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Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-15-2017, 07:38 AM  
Sticky: About those WR body weather seals...User responsibility and best practice
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 18
Views: 3,156
🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Jokes aside, I did wind up with something resembling demonic possession a couple of years back when I covered a soccer game in heavy rain. Back then, I was using the DA 18-135mm, which is far from ideal for soccer, but that was because I had no other suitable lenses on hand. The camera's SR system wound up going haywire, causing the sensor to shake continuously. At one point, the camera refused to turn on, but I let it air out after the game and all was good.

I haven't had any water-related issues since.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-07-2017, 08:55 AM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm makes squealing noise when focusing
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 13
Views: 630
It looks like this behavior is temperature-dependent, too. At lower temperatures, the problem seems to improve.

I guess I'll continue to use the lens until I have a chance to send it in during the winter recess in December, unless it fails earlier. Whatever the case, the lens is under warranty and will remain under warranty until early February.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-06-2017, 03:16 PM  
Does your lens have a detachable tripod mount or hood? Help with the lens DB!
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 17
Views: 748
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm f/2.8:

Lens hood PH-RBM77: 79 g
Tripod collar: 195 g
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-06-2017, 07:16 AM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm makes squealing noise when focusing
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 13
Views: 630
Here's a YouTube video demonstrating the issue:
















Youtu.be




How long do you think this will last until the motor quits completely?

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-05-2017, 10:01 PM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm makes squealing noise when focusing
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 13
Views: 630
Hmm... Is this likely to progress to complete motor failure if left unchecked? Also, how long did it take to get your lens fixed? I am not hearing anything like juddering in my lens.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 09-05-2017, 09:32 PM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm makes squealing noise when focusing
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 13
Views: 630
For some reason, my Pentax D FA* 70-200mm lens is making a squealing noise during focusing. This is audible both during autofocus and when manually focusing, which suggests that the issue is in the focusing helicoid and not the motor, though the latter cannot be ruled out. The noise is most audible when going towards the close focus end. Focusing speed and responsiveness haven't noticeably worsened.

Is this cause for concern, and has anyone else encountered this issue? The lens is under warranty until February 2018 but I won't have a chance to send it in until December because I need it for my job.

Draco
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-24-2017, 01:12 PM  
K-3 II just came back from Precision Camera after AF repair
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 4
Views: 979
Did a bit more testing, this time using the 18-135mm as well. Everything seems to be working as expected; as before, this lens requires no AF fine adjustment.

I hope to get back on the field and start shooting some more soon. :)

Draco
Forum: Pentax K-3 06-24-2017, 12:05 PM  
K-3 II just came back from Precision Camera after AF repair
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 4
Views: 979
So, on June 12, I shipped my Pentax K-3 II to Precision Camera for a repair due to AF problems: it was wildly inconsistent and could not be relied on to produce consistently sharp images. For several months, I thought the problem was my D FA* 70-200mm (and went through several major assignments with this issue), but realized that the camera was at fault when I found that my DA 18-135mm could not focus reliably either. Less than two weeks later, the camera came back from repair, and preliminary tests with my 70-200 show that the problem is indeed solved. A +3 adjustment was required for focusing accuracy, but it's no longer focusing way off 60-80% of the time like it used to.
The camera was under extended warranty.

Questions, thoughts, or comments?

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 03-10-2017, 10:28 AM  
DA*300 focus is getting stuck?
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 4
Views: 393
It's an issue with the way the Quick-Shift mechanism is designed. I've been dealing with similar issues on my DA* 60-250mm: Pentax DA* 60-250mm autofocus: an exercise in frustration - PentaxForums.com

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-17-2017, 03:50 PM  
Filters I think I know NOW why they matter...
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 92
Views: 4,508
Can you name the filter brand in question? I realize you don't want this to degenerate into a brand-bashing flame war, but most folks here are mature enough that this will not happen.

---------- Post added 02-17-17 at 05:52 PM ----------



This reads a lot like a veiled personal attack. Can we please calm down? I don't want this thread closed.



