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10-19-2014, 05:54 PM   #1
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focus help or tips - FIXED - turned off NR!

I am having trouble with focusing and I can't figure out what I am doing wrong. Maybe like 10 percent of my images are sharp, and the rest seem soft to me. I tested the AF by using a remote release and got 2 sharp images and 2 I don't think are as sharp, but I can't tell. I have included examples below. The filter I think is sharp, the door not so much (or maybe it is, I can't tell) Oddly enough I feel I got sharper images when I first got my camera, so maybe I messed up a setting or maybe something is not working as well. Anyone have any insight? Is there something I clean or check. If I reset my settings, I assume I would lose settings under U1, U2, and U3?

edited to add that these were taken with the kit lens 18-135 and so where my sharp pictures in the beginning, however at one point I did put some old pentax film lens on the k-3 to see what it could do. Maybe something happened then...

older examples removed and new ones start at post 7

FIXED IT = I will put a post in the end too. I turned noise reduction and now it is sharp and great looking. I must have changed that setting. Wow, pictures are looking great again.


Last edited by Murfy; 10-21-2014 at 04:00 PM. Reason: fixed problem and want to share
10-19-2014, 06:09 PM   #2
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It is hard to tell from the photos you attached whether your lens/camera set up has FF/BF issue. May I suggest that you pick a item that you can tell easily if it is in focus or not. Many of us have tried to take shots of 3 batteries lined up at an angle so you can readily identify if there are issues with the focus system on the camera.
10-19-2014, 06:56 PM   #3
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Ok thanks I will try to find one object. I just shot these to test myself while I was getting kids ready for bed so I didn't have time to set up anything. Will do tomorrow.
10-19-2014, 07:11 PM   #4
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Murfy, all the same color make's it hard to get a good focus. I shoot weather, storms etc. and really hard to get auto focus. Storm front all gray etc. I would try shooting something as above, it will take some time and have had the same problem.

10-19-2014, 10:44 PM   #5
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What AF setting are you using? It makes a difference. Here are the selections, and some things I've noticed about them.

Single. Pretty straight forward, will focus on the center point. The point is small, the actual point may not be perfectly aligned with the markings you see when you look through the viewfinder.
9 auto
27 auto. The camera will select which points. Somewhat unreliable if there aren't any well defined points available, and if there are it may not be what you want to focus on.
Sel 1-4. Selects one point, one of 7, one of 25, one of 27. This allows things like tracking and the like. If you have this set, hit the info button twice to show which point is selected. The selection button can be pressed by mistake, and I've found from time to time the thing not focusing on what I wanted was due to a random point being selected by mistake.

If everything is set up properly there, and still a problem, check your lens for focus. There are focus charts available if you search online, but a quick check is to get a yardstick or tape measure, put something colorful with sharp defined lines beside it, and it will show where your focus actually is. If it is way out, do a methodical on-a-tripod process that is repeatable to set your lens fine adjustment.

Also familiarize yourself with the concept of depth of field. As well as find the sweet spot for your lens regarding sharpness. You may find that stopping down (aperture adjust two stops) will sharpen the photo.

Another thing I've learned is that you need to hold the camera steady to get precise focus.
10-20-2014, 02:13 AM   #6
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I would like to know at what aperture you are shooting. What shutter speed? Sturdy tripod? Mirror lock up? Shake reduction? Distance to subject? Focal length?
10-20-2014, 11:01 AM   #7
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okay so here are my pictures, but basically what I am figuring out is that I can't shot at either end of f stops? Shake reduction and AA off on all these pictures. All lens correction on. Single focus. These are 100% crops, I figured it was the best way to view it.

I have a degree in photography, but lot of time has lapsed and I am just now using digital cameras, so not sure if this is an issue I have to get used to with digital cameras or the lens I am using. Honestly I have more experience with fixed lenses. However, I had a nikon d200 with kit lens and never noticed this much issue with it being soft at the extremes. Maybe higher mb it is more noticeable?

I don't know how to post other than sets = so first set is shot at 53mm (according to lightroom) first picture is at f/4.5, second at f/32.

Last edited by Murfy; 03-11-2015 at 05:15 AM.
10-20-2014, 11:01 AM   #8
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secobd set is shot at 18 mm, 3.5 is the first f/22 is the second


Last edited by Murfy; 03-11-2015 at 05:15 AM.
10-20-2014, 11:10 AM   #9
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and lastly, 135mm f/32 is the first 5.6 is the second (I know that those usually are blurry) however I am going to include another 100% crop of an image I took at 135mm at 5.6 that looks amazing to me, and that was shot at 400 iso, the others at 100 iso (and it was one of the pictures I took the first week I had my camera)

Last edited by Murfy; 03-11-2015 at 05:15 AM.
10-20-2014, 11:14 AM   #10
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here is the one of the fan I took when I first got my camera - 1so 400, f5.6 135mm

Last edited by Murfy; 03-11-2015 at 05:15 AM.
10-20-2014, 11:16 AM   #11
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Murfy, you are handicapping yourself in two ways: diffraction limitation at f/32 and the DA 18-135 lens is not known to be all that sharp when set to 135 mm focal length. Also, what is the shutter speed for your posted shots?
10-20-2014, 11:30 AM   #12
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shutter speeds
for 50mm 4.5 was 1/10
32 was 4 secs

135mm 32 4 secs
1/6 for 5.6

18mm for 3.5 was 1/10
for 22 3 secs

so I understand that is not that sharp at 135, but why was it sharper before when I first got the camera? and I realize it is a kit lens, but I had more in focus shots when I first got the camera than I am getting now. So it is possible I changed a setting? or something is dirty? normal wear and tear? It really isn't 135mm though. I think it is all over the place. I am trying to go through all my photos in the past month and see a difference and I do notice a decline at the same settings I took photos above (so it would be shutter speed the only difference, however I notice the issue before when photos were taken at higher shutter speeds) so when I first got the camera I was amazed at how sharp it was, taking test shots all over the place. Now I am just irritated I can't get anything near as sharp as I could when I first got the camera.

Basically I guess if these pictures are normal for the lens - then I have to figure out why more of my images are soft than they were before and I can't seem to figure that out. I locked shutter speed on my last shoot to not go below 1/300 to make sure It wasn't camera shake, and that didn't help.

Last edited by Murfy; 10-20-2014 at 11:49 AM.
10-20-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
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Aperture above f/11-f/16 WILL make the image soft and appear out of focus.
10-20-2014, 01:17 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
Aperture above f/11-f/16 WILL make the image soft and appear out of focus.
ok, I think I am going to try to reshoot the test and see if I can get a sharper image consistently around f/11. Maybe I am just not used to lens like this....but I swore it seemed sharper overall, compared to now.
10-20-2014, 01:30 PM   #15
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I would suggest f/5.6 - f/8 to get the sharpest image.
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