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07-28-2010, 12:30 PM   #1
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Soft focus on SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR

Hi,

I have a SMC Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR kit lens that I bought with K7.
Almost all of my shots appear to have soft focus, I don't see the crispiness of the lines. Is that normal?

Thank you.
Alex

07-28-2010, 12:38 PM   #2
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It depends, we'll probably need some more info about the type of focusing youre using and maybe a few example shots.
07-28-2010, 01:11 PM   #3
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Shoot at f5.6 at 24mm, at f6.3 at 35mm, and f8 at 45mm; make sure you have enough shutter speed or using a tripod. Check the focus as well with a focusing chart. if these still results in unsharp images, then maybe you have a defective lens.

The limits of a lens is rarely its strong points (f3.5 at 18mm, f5.6 at 55mm), so you have to zoom in/out a bit and close the aperture to get best results. The kit lens is esp. weak at 55mm, and from my three copies I can attest that this is not just sample variation...

That said, a defective pentax kit lens is actually sort of rare... complaints about this lens' performance is not all that common, maybe because it's so easy to build?
07-28-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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take 2 shots of the same thing at same settings and at the same target.

One using autofocus and the other manual focus.

Are the results the same?

07-28-2010, 01:26 PM   #5
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You'll get more help if you provide a sample image with exif data included. Is this your first DSLR and did you upgrade from a P&S? The reason I ask is because DSLR images generally don't undergo the level of in-camera processing that p&s images do. You can tweak the in-camera settings, but most DSLR shooters, I think, prefer to do at least some degree of post-processing including sharpening on a computer. Also, what are you comparing the kit lens to? The kit lens is good, but you're certainly not going to get DA Limited performance from it.
07-28-2010, 03:29 PM   #6
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As others have said, definitely post samples. Could be just about anything, but 99% of them are technique-related, not lens related. Although if you got a piece of cheap junky glass screwed to the front of the lens (like if the salesman conned you into buying a UV "protection" filter), remove that.
07-28-2010, 04:09 PM   #7
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if you are shooting mostly at 55mm, then expect it to have that soft effect. you can adjust the sharpness under the custom image settings or do it during PP.
07-29-2010, 05:47 AM   #8
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Original Poster
Marc, you're right about the UV filter. And I'm still an armature to DSLR. I just bought K7 previously using P&S cameras exclusively.

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