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07-11-2021, 01:50 PM   #1
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Pentax K70 Autofocus - Viewfinder vs Live View

I have recently noticed a difference with the (auto) focus of pictures taken using the "viewfinder" as opposed to "Live View". I have looked at the "AF with Viewfinder" settings and they are set to the following

AF Mode = AF.C
AF Active Area = Auto (11)

The pictures taken using "Live View" are definintiely sharper than the ones taken using the "Viewfinder" and I am wondering if this is normal? Any information people can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You

07-11-2021, 02:00 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Live view uses contrast detect for autofocus. It's waaaaaaaaaaay slower than OVF using PDAF, but it's more accurate, hence the sharper live view photos.
07-11-2021, 02:18 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GManCan Quote
The pictures taken using "Live View" are definintiely sharper than the ones taken using the "Viewfinder" and I am wondering if this is normal?
It isn't exactly normal but it can happen. Live view uses a different focus system than the viewfinder. If they differ the viewfinder system most likely is off. This can be calibrated using Auto Focus Fine Tuning which is menu item 25 on my K-3II but may be slightly different on your camera. Note that tuning the AF of a lens is a process that requires precision and attention to detail. It can help a lot if the lens is off a bit, but unless done right can actually make things worse.
07-11-2021, 02:58 PM - 1 Like   #4
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In case of fine tuning perhaps this method will help you. DotTune – Autofocus Fine-Tuning in under 5 Minutes | TestCams.com I used it and it is quite easy and is very straight forward.

07-11-2021, 03:27 PM   #5
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There are really two situations: the same image (well, zoom setting, distance, etc. the same) being inconsistently focused, or being consistently misfocused. In the case of the latter focus adjustment might be necessary and helpful. The challenge for me with focus adjustment is lenses that require different adjustments at different focal lengths or difficult focusing distances, and/or adjustments are required beyond the camera's ability (that's been the case with multiple Pentax lenses I've owned, including brand new lenses - the adjustment range leaves a lot to be desired.) Increasingly now I just use live view and CDAF whenever at all possible. This would be one of the appeals of a mirrorless camera: not having to deal with PDAF adjustments.

Last edited by tibbitts; 07-11-2021 at 03:33 PM.
07-11-2021, 05:43 PM   #6
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Auto focus fine tuning works best with single focal length prime lenses. It is less effective with zoom lenses. The wider the zoom range the more it will vary, generally. They may front focus on one end and back focus on the other. I will fine tune focus on zoom lenses for the part of the zoom range I use the most. I also tend to use a smaller aperture on zoom lenses, creating a deeper depth of field increasing my chance of having the subject in focus.
07-11-2021, 06:05 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GManCan Quote
AF Mode = AF.C
This is continuous AF, which is generally used for moving subjects so the AF will continue to readjust focus to track the movement. At the same time, with AF-C shutter release will not be focus priority as it is with AF-S, so the shutter can fire even if focus has not been fully achieved. With AF-S, the shutter cannot be released unless focus has been achieved, which with a moving subject might mean a missed shot due to the focus not being right on because movement might occur between the time the shutter button is pushed and the actual release- so it won't fire. For accuracy of AF, AF-S is best and to go even further, have the AF sensor points set to center spot only. Then train your camera with that bullseye on a part of your subject having clear detail like a clear edge, use the half press to freeze that focus and move the camera to reframe your shot then press the shutter button the rest of the way down.

Which lens are you using? AF performance also varies between lenses.

07-11-2021, 07:14 PM   #8
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I would definitely look at the fine focus adjustment. Have you noticed this with more than one lens? Note that you can set the fine focus for all lenses or specific lenses. I would recommend setting it for individual lenses for the best results.
07-11-2021, 09:00 PM   #9
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Thanks for the responses...you have given me a few things to consider when it comes to AF settings I have and how I can "tweak" them to achieve better results with my autofocus!

---------- Post added 07-11-21 at 10:10 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
This is continuous AF, which is generally used for moving subjects so the AF will continue to readjust focus to track the movement. At the same time, with AF-C shutter release will not be focus priority as it is with AF-S, so the shutter can fire even if focus has not been fully achieved. With AF-S, the shutter cannot be released unless focus has been achieved, which with a moving subject might mean a missed shot due to the focus not being right on because movement might occur between the time the shutter button is pushed and the actual release- so it won't fire. For accuracy of AF, AF-S is best and to go even further, have the AF sensor points set to center spot only. Then train your camera with that bullseye on a part of your subject having clear detail like a clear edge, use the half press to freeze that focus and move the camera to reframe your shot then press the shutter button the rest of the way down.

Which lens are you using? AF performance also varies between lenses.
The two lenses I am using would both be considered "kit lenses". The first is a Pentax 18-55mm 3.5 (DAL) which came with my camera and the second is an Pentax 55-300mm (DA).
07-11-2021, 09:15 PM   #10
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I agree, get your autofocus off of AF.C
07-11-2021, 10:41 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
This is continuous AF, which is generally used for moving subjects so the AF will continue to readjust focus to track the movement. At the same time, with AF-C shutter release will not be focus priority as it is with AF-S, so the shutter can fire even if focus has not been fully achieved. With AF-S, the shutter cannot be released unless focus has been achieved, which with a moving subject might mean a missed shot due to the focus not being right on because movement might occur between the time the shutter button is pushed and the actual release- so it won't fire. For accuracy of AF, AF-S is best and to go even further, have the AF sensor points set to center spot only. Then train your camera with that bullseye on a part of your subject having clear detail like a clear edge, use the half press to freeze that focus and move the camera to reframe your shot then press the shutter button the rest of the way down.

Which lens are you using? AF performance also varies between lenses.
This ^ ^ ^

Those viewfinder AF settings are basically a recipe for frequent mis-focus unless used with great care.


Steve
07-12-2021, 12:56 AM   #12
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Lots of thoughts and advice shared already. I must say though that patience is a teacher. The autofocus of the K-70 is sometimes annoyingly slow.
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