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Forum: Pentax K-3 01-24-2017, 08:33 PM  
Switch from 1 point to 27 fast
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 9
Views: 1,316
Thanks for all the input -- I had a computer die on me so I've been somewhat distracted from this issue.

I'll try out the suggestions (pressing the AF button sounds good).

The focus limiter works but doesn't change the behavior: if I lose the object, the lens goes to 6 meters rather than 6 feet. It could be that this is a symptom of the age of my K-3; I'm well over 100,000 images with it.

Dave
Forum: Pentax K-3 01-23-2017, 08:38 PM  
Switch from 1 point to 27 fast
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 9
Views: 1,316
I'm not sure if this is a "feature" of my K-3 + 150 - 450 mm lens augmented by the Ricoh 1.4x teleconverter, but I find that if I'm tracking a bird flying by using a single AF point (which is my default setting because birds are usually in more complex scenarios), should I miss the bird for just a fraction of a second the focus goes all the way to the short end and stops there requiring me to manually push it all the way out again by which time the bird is long gone.

So, it seems to me, that for this specific situation, I should use 27 AF points to give me a better chance of catching the bird against the sky background.

So, my question is, is there a way I can quickly (press one button, for example) switch from 1 to 27 points when the situation arises without having to use the Info button and find the right panel and make the adjustment that way?

Thanks.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-04-2016, 01:49 PM  
Autofocus Problem K3 + 1.4x + 150-450
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 10
Views: 1,380
This problem all started when I was using single point.

1. It's not related to f/8 because it also happens with the f/5.6 300mm DA + 1.4x combination.

2. That it works first time after turning on the camera and then doesn't work, suggests a firmware problem rather that a basic failure.

3. This is a problem that has happened over the past couple of weeks. It did not happen during the first 60,000+ photos I took with this K-3, many of which were with either the DA 300mm or the 150-450mm both with and without the 1.4x.

It could be an aging issue. Or it could be some dirt has gotten into a vital area interfering with the AF (but see #2 above).

Time to take searching for repair options seriously.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-04-2016, 10:54 AM  
Autofocus Problem K3 + 1.4x + 150-450
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 10
Views: 1,380
What I don't like is that it goes to the short end and then gives up. It means that shooting at a moving object in the sky is a tough proposition. Perhaps I should try using a preset that forces it to infinity.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-04-2016, 08:49 AM  
Autofocus Problem K3 + 1.4x + 150-450
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 10
Views: 1,380
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions. I have some more data points having again gone to Allenhurst this morning.

1. I decided to take the 1.4x out of the equation by shooting without it.

2. I switched the lens to the 6m - ∞ setting (since my main interest was birds in flight).

3. I switched to 27 AF points as you suggested.

As for dust, I've been running the dust removal action on startup since I acquired the camera. I ran it a few extra times this morning. I'm a bit reluctant to actually poke around inside the camera.

The bottom line is that although things seemed a bit better, I still have the problem.

So, I tried an experiment:

1. I changed the lens back to full focusing range.

2. I switched off the camera and manually adjusted the focus ring to the 6.6 feet end.

3. I pointed the camera at some rocks about 40 yards away and held the shutter half down. It focused correctly and quickly.

4. Without turning the camera off, I manually adjusted the focus ring again to the 6.6 feet end.

5. I pointed at the same rocks. It would not focus. Would not move from the 6.6 feet setting.

When I got home, I repeated the experiment using some trees a hundred yards from our front steps. Same result.

So, I tried the lens with my wife's K-x using the same experiment with the same trees. And the lens worked with the K-x.

So, it looks like the camera is the problem.

I think I need to look into repair services in the New Jersey area.

Dave

---------- Post added 02-04-2016 at 10:56 AM ----------

biz-engineer: I've just seen your reply. Sorry to hear you also have a similar problem.

I'll see what happens with my DA-300.

