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08-02-2011, 12:39 AM   #1
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New K5 - doesn't seem to be focusing correctly?

I took a photo of my daughter, just quickly this afternoon, whilst we were on the way to pick my son up. She had a flower in her hair and I had the little red focus point on her eye, but when I loaded the photo onto my pc, it looks to me like it actually focused on the flower? How do I correct that?

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08-02-2011, 12:45 AM   #2
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Hi Nicole, it could be your lens having a back-focusing issue which can be sorted it out with some AF fine tuning in the menu
08-02-2011, 12:46 AM   #3
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I don't own a K5.. but there should be individual focus adjustments available in the menus ? Use a focusing chart to be sure. Theres a few threads around here.

Check if it persists in Live View as well - the K-5 apparently uses different focusing algorithms based on LV vs OVF..

The other tip is - I read on Pentax K5 Photography by Jim Radcliffe site that apparently the K-5's AutoFocus Points are Larger than indicated in the OVF - this means they can pickup contrasting points other than what you think. He says a brief bit of experimentation solves the issue though and his 'used to it' now... maybe it picked up where the petals touch her face since it does provide some contrast to detect?

No idea though - just throwing suggestions out there I've seen reading K-5 threads...
08-02-2011, 01:02 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Before thinking you have a problem with the camera, it's always worth being 100% sure of your actions. The tools get blamed a lot on the internet.

Did you or your subject move slightly?
Did you recompose the shot slightly after focusing?
Does it happen again repeatedly? or was this a one off?
What was your aperture and distance from the subject? How short was the hyper focal distance - was it even realistic to get the eye in focus hand held?
Does it mis-focus when on a tripod? or only when hand held?
Were you in AF-S or AF-C mode?

Anyway, the actual photo appears nice and sharp enough to me at this size, although maybe you can see a problem when blown up full size.

08-02-2011, 01:09 AM   #5
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calsan makes important points there.
Slight subject/camera movement makes all the difference in critical focusing situations.
But if confirmed, backfocusing can easily be rectified using the fine AF adjustment feature.
08-02-2011, 01:33 AM   #6
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Well just start over again an get familiar with your new camera. Adjustments can be don in the menu, last page. But before that, just be shore that everything is in order. Is the image stabilized or was SR not ready yet for instance.
08-02-2011, 01:34 AM   #7
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I shot it at 1/200 2.8 100 ISO with my FA 77mm at the normal distance I usually shoot my daughter from. I had the focal point on her eye for 3 shots and all 3 show the flower in finer, sharper detail than her eyes. I think my distance was about a metre or so, a distance I can normally get a sharp focus from, handheld. I'll give it a go with a tripod over the next few days. I'll also look at how to finetune the AF. I didn't seem to have this issue with my 50.
08-02-2011, 01:36 AM   #8
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Also, beware that the focus indicator is actually a lot smaller than the focus area it represents. It might be that the flower was just within reach of the focus area and provided a more attractive target (more contrast) than her eye, for the focussing system to lock onto.

08-02-2011, 01:39 AM   #9
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Hi Nicole,

Congratulations on getting your K5.
You didn't mention what lens and f stop you used. The photo certainly looks to have a very shallow DOF.
As the others have suggested you may need to fine tune the AF for that lens. But a larger DOF would have helped.


Edit. Sorry. You had already posted the info before i finished

With the settings you listed the DOF will only be 20mm. That doesn't leave much room for any errors.
Peter

Last edited by Ivor K Ecks; 08-02-2011 at 01:45 AM.
08-02-2011, 04:16 AM   #10
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congratulations on getting the new camera, nic!
08-02-2011, 05:46 AM   #11
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One other thing to consider. The minimum focus distance of the FA 77 is 0.7m. I have had the experience of trying to move in a little too close and having my DA 70, which has the same minimum, hit the limit. Could this be happening?
08-02-2011, 06:32 AM   #12
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All the above.......at one time or another I have had every problem mentioned......and still do at times. Getting a well focused shot is not math.....where everything adds up and you get the correct result. The variables are great and....then you add the shooter to the equation.........throw in a couple of Squirrels, and there is no telling what the heck you might get!
Regards!
08-02-2011, 06:42 AM   #13
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Sigh.

Once again, so many people jump straight away to 'the lens is BF/FF you need to use the AF adjust'.

Look at the razor thin DOF in this situation, look at the mis-guided assumption that AF focus points are somehow laser-like little spots rather than contrast-sensitive regions at best. The focus problems of this image are simply due to these issues.
08-02-2011, 06:44 AM   #14
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Hey - it was the 2nd Post that said that about the AF Point Size - other than advising were Nicole could find the AF Adjust if she wanted...
QuoteOriginally posted by adr1an Quote
The other tip is - I read on Pentax K5 Photography by Jim Radcliffe site that apparently the K-5's AutoFocus Points are Larger than indicated in the OVF - this means they can pickup contrasting points other than what you think. He says a brief bit of experimentation solves the issue though and his 'used to it' now... maybe it picked up where the petals touch her face since it does provide some contrast to detect?
But I dont own a K-5 so I just offered up my thoughts I'd learned on Jim's website...

Last edited by adr1an; 08-02-2011 at 06:51 AM.
08-02-2011, 07:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleAu Quote
I shot it at 1/200 2.8 100 ISO with my FA 77mm at the normal distance I usually shoot my daughter from. I had the focal point on her eye for 3 shots and all 3 show the flower in finer, sharper detail than her eyes. I think my distance was about a metre or so, a distance I can normally get a sharp focus from, handheld. I'll give it a go with a tripod over the next few days. I'll also look at how to finetune the AF. I didn't seem to have this issue with my 50.
Well that means a DOF of about one inch. Having that misplaced a little isn't even so unlikely.
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