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02-28-2007, 10:42 AM   #1
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exec summary of K10D's (alleged) auto-focus problems

I've been reading with interest and trying my best to follow the thread "Had a Problem" here. I've read other threads here and in other forums on subjects that seem similar but might not be the same. I do not have a K10D so I can't test anything for myself. And the issues seem pretty technical. Nevertheless, I'm rather interested because I continue to think seriously about trading my K100D in for a K10D. So I'm wondering if someone could give me a short version of the problems.

Specifically, I'm wondering about the following.

Is there a general problem with auto-focus on the K10D? Or is it limited to certain lenses or certain focal lengths?

Is the problem the sort of thing that should cause me NOT to buy a K10D now?

Does everybody have this problem? As far as I can tell, most of the K10D users here love the camera. Do most people not have the problem? Or do they have the problem but simply not notice it?

Will

02-28-2007, 11:26 AM   #2
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Wiil,
I can't answer for anyone else, but I have not had any BF/FF issues at all with my K10D in everyday usage. Maybe I'm just lucky, or just one of the silent majority, or maybe I'm not fussy enough to notice, although I don't think the last is the case. The lenses in in regular use include:
DA10-17 FE
FA28-105 f3.2-4.5
FA35 f2.0
FA50 f1.4
FA77
Sigma 70-200 f2.8 EX APO.

That's a pretty good representation of glass some of which are reported to have caused some issues.

I don't know what else to tell you. I don't think this would be the reason to dissuade me from upgrading. I might wait a couple of weeks and see what surprises, if any, PMA brings.
02-28-2007, 01:58 PM   #3
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I'm not seeing any problems, either, and you know how many lenses I've used!

In fact, the AF on the K10D appears to be much faster than that of the DS2, which I messed with yesterday. After not using it for 3 months, the DS2 also makes the impression of being way too small and also hard to hold

Adam
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02-28-2007, 04:13 PM   #4
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I downloaded a Pentax focus checker (paperdoll cutout :-) ) and checked all my lenses. Every one was perfect, no FF/BF at all. If folks are having problems I strongly suspect they are very rare and they just need to contact Pentax for service. I really would not recomment the recent Hack procedure that has hit the web.

02-28-2007, 04:27 PM   #5
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K10d

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I've been reading with interest and trying my best to follow the thread "Had a Problem" here. I've read other threads here and in other forums on subjects that seem similar but might not be the same. I do not have a K10D so I can't test anything for myself. And the issues seem pretty technical. Nevertheless, I'm rather interested because I continue to think seriously about trading my K100D in for a K10D. So I'm wondering if someone could give me a short version of the problems.

Specifically, I'm wondering about the following.

Is there a general problem with auto-focus on the K10D? Or is it limited to certain lenses or certain focal lengths?

Is the problem the sort of thing that should cause me NOT to buy a K10D now?

Does everybody have this problem? As far as I can tell, most of the K10D users here love the camera. Do most people not have the problem? Or do they have the problem but simply not notice it?

Will
As I shot with the 21, 40, 70, 100, 12-24 and 16-45, the only flagrant problem was with the 21mm Limited. I had a lesser problem with the 16-45. I think the problem is more to do with the lens calibration on the K10D than the K10D itself. I'll be getting the K10D's back in a few days with the subsequent report. If I were you, I would go for the K10D without hesitation. It is one of the best DSLR's on the market at this moment in time!
02-28-2007, 04:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mo Quote
I'm not seeing any problems, either, and you know how many lenses I've used!

In fact, the AF on the K10D appears to be much faster than that of the DS2, which I messed with yesterday. After not using it for 3 months, the DS2 also makes the impression of being way too small and also hard to hold
Same here: in real world shooting, AF accuracy is comparable to that of my DS2and much faster (I prefer the ergonomics of the DS2, however - but that's a function of anatomical design of the user and how the user's brain is wired).

Jerry
02-28-2007, 06:10 PM   #7
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See my sig for lenses... I have tested them all and have no BF/FF problems... I did with the DA21 on the K100d but not on the K10d
02-28-2007, 07:28 PM   #8
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No real issues

QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I've been reading with interest and trying my best to follow the thread "Had a Problem" here. I've read other threads here and in other forums on subjects that seem similar but might not be the same. I do not have a K10D so I can't test anything for myself. And the issues seem pretty technical. Nevertheless, I'm rather interested because I continue to think seriously about trading my K100D in for a K10D. So I'm wondering if someone could give me a short version of the problems.

Specifically, I'm wondering about the following.

Is there a general problem with auto-focus on the K10D? Or is it limited to certain lenses or certain focal lengths?

Is the problem the sort of thing that should cause me NOT to buy a K10D now?

Does everybody have this problem? As far as I can tell, most of the K10D users here love the camera. Do most people not have the problem? Or do they have the problem but simply not notice it?

Will
Some lenses I use have trouble focusing at infinity on the K10D (FA 24-90 and DA 50-200) and focusing at low light is slowish but accuracy is not an issue.

Thanks to a suggestion by Richard Day, I did find that turning the SR off speeds up low light AF.

