either camera would serve you well.

For other brand options, Can't help you there.

09-21-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cherno Quote
First, due to the focusing issue (that I realized just recently). It 30mm behind. Second, color reproduction on K10D was never the same as on ZX-5n. The zoom lens do not have focusing problem and produce OK images.
Are you talking about autofocus or manual focus?

Are you shooting JPG or RAW?
09-21-2010, 09:46 AM   #4
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AF: check to see if your auto focus points are in the right place
MF: Put it in AF.S mode. It wont take a picture unless it is in focus


ALSO Check your viewfinder. It has a little adjuster on it that helps people with glasses. Make sure its to the right if you have 20/20 vision

09-21-2010, 01:06 PM   #5
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@JeffJS
- I was hoping for Pentax CS do the adjustment, since they can customized per lens.
- Yes, I upgraded to 1.31, there is a russian software to manipulate the adjustment, but again it is applied equally to all lens
- I shoot raw (DNG) images since K10D has JPG problem. And yes, I use bibble software to post process all my images. With this said, I am tired of correcting camera errors, I would prefer spend my time improving my amateur photos.

@
Alcazar
- I've tested focus issue according to dpreview forum recommendation. Manual focus is fine, AF is behind 30mm

@Prox-iee
- As I said before, I did test with chart. yes, I use AF.S

Thank all for responding.

Oleg
09-21-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by cherno Quote
Came time, and I sold the faithful analog body to replace it with K10D.

50mm 1.7 was great analog companion, but was less so on digital body. First, due to the focusing issue (that I realized just recently). It 30mm behind. Second, color reproduction on K10D was never the same as on ZX-5n.

Oleg
Oleg,

1) If you search the Internet for competitive camera's from the same "era" as the K10D, you'll see that for instance the Nikon D80 (direct competitor, same sensor) needs to go to Nikon service to calibrate lens AF errors. Just as the K10D.
It is only for later models (in the more expensive category) that lens dependent AF calibration became possible.
No different with other brands. You might have had bad luck with another brand, see references of that on the Internet.

2) I wonder how come it took so long for you to find out this AF problem.
Did you acquire the camera just recently?
If not, I guess the warrenty period has expired. When you would have found the issue during the warrenty period, you could have had it fixed at no cost then.

3) Out of focus problems cannot be fixed in PP.
So, I cannot see how you can complain about the PP work you need to do.
I don't know Bibble that well, but Lightroom can do on-import and user profiles, sync edits etc., makes live easy.

4) Pentax camera's have more film like color production than the competition.
I don't think other brands will be more like your ZN.
By the way, there are tons of custom settings in a K10D, in the K-7 even many, many more. Did you experiment with them?

My advise to you:
- Changing brands will not put you in a different position; cheaper models cannot do lens based calibration. With the more expensive models you will still need to replace your lenses.
- Get a K-7 (or if you can afford a K-5 later this year). I have both the K10D and a K-7. It is a huge step forward in so many respects, don't pay attention to all the complaining on the K-7. It is a hell of a camera, the price is Ok now. Technology pushes foreward all the time.

If you've lost your faith in Pentax, sell your gear and have a look at the Nikon D7000, or the Canon 7D. All below will disappoint you if you are used to a K10D.

- Bert
09-21-2010, 01:50 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cherno Quote
@[I]JeffJS
- I was hoping for Pentax CS do the adjustment, since they can customized per lens.
- Yes, I upgraded to 1.31, there is a russian software to manipulate the adjustment, but again it is applied equally to all lens
- I shoot raw (DNG) images since K10D has JPG problem. And yes, I use bibble software to post process all my images. With this said, I am tired of correcting camera errors, I would prefer spend my time improving my amateur photos.

Thank all for responding.

Oleg
Well, other than changing cameras or brands, I'm out of suggestions. Good luck..

09-22-2010, 12:43 AM   #8
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@bymy141

...

2) Shooting with my sharpest glass 50mm, initially I was unaware of K10D flaw and treated it as a random fault on my part. Many times depth of field was enough to compensate. Other times, I was blaming my self for placing AF spot incorrectly. Most of the photos came out bearable... for the digital age, much less so if compare to the film.

3) Sometimes I tried to use a sharpen filter. Most of the time, color and white tone correction.

4) I did not touch K10D settings, usually my setting are either manual or Av.

Thanks for advise, I incline to stick with Pentax. Either will be getting 16-45 D zoom glass or K-7 ... or both since I lack wide angle as of today.

Oleg

09-22-2010, 03:52 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by cherno Quote
@bymy141

4) I did not touch K10D settings, usually my setting are either manual or Av.

Oleg
Oleg, that's not what I was trying to suggest.
The K10D has a large number of settings that control the in camera JPEG conversion.
Things like saturation, sharpness, color, contrast, vivid, temperature, etc.
Unless you are a RAW shooter in which case you have condemed yourself to post processing...

Good luck with your new gear.
Although I do not believe Pentax has a bigger QC problem than any other camera manufacturer, test the stuff, in store, if possible.

- Bert
09-22-2010, 06:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
Oleg, that's not what I was trying to suggest.
The K10D has a large number of settings that control the in camera JPEG conversion.
Things like saturation, sharpness, color, contrast, vivid, temperature, etc.
Unless you are a RAW shooter in which case you have condemed yourself to post processing...

Good luck with your new gear.
Although I do not believe Pentax has a bigger QC problem than any other camera manufacturer, test the stuff, in store, if possible.

- Bert
Bert,

I do take RAW (DNG) images, due the fact that K10D has (or at least had in the past) JPG conversion issue - producing noticeable artifacts.

Oleg

Last edited by cherno; 09-22-2010 at 12:37 PM.
10-10-2010, 09:09 PM   #11
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Original Poster
new lens

With adding one of these lens to my stash:

Pentax SMCP-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II
or
Pentax SMCP-DA 17-70mm f/4 AL (IF) SDM
or
Pentax 16-45mm f/4.0 SMC PDA ED AL

how big is my chance to stumble upon the same AF issue?

OB

Last edited by cherno; 10-11-2010 at 12:17 AM.
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