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02-13-2014, 09:26 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote

The funny thing is that it seems like there's snow flakes that are in focus both in front and behind the bird (the ones on the left are in front). So that makes me think that the bird is in fact in focus, and the lens just couldn't resolve the image. Plus f/5.6 at that distance should have given me enough DOF, I was like 2 feet from it. Minimum focus is about half that, I think.
If you have in focus detail in front and behind a living subject, then im guessing the bird moved. What was your shutter speed?

02-13-2014, 09:32 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
It's been so long since I used the K10 I really can't think that way anymore. I know the K5 would have yielded a usable image, so you're likely correct blaming the dynamic range. There are other zoom options, if you're looking for that.

Overcast and snowy are among the worst conditions, though. The contrast is so low the camera has trouble. I have some experience in those conditions! Many days I'll just not bother taking the camera because it's just yucky out.
Well I did take a couple keepers. And once I got the DA 35 2.4 out, they were all keepers.

But yeah I have other options - I mostly use primes anyway, but I'm getting a couple AF zooms. I have a Tokina 19-35 on the way (it would be here if it wasn't for the winter storm), and also coming is a Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 LD DI. Not super pro stuff, but they should give me useful images. If I have time to stop and compose my shot, my 28, 35, 50 and 135 primes are all I need. For my walk-around needs, the 19-35 (outside, good light) and the DA 35 2.4 (lower light and indoors) will be good options for me, I think.

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
If you have in focus detail in front and behind a living subject, then im guessing the bird moved. What was your shutter speed?
Shutter speed was 1/60, so yeah that's the reason the lens had to be wide open... but the bird wasn't really moving at all.

---------- Post added 02-13-14 at 11:44 AM ----------

Ok this was probably just a lot of underexposure and lack of dynamic range.

Here's the center crop. I took away all the sharpening and adjustment levels except for a bit of contrast, and adjusted the exposure at +2 stops.



So, if anyone is using a kit lens at 55mm on a K20D, the exposure has to be spot on, or there will be nothing to recover...
02-13-2014, 09:51 AM   #18
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There's a whole thread of images taken with the kit lens... here's a kit and k20D combo lens with some rescued shadow detail, it's not a k-5 granted, but let's not say you can't get any detail out of the shadows with a k20D.



This is all about technique... your image is soft, but it's not a problem that could have been caused by the lens. The 18-55 is capable of much better.

Shutter speed too slow, not enough exposure (over expose a stop or two when you're background is snow and occupies a large part of the frame.)
02-13-2014, 09:59 AM   #19
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Oh I know the lens is capable of more than that picture... my point was that as a walk around lens, sometimes you don't have time to get your exposure perfectly done before taking that final shot. Sometimes the bird is gone or the kids have moved on to other things.
The point is not that it's a terrible lens, but it's just not a good walk around lens - at least not to my needs.

Here's a shot where I took a bit more time and composed the shot. This was also at 55mm but I'm using the Sigma Achromatic lens on top of the 18-55. Quite a bit of PP was done in Corel Aftershot Pro and its plugins. You can see some snowflake details at the edges - this is snow on top of a rose leaf stem.



So, like I said, not all the shots were lost, it's not like the lens is useless.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Shutter speed too slow, not enough exposure (over expose a stop or two when you're background is snow and occupies a large part of the frame.)
See, another reason why the kit lens at minimum aperture of 5.6 is not a good walkaround option... a couple stops compensation means the shot would have been taken at 1/15 - which would be unacceptable! The fact is that the camera chose the "best" option for the bird shot considering what the lens was capable of - anything under 1/60 would have been considerably worse.

02-13-2014, 10:02 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
This morning I walked out in the Atlanta snow - a rare beautiful scenery, and it was still snowing, so I didn't want to put on any of my better lenses.
QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
So the kit lens made me waste a photo opportunity and all I got was a soft, bad picture.
This is a bit of a head scratcher. You apparently know the kit lens has it's limitations, evidenced by the fact that you've invested in better lenses. You say it is "reasonably sharp between 20-30" suggesting that you know it's not reasonably sharp at other focal lengths. You chose to use it instead of the lenses that you know to be better, so how did the lens make waste an opportunity?
02-13-2014, 10:08 AM   #21
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I had, at one time, an AL II, WR and DAL. The AL II developed fogging of the glass elements so I had it replaced with the WR. The WR is really soft at 55mm f5.6 and only sharpens up at f11. So I replaced that with another WR. No help at all. Finally I replaced them with a cheap DAL. The DAL is so much better, as good as the AL II. So now I can happily shoot at 55mm f5.6 with confidence.
02-13-2014, 10:08 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Parallax Quote
This is a bit of a head scratcher. You apparently know the kit lens has it's limitations, evidenced by the fact that you've invested in better lenses. You say it is "reasonably sharp between 20-30" suggesting that you know it's not reasonably sharp at other focal lengths. You chose to use it instead of the lenses that you know to be better, so how did the lens make waste an opportunity?
Like I said, it was snowing still, and I didn't want water in my other lenses, so I thought I'd give the ol'kit lens another chance... what's head scratching about that.
By the time I got the DA 35 2.4 out it had stopped snowing so I wasn't concerned about the weather anymore.

