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12-23-2008, 08:54 AM   #1
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K10D Debug Mode for fixing focus issues

So I know that I have some back focusing issues on my camera. Many times I have tried to use the autofocus, and it tells me it is spot-on, but then when I look at it in Lightroom, the background is sharp, and the subject is blurry.

I've had some people suggest to send the camera in to have it calibrated. But then I saw someone post something on the forum here about debug mode. So I googled K10D debug mode, and found a series of posts on DPReview about how you can get into the K10D's debug mode and actually adjust the focusing yourself. Has anyone on here tried it? If so, according to this post it says that you have to be using firmware version 1.10. I'm up to 1.30. Will it not work with that, or since the post was from Feb of 2007, I don't think that 1.30 was out yet....


Last edited by azcavalier; 12-23-2008 at 09:09 AM.
12-23-2008, 02:29 PM   #2
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Focus Issues

There is some software from a Russion Photo club that will place the K10D into debug mode using the USB to PC cord. Do a search on the DPReview site.

Background in focus can also be caused by the AF system locking on to the background when you think it is on a foreground item. This is because the AF sensor is much bigger than the little red indicator square in the view finder.
12-23-2008, 03:35 PM   #3
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I've done it with both fw1.1 and fw 1.3 versions. Withfw 1.1 you can get to the dbug mode by pushing a sequence of buttons. With fw 1.3 you can use the USB cable with the Russina software.

K10D - GX10 1.30 Firmware Debug menu via usb activation.: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
12-23-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
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You can do it with the 1.3 version. Use an windows XP computer, and also know that the word 'debug' will show up on the lcd each time you ON the camera. It is the one best thing I did since I bought my camera...it does wonders, i cannot recommend it enough.

Instructions here are precise

Photography Rulez: Debug mode with latest firmware (YEAH!)

Tweaking the focus is tricky, but if you adjust it back and forth, you'll eventually get it. You can always go to '0' adjustment and get back to the start point anyways.

12-24-2008, 09:14 PM   #5
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So, I used the app that allowed me to put my K10D into debug mode rather than trying to revert back to firmware 1.10...especially since my main lens is a HSM lens. In any case, this is how severe my back-focus issue was: I had to adjust it eight positions to get it to be focusing correctly. Now it's great! I tried it with different subjects, hand held, with a tripod, different aperatures, different ISO settings, and even with a second lens, and it's all good now. I'm excited! It's like I've gotten a new camera for Christmas!
12-24-2008, 09:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by azcavalier Quote
So I know that I have some back focusing issues on my camera. Many times I have tried to use the autofocus, and it tells me it is spot-on, but then when I look at it in Lightroom, the background is sharp, and the subject is blurry.
This may or may not be AF error. Would you be able to post a few shots? The reason I ask is that Pentax DSLRs use wide are AF. Each of the 11 AF sensors covers a large area. What this means is that if the background has high contrast than the person standing in front of it, the AF will lock onto the background instead. Another possible issue is that the AF module might not be precisely aligned against the viewfinder/focus screen. What you think the AF sensor is pointing at, might be pointing at something else.
12-25-2008, 03:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by azcavalier Quote
So, I used the app that allowed me to put my K10D into debug mode rather than trying to revert back to firmware 1.10...especially since my main lens is a HSM lens. In any case, this is how severe my back-focus issue was: I had to adjust it eight positions to get it to be focusing correctly. Now it's great! I tried it with different subjects, hand held, with a tripod, different aperatures, different ISO settings, and even with a second lens, and it's all good now. I'm excited! It's like I've gotten a new camera for Christmas!
That's why I called it the best thing I ever did as well...we should find out the name of the russian guy who did this and send him a case of beer. My FA 43/1.9 is stunning now, I hate to think the number olf shooters using all these lenses with foscus issues who will never realize the true potential of these wonderful Pentax glasses.
12-25-2008, 06:06 AM   #8
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So, did the adjustment of 1 lens fix up any focus issues with other lenses, or didi you do each one individually.

I know the K20 D has a number of preset for lenses, but does this debug mode have them as well, or just one size fit all.

