K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

Started Dec 25, 2010 | Discussions
stern Senior Member • Posts: 1,735
K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

Hi!

I've just received my new K-r and am shocked at the miserable focus under any artificial light (at least with my unit). I tested the camera with the FA 50/1,4, the Sigma EX 24-60/2,8, the "kit lens" and the Sigma 17-70. Under artificial light as well as under "mixed" light front focus was terrible with all lenses mentioned. I dialed in -10 in the correction menu, FF was less but still there. So, my K-r will be sent to Hamburg (Pentax Germany) for re-adjustment.

I did some web-research and found that this flaw pertains to (too) many K-r units. I even found a poll on a German website addressing thius issue (unfortunately, they ask for users of both K-r and K5 to report faulty focussing, yet at the moment almost 30% of the users say that they have a K-r/K5 with severe front focussing; in the postings below the poll, most K5 users say that their units are o.k., which means that the failure rate ot the K-r must be well above 30%). Here is the link:
http://www.dslr-forum.de/showthread.php?t=798146

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Rinneh Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

it is hard to test is correctly, not every artificial light source is the same ofcourse, pentax is working on it to fix it trough a firmware update. some focus issues are also related to the sigma lenses itself though.

dqnielg Regular Member • Posts: 145
Re: K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

What's your source that Pentax is working on a firmware fix for the front focus? I'm not doubting you, I just haven't seen a press release or anything saying that they've acknowledged it's something that can be fixed through firmware.

Rinneh wrote:

it is hard to test is correctly, not every artificial light source is the same ofcourse, pentax is working on it to fix it trough a firmware update. some focus issues are also related to the sigma lenses itself though.

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dqniel

OP stern Senior Member • Posts: 1,735
Re: K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

I hope Pentax is working on a fix for this (do you have any hints in this direction; K-r users who had contact with Pentax reps, said that Pentax was NOT working on any firmware update), yet I couldn't find any indication. I have to admit though that things get slightly better when using the dedicated tungsten setting instead of auto-WB, but focus is still way off. Since I can live with my "travel camera" (Ricoh GX 200) for the time, I'll send my K-r to Pentax service next week, hoping they can adjust the body (there are some K-r users who aren't experiencing FF under tungsten - so hopefully there might "only" be some quality control issues with the K-r).

Anyway, it would be good if Pentax made some official statement (like "We are working on a firmware solution") because this FF issue is starting to haunt ALL Pentax forums I know (German and English language at least) and might start to harm Pentax' sales and reputation.

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locke_fc Senior Member • Posts: 1,246
Re: K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

I have this problem with K5, and got some sort of "official" confirmation that Pentax is working in a fix:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=37269372

Not the official announcement we would be entitled to expect from a company that respects its clients, but that's all we have I'm afraid

ChrisB50 New Member • Posts: 11
Re: K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

I bought the Kit from Amazon and had the same focus issues with my K-r. I tried the Tamron 18-250mm, Tamron 90mm macro, Fa 50, FA 35, and the kit lenses. The fine adjustment did not correct the problem either. My K20d and the K100d are dead on with the same lenses. Since there is no official announcement about a fix via a firmware update, my K-r is being returned. I am hoping to buy the K-r again at a later date when the issues are resolved.
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OP stern Senior Member • Posts: 1,735
First 100 users: 43% K-r/K5 faulty

In the aforementioned German forum currently 43 users report to have a faulty (FF) K-r or K5 (unfortunately, the poll doesn't discrimnate) whilst 57% say that everything is o.k., 10 users say they aren't sure yet. Thus 43 out of 100 new K-r/K5 don't focus correctly under "dim" or artificial light. This is a "Supergau"* for Pentax. Its high time a statement is issued or a recall campaign is launched.

"Supergau" = "the worst possible scenario" in the German language
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OP stern Senior Member • Posts: 1,735
Re: K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

ChrisB50 wrote:

I bought the Kit from Amazon and had the same focus issues with my K-r. ... Since there is no official announcement about a fix via a firmware update, my K-r is being returned. I am hoping to buy the K-r again at a later date when the issues are resolved.
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Chris B.

Might be a good idea to return the camera.

In the German forum (dslr-forum.de) a user who planned to move from his trusty K20 too the K5 (and already sold his K20 which he now bemoans) reports that while shopping around for the K5 dealers warned him of buying due to the high numbers of K-r and K5 returns due to the focus error (so, selling the K-r/K5 isn't fun for the dealers either). Currently, this guy is not buying and is waiting for Pentax to do something about the issue. Some dslr-forum.de users think its a quality control issue (roughly 50% of all K-r/K5 users at dslr-forum.de have the problem, 50% not - there is a poll up on the forum) that might be fixed by Pentax service (which is now outsourced in Germany - we'll see how well this will work). Anyway, I'm sending my K-r to the service center hoping for a fix instead of returning it.

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eric_k10d Regular Member • Posts: 285
Re: K-r front focus bug - poll on German DSLR website

I also have issues with front focus in tungsten light. Have tested with DA L 18-55mm, FA 50mm and DA* 16-50mm. All lenses have front focusing that cannot be corrected via MA. With live-view or in daylight, the focus is very fast and accurate.

Unless Pentax offers a solution real soon this camera is going back. It's a real pity that the excellent low-light performance is hampered by such a severe issue.

A very easy fix (although not completely satisfactory) would be to allow for more adjustment with MA. Maybe also link this to the tungsten white balance setting. Does anyone know if the debug mode works with the K-r? That's another alternative I guess.

OP stern Senior Member • Posts: 1,735
Maybe its really a OC issue? Update from the German forum:

User "Apollo13" from the German DSLR-Forum.de reports today that he - being aware of the FF reports with the K-r/K5 - went to his local camera shop in Hannover where he was allowed to try a K5 (he tried it at the local X-Mas market focussing on tungsten light and experienced FF). Back at the shop he was allowed to test a few K5s in a lab set-up under artificial light and the first 2 K5s showed severe FF (1 - 2 meters off). The third model was spot on. After testing he wasn't sure if he should take the plunge. But next day he bought the flawless model number 3. This sounds like a quality control issue. Lenses used: Sigma 50 1,4HSM, Sigma 30 1,4 screw-drive and a 50-135*. Here is a quote (in German) from the original post:

"Also ich zum Händler meines Vertrauens (Mitten in Hannover - so ne Dose - und man kennt mich dort gut) - und eine K5 zum rumspielen bekommen.

Normale Test, alles gut, Weihnachtsmarkt Hannover (ja ich darf damit raus) und Glühlampen gesucht - Bingo. Ich zurück Torsten das Prob erklärt und im Hinterzimmer einen mini Versuchsaufbau gemacht.
Cam Nr.1 hatte massiven FF bei 4m Abstand gut 1,5-2m
Cam Nr.2 ca. 1m

Cam Nr.3 ist scheinbar vollkommen IO - kein FF und keine Perlenkette - ich habe sie dennoch verunsichert nicht gleich mitgenommen, jedoch einen Tag später abgeholt .
Bei den ersten beiden war der FF recht genau Reproduzierbar.

Testobjektive waren: Sigma 50 1,4HSM / Sigma 30 1,4 Stange und ein 50-135* Letzteres vom Händler - die Sigmas meine und Tadellos."

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