...and I now realize I just contradicted myself. Not mentioning the brand was the right thing to do.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-13-2017, 10:10 PM  
Pentax DA* 60-250mm autofocus: an exercise in frustration
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 38
Views: 2,817
I've been shooting with back-button AF for quite a while now. I'm not sure how this would be related to the issue, though...

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2017, 05:04 PM  
Pentax DA* 60-250mm autofocus: an exercise in frustration
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 38
Views: 2,817
I'd probably say it's a combination of factors, but the camera body should not be one of them. I'm getting the impression that poor lubrication in the focusing helicoid is a factor as well; excessive friction will degrade AF performance and make the focus ring harder to turn than it should be. This is in addition to the problems the hybrid screwdrive/SDM mechanism has. (I'd say the latter is the main issue, though.)

Draco
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-12-2017, 04:30 PM  
What's your experience with the AA battery magazines that come with battery grips?
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 8
Views: 784
I'm aware of that. It's that the spring contacts are hard to push in while inserting a loaded AA battery magazine. There are as many as four springs that make contact with the batteries inside the grip, so there's going to be quite a bit of resistance.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2017, 04:27 PM  
Pentax DA* 60-250mm autofocus: an exercise in frustration
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 38
Views: 2,817
Yes, it is the same issue.

Apparently, a bit of tension on the screwdrive AF coupler will cause the focus ring to lock as if it was screwdrive focusing. This lock normally exists only to prevent movement of the focus ring from interfering with screwdrive AF, and is necessary to ensure that the focus ring does not rotate during AF operation. It is intended that this lock disengages when AF is complete. However, on modern bodies with SDM support, this lock can jam the SDM as well, causing autofocus to fail. This mechanism can also cause sluggish SDM performance by unnecessarily adding friction.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2017, 02:50 PM  
Filters I think I know NOW why they matter...
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 92
Views: 4,508
All my lenses have B+W clear (#007) filters on them.

I rarely, if ever, notice any significant degradation of image quality using the filter. I've had a few cases of filter-induced flare in the face of car headlights at night with my DA 50mm f/1.8, but that's a rather extreme situation and a quality filter will make no visible difference in everyday shooting. To me, eliminating the need to clean the front element directly and having an extra layer of protection against dust ingress and fingerprints outweighs the cost of the filter or the (generally undetectable) loss in image quality.

Draco
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-12-2017, 02:45 PM  
What's your experience with the AA battery magazines that come with battery grips?
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 8
Views: 784
POST #1000! :D

The battery grips on my K-3 II and K-5 both came with AA battery magazines (as Canon calls them). In both cases, the magazine accepts six AA batteries, whether alkaline, lithium primary, or NiMH rechargeable. I've never really used mine because the Li-ion batteries last more than long enough for me, though I have put both alkaline and Eneloop cells in the grip before.

Battery life on alkaline batteries is really bad, with the camera shutting down well before the cells are truly depleted (I've measured 1.3V or more when the camera reports "Battery depleted") but the Eneloops seem to perform reasonably well. On the K-3 II, there is a very slight loss of performance, mainly in screwdrive AF; on the K-5, however, the whole shutter/mirror system slows down noticeably with alkaline batteries resulting in increased shutter lag, increased mirror blackout time, and reduced continuous shooting speeds. Also, a loaded AA mag is hard to insert into the grip, and it adds a lot of weight to the camera body.

What's your experience with the AA battery magazine?

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-12-2017, 02:18 PM  
Lightweight lenses for K-1
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 27
Views: 1,385
From an optical standpoint, the new DA 55-300mm PLM lens performs similarly to the old DA 55-300mm. It's 1/3 stop slower but that's rarely an issue for this sort of lens, and a small price to pay for the more compact design and silent, lightning-fast stepper motor.

