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08-05-2012, 09:34 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
Correct.
Then it's not subject movement. Flash light is short enough to "stop" flying bullet, not to mention posing people...

08-06-2012, 01:17 AM   #17
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I have shot many weddings using k10/kr/k5 and yes the centre point is enormous especially at a distance and can give rise to frustratingly out of focus shots and yes in low light the auto focus can hunt or even refuse to work, but what I don't understand with the first image is that the ground at the groom's feet is sharp and therefore so should the couple be if the camera was level which it looks like it was. after all there is there is nothing in the background for the focus to have picked.
I think the blur is motion blur caused by the couple moving, I don't care how fit they are, the pose is not a position that anatomically is easy to hold with no motion for the length of time you asked them to.
It would be nice to see the uncropped and unedited image to see what else is in focus .

you have my sympathies as it can drive you nuts at times. I do have also to mention that I use second shooters who use both Nikon and Canon kit and I get all their shots so when I go through them I see the miss focus shots and believe me there are always a few that you look at and how the h*** did that happen.
08-06-2012, 01:40 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
but what I don't understand with the first image is that the ground at the groom's feet is sharp and therefore so should the couple be if the camera was level which it looks like it was. after all there is there is nothing in the background for the focus to have picked.
Are you referring to the first image in daylight, or the one at night?

The very first image, it's true the rock appear more in focus than the bride and groom. I believe this was shot wide open at f/2.8, so my guess is the AF locked on the rocks instead of them and DoF made them slightly OOF.

For the picture on the dock, as Edvinas mentioned, I had thought the flash would properly freeze them. The out of "focuseness" doesn't look like motion blur to me. The flash should have frozen them solidly and if they did move somewhat, wouldn't there be ghosting as opposed to their entire bodies being OOF?

I'll post the original RAW tomorrow.
08-06-2012, 02:40 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
Here is a good example of AF miss in broad daylight: LINK
DA35 1/640 ISO100 f/2.8
I was in single point focusing, got green hexagon with the viewfinder dead-centered on the bride's face.
Instead the camera focused on the tree on her left, half a meter away from her.
As already mentioned by someone, it's due to the gigantic AF sensor covering a larger area than the bride's face, so it locked on the highest contrast in its area: the tree branches.
For these kind of shots (shooting people several meters away so the AF area is larger than their head) I focus on their chest, especially when their shirt has high contrast elements (stripes, etc). For your shot I'd have focused on the bride's breasts (where her white dress ends, so there's contrast between her dress and skin). I'm just a hobby snapshooter though

08-06-2012, 02:57 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
Are you referring to the first image in daylight, or the one at night?

The very first image, it's true the rock appear more in focus than the bride and groom. I believe this was shot wide open at f/2.8, so my guess is the AF locked on the rocks instead of them and DoF made them slightly OOF.

For the picture on the dock, as Edvinas mentioned, I had thought the flash would properly freeze them. The out of "focuseness" doesn't look like motion blur to me. The flash should have frozen them solidly and if they did move somewhat, wouldn't there be ghosting as opposed to their entire bodies being OOF?

I'll post the original RAW tomorrow.
Hi, sorry my comments/thoughts refer to the night image with the Bride bent over, and I am sorry .but I did not want to say it but the first image in daylight with the couple on the rocks on my screen the only thing on the image that is sharp is the text, I would not even say the rocks were sharp, make black and white ,add noise, crop image down and strighten horizon, include in images to couple would be my work flow for that one !
08-06-2012, 04:01 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote
Here is a good example of AF miss in broad daylight: LINK
DA35 1/640 ISO100 f/2.8

I was in single point focusing, got green hexagon with the viewfinder dead-centered on the bride's face.
Instead the camera focused on the tree on her left, half a meter away from her.
AF points are not bulls eye targets though, they are (big) crosses, it has nothing to do with dead centre. Once you realise how big they are you would not even attempt to focus on her face (too small and too much contrast in tree) in this situation but on the line b/w the grooms back & brides torso. This is the reality of large AF cross "points" Pentax style. I share your frustration.

Last edited by twitch; 08-06-2012 at 04:24 AM.
08-06-2012, 04:11 AM   #22
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for those interested who are following this thread I have just posted a new one for thoughts and comments on the single vs 5 point focus system.
08-06-2012, 04:16 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrancisK7 Quote

Getting AF to work for this shot was a nightmare as well, but at least it worked:
To be fair, the ambient light looks almost non existent for that shot so I'm amazed AF gave you anything.... or am I being fooled here by your exposure settings?