Wow! Looks like we do have the same problem. With the TC & DA-300, the K-3 won't focus with 27 points selected but worked like a charm with single point.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-03-2016, 12:41 PM  
Autofocus Problem K3 + 1.4x + 150-450
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 10
Views: 1,380
I'm suddenly having autofocus problems. It is most likely to happen when I'm trying to shoot birds in flight at the shore. This morning, for example, a Northern Gannet flew by as I was standing on the jetty at Allenhurst, NJ. I was pointing directly at the bird (as can been seen by the position in the frame of the smudge against the light background) yet the camera (K3) would not focus with the 1.4x HD and 150-450 lens. This seems to be a new phenomenon that has just started happening in the last couple of weeks. The lens shifts all the way to the short end of the range and refuses to shift even if I then point at something only a few feet away.

The problem was also happening when I tried to grab some photos of Sanderlings on the beach. If I was pointing at the featureless beach the AF would go to the 6 feet setting and stick there. I found that if I pointed to the ground a short way in front of me, I could then get the AF to work by slowly tilting the camera away from me so that the distance slowly increased.

Thinking that perhaps the 1.4x HD was affecting things, I removed it and still had the problem, so it's either the camera or the lens (or some weirdness about the combination).

This afternoon, I went back to Allenhurst with my Sigma 150-500 instead of the 150-450. And the behavior was similar in that if I failed to point directly at the bird, the focus would go to the short end of the range, but it didn't get stuck there like the 150-450. I have taken upwards of 70,000 images with my K-3, so perhaps it's just exhibiting old age, but my sense is that this is more of a lens problem than a camera problem.

Settings:
K-3 camera
TAv mode
AF active area: Spot ( I experimented with the 9-spots setting but it made no difference)
Menu C3 15-18 are all set to 1.
I had the AF button set to AF1 which should allow either the shutter release or the AF button to be used for focusing. I had basically forgotten that I had done this, so possibly this is the problem.

Lens
1.4x HD installed
Preset button set to AF
Focus range set to Full
Mode button set to QFS/A

I just tried some experiments with the AF button switched off and it was fairly easy to reproduce the problem by pointing at some of the remaining snow banks. Hmm: I should try that with the Sigma, too. Same problem.

I'm starting to suspect it's the camera showing its age or perhaps I'm just expecting too much.

Is anyone else seeing anything like this?

Can anyone suggest a remedy? Or some experiments to perform to narrow down the cause of the problem?

Thanks,

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-17-2015, 08:23 AM  
Pentax 1.4x HD Sudden Fail
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 6
Views: 931
I can hardly believe it, but I fixed it. If Pentax/Ricoh support had been a bit more responsive, I might have sent it to them, but this morning I compared the camera-end of the 1.4x with the camera-end of the 300 mm lens and I realized that the lever that adjusts the aperture on the 1.4x was slightly out of position. When I dropped the lens last week, it must have landed on the lever bending it slightly. A little pressure with my fingernail has put it back where it belongs and it's working again.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-11-2015, 05:07 PM  
Pentax 1.4x HD Sudden Fail
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 6
Views: 931
Yes, the 1.4x TC + Sigma 150-500 works very well on my K-3. Autofocus has been better than I expected and almost as fast as with the lens just by itself. The images are a tad soft compared to using it with the Pentax 300, but still pretty good.

Here's an image I took last summer of a Spotted Sandpiper.

https://flic.kr/p/oNie6f

Here's a Yellow-rumped Warbler from October 2014.

https://flic.kr/p/ptEct7

In both cases, I've done some post-processing and scaled the image to 2560 x 1440 to simplify publishing to my AppleTV.

Dave

PS: I attempted to insert the images and it didn't work, so I've just put the URLs in the message.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 04-11-2015, 08:23 AM  
Pentax 1.4x HD Sudden Fail
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 6
Views: 931
Yesterday afternoon, my 1.4x teleconverter that has worked flawlessly for a year suddenly stopped working. I was using it with my K-3 and Pentax SMC 300 ED when after removing the combination of the camera (to try out some digi-scoping in combination with the FLU card -- another fiasco, but I'll ask about that in another topic).

