Slow AF?


ChrisA

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 10:07
iceblinker wrote:
Amin, I think the point is that you rarely need AF at all to take great photographs, let alone fast AF.

I know Pentax doesn't have the fastest AF and I DON'T CARE. So please stop going on about it and go and enjoy your Nikon or whatever it is.

The best thing to do, if uninterested in a topic, is just not read the thread.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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iceblinker

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 10:18
I'm interested to read this thread in case it covers more than the simple fact that Canikon's AF is faster than Pentax's.
~Pete

ChrisA

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 10:27
iceblinker wrote:
I'm interested to read this thread in case it covers more than the simple fact that Canikon's AF is faster than Pentax's.

But that's the thing, isn't it - it's not just a simple fact. There are so many variables - camera, lens, operator, subject, light level - that it's very hard to generalise. The consensus does seem to be that the high end Canons and Nikons have faster AF than we're used to, but that's not the whole story.

If Dan can take awesomely sharp pictures of birds in flight and I can't, with the same camera, the likelihood is that there's something defective about my technique. Or it might be that his lens focuses faster than mine.

Teasing out these things is hard, and wading through the uninteresting bits goes with the territory.
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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iceblinker

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 10:41
I know. That's why I'm reading the thread.
~Pete

Unlocker

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 11:14
iceblinker wrote:
Amin, I think the point is that you rarely need AF at all to take great photographs, let alone fast AF.

I know Pentax doesn't have the fastest AF and I DON'T CARE. So please stop going on about it and go and enjoy your Nikon or whatever it is.

Well... I know Pentax doesn't have the fastest autofocus and I DO care!

When people like Amin have the option to invest several 1,000s of pounds into a system, I would like it to go into Pentax to ensure that the brand keeps going! To lose customers due to slow AF could cost Pentax dearly, and I don't want to see it happen.

The main problem here from personal experience seems to boil down to SDM lenses. In terms of pure focus speeds, many of them are poor, and I do say this from experience. My FA 100 Macro for example is so damn quick that you have to hold on tight to the camera due to the recoil! My line of thinking here is that the topic should be renamed 'Slow SDM AF?'

The DA* 60-250 is very much a case in point. It focuses faster on a K10D via screwdrive (pre SDM firmware), than it does via SDM on a K-7.

The DA* 60-250 can focus 2-3 times faster on at least one pre-production K-7 that I have tried.

The K20D & Sigma 100-300 F4 combination is faster and gave me better results than the K-7 & DA* 60-250 did when shooting football matches. The amount of shots that I missed due to the damn slow focus of that lens was quite a frustrating experience, when the kit I shot the previous game a few months earlier was older and faster.

For me though, the amount of times that I want focussing to be faster, hasn't been enough for me to jump ship. Yet. For others, they hit that ceiling a lot earlier, have the need, so go and buy tools that do the job. Amin for one I know would still be shooting (and more importantly, buying) Pentax if it wasn't for this one issue.

Yes, we can sit here and argue about manual focussing skill levels and technique forever if we want to, but I keep coming back to the fact that we are in the 2nd decade of the 21st century and the game has moved on a bit! On the odd occasion I want to shoot a football match etc., I want the AF to be able to cope. I don't want to learn manual focussing skills, I just can't be arsed to be frank, I just want it to work, especially when I'm holding over 2,000 worth of kit in my hands, with another 2,000+ of lenses in my backpack!

From experience I know that my kit could focus a lot faster, but Pentax have throttled back the performance on purpose, probably due to reliability issues would be my best guess. Because of this, I really would like to see a firmware update that would allow us to choose between SDM and screwdrive, I for one certainly don't mind sacrificing a little noise for speed.

This Patent however does seem very interesting, so lets hope to see an announcement soon!

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aminstar

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 11:20
iceblinker wrote:
Amin, I think the point is that you rarely need AF at all to take great photographs, let alone fast AF.

I know Pentax doesn't have the fastest AF and I DON'T CARE. So please stop going on about it and go and enjoy your Nikon or whatever it is.

Oops, seems like I touched a very sensitive spot for someone, so much so that a normal general polite topic (started by John Riley), probably also simply intended to have a normal general polite view on the issue has turned very personal.

I was simply stating my view on the issue, and from what it seems I am not the only one.

So tell me again? what is it that again about "you rarely need AF at all to take great photographs, let alone fast AF"
You mean all type of photographs? Hmm, that seems a bit debatable. I would agree that you can still take great photographs without having fast AF, but definitely there are advantages in having a fast AF, otherwise it seems futile and totally useless big companies spending millions in research to develop fast AF.

