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10-21-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
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Pentax K-X - Issue with viewfinder

This issue could be attributed to my eyes, but for the life of me, I'm having trouble seeing through the viewfinder (or in Live View for that matter) that point where I should stop adjusting focus so my subject is sharp.

It's kind of hard to explain in words, but it seems the subject is in focus over a fairly large range. When I'm adjusting the focus over the range, the subject stays in focus but never hits that point where it just pops through the viewfinder and you say "Perfect".

Still makes it look like a good quality point and shoot shot, but definitely not SLR quality.

EDIT: Flickr: Sabinblitz's Photostream


Last edited by mrmp3; 10-21-2010 at 04:46 PM.
10-21-2010, 05:14 PM - 1 Like   #2
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This is largely because the viewfinder screen is optimized for brightness for composition, at the expense of being useful for critical focus. Since most people use autofocus, it's a understandable default tradeoff. And this is why people who prefer manual focusing buy alternative screens like the ones from KatzEye™ Optics - Custom Focusing Screens .
10-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #3
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Do not have the cojones to try that. But I had no idea you could swap those out. Maybe in the future when I'm more familiar with the camera I may give that a go.
10-22-2010, 11:53 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrmp3 Quote
...It's kind of hard to explain in words, but it seems the subject is in focus over a fairly large range. When I'm adjusting the focus over the range, the subject stays in focus but never hits that point where it just pops through the viewfinder and you say "Perfect".
...
EDIT: Flickr: Sabinblitz's Photostream
I see you are using the 18-55 zoom lens, which is quite a good lens imo. However, this lens will not really give you the snappy focus. This is due to purely physical attributes of the lens itself. It is not a speed demon at 3.5 -5.6, so there will be a broad visible in-focus range per se.

Also, with wider viewing angles (let's say 18mm - 35mm) it will be quite hard to manually focus anyway. The last contributor is the focussing distance.

For argument's sake, take a very well-lit macro photo of a contrasty scene at 55mm of focal length. You'll probably notice a rather thin depth of field and the focus kind of popping in and out. Now, take a shot at 18mm focal length of something at mid-distance (to be cruel take a dim-lit scene with few contrast). See the difference ?

On top of all these physical rule-based attributes there is a tendency in each lens to be easier or harder to manually-focus, and that is exactly the popping in and out you have described.

You can help yourself while manually focussing by watching the green hexagon in the viewfinder light up when the camera deems the scene in-focus.

Finally, here's a reason for an always out-of-focus viewfinder: The diopter adjustment has somehow been altered :-) (been there, too)

Good luck in finding some nice images,
Georg

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