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09-01-2019, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The Imaging Resource review of autofocus actually times shots, and of the K-1 they reported:

"The Pentax K-1's full autofocus shutter lag when shooting the same target multiple times was very fast for a pro-level DSLR. The K-1 required only 0.090 second for full AF using the Pentax 55mm f/1.4 SDM DA* lens. Manual focus shutter lag was just a touch faster at 0.087 second. When prefocused, shutter lag dropped only slightly to 0.086 second, which is a little slower than average for a pro DSLR."
Yep...speed to acquire has been top-notch for years and is generally noted in objective reviews. It is the lack of effective predictive AF.C that dogs Pentax in general, particularly when tracking drunk bicylists. Add the poor distribution of AF points found on the K-1 to the mix and one may readily understand why that camera is not recommended for AF-intensive work.

Even so, one might ask why AF dominance might be important except for bragging rights.


Steve

(...dominance is relative...even the best still miss almost half the time...)

09-01-2019, 08:29 AM - 3 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
Will Pentax ever be able to get a stellar review of it's focusing speed?
Aye why not... I'm fairly nifty twirling the lens barrel.

Not always to the "Ladies" delight, I hasten to add.
09-01-2019, 08:31 AM - 2 Likes   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MD Optofonik Quote
Its always the same. A review will give high praise to a particular Pentax DSLR for innovative features, handling, IQ, etc, but never, never, not once have I seen a Pentax DSLR's autofocus speed rate as high or higher than just about every DSLR made over the past 10 years. Surely Pentax engineers are aware of this, they have to know; they can't possibly be proud of their autofocus design work. Can they?
For AF-s single point focus tests on Imaging Resources the Pentax is about the fastest out there with only a few cameras ahead of it, all new releases and high end. But you have to do the work and read other reviews to do the comparison. They don't do the comparison for you.
09-01-2019, 09:25 AM - 1 Like   #19
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I have had success with Pentax AF shooting stills and moving subjects. The settings being used as AF preferences, plus the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture settings are all going to contribute to the final mage quality. The user has to contribute, for example by actually tracking subjects and making use of available light in the best way possible. If doing stills, the user may or may not apply AF, depending on what type of end product image is desired.

Pentax AF is professional level (K-5 series, K-3 series, and K-1, K-1 II for example, along with other Pentax camera bodies). AF has been a progressive development for all brands over time. I would assume that if a user is knowledgeable of how to apply their shooting skills and use Pentax AF, then it is capable of excellent performance and will provide excellent images.

09-01-2019, 10:08 AM - 1 Like   #20
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They don’t really need super fast auto focus like you need for sports and wildlife life action because they don’t have the lenses for that type of shooting.

They don’t have the customers that will spend 6-12 thousand dollars on a single lens so they won’t make them, so they don’t need a body with auto focus for them.
09-01-2019, 10:27 AM - 1 Like   #21
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I find reviewers' opinions really affect the photos I take. All motivation to make fine images just runs away like chocolate under the burning sun and only mediocre snapshots are possible. Same when it comes to post-processing the files, especially at 100% zoom or higher; the blurries are really discouraging. If only I had the latest, how much better my snapshottery would be. Sigh.

Phooey! Please ignore the above hogwash, cobblers and piffle. It makes no difference at all what others think of the gear, it's how you use it.
09-01-2019, 11:43 AM - 3 Likes   #22
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A different perspective: For my purposes, Pentax autofocus is generally great. I do have a few really amazing shots, in that perfect moment, with amazing light, that missed focus, so end up unusable. From what I gather, Sony's autofocus system set on AFC would have nailed most of those shots and I'd have had a few real winners. This alone has not tempted me to change systems (there are negatives to each system, after all), but it has come very close.

So if Pentax had an amazing AFC system, I'd have just a few extra great shots. However, a great AFC system would garner a much better set of reviews, which would make the brand more popular, giving Ricoh more money to spend on R&D, resulting in better cameras, better lenses, more choices, and a more certain future. That's what I really care about, getting Pentax noticed so we can expand the Pentax empire and keep them in business for another 100 years.


