Pentax The Pentax K10D experience (so far).

JensM

All-Pro
Having horsed around with the K10D for a few days with the kit zoom 18-55 mkI. These are as far as I know, not regarded as the sharpest tools in the drawers so I have just been mucking about with it.

I took delivery of a second hand 50mm FA f:1,4 today. As one do on new lens day, I fired up the K10D and shot some stuff indoors, and lo and behold, softness galore. The camera seems to be back focusing quite a bit.

head.jpg

The head picture had a solid AF lock on the left eye, but what is actual sharp is the hairline. I will try it out in a more controlled environment with tripod and such, but it was an interesting find.

I had put the perceived softness of the earlier days onto the zoom, it being known to "soft" being a factor in my assessment, but the 50 should fare better, even fully open, or perhaps especially fully open. I think it wouldn't necessarily be so out in the open, so to speak with a deeper field of view or with a less close-up/detailed shot. Taking it out for some General Purpose photography later and will see what I find, then.

Having had a browse on the Pentax forums, I found this gem of an article in regards to doing the necessary correction, so will try my hand at the fix somewhere down the road.

In other ponderings, I have the 21/f:3.2 inbound second hand and have musings about the AF35/f:2.0 for the classic trio of primes with an outlier in the Lim 70/f2:4.

This should give me 31.5/52.5/75 mm or 35/50/75 equivalent set up and should be more than enough for a "second" tier sensor trial (and error) system and somewhere beyond the horizon, a 105mm. A bit to late, I finally grasped onto the idea that if I had built it around M42 Takumars, I would have been left with a lens system that would have been adaptable to every vintage Dslr I would ever fancy, but hey-ho, that is a plan that will hold for the forseeable future. The K10d is anyhow rumored to be somewhat iffy to manual focusing anyway, which is what tilted me towards the AFs in the first place.

It does make me wonder if the same problem was present in the K7 as well? I came back into hobby level photography with that and the AW kit zooms, but I never really bonded with it as such.
 
Last edited:
Location
London
Having horsed around with the K10D for a few days with the kit zoom 18-55 mkI. These are as far as I know, not regarded as the sharpest tools in the drawers so I have just been mucking about with it.

I took delivery of a second hand 50mm f:1,4 today. As one do on new lens day, I fired up the K10D and shot some stuff indoors, and lo and behold, softness galore. The camera seems to be back focusing quite a bit.

View attachment 328272

The head picture had a solid AF lock on the left eye, but what is actual sharp is the hairline. I will try it out in a more controlled environment with tripod and such, but it was an interesting find.

I had put the perceived softness of the earlier days onto the zoom, it being known to "soft" being a factor in my assessment, but the 50 should fare better, even fully open, or perhaps especially fully open. I think it wouldn't necessarily be so out in the open, so to speak with a deeper field of view or with a less close-up/detailed shot. Taking it out for some General Purpose photography later and will see what I find, then.

Having had a browse on the Pentax forums, I found this gem of an article in regards to doing the necessary correction, so will try my hand at the fix somewhere down the road.

In other ponderings, I have the 21/f:3.2 inbound second hand and have musings about the AF35/f:2.0 for the classic trio of primes with an outlier in the Lim 70/f2:4.

This should give me 31.5/52.5/75 mm or 35/50/75 equivalent set up and should be more than enough for a "second" tier sensor trial (and error) system and somewhere beyond the horizon, a 105mm. A bit to late, I finally grasped onto the idea that if I had built it around M42 Takumars, I would have been left with a lens system that would have been adaptable to every vintage Dslr I would ever fancy, but hey-ho, that is a plan that will hold for the forseeable future. The K10d is anyhow rumored to be somewhat iffy to manual focusing anyway, which is what tilted me towards the AFs in the first place.

It does make me wonder if the same problem was present in the K7 as well? I came back into hobby level photography with that and the AW kit zooms, but I never really bonded with it as such.
I’d wait till you’ve fully used it manually focusing before passing judgement. Hopefully this may turn into a camera where you’ll be manually focusing those primes most of the time. As this forces one to see differently it makes a hell of a difference in my experience.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
I'm puzzled by your focusing problems, Jens, and also by the 'softness'. I shot for some time, years ago, with the 18-55 kit lens, on the K10d's sibling, the K200d, and in general the pictures I got with it tended to be much more than acceptably sharp. My biggest gripe with the lens was the aperture - it wasn't truly 'fast' enough for some things I wanted to do with it - so I eventually replaced it with a slightly faster all-purpose zoom (the Tamron f/2.8 17-50mm), which I highly recommend by the way. But the focus issues mystify me. My suggestion would be to ask Gerry (@Gerry M ) for his opinion - as he's not only a relatively experienced and long-term Pentaxian himself, but also shoots frequently with his own K10d.

