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09-01-2012, 08:19 AM   #1
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Not impressed k5 pics not sharp

I just purchased the k5 with the 18-135 wr lens and for some reason most of the pics I've shot just dont seem sharp to me. I'm not very experienced but I'm no dummy either and have enough knowledge to know something just isnt right. I had a Kr and a D7000 in the past and when I compaired all three the k5 was a far distant third and the pics out of the Kr and d7000 with the 18-55 and 18-105 standard lenses just look so much better and I've shot around 500 times on the k5 trying to figure out why and am getting very frustrated at this point. I've messed with the focus adjustment as well without results and now I'm starting to wonder if its the lens itself and am very disappointed. I've decided I'm going to go pick up a used lens today, slap it on and see what happens b/c so far this is just unacceptable. Even a simple pic of my car in the driveway doesnt look very good compared to the d7000 shots with the same exact settings...the d7000 pics stomp it and are far far better just in overall sharpness.

Is there anyone out there with the 18-135 wr lens that have had trouble like this? Just curious

09-01-2012, 08:28 AM   #2
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Do you have any other lenses to try? My guess is that it is a lens issue and not a camera issue. Maybe post some photos as well at a variety of focal lengths and get a little input from the "forum crowd."

I have a K5, but not a 18-135. However, from what I have seen it should be decently sharp, at a minimum between 18 and 70mm.
09-01-2012, 08:38 AM   #3
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It would help if you posted some pics, like Rondec suggested. We can take a look at the EXIF and see if there's something you could be doing wrong.

Have you tried both auto and manual focusing with the lens? Using liveview and the viewfinder?
09-01-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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The K-5 + 18-135 is my go to combination. It performs very well, not prime well, but very well for a zoom. Two things - 1) like most lenses its performance improves by stopping down, ans 2) it's sweet spot is between 30 mm and 75 or so. If you do those things, have calibrated it to the body, and still get poor results then swap the lens in for another one.

09-01-2012, 08:43 AM   #5
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But the 18-135 is not known for his sharpness.
Throw on a prime lens and be amazed, the sensor between the D7000 and K5 are the same so no difference in details there.
09-01-2012, 08:53 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
the 18-135 is not known for his sharpness.
Actually, it is pretty sharp. I expected it to be a bit soft, especially at the edges, but the one I recently got is very decent. Match it with a good RAW convertor like DxO or LR, and it performs great.

Naturally there may be sample variation.

In cases like the OP's, in the absence of sample pix, I'd first assume a problem of technique, rather than hardware. Then I'd ask if he is using any UV filters on his lens
09-01-2012, 09:39 AM   #7
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Try this, take a shot in AV mode with aperture at f8 handheld. Now with the same settings and if possible the same shot, place camera on tripod, use self timer and compare results.
09-01-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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That is my fav combo and i find the images to be reasonably sharp, not as sharp as my 1.4 but it is gud enough. Although, at the extremes end i.e. 135 i find that it goes a little soft.

How do i calibrate the lens to camera and what are the risks?

09-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
But the 18-135 is not known for his sharpness.
Throw on a prime lens and be amazed, the sensor between the D7000 and K5 are the same so no difference in details there.
rather sharp at the center at all apertures.
09-01-2012, 09:46 AM   #10
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I've actually been really impressed since I purchased my 18-135. You may have a bad copy or I may have a stellar one....
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09-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #11
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Sharp is a pretty subjective term. Posting pictures may help.
09-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #12
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2 examples

The first crop is the d7000, the second from the k5 both at 18mm. The k5 was shot at f6.3 and actually should be better.
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Last edited by harleynitelite; 09-01-2012 at 10:20 AM. Reason: wrong information
09-01-2012, 10:19 AM   #13
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Good Morning,

I would tend to believe that the lens is the problem. The lens is responsible for focusing the image on the sensor, if you are getting a poorly focused image on the sensor, the body really can't do too much with it, other than provide a poor image. There can be plenty sources of error in the combination of body and lens.

Have you tried manual focusing at all? Use LiveVew and then press the [info] button and rear wheel in order to zoom in for focusing. Also use f8 to get a fat depth of field (at least initially). Maybe even attach the USB or video cable to a larger screen and see how well you can focus with the lens.

Are you comparing apples to apples - an equivalent type/quality Nikor lens on the D7000 to the K5/18-135 combination? Comparing a prime to a zoom, or one of Nikon's best lenses to a Pentax consumer grade, would not be a fair comparison. Also, the D7000 does have a better AF system than the K5, so is the comparison at least to start in a well lite environment? But, you know that both the D7000 and the K5 have the same sensor, so they are pretty much equivalent cameras to a large degree.

I recently acquired (new) a Sigma 8-16. It too didn't "feel" right. I dialed in the maximum 10 units of correction. It was a bit better, but ... I sent it in to Sigma (actually CRIS who does Sigma warranty work), and it needed yet another 35+ units of correction. They also matched the lens to the body, so it is essentially as perfect as it can get. It nails focus (given sufficient light) every time now. So the combination of body and lens can be off. Should not happen - but it does. Frustrating - yes....

Post some images....

09-01-2012, 10:34 AM   #14
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I see the images. It would be better if each of the images were taken from the same position - better yet with a tripod using the same focusing point. The Nikon is using f3.5 and the Pantex f6.3, so even with the f stop advantage (DoF) to the K5, there is a difference in distance. The K5 image does look softer, but its still not an apples to apples comparison. Taken on different dates at about the same time, and the lighting conditions appear to be somewhat similar. With the subject - the car, its difficult to tell if there is any backfocusing involved.
_____________________

Taking a look at the house in the background, its much sharper at f3.5 than the Pentax f5.6. Even though the distances are different, that should probably not be. If the background house in the Nikor is in better focus than the car, that is another question in my mind. I think that you have a bad lens. I did not see anything in the Pentax image that was really in focus? Did you pick it up new - if so, either return it or send it in for warranty.


Last edited by interested_observer; 09-01-2012 at 10:46 AM.
09-01-2012, 10:36 AM   #15
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Eeehhh...that second image looks horrific. Even thought the images are from different lengths. I doubt it's the camera though. I would not be happy either.
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