Focusing frustrations with the K5

Started Jun 15, 2011 | Discussions thread
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RicksAstro Veteran Member • Posts: 3,598
Focusing frustrations with the K5

I've always been interested in Pentax and their high image quality and smart modes...they make complete sense to me. I'm also interested in astrophotography, so when the new GPS module with astrotrack was announced, I decided to give the K5 a try.

I tried the cheap method buying on Amazon Marketplace a "like new" kit and it backfocused with even the kit so much outdoors that it was uncorrectable even with the AF adjust maxed out...returned that one.

Decided to fork over the bucks and get a retail version as well as a used Sigma 17-70 and DA 55-300. Well, I was impressed with the 17-70...focused well and pretty darned sharp. The 55-300 was also pretty good, although I had to put a +6 in for AF adjust. I also bought a 55 f1.4 and 77 f1.8. Both of those focused well in good light with a +9 AF adjustment. But indoors under poorer (but not poor) light, they would horribly frontfocus unless I turned off AF adjust.

Figuring it could be the camera, I returned that body and tried another. It was a little better, only needing +6 or 7 for the primes, but still had the AF shift with low lighting.

I've seen this behavior with a Nikon D7000 to a certain extent and on Canons to a lesser extent, but what I experienced with the K5 was way above my tolerance. While I loved the ergonomics of the K5, I'm not willing to switch on and off AF adjust depending on lighting conditions.

I absolutely love the 77 limited...I put it up against a 5DII with 85mm f1.8 and I actually liked the look of the 77 a little better. The 55 f1.4 was nice too, but it didn't hold up to the 77 IMO.

I'm sending my K5 back as well as the primes, and I guess I'll have to sell my 55-300 and sigma 17-70. I really enjoyed using the K5 in every way except the AF. And this wasn't shooting test charts, this was getting outside and shooting around, or wandering around the house for indoor shots. I've done it many times with every new camera I buy and I know what to expect. I'm not asking more of the camera than I would with any other camera.

I wish I would have read the superb Falk Lumo study which confirms this before I purchased. I only found this after I purchased the camera and found a problem with it.

I truly hope Pentax fixes this issue...maybe then I can consider getting back to the great user interface and performance.

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