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04-20-2014, 07:06 PM   #1
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Starting to worry that my FA77 may be a dud.

Seems like all of my pictures are coming out soft. Almost all of the reviews I've read say this is one of the sharpest lenses around, even at 1.8. Maybe I don't know what I'm doing but I've never had an issue like this before.

a few examples:


















All of these are using the center focus point and recomposing, shot between f1.8 and f2.8, mostly at f2 or f2.8 @ iso 400. These are JPEGs straight from the camera. At first I thought it was a combination of being hand held and low light, and some of the shutter speeds were as low as 1/13....but some were as high as 1/125 which should of been no problem. SR was on. Last image isn't so bad, but not quite as sharp as I was looking for.

---------- Post added 04-20-2014 at 10:08 PM ----------

Damn, sorry about the large pictures. fixing them now.
Fixed*


Last edited by GateCityRadio; 04-20-2014 at 07:19 PM.
04-20-2014, 07:17 PM   #2
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Well, at wide apertures the DOF is shallow. The second photo is very sharp where focused, so I think there's nothing wrong with the lens. My guess would be that the blur is caused by a combination of incorrect focus, shallow DOF, and camera shake.

If you upload the photos via our attachment system, EXIF info will be displayed, which would allow us to more closely diagnose the issue.

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04-20-2014, 07:27 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GateCityRadio Quote
Seems like all of my pictures are coming out soft. Almost all of the reviews I've read say this is one of the sharpest lenses around, even at 1.8. Maybe I don't know what I'm doing but I've never had an issue like this before.

a few examples:

All of these are using the center focus point and recomposing, shot between f1.8 and f2.8, mostly at f2 or f2.8 @ iso 400. These are JPEGs straight from the camera. At first I thought it was a combination of being hand held and low light, and some of the shutter speeds were as low as 1/13....but some were as high as 1/125 which should of been no problem. SR was on. Last image isn't so bad, but not quite as sharp as I was looking for.[COLOR="Silver"]
The last photo shows that it is pretty sharp. Others seem not nailing the focus + shaky hand...
Try increase the aperture a little to see if that improves?
04-20-2014, 07:34 PM   #4
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Try not to recompose to see if you can nail the shot; trip the shutter as soon as the green hexagon lights up while keeping the shutter around 1/60 or higher. Just so you know the lens is working properly.

04-20-2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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Here ya go. I really hope it's just me doing something wrong. I had a 85mm f1.8 on an old AF nikon film camera I would shoot at f2-f2.8 pretty often but never in this low of light so I'm thinking it might just be my unsteady hands or just a difference in the sensitivity of the AF systems. I'm sure I'm just freaking out prematurely, but the FA77 was a pretty big investment for me haha. I have noticed that with my DA50 I have to be more careful on where I focus compared to the nikon and the 50mm f1.8. It's probably just more sensitive and I'm not paying close enough attention.
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04-20-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Try not to recompose to see if you can nail the shot; trip the shutter as soon as the green hexagon lights up while keeping the shutter around 1/60 or higher. Just so you know the lens is working properly.
Yeah that. +1

At 77mm, even f/2.8 will give a very shallow DoF.

Also, it could be worth checking if your lens front focuses (or back focuses). Try to shoot a sheet of paper with some text on it a various distance and aperture, without recomposing and while keeping your shutter faster than 1/60. Use your flash if it's too dark. But then again, it looks more like a recomposing issue and not a lens calibration problem.
04-20-2014, 08:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GateCityRadio Quote
Here ya go. I really hope it's just me doing something wrong. I had a 85mm f1.8 on an old AF nikon film camera I would shoot at f2-f2.8 pretty often but never in this low of light so I'm thinking it might just be my unsteady hands or just a difference in the sensitivity of the AF systems. I'm sure I'm just freaking out prematurely, but the FA77 was a pretty big investment for me haha. I have noticed that with my DA50 I have to be more careful on where I focus compared to the nikon and the 50mm f1.8. It's probably just more sensitive and I'm not paying close enough attention.
Yeah, the da 50 is a little easier to use than the 77! I found the 77 needed a little time to get my head around how little dof there is (I find myself shooting at f4+ quite a lot). It's noticeably harder to nail the focus at closer distances than the 50 as well! (on some of those shots, you may have inadvertently come in a bit too close?)

