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05-12-2016, 03:13 PM   #1
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Shooting manual focus with the K-1

Hello all,
I don't usually post here because I'm a film shooter, but the introduction of the new K-1 is making me think that I "might" be needing a digital body for quick snapshot.

I have a large quantity of K lenses so it appears this should be the right thing, but I would like to understand now "usable" is the K-1 with K, M and A lenses: first thing, will it meter at full aperture?

Second thing, is there a split screen available that will help focusing with fast (f1.2) lenses?

05-12-2016, 03:37 PM   #2
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A lenses work without any limitations. M and K lenses need to be stopped down to meter (basically, you press the green button prior to shooting), however you can compose at full aperture. Here's more info on that:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-me...k-x-k-7-a.html

I'm not sure about focusing screens at the moment, but the screen does seem to be replaceable (the procedure might be more complicated due to the LCD overlay that the K-1 has in the viewfinder).

Are you familiar with live view magnification and focus peaking? Depending on what you shoot, you might one day set your film gear aside in favor of it

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05-12-2016, 03:39 PM   #3
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A lenses can be set to the 'A' setting, and then all metering modes will work just fine (you will be lacking autofocus though!). M/K lenses are a little different. In aperture priority mode, the lenses will meter, but they can only be used wide open. If you want to stop them down, you'll need to use fully manual mode (M). With this you just set the aperture on the lens, hit the green button, and the camera will meter the shot for you (you can then take the shot). So long and short of it, is that using 'A' series lenses is easier, 'M' and 'K' lenses work, but the process is a little slower.

There is a bit of question mark over replacement focussing screens at the moment. Ricoh has said these aren't replaceable, however there does appear to be a clip holding it in, so it *may* end up being replacable, but so far no one has been brave enough to unclip it so far as I know (there is some uncertainty as to whether the new viewfinder overlay is part of that assembly - probably not, but I'm going to let someone else find out first!). So in future there may be a focussing screen for it, but don't count on it.

On the flip side though, the autofocus confirm still functions in the centre point in manual focussing mode, and it seems to be pretty accurate. I do miss having a split prism in the viewfinder, but the AF confirm is a reasonable compromise (split prism is just going to get in the way when using modern lenses, with the 33 focus points!)

---------- Post added 05-12-16 at 11:42 PM ----------

To add to what adam has said, there's also 'catch in focus' which will only fire the shot when focus is confirmed by the AF.
05-12-2016, 04:40 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Feedback on manual focusing

Hi Cuthbert,

I have been using a K5 with an S type replacement screen from focusingscreen.com. I found that made a huge improvement to my success rate when using fast manual focus lenses, though I did have to switch the shims to correct back focusing.

I've been wondering about the K-1 and whether I'd need to replace the focusing screen, whether that is even possible, or whether the larger viewfinder/focus confirmation would suffice.

So far I've tried a wide angle f2.8 and a 100/f2, I've yet to try the 85/f1.4, 50/f2 & 35/f2. I've just put the wide angle (21) onto both cameras to do a quick comparison and the K-1 viewfinder is much easier to use. It is brighter and larger, so the point of focus is much easier to see. Using the 2/100 yesterday I deliberately left the lens wide open to see how it would be using the fast telephoto on the K-1.

I did find the AF confirmation seemed to be reliable, however I never needed to rely on it previously and find I have to adapt a bit if I intend to rely on it. Once I do, I expect it will improve focus speed. Until then I need to get used to a 'focus then compose' strategy which I never needed to do on the K5. I think the issue here is me, I need to become more accustomed to the new camera/viewfinder/focus assist combo.

I have a range of images captured from yesterday with the 2/100 if you are interested. I can say, I missed some to get these, but I was also trialling how the camera/lens worked together. Excuses excuses... https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/227446-carl-zeiss-t-zk-mou...planar-13.html

Whilst I will be interested to see if I can fit an S type screen in the K-1, personally I feel this new viewfinder may negate the need for a replacement screen. This is mainly due to the larger/brigher viewfinder but especially for the focus assist. I will need to do a back/front focus test though, I'm not convinced that it is spot on, as I struggled to be able to rely on my eye despite repeated attempts on the same subject. The focus assist didn't help here either, but it's early days and I need to ensure I'm adapted to the new set up to be sufficiently consist to reduce the potential for operator error.

Other than that I think the K-1 is a big step up for manual focussing over the APSC viewfinder of my K5, and using the Mk 1 eyeball is at least as good as the S types screen I was using in the K5.