Besides, the point is if other makes can make fast AF why on earth can't Pentax make them too?
Amin Photo Gallery

iceblinker

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 11:43
The sensitive spot touched is ex Pentax users coming back to a forum for current Pentax users to criticise Pentax, rather than any particular technical criticism per se.

No I don't mean all types of photographs, that's why I used the word "rarely" instead of "never". I reckon for most types of photography you don't need faster than Pentax's AF.

Personally, I would like Pentax's AF to be even slower so that it can be made even more precise, accurate and consistent. I value that more than speed for most situations.
~Pete

iceblinker

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 11:50
aminstar wrote:
Besides, the point is if other makes can make fast AF why on earth can't Pentax make them too?

They probably will once able to develop satisfactory technology with the resources available. Meanwhile we get such a good viewfinder, SR, ergonomics, legacy lens support and value for money that it makes Pentax well worth using, for most of us, despite the slower AF.
~Pete
Last Edited by iceblinker on 17/02/2010 - 11:50

Gwyn

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 13:21
I suppose it depends entirely on what sort of things you photograph whether high AF speed matters or not. I have no problem at all with the Pentax AF speed, but then I am not shooting action photos. I may curse it in May when the Giro d'Italia comes to town,but for a one off event like that I am not going to worry too much.

It would be nice if Pentax could improve their AF speed if only to stop discussions like this recurring constantly.

ChrisA

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 13:48
Gwyn wrote:
It would be nice if Pentax could improve their AF speed if only to stop discussions like this recurring constantly.

Careful - that point is (almost) unarguable, and that would never do
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Pentax K-3, DA18-135, DA35 F2.4, DA17-70, DA55-300, FA28-200, A50 F1.7, A100 F4 Macro, A400 F5.6, Sigma 10-20 EXDC, 50-500 F4.5-6.3 APO DG OS Samsung flash SEF-54PZF(x2)
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Anvh

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 14:38
ChrisA wrote:
Gwyn wrote:
It would be nice if Pentax could improve their AF speed if only to stop discussions like this recurring constantly.

Careful - that point is (almost) unarguable, and that would never do

Well we could then start an argument then that the slower AF was more accurate
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ

K10D

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 14:43
Anvh wrote:
ChrisA wrote:
Quote:
It would be nice if Pentax could improve their AF speed if only to stop discussions like this recurring constantly.

Careful - that point is (almost) unarguable, and that would never do

Well we could then start an argument then that the slower AF was more accurate

Aye, the slower the better.

link

Regards

Anvh

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 14:47
K10D wrote:
Anvh wrote:
Quote:
Gwyn wrote:
It would be nice if Pentax could improve their AF speed if only to stop discussions like this recurring constantly.

Careful - that point is (almost) unarguable, and that would never do

Well we could then start an argument then that the slower AF was more accurate

Aye, the slower the better.

link

Regards


I would just say users error, you just need to know when the press the button
But honestly though you can't prove the photo is out of focus because of slow AF neither can I that it was user error.

Then again Daniel did manage to capture these... link
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
Last Edited by Anvh on 17/02/2010 - 14:50

johnriley

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 15:43
In this maze, someone asked whether we needed AF at all. That one is easy - no we don't need AF, but on the other hand it is quite handy for most of the time.

I was just hoping for a few views on whether this was an issue in reality, so it doesn't need to get personal. Stick with the facts, even the facts as we see them, and it should be a calm enough disucssion!

There will always be contrary views on most subjects.
Best regards, John

aminstar

Link Posted 17/02/2010 - 17:21
iceblinker wrote:
The sensitive spot touched is ex Pentax users coming back to a forum for current Pentax users to criticise Pentax, rather than any particular technical criticism per se.

Personal again, seems like when you can't hold a proper discussion just revert to pick on a personal aspect. Just for your information I still use Pentax and most of my friends do so also. Due to my input and advice lots of them use Pentax/Samsung and I still continue to advise my friends who want to get into photography. I just fail to see why on earth you can't just have a proper input on the matter instead of attacking a particular point of view. Childish comes to mind when I read a comment like that. So just because I use another make also does it make me persona non grata here in the forum and am I not allowed to have an input? Funny you didn't throw a comment like that towards others who commented along the very same lines as I did here, could it be because you couldn't use the same wording as you did to my comment? "ex pentax"?
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