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07-12-2009, 07:08 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbcampbell Quote
no change in lighting, still focusing on the bride or grooms face and it would just flake out and not focus. I believe it is more of an issue with the SDM lens than the camera.
Sorry about the white wall comment...I just was guessing at what the issue might have been. Given all the other comments about SDM lenses, I'd guess it's the SDM as well. I'm actually curious if Sigma HSM lenses have the same issue?

07-12-2009, 08:12 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Sorry about the white wall comment...I just was guessing at what the issue might have been. Given all the other comments about SDM lenses, I'd guess it's the SDM as well. I'm actually curious if Sigma HSM lenses have the same issue?
No worries, I got a kick out of it. Anyway I am curious about the Sigma HSM lenses as well. I have been eyeing the new 70-200 F2.8 HSM, trying to decide between that and the DA* 200 F2.8.
07-12-2009, 08:23 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
PentaxPoke. I was wondering if this was only me but some users say the same thing. My DA*16-50mm is a great lens optically but it has these moments where it can't lock focus at all. Scenes with good contrast and enough variety and light in the scene that it shouldn't have any problem. Then I'll be shooting a reception in crappy light and poor contrast and it locks on perfectly and quick. The lens just has a mind off it's own and I'll switch to something like the FA50mm f1.4 and it has no problem with the same situation.
Peter,
You have described my experience with SDM lenses exactly. You put it well: they seem to have a "mind of thier own" sometimes. It is no different between the k20d body and the K-7 body. When I used to own a DA* 16-50 (well I owned three and sent them all back for bad lens decentering, but that is another story) it did the same thing. My DA* 50-135 got progressively worse, until it wouldn't focus at all. I sent it back to Pentax repair (it was close to 1 year after I bought it.) and they sent me back a brand new one with another 1 year warrantee (which was nice.) Even the new one on the k20d and the K-7 every once in a while just acts very sluggish and won't lock on even in good lighting conditions with a high-contrast subject. My theory is that it is not a problem with the AF algorithm, or anything to due with firmware. I really believe it is some sort of torque limitation of the micromotors that "stick." It could be hysteresis in the motors.

I have said this before: I will not buy another SDM lens until I read that Pentax has either gone to ring motors (if Canon's patents allow it), or has significantly upgraded the micromotor system they are using. It is possible that SDM was a rushed to market "me too" product that is not ready for prime time. It is not just a handful of people that are experiencing this. Unfortunately, some people are judging Pentax AF speed using DA* lenses (thinking they are testing with the top of the line), and come to the conclusion that Pentax AF is sluggish.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-12-2009 at 08:39 PM.
07-12-2009, 08:38 PM   #19
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Okay, here are a few images from the day...these were not chosen because they were the best images just because the meet the criteria for this thread (High ISO in crapy lighting).

K-7, FA 31 @ F2.5. ISO 1600


K-7, DA*16-50 @ 16mm, F2.8. ISO 1600



Last edited by jbcampbell; 07-12-2009 at 08:43 PM.
07-12-2009, 08:59 PM   #20
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Man! Shots a ISO 1600 and I don't see any noise! Nice pics sir!
07-12-2009, 09:08 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by res3567 Quote
Man! Shots a ISO 1600 and I don't see any noise! Nice pics sir!
Well, these are not 100% crops...there is noise, especially in the shadows, the grooms tux for example. But that shot is slightly underexposed. It's more important to keep detail in the brides dress than the grooms tux ;-)
But the noise is not that bad, these are usable in an album for sure, and I have not done any post capture work to reduce the noise. I just did my standard Lightroom tweaks to saturation & sharpness.
07-12-2009, 09:11 PM   #22
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Man those shots just pi$$ me off. I made the decision this week to get an FA* 85mm f1.4 instead of buying a K-7. I can work with the K20D in low light but these appear cleaner (finer details)

As we were discussing earlier I don't think the SDM motor has the torque to drive the lens and just stalls once in awhile. Probably why Yves can tap the focus ring and get his back on track. Mine won't do that. So I decided to enhance the lens bag with the best lenses available both old and new that are screw drive. If they also have an aperture ring like the FA and FA*'s then they are on the top of the list for that focal range.

