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12-25-2013, 11:03 PM   #1
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Help - Am I a Pixel Peeping Paranoid Pentaxian

I'm not sure if I've turned into a pixel peeping paranoid pentaxian , but after a week with the K3, I must confess to being a little underwhelmed by the photos I'm getting out of the camera. I know other people have posted similar concerns here and consensus seems to be put down to user or lens issues.
I'm not blaming the K3 just yet , as the issue (if it exists), may well be the lenses I'm using or it may just be me !
But although these images look ok when downsized , I'm convinced they are not sharp when viewed at original size,

I have a K10, K20 & K5 and don't have sharpness issues with the lenses on those cameras. Lenses include DA*50-135, Sigma 150-500 APO HSM ,DA 55-300

High ISO - NR is off
Slow Shutter NR is off
jpg set to "VIBRANT"
I've included samples from each lens

1
original http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-Cdn3tr4/0/X3/i-Cdn3tr4-X3.jpg
DA*50-135 mounted on tripod - no flash - Blurry - 135mm f5 1/5 sec iso 400


2
original http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-3T8rTx4/0/X3/i-3T8rTx4-X3.jpg
DA*50-135 mounted on tripod - Flash - Sharp - 135mm f5 1/180 sec iso 400



3
original - http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-RP2vcBg/0/O/i-RP2vcBg.jpg
DA*50-135 - 85mm f4 1/1600 sec iso 200


4
original http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-pC3wFwL/0/O/i-pC3wFwL.jpg
DA*50-135 - 135mm f4 1/5000sec iso 800


5
original http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-nJGzF6t/0/O/i-nJGzF6t.jpg
DA 55-300 - 300mm f7.1 1/1000 sec iso 1600


6
original - http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-L8z966h/0/O/i-L8z966h.jpg
DA 55-300 - 300mm f7.1 1/250 sec iso 1600


7
original - http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-t2SFW7w/0/O/i-t2SFW7w.jpg
Sigma DG APO 150-500 HSM - 500mm f8 1/250 sec iso 80


8
original - http://ppeter.smugmug.com/photos/i-4QMK8kW/0/O/i-4QMK8kW.jpg
Sigma DG 150-500 APO HSM - 190mm f11 1/250 sec iso 800




All comments / thoughts welcome

Thanks in advance

Pete


Thanks in advance Peter

12-25-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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Pixel peeping paranoid Pentaxian...try to say that five times fast,
12-25-2013, 11:37 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ppeter Quote
DA*50-135 mounted on tripod - no flash - Blurry - 135mm f5 1/5 sec iso 400
Even though on a tripod, 1/5 is a very slow speed, your dog might have moved. I wouldn't blame the camera with that shot.
12-25-2013, 11:41 PM   #4
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Pete,

Referencing the first shot, did you use a remote shutter release and switch off shake reduction? This could be significant with a relatively longer exposure time of 1/5 second.

12-25-2013, 11:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul Hunt Quote
Referencing the first shot, did you use a remote shutter release and switch off shake reduction? This could be significant with a relatively longer exposure time of 1/5 second.
Good point, I didn't think of that.
12-26-2013, 12:50 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul Hunt Quote
Pete,

Referencing the first shot, did you use a remote shutter release and switch off shake reduction? This could be significant with a relatively longer exposure time of 1/5 second.

paul,

Used the 2 second delay timer and shake reduction was off

Last edited by ppeter; 12-26-2013 at 12:51 AM. Reason: typo
12-26-2013, 01:25 AM   #7
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Well. The second photo of the dog -- with flash -- is sharp, so your camera's working OK. Try taking a few images in daylight with a 'normal' focal length lens... like 35 to 50mm ... on M Manual with a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec and an aperture of f/8... or down to f/5.6 if you have to ... with the ISO fixed at 200 ... or 400 if you have to.

Somewhere in there is that best compromise of the fastest shutter speed, smallest aperture for Depth-Of-Field (but not smaller than f/8) and a low ISO setting. You'll find it fast. In lower light, keep trying to get that DOF to compensate for any auto-focus uncertainty.

View your pictures at 50% and you'll get a good idea of how they'll print -- as far as sharpness goes. If it looks good at 50%, it'll print OK ... and definitely be just fine for web display as ANYTHING looks good on a PC screen.

And please post results of your next tests!
12-26-2013, 01:59 AM   #8
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I took me ~150 photos to start getting it right.
It is the best camera I ever had but it is more demanding than K-5 or K-30.
some of my settings:
AA filter off
Hi ISO custom : 100-400 off, 800-1600 low, all the rest medium
jpeg Vibrant with Sharpness set to Fine

after taking over 1300 photos I am very pleased with the camera now.
the most still "unknown" area is indoor low light , even with brilliant Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 I am not 100% happy ( I never use tripod so could be that and I do not use RAW , no time) ,
well will work on it and I am sure that will find doable solution.
some of my photos:
Pentax K-3 - a set on Flickr
kind regards
jack

12-26-2013, 03:22 AM   #9
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You picture are sharp for most part. the 1st dog is out to me, slight moving.