QuoteOriginally posted by StiffLegged Quote
It makes no difference at all what others think of the gear, it's how you use it.
09-01-2019, 01:42 PM - 1 Like   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
A different perspective: For my purposes, Pentax autofocus is generally great. I do have a few really amazing shots, in that perfect moment, with amazing light, that missed focus, so end up unusable. From what I gather, Sony's autofocus system set on AFC would have nailed most of those shots and I'd have had a few real winners. This alone has not tempted me to change systems (there are negatives to each system, after all), but it has come very close.

So if Pentax had an amazing AFC system, I'd have just a few extra great shots. However, a great AFC system would garner a much better set of reviews, which would make the brand more popular, giving Ricoh more money to spend on R&D, resulting in better cameras, better lenses, more choices, and a more certain future. That's what I really care about, getting Pentax noticed so we can expand the Pentax empire and keep them in business for another 100 years.
I'm not totally sure.

Maybe most folks buy cameras based on what DP Review says, but my impression is that lack of presence in stores and lack of advertising have made a bigger impact. We have to be honest that the Canon and Nikon cameras that have sold the most (D5x00/D3x00/Txi) have not been really highly reviewed. They have been cheap, they have been well advertised, and they have been available -- all of which helps more to sell cameras than what brand of smoke DP Review is blowing out.

09-01-2019, 03:06 PM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
They have been cheap
...they have been at Best Buy

...they have been at Costco!

Almost all of my friends bought their first dSLR at Costco and many of them bought their second there as well.


Steve
09-01-2019, 03:22 PM - 4 Likes   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
...they have been at Best Buy

...they have been at Costco!

Almost all of my friends bought their first dSLR at Costco and many of them bought their second there as well.


Steve
I bought my first DSLR at Costco. A K50 kit with a 18-55 and 50-200 I think, then I found this site and B&H and my bank account is a lot smaller.
09-01-2019, 05:19 PM - 2 Likes   #26
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Part of the subtle autofocus enhancements that exist on other cameras are there because they trickle down from higher-end models. That is especially true for algorithms. Nikon could use some aspects of their D5 development to assist lesser models. That is also true for Sony's work on the A9. Those companies also develop high-end telephoto sports and nature lenses, and work closely to couple their camera and lens systems autofocus. Pentax doesn't have any of that, and probably will not incorporate any radical improvements. Even if hey ever release a K3-II successor, they are going to try and make it appeal to most Pentax shooters, rather than a totally new high-end sports camera with blazing-fast AF-C, which would be a much more expensive camera that almost no one would buy, especially since it would not have the lenses to go with it.
09-01-2019, 05:32 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yep...speed to acquire has been top-notch for years and is generally noted in objective reviews. It is the lack of effective predictive AF.C that dogs Pentax in general, particularly when tracking drunk bicylists. Add the poor distribution of AF points found on the K-1 to the mix and one may readily understand why that camera is not recommended for AF-intensive work.

Even so, one might ask why AF dominance might be important except for bragging rights.


Steve

(...dominance is relative...even the best still miss almost half the time...)
Just disable IBIS when shooting at high shutter speeds 1000th and above if you want AF~C to keep pace. IBIS just interferes with it and is not needed at those speeds
09-01-2019, 05:35 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
Part of the subtle autofocus enhancements that exist on other cameras are there because they trickle down from higher-end models. That is especially true for algorithms. Nikon could use some aspects of their D5 development to assist lesser models. That is also true for Sony's work on the A9. Those companies also develop high-end telephoto sports and nature lenses, and work closely to couple their camera and lens systems autofocus. Pentax doesn't have any of that, and probably will not incorporate any radical improvements. Even if hey ever release a K3-II successor, they are going to try and make it appeal to most Pentax shooters, rather than a totally new high-end sports camera with blazing-fast AF-C, which would be a much more expensive camera that almost no one would buy, especially since it would not have the lenses to go with it.
An oft repeated mantra like assumption, yet, the D7100 and D7200 models don't even have true AF-c. They have predictive software that doesn't check to make sure the camera has obtained focus after the initial calculation. That's because their focus confirm is twice as slow as Pentax focus confirm and can't be efficiently used in a tracking system like Pentax's. Assuming that there is a trickle down on models that compete with Pentax's is an assumption, not confirmed by any independent testing that I've seen or know of. While Pentax's superiority at specific distance ranges , in speed of focus confirm etc has been documented, and it has abetter keeper rate in those ranges.