I love my Sigma 70-200 f2.8 (older DG version screw drive) sharp, fast, acturate AF, very goos wide open performance, renders great and bokeh that looks like a prime and would fool even a trained eye. IMO the best mid length tele available. I'd like to get a DA* 50-135mm only for the WS and as a backup lens. But I just don't have enough faith in the SDM to spend that much money for a backup lens that will only get used when it's raining.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 07-13-2009 at 02:54 AM.
07-12-2009, 09:16 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
. I'd like to get a DA* 50-135mm only for the WS and as a backup lens. But I just don't have enough faith in the SDM to spend that much money for a backup lens that will only get used when it's raining.
I like to play "prime snob" on tv, but the reality is that when doing testing this weekend of the K7 and K20d, I was reminded of how incredible the 50-135* lens is. Seriously. And in fact for whatever reason I'm finding that the 77ltd isn't as "magic" on the K7. And the 50-135* is frankly good enough to take it's place. The main downside is size relative to the primes.

07-12-2009, 09:31 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I like to play "prime snob" on tv, but the reality is that when doing testing this weekend of the K7 and K20d, I was reminded of how incredible the 50-135* lens is. Seriously. And in fact for whatever reason I'm finding that the 77ltd isn't as "magic" on the K7. And the 50-135* is frankly good enough to take it's place. The main downside is size relative to the primes.
I have not used the 77ltd but I do agree that the K7 + the 50-135 is a nice len combo. Also generally speakin gother then wealkin gup the isle and such there really isn't alot of moving in weddings that you have to worry about the sdm tracking and focus speed. They stand at the alt .....still standing at the alter :P
07-13-2009, 02:37 AM   #25
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thanks for the photos jbcampbell

well done mate and yes the right shots for the forum indeed.

I have yet to use my 77mm limited but my 31mm limited shines on the K-7


Cheers


Neil
07-13-2009, 05:44 AM   #26
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Here's another shot, this is the K-7 (ISO 400) with DA* 16-50 @ 28mm F4.5 with the 540 FGZ flash on P-TTL.
Keep in mind that bounce flash was a real challenge in this church, it had very high ceilings and they were dark wood. The flash really got a workout, glad I used the external battery pack!

Groom & Groomsmen doing the "Secret Service" pose. This is cropped a bit for composition and standard Lightroom tweaks for sharpness & saturation.

Last edited by jbcampbell; 07-13-2009 at 06:41 AM.
07-13-2009, 07:32 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by res3567 Quote
Man! Shots a ISO 1600 and I don't see any noise! Nice pics sir!
Resize any image down to web resolutions (600 or 800 wide, and pentaxforums does an additional quality reduction) and you'll see much less noise. It does look very clean though...
07-13-2009, 08:11 AM   #28
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Hi - not here to dis the Op OR the pics but;

Too be quite honest I just can't see a "groundbreaking" improvement over my K10D 1600 iso shots with a teeny amount of NR done.

I still think that (I grudgingly admit) the Nikon D90 or Canon 40/50D (having seen hundreds of wedding pics from friends etc) would be my tools of choice if I was going to make wedding photography my profession

Regards

Dylan
07-13-2009, 08:20 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
Hi - not here to dis the Op OR the pics but;

Too be quite honest I just can't see a "groundbreaking" improvement over my K10D 1600 iso shots with a teeny amount of NR done.
I never said the K-7 high ISO performance was "groundbreaking", I don't see any real difference between the K-7 & the K20D. Now I do see a big difference between both the K20D & the K-7 compared to the K-10D.

As for Canon gear...I shot with Canon for several years (1D mkII, 5D & 40D) and they are great cameras. Personally I think photographers get too caught up in what kind of gear we use, who cares, it's a matter of personal preference. I have never had a bride ask me what camera, lens or ISO I used for her photos. As long as I produce images that my clients like and buy that's all that matters.
07-13-2009, 09:08 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by dylansalt Quote
Hi - not here to dis the Op OR the pics but;

Too be quite honest I just can't see a "groundbreaking" improvement over my K10D 1600 iso shots with a teeny amount of NR done.

I still think that (I grudgingly admit) the Nikon D90 or Canon 40/50D (having seen hundreds of wedding pics from friends etc) would be my tools of choice if I was going to make wedding photography my profession

Regards

Dylan

wedding photography is my trade, too. i shoot twin k10d's. check out the link in my signature.....no problem here.
pentax is fine.

anyone have a couple of extra k7's they don't need? 8)
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