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11-18-2008, 12:04 PM   #1
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Focusing speed comparison K200D vs. K20D

I just got a K20D, and felt it was focusing faster than my K200D... Unscientific testing indicates that I was right.

Methodology and results are on my blog. The quick rundown...

Using Tamron 70-200/2.8-
  • K200D - 1.15 seconds
  • K20D with half power showing on the battery gauge - 1.00 seconds
  • K20D with a fresh battery - 0.84 seconds
focusing sound "histograms"


11-18-2008, 12:58 PM   #2
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Nice method of checking (ain't Audacity great?) Not overly surprising results, as the K20D has more voltage to turn its AF motor with. But I wonder if the difference would be as extreme with a less massive lens?
11-18-2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for posting this, it pretty much confirms what I've noticed with my K100 and K20 side by side.

One thing I do feel inclined to ask is whether you had NiMH, or Lithium batteries in the K200 - I've noticed it makes a big different to my K100.
11-18-2008, 03:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Nice method of checking (ain't Audacity great?) Not overly surprising results, as the K20D has more voltage to turn its AF motor with. But I wonder if the difference would be as extreme with a less massive lens?
I think you're right that you wouldn't see as big a difference with a smaller lens, though I think it might have more to do with the focus range and the amount of travel than the weight of the elements - probably both factor into it (maybe I'll get motivated and do a series).

QuoteOriginally posted by cpopham Quote
Thanks for posting this, it pretty much confirms what I've noticed with my K100 and K20 side by side.

One thing I do feel inclined to ask is whether you had NiMH, or Lithium batteries in the K200 - I've noticed it makes a big different to my K100.
Good point, they were NiMH Kodaks.

11-18-2008, 04:27 PM   #5
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All i can add is that I noticed a huge difference in focus speed going from my istDs to the K20D, especially on my FA 80-320, now wayyyyy faster.
11-18-2008, 04:40 PM   #6
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do u have a K-m to test with? I heard that K-m's AF is faster than K20d. Really want to know whether it's right or not.

BTW, your results are for SDM lens? or non-SDM lens?

QuoteOriginally posted by heliphoto Quote
I just got a K20D, and felt it was focusing faster than my K200D... Unscientific testing indicates that I was right.

Methodology and results are on my blog. The quick rundown...

Using Tamron 70-200/2.8-
  • K200D - 1.15 seconds
  • K20D with half power showing on the battery gauge - 1.00 seconds
  • K20D with a fresh battery - 0.84 seconds
focusing sound "histograms"
11-18-2008, 05:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by yipchunyu Quote
do u have a K-m to test with? I heard that K-m's AF is faster than K20d. Really want to know whether it's right or not.

BTW, your results are for SDM lens? or non-SDM lens?
No, sorry, there's not a K-m for a hundred miles in any direction (I'd guess). The Tamron lens used is a non-sdm, screwdrive lens.
11-18-2008, 05:58 PM   #8
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Autofocus speed is dependent on the light level.

Popular Photography is one of the few places where they actually test the focussing speeds of dSLRs at different light levels - the Pentax K20D did well -

" In our Lab tests, the AF was very fast in bright light and sensitive in low light down to EV -1 (though slow by EV 0). In field tests, it tracked rapidly moving objects across a wide area of the frame. But it slows to more than 1 second at EV 1, and is sluggish at EV -1-not as fast nor as sensitive as the AF systems in several Canon, Nikon, and Sony DSLRs. "

their certified test results -



Unfortunately they haven't done a full test of the K200D - but in a comparison test they said:

" AUTOFOCUS: Speeds on par with the discontinued K10D's -- and the K10D was one of the slower-autofocusing DSLRs to start with. At its low-light limit, EV -1, the K200D sometimes couldn't focus at all. "

So taking that, the autofocus speed of the Pentax K10D were tested at:

AF Speed
EV 11_EV 10_EV 8_EV 6_ EV 4_EV 2_EV 1_EV 0_ EV -1
0.37 _ 0.44 _0.43_0.54_0.97_1.17_1.22_1.67_2.33


Last edited by UnknownVT; 11-30-2008 at 12:53 PM. Reason: typos
11-18-2008, 10:49 PM   #9
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Yes, I would be interested to see the difference between the SDM and non-SDM lenses as well. And glad to see somebody else uses Audacity
11-18-2008, 11:06 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Yes, I would be interested to see the difference between the SDM and non-SDM lenses as well. And glad to see somebody else uses Audacity
Me too (someone send me one... how 'bout the *50-135? Yeah, that'll do, I'll test it right up.)

Audacity's amazing yeah?... Amazing what software people will give you for free (Linux, Audacity, GIMP, etc...)
11-18-2008, 11:27 PM   #11
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Can you try Lithium CRV3s in the K200D? My theory is that it's almost as fast as the K20D then.
11-19-2008, 10:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Can you try Lithium CRV3s in the K200D?
The battery compartment / seals is designed such that CRV3s are not supported on the K200D. They are a little too big. I imagine you could try forcing the door closed with them, but I'm willing to risk it.
11-19-2008, 10:38 AM   #13
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Matt beat me too it

i have always attributed my K100D's slow focus speed to the simple AA's, esp when they are down on juice.
11-19-2008, 10:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
Can you try Lithium CRV3s in the K200D? My theory is that it's almost as fast as the K20D then.
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The battery compartment / seals is designed such that CRV3s are not supported on the K200D. They are a little too big. I imagine you could try forcing the door closed with them, but I'm willing to risk it.
And I just got a K20d, and LBA madness has set in (again- argghhhh), so I really don't want to spend money on more batteries for the K200D. If you'd care to add a data point, audacity is free, and you could do you're own test. (a great excuse to buy a Tamron 70-200/2.8 - "honey, it's for the benefit of the whole pentax community, we need this focus speed comparison...") You could do a test using different batteries using whatever lens you want, and just changing the batteries.
11-19-2008, 11:31 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The battery compartment / seals is designed such that CRV3s are not supported on the K200D. They are a little too big. I imagine you could try forcing the door closed with them, but I'm willing to risk it.
There are lithium AA's -
eg: Energizer e2 lithium AA
- these definitely last longer in the Pentax K100D (Super),
and some claim they do make operations faster.

But they are relatively expensive and non-rechargeable.

Most experienced people here do NOT recommend using the rechargeable Li-Ion R-CV3, even if they claim to be 3.0V versions.

Probably the most economical batteries that work well would be the eneloop (or confirmed re-badges) -
please take a look at -

Post #39 (link) in k100d battery recommendation
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