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03-06-2010, 05:09 PM   #1
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K-x AF Question

I now have the K-x and as I stated in another post, wanted to try it for a shoot today for VOGUE Brasil. I opted not to and used my K20D as I always shoot between 100-400 iso. I did not us the K-x because of its lack of the LED AF indicator. I rarely shoot the model or subject in the center and use extreme left or right composition of the subject. I didn't want to confirm my AF after every shot, not knowing if it hit the mark. I know I can set the AF on the back screen, but don't feel confident in using that technique. If I could use the face detect in Manual Mode, perhaps that might work, but have yet to determine if I can do so. I really love the rendering of the K-x and if it had AF indication in the viewfinder, I would use it without thinking twice.

Love to hear your thoughts on this issue.

Ben

03-07-2010, 12:08 AM   #2
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The question comes down to how often does the K-x make a mistake in selection of AF points? I'm not privy to your work so I'm running on a few assumptions here. For beauty/fashion shoots where the background is often very simple and there is only a single subject, I'd say the K-X will select the correct AF points the vast majority of time. The lack of AF indicators has made me paranoid; but I do remind myself constantly that it does not affect the effectiveness. The in-focus indicator does help; although, I'm still skeptical of its accuracy, as there seems to be a wide range where the in-focus indicator would flash. What is your experience with the in-focus polygon in the viewfinder? Is it helpful and accurate for your line of work?

I have never used the face detection function in my K-x, it's always felt like a gimmick carried over for the point and shoot crowd. However, now that you've broached it from a different angle it sounds like a possible alternative to AF indicators on the viewfinder. I'll have to give it a whirl.

I'm surprised you are shooting with a Pentax instead of Canon. I've always felt that Pentax was well-suited for outdoor/photo journalistic endeavors while Canon was far superior in professional studio settings. To each his own, I guess.
03-07-2010, 11:24 AM   #3
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A short while ago I bought a second body (my first one was a K10D). Money was not the issue but I choose a refurbed K100D over a Kx for 2 main reasons:
focus indications
dof preview on the on/off switch

With regards to the former: it's guaranteed that I will forget what it was set to and will keep wondering why all subjects are out-of-focus. I'm not a professional photographer, so my life does not depend on it, but I often only have one chance at a shot. And I don't want that chance to be spoiled by a 'forgotten' focus point. The only way I will trust a Kx is with center focus and 'focus-and-recompose' technique.

BTW how did the shoot go ?
03-08-2010, 01:12 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
A short while ago I bought a second body (my first one was a K10D). Money was not the issue but I choose a refurbed K100D over a Kx for 2 main reasons:
focus indications
dof preview on the on/off switch

With regards to the former: it's guaranteed that I will forget what it was set to and will keep wondering why all subjects are out-of-focus. I'm not a professional photographer, so my life does not depend on it, but I often only have one chance at a shot. And I don't want that chance to be spoiled by a 'forgotten' focus point. The only way I will trust a Kx is with center focus and 'focus-and-recompose' technique.

BTW how did the shoot go ?
It went well...Used the K20D. However, would really like to try out the K-x for a Pro shoot, as I said earlier, the output is outstanding.

03-08-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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As I mentioned in that other thread, I'm often focusing manually which removes the focus points from the equation, but when using an autofocus lens I generally find the focus-recompose method quite effective. I just keep it set at centerpoint and there's never an issue.
03-08-2010, 08:07 AM   #6
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If Benjikan is considering using a K-x for his shoots I may have to reconsider selling my K20D and buying one for myself.
03-08-2010, 10:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
If Benjikan is considering using a K-x for his shoots I may have to reconsider selling my K20D and buying one for myself.
Just make sure that all your AF lenses are calibrated against thye camera before you go on an important shoot The Kx does not have user accessible AF corrections (to my knowledge).
03-08-2010, 10:20 AM   #8
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If you:
  • Do off center composition
  • At large apertures or relatively close distances
  • And don't like to center focus then recompose
...then it may be an issue. See this thread...

In use, I've found that I can mitigate it somewhat by selecting a point and using the VF brackets to place it, but it doesn't allow me to be as dynamic or get into a shooting "flow" like I can with my K10, since changing the point requires me to mentally pause, but YMMV.

03-08-2010, 11:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by junyo Quote
If you:
  • Do off center composition
  • At large apertures or relatively close distances
  • And don't like to center focus then recompose
...then it may be an issue. See this thread...

In use, I've found that I can mitigate it somewhat by selecting a point and using the VF brackets to place it, but it doesn't allow me to be as dynamic or get into a shooting "flow" like I can with my K10, since changing the point requires me to mentally pause, but YMMV.
Had a look at the thread and as one astute member so aptly stated and for my purposes, I must agree, "a great sensor in a crippled body...".

I guess, it will all come down to the depth of field and angle at which I am shooting. But as a result of the lack of the illuminated AF points, I will never feel quite confident in using this tool for my job. The center focus and re frame only works if you are perpendicular to the subject and at a sufficient distance to offset the associated distortion of being extremely off center in your desired placement of the subject, which is quite often the case for me. As they say in French "Dommage..."
03-09-2010, 11:45 AM   #10
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You can try framing the shot in live view and letting the face recognition provide the proper focus point. I'm not sure what mode you have to be in.....
03-09-2010, 11:53 AM   #11
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That's a good point. If you don't need the speed of phase-detect, the live view can AF pretty much anywhere in the frame and is potentially much more accurate than phase detect anyways.
03-10-2010, 03:11 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by fccwpe Quote
You can try framing the shot in live view and letting the face recognition provide the proper focus point. I'm not sure what mode you have to be in.....
To slow for what I need.
03-10-2010, 03:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Just make sure that all your AF lenses are calibrated against thye camera before you go on an important shoot The Kx does not have user accessible AF corrections (to my knowledge).
I bought a used K-X locally yesterday. I think that from what I've seen so far the K-X looks sharper than my K20D with calibrated lenses. I've read that the K-X does have a debug menu to do some correction though.

I'm still on the fence whether to keep the Kx and sell my K20D or the opposite since the Missus says I must choose one. For IQ and High ISO the Kx seems to be the winner but I like the handling and feel of the K20D. I also like having a grip. The other part of the equation is that my budget is very limited. If I sell my K20 with grip & WR lens I might have enough left over for a 10-20 Zoom which I've been craving for a while.
03-11-2010, 10:23 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
I bought a used K-X locally yesterday. I think that from what I've seen so far the K-X looks sharper than my K20D with calibrated lenses. I've read that the K-X does have a debug menu to do some correction though.
The K-x captures about as much detail (in my experience) as the K20D, but does so through the use of a weaker AA filter, which has some drawbacks in certain situations. Look here and zoom in on the suitcoat to see the severe moire generated (quite unfortunate, as it's one of my favorite jackets). It's not even perfectly in focus, and the moire still shows up.

If you're just shooting landscapes, not a big deal. But in situations where moire might pop up, problems are more likely with the K-x than the K20D.
03-13-2010, 04:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
The K-x captures about as much detail (in my experience) as the K20D, but does so through the use of a weaker AA filter, which has some drawbacks in certain situations. Look here and zoom in on the suitcoat to see the severe moire generated (quite unfortunate, as it's one of my favorite jackets). It's not even perfectly in focus, and the moire still shows up.

If you're just shooting landscapes, not a big deal. But in situations where moire might pop up, problems are more likely with the K-x than the K20D.
Ouch, Yikes!
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