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07-03-2016, 07:30 AM   #76
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The new Pentax products are evolving, but people keep in mind the AF performance of 10 years ago. To all guys who switched five years ago from Pentax to Nikon , I hope for them that their Nikon AF is much better than what they had when they switched... because I did not switch and Pentax AF also improved. Usually, all camera manufacturers get sooner or later the same tech, so you can spend load of money to switch to Nikon or wisely wait a couple of years and spend less money to get the same in a Pentax camera. It is generally cheaper to stay with the same brand. With K3 and DFA150-450 , I don't get 67% keepers, I get nearly 100%.
QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That's the one thing people tend to not understand. Spending more money is often the only thing that gets you more keepers. I'm as cheap as the next guy, and I hate spending money on equipment, but there are times when you just have to say, if I really want this, I'm going to have to have a more expensive body with a faster focussing lens. You can discuss everything else until you're blue in the face, but sooner or later you hit that wall. Fortunately for many of us, when we do hit that wall, we can just look at the situation and say "it's not perfect but it's good enough."
+1 Golden statements... I am with you guys in your group.
Let others who think that they have to have equipment with the greatest AF to get "the" shots; and I see these people all the time when I am out shooting events.

07-03-2016, 03:14 PM - 1 Like   #77
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The new Pentax products are evolving, but people keep in mind the AF performance of 10 years ago. To all guys who switched five years ago from Pentax to Nikon , I hope for them that their Nikon AF is much better than what they had when they switched... because I did not switch and Pentax AF also improved. Usually, all camera manufacturers get sooner or later the same tech, so you can spend load of money to switch to Nikon or wisely wait a couple of years and spend less money to get the same in a Pentax camera. It is generally cheaper to stay with the same brand. With K3 and DFA150-450 , I don't get 67% keepers, I get nearly 100%.
That nice to say but honestly I don't think this is the case. Would you have brought a D800 5 year ago with Nikon lenses, you would still get better AF, and got it 5 year ago than today Pentax best.

The D3 and D700 are 9 and 8 year old respectively. They both sport an AF sensor with 51 AF point, 3D tracking already superior to what the K1 offer today in term of hardware. So we are still almost 10 year late.

Until K3 came out, 3 year ago the best we go was K5-IIs an old 11 point module with huge of center point that made back in time relying on AF for anything with shallow dof quite hazardous. You would want to focus on the eyes, the camera would put the nose or the ear. The coupled metering sensor was too basic to really recognize or track anything with 77 point B&W metering. 1 year before the K5-IIs, AF in low light was a terrible experience.

The difference is that 5 year ago being 10 years late meant that the AF performance was ok for landscape in daylight, but not much more than that. Today this mean this is good enough for most common uses but that is still lag behind in difficult situations.

For the lenses, SDM was not really an improvement but a regression. Screw drive AF is actually faster. 55-300 track better than 60-250. My F135 is my fastest lens including the SDM i tried.

I think we managed to get decent DFA lenses that perform well but we are still a few year before it get down to the whole line up. for now the APSC lenses except 16-85, 18-50, 18-135 and 55-300 are either screw drive of SDM.

We made lot of progress but there still a few things to fix and improve and at the same time, competitor do improve too.

Now should that prevent one to go the Pentax route? Well that the thing one must understand. AF is one thing. Outstanding AF is usefull in some circonstances, like FF sensor help in some circonstances and so on. On the other aspects, it can be argued that the Pentax bodies are around the best, if not the best out there. The lens line up, while still plagged with no SDM replacement for some key lenses and lacking a bit on choice has key differentiator in the term of low cost WR lenses and small high quality ltds. This is unique.

