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02-19-2007, 05:40 PM   #1
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Next Shoot

The problem with my K10D after extensive testing, seems to be a question of extreme low light conditions I utilise when shooting. After testing both bodies and several lenses, I have determined that the problem I was having was the difficulty associated with focus detection under adverse lighting and off axis subject matter. I solved the problem (I think), by doing a clutched manual over-ride. In tests, I have had about a 90 percent success ratio. As a result, I'll be using the K10D's for my next shoot called "Diva" for "Style Monte Carlo" Magazine. I'll post once the images are ready. I will shortly post "Citizen K International" once the magazine officially comes out.

You can see what "Style Monte Carlo" looks like at:

http://www.stylemontecarlo.com

Best Wishes
Ben

02-19-2007, 07:31 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
The problem with my K10D after extensive testing, seems to be a question of extreme low light conditions I utilise when shooting. After testing both bodies and several lenses, I have determined that the problem I was having was the difficulty associated with focus detection under adverse lighting and off axis subject matter. I solved the problem (I think), by doing a clutched manual over-ride. In tests, I have had about a 90 percent success ratio. As a result, I'll be using the K10D's for my next shoot called "Diva" for "Style Monte Carlo" Magazine. I'll post once the images are ready. I will shortly post "Citizen K International" once the magazine officially comes out.

You can see what "Style Monte Carlo" looks like at:

: : : Style Monte-Carlo : : :

Ben,

Glad you sort of figured out the problem. Style Monte Carlo looks very posh - and the galleries have some big names. We'll all be eager to see whatever you can show.

Will
02-19-2007, 07:35 PM   #3
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Perhaps upcoming DA* series would help you solve the problem: f/2.8 should help AF system (more light) and due to the new in-lens drive lens-camera communication must be different resulting in hopefully improved AF accuracy.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that for professional studio use DA* lenses are going to be first newer lenses from Pentax that could really compete with Canon L series. In fact, you are very "brave" for trying to use DA 16-45 for rapid-fire studio work: it is an excellent lens but not designed with professionals in mind (functionality wise, image quality is fine).

BTW, any idea when you may get one of DA* lenses? March? April? I can't wait to see your opinions on DA 16-45 vs. DA* 16-50 once you get hold of it.

-= IVAN =-
02-19-2007, 07:41 PM   #4
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did you consider the AF assist, like what is on the external flashes? maybe with the power set down so low that it does not matter with the remainder of your lighting.
this might be something for a future ad on

02-19-2007, 08:08 PM   #5
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It's an issue with a "dumb" AF!

If you'll bother to check threads on other discussion groups and articles by pro photographers who have discussed this on sites like The Online Photographer, you'll see that your "hit and miss" AF focusing issues are NOT related to the lighting or angle of shot as much as they are to two specific things:
1) The 21mm lens in particular, used with the K10D
2) Erratic AF focus that will most likely require a firmware upgrade to fix, again, on the K10D.

I know of at least 4 PRO shooters besides you that have returned K10Ds to Pentax along with lens samples in at least one case so that the engineers can test their specific cameras, because Pentax claims they cannot duplicate the issues...and they might NOT be able to, if it's some issue with random samples of the camera!

Sorry to burst your bubble a bit Ben, but you are NOT the lone knight bravely battling the forces of evil on this issue; you are simply one of a number of pros who has found the issues while using your equipment more intensely that us peons may ever do. There are others out there who are also working closely with Pentax to determine what this issue is and to resolve it for the betterment of Pentax users everywhere and who have been doing so before you!
Rob W

Last edited by macdaddy; 02-19-2007 at 09:06 PM.
02-19-2007, 09:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
After testing both bodies and several lenses, I have determined that the problem I was having was the difficulty associated with focus detection under adverse lighting and off axis subject matter. I solved the problem (I think), by doing a clutched manual over-ride.
You mean AF doesnt work well in low light with wide angle lenses. A lot of people have reported the same issue but not being pros, I think they werent believed. Not a very satisfactory outcome really, but hopefully with your input they may realise that the problem is real and - in some studio situations or low light - extremely tedious - and improve on it in the next model.

Last edited by *isteve; 02-19-2007 at 10:52 PM.
02-20-2007, 02:06 AM   #7
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"Diva"

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Ben,

Glad you sort of figured out the problem. Style Monte Carlo looks very posh - and the galleries have some big names. We'll all be eager to see whatever you can show.

