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09-22-2012, 02:29 PM   #16
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I'll be the first to say that I have the upgrade bug. I have the K-x and am looking at the K5 II or I might wait for what comes after that. I would certainly like faster AF and more AF points, but even with my lowly K-x I have rarely missed a shot. It really is about UNDERSTANDING your camera, and I'm pretty sure many a CANIKON user has had misfocussed images too when using auto mode.

I've posted these before; they were among my first efforts at BIF. The camera tracked quite fine thank you very much:





Busy background, camera kept duck in focus:



Tracked skater with blue helmet around corner:



09-22-2012, 02:35 PM - 1 Like   #17
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I get tired of these threads that mythologize other brands, and always put the issues down to hardware, not experience.

Reading some of these threads, you'd believe that even Canon users who had never picked up a camera before in their lives always got 100% perfectly focussed and composed shots no matter whether they used a 1100D or a 1 DX. Or that Nikon users always got their flash shots perfect, no matter whether they had a D3000 or a D4, or whether they used an old third-party flash or a Nikon.

On the issue of flash, I also hang out in a few NEX forums and it's funny that hardly anyone there complains about flash issues, even though NEX basically has NO flash system. But everyone learns to make do.
09-22-2012, 04:37 PM   #18
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@Jindesu thank you sir, your no-bother four-word answer to all that I have written down indicates a certain form of intelligence.

@mikeSF I couldn't tell from the VF. It was also hard to tell in the LCD, but after zooming in I realized the shot was misfocused. However there was no chance for a second shot.

------

And for all those comments scratching me out for blaming the camera, I am not. I have particularly indicated that in my second post. I am not blaming the camera and this misfocused image is the result of the camera's AF character. And I decided not to go with it any more, and switched to Nikon. That's all I am saying. I am not here to hurt anybody's feelings

How you use a camera can alone be a reason for switching brands. Nobody or nothing has to be faulty to change brands.

Please read my second post again, so I won't have to defend myself against redundant criticism.

Last edited by Crosshair; 09-22-2012 at 04:56 PM. Reason: correction + addition
09-22-2012, 04:42 PM   #19
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And no, it's not so hard to make BIF with the K-5. This coming from the user who left the K5 because of its AF.













09-22-2012, 05:52 PM   #20
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nice shot..are you flying on the sky?
How come you can get so close with 85mm
09-22-2012, 07:25 PM   #21
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Saying that its photographer error misses the point. The problem is I, as the photographer, cannot rely on the camera to focus on the subject. The photo crosshair posted is a perfect example, any decent camera should've focused correctly. I have plenty of similar examples myself, where the auto-focus becomes a distraction, something taking my attention away from other important aspects of the photo.

There is no question that Pentax AF has plenty of room for improvement. If other brands are any better, I do not know, as I've not used any other brand camera extensively enough to know.
09-22-2012, 07:44 PM   #22
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To be fair - we can't blame a photographer for choosing an option that is clearly available to them within the camera. Otherwise, I think Pentax should come up with the same strategy with Zeiss and Voigtlander and Leica - sell manual focus camera only.

Sure, its a problem with every brand, some more than others - but still, you can't blame the expectation of a buyer for wanting their AF to actually work - even if logically the camera can never read someone's mind.
09-22-2012, 08:30 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Get off the auto AF point mode, use centre-point focusing and all of a sudden ALL your images using the centre AF point will have the intended subject in focus.

What the K-5 has had issues with is focusing accuracy in low light, particularly at night, where it has exhibited consistent gross front focusing. Low tungsten lighting also poses a challenge for the K-5, and Pentax are no doubt aware of this.

Preeeecisely! 1st choice is always manual focus, but my eyes aren't as good as they used to be. In low light my eyesight is fine for locating a spot to focus on, but not good enough to achieve sharp focus. I need the camera to do that for me. In that case I must use centre point AF - and low light, wide aperture shooting is where the K-5 was weak. My purchase of a K-5II will depend on tests and reviews of LL AF.

09-22-2012, 09:00 PM   #24
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Yes Canon & Nikon are much quicker at focusing as well ,my brother swears by his Canon and never fails at the opportunity to rub the speed in my face, BUT , I have been shooting with Pentax for nearly 30 years , and still have all my original cameras (fully functional ) .
Pentax backward compatibility leaves all others for dead , Adapters that allow the use of thread to K mount , 6X7 , 645 to K mount , 6x7 to 645.
I recently purchased the 645D rather than go the way of Canon , because I don't mind taking my time to take a photograph , a single shot that is good , rather than relying on speed and taking 10 snaps to get one thats worth the bother of printing.
Also having a dozen good 645 lenses from my earlier 645's and a range of 6x7 lenses to use on this lovely beast , made it a non issue when looking at the cost of the 645D as opposed to the latest offering from Canon & Nikon and then having to get a new set of lenses as well.
09-23-2012, 02:29 AM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by nedkelly69 Quote
Yes Canon & Nikon are much quicker at focusing as well ,my brother swears by his Canon and never fails at the opportunity to rub the speed in my face,
But people always seem to compare EVERY Canon generically (whether it be a 1100D or a 1Dx) with a specific Pentax - eg a K-5. This disregards the simple fact that some Canon's have AF systems that actually are not any more sophisticated than anything of Pentaxs' and actually suck (eg the 450D, the 5D, the 5D2, maybe even the new 6D ), whereas some Canon's do indeed have awesome AF that is probably better than anything Pentax has (for stuff like AFC tracking in particular - eg the 7D or the whole 1D series).