I made a pig's ear of transferring the lens and managed to drop it in the mud.

The lens itself has survived this ordeal with no problems but the 1.4x is now not working. It appears to be stuck in a stopped-down state so the camera can't auto-focus nor get the light right.

I've also been using the 1.4x with my Sigma 150-500 lens and it is having the same problem with that lens.

So, the problem is with the 1.4x and none of the other components.

There is no sign of any physical damage on the 1.4x and no sign of any mud on any of the connectors.

I expect all I can do is take it in for service somewhere, but in case anyone else has experienced anything like this, I thought I'd start by appealing for help here.

Thanks,

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-10-2015, 12:05 PM  
K3 + flu card "memory card error" (both new)
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 28
Views: 3,286
I ran into the same problem with a flu-card I bought months ago. I tried to follow the steps given by rburgoss above but I'm a Mac user. My first attempts to simply erase the card using Disk Utility failed to work. I'd get Memory Card Error on the K-3 and the Mac couldn't recognize the volume on the card, declaring it to be unrecognized.

So, there being no "Low-level Format" option available in Disk Utility, I tried activating the Security Options on the Erase panel and I used the three- times erase setting (which took about 45 minutes) and that has done the job.

I loaded the card into the SD1 slot and formatted it again with the camera (previously, this had resulted in the Memory Card Error message) and then I moved it to the SD2 slot and the wifi is being generated.

Phew, and thanks to rburgoss for the detailed instructions above.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-21-2011, 03:53 AM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
They adjusted the lens. Left me with the camera in the lobby while the took the lens into a back room. The process took only a few minutes. My wife also has a K-x, so a solution where the camera had to be adjusted would not have pleased me.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-13-2011, 07:48 AM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
Drove up to Sigma's offices in Ronkonkoma yesterday where they swiftly adjusted my lens to work properly with my camera. Took a walk through a local state park to test the lens in the vicinity but I needn't have worried. It worked like a charm.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-11-2011, 05:07 AM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
Contacted Sigma technical support. They think they can tune the lens to my camera. I'm driving up to Ronkonkoma on Thursday. Will report back.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-09-2011, 03:51 PM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
Here's an interesting snippet from the Sigma Service page:

SigmaPhoto.com - Service & Support

4. AF Data Adjustment

Due to extreme sensitivity of the digital camera mirror box, more than 5 times as sensitive as that of a film camera, it may be necessary to adjust the AF data in your Sigma lens. At Sigma, we adjust all of our lenses to a neutral focus point during manufacturing. It may be necessary to have your Sigma lens adjusted to your own personal camera. This is a known problem with digital cameras and many companies have included Micro Focus Adjustment capabilities on their high end cameras to address this problem with their lenses. If you are, in fact, able to do this with your camera and lens combination there is no need to send your equipment in for adjustment.

So, does the K-x support this? I don't see a mention in the manual's index, so I expect not.

Looking around the web, I seem to be the only one (of a very small community) who is the least bit unhappy with the K-x/Sigma combination.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-08-2011, 10:47 AM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
Looks like my lens is behaving the way that ThomasG reported here:

Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 DG HSM APO Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

I see no follow-up from ThomasG, though. Did Sigma replace the lens? Fix it?

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-07-2011, 04:16 PM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
I'm sorry, I'm confused by your response. I thought this was the Pentax forum. Can you give me a link to the sigma 150-500 group?

Thanks,

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-07-2011, 01:39 PM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
Ah yes, I hadn't thought about the implications of that f/6.3. I too have been using a 55-300mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. It will auto-focus, albeit slowly. It was the slow autofocus that I was hoping to overcome with this new lens. Seems I've spent a lot of money for a lens that doesn't deliver much for my particular camera body. I wonder what cameras will work with the Sigma. Off to investigate (although I'm sure the wife will balk at the idea I should buy another camera -- oh wait, my Sigma has the Pentax mount, so that limits the choices.