Sadly, I'm not aware of any modern compact telezoom options la Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 for Pentax full frame. I can't find much in the way of a modern lens of this sort from Sigma or Tamron. The best I could find is the Sigma 70-300, but that's an old design that will not hold up on a 36MP sensor.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-11-2017, 09:21 PM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm first impressions
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 41
Views: 2,856
One more thing: I reran the same optical tests on the new lens and I do not get the same spherical aberration at 200mm wide open (although slight decentering is still detectable). The previous lens was definitely defective.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-11-2017, 07:01 PM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm first impressions
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 41
Views: 2,856
...and a quick AF test:
















Youtu.be




Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-10-2017, 04:21 PM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm first impressions
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 41
Views: 2,856
It's only halftime in the first game of a basketball double-header, and I just have to say wow. The autofocus is on a completely different level.

The D FA* 70-200 is extremely fast, decisive, and accurate when tracking moving subjects. Wide open, images have this otherworldly "wow" factor that optical tests simply don't show.

My keeper rate has never been higher.

Draco
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 02-08-2017, 09:32 PM  
Got a chance to play with a prototype Fujifilm GFX 50S
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 6
Views: 857
During my time at B&H today, I got a chance to try out a prototype Fujifilm GFX 50S with a Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4 on it. I haven't spent much time with it so I can't really say much, but here are some first impressions:
  • The camera and lens felt solid but not too heavy, and fit my hand like a glove. I didn't have much trouble holding it steadily.

  • Operation is similar to high-end Fujifilm X-series cameras, with traditional mechanical controls on the lens and top plate. A joystick is used to select the AF point. I did not have the time to go through the menus or explore the camera UI, but I don't think Pentax users will have much trouble learning how to operate it.

  • I've never really spent much time handling medium-format digital cameras before, so I didn't know what to expect in terms of resolution. I was just floored at the level of detail I was able to get, even in the somewhat dark environment of the B&H photo department.

  • The GF 32-64mm is insanely sharp. The lens was able to resolve almost the full resolution of the sensor across much of the frame wide open, while producing wonderful bokeh. I did not perform more extensive testing, though.

  • AF was quick and decisive, and proved to be dead on accurate as you would expect for contrast detection.

  • The OLED EVF was very clear and sharp, with next to no lag.

  • The blackout time between shots was longer than I was used to. Clearly, this is not going to be a camera you would want to use for fast action. Then again, this is a medium-format camera...

From my brief time playing with the prototype, it's clear Fujifilm has hit all the right notes with the GFX 50S. I wonder how Pentax will respond to this—perhaps an updated 645Z and more lenses over the coming months?

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-08-2017, 03:40 PM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm first impressions
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 41
Views: 2,856
Looks about normal.

The biggest issue I'm having is AF accuracy. It's just too inconsistent; I'm leaning towards a camera body issue here. Is anyone else having AF accuracy issues with this lens?

Draco

Edit: Never mind. I think I've sorted out the AF accuracy issue.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-08-2017, 01:23 PM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm first impressions
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 41
Views: 2,856
Exchanged.

Still a bit soft wide open, but centering is a bit better. I guess it's normal.

AF is hit-and-miss; there's not much that can be done about it. +9 seems to be best on this copy, which is a rather large adjustment.

...or maybe it's +5. It's way too inconsistent. This is probably a camera body issue, not a lens issue.

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-08-2017, 11:04 AM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm first impressions
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 41
Views: 2,856
This softness is most pronounced at shooting distances of 8 ft or shorter, wide open, at 200mm. Having had more than my fair share of faulty lenses, this looks like spherical aberration to me (to paraphrase Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, I can't really describe it but I know it when I see it). Can someone else try shooting a textured surface under the same conditions to see if my copy is an isolated failure or is normal?

Draco
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 02-08-2017, 08:37 AM  
Pentax D FA* 70-200mm first impressions
Posted By bwDraco
Replies: 41
Views: 2,856
So I did some rather extensive optical testing last night and I think I found a smoking gun. 100% crops from the center at 200mm, f/2.8 on left and f/4 on right:



Can anyone else replicate this? This lack of contrast is most definitely not due to the image being out of focus as I tested numerous times with manual focus in Live View.

To my eyes, that's a fail. My 18-135mm is sharper than this at 135mm in the center of the frame wide open. A Holy Trinity lens most definitely should not be doing this.

Draco
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