QuoteOriginally posted by sbc Quote
I had, at one time, an AL II, WR and DAL. The AL II developed fogging of the glass elements so I had it replaced with the WR. The WR is really soft at 55mm f5.6 and only sharpens up at f11. So I replaced that with another WR. No help at all. Finally I replaced them with a cheap DAL. The DAL is so much better, as good as the AL II. So now I can happily shoot at 55mm f5.6 with confidence.
I wish there wasn't such thing as sample variation. My AL II is obviously not good at 55mm, but stopped down at 45mm I've gotten some good results from it at times... I guess other people's AL IIs might be better in that regard...
02-13-2014, 10:28 AM   #23
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I used the Tammy 70-300 to good effect on my K10. On the K5 the prevalence of purple fringing was totally unacceptable. It was present on the K10, but not too bad. That zoom was always reliable and accurate, and a pretty quick focuser. I think you'll like it on the K20, bearing in mind its tendency to fringe in very high contrast situations. I know there are software solutions for this, but at the time I wasn't as sophisticated with software.

02-13-2014, 10:37 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
I used the Tammy 70-300 to good effect on my K10. On the K5 the prevalence of purple fringing was totally unacceptable. It was present on the K10, but not too bad. That zoom was always reliable and accurate, and a pretty quick focuser. I think you'll like it on the K20, bearing in mind its tendency to fringe in very high contrast situations. I know there are software solutions for this, but at the time I wasn't as sophisticated with software.
That's interesting. I'm planning to upgrade to the K-5 (or K-5 IIs) sometime this year. Maybe next year. I didn't know the sensor made that much difference regarding fringing.
I hope my Tammy will still be OK after I upgrade... at least for the kid's sports activities, which is what I got it for.

Do any lenses get better regarding the PF on the K-5? My A 70-210mm f/4 is also unacceptable in OOF areas - but I still use it when I know it's not going to be a problem.
02-13-2014, 10:39 AM - 1 Like   #25
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With the bird, the tail is in focus as is the snow to the side. I still think that condensation is the culprit here. It typically clears from edge to center.

Before you soundly condemn your lens, I would suggest you repeat with stationary subject and even lighting.

As for use as a walk-around...the FA 35/2 is generally paired with my K10D, but I use the 18-55 kit as an alternative. I have the first version and have been generally pleased with its performance for general use. I will qualify that assertion with the statement that I don't expect it to be particularly sharp at 55mm.

Here are multiple examples, some at 55mm from my Flickr stream: Fotostevia on Flickr: DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AF


Steve
02-13-2014, 10:42 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote

Do any lenses get better regarding the PF on the K-5? My A 70-210mm f/4 is also unacceptable in OOF areas - but I still use it when I know it's not going to be a problem.
For the money the DA55-300 can't be beaten. It performs well on my K5. To get better you need to spend a fair amount of money, and even then there are trade-offs. Look at the article comparing the 60-250 with the 55-300WR to see that comparison.

I was quite dismayed when switching to the K5 and finding just how brutal the PF was on the new camera with the Tammy. Otherwise, it's a nice inexpensive long zoom.
02-13-2014, 10:43 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
With the bird, the tail is in focus as is the snow to the side. I still think that condensation is the culprit here. It typically clears from edge to center.

Before you soundly condemn your lens, I would suggest you repeat with stationary subject and even lighting.

As for use as a walk-around...the FA 35/2 is generally paired with my K10D, but I use the 18-55 kit as an alternative. I have the first version and have been generally pleased with its performance for general use. I will qualify that assertion with the statement that I don't expect it to be particularly sharp at 55mm.

Here are multiple examples, some at 55mm from my Flickr stream: Fotostevia on Flickr: DA 18-55/3.5-5.6 AF


Steve
Fantastic examples, Steve! Either you are extremely good at PP, or your 18-55 is much better than mine. I don't think mine would take pictures quite as good as yours! But the weak link might be behind the camera, in my case...

You could be right about the condensation. I wonder if it would have cleared that quickly for that shot of my house though... but yeah it might have contributed. I think it was just one of those "worst case scenario" situations for the lens.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 02-13-2014 at 11:11 AM.
02-13-2014, 10:54 AM   #28
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Looks like dynamic range issues. The snow seems in focus and fine. I would try bumping the clarity, contrast, then fill light. See what happens.
02-13-2014, 11:12 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
Fantastic examples, Steve! Either you are extremely good at PP, or your 18-55 is much better than mine.
Thanks for the props. I have a fairly simple approach to PP with most of the effort being devoted to curve and saturation manipulation. I seldom apply much sharpening since the risk of artifact is quite high. There is only so much you can do in PP. As the saying goes, "Garbage in, garbage out" and photography is no exception. With the camera we capture data and the lack of expected or acceptable data is* hard to overcome.


Steve

* ...should be "are" for the purists out there. The word "data" is plural.
02-13-2014, 11:38 AM   #30
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Steve, that's been my approach as well, as long as I have a good lens to work with. With primes, it's pretty much what I do as well.

Zooms usually need some sharpening and other types of "effects" to make boring pictures interesting...

Anyway, I think this just means you have a really good copy of the 18-55 and your technique and eye are very good

QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
Looks like dynamic range issues. The snow seems in focus and fine. I would try bumping the clarity, contrast, then fill light. See what happens.
Yeah I tried that, but I just gave up on that picture. Not much to recover from that blob of darkness that resembles a bird...

My conclusion is, take the DA 35 2.4 out next time, cover it with my hand to avoid it getting wet
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