Anyhoo, just some feedback that I thought might assist.

Tas

05-12-2016, 06:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
I did find the AF confirmation seemed to be reliable, however I never needed to rely on it previously
That sounds about right. The AF confirmation has a best-case focus sensitivity of f/2.8* while the S-type screen is supposed to be somewhere around f/1.2. The stock screen on the K-5 has focus sensitivity of about f/4. There has been speculation that the stock screen on the K-1 may offer some improvement over that of the APS-C bodies due to higher magification. If you are seeing comparable results between manual focus and AF confirmation, that would be a significant improvement. If the optical focus works better than the AF confirmation, it would be incredibly good.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
I will need to do a back/front focus test though, I'm not convinced that it is spot on, as I struggled to be able to rely on my eye despite repeated attempts on the same subject.
Check both against magnified live view at 100% as a gold standard.


Steve

* Focus sensitivity is the widest aperture for a system at which it is possible to detect an out-of-focus condition, regardless of maximum aperture of the mounted lens. In practice, focus sensitivity is related to precision. Example: a system having a focus sensitivity of f/2.8 will result in the same incidence of acceptable focus with an f/2.8 lens, after multiple attempts, as with an f/1.4 lens. In theory, the f/1.4 should result in better fine focus success except that the system cannot "see" well enough to take advantage.
05-12-2016, 11:49 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A lenses work without any limitations. M and K lenses need to be stopped down to meter (basically, you press the green button prior to shooting), however you can compose at full aperture. Here's more info on that:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/110657-how-use-me...k-x-k-7-a.html
That's disappointing...since 1973 Pentax film cameras gave their owners the privilege of full open metering, and these expensive and sophisticated digital cameras can't do what a simple Spotmatic F can? Perhaps I should check out the Nikon Df and if does offer that simple function.

QuoteQuote:
Are you familiar with live view magnification and focus peaking? Depending on what you shoot, you might one day set your film gear aside in favor of it
No, and if I have to spend $1000+ for a digital camera that offers less than a K1000 I think I'll stay analogic for long.
05-13-2016, 12:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
That's disappointing...since 1973 Pentax film cameras gave their owners the privilege of full open metering, and these expensive and sophisticated digital cameras can't do what a simple Spotmatic F can?

They can meter, Cuthbert, the experienced and sophisticated shooter like yourself just touches a green button beforehand.
05-13-2016, 12:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
They can meter, Cuthbert, the experienced and sophisticated shooter like yourself just touches a green button beforehand.
Mmm, no, I don't use any camera older than the SPF, so I assume I have to avoid this K-1 as well!

The Df does offer open metering with Ai and pre-Ai lenses:

Review: Nikon Df - The Phoblographer

Sorry Ricoh, I think you missed an opportunity...probably the only reason to get the new new K-1 is the opportunity to use the legacy K lenses as the "new" market is completely occupied by Nikon and Canon.

05-13-2016, 12:14 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
That's disappointing...since 1973 Pentax film cameras gave their owners the privilege of full open metering, and these expensive and sophisticated digital cameras can't do what a simple Spotmatic F can? Perhaps I should check out the Nikon Df and if does offer that simple function.
The lens is stopped down for about half a second when you press the green button. Nikon follows the same procedure for non-AI lenses. On the Df, you still have to tell the camera what the selected aperture value is, which IMO is harder than pressing the green button once Cheaper Nikon DSLRs can't meter at all even with AI lenses, whereas all Pentax DSLRs can meter with all Pentax lenses.

The reason it's implemented this way is that in the old days, a mechanical linkage told the camera about the setting of the aperture ring. That linkage has been removed on Pentax DSLRs (as well as the last film model, the *ist) since electronic control of the aperture setting allows for better precision. That's also why aperture rings are gone on modern lenses- they're obsolete.

The next step is electronic control of the aperture diaphragm rather than a stop-down lever. High-end Nikon lenses already implement this (though unfortunately, those lenses are not backwards compatible with older bodies).

Some users wondered if we'd see the return of a "non crippled" mount on the K-1, but ultimately Pentax decided to keep it out. Personally, I'd rather have really good shake reduction, etc., than half a second less per shot with M lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
No, and if I have to spend $1000+ for a digital camera that offers less than a K1000 I think I'll stay analogic for long.
Why not start small and try out a K-50 then? If you don't like it you won't be at much of a loss- the used price is pretty close to the new price.

