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11-13-2012, 02:37 AM   #1
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Pentax K-5 II & IIs AF area expansion

Hello,

I was in the "Salon de la photo" in Paris (our photokina ). I wanted to test the K-5 II & IIs new feature: AF area expansion in SEL mode. I was very disappointed.

I've tested it on people in the show (they were walking) and it was not working at all. I made the focus and when the person walked:
1. First case, nothing happened
2. Second case, some other points are activated but the focus was not done

Happy Pentax K-5 II owner , did you have the possibility to make some tests?

Regards.

Malsi

11-13-2012, 02:52 AM   #2
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It worked for me when I tried it, though to me it didn't seem any more useful than the standard 11-point af mode.

Adam
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11-13-2012, 03:42 AM   #3
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Hi! I don't know how it works with the K-5II, but should be the same as with the K-30...
From my experience, the focus tracking is actually quite good, but if you were using it in low light, that's probably the deal...
Adam, the standart 11-point af doesn't really track objects from my experience, and will quickly switch to a more contrasty area, even if its away from your subject...the Expanded AF will try to track, and does it reasonably well.
11-13-2012, 03:51 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GabrielFFontes Quote
Hi! I don't know how it works with the K-5II, but should be the same as with the K-30...
From my experience, the focus tracking is actually quite good, but if you were using it in low light, that's probably the deal...
Adam, the standart 11-point af doesn't really track objects from my experience, and will quickly switch to a more contrasty area, even if its away from your subject...the Expanded AF will try to track, and does it reasonably well.
Hello,

Thank you for your answer. It was in low light. I hope that some tests will be done shortly in good conditions.

Regards.

Malsi

11-13-2012, 04:26 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GabrielFFontes Quote
Adam, the standart 11-point af doesn't really track objects from my experience, and will quickly switch to a more contrasty area, even if its away from your subject...the Expanded AF will try to track, and does it reasonably well.
I did a little test where the K-5 was in auto 11 mode and the K-5 II was in the new mode, and they performed just about equally well when trying to shoot running kids. Maybe I'm just missing something, but I think if Pentax wants to make some real improvements to the AF, they should add more points and (more importantly) improve AF measurement interval in continuous mode. Seeing that they've got low-light accuracy perfected now, it would make sense to move on to address the remaining AF issues in a future body!

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11-13-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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I have done some testing and find it quite useful. My problem when photographing motorsport is when there are lightpoles around the track. Everytime a lightpole passes by when following a car, the camera suddenly focuses on the pole. But with this function activated, the pole is ignored and focus is on the car all the time. Works great, but have not done more than some initial testing :-)
11-14-2012, 04:00 PM   #7
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I have a K-30, which I presume has the same algorithm for the expanded area focusing. I have found it very effective for birds in flight and racing cars.

Primarily it prevents the camera from refocusing on foreground rather than the subject, when things get in between, such as branches, electricity lines, poles and so on.
Also very good for keeping small fast moving subjects such as birds in focus. Normally when using continuous AF, the moment the bird is no longer at the focus point the camera will immediately focus onto the background and even when the bird is back in the middle it will take some time to refocus on the bird. With the expanded AF area the camera 'knows' that you still want to focus on the bird even if it is not still on the middle focus point.

It is a very useful function but keep in mind that it is not the same thing as focus tracking on a P&S camera. We can only track the focus within the area of the 9 focus points and not follow the subject all the way to the edges of the frame. The idea is that you do your best to keep the subject near the centre of the frame and the camera will make the little extra effort needed to follow the subject (within a limited area) and also to avoid focusing on obstructions that temporarily obscure part of the subject.
11-14-2012, 07:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
I have a K-30, which I presume has the same algorithm for the expanded area focusing. I have found it very effective for birds in flight and racing cars.

Primarily it prevents the camera from refocusing on foreground rather than the subject, when things get in between, such as branches, electricity lines, poles and so on.
Also very good for keeping small fast moving subjects such as birds in focus. Normally when using continuous AF, the moment the bird is no longer at the focus point the camera will immediately focus onto the background and even when the bird is back in the middle it will take some time to refocus on the bird. With the expanded AF area the camera 'knows' that you still want to focus on the bird even if it is not still on the middle focus point.

It is a very useful function but keep in mind that it is not the same thing as focus tracking on a P&S camera. We can only track the focus within the area of the 9 focus points and not follow the subject all the way to the edges of the frame. The idea is that you do your best to keep the subject near the centre of the frame and the camera will make the little extra effort needed to follow the subject (within a limited area) and also to avoid focusing on obstructions that temporarily obscure part of the subject.
Thanks for that info. You mention nine focus points but the K-30 can use one, five, or 11. Did you mean 11?

11-14-2012, 08:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by IchabodCrane Quote
Thanks for that info. You mention nine focus points but the K-30 can use one, five, or 11. Did you mean 11?
In Expanded Area AF, the camera can and will use 9 AF points, unless you choose to focus using an extreme corner AF point...
11-15-2012, 01:52 AM   #10
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Hello,

Thank you all for your feedback. I think that I really need to test it in my favorite condition (birds). When you have one bird, I seems to work very well. But when you have different birds, I don't know how it will react.

Regards.

Malsi
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