Also, congrats on the 21mm Ltd lens. I think it may be, hands-down, my favorite Pentax lens ever. With its rather classic 35mm Field-of-View, it tended to stay semi-permanently attached to whatever was my favorite Pentax DSLR of the time - and it continually surprised me with its quality. In fact, the DA21 Ltd is a good reason to use Pentax cameras - simply to have a good camera body on which to deploy that rather remarkable lens. I hope you enjoy yours!...and am looking forwards to seeing what you do with it.

Good luck with the pesky focus issues - and I'm curious what more you may discover about them.
 

theoldsmithy

Hall of Famer
Location
Cheshire, England
Name
Martin Connolly
Having horsed around with the K10D for a few days with the kit zoom 18-55 mkI. These are as far as I know, not regarded as the sharpest tools in the drawers so I have just been mucking about with it.

I took delivery of a second hand 50mm FA f:1,4 today. As one do on new lens day, I fired up the K10D and shot some stuff indoors, and lo and behold, softness galore. The camera seems to be back focusing quite a bit.

View attachment 328272

The head picture had a solid AF lock on the left eye, but what is actual sharp is the hairline. I will try it out in a more controlled environment with tripod and such, but it was an interesting find.

I had put the perceived softness of the earlier days onto the zoom, it being known to "soft" being a factor in my assessment, but the 50 should fare better, even fully open, or perhaps especially fully open. I think it wouldn't necessarily be so out in the open, so to speak with a deeper field of view or with a less close-up/detailed shot. Taking it out for some General Purpose photography later and will see what I find, then.

Having had a browse on the Pentax forums, I found this gem of an article in regards to doing the necessary correction, so will try my hand at the fix somewhere down the road.

In other ponderings, I have the 21/f:3.2 inbound second hand and have musings about the AF35/f:2.0 for the classic trio of primes with an outlier in the Lim 70/f2:4.

This should give me 31.5/52.5/75 mm or 35/50/75 equivalent set up and should be more than enough for a "second" tier sensor trial (and error) system and somewhere beyond the horizon, a 105mm. A bit to late, I finally grasped onto the idea that if I had built it around M42 Takumars, I would have been left with a lens system that would have been adaptable to every vintage Dslr I would ever fancy, but hey-ho, that is a plan that will hold for the forseeable future. The K10d is anyhow rumored to be somewhat iffy to manual focusing anyway, which is what tilted me towards the AFs in the first place.

It does make me wonder if the same problem was present in the K7 as well? I came back into hobby level photography with that and the AW kit zooms, but I never really bonded with it as such.
Don't discount the 35mm/f2.4AL lens. It may seem really cheap in the hand but it is lovely and sharp, and, oh yes, it is very cheap to buy!
 

JensM

All-Pro
Really? I can't see one for less than £250 used on eBay.
Strange, there were a string of them yesterday between £115 and £150ish. The UK ones were quite a bit higher, though, so if you filter on UK, that may be the explanation. If I am not finding it in the local classifieds, I am not shy for getting it from abroad. Quite a lot more to choose from than the local market.
 

Iron

Hall of Famer
Location
New Zealand
Name
Tímo
Having had a browse on the Pentax forums, I found this gem of an article in regards to doing the necessary correction, so will try my hand at the fix somewhere down the road.
^That's very similar to the Autofocus Fine Adjustment hidden in the K200D's debug mode. I also use two SD cards for that, as well. Whenever there's a new lens, I just make the AFFA once - Just dSLR things with the two sensors. It's much easier to do on AF primes because zooms can be very tricky, either the setting is done in the midpoint of the zoom or your most used FL. AFFA is higly recommended to maximise the true performance of the lens. My -DA 50-200mm's AF became and sounded like R2D2 on steroids after that. The AF if now much faster that that of the -DA 18-135mm.
It does make me wonder if the same problem was present in the K7 as well? I came back into hobby level photography with that and the AW kit zooms, but I never really bonded with it as such.
The issue occurs on all dSLRs because of the two sensors and sample variation. Many times the issue is not noticeable because either the front- or back-focusing is very subtle or the user uses the kit lens only with a relatively larger DoF . The difference is that the newer bodies have their AFFA built-in now and the lens values of up to 20 lenses stored in-camera. From the K20D, the menu is active, except for the K200D which is derived from the K10D. The Nikon D500 has an automated AFFA and it looks like newer versions of Pentax will have the same.
Not discarded per se, but I like the looks of the FAs, they are fascinatingly odd, so to speak.
I like FAs, too. The -Fs are also interesting. They very much represent the 80s and early 90s with their looks. They have excellent glass, as usual, but they have gone way up in price nowadays.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Having horsed around with the K10D for a few days with the kit zoom 18-55 mkI. These are as far as I know, not regarded as the sharpest tools in the drawers so I have just been mucking about with it.

