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12-23-2006, 09:23 PM   #1
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Pentax FA 50mm question

Not sure if this belongs in the Help forum or here. So forgive me if I posted in the wrong area.
I need help with my 50mm lens. I am new to this whole DSLR thing. I just got the 50mm and have taken many photos with it. I really like the lens, however, my wife has been compaining that the photos seem fuzzy or out of focus. Now after I look at them they do seem a little soft, or as she says fuzzy. They just don't seem sharp. Would it help if I shot them in RAW?
Could this be a lens problems or operator error.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v227/SPCnut/annaandcrayons.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v227/SPCnut/annaandtree-1.jpg

12-23-2006, 09:30 PM   #2
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The help forum is only for issues with the site itself, so you're good

Shooting in RAW won't fix focus problems- it only helps with overall post-processing since you can edit settings such as brightness and contrast on an uncompressed image.

I'm willing to be that your camera didn't focus on the right spot in those pics- chances of the lens being defective are slim. Set your camera to spot focus and AF-S, then shoot some pics and post your findings Also, make sure you're not shooting in MF...

Hope this helps

Adam
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12-23-2006, 09:44 PM   #3
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Large aperture, slow shutter speed; one at macro distance, one near, at or beyond far focus point. All from EXIF. Auto focus?

You're working in natural or existing light, with a very shallow DoF in the crayon shot and shutter speeds below handheld in both photos. Then resizing, large and sparce for Web display. Very adverse conditions all the way around!

Simply not enough usable information to say this is anything more than normal results. Got any more? Might also list editing program and some notion of your workflow.
12-24-2006, 10:03 AM   #4
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Try manual focus

The pic with the crayons looks out of focus; notice the closest finger looks sharper than the rest of the picture. You have to get used to the very shallow depth of field from using wide apertures. Here's an example showing how shallow the DOF can get:
http://www.pbase.com/junpark/image/62597491/original.jpg

Notice that the center of Emma's eye is in focus but the far side of her eye is out of focus. In situations like this, I will use manual focus and focus bracket the shot. That is, I'll intentionally focus on a spot close than I want and I'll hold down the shutter while I slow focus out. That way, I will get the shot I want. The plus side is that I sometimes get a bracket shot that's better than the original. The downside, of course, is that you'll have to sort through more shots.

My other suggestion is to use a higher ISO setting so you can use a faster shutter speed. I know the shake reduction is effective but it can't handle motion blur. For portraits, I wouldn't worry about noise from the high ISOs because if you zoom in enough to see the noise, you're also close enough to see the pores and imperfections in the person's skin.

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