Dave
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 05-07-2011, 10:53 AM  
K-x & Sigma 150-500 focusing problems
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 11
Views: 6,044
Earlier this week, my new Sigma 150-500mm lens arrived. I tried it out immediately sitting in my front yard taking pictures of birds in the tree, about 20-25 feet away. I was very pleased.

But now I'm discovering that with the lens set at 500mm it simply will not focus past about 40 feet. I can't believe that this is to be expected, but I can't think of anything else to try to get it to work.

Here's what I've tried:

1. Switched off image stabilization in the camera and activated it in the lens -- with the lens set in its #2 position, this seemed to help a bit, but it was still generally disinclined to let me take pictures.

2. I switched from AF.A to AF.C. This allowed me to take pictures but most of them were hopelessly (I'm not talking soft, I mean hopelessly) out of focus.

3. I start by manually adjusting to get the focus into the right vicinity before turning it over to the AF. Again, this occasionally lets me get a shot or two, but the camera quickly loses focus.

Unlike the behavior of my Pentax 55-300mm lens (that came with the camera), the Sigma seems to zero in on some narrow range of the focus depth and stays there, failing to focus. I can be pointing at something 500 feet away and it's trying to focus with the setting set at under 10 feet.

Am I just missing the boat? Or have I gotten myself a dud lens?

Any help appreciated.

Dave
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 05-03-2011, 06:51 PM  
Hello from the Jersey Shore
Posted By davesofnj
Replies: 1
Views: 355
Just over a year ago I decided it was time to move into the world of DSLR cameras and I found myself attracted to Pentax so I bought the K-x kit from B&H that came with the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm lenses. My main interest was to take pictures of local birds, so the 55-300 lens lived on the camera. I've taken about 16,000 pictures in the last year, most of them of birds.

I was quickly frustrated that 300mm wasn't a long enough zoom, but the prices of the Sigma lenses (120-400, 150-500) put those choices out of reach (at least, last year). Instead, I picked up a couple of Pro-Optic teleconverters from Adorama. The 1.4x was just $90 and the 2.0x was about $110. The 1.4x became a permanent addition to my camera. I estimate that maybe 14,000 of my images have been taken with the 1.4x and the 300mm lens.

Come August, I lashed out on a second K-x nominally for the wife. In addition to the 18-55mm zoom, I also added a 10-20mm Sigma wide-angle lens. I've taken a few pictures with it, but it's a whole different ballgame and I usually leave it at home as I walk the local woods and ponds looking for birds.

Last week, I gave in an added the Sigma 150-500. It arrived Monday. The first two days were overcast but I was still able to get some pleasing shots of the birds at the feeder on our front-yard tree. But this evening, I had an unhappy time at Deal Test Site (a local park where they first bounced a radio signal off the moon during WWII). There's an osprey nest at the top of one of the towers and I just could not persuade the lens to focus on the nest. It went through the motions of focusing. To my eye, it looked in focus, but the camera just wouldn't take the picture.

I started with the camera's image stabilization on and the lens's optical stabilization off. It was hopeless. The camera just wouldn't take a picture. I tried switching off the camera's feature and switching of the lens's. It has two settings, 1 and 2. Using setting 1, the results were equally disappointing. Using setting 2, it finally took some pictures, but the auto-focus was flashing in and out almost continuously and it only took a handful of pictures over a period of about a minute.

All very frustrating. I'm thinking that the next time, I'll try my wife's camera to see if it gives the same results. If so then perhaps I've gotten a bad lens -- I've not seen anyone else making these kinds of complaints about the 150-500 on a K-x; not that there's a lot of discussion about this combination.

BTW, it turns out my brother in England has two K-7s. No doubt his mentioning Pentax had something to do with my predilection for Pentax.

Dave
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