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10-07-2009, 06:44 AM   #1
emr
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Advice from K200D users, please!

My secondary camera is a K200D, the primary being a K20D. The K200D is fairly new, just a few months old and still well within warranty. A couple of months ago I started noticing every now and the some strange focusing problems. Usually the camera would focus just fine, but sometimes it would just pump back and forth very fast without being able to focus on anything, no matter how high contrast and how bright the object was. And this was happening with more than one Pentax AF lens, which all worked flawlessly on my K20D. So, I sent the camera for service and as it came back about a month later (!), it was just the same after a few minutes. According to the service they had calibrated or tuned the focusing. Then they suggested that I sent the camera back with a lens that shows the malfunction and I did send it with a kit zoom. After a couple of weeks the camera came back and the AF sensor had been changed and everything was OK according to the service site. Well, so it seemed at first. But after a couple of days of little use, the problem came back a couple of times, this time with a DA 40mm ltd lens. I contacted the service again, but now they're trying to wash their hands from this and say that having tested a copuple of other K200Ds, the focusing problem is a feature and limitation of the hardware and not a failure of some sort. What the heck?

So I'd ask other K200D owners to chime in and tell about their experience. The question is not about the normal focusing difficulty that both my cameras show in low light and low contrast, hunting slowly from one extreme to the other. This is something much faster and in such a situation the camera isn't able to focus on even the easiest objects. The problem can go away in maybe five seconds by itself or last time it dissappeared by just going to the menu and exiting. Oh yeah, forgot to say that I always use center focus so it shouldn't be about switching between focus points.

Have you ever had such a focusing problem on your K200D?

Do you have any idea what could cause it on several lenses?

Thanks.

10-07-2009, 07:32 AM   #2
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Few times my kit lens just gone from infinity to macro and back again (that was bright day) but no more poblems. I am pretty happy with k200d focus and doing panning is quite easy too with kit lens. Well now I use pentax 28-70 f4 which is a lot faster than kit and in low light conditions it focuses incredibly fast and acurately. However few times again I noticed that in bright day it goes from infinity to macro and back again . But this was only few times, it may be my fault as I use manual focus point selection. Overal, no complaints.
10-07-2009, 09:31 AM   #3
emr
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Thanks. Anybody else? I'd like to hear several users' experience before I contact the service site once again.

What's your experience with near empty batteries, what kind of effects does that have? I've had this problems with fresh Eneloops too which show as full charge on the camera, so that's probably not it but just a thought.
10-07-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
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I have not experienced the problem you describe. I have had mine about nine months now and at least 2000 shutter clicks in all types of situations, with various lens and have never noticed it having trouble focusing. I would contact Pentax and ask to speak to supervisor and explain the problem. As far as repair time goes with pentax you did good. I purchased a lens that just did not work that I bought from an individual. It took them months to resolve the problem. After a number of calls I got a brand new lens for all my trouble.

10-07-2009, 02:19 PM   #5
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I've never experienced anything like you describe. Assuming you were shooting a high contrast target in good light from greater than the minimum focus distance, something is wrong if it couldn't lock quickly.
10-07-2009, 04:01 PM   #6
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Most of my shots I take with manual focus - but whenever I was using AF lenses they just worked fine on my K200D (now counting approx. 3500 shots). As Marc said: something must be wrong!
10-07-2009, 09:18 PM   #7
emr
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OK, thanks. If that symptom comes back just once, I'll definitely contact the service center demanding proper repair this time.
10-07-2009, 09:23 PM   #8
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ive got around 20,000 shots on K200, never had that problem with a high brightness/contrast target

very occasinally in such a situation it will go through the whole range once, but it will always lock on the way back

10-08-2009, 10:12 AM   #9
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My K200D has missed focus a few times now and then but I've always attributed it to the surface I'm focusing on. I've found I've had better luck by not training the focus point on a textured surface but rather some well defined edge on the surface. For the cliche test shot of a brick wall for instance I'd focus on an edge of a brick and not the face of a brick.

One additional point - I have just one AF Pentax lens so most of my shots are with my older manual lenses. I've had a good share of shots that I received a focus confirmation from the camera when I focused on something in a frame only to have that object be out of focus in the resulting image. I assume this is related to the issue I noted above.
10-08-2009, 02:58 PM   #10
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My K200D is 9 months old. I have never had this particular problem, but your description of the problem instantly brought up the issue of batteries for me. My K200D starts behaving unpredictably and erratically when the batteries are low, even though the indicator says the batteries are full. Every time my camera does something unusual, such as the entire viewfinder info. blinking on and off, or the display of the last shot on the LCD "sticking" on the display and preventing me from taking another shot, I switch to a fresh, recently charged, set of batteries.
(This also applies to brand new eneloops . . . charge them before you use them. The battery indicator on start up can show the batteries are full, but they can be too depleted to give reliable service anyway). This always solves the problem until a few months down the road when it is most likely to reappear.

Hope this helps.
10-08-2009, 03:05 PM   #11
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I never had this problem with the kit lens or any third party lenses all except one, several times. So I think that is because of that lens (a 70-300) which causes problem...
I use mostly the kit lens and it is better than perfect at focusing.
10-10-2009, 04:33 PM   #12
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I have this problem with mine when I focus on a small object with a wide open background, say a spider in a web. It focuses on the spider, then the web, then the backgound. I usually switch to manual when filming small objects. Not sure if it is a problem with the camera or not, but that is my solution for the problem.
10-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #13
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That's not a "problem" witht he camera or the lens - that's simply aking it to do soemthing difficult, and watching it struggle as a result. It helps to select the focus point rather than letting the camera decide; that way you increase the chances that the camera won't go for the background. But if the small object is smaller than the AF sensor (the size of the middle bracket in the viewfinder, basically), that means both the subject and the background will always be in range of the same focus point, and it may struggle. The steadier you can be, the better - if you are shaking even a little, that keeps changing the distance fo the subject, making it harder for it lock focus.
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