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10-12-2006, 06:29 PM   #1
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New to the whole Pentax world - focusing question

I really did try and search the board for something like this first. I have had the K100D since Monday. LOVE the color, ease of use blah blah. Tell me, does anybody else think it is slow to focus, or weird, or doesn't give the focus lock confirmation at all?? I just have the kit lens (18-55) so far. I'm not sure I've ever experienced a camera that hunts so much before it locks on. I've actually quit waiting on it. Oddly enough, the shots turn out! I rapid fired out a car window at about 65mph and got some great shots.

Granted this happens more indoors, but I'm not trying to hand hold stupidly low shutter speeds. Also, what's up with the macro mode?? How far back do you have to stand before it will take the shot? These were outside and the cam kept backing me up and backing me up, and I still thought the shots were awful, and it given me the go on the focus.

I'm missing something elementary here.....clues??

Thanks in advance,

Debbie

10-12-2006, 09:23 PM   #2
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focusing

The K100D that I tried had pretty fast focusing. Like all cameras it will slow down in lower light or when the subject has very little contrast (like a plain white wall). You can always manually touch up the focus on the 18-55 lens without switching to manual focus. Battery type does change focus speed. Alkaline (kind packed with camera when new) are bad. Disposable CRV or lithium are the fastest focusing. Nimh rechargeables are decent.
Macro mode just picks a nice aperture and shutter speed for closeup photography. It does not affect the focus distance of the lens. The 18-55 will focus to about 8". At 55mm this gives good image size, especially for a kit lens. I wish companies would take "macro" off the mode dial on dslr cameras. They probably are afraid that people moving up from P&S cameras will think it is a missing feature. It does affect the focusing on a P&S camera.
Welcome to the Pentax family and this forum. Hope this helps. Keep shooting and give yourself time to get used to a dslr.
thanks
barondla
10-13-2006, 04:00 AM   #3
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Thank you so much barondla,

I appreciate your comments. I do have CRV batteries in and you are right, I previously had a super zoom that did let you practically lay the lens on the subject to take a macro shot. I *was* trying to get way too close. Perhaps it would be better to stand back and zoom in close. I was certainly not aware that the mode didn't affect the focusing distance - dumb me, I thought that is what it was for. I did realize other type "scene" modes were picking aperture and shutters speeds for the scenes. OK, I'll jump back and punt!

I hate it when my day job interferes with my personal fun I hope this weekend to be able to have a shot worthy of sharing. I do love this camera. I've been awed and amazed by the color it produces and how intuitive it is to use.

Debbie
10-13-2006, 08:31 AM   #4
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Are you sure you are using Single focus mode? If you are using Continuous focus mode, the camera will try to focus with every movement (or subject's movement) you make.

10-13-2006, 10:24 PM   #5
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Macro Mode

QuoteOriginally posted by Izzy Quote
Thank you so much barondla,

I appreciate your comments. I do have CRV batteries in and you are right, I previously had a super zoom that did let you practically lay the lens on the subject to take a macro shot. I *was* trying to get way too close. Perhaps it would be better to stand back and zoom in close. I was certainly not aware that the mode didn't affect the focusing distance - dumb me, I thought that is what it was for. I did realize other type "scene" modes were picking aperture and shutters speeds for the scenes. OK, I'll jump back and punt!

I hate it when my day job interferes with my personal fun I hope this weekend to be able to have a shot worthy of sharing. I do love this camera. I've been awed and amazed by the color it produces and how intuitive it is to use.

Debbie
Yeah for a true "Macro" mode you'd have to get a macro lens, like the SMC P-D FA 100mm ($800) or 50mm ($550) F2.8. I was looking at these just the other day... while still waiting for my K10D to come.
10-13-2006, 10:49 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by K10Dist Quote
Yeah for a true "Macro" mode you'd have to get a macro lens, like the SMC P-D FA 100mm ($800) or 50mm ($550) F2.8. I was looking at these just the other day... while still waiting for my K10D to come.
Hi,
The prices of the two lenses you mentioned are too high! I don't know your source but, B&H pricing is $ 540 for the 100mm and $ 430 for the 50mm.
regards
Gio
10-15-2006, 01:13 PM   #7
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I noticed something about the camera that appears to make it slow focusing sometimes.
It seems to have more trouble with long lenses. I also noticed that with the long lenses, it may make a bad guess which way to focus, closer or farther. It will run quite a ways before it figures out it's going the wrong way and reverse. I don't see this with the shorter lense, and the f stop is the same for both, so it's not a light issue. It may be that the longer lense has to turn more to change focus, so the camera must go further to notice if it's getting better or worse in a given direction. It seems to overshoot a bit sometimes too, and wander back.
I don't think it would be nearly as affected in a normal setting, but in the woods there is so much clutter, it makes it tough for the camera.
10-16-2006, 07:06 AM   #8
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Now that you mention it, I've noticed that too. My long lens quite often starts out focusing the "wrong" way, then goes back and focuses the "right" way. Sometimes it gets really confused and I have no idea what it's doing!

