Question about Pentax *ist DS Digital Camera

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DS Front Focus Problem

I was wondering if any one else was having front focusing issues with the DS. I noticed some of my pics did not autofocus where I intended and found that my DS front focuses about 8mm with my FA 50mm 1.7 at close focus (see test sheet). It also does this with the kit lens but is less noticable due the deeper dof. I repeated this test many times and found that the focus line is somewhat out of focus. Can this be adjusted in camera and do you think this is a problem I should try to have rectified?

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Try focusing on somebody's eyes at a wide open aperture and see where the focus is once you down load it to your computer. Also manual focus the same subject by using the focus screen and not the focus indicator and see if your MF attempts are correctly focused. If you do the focus on somebody's eyes do it at an angle to the face so you have the nose, eyes and ears in the pic, but at an anlge of say 45 degrees so the nose is foremost and the ears rear most, and you will then see where the focus actually is when you down load the pic. When doing the AF, just make sure that you focus on the eyes via the AF indicator and when focuing via MF use the focus screen to get clear focus. Then compare the two. Obviously your subject will need to keep still. This is more of a real world scenario so as you can see how it works with real objects.

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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Just be careful about how you do the test as it is very easy to get the incorrect result. The edge of the focus indicator for AF has to be in exactly the correct position or you will get incorrect focus. I would be very cautious about this test as you can very easily get the wrong result. Please try the test again and make absolute sure that everything is set correctly and the focus indication is in the correct spot. It only takes it to be a fraction out to give wildly inaccurate results. Is the camera set exactly to the required 45 degree angle? When I tested my lenses, I folded a piece of A4 paper from one corner over to get a 45 degree angle and used that as a guide for setting the lens angle. It is also an idea to make sure you have the camera close enough to the test paper. Also try setting the camera to MF and then focus the lens to infinity and then switch back to AF and let the camera focus on the test and see how it focuses. Then try the same thing but focus manually to minimum focus and then switch to AF and let the camera AF again and see whether the result is different. If there is a difference then you may have the AF indicator in the incorrect spot. There are so many variables in this test that it is of utmost importance to get the test right. Are you getting OOF shots in your general photography? If not then the test maybe irrelevent and you are possibly chasing demons that aren't there. Only if you are 100% sure you are doing the test correctly and you are positive that it is indeed front focusing that I would then send the camera for repair.

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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I had a similar challenge with my D, the difference being it back focussed, it only happened with one lens, my FA* 24/2.0. Strangely, after returning them both to Pentax, it turned out to be the body, not the lens, which was kind of bizarre! Eventually after 3 months of backwards and forwards with the body, Pentax replaced it with a new one. Everything is now fine (apart from 1 hot pixel, which I can cope with). I pursued the matter with politeness and accepted the delays, the staff at Pentax UK were MOST helpful, but tied by company rules that the repairs had to go back to Germany each time, which added probably 80% to the delays. I ran with film in my MZ-S and digital on my Fuji 602 (backup digicam) while it was being sorted. I must admit I'm considering adding another body, but will probably wait until the year Pentax decide to bring the out D replacement.

Posted on Sep 08, 2005

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