Asking because i had them adjust my DA F 50 f2.8 to the K10D and it seems fine, but have not noticed any changes in my 16-45 etc.

Dave

12-25-2008, 07:32 AM   #9
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The debug mode fixes the focus for one lens only. If you change lenses, it's going to affect the next lens as well, unless you change it back to zero. Pentx service shops however have the ability to made adjustments for up to four lenses.
12-25-2008, 08:25 AM   #10
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Thats what i thought, but could not remember how many the lab could do.

Thanks

Dave
12-25-2008, 11:43 AM   #11
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Yeah, it didn't seem to have any way to set the focus for different lenses. I did the focus adjustments with my DA* 50-135, and now it's really crisp. Then I swapped out that lens for my Tamron 18-200, and it seemed to be fine as well.

When I first got my K10D, I got the Tamron lens as well. I thought that maybe the problem was just that the Tamron wasn't as good a quality lens. When I got the 50-135, and still had the issue, I figured that it was the camera, but I have just not been wanting to send it off to Pentax.

This weekend i'm heading to my parents' farm, and I plan to spend a couple of hours shooting with both of those lenses, as well as my Sigma 10-20mm. So that will be the true test.
12-25-2008, 12:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
This may or may not be AF error. Would you be able to post a few shots? The reason I ask is that Pentax DSLRs use wide are AF. Each of the 11 AF sensors covers a large area. What this means is that if the background has high contrast than the person standing in front of it, the AF will lock onto the background instead. Another possible issue is that the AF module might not be precisely aligned against the viewfinder/focus screen. What you think the AF sensor is pointing at, might be pointing at something else.
If it really does that, then it's a poor implementation of AF. I mean, i'm not doing anything tricky. For example, My son was playing in a creek, and so I aimed, AF'ed, and shot off a bunch of photos with him as the center. I had the AF centered on him, and in the viewfinder it looked good. But when I looked at the photos later, the bank behind him was clear, and he was out of focus. *Frustrating* to say the least.

So, yesterday I set up the K10D on my tripod, and focused on a bag of chips on the island in the kitchen, about 20 feet away. Here's the before (top) and after (bottom) the adjustments used in debug mode with my 50-135:
Attached Images
   
01-06-2009, 06:56 PM   #13
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After purchasing the DA 35/2.8 and FA 77/1.8 I noticed some out of focus at low aperture values (1.8-2.8). With a correction of -160um both lenses are in focus.

Thanks to the Pentaxian how wrote the debug program! Unfortunately it is a Windows program. Somebody how can write a program for the Mac?
01-06-2009, 09:46 PM   #14
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Today is my first day in the forum, but I am having a similar problem. I hope someone can help me. I am shooting with the Pentax K100D Super. The same thing happens to me. I think I am taking a great shot and then when I look at it at 100% I see that my subject is blurred but the background is clear. Please help - I am up for any suggestions.
01-07-2009, 01:27 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stratario Quote
The debug mode fixes the focus for one lens only. If you change lenses, it's going to affect the next lens as well, unless you change it back to zero. Pentx service shops however have the ability to made adjustments for up to four lenses.
However, according to Pentax, they will only do calibrations for Pentax-made lenses. So, for my main walk-around lens (a Tamron 18-200mm), they won't touch it. So even if they CAN calibrate it for multiple lenses, it doesn't help me. I have two Pentax lenses...a nice HSM DA* 50-135mm and an M50. I also have a Super Takumar 300mm f/4. But my other lenses are the Tamron and a Sigma 10-20mm.

I thought that the self-calibration in debug mode had fixed most of my issues, but I took the Tamron out to the parent's farm and went shooting at the scenery. Some were nice, but many were blurry that really had no reason to be. Hmmm.....I'm going to have to just sit down and do some serious focus tests with each lens that I have to see if it's me now, or if it's the AF.

Pentax did say that they would calibrate my K10D with the DA* 50-135 for free since I bought the lens less than a year ago. I have three months to ship it to them before that offer is off the table. I'm thinking about it....
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