I understand that there are still many users out there that prefer film (it rocks!), but if you haven't tried modern cameras at all then you can't really argue in favor of one medium over the other. I hope my motivational comments sway you in favor of exploring a bit

Adam
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05-13-2016, 07:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
That's disappointing...since 1973 Pentax film cameras gave their owners the privilege of full open metering, and these expensive and sophisticated digital cameras can't do what a simple Spotmatic F can?
Except for the last 19 years or so...The crippled KAF2 has been with us since 1997. I think that is almost 1/2 the life of the mount?


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05-13-2016, 07:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
The Df does offer open metering with Ai and pre-Ai lenses:
...and is the sole Nikon offering to do so, regardless of price...and as Adam points out above, the pre-Ai integration is a bit, er, clumsy...

Don't get me wrong, I agree that Ricoh should bring back the standard KAF2, but as noted above, the inconvenience of using stop-down metering is fairly small. It all depends on how you relate to metering.


Steve


Steve
05-13-2016, 07:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Personally, I'd rather have really good shake reduction, etc., than half a second less per shot with M lenses.
Is it either/or


Steve
05-13-2016, 07:54 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Except for the last 19 years or so...The crippled KAF2 has been with us since 1997. I think that is almost 1/2 the life of the mount?


Steve
I think the first cripped mount was the one of the Kiev 10 and 15, they don't have aperture ring as they are just shutter priority, but I am comfortable with this kind of setup.

QUOTE=Adam;3640381]The lens is stopped down for about half a second when you press the green button. Nikon follows the same procedure for non-AI lenses. On the Df, you still have to tell the camera what the selected aperture value is, which IMO is harder than pressing the green button once Cheaper Nikon DSLRs can't meter at all even with AI lenses, whereas all Pentax DSLRs can meter with all Pentax lenses.

The reason it's implemented this way is that in the old days, a mechanical linkage told the camera about the setting of the aperture ring. That linkage has been removed on Pentax DSLRs (as well as the last film model, the *ist) since electronic control of the aperture setting allows for better precision. That's also why aperture rings are gone on modern lenses- they're obsolete.

The next step is electronic control of the aperture diaphragm rather than a stop-down lever. High-end Nikon lenses already implement this (though unfortunately, those lenses are not backwards compatible with older bodies).

Some users wondered if we'd see the return of a "non crippled" mount on the K-1, but ultimately Pentax decided to keep it out. Personally, I'd rather have really good shake reduction, etc., than half a second less per shot with M lenses.

Why not start small and try out a K-50 then? If you don't like it you won't be at much of a loss- the used price is pretty close to the new price.

I understand that there are still many users out there that prefer film (it rocks!), but if you haven't tried modern cameras at all then you can't really argue in favor of one medium over the other. I hope my motivational comments sway you in favor of exploring a bit [/QUOTE]

Well, I just have AI lenses, so that wouldn't be a problem for me, I am not very happy about the price of the Df though.

For the K50, I am not interested in a non full frame camera as all my lenses wouldn't work as on a film camera, but on the K-1 at least can the A lenses work properly? Is there an aperture priority mode where I can define the f stop and DOF I want?

Last edited by Cuthbert; 05-13-2016 at 08:03 AM.
05-13-2016, 07:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cuthbert Quote
Sorry Ricoh, I think you missed an opportunity...probably the only reason to get the new new K-1 is the opportunity to use the legacy K lenses as the "new" market is completely occupied by Nikon and Canon.
I wonder what has happened to all the K-S2, K-3ii and K-1 cameras Pentax has built recently.
Unless you're really into conspiracy theories, there must be some explanation.

How about this one: People like me buy them, sometimes even switching away from Canikon. Because of limited finances at the time, I bought a K-30 just about a year ago when my Canon Rebel unexpectedly died. Most of the time I use my new 18-135mm DC lens, but some times I use older Pentax-A, Pentax-M, and even Super Tacumar lenses. The only lenses "crippled" on the modern cameras are those built roughly 1975-83, and their only extra requirement is pressing the green button. I don't have any trouble at all pushing the green button - in fact, I even adopted it as my new avatar in response to all the complaining about having to use it.

Last edited by reh321; 05-13-2016 at 08:05 AM.
05-13-2016, 08:44 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Is it either/or


Steve
I sort of think it is either aperture coupler lever and a bigger camera or stop-down Green Button metering and a small camera.
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