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Thread: 77 FA limited back focusing question

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    77 FA limited back focusing question

    Pentax tells me it will take something like 15-20 business days to adjust the back focusing error. Which means I have send in both the K5 and the 77 (not really appealing)

    My dilemma is, with the K5 fine focus adjustment set to +10, the focusing is not bad. It's accurate enough. I'm just wondering whether this 77 will backfocus on all Pentax digital bodies or whether this is a variation from body to body. Since, resale value will be affected by it.

    I just got the lens so I can return for another. I'm just wondering if the hassle is worth it or not. Would appreciate your comments!

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    I would say to exchange if you can. The lens is still new so why not? Maybe they can check your body too though.
    Sony Visible Light & IR Photographer
    http://www.iiinelsonimages.com

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    Senior Member ecsh's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    I would exchange it as well. If they make the lens focus with your body, if you want to sell the lens, its possible the next person will have an issue.
    Joe

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Exchange. The FA77 should not have a problem with focus accuracy, and it should NOT require changes to the body's calibration to achieve good focusing with it.

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Thank you all for your replies! Glad to have so many veterans of the system to offer sound advice.

    After further testing with the 15, 31, and 200 da*, I've concluded that the K5 does not have any focusing problems with firmware 1.03. It must be the copy of the 77 I have. It will be going back tomorrow to be exchanged for a new one.

    I must say, when the focus was accurate, the 77 produces some of the smoothest and pleasing shots. Reminds me a lot of the Walter Mandler lens, especially the 50 summilux pre-asph (e46). Can't wait to get a copy that works as it's supposed to.

    Thanks again!

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Exchange. The FA77 should not have a problem with focus accuracy, and it should NOT require changes to the body's calibration to achieve good focusing with it.
    Godfrey, you know what you are talking about. When I talked to the guy at Pentax, he seemed surprised that I was having focus issues with a FA 77. I guess it's a rare occurrence.

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    Member shadzee's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Yes, exchange it.

    IMO, it is a MUCH better lens than the DA70 ;-) The 77 should focus fine (but slow), and it does not have the manual focus over-ride.

    All the so called three amigos (31,43,77) have their own unique rendering characteristics.
    .Sam.
    Panasonic GF1 & Olympus E-P5
    Photos: http://www.flickr.com/shadzee/

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    I've been looking through the photos from this lens and some have been spot-on. So before I send it out, I did some testing with some type of chart I found online. Here is the result. btw--I find that focus was more consistent with spot focus.

    Based on the result, I am thinking about shooting with it a little more. Any suggestions on testing methods? I don't think the test was executed too well. But I did follow the instructions and shot the chart from a 45 degree angle using a tripod at f1.8. Focus was set to the lower portion of the line.

    I'm going to try and use the lens as much as I can in the next few days in real world settings. Unless something strange happens, I'm thinking about just keeping it. Much of the problems I noticed seems to be from user error (getting used to the handling), heavy CA softening the focal point, and occasional AF misses.

    I'll update with any news if something changes. Thanks everyone!
    Last edited by markwon; 10th December 2011 at 09:45.

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Hi Mark, I have the 31ltd and have the same issue. It seems mine needs +3 correction but then again before correction, I had quite a lot of photos with spot on focus.

    I'm thinking in my case that its user error and misfocus due to my hand moving whilst focusing and taking a photo, @1.8 the area in focus is pretty small i guess. Another thing to consider is (from what I've heard) is that the k5's focus points are bigger than shown in the viewfinder, which could play its part.

    However if the 77LTD is new, I think you should return it for another. It would seem to be the easiest thing to do that worry about user error and playing with AF calibration. If I noticed my 31LTD's slight front focus earlier I would have returned it - especially for the price of the FA limiteds!
    Vince

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Quote Originally Posted by vincechu View Post
    Hi Mark, I have the 31ltd and have the same issue. It seems mine needs +3 correction but then again before correction, I had quite a lot of photos with spot on focus.

    I'm thinking in my case that its user error and misfocus due to my hand moving whilst focusing and taking a photo, @1.8 the area in focus is pretty small i guess. Another thing to consider is (from what I've heard) is that the k5's focus points are bigger than shown in the viewfinder, which could play its part.