10-21-2006, 06:32 PM   #9
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I was playing around today and noticed something that I suppose is logical but I'd not thought about it.
If you focus at a lower focal length, then zoom, the focus stays.
I don't know if this is generally true, but sure is with my sigma lens.
So I figured out that at longer focal lengths, the autofocus has trouble, Seems the camera has much less trouble doing the autofocus at shorter focal lengths. I don't know if this is because the lense is faster at the shorter length or if it's something else?
Anyway if I zoom out, autofocus, then zoom back in, I'm still good.
I sometimes found that after a focus, clicking back to manual would
save all that hunting when you zoom back in.

Larry
10-21-2006, 06:49 PM   #10
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I never had a whole lot of luck with autofocus. I just wish Pentax woud offer focusing screens with microprisims and/or split image like on my MX. The Katz Eye (SP?) screens have some problems, apparently.

But I guess I'm just an old fossil, anyway!
10-22-2006, 06:52 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dana G Quote
I never had a whole lot of luck with autofocus. I just wish Pentax woud offer focusing screens with microprisims and/or split image like on my MX. The Katz Eye (SP?) screens have some problems, apparently.
There seems to be a lot of debate about Katzeye screens - check out the dpreview Pentax SLR forum for plenty of threads... if the search function is working! The consensus seems to be that Optibrite is a Bad Idea, and the Katzeye site actually says that unless you really need it (lots of low light shooting, for example), don't bother. Without Optibrite, I get the impression that most users are reasonably happy with their screens, but it's hard to wade through all those posts!

QuoteQuote:
But I guess I'm just an old fossil, anyway!
Well then, I'm an old fossil too, 'cause I miss the microprism/split screen from my ME super/K1000 days. Next time I'm feeling self-indulgent I'll probably get myself a Katzeye screen.

Julie
10-22-2006, 10:49 AM   #12
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HI Guys
I guess that makes Me another Fossil. I Miss the Split screen on my ME/ K1000

BK
10-22-2006, 12:08 PM   #13
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I must be an old fossil too, I started out with a Topcon Uni split screen.
10-24-2006, 07:50 PM   #14
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Check eBay, one chinese guy sells split focussing screens on MX, modified to fit Pentax DSLR's. Price is in the area of $20. People say that these modified screens work OK.
10-25-2006, 02:08 AM   #15
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DFA 100mm Macro and more

QuoteOriginally posted by xfraser Quote
Now that you mention it, I've noticed that too. My long lens quite often starts out focusing the "wrong" way, then goes back and focuses the "right" way. Sometimes it gets really confused and I have no idea what it's doing!
I had the same trouble on taking delivery of the 100mm macro.
Set up the *istD (yes the old one not, Dl Ds)on tripod for flower shots to do some tests.
switch on....Yikes! focus oscillating in and out like a yo-yo !(sf selected)so it wasn't me shaking!..nor was the flower!

I have used MF for this lens ever since.
Then noticed a reluctance to focus on "all" of my AF lenses in outdoor lowish light.....not really dark conditions...overcast I would call it

Finally over time (about a year) the camera began to refuse to focus at all......then would not turn off!!!
remove batteries to reset.

Sent camera to local agrent (CR Kennedy Australia)who passed it on To PETAX japan.

That was on 8th August.......not a B....y word since of a return date!!
My brand loyalty severly tested. Have been a Pentax man since 1960 (Now a very old fossil) an I still have a number of them inc the famous Spotmatic.

The K10D looks good on paper..........but I have had about enough!
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