Shooting outside in the sunshine would be my recommendation. You'll eliminate low-light from the equation, and should be able to trust the autofocus a little more (which can be iffy in low light @f1.8).
04-20-2014, 08:56 PM   #8
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If you want to test a lens' sharpness, you must eliminate motion and focus errors. A tripod and ideally contrast detect auto focus are the best options.
These shots are not conclusive in any way, so don't write your lens off yet.

04-20-2014, 09:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sandy Hancock Quote
If you want to test a lens' sharpness, you must eliminate motion and focus errors. A tripod and ideally contrast detect auto focus are the best options.
These shots are not conclusive in any way, so don't write your lens off yet.
Agreed. Put your camera on a tripod and use the self timer or remote. Use your lowest ISO. Focus with live view. *Then* you can evaluate.
04-20-2014, 09:19 PM   #10
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I agree with those who have guessed that it is a focus + camera shake + low shutter speed issue.

I do not believe it is a depth of field issue, because none of these images has any area that is extremely sharp, which they should at f2.8. I also think it is incorrect to assume that you are working with less depth of field than you would be with a wider lens, if you were framing these subjects at the same size in the image. Camera shake is certainly magnified with longer focal lengths, though.

Does the K200D have the option to zoom in to live view and check focus manually? If so, I would also try that, which would eliminate auto focus from the equation.
04-21-2014, 05:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Agreed. Put your camera on a tripod and use the self timer or remote. Use your lowest ISO. Focus with live view. *Then* you can evaluate.
QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
I agree with those who have guessed that it is a focus + camera shake + low shutter speed issue.

I do not believe it is a depth of field issue, because none of these images has any area that is extremely sharp, which they should at f2.8. I also think it is incorrect to assume that you are working with less depth of field than you would be with a wider lens, if you were framing these subjects at the same size in the image. Camera shake is certainly magnified with longer focal lengths, though.

Does the K200D have the option to zoom in to live view and check focus manually? If so, I would also try that, which would eliminate auto focus from the equation.
The K200D doesn't have live view.
04-21-2014, 06:57 AM   #12
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I find that at longer focal lengths I need faster shutter speeds to reduce camera shake induced blurriness. 1/13 is definitely too slow, and even 1/125 may be too slow.
04-21-2014, 08:01 AM   #13
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you do know that SR is only active when you half press the shutter button and wait for the little hand symbol in the lower left corner of the viewfinder to appear?

anyway, 1/13th is impossible to hold steady. your 77mm is a 115mm on apsc, so 1/125th is the minimum.
04-21-2014, 08:39 AM   #14
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I'm thinking its a combination of the low light/handheld and closeness to the subject mixed in with the shallow DOF. That and the AF system being different that what I was used to in a similar focal length on the nikon. I'm going to get outdoors and try again in better light, since most of my experience with the nikon was outdoors in bright light. My little DA50 had a slight learning curve as well compared to what I was use to on my nikon and pentax film cameras, I even had issues nailing focus in bright light and now rarely use it below f2.8. I think that was a DOF issue too, seemed like for a while I could only get one eye in focus on portraits.

Does the fact that it's a crop sensor do something to change the DOF? It may just be me, but it seems to be easier to get sharp images at smaller apertures on my film cameras. I've taken some pictures with the FA77 with my ZX-7 but it may be a while before I see the results.

Also I had no idea I had to wait for the hand symbol to appear in the viewfinder, I always assumed since the SR switch was on that it was working. Pretty sad that I didn't know that as long as I've owned this camera...haha.
04-21-2014, 12:25 PM   #15
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These are @ f2, f2.8, f4, and f8. The focus point is at the bottom of the bird feeder. The DOF is pretty shallow at f2 but the bottom of the bird feeder is sharp. So its just me being a newb not the fault of the lens.
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