I don't get why because we have Pentax we should always say Pentax the best for everything. That wrong and not helpful. This is gear, this is tool. Let's use the best tool for what we need. We do not own Pentax shares after all, at least I don't.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 07-03-2016 at 03:22 PM.
07-03-2016, 11:45 PM   #78
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
That nice to say but honestly I don't think this is the case. Would you have brought a D800 5 year ago with Nikon lenses, you would still get better AF, and got it 5 year ago than today Pentax best. The D3 and D700 are 9 and 8 year old respectively. They both sport an AF sensor with 51 AF point, 3D tracking already superior to what the K1 offer today in term of hardware. So we are still almost 10 year late. Until K3 came out, 3 year ago the best we go was K5-IIs an old 11 point module with huge of center point that made back in time relying on AF for anything with shallow dof quite hazardous. You would want to focus on the eyes, the camera would put the nose or the ear. The coupled metering sensor was too basic to really recognize or track anything with 77 point B&W metering. 1 year before the K5-IIs, AF in low light was a terrible experience. The difference is that 5 year ago being 10 years late meant that the AF performance was ok for landscape in daylight, but not much more than that. Today this mean this is good enough for most common uses but that is still lag behind in difficult situations. For the lenses, SDM was not really an improvement but a regression. Screw drive AF is actually faster. 55-300 track better than 60-250. My F135 is my fastest lens including the SDM i tried. I think we managed to get decent DFA lenses that perform well but we are still a few year before it get down to the whole line up. for now the APSC lenses except 16-85, 18-50, 18-135 and 55-300 are either screw drive of SDM. We made lot of progress but there still a few things to fix and improve and at the same time, competitor do improve too. Now should that prevent one to go the Pentax route? Well that the thing one must understand. AF is one thing. Outstanding AF is usefull in some circonstances, like FF sensor help in some circonstances and so on. On the other aspects, it can be argued that the Pentax bodies are around the best, if not the best out there. The lens line up, while still plagged with no SDM replacement for some key lenses and lacking a bit on choice has key differentiator in the term of low cost WR lenses and small high quality ltds. This is unique. I don't get why because we have Pentax we should always say Pentax the best for everything. That wrong and not helpful. This is gear, this is tool. Let's use the best tool for what we need. We do not own Pentax shares after all, at least I don't.
If you need a better AF, fell free to buy a Nikon. You're doing static shots. I'm doing sports and bird-in-flight and I don't seem to have AF issues. Pentax don't have AF, but they have the 77 limited , that's why you don't switch to another brand!

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-04-2016 at 12:02 AM.
07-04-2016, 01:46 AM   #79
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I shall have to compare my K-5 with the film PZ-1 (when it arrives) which has, according to the owner's guide, predictive focus.

07-04-2016, 05:43 AM   #80
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This forum is plagued by people who talk incessantly about faster AF. Which is odd, because there are many cameras out there made to be great AF cameras, The only reason I can see why these people don't own them is they are expensive. So here they are, I want the expensive thing on a cheaper camera. Nikon doesn't do it, Canon doesn't do it. No one gives you the best AF for cheap. Yet on and on they go. Every thread on new Pentax gear goes on and on about Pentax AF.

I've been in this situation before. You guys may find this hard to believe, but, 30 years ago, a buddy with a great wedding photography business picked up a Nikon D4 with motor drive ( to use alongside his Hassies, which could do 6 frames per second and had really good autofocus. He brought in 8 frames of his brother bungie jumping. He was on the ground , he had his bother jumping from the top of the platform to 6 feet from the ground , 6 fps, every frame in focus. I looked at the pictures and thought, "I have no need to take pictures like that." I didn't buy my first AF camera until the D *ist 25 years later. That's how much I think of auto-focus. To this day, I will put the A-400 on the camera with the 1.4 TC when I need my longest possible lens. It's not a big deal. And when you're done. MF looks the same as AF. I know for dam sure if I put up a series of mixed AF and MF images people won't be able to tell which is which. I'm more concerned with things the affect the final image, than how I got it. Once you have it, honestly, no one gives a hoot.

MF or AF, can you tell?
Let me give you a hint... it's a small fast moving bird that doesn't sit still for very long.


A-400 and 1.4 TC.

It's MF. I realized the bird kept coming back to this tree to eat the berries, so I set up 12 feet away and prefocussed, and just sat there, real still and real quiet.. It turned out there were four of them doing some kind of circuit. I picked a spot with a good site line and light, set up a chair and waited 45 minutes while the birds went where ever else they go and returned. Then I fired of a few bursts. It turned out, AF was completely unnecessary. Patience and faith the birds would repeat their pattern again was all that was necessary. People talking about how they have to have faster AF make me ill.Then they go get their D750 or whatever, and show me images I could have easily taken with an MF set up.

I can tell you though, some fool wandering around with his 15 frames per second 1Dx as I have witnessed, hoping to do some kind of quick draw thing, where he spots a bird, runs at it and tries to rely on his fast AF to get the shot, wouldn't have this image. Sometimes I think folks who don't understand what it takes to get a good image worship AF. They think it's the deficiencies of the camera that make them unhappy wth their images.It really is sad. Reliance on the technical instead of technique is a huge draw back in developing your photography.

Last edited by normhead; 07-04-2016 at 06:10 AM.
07-04-2016, 12:37 PM   #81
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
If you need a better AF, fell free to buy a Nikon. You're doing static shots. I'm doing sports and bird-in-flight and I don't seem to have AF issues. Pentax don't have AF, but they have the 77 limited , that's why you don't switch to another brand!
Man didn't you notice this isn't about your or me but somebody that explained he needed better AF while he has a camera that already quite decent for that job?

