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01-12-2014, 08:34 PM   #1
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Is this a setting issue or is my camera broken?

My few month old K-30 is having issues, the autofocus will continually move in and out while trying to focus on a subject.
The situation: the K-30 was on a tripod and focusing on a small eBay sale item against a well lit white background, I would think this would be pretty easy to focus on. I tried both screw-driven and SDM lenses to see if it was a lens issue. I believe it is an issue with the camera because my wife has a K-30 and it was able to focus nearly immediately in the exact same position on the tripod with the exact same lens.

Does this sound like a setting issue or does this camera need to be sent into Pentax for examination and servicing? It was purchased a few months ago from Hunt's online.

01-12-2014, 08:37 PM   #2
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How far away from the subject are you? You mentioned that it is a 'small item' so I assume you are close. If so nothing is wrong. The lenses have a minimum focus distance. They won't focus any closer than X...

It sounds like that's what's going on. In which case absolutely nothing is broken.
01-12-2014, 08:47 PM   #3
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I was about 3 feet away, I tried it with a DA 18-55, DA 18-135, DA 2.4 35mm, and a M 100mm Macro. My wife's K-30 had no issue focussing with the same lens at the same distance upon the tripod. Could it be a particular setting?
01-12-2014, 08:52 PM   #4
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I don't know. Maybe one of the other forum members will be able to help more.

01-12-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
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What focus mode are you using and is it the same as your wife's? Only thing I can think of...... Most likely cause of this is usually too close as suggested by Alamo5000 but that does not seem to be the problem in your case.

Does the camera focus OK in other situations? Is this problem only with the ebay shoot or all the time?
01-12-2014, 10:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
My few month old K-30 is having issues, the autofocus will continually move in and out while trying to focus on a subject.
The situation: the K-30 was on a tripod and focusing on a small eBay sale item against a well lit white background, I would think this would be pretty easy to focus on. I tried both screw-driven and SDM lenses to see if it was a lens issue. I believe it is an issue with the camera because my wife has a K-30 and it was able to focus nearly immediately in the exact same position on the tripod with the exact same lens.

Does this sound like a setting issue or does this camera need to be sent into Pentax for examination and servicing? It was purchased a few months ago from Hunt's online.
Are you focusing on a plain white background with no texture? That might be really tough to focus on unless you have a high-magnification lens that brings out the details.

It could also be front focus or back focus:
Fixing Front and Back Focus - Causes of Front- and Back-Focus - PentaxForums.com

The adjustments needed may differ for two different cameras, even when using the same lens.

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01-12-2014, 10:59 PM   #7
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Try to reset the camera to factory defaults and try again, ... Is the problem still there?
01-12-2014, 11:44 PM   #8
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How are you confirming the focus point?
The red LEDs you see in the viewfinder don't exactly match the real focus sensors - they're just an indication.
It could be you need to slightly move the camera to hit a focus point - not something you would notice if you were hand holding, rather than using a tripod.
My 5c about what could be happening, anyway.

01-13-2014, 12:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
How are you confirming the focus point?
The red LEDs you see in the viewfinder don't exactly match the real focus sensors - they're just an indication.
It could be you need to slightly move the camera to hit a focus point - not something you would notice if you were hand holding, rather than using a tripod.
My 5c about what could be happening, anyway.
and this assumes you were in spot focus too. if you were'nt that could be it. and you didn't mention the size of your model just that you were 3 feet away. if yur subject is very small, it might be too small for your cam to pic it up (though this doesn't explain why your wife's did... - maybe yours isn't defective buy your wife's is exceptional). need more info....
01-13-2014, 08:15 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Newtophotos Quote
I was about 3 feet away, I tried it with a DA 18-55, DA 18-135, DA 2.4 35mm, and a M 100mm Macro. My wife's K-30 had no issue focussing with the same lens at the same distance upon the tripod. Could it be a particular setting?
Have you tried both phase detection and Live View focusing to see if the problem is isolated to just one focus method?
01-13-2014, 08:39 AM   #11
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..not sure if this will help you but does your camera have options for continuous focus vs single focus? If it's set on continuous focus that may be the problem....
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