    However if the 77LTD is new, I think you should return it for another. It would seem to be the easiest thing to do that worry about user error and playing with AF calibration. If I noticed my 31LTD's slight front focus earlier I would have returned it - especially for the price of the FA limiteds!
    Hi Vince
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but a +3 correction means that the lens was previously back focusing? (i.e. +corrections bring the point of focus nearer to the camera as I understand it)

    I spent hours fiddling with this with various lenses, and then just reset it all and focused more carefully!

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Hi all

    I have a vintage 43mm Ltd and discovered that it was backfocusing on my K5. I tried it on my K20 and it seemed to be the same. I now have +10 adjustment set for it on my K5. That seems OK but I am a little concerned it is right at the adjustment limit.

    As for focusing with the K5 generally, well, like some others on this forum I seem to sometimes think some shots are not as sharp as they should be. I am not sure why but even wonder if the SR is working against me, especially if the shutter speed is fast enough not to need SR. I am coming to the conclusion that some of this could be user error, especially as it is easy to expect too much from a new 'wonder camera' and our lighting conditions haven't been that great, until recently. I am going to try TAV mode and just keep the shutter high enough and maybe only switch SR on when I need to.

    BTW, now that I have adjusted my 43mm, I think it's great and am using it more than I ever did before.

    Lee

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    It has also occurred to me that more megapixels exaggerates the effect of camera shake.

    Lee

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphie View Post
    It has also occurred to me that more megapixels exaggerates the effect of camera shake.

    Lee
    HI Lee
    Well, at the very least, if you are looking at 100%, then you are looking at a smaller portion of the image on a higher megapixel camera.
    So, it will certainly exaggerate any camera shake - but of course, the full size image will be no worse than the smaller megapixel camera.

    I think higher MP cameras (like the Sony A900 at 24mp) often get accused of being bad at high ISO noise for the same reason - i.e. comparing images at 100%

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Update-sent my lens back for exchange. Don't wantthis hanging over me in the future. Just hoping to get a problem-free copy this time. Will updatethe post when it arrives sometime next week.

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Quote Originally Posted by markwon View Post
    Update-sent my lens back for exchange. Don't wantthis hanging over me in the future. Just hoping to get a problem-free copy this time. Will updatethe post when it arrives sometime next week.
    Mark....glad you took this route. It just eliminates any lingering doubt.

    R

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Quote Originally Posted by markwon View Post
    Update-sent my lens back for exchange. Don't wantthis hanging over me in the future. Just hoping to get a problem-free copy this time. Will updatethe post when it arrives sometime next week.
    Mark -

    I'd like to thank you for starting this thread......I got my FA77 today and because of your scrutiny, I realized that my copy was back focusing also.

    Nice work on keying into this. FWIW, my copy is ~+5. That seems the sweet spot. I'll verify tomorrow. I have a LensAlign tool in my office.

    I'll tell you though......that +5 made a heck of a difference.

    (and no issues with my FA43)

    R

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Rich, 5 doesn't sound too bAd. I had mine set to plus 10 and it was still not perfect. How do you like your 43? I hear so much about that lens so my interest is piqued. But I don't think i'll use the it enough to purchase. Seems to be great lens nonetheless.

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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Quote Originally Posted by markwon View Post
    Rich, 5 doesn't sound too bAd. I had mine set to plus 10 and it was still not perfect. How do you like your 43? I hear so much about that lens so my interest is piqued. But I don't think i'll use the it enough to purchase. Seems to be great lens nonetheless.
    Mark.....I like the 43. When I shoot FF, 50mm is my least (like never) used focal length. I just have a hard time with "normal".....I think that's call ab-normal

    Anyways......the 43 translates to 64......I'm OK wid' dat.

    What I am finding is these Pentax primes are like little jewels. They remind me a lot of the Contax G's. I've picked up a few more.....lucky for me there is a big demand for Canon here

    R

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    Senior Member markwon's Avatar
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    Re: 77 FA limited back focusing question

    Yes. They really are jewels for the price and quality you get. I got the 15 last week and I think it's a keeper. Haven't shot a whole lot with it but I like what I see so far. Great size and build too.

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