And our Canon and Nikon friends often compare their HSM lenses with Pentax screw drive ones and say their AF is faster, when the perceived speed is often due to the lens more than camera AF effectiveness.
09-24-2012, 09:22 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pablom Quote
AF-C is the only mode I'll consider using area Auto AF, and if I don't get it properly focused that way I won't blame the camera because, well, how could it know where I wanted the focus to be?
Of course we can't blame the camera when we use area AF and it chooses the wrong target. However, we can ask that it work predictably, which I think boils down to focusing on the nearest target under an AF point. The K-5 is generally OK in that respect, at least with 5 point. However, more focus points, more tightly packed, would help, assuming sophisticated and fast AF processing to back them up.

I do believe that the K-5's AF sometimes does not work correctly. Yesterday, I photographed a foot race. I used AF-C, both single point and Auto, and the 7 FPS drive mode. Mostly, the AF worked, but I got one series of shots that were all grossly out of focus. It looked more like non-focusing than mis-focusing, because the whole frame was a blur. Given that the AF-C Setting was Focus-priority, that should not have happened. My first assumption is always that AF errors are my fault, but in this case, I think the camera screwed up. I've also had cases using AF-S when my K-5 confirmed focus lock, but the subject was not in focus, even though the AF frame (and I do know how big it is) covered the target.

Of course, user error is always a possibility, and the prevalence of complaints about the K-5's AF do make us more conscience of AF misses. Other cameras sometimes misfocus too.

The K-5's AF is adequate for most photography, with some faults. However, it's certainly not on the level of the best that Canon and Nikon provide. When I imagine an APS-C K-3, the AF is the one K-5 "shortcoming" that I'd most like to see addressed.

Jeff
09-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #27
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This is a frequent and common comment -

First my disclosure - I am on Pentax Forums because I use Pentax dSLR and I like them -
they seem to work fine for me - of course YMMV -

Having said that, I hope my experience with Pentax AF is worth sharing here

I have used the K-x quite extensively (about shot count 59,000) and regularly in very dark environments -
where there are parts that are literally below both the metering and AF limits of the K-x -
I am not saying the K-x never hunts - but mostly I can focus even in those very dark conditions -
and AF under poor light is supposed to be a Pentax weak point.

I am not saying for a moment that my copy of the K-x is some super-boosted AF focusing monster -
it is "bog-standard" and I have not done any modifications to it, not only that I have only the two most humble kit zooms (18-55 and 50-200)

Please see Post #132 and #131 in thread Kx in Use ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

It is quite common to have difficulties when trying to focus on the face/eyes in the dark.

So I look for something else close by that may be easier to focus on - it may not be as critically correct - but mostly the depth of field takes care of any differences.

take this example -

the main subject's face was basically in the shadows - and it was not possible to focus on the face/glasses.

However the bell of the trombone had bright highlights which contrasted with the rest in darkness - gave a much easier target to focus on.

Perhaps seeing the original unprocessed (other than re-sizing) might help to visualize the scene a bit better?
EXIF attached


How dark was this?
ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/5sec, -0.7 comp; 18mm
metering segment read outs:

according to the metering segment it is about -1.3LV at the face
this is about -1.3 stops below the spec'd metering,
and -0.3 stops below the spec'd AF limit of the K-x -
metering is supposed to be 0LV and AF -1LV, but using a f/1.4 lens -
I am using f/3.5 which is -2 2/3 stop slower/dimmer..

This one -



certainly could not focus on any face -
and even if the K-x had a focus-assist light it probably would not have helped at this distance -
focused on a candle flame...

So one can see the K-x is more than capable of focusing in very low light, without any focusing aid.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 09-24-2012 at 11:28 AM.
09-24-2012, 12:14 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Get off the auto AF point mode, use centre-point focusing and all of a sudden ALL your images using the centre AF point will have the intended subject in focus.
Thats not necessarily true.
You can choose center point AF, put the center point deadnuts in the middle of your target and still not get your subject in focus due to the center AF point being so gigantic. Yes, there are work arounds like MF, but why spend the extra $$$ for AF lenses and camera if they aren't terribly reliable or precise?
09-24-2012, 04:36 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
put the center point deadnuts in the middle of your target and still not get your subject in focus due to the center AF point being so gigantic.
I'm not sold on this argument. It's not all about AF point size. AF points are sensitive to contrast, and you can work with 'gigantic' centre AF points even in the most cluttered scenes if you work with that knowledge. Try shooting small birds in dense foliage, and you'll quickly get the hang of working with centre-spot AF

QuoteOriginally posted by cali92rs Quote
Yes, there are work arounds like MF, but why spend the extra $$$ for AF lenses and camera if they aren't terribly reliable or precise?
I'm sure some of the Reuters sports shooters at the Olympics with access to the latest price-is-no-object camera gear still got OOF shots, and sometimes (gasp!) even used manual focus on their $8000 cameras and $14000 lenses.

Even the most modern Boeings or Airbuses won't fly every step of a flight on auto-pilot.
09-24-2012, 05:18 PM   #30
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To echo UnknownVT - I just did this outside in my backyard (8pm here, pretty much moonlight only, so I tested with a flashlight).

At the point where the AF would actually work:


ISO 6400, 1/20s, F1.4 on a Sigma 50 F1.4 HSM

I moved the flashlight closer and closer until it reliably focused multiple times. At this point, my metering system was pretty much giving up. However, I had to know that my k-x likes to go from complete OOF to almost AF, then one more hit of half-shutter for it to stutter into place with the Sigma 50 F1.4.
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