I am not going to buy a D750, neither a D500 or D5. I do not need that. You don't need it neither apparently. So we could conclude there no need for anything better who ever your are... if at least you get a K1 or maybe a K3-II + some DFAs.

I think that in practice there still some difference and I think if you were to use a D5 + the associated Nikon lenses you would soon switch to it, a bit like you switched to K1 while before you would say APSC was enough.

Most funny about it, it was a few weeks ago you explained how one of your friends that brought a D800 5 years did a better choice because than to buy APSC because he doesn't feel the need to upgrade even today. That in the end he spent less and got to play with advanced hardware for 5 more years. But I guess it doesn't sound as cool if the argument is used by somebody else.

Last edited by Nicolas06; 07-04-2016 at 12:42 PM.
07-04-2016, 01:26 PM   #82
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nicolas06 Quote
Man didn't you notice this isn't about your or me but somebody that explained he needed better AF while he has a camera that already quite decent for that job? I am not going to buy a D750, neither a D500 or D5. I do not need that. You don't need it neither apparently. So we could conclude there no need for anything better who ever your are... if at least you get a K1 or maybe a K3-II + some DFAs. I think that in practice there still some difference and I think if you were to use a D5 + the associated Nikon lenses you would soon switch to it, a bit like you switched to K1 while before you would say APSC was enough. Most funny about it, it was a few weeks ago you explained how one of your friends that brought a D800 5 years did a better choice because than to buy APSC because he doesn't feel the need to upgrade even today. That in the end he spent less and got to play with advanced hardware for 5 more years. But I guess it doesn't sound as cool if the argument is used by somebody else.
Ah yeah , I did not get the point. So, you'd recommend a Nikon camera, Nikon D5. There's also the D500.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-04-2016 at 01:42 PM.
07-04-2016, 02:13 PM   #83
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QuoteOriginally posted by swisscow Quote
Hi all

I had a Pentax a few moons ago but drifted away to the olympus m43. However, my daughter is getting to the age where she is moving around a lot and starting to appear in school events and I'm not really satisfied with the results of the m43 (though when I nail it it's great) and to be honest, I'd rather use a DSLR.

Anyway, I'd like to go back to a DSLR and Pentax is my first call (K-3ii with 16-85mm and later the new 50-300mm) but I'm concerned about the focus tracking and for this I keep getting distracted to the Nikon D750, though I think with the extra "perceived reach" of the apsc I'm better off.

Could someone with a small child under such circumstances reassure me the k-3ii is going to, allowing for reasonble user ability, to get the results I want or tell me it's not up to the job. I've been going around in circles so long my head hurts.

Thanks!
That is the question, can a K-3 do the job.
There's been a lot of participants he don't seem to have contributed much to answering the question.

07-04-2016, 02:39 PM   #84
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The new Pentax products are evolving, but people keep in mind the AF performance of 10 years ago. To all guys who switched five years ago from Pentax to Nikon , I hope for them that their Nikon AF is much better than what they had when they switched... because I did not switch and Pentax AF also improved. Usually, all camera manufacturers get sooner or later the same tech, so you can spend load of money to switch to Nikon or wisely wait a couple of years and spend less money to get the same in a Pentax camera. It is generally cheaper to stay with the same brand. With K3 and DFA150-450 , I don't get 67% keepers, I get nearly 100%.
is this with shallow DOF with something moving towards you?
with large DOF it is more about having the right shutter speed as it is about focus speed

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07-04-2016, 03:31 PM - 2 Likes   #85
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
is this with shallow DOF with something moving towards you?
Yes, and contrary to what people think, when a lens is pre-focused at infinity, a target moving towards you makes it easier for the camera to acquire focus because the default AF direction is from far to near and the gear ratio near infinity is higher than close focus distance. My method is to use AF select one point of initial focus (not using Auto), setting the lens at infinity (or at least beyond the target), and waiting for AFC to acquire focus before triggering the shutter. With the DFA150-450, and DFA24-70, it works every-time. AF does not like is focusing from near to far, because it is contrary to the AF lock rule that is to lock focus on the nearest to camera subject. If the subject is beyond AF position it takes longer for the camera AF to find the target, for instance, in this case, with SDM lenses, the camera AF goes from intial AF position to nearest focus back again from near to far. If the lens is prefocused beyond the subject, the camera AF goes from far to near directly, in one go.

