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01-02-2012, 08:55 PM   #1
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Pics with my K-r

Hey guys,
This is my first time posting in this forum. Just bought a K-r a couple of months ago. It is my first real camera and DSLR. Before I bought it I did plenty of research on which entry level model I wanted and finally settled on the K-r.

The past couple of weeks I have been taking shots and learning more and more about the camera everyday. I now understand the basics of exposure and their different relationships as to how the picture turns out.

However, no matter what I try, my pictures always tend to come out a bit on the soft side. Either it is the cameras fault or my own inexperience. I am hoping it is my fault rather than the camera. It might also be the fact that I am shooting with the kit lens which is considered cheap. Anyways here are some of the pictures I have taken. Basically I am looking for advice on how I could improve them. Some of them were taken on Auto settings (when I was first using the camera) and then some later on with Manual or priority settings. I would like to submit pictures for the upcoming competition so just looking for some useful tips.











Here are some of them. I will post more after

01-02-2012, 11:30 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I'm afraid I can't see your pics, are you having trouble posting them?
01-02-2012, 11:31 PM   #3
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Can't see em :P

To link/embed flickr images do this.

-> Go to Flickr, then You/your image,
-> Click the 'share' drop down at the top,
-> Select 'grab the html/bbcode'
-> set the size to what you like, and set it to bbcode for forums, then copy and paste


Looked through em though. Nice. I liked the city street shots. I think they'd look realy nice as black and white with a bit of brightness/contrast alteration too.
01-02-2012, 11:43 PM   #4
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Also, which one's do you think are 'soft'? I had a look through and none of em stand out as all that soft to me.

Softness can be a number of things. Could be focus, could be aperture value's, or most likely too slow shutter speed for handheld. Don't forget you can sharpen an image in post, and can really help make an image pop - have a look in your photo editor for sharpening tool's or something called an 'unsharp mask'.

Oh, and welcome!

01-03-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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about softness

Almost any lens wide-open will seem softer than when stopped-down a bit. The lens may actually be extremely sharp, but only within a very thin DOF range. At the other extreme, stopping-down too far (like beyond f/16 usually) can introduce diffraction softness. The sharpest f-stop for most lenses on APS-C cameras is around f/8.

Coming from a small-sensor P&S, many lenses on dSLRs will seem soft because their focal lengths are often MUCH longer than the P&S's. A 7mm P&S lens has nearly infinite DOF; everything looks sharper than something shot wide-open with a kit 18-55mm. For a sharper look with a dSLR, use a shorter lens.

Much softness is due to motion. SR helps a lot, handheld (switch it off when tripodded). Use SR with the 1/FL rule: if your focal length is 50mm, shoot at 1/50 second or faster. Without SR, shoot at 1/(5FL) -- with a 50mm lens, shoot at 1/250 second or faster.

Some softness is due to mis-focus. When using AF, the red squares just show WHERE the system is trying to focus; wait for the green hex for focus confirmation. And some AF lenses will front- or back-focus. You can correct FF-BF problems with focus adjustment (see your manual). With manual focus, you'll get sharper shots with LiveView than with the viewfinder or focus confirmation.

Some lenses are just plain crappy, but that usually takes either lousy design or lotsa damage. And sometime the camera+lens just hate the togger and never behave properly. I hate when that happens.
01-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Okay now I am beginning to understand what I did wrong.

Since DOF is narrow when the lens is wide open, the picture will only be sharp at the point at which are focusing on. But if the lens aperture is smaller, then the DOF is broader and more of the picture will be in focus. Am I on the right track? However since less light will be entering the camera if the aperture is smaller I will have to boost ISO or lower shutter speed, correct?

This would be an example of a picture I though appeared soft but its most likely because I had the aperture set at 4, when it should have been around 8 or 9. (hopefully this time it works)


01-03-2012, 05:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Spaceman Spiff Quote
Since DOF is narrow when the lens is wide open, the picture will only be sharp at the point at which are focusing on. But if the lens aperture is smaller, then the DOF is broader and more of the picture will be in focus. Am I on the right track?
Quite right! More specifically: With a wide aperture for thin DOF, the picture is sharp at the *distance* you're focused. With a fairly flatfield lens (which is most of them now), if you shoot a straight wall or fence while facing it directly (perpendicular), the whole wall should be sharp, while objects before and behind it won't be. As you tighten the aperture, say going from f/4 to f/8 to f/16, then DOF thickens and more objects away from the wall (the subject plane) will be in focus.