08-06-2012, 07:00 AM   #24
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I've thrown away pics with a bad horizon. If I do keep one, it never see's the light of day.
08-06-2012, 08:48 AM   #25
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I would look into focus magic -- it can really do wonders with photos like yours. I am really hopeful that the K5 sequel coming out this fall will fix some of these auto focus woes. I really feel like it has a lot to do with the points being so large and grabbing things around where your are really trying to focus.
08-06-2012, 10:40 AM   #26
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Me Too

On July 28, I shot my first wedding since I moved to the K5.

I have shot a number of weddings over the years, but almost always as "Uncle Ray", or my version of that fellow Uncle Bob that the pros hate so much.

It was a difficult venue that I had never seen before the day before the wedding. The time was 1:00pm (come on people, STOP scheduling weddings at high sun in mid-summer) and the ceremony was half deep shade, half brutal sun. Horrid, in other words.

I had some portable lighting to throw some light into the deep shade, but despite testing the day before, I had trouble with it and had to give it up due to time constraints.

The good:

The TR battery pack on the 540 was great. 2 second cycle time and I did not change flash batteries until late in the day despite using fill all day long. The cable is a bit short, however, and it kept pushing the RAW/jpg button when the camera was at eye level.

No lockups, buttons falling off, or mirror flops on two bodies and approximately 1300 shots.

My "strobist" Nikon SB/pocket wizard on a monopod with white umbrella worked perfectly (as usual) for off camera lighting of portraits. My lovely wife acts as the lighting tech with the mono-pod. Here is a pretty deep crop of the bride seated on a log in the deep shade in the forest lit with this rig:



The 50-135 is superb (well, optically anyway):



And, the K5 IQ is great, as everyone knows.

The bad:

Fill flash with the 540 is just all but unpredictable, from underexposure to completely white blown shots on occasion. I am now am experimenting with TAv for fill, which so far seems more reliable.

AF - I had several AF issues:

The maid of honor was dressed in a purple dress, and when she was taking up a large portion of the frame (she was pregnant, so there was lots of purple at times ) the AF was always just a bit off. Always, every single shot, daylight, shade, later on with flash in the evening, always.

AF speed - While the K5 has improved over my older Pentax bodies, I have some to the conclusion that SDM is just too slow for all but very slow movement. I shoot one body 16-50, the other 50-135, and the results of most shots with any semi-fast movement were not so good.

When I switched to my Sigma 70-200 2.8 screwdrive lens, or any screwdrive lens, the speed was adequate.

Conclusions:

Just as with my k20, the system cannot keep up using SDM lenses. This is a lens issue, and I am more convinced that ever that the knock against Pentax AF speed is mainly a lens issue.

Since we do not know when we will see an update of the DA* lenses, that leaves me with few choices:

  • Try the Sigma HSM 17-50 f2.8, which is alleged to be faster than Pentax SDM. I will likely buy one and if the results are positive:
  • Try and find a Sigma 50-150 f2.8
  • Shoot screwdrive lenses/primes and zoom with my feet
  • Move to Nikon (although they are having AF issues as well)

I love many things about Pentax and have been shooting the brand since 1978, but for some critical work, there are just a few quirks that always seem to bite me one way or another.

Ray
08-06-2012, 11:02 AM   #27
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@Ray - one more possible alternative, although I do not know if you tried it or if it will help:
Use quickshift on the DA* lenses to get the focus where you need it, and the microadjust on the AF to lock.

But yeah, that Sigma 50-150 is supposed to be fast.
08-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #28
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Thanks for sharing, Ray! Primes aren't adequate for the ceremony part, you need a zoom, so the Sigma 50-150 is the only real valid choice, I myself have decided to move on to the D800 to be paired with the 70-200, 24-70 and two primes, probably the 85G and the 28G.

I too had my AF540 set up on a monopod with umbrella. No PW though, just CyberSyncs. I had a helper from the wedding (a friend of the bride). I think he had a lot of fun.


I can also echo your frustration with P-TTL. I can't trust or rely on it. I prefer to do everything manually and rely on the histogram.
08-06-2012, 11:48 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I would look into focus magic -- it can really do wonders with photos like yours. I am really hopeful that the K5 sequel coming out this fall will fix some of these auto focus woes. I really feel like it has a lot to do with the points being so large and grabbing things around where your are really trying to focus.
I've heard Topaz's InFocus trumps FocusMagic now.

Anyone tried 'em both and can chip in?
08-06-2012, 12:43 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
AF points are not bulls eye targets though, they are (big) crosses, it has nothing to do with dead centre. Once you realise how big they are you would not even attempt to focus on her face (too small and too much contrast in tree) in this situation but on the line b/w the grooms back & brides torso. This is the reality of large AF cross "points" Pentax style. I share your frustration.
This is why I think people should not jump right into micro AF adjustment when they notice front- or back-focus.
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