Link here K3 with AFC, shooting until buffer was full: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/190-pentax-k-1/319924-can-anyone-k-1-give...view-af-2.html .

Below example with a Pentax K5 and Tamron 70-200 screwdrive, indoor low light (not even with a K5II, K3 or K1). You can check the exif.
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Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-04-2016 at 04:01 PM.
07-04-2016, 04:18 PM   #86
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Yes, and contrary to what people think, when a lens is pre-focused at infinity, a target moving towards you makes it easier for the camera to acquire focus because the default AF direction is from far to near and the gear ratio near infinity is higher than close focus distance. My method is to use AF select one point of initial focus (not using Auto), setting the lens at infinity (or at least beyond the target), and waiting for AFC to acquire focus before triggering the shutter. With the DFA150-450, and DFA24-70, it works every-time. AF does not like is focusing from near to far, because it is contrary to the AF lock rule that is to lock focus on the nearest to camera subject. If the subject is beyond AF position it takes longer for the camera AF to find the target, for instance, in this case, with SDM lenses, the camera AF goes from intial AF position to nearest focus back again from near to far. If the lens is prefocused beyond the subject, the camera AF goes from far to near directly, in one go.

Link here K3 with AFC, shooting until buffer was full: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/190-pentax-k-1/319924-can-anyone-k-1-give...view-af-2.html .

Below example with a Pentax K5 and Tamron 70-200 screwdrive, indoor low light (not even with a K5II, K3 or K1). You can check the exif.
I tried with a slow walk with the DA200 F2.8 the the result was 1 out of 6 at best. the new DA F lenses must be a big improvement

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07-04-2016, 10:41 PM   #87
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
I tried with a slow walk with the DA200 F2.8 the the result was 1 out of 6 at best. the new DA F lenses must be a big improvement
Randy, you aren't going to get any well focused photographs when AF tracking a subjects when walking slowly, regardless of the lens. AFC employs predictive algorithm that samples the subject's position at regular time intervals, the change of focus between time intervals should be sufficient for the camera to predict the next subject position (trajectory) and adjust the lens focus accordingly (Canon and Nikon use the same, as per shooting side by side with Canon 7DII). For example, I tried to used K3 AFC for tacking a slow moving cable car in a mountain area: AFC focuses and then fail to track because, during a given period of time, the algorithm is not able to detect any significant motion. So, I talked to my Canon friend using a 7DII and he told me that it is normal, he experiences the same on the 7DII. With slow moving subjects, AFC should not be used in continuous shooting; AFC first frame should be set to focus priority and AF re-iterated for every new shot by pressing the shutter button again. What that means (whatever camera brand) is simply not using burst mode and triggering a new AF sequence for every individual shot.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-04-2016 at 11:11 PM.
07-04-2016, 11:15 PM   #88
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Yes, and contrary to what people think, when a lens is pre-focused at infinity, a target moving towards you makes it easier for the camera to acquire focus because the default AF direction is from far to near and the gear ratio near infinity is higher than close focus distance. My method is to use AF select one point of initial focus (not using Auto), setting the lens at infinity (or at least beyond the target), and waiting for AFC to acquire focus before triggering the shutter.
I didn't know that. I'll have to try it when I'm next photographing racing motorbikes.
07-04-2016, 11:15 PM   #89
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That is the question, can a K-3 do the job. There's been a lot of participants he don't seem to have contributed much to answering the question.
The K3 can do the job. However, if you press the shutter without taking the time to observe and understand how AF does work, the keeper rate is going to be very low.

---------- Post added 05-07-16 at 08:21 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by p38arover Quote
I didn't know that. I'll have to try it when I'm next photographing racing motorbikes.
That's also why long tele canon and nikon lenses have focus preset and focus limiter functions. Ricoh implemented those features on the Pentax DFA150-450 and on the DFA70-200. Older Pentax lenses have "quick-shift" which allows you to prefocus the lens after every shot (so that you are always ready for the next shot), with one finger, you can also use the camera AF to prefocus on a distant target to prepare for the next shot.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 07-05-2016 at 04:51 AM.
07-04-2016, 11:58 PM   #90
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QuoteOriginally posted by swisscow Quote
Could someone with a small child under such circumstances reassure me the k-3ii is going to, allowing for reasonble user ability, to get the results I want or tell me it's not up to the job. I've been going around in circles so long my head hurts.
it is possible with the K-3(II)! It is probably not the best tool but with practice it should be ok. I use the center point for 99% of the time, sometimes i would wish to have some more points on the side especially in portrait mode...

ignore the Lens ID something went wrong while removing details from the EXIF: FA* 28-70 mm F2.8
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