QuoteQuote:
However since less light will be entering the camera if the aperture is smaller I will have to boost ISO or lower shutter speed, correct?
Yup. An option for dealing with a tighter aperture and slower shutter is to use a tripod, with 3-second shutter delay. But a well-lit subject on a sunny day may let you shoot with a tight aperture, fast shutter, and low ISO, especially with SR on.

QuoteQuote:
This would be an example of a picture I though appeared soft but its most likely because I had the aperture set at 4, when it should have been around 8 or 9. (hopefully this time it works)
Hard to tell with that small image and my deteriorating eyes, but it looks like the tree is in focus and the background (BG) is OOF (out of focus), which is the kind of effect that emphasizes the tree. If you'd wanted the BG sharp also, you'd stop-down to maybe f/8 or f/11 or even f/16.

Modern lenses have strengths and weaknesses. Strength: With AF, you can nail the focus on a subject pretty well. Weakness: AF lenses don't have DOF scales inscribed on them, so getting MORE than the subject in focus can be tricky. DOF manipulation is more straightforward on manual-focus (MF) lenses.

It's just necessary to learn stuff like this: Set the camera to MF. Set the DA18-55 kit lens to 21mm with its aperture at f/11, and set focus to 2m. Now you'll have sharp DOF from 1m to infinity. How do I know that? Because that's what I learned using a manual-focus 21mm lens with a DOF scale on it.
01-13-2012, 11:51 PM   #8
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I read somewhere that enabling shake reduction in conditions where it is not necessary could also lead to soft focus. Does that make sense?

[quote?=RioRico;1765942]Quite right! More specifically: With a wide aperture for thin DOF, the picture is sharp at the *distance* you're focused. With a fairly flatfield lens (which is most of them now), if you shoot a straight wall or fence while facing it directly (perpendicular), the whole wall should be sharp, while objects before and behind it won't be. As you tighten the aperture, say going from f/4 to f/8 to f/16, then DOF thickens and more objects away from the wall (the subject plane) will be in focus.


Yup. An option for dealing with a tighter aperture and slower shutter is to use a tripod, with 3-second shutter delay. But a well-lit subject on a sunny day may let you shoot with a tight aperture, fast shutter, and low ISO, especially with SR on.


Hard to tell with that small image and my deteriorating eyes, but it looks like the tree is in focus and the background (BG) is OOF (out of focus), which is the kind of effect that emphasizes the tree. If you'd wanted the BG sharp also, you'd stop-down to maybe f/8 or f/11 or even f/16.

Modern lenses have strengths and weaknesses. Strength: With AF, you can nail the focus on a subject pretty well. Weakness: AF lenses don't have DOF scales inscribed on them, so getting MORE than the subject in focus can be tricky. DOF manipulation is more straightforward on manual-focus (MF) lenses.

It's just necessary to learn stuff like this: Set the camera to MF. Set the DA18-55 kit lens to 21mm with its aperture at f/11, and set focus to 2m. Now you'll have sharp DOF from 1m to infinity. How do I know that? Because that's what I learned using a manual-focus 21mm lens with a DOF scale on it.[/quote]

01-14-2012, 12:47 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mbo1 Quote
I read somewhere that enabling shake reduction in conditions where it is not necessary could also lead to soft focus. Does that make sense?
Sensible or not, the answer is no, and test demonstrate that. Falk Lumo has posted test results showing that SR gives a 2-3-stop gain at the most significant focal lengths and shutter speeds, and no loss at any other combinations.

Of course, SR should be turned off if the camera is immobilized, like on a tabletop or tripod. Any of the remote or timer settings automagically switches-off SR. Otherwise, leave SR on -- unless maybe you're using a manual-focus zoom and don't want to enter changing focal lengths into the SR'bot. Those are the only situations where I don't use SR.
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