So the trickle down thing is only applicable in much more costly models. Especially true since the faster systems have dedicated processers to handle faster AF and clearing the buffer. Those things cost money. So you can get a better AF system for probably $500 plus...up to $2k - $4 more. But that's pretty much irrelevant to Pentax shooters. If we wanted to pay that kind of money for something most people rarely if ever use, we would have.

My question is will any other system ever provide that fast AF.s that Pentax does with a 55-300 PLM in any model that costs less than $3000. To date they haven't. I actually use AF.s for pretty much everything. And in every system I've checked, except for the Sony A9, all other systems have double the time for focus lock of a Pentax, if you compare their multi-point AF.c to Pentax's single point AF.s. Personally I am far more concerned with focus speed in AF.s. I pretty much ignore all these AF.c comparisons, yet that's all people who complain about Pentax AF.c tracking want to talk about. That's in my shooting a ridiculously small part of what I shoot. I have 7 AF.c tracking taken in the last 5 years, and my keeper rate was 100%. It gets annoying hearing people talk about how Pentax needs to catch up.

Everyone but those shooting Sony A9s, or Canon 1Dx's needs to catch up. Pentax shooters should buy fast focussing lenses and learn better technique. It will save them a lot of bucks. With other systems those faster focusing lenses are quite expensive. With Pentax, the DA 55-PLM is quite cheap, very fast and with 14 elements in 9 groups, so it's a modern design and well corrected and it's good enough to have been selected best in class in at least one magazine.

I get really tired of people claiming other system out performs Pentax, with absolutely nothing to back that up but the opinions of some very biased reviewers. You can always find someone who's shooting style favours one system or another. I'm looking for a little more than the personal opinions of those who have committed to one brand or another.

This is not secret information, it's been explained here on the forum many times. There will always be some who need better than Pentax has to offer, true of any brand, the brand's etiquette has to suit yours, but saying Pentax is at a disadvantage in AF is getting really old. There is for many, more benefit to them in Pentax's faster AF.s and focus confirm, than their is in Nikon's predictive algorithms of in anything but a 1Dx, A9 or a D5/D850 Nikon.

So the question should be, when will Pentax release a model with AF.c comparable to those cameras at a similar price?

The answer is probably never. The brand is too small to support that kind of performance insanity. A few pros really need it, your rich uncle who buys the best despite being a photography dufus doesn't and it's rich uncles that support those cameras most, not pros.. And unless you're a lot better than I suspect you are, you don't either. The majority of people who can't get images with Pentax AF, simply haven't learned much about cameras.

Last edited by normhead; 09-01-2019 at 06:05 PM.
09-01-2019, 08:56 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by totsmuyco Quote
True, Pentax needs to level up its AFC performance. However, Pentax also needs to update its lens line up particularly using PLM technology or any other equivalent. Then maybe we will see a huge difference in performance using AFC mode.
The KP had a big improvement in AFC.
09-01-2019, 09:48 PM - 1 Like   #30
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Yes, Norm, and even you must be hearing about the A9 from some pretty committed owners.

Here's a sports pro's take - "In conclusion, I cannot recommend this camera to a sports photographer who wants to replace their Nikon or Canon." Since the article came out, the camera has the same problems but the lenses have been added to.

Link: Sony A9 review by a sports photographer | Big Lens Fast Shutter

Last edited by clackers; 09-01-2019 at 11:45 PM.
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