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06-04-2007, 10:26 AM   #1
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K10D MF problem - common?

(EDIT: problem is fixed, see my last post in the thread)

Hi all,

I'm posting just to get some perspective on a problem I have with my K10D.

I bought my K10D in the middle of April. After a couple of weeks I went back to the store asking for a warranty repair since the camera suffered from severe focusing problems. When using AF everything was FF (several lenses, all working fine with my DS) and BF when in manual mode! That was ok, I guess somebody at the QC department visited the bathroom or something while my camera passed by. Shit happens.

Three weeks later, that is today, I got the camera back. Or not really, I got another, new, camera instead. The repair note from Pentax Scandinavia had a comment telling me that the camera was replaced due to a lack of spare parts. That's also ok to me, I just had to update the firmware, change all the settings and snap away.

Yes, the new camera is better. AF works just fine. Then, mounted to a tripod, dioptre adjustments checked, an Oly 2.5x Varimagni viewfinder enlarger attached and Voila!... No - the camera has a backfocus problem when adjusting focus manually. It's not as bad as my first copy but it is easily seen.

How bad? Well, bad enough to ruin pictures. Macros are misfocused. Normal pictures look sharp for a second or so, then the blur and the miscoloring from axial CA hits you in the face. You get the picture if you imagine a picture taken at 100m, carefully focused with the DA70, f/8, still is unsharp compared with the same picture taken with AF... At f/2.4 it is worse of course. (2 sec MLU and no SR).

Needless to say, the camera is going back to the store tomorrow. Another three weeks without the K10D I suppose. As I manage to get all pictures taken with my DS sharp using the same method as described above I don't think it is an user error.

Now my question; is this just me or is it a common problem? Can you all focus manually with no FF or BF problems?

regards,


Last edited by Jonas B; 06-04-2007 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Problem solved
06-04-2007, 10:52 AM   #2
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Doing some macro (well as macro as you can get with my sigma 17-70), I can actually get better results using MF than AF. It's not that AF doesn't focus, it's that geting the camera to decide that the exact thing I want to focus on is what it should be focusing on is slightly easier when I'm playing with the focus ring despite the sigmas short throw.

First thing is I'd do a sanity check of how you are adjusting the diopter setting. Tell us what you are doing as a sanity check.

Second, is your magnifying eyepiece also being used when using the DS? If yes, then is any differences in the camera causign the effective mounting of the eyepiece to be different on both cameras. Can you do any testing without the eyepiece in place to reasonably compare the two and eliminate taht as a problem?
06-04-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
Now my question; is this just me or is it a common problem? Can you all focus manually with no FF or BF problems?
I have no problems, with extensive use and many many lenses.
06-04-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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Try it without the enlarger.
I have encountered big focussing problems when using one.
Don't know why.

Do you have a split image screen? That's the best tool for manual focussing.

06-04-2007, 11:16 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by raz-0 Quote
Doing some macro (well as macro as you can get with my sigma 17-70), I can actually get better results using MF than AF. It's not that AF doesn't focus, it's that geting the camera to decide that the exact thing I want to focus on is what it should be focusing on is slightly easier when I'm playing with the focus ring despite the sigmas short throw.
Yes, I always use MF for macros and closeups. Maybe I should have phrased myself a bit different saying something like "very short distance and macro".

QuoteOriginally posted by raz-0 Quote
First thing is I'd do a sanity check of how you are adjusting the diopter setting. Tell us what you are doing as a sanity check.
What do you mean with "sanity check"? If you are asking how I set the dioptre I do it this way:

No lens on camera but just the camera cap, pointing camera agains a white wall in my kitchen or anything that is reasonably neutral and light, sliding the dioptre adjustment thing from left to right and left and leave it in a position where I see the viewfinder information and the black lines on the viewfinder screen as thin and sharp as possible without straining my eyes.
Is there a better way?

QuoteOriginally posted by raz-0 Quote
Second, is your magnifying eyepiece also being used when using the DS? If yes, then is any differences in the camera causign the effective mounting of the eyepiece to be different on both cameras. Can you do any testing without the eyepiece in place to reasonably compare the two and eliminate taht as a problem?
I did that comparision with the first K10D. I'll do it again just to exclude a factor.
06-04-2007, 11:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
I have no problems, with extensive use and many many lenses.
Thank you Sean. That gives me some hope.
06-04-2007, 11:18 AM   #7
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Hi Jonas,
No problem here.
I do a lot of macros (with DFA 100 & 50). I also use many A series lenses. Always MF is spot on.
I have a question. Do you rely on focus light indicator or on your eyes?
I use a Katz Eye split screen and I always ignore the light indicator
06-04-2007, 11:23 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
Try it without the enlarger.
I have encountered big focussing problems when using one.
Don't know why.
That was probably because some error in the dioptre setting. When attaching the enlarger the dioptre setting on the enlarger must be adjusted to fit the setting on the camera so they work fine together. This is a bit of a fiddle with some enlargers.