Will
The story will be called "Diva" which also happens to be the name of the overall issue as well as the Ad Agency owner with whom I will be collaborating for this story...
02-20-2007, 02:08 AM   #8
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"Rapid Fire"

QuoteOriginally posted by i.glisin Quote
Perhaps upcoming DA* series would help you solve the problem: f/2.8 should help AF system (more light) and due to the new in-lens drive lens-camera communication must be different resulting in hopefully improved AF accuracy.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I think that for professional studio use DA* lenses are going to be first newer lenses from Pentax that could really compete with Canon L series. In fact, you are very "brave" for trying to use DA 16-45 for rapid-fire studio work: it is an excellent lens but not designed with professionals in mind (functionality wise, image quality is fine).

BTW, any idea when you may get one of DA* lenses? March? April? I can't wait to see your opinions on DA 16-45 vs. DA* 16-50 once you get hold of it.

-= IVAN =-

Just one correction. I rarely shoot rapid fire in studio. I generally take at least two seconds between each shot..As to the 16-50 and 50-135, they told me in the first or second week of March...

02-20-2007, 02:11 AM   #9
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Pilot Lights

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
did you consider the AF assist, like what is on the external flashes? maybe with the power set down so low that it does not matter with the remainder of your lighting.
this might be something for a future ad on
That is a good point, but impossible for me. I use the studio flash pilot lights to light the subject, but cannot use AF assist as that would change my whole lighting scheme by casting a direct flash on to the subject. I never use my on camera flash, I mean never.
02-20-2007, 02:28 AM   #10
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I do wonder if the lens has something to do with it. I did a shoot over the weekend that turned out wonderful using the FA 50 f1.4 in low light with strobes, umbrellas, softboxes, etc. Here is an outtake and a 100% crop. No fancy PP, just color correction, curves and default Lightroom sharpening (25).
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02-20-2007, 02:34 AM   #11
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Lone Knight?

QuoteOriginally posted by macdaddy Quote
If you'll bother to check threads on other discussion groups and articles by pro photographers who have discussed this on sites like The Online Photographer, you'll see that your "hit and miss" AF focusing issues are NOT related to the lighting or angle of shot as much as they are to two specific things:
1) The 21mm lens in particular, used with the K10D
2) Erratic AF focus that will most likely require a firmware upgrade to fix, again, on the K10D.

I know of at least 4 PRO shooters besides you that have returned K10Ds to Pentax along with lens samples in at least one case so that the engineers can test their specific cameras, because Pentax claims they cannot duplicate the issues...and they might NOT be able to, if it's some issue with random samples of the camera!

Sorry to burst your bubble a bit Ben, but you are NOT the lone knight bravely battling the forces of evil on this issue; you are simply one of a number of pros who has found the issues while using your equipment more intensely that us peons may ever do. There are others out there who are also working closely with Pentax to determine what this issue is and to resolve it for the betterment of Pentax users everywhere and who have been doing so before you!
Rob W
Hello Rob;

I have never said that I am the "Lone Knight" representing the Pentax name. I am just sharing my own personal experiences with this new tool of mine that I adopted just about a month ago. The problem with Pentax in France is that their tech people have just started their orientation with the K10D and will not be prepared to solve these issues immediately. I will have to wait a few weeks to send them all of my material for a thorough bench test. I am sure that my problems are not exclusive to myself. However, for a certain type of lighting I employ, it is very taxing on the existing technologies, i.e. very low output lighting and severe angles to the subject etc.

Best Wishes
Ben
02-20-2007, 02:36 AM   #12
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Umbrella'a & Softboxes..

QuoteOriginally posted by davemdsn Quote
I do wonder if the lens has something to do with it. I did a shoot over the weekend that turned out wonderful using the FA 50 f1.4 in low light with strobes, umbrellas, softboxes, etc. Here is an outtake and a 100% crop. No fancy PP, just color correction, curves and default Lightroom sharpening (25).
The lighting you are employing, is not at all taxing on the AF sensors. This type of lighting does not present a problem for the AF. It is when I use a 10cm square indirect light source where the problem becomes apparent and when the subject only takes up a quarter of the entire image area..
02-20-2007, 05:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
That is a good point, but impossible for me. I use the studio flash pilot lights to light the subject, but cannot use AF assist as that would change my whole lighting scheme by casting a direct flash on to the subject. I never use my on camera flash, I mean never.
what about an AF540 FTZ with the flash head pointed away from the subject but the af assist pointed at the subject. It's a lot more weight however
02-20-2007, 06:07 AM   #14
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Thanks for sharing Benjamin. Your insight is greatly appreciated. I tried your post-processing method with nice results.
02-20-2007, 06:38 AM   #15
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Nope...

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
what about an AF540 FTZ with the flash head pointed away from the subject but the af assist pointed at the subject. It's a lot more weight however
No can do...The reflected light would change the ambiance of the photo. You know, it's just one of those things I will adapt to until the problem is rectified.
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