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09-28-2010, 09:43 AM   #1
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Soft pictures new K-x owner

I am concerned that almost all my pictures with the 18-55 kit lens seem to be soft. I am a new K-x owner but I have experience with film SLRs and digital point and shoots. Could I have gotten a poor copy of the lens? Any tests that I could try?

09-28-2010, 09:46 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by stokasz Quote
I am concerned that almost all my pictures with the 18-55 kit lens seem to be soft. I am a new K-x owner but I have experience with film SLRs and digital point and shoots. Could I have gotten a poor copy of the lens? Any tests that I could try?
Post example photos. As we say in Lithuania "It's better to see once than ten times to hear."
09-28-2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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Pictures would help, yes. I think you are going to find however that while the kit lens is good value for what it is, it's not the sharpest when compared to other setups. The kit lens is reported to be most sharp stopped down to f8 at 24mm or so. Wide open, definitely not 'sharp' or crisp at any FL especially at the extremes. Here are some from mine, check the photo title to see which are with the kit lens.

1A_Compare 28 to kit lens - a set on Flickr

09-28-2010, 10:03 AM   #4
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I agree. Post some examples of what you're talking about. Preferably with EXIF in tact, and at least a full size preview or 100% crop of one.

09-28-2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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09-28-2010, 10:13 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stokasz Quote
Stokasz,

The first image seems rather sharp to me.
- The second may have a focusing issue (try a small aperture and see if it improves).
- Perhaps your camera is front focusing (try a test shot with front & back ground objects).

See also: http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/focus-chart

= Bert

Last edited by bymy141; 09-28-2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Pictures appeared!
09-28-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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I would be willing to bet, without seeing exif data that you are shooting either a lower shutter speed or large aperture or both. I have had better luck using Av mode and shooting at f6.3 to 9.0. Best of luck.
09-28-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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I also am a new Kx owner, and it is my first DSLR. I also started taking pics with 18-55 and was afraid something was wrong because they were all coming out so 'soft.'
I think the lens is particularly soft at the 18mm end, but upon further practice... I also think the cause is partly me. I have ended up bumping up the ISO a bit in order to reduce the shutter speed. I can get some clear shots at 1/20th or so, but I have much higher odds of getting a clear shot at 1/40th or faster. (And I do always have shake reduction on...)
The other thing to try is to take a shot using a tripod and a timed release. Set the camera at 35mm or so and see what results.

09-28-2010, 10:36 AM   #9
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Did you shoot the first picture through a window?
What about the 2nd picture, also through a window?
09-28-2010, 10:39 AM   #10
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Sorry I am new to posting pictures with EXIF data. I guess I need to read some more about it since it didn't come through.

Anyways, the first picture (my backyard)was shot at 24.4mm f8 1/400 iso 400 (through a window) and the second picture (my daughter) 55mm f7.1 1/100 iso1600 (not through a window)

I am concerned that the lens might be front focusing.
09-28-2010, 10:39 AM   #11
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The first one doesn't look too bad to me (24mm f8) and is about what I would expect. In the second at 55mm f7.1 1/100 1600 ISO, I think you just missed the focus. Confirm that you are using the focal area you think you are (set your camera to center AF). I don't expect razor sharp out of the kit lens, especially at 55mm, but we should be able to see better detail in your daughter's face and pose. I also think that photo is over exposed which can contribute to softness (no contrast).

09-28-2010, 10:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stokasz Quote
Sorry I am new to posting pictures with EXIF data. I guess I need to read some more about it since it didn't come through.

Anyways, the first picture (my backyard)was shot at 24.4mm f8 1/400 iso 400 and the second picture (my daughter) 55mm f7.1 1/100 iso1600
The exifs are in tact.

09-28-2010, 10:49 AM   #13
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the first one looks okay to me - catch a bit of focus on the patio umbrella; the second one is likely due to subject movement; try that with faster shutter.
09-29-2010, 05:33 PM   #14
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Front focus is the lens focus a few *millimeters* from where it should, and at an aperture of f/7.1, there is absolutely no way you'd ever notice. What you have here in the second picture appears to be a simple case of motion blur - 1/100" just wasn't a fast enough shutter speed to stop the motion. That combined with the relatively high ISO (which rob the sensor of sharpness) and the fact that AF has trouble locking on a moving subject, and even to the extent it does lock, a moving subject might have moved between the time focus lock was achieved and the time the shutter snapped.

I agree with other posters that the first pictures seems just fine - the portion that is in focus seems as sharp as should be expected.
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