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05-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #1
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Frustrated

Is anyone else frustrated with the Pentax AF?

I took a number of images today with the K10D and most have come out blurred on the subject matter. I did switch to manual but the subject (otters) was still blurred, as they were fast(ish)

The focusing was hunting far too much for me, I even tried to focus on a point and wait but to no avail.

The ISO was set high to allow a fast shutter time, but did not make much difference (apart from noise).

How does everyone counter the problem of this, is there any pointers to make me happier?

I love my Pentax as it is perfect for still lifes/Landscapes/Macros etc, anything that is not moving, but if it moves, the AF is POOR.

Now I know that Pentax is not the best AF in the world, and is far too slow, but it is a pain. If there is a way to get moving subjects sharply, please let me know, as I don't want to invest in a system with fast AF just for moving subjects.

Oh BTW I was complimented on by CaNikon users on the colours that the Pentax can produce, so want to keep my mighty Pentax accordingly and not go over to the Dark Side.

Help on moving objects would be appreciated

05-05-2008, 10:28 AM   #2
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post some along with EXIF data. Its hard to comment or help with nothing but a statement.
05-05-2008, 10:48 AM   #3
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No problem, I will sort out
05-05-2008, 10:56 AM   #4
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If you can invest in some SDM lenses, the autofocus will be as fast as any other make. With moving subject, I have good results with the center sensor (or any other you wish to select, as long as it is not on auto) and AF-S.

05-05-2008, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thanks Flyer, I thought that would be the case, as the lenses were sounding like saws......So, are the SDM lenses as fast at AF to counter the in camera AF which in all honesty is bobbins (but better than my *istds) I will still upload the images shortly, some will show 320th sec at ISO1000 so not good. Looks like I will speak to my bank manager
05-05-2008, 11:19 AM   #6
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Which AF mode are you using? The continuous mode simply does not work for tracking moving objects.

Steve
05-05-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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I tried both AF-C and AF-S but no difference,

However I thought with moving objects, AF-C would be better, mybe I am wrong.....
05-05-2008, 12:29 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by offertonhatter Quote
I tried both AF-C and AF-S but no difference,

However I thought with moving objects, AF-C would be better, mybe I am wrong.....
I had a look at one of the otter shots you'd posted on FLICKR. From what I gather, you were using the Sigma lens as the exif showed 70mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 second and ISO 500.

A couple of things to try:
Stop the lens down a bit. At f/2.8, you don't have much room to keep things sharp, whereas at f/5.6 you'd have some forgiveness with the added DOF and your shutter speed would still be fast enough to freeze some action.

Were you set to continuous drive, or single shot? (when you were using AF-C AF mode) Sometimes rattling off a sequence of 5 shots will be enough to ensure one of the shots is in sharp focus. It's generally how I get shots of my dog running at me head-on.

Lastly, I'd suggest something just a little bit longer. Sometimes focus is a bit ahead or behind the subject even though it looks good in the viewfinder. Being able to go to 100mm might might be enough for you to verify a more critical focus than 70mm would allow you without compromising your framing too much.
QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
If you can invest in some SDM lenses, the autofocus will be as fast as any other make. With moving subject, I have good results with the center sensor (or any other you wish to select, as long as it is not on auto) and AF-S.
I'd wager that largely depends on the lens being used and how the AF is programmed in the camera (for lack of better terminology) as opposed to SDM (generically) being faster. I've seen conflicting reports by pentax users about the speed of the 50-135mm and from personal experience, the 16-50mm is close enough to the same speed as the DA 14mm that I don't worry about it.

05-05-2008, 02:30 PM   #9
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I find these discussions somewhat interesting. To me, it seemed like I just needed to learn how to use the Pentax AF system, and now I almost always get what I want. To further thicken the plot, I recently tried out a Nikon D200,(with the 18-200vr) and I was actually far more fustrated trying to use their AF system! They just feel so different to me. I've never tried a cannon DSLR at all, so I wonder if it's much different as well.

I'm not saying there isn't a problem, just that it's never been a problem for me after my initial purchase and learning curve. Certainly doesn't seem any worse than the AF systems I used on my old film bodies...
05-05-2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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If your subjects were coming out blured even in MF then maybe it's not focus issue...
05-05-2008, 02:58 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
If you can invest in some SDM lenses, the autofocus will be as fast as any other make.
The SDM lenses do not AF intrinsically faster than their screw-driven counterparts.
05-05-2008, 03:00 PM   #12
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All this talk and speculation without a posted image?
05-05-2008, 03:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
All this talk and speculation without a posted image?
Not our fault that we have nothing better to do at the moment and the reference pic still haven't been posted
But seriously, would be nice to see some pics from the shoot...
05-05-2008, 03:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
The SDM lenses do not AF intrinsically faster than their screw-driven counterparts.
Oh! yes they do. It doesn't change the accuracy of the system, BUT the speed is there.
05-05-2008, 03:47 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by offertonhatter Quote
Is anyone else frustrated with the Pentax AF?
Not really. Could be faster. Its slower than my Nikon stuff, but, and i've said this before, it does a good job and i get good results with it.

When one knows the limits of the AF and works around them, its fine

Dave
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