02-28-2007, 08:32 PM   #9
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No problems. Focus is right on the mark.
03-01-2007, 03:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by newtmaker Quote
I downloaded a Pentax focus checker (paperdoll cutout :-) ) and checked all my lenses. Every one was perfect, no FF/BF at all. If folks are having problems I strongly suspect they are very rare and they just need to contact Pentax for service. I really would not recomment the recent Hack procedure that has hit the web.
Where can you download a Pentax focus checker (paperdoll cutout )? I want one!
03-01-2007, 05:23 AM   #11
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No focusing issue with mine either.
03-01-2007, 02:32 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I've been reading with interest and trying my best to follow the thread "Had a Problem" here. I've read other threads here and in other forums on subjects that seem similar but might not be the same. I do not have a K10D so I can't test anything for myself. And the issues seem pretty technical. Nevertheless, I'm rather interested because I continue to think seriously about trading my K100D in for a K10D. So I'm wondering if someone could give me a short version of the problems.

Specifically, I'm wondering about the following.

Is there a general problem with auto-focus on the K10D? Or is it limited to certain lenses or certain focal lengths?

Is the problem the sort of thing that should cause me NOT to buy a K10D now?

Does everybody have this problem? As far as I can tell, most of the K10D users here love the camera. Do most people not have the problem? Or do they have the problem but simply not notice it?

Will
I sent my first K10D back due to serious FF issues with every lens I tested, and I have quite a few (DA 14mm, DA 16-45, DA 50-200, FA 50 1.4, F50 1.7, 31 ltd, 43 ltd, 77 ltd, 24 - 90, 40mm pancake....).

It was not significantly better or worse with any given lens, and while it was somewhat better in sunlight versus tungsten light, it was still pretty far off.

With absolutely no explanation other than a note explaining that they were doing so as a "courtesy to me", Pentax sent me a new camera.

I have not done any critical testing, but so far the replacement looks to be ok, but not perfect (see below).

I bought a second body and it is also ok.

What I have noticed is a tendency to consistently pick the wrong focus spot when the lens is racking in from infinity, while it is spot on when racking out, at least when using my 31 ltd. I have not yet tried other lenses to see if this is consistent from lens to lens, but I suspect that it is. The error is pretty small and is not likely to matter in most situations.

So, it appears to me that most issues are related to quality control at the factories, not with the AF system in general. I guess that different lenses might also have design or factory QC issues that also affect AF, but looking at the way the AF system works, I doubt that the lenses are a big part of the problem. My thinking on this point is that if you can get a sharp focus manually, there is nothing inherently wrong with the optical alignment or main mechanical pieces in that lens.

I do not know enough about optics to know for sure whether different optical designs have a large impact on the AF systems in the camera, but some impact does seem to me to be at least likely based upon the way the AF system operates.

Ray
03-01-2007, 02:40 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray Pulley Quote
I sent my first K10D back due to serious FF issues with every lens I tested, and I have quite a few (DA 14mm, DA 16-45, DA 50-200, FA 50 1.4, F50 1.7, 31 ltd, 43 ltd, 77 ltd, 24 - 90, 40mm pancake....).

It was not significantly better or worse with any given lens, and while it was somewhat better in sunlight versus tungsten light, it was still pretty far off.

With absolutely no explanation other than a note explaining that they were doing so as a "courtesy to me", Pentax sent me a new camera.

I have not done any critical testing, but so far the replacement looks to be ok, but not perfect (see below).

I bought a second body and it is also ok.
I'm guessing that you were satisfied with Pentax's handling of the problem with the first camera, then? I mean, someone else in your situation might have decided it was time to look into getting a Nikon or something.


QuoteQuote:
What I have noticed is a tendency to consistently pick the wrong focus spot when the lens is racking in from infinity, while it is spot on when racking out, at least when using my 31 ltd.
Not sure what this means. Are you saying that everything works great if you simply focus on something close at hand first, and then move out to the thing you're actually interested in taking a photo of?

Will
03-01-2007, 09:47 PM   #14
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Autofocus is fine if you can use DOF to cover the inherent inaccuracies that come with it. I do.

My K10D (and *st D) are pretty precise with autofocus. But for macro shots or wide-aperture critical shots, I've never heard of an AF camera that can do better than a good eye and a decent microprisim screen. I've handled Nikons, Canons, and various other cameras.

I just don't trust autofocus. Period.

Get yourself a Katz Eye screen, and use it for the critical bits.

The one thing that strikes me as the most useless bit of technology ever invented is multipoint autofocus. How is the camera supposed to know what you're focusing on?
03-01-2007, 10:25 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dana G Quote
Get yourself a Katz Eye screen, and use it for the critical bits.
Do you have one? Is it safe? I gather they sort of have to take your camera apart to install it. Otherwise I'd have one already.

I use manual focus when shooting birds in trees because it's the only way to get the shot: branch clutter drives auto-focus insane. But I have found the K100D's viewfinder rather more difficult to use for focusing than some of the 35mm film cameras I had in the past.


QuoteQuote:
The one thing that strikes me as the most useless bit of technology ever invented is multipoint autofocus. How is the camera supposed to know what you're focusing on?
I've wondered the same thing. I gather that there are two possible answers. Some photographers tell the camera which of those points they are interested in. But if you don't tell it, the camera apparently is programmed to make certain assumptions.

Will
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