I took delivery of a second hand 50mm FA f:1,4 today. As one do on new lens day, I fired up the K10D and shot some stuff indoors, and lo and behold, softness galore. The camera seems to be back focusing quite a bit.

View attachment 328272

The head picture had a solid AF lock on the left eye, but what is actual sharp is the hairline. I will try it out in a more controlled environment with tripod and such, but it was an interesting find.

I had put the perceived softness of the earlier days onto the zoom, it being known to "soft" being a factor in my assessment, but the 50 should fare better, even fully open, or perhaps especially fully open. I think it wouldn't necessarily be so out in the open, so to speak with a deeper field of view or with a less close-up/detailed shot. Taking it out for some General Purpose photography later and will see what I find, then.

Having had a browse on the Pentax forums, I found this gem of an article in regards to doing the necessary correction, so will try my hand at the fix somewhere down the road.

In other ponderings, I have the 21/f:3.2 inbound second hand and have musings about the AF35/f:2.0 for the classic trio of primes with an outlier in the Lim 70/f2:4.

This should give me 31.5/52.5/75 mm or 35/50/75 equivalent set up and should be more than enough for a "second" tier sensor trial (and error) system and somewhere beyond the horizon, a 105mm. A bit to late, I finally grasped onto the idea that if I had built it around M42 Takumars, I would have been left with a lens system that would have been adaptable to every vintage Dslr I would ever fancy, but hey-ho, that is a plan that will hold for the forseeable future. The K10d is anyhow rumored to be somewhat iffy to manual focusing anyway, which is what tilted me towards the AFs in the first place.

It does make me wonder if the same problem was present in the K7 as well? I came back into hobby level photography with that and the AW kit zooms, but I never really bonded with it as such.

Do you have a follow-up report on the focus problems that you experienced earlier with your K10d, Jens? I'm simply curious...
And - a related question - did your "inbound" DA 21mm lens arrive? And if so, have you tried it out with the K10d - and what are your impressions?
 

JensM

All-Pro
Do you have a follow-up report on the focus problems that you experienced earlier with your K10d, Jens? I'm simply curious...
And - a related question - did your "inbound" DA 21mm lens arrive? And if so, have you tried it out with the K10d - and what are your impressionsI
I am sorry for the late reply, but this one flew under my radar, when current.

As I am in the "Hurry up and wait" business, I went into a cycle of "hurry" from mid-September to medio December so I haven't actually done much with the Pentax problem yet, but have just grabbed gear that works when I have had the opportunity and/or possibility to squeeze in some shutter therapy.

The 21mm arrived in good order and is mounted on the K10. The combo has been horsed around with indoors, but that is about as far as I have come. I like the heft and build quality of the lens, it instills confidence. The total bulk of the system is a valid reminder for why I went with M43 as my primary system, though.

I havent gotten around to pick up a 35mm, but have on a couple of occasions oogled the Pentax 18-135 second hand. That one and the classical prime trio would be all I ever needed to get what I want from the system. Somewhere back in time, I got the idea that the classic prime trio would be the bees-knees for an ecconomical trial package for almost any system I would like to try.

Pushing that thought a bit further, I rummage with the idea of getting "the trio" in M42 Super Takumars, with whatever adapters needed. Such a set-up would be cheap, cheerful and probably more than enough to horse around with whatever body from whatever maker with any sensor size, that I take a fancy for getting my hands dirty with. :)
 

JensM

All-Pro
Haven't heard of that before, which ones are they?
Nothing much really, its just a variable of the old 35/50/85 or 90 to 135 short tele primes set.

Having mulled over it earlier, that set in Takumars or Super Takumars with a M42 screw mount would be adaptable to most systems and running the same set of lenses across brands could be an interesting and cheapish option to have some fun, just splashing out on the body and simple, no-nonsense adapters, when dipping into a new brand. The idea hit me after looking on Spotmatics in the classifieds, and reading up on the lenses.
 
Location
Seattle
Name
Andrew
In other ponderings, I have the 21/f:3.2 inbound second hand and have musings about the AF35/f:2.0 for the classic trio of primes with an outlier in the Lim 70/f2:4.
I have the HD FA 35mm f2 and it is a really great lens for the price you can find them at, lightly used. Even the new price is quite good. Wide open it is a little glowy and shows CA a little ways into the aperture range (I'm finding that green and purple fringing is kind of a fact of life with Pentax lenses, I suspect it's part of their film heritage, many of these lenses were built with expertise from the film era where this wasn't much of a problem), but the wide open effect is nice sometimes, and the sharpness stopped down is more than good. It's not an aesthetically pleasing lens but it's a decent size and weight.
 
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