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01-01-2011, 07:42 PM   #1
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New K-R owner has some questions

I had been researching a DSLR to purchase for the last few months and I had decided on the K-r after considering the K-x for a while. The extra features made it worth the extra money for me. I've had the camera for about 3 weeks.

One thing I've noticed is that I've had some difficulty getting very clear pictures. A great many of pictures I take are completely blurry , while the rest are sharp, but they don't seem quit as sharp as I was thinking they might be. This is my first dslr, I shoot mainly in auto mode, and I don't have the steadiest hands so I figured it was just me making mistakes that causes so many pictures to be blurry. But I see my friends pictures from their dslr's coming out much sharper than anything I've shot.

I've been hearing about this front focus problem and I suspect it might be effecting me. I've included some samples I took of a newspaper with the camera put in full auto mode and center point focus. I think that the pictures show that I am having front focus problems, but I would like to know what you think.

I really like the K-r, but I have been reading some problems with with the camera, and part of me is considering sending it back to amazon and trading it for a Nikon d90, which is a small bit more expensive. I love that the K-r has incredible low light, fast burst, and a nice lcd. I am interested what most of you would do in my place?

Here are my test shots, with the AF set to the center point. The two pictures appear to be focused below the center of the picture. I did not use a tripod. Do I have Front Focus problems?

The 3rd picture of the statue is one of my best, but it still seems soft. It was shot at night with no flash, does that seem right or blurry?

01-01-2011, 10:55 PM   #2
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I will try to pass you rapidly some comments based upon my experience with the K-7.

- You do not provide much details and I can only double-guess some known beginner's errors. (It would help to provide further details on the test conditions for which you have some pb, incl. the lens, lighting conditions, ....)

- Use AF-centre for simplicity.

- Enable Shake Reduction (SR).

- When you half-press the shutter, wait 1-2 s for the SR confirmation icon to come on (the 'hand' symbol).

* Many new (and senior) Pentax users forget that the SR confirmation requires 1-2 s before it is on. *

- Your first picture is dark and slightly blurry, suggesting that SR confirmation was not on. Correct?

- Also, have you tried with another lens? I would not make any conclusion based upon a single lens testing.

- To check front focus issue, there are several charts and techniques to double-check front/back focus. Check this forum.

Hope that the rapid comments will assist.
01-02-2011, 03:09 AM   #3
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All your images look normal for the particular scenes, except from some WB shifting. They appear to be soft because your shots are most probably done with a (kit)lens fully open.

The newspaper shots do seem to be properly focused in the center. The rest of the picture has shallow depth of field, because of the short distance (almost macro) and low light/fully open lens.

If this is your first dSLR please do yourself (and the rest of the world) a favour and forget about the forums for a while. Get a good book on SLR photography for beginners and learn the basics about lenses, aperture, shutter, exposure, perspective etc. The rest of information you need is in your camera manual: RTFM.

01-02-2011, 04:26 AM   #4
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All 3 images you used too slow shutter speeds
#1 @ 1/8"

You could open up aperture more and with higher ISO so you could increase shutter speed more faster .

01-02-2011, 07:46 AM   #5
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As Ken T observes the shutter speeds used are likely to result in blur without a tripod. Try to get around 1/50s for better results (higher ISO should help with that under similar circumstances). The second shot of the newspaper/magazine would seem to have the focus around the middle area where it is supposed to be, with the first one it is hard to say which edge around the middle has been on the AF sensor (the center AF sensor area is about the size of the middle circle of the viewfinder, as long as the camera can adjust focus so that something inside is sharp it is likely to be satisfied).

Last edited by jolepp; 01-02-2011 at 02:22 PM.
01-02-2011, 08:47 AM   #6
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Hi and welcome to the forum,.
Firstly don't expect too much from your dslr for a little while yet - especially since this is your first one. What cam have you come from?

The issues you raise suggest you may well have too slow a shutter speed, which creates blur unless you use a tripod. You could try increasing the ISo a little as well which may help in low light. Also read the above advice about the SR settings.

Secondly, dont get hung up on camera problems written about on the net. Its's too easy to do. EVERY camera has faults and issues and theres always those on the net who wish to highlight them and slag off the camera for little or no reason. Let me give you an example. I use a Fuji s100fs bridge (superzoom) camera. For me it has been a fantastic learning tool and I have captured some stunning shots with it. BUT in certain situations the lens creates purple fringing around the edges of say branches against a bright blue sky. A lot of reviews, and negative nay-slayers tore into it terribly for that, but they totally ignored many of it's good points. The fringing is not that obvious (unless you megazoom and pixel peep on a screen) and I've leart to avoid certain shots. That is the same with any camera. They all have some issue, so don't panic you rerally have got a superb camera in the K-r. (I know someone who relishes finding fault in the Canon 550d, a superb cam, he loves every single micro fault he can find and posts them. Waster.)

Post some more pictures, taken in different light/situations, experiment with shutter speeds and ISO a little and lets see if you really do have problems (probably unlikely) or its just your inexperience - and that, is NOTHING to be ashamed of ;-)

01-02-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for the responses. Seems like user error is the only culprit here and that makes me happy. I've got 2 books coming, 'Understanding Exposure', and 'The digital photography book' so I plan to learn my camera well. I am glad I don't seem to have a defective camera.
01-03-2011, 12:22 AM   #8
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Also one thing worth mentioning is that if you look at (and compare to) images on these forums you have to keep in mind that the images people post are most likely their best. And very often they've had some serious pp applied to them.

So don't be discouraged by the fact your best efforts may not look as good as others' at first. It takes time but if you keep at it your results will improve. I've been doing this for ~3 years now and while I still think most of my pics suck I can see the improvement if I compare them to the shots I took a year or two ago.


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