Monday, 1 October 2012

K10 again

I’ve not used my K10D in quite a long time, as I couldn’t trust it to focus accurately. I’d tried adjusting it using the debug menu tricks, but couldn’t ever get it to work satisfactorily, and to even adjust it meant faffing around with downgrading firmware temporarily.

K10D with F 50mm f/1.4

Recently though, for reasons I can’t recall, I decided to see if I could improve it, and found some useful information about how to enable the debug menu (to adjust AF) even with firmware 1.3 on the camera. After much faffing, and the eventual discovery that the magic text file you put on the memory card needs to have CR + LF line endings (i.e. need to be in Windows format, not Unix or Mac), I got it working, and now my camera focuses properly most of the time with the F 50mm f/1.4 lens shown in the picture. It still struggles with backlit things, but I think that’s more an issue with the lens – it flares pretty badly when there’s light shining into it, so the AF sensors probably have a hard time seeing what to focus on.

So anyway, turns out, the K10D can still produce some nice images! In good light it’s quick to focus and with the 50 the pictures are plenty sharp (I’ve yet to try it again with my 35 and 50–135). In low light it’s not so good – noise at ISO 1000 is about the level of my X100 at 3200, and there’s a noticeably weaker response in the blue channel compared to the X100. Still, if I stick with good light, the camera can produce some very nice images, especially with the 50–135 lens.

garden gloves

All of this means I now feel like I have more options, photographically: although the X100 will remain my primary camera, I can now also trust the K10D when I want to use a longer lens. I don’t anticipate needing to do this a lot, at least not in the near future, but perhaps something will come up. Either way, it feels good to shoot again with a camera I’ve grown so familiar with over the years.

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