However the two dog pictures are perfect to tell you this : more contrasty subject tend to make you think the image is sharper.
12-26-2013, 05:13 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by aurele Quote
more contrasty subject tend to make you think the image is sharper.
I think this man is correct; the apparent sharpness closely relates to contrast in edge details (that's what "sharpening" does -> increases contrast at edges, that's why overdoing it makes things halo). Shooting flash head on generates highlights, causing a ton of contrast, making it appear sharp. The first picture's problems are camera vibrating or the dog breathing, and dull light -> little contrast. Is the dog alive? That might explain why it doesn't stay dead still even when told to do so.

To fix this, move to a bright place or bounce flash and/or use diffusers and whatnot light modifiers to control amount of light first at the location in general and second engulfing the subject, to enable you to shoot faster shutter speeds (freezes the subject motion), then apply sharpening in post if still not sharp enough, or alternatively start liking the head on flash zombie look shots. Also RAW + way higher ISO than 400 ought to do something differently.
12-26-2013, 06:12 AM   #11
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The OP indicates he has no time for shooting/processing RAW. That's unfortunate. As we've all seen over the years, in camera JPG processing among all the brands, has been all over the map and is certainly no match for a RAW workflow. It does take a bit longer to process RAW files but it is possible to create simplified workflows that can applied simultaneously to downloaded files. Just my opinion, but I have to question the wisdom of purchasing any technologically capable camera design such as the K3 and then compromising results by shooting JPG only.
12-26-2013, 06:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by i_trax Quote
I took me ~150 photos to start getting it right.
It is the best camera I ever had but it is more demanding than K-5 or K-30.
some of my settings:
AA filter off
Hi ISO custom : 100-400 off, 800-1600 low, all the rest medium
jpeg Vibrant with Sharpness set to Fine

after taking over 1300 photos I am very pleased with the camera now.
the most still "unknown" area is indoor low light , even with brilliant Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 I am not 100% happy ( I never use tripod so could be that and I do not use RAW , no time) ,
well will work on it and I am sure that will find doable solution.
some of my photos:
Pentax K-3 - a set on Flickr
kind regards
jack
Is the Sigma Art 35mm available in Australia for the Pentax mount? The Sigma website in the US only shows availability for Nikon, Canon and Sigma. Thanks!
12-26-2013, 06:30 AM   #13
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Keep in mind that everything is moving.. that dog is vibrating, just by breathing, having a heart beat, etc. The tripod might vibrate if you walk near it, the camera is shifted when you push and let go of the trigger, the mirror slap causes vibrations.. with 24MP, these things become more apparent than they were with 16MP. Those photographs seem to be exactly as sharp as they can be. For full total sharpness you need a studio setting with flash (or other strong light), tripod, fast shutter speed, remote triggers, mirror lockup (MLU)...
when you see photographs of wildlife or models you see a highly processed photograph, with a lot of added contrast, saturation, and sharpness (which were added in a controlled manner, using various techniques and software plugins). And they are usually scaled down, which also makes the photo appear sharper (because you simply cannot "see" the blur as well, not enough pixels there).

Btw, these same concerns were raised when the D800 was announced - lots of people worried it would render most lenses useless (because it would demand a resolution most cannot deliver) and would require absurd standards to achieve optimal photographs (that even handholding it would make the photo too blurry/shaky). And there definitely was some of that going on, but after the camera has been out for a while, people get used to it and learn how to use it to get good photos. There is always a learning curve with newer, better cameras. Hang in there
12-26-2013, 06:32 AM   #14
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Judging from the original files the culprit seems to be motionblur. Some shots are extremely sharp, so this is, sorry to say, usererror. Except for #1, where the blur is caused by movement of the dog. You probably captured him breathing and with 1/5s that is gonna cause blur.
Maybe you are spoiled by the OS of the Sigma (which is awefully good), so before blaming the camera I suggest some refreshment of your stabilising-techniques
12-26-2013, 07:18 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
The OP indicates he has no time for shooting/processing RAW
Sorry but I don't think I indicated this anywhere - I do shoot raw and get the same results as the jpegs, But thanks for your comments.

QuoteOriginally posted by TenZ.NL Quote
so before blaming the camera I suggest some refreshment of your stabilising-techniques
Thanks for the advice, I did say I wasn't ready to blame the camera yet ......


Thanks to everyone for their comments , advice and encouragement
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