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10-13-2014, 11:58 AM   #1
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Pentax Kr questions (pentax newbie)

Hi Guys,

So I had a sony a350 and it totally broke on me. I did a bit of shopping for second hand DSLR and for my budget i settled down with a pentax Kr.

I have a few questions later, but here is my first impression. I spent the day yesterday apple picking and of course i brought the camera to test if everything is good. I have to say that the pictures turn out great. I like the format of the camera and how small it is. The menu is very simple and easy to reach. So far this is what I wanted.

I noticed two (maybe even three) little things that bugged me.

1 - I noticed the battery is very poor. At the end of the day my battery was almost all gone and that is just after about 200 shots. Could that be right? Or maybe the battery i got is just worn out? Never the less they seem very cheap on ebay so I will order one. Any recommendations?

2 - I am not sure, but it seems like the focus is not right for very far object or things. Not a huge deal, but I was wondering if it's just me.

Last thing. When I am on the manual AF point, I can't seem to find the button to select my iso. Any advice?

Ok... i will try to come and read the forum a little bit since i am officially a member of the pentax family now.

10-13-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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Your battery is no good, you should get WWAAYYY more shots than 200. I would stay away from the cheap eBay batteries. I had 2, after a year I had to get rid of them as they swelled to the point where they would get stuck in the camera, plus battery life was quite poor. I have not tried the "Wasabi" brand that others might recommend, but myself, I would buy the OEM Pentax battery. I have learned that buying cheap batteries means paying for cheap batteries and later buying the expensive batteries because the cheap ones died way too soon...

Without seeing a photo, we can't tell if the focus is off. Luckily, if you feel it is off, under the settings in the camera you can adjust the focus for Back or Front focus. It depends what lens you are using, some lenses are fairly soft at certain focal lengths (or distance to object) and that could make it seem like the focus is off.

Geez, it has been a little while since I have used the K-r (too bad, it is an awesome camera!)... but if you hold the middle button of the d-pad it should switch from manual AF point to the screen that lets you choose ISO/white balance. It is documented in the user manual.
10-14-2014, 04:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranceplante Quote
1 - I noticed the battery is very poor. At the end of the day my battery was almost all gone and that is just after about 200 shots. Could that be right? Or maybe the battery i got is just worn out? Never the less they seem very cheap on ebay so I will order one. Any recommendations?
The battery is shot or wasn't fully charged. I purchased an ebay AA battery holder and use rechargeable Eneloop batteries. I use the original battery as my back-up for when I forget to charge my AA's.

pentax k-r aa battery holder | eBay

Tim
10-14-2014, 06:20 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. The battery was fully charged. I suspect it's a bit worn out. I just ordered a new one on ebay. It's not an original Pentax one, but at least I can cary it around with me.

@calculator01 your trick worked for the quick access to ISO setting in manual AF spot. it was simply to hold the OK for 2 seconds. The problem is that my Owner's manual is in German and I am French Canadian so my German is not that great lol. I will try to find one in english or in French online.

Thanks a lot fo your help

10-14-2014, 10:47 AM   #5
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French Canadian manuals for Pentax cameras are here: Service et Solution?RICOH IMAGING CANADA
10-14-2014, 11:07 AM   #6
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Hey, welcome!
QuoteOriginally posted by tranceplante Quote
1 - I noticed the battery is very poor. At the end of the day my battery was almost all gone and that is just after about 200 shots. Could that be right? Or maybe the battery i got is just worn out? Never the less they seem very cheap on ebay so I will order one. Any recommendations?
On my K-r, the battery works very long. Much more than 200 photos. I would also suggest OEM battery, but I know that some people like the Wasabi brand and one other (but i forget its name. One of the "premium" third party brands, which still costs a little less than the OEM). The K-5 has an even bigger battery, with longer life btw.
One other thing you can try is buying the AA adapter and use AA batteries. Read more about this in the manual or dedicated threads. You can find the manual online, as pdf, in case you didn't get it with camera.
QuoteOriginally posted by tranceplante Quote
2 - I am not sure, but it seems like the focus is not right for very far object or things. Not a huge deal, but I was wondering if it's just me.
Hmmh, hard to say. First thing, the focus points are much bigger than the little red overlays in the viewfinder. The middle one is around the ( ) you see in the viewfinder. So it is possible the camera locks focus correctly, but not in the part of the focus point that you wanted. Secondly, with infinity photos you need a decent aperture, to get good depth of field. Depends on lens, but f8 is a safe bet, whereas f3.5 and lower probably won't give you great results (with most lenses). Also, remember that things that are very far away simply cannot be super sharp to begin with. The light has to travel a long distance, so there is a lot of chance for diffusion and atmospheric haze. Very far things will never be as sharp and detailed as things that are close by, unless you have a perfectly clean, cold atmosphere. The other factor is that lenses can be designed to be sharper at near focus, or at infinity. It is possible the lens you are using is simply optimized for another distance. Finally, your lenses and camera might not be perfectly aligned. If you notice that all your lenses are consistently misfocusing, you can try doing an AF micro adjust. But this can get complicated, and if done wrong, can make AF worse rather than better. So for far away things you might want to focus manually or even learn about hyperfocal focusing.
QuoteOriginally posted by tranceplante Quote
Last thing. When I am on the manual AF point, I can't seem to find the button to select my iso. Any advice?
Just hold the Ok button for one second and it toggles between the regular Menu and the AF point selection.

