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10-29-2011, 10:23 AM   #16
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One can fail to get a shot because the DOF was very narrow also. The lens he has is giving him more DOF wide open -- because it's wider, not just because it's slower, than the fast 50 you're recommending; and since you brought up shutter speeds, the longer the focal length, the faster the shutter speed you need to avoid camera shake. And anyway, he was asking specifically about lenses hunting, not about shutter speeds.

Whatever. We're talking past each other.

10-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by haassaasin Quote
Hello everybody,

I shoot with a k-x and do a lot of indoors and low light photography, mainly events. I find that my lenses often hunt a lot in low light, even the fast 35/2.4. And most of the time I end up missing the shot which is very frustrating.

I will be upgrading my camera soon, but should I go for the K-5 or is the Nikon's autofocusing system better? I need the camera to quickly grab focus in low light. If I go to Nikon I will either go for the Nikon D7000 or wait for the D400, only buy a couple prime lenses (35 and 50 maybe) and rent high end lenses as I need them.

So will the K-5 auto focus compete with Nikon's autofocus in low light conditions or should I switch to Nikon?

Thanks.
There was that German AF test of several brands on static subjects, and the Pentax came out in first place. It was linked on PF and also on Dpreview. Just saying.

I shoot play dress rehearsals all the time, recent one was a Dracula play, with dark scenes throughout.




I've learned to work around AF problems with the K5 by shooting large DOF to get more actors sharp, and to AF shots only every 5 to 6 shots. I disable the half shutter AF and use the AF button almost exclusively for these shots.

I can't compare to Nikon D7000 because I haven't tried it out, but when i read the D7000 forum, i see reports of OOF on it as well.

I can tell you that K5 is better than K20 in speed and K20 is better than K10. I've also read that the small size of the camera body limits what they can do in the AF area - don't know myself - just read it a few times. But again, i use the high iso capabilities to enable a larger DOF. For the above shot, i used
ISO 20,000, F3.2, 1/125s.
It was on TAv and i was shocked to find out that the iso was 20,000, its a reflection of how dark the scene was. Normally i use much smaller apertures like f4 to f8, but this scene was unusually dark. But the image is good enough and when i did a test print at 12"x18", people drooled over it (messy), that i'm going to print it on canvas at 16x24, perhaps larger if i can swing it.

I like my K5, it has warts, but i've found ways around it. I work with guys that have D7000 and D300s. Those focus assist lights are constantly lighting up with these plays, so thats one way Nikon is ensuring focusing. My K5 assist light is also lighting up, but not as early as the Nikon assist light is, i'm confident of that. I don't use the assist light for plays because its a distraction for the actors.

Last edited by philbaum; 10-29-2011 at 11:23 AM.
10-29-2011, 11:25 AM   #18
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Stunning photo Phil. I saw it on another thread, and it really blew me away. And those actors must love you.

Quite apart from the technical aspects, that's one of best theatrical shots I've ever seen.
10-29-2011, 12:20 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
I don't see how a wider aperture addresses the OP's concerns about AF; if anything, shooting wide open will compound the visible effect of errors. And what if he wants broader DOF for what he's shooting? For a 35mm lens, 2.4 isn't that slow either, it seems to me. And shooting a 50 at 1.4 is going to narrow the DOF he has to work with considerably.
Yes, you are correct. I was talking about focus hunting, not motion blur.

And yes, I do use centre point autofocus. Even though it helps a bit, recomposing means that the focus will not be spot on. Can I chose a custom focus point in the viewfinder with the K-5?

10-29-2011, 12:54 PM   #20
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Yes, you can. But not all the focus points will be equally accurate, I believe.

This may be silly, because I'm sure you're not as absent-minded as I am, but is there any chance that you may have had AF-C selected sometimes when what you intended was AF-S? I've done that before, and found that of course the camera was hunting for a new focus target when I had center-focused and recomposed.
10-29-2011, 12:57 PM   #21
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Excellent job, Phil. K5's incredible ISO + DR + photog skills with composition & fundamentals gets results like this. Bravo.


Last edited by jsherman999; 10-29-2011 at 01:02 PM.
10-29-2011, 02:48 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
Stunning photo Phil. I saw it on another thread, and it really blew me away. And those actors must love you.

Quite apart from the technical aspects, that's one of best theatrical shots I've ever seen.
Thank you Pentup and JSherman, i guess out of 450 photos, one of them should pop . Seriously, there's about 4 of us shooting for them and they appreciate it. I recently asked if we could rent the theatre for 2 hrs for a photoclub workshop. They said sure and waived the normal $149 fee. Some places really know how to work with volunteers.

Phil
10-29-2011, 04:04 PM   #23
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Thank you for your help everyone. I think I will be switching over to Nikon. I will definitely miss Pentax lenses though.

10-29-2011, 04:09 PM   #24
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Nikon AF sits Pentax's down when it comes to low-light accuracy, although I've only compared the two systems with fast f1.4 lenses.

The k-5 is much better than previous bodies, but it still needs improvement, IMO. I was shooting an event tonight and it had trouble locking af now and then.
10-29-2011, 04:27 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
although I've only compared the two systems with fast f1.4 lenses.
That's when you need a reliable autofocus the most because of the shallow depth of field.
10-29-2011, 04:38 PM   #26
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Just make sure the D7000 permits lens-specific focus adjustments; I'm sure it does, but I haven't checked. The K5 I checked yesterday needed a correction of about -5 for tungsten light for the DA40 (even when I seemed to have it adjusted right, I could still focus tighter manually.)
10-29-2011, 06:26 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
Just make sure the D7000 permits lens-specific focus adjustments
This is actually a big requirement for me. It does permit AF fine tuning;

i hope it's the same as on K-5.
10-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
T
I've learned to work around AF problems with the K5 by shooting large DOF to get more actors sharp, and to AF shots only every 5 to 6 shots. I disable the half shutter AF and use the AF button almost exclusively for these shots.
Ditto w/ the K20D. Set to AF-C and you'll always be able to release the shutter....refocus every few shots on the subject or something at the same distance. My main annoyance is that the AF points are larger than the dots and sometimes it ends up locking on the background instead of what you want :-P

A good number of Canikon users (except the 1D, D300/D700 users w/ the ultraquick AF tracking modules) also use this AF-ON mode of focusing.
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