QuoteOriginally posted by blende8 Quote
Do you have a split image screen? That's the best tool for manual focussing.
Yes I have. For the moment I have decided not to start the screen exchanging circus between the K10D screen, a DS LL-60 screen and a split image screen I have. I'm not intended to get into a discussion with pentax about viewfinder screens and user errors.
However I have to disagree blende8 about your opinion on the split image screen as "the best tool". In my opinion a pure matte screen made for manual focusing is the best tool for critical work. The K10D screen is not very good; it's made for AF, the etching is weak and the DOF is very much larger on screen than on the picture. The DS screens are better; the more course etching make them a bit darker but also better for manual focusing. The DOF is still not down to reality but closer than with the K10D screens.

I'll do a check without the enlarger, as I said above, and again compare both cameras.

06-04-2007, 11:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gio645 Quote
Hi Jonas,
No problem here.
I do a lot of macros (with DFA 100 & 50). I also use many A series lenses. Always MF is spot on.
I have a question. Do you rely on focus light indicator or on your eyes?
I use a Katz Eye split screen and I always ignore the light indicator
Hi there,
It's good to hear you have no problems - somehow this gives me hope about this being fixable.
The focus indicator? Man, I even don't have it turned on: I always set the AF to the AF button. Unless I press it briefly (with a manual lens mounted) the focus indicator even isn't there disturbing me when I half press the shutter.
In my experience the focus indicator accepts a very large area as an "in focus spot" and useless for critical work, or for any work with a fast lens.

regards,
06-04-2007, 12:28 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
The focus indicator? Man, I even don't have it turned on: I always set the AF to the AF button. Unless I press it briefly (with a manual lens mounted) the focus indicator even isn't there disturbing me when I half press the shutter.


regards,
I was nearly sure that you don't rely/use that stupid light

regards

Giorgos
06-04-2007, 12:41 PM   #11
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With my manual 50mm f2.0 wide open and focusing at pretty much the shortest distance possible it seems I get a slight FF if I follow the AF lamp, but when fully manual it’s perfect.
06-04-2007, 01:16 PM   #12
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Solved!

QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
Hi all,

-snip-

Now my question; is this just me or is it a common problem? Can you all focus manually with no FF or BF problems?
Thank you all, for your input and different vews. I solved it thanks to rz-0 and blende8 suggesting a check of dioptre and magnifier... Lol - maybe I should read my own advices before asking for them.

The problem is solved: I forgot to set the on-camera dioptre setting to neutral before attaching the enlarger. When I compared the setup to the DS setup I realized - and that after having written my replies to the gentlemen above.

Now I feel a bit stupid. I should have double checked everything before posting. In the end no harm is done, my reputation isn't the best anyway, I got the enlarger to work with the K10D and everything is fine. I guess such things happen when one meets a problem ina not fully neutral mode.

thanks again,
06-04-2007, 08:06 PM   #13
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Neutral setting

Once you move the diopter setting on the K10D how do you know where "neutral" is to reset it? Mine is adjusted to my eyes and I will be using the Oly varimagnifinder. (have had the mag finder for years).
thanks
barondla
06-05-2007, 08:02 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Once you move the diopter setting on the K10D how do you know where "neutral" is to reset it? Mine is adjusted to my eyes and I will be using the Oly varimagnifinder. (have had the mag finder for years).
thanks
barondla
Hi barondla,

This is of course an act of approximation at a high level.
Normally I have the dioptre slider set a bit to the right. What can that mean? Maybe -1 or -2? With the Varimagner attached to the camera that forced me to turn the Varimagni dioptre/focusing ring to the very limit - I don't think is good, maybe I even didn't reach a "correct" position.
So, I moved the camera's dioptre slider two notches to the center. Now I found that I got a summed up good dioptre setting with the Varimagni adjustment ring somewhere in the middle. And the focusing problems where gone.

Maybe it can work for you as well?

I guess we have to fiddle like this until we get a good live preview system with an enlarged picture adjusted for WB, exposure and focusing (a lá Oly) with an RGB histogram overlayed on it when wished for. Next year?

regards,
06-05-2007, 04:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Once you move the diopter setting on the K10D how do you know where "neutral" is to reset it? Mine is adjusted to my eyes and I will be using the Oly varimagnifinder. (have had the mag finder for years).
thanks
barondla
My guess, for the D (check the manual for your diopter range) the range is -2.5 to 1.5.
Assuming .5 diopters per click, you should get about 8 clicks. 3 from right, 5 from left (or whatever, there is a plus minus sign on the diopter bar). That should get you to center from either direction........
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