Anyway, for the battery issue.. I would suggest you charge the battery, leave it outside of the camera overnight, and make sure the camera is using the latest firmware. In my experience, even using live view should work for over 200 photos. Without live view and with automatic shut down enabled, the batteries should last even longer. Of course, one thing that can affect it is the temperature. If you are in very cold temperatures, for example, batteries struggle more and can get ruined.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 10-14-2014 at 11:28 AM.
10-14-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by markkuk Quote
French Canadian manuals for Pentax cameras are here: Service et Solution?RICOH IMAGING CANADA
That is some goooood service! haha thx

@Na Horuk now that I think about it I think my aperture was very low. I will try to play around with that,.... I told you I was a noob
10-14-2014, 11:32 AM   #8
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Ah, live and learn Photography is a skill, a process of growth. One thing you can also use is the mode dial. The K-r has a "landscape" mode, which will automatically keep your aperture around what I mentioned, but it is automated, so it will adjust for the available light. These modes are useful and you can learn from them. Of course, it is best to learn from photography literature - these days its mostly blogs and websites, but still.

10-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Ah, live and learn Photography is a skill, a process of growth. One thing you can also use is the mode dial. The K-r has a "landscape" mode, which will automatically keep your aperture around what I mentioned, but it is automated, so it will adjust for the available light. These modes are useful and you can learn from them. Of course, it is best to learn from photography literature - these days its mostly blogs and websites, but still.
You know, I actually took photography classes... back in 2004 when it was still film. I know most of the lingo and techniques.... I mean as an amateur. I just haven't been taking pictures in the last years. I'm a little rusty.

I normally shoot in aperture priority. I just have to remember to actually change it for the things I shoot. haha

I'll do most test. You can check out my pictures here: creativeme.ca

As you can see the trees and landscape are not super sharp... I'll have to work on that for my next pictures.

cheers
10-14-2014, 01:58 PM   #10
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Good photos, you are on the right path! Of course, for super sharpness you need tripod and 2 sec timer (includes mirror lockup, so button press and mirror slap don't affect photo, but you need a base to place the camera) or remote, ISO 100.. depends how far you want to go lol
10-14-2014, 02:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Good photos, you are on the right path! Of course, for super sharpness you need tripod and 2 sec timer (includes mirror lockup, so button press and mirror slap don't affect photo, but you need a base to place the camera) or remote, ISO 100.. depends how far you want to go lol
Ya the good old tripod. I have one, I just dont like to carry it around all that much hehe.
10-14-2014, 02:41 PM   #12
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My battery also doesn't last over 200-300 shots, it should be good for around 470, apparently.

And I'm still trying to figure out if the auto-focus is less precise than my K20D, or if I'm just not doing something right. But it does seem that I have more focusing issues with the K-r, sometimes it's front focus, sometimes it's back focus, I haven't been able to pinpoint exactly what's going on. Mostly I see this with my 35 2.4.
11-01-2014, 10:04 AM   #13
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Ar KR my first camera and first step into photography and into pentax and till now I find no reason to bail
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