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06-19-2011, 01:16 AM   #1
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Going Soft

There is no doubt about it, the AF on my K5 is not what it was when new especially at distance. I covered a charity fashion show the other night and comparing results with one I did a couple of months ago the images are just an awful lot softer. I have also tested the camera out of the loft window and AF seems to give up trying much above 20 feet with both the 18-135 and 60 - 250mm lenses. The focus is more approximate than definite.

The camera is about three months old now with 6,500 frames taken. Looking back at work done over the last month or so I can see the deterioration setting in. Shake reduction and UV filters seem to make no difference.

06-19-2011, 04:48 AM   #2
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Sounds strange Justin. Fatigue in an electronic camera?
I can say that my K-5 focusing often seems approximate rather than definitive, but that's not happening progressively -it's always been that way. But for me it's fortunately been accurate under all conditions other than very low light for infinity focus subjects (where it has been consistently and overconfidently front focusing by a great deal, fixed by just manually focusing...)

I know this is no consolation to you, but I'd suggest that since it's a clear degradation of your camera's function, it should be looked into by a repairman under warranty. Hope it works out for you.
06-19-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by justinr Quote
There is no doubt about it, the AF on my K5 is not what it was when new especially at distance. I covered a charity fashion show the other night and comparing results with one I did a couple of months ago the images are just an awful lot softer. I have also tested the camera out of the loft window and AF seems to give up trying much above 20 feet with both the 18-135 and 60 - 250mm lenses. The focus is more approximate than definite.

The camera is about three months old now with 6,500 frames taken. Looking back at work done over the last month or so I can see the deterioration setting in. Shake reduction and UV filters seem to make no difference.
try to either apply the newest firmware or re-apply the latest. sometimes it cures funky things

cheers and good luck
06-25-2011, 05:19 AM   #4
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I'd consider the possibility that the lenses are the ones having an issue. Do you have other lenses you can test with?

06-25-2011, 08:55 AM   #5
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As always, sample images would help.
06-28-2011, 11:15 PM   #6
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Have you tried manual focus? Does it do this with spot AF or auto select or with all the auto focus settings. I tend to only use spot auto focus and works fine all the time.
06-29-2011, 04:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by justinr Quote
the images are just an awful lot softer.
That's a very imprecise description of the problem. It's important to be confident about the real source of the problem is when you say your images are soft.

Softness can be caused by SO many things:
- motion blur (induced by subject movement, camera movement, even mirror slap),
- poor optics (resolution, CA and flare, as well as filters interfering),
- poor data processing (in-camera settings for sharpness and contrast, as well as your post-processing);
- your image display giving the appearance of softness (not enough resolution in rear LCD, miscalibrated PC monitor);
- your output choices giving the appearance of softness (bad printing, poor paper choices etc)

AS WELL AS

- missed focus (which could be a result of wrong focus point chosen, mis-adjusted lens AF calibration, camera AF confusion with too many high contrast objects in the focus area, poor choice of aperture for the scene not generating enough DOF etc). What AF mode do you see the problem occuring in, btw? Do you usually shoot centre-spot or matrix? If you do use centre-spot AF are the results more reliable?

It's a process of elimination.
07-01-2011, 09:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
That's a very imprecise description of the problem. It's important to be confident about the real source of the problem is when you say your images are soft.

Softness can be caused by SO many things:
- motion blur (induced by subject movement, camera movement, even mirror slap),
- poor optics (resolution, CA and flare, as well as filters interfering),
- poor data processing (in-camera settings for sharpness and contrast, as well as your post-processing);
- your image display giving the appearance of softness (not enough resolution in rear LCD, miscalibrated PC monitor);
- your output choices giving the appearance of softness (bad printing, poor paper choices etc)

AS WELL AS

- missed focus (which could be a result of wrong focus point chosen, mis-adjusted lens AF calibration, camera AF confusion with too many high contrast objects in the focus area, poor choice of aperture for the scene not generating enough DOF etc). What AF mode do you see the problem occuring in, btw? Do you usually shoot centre-spot or matrix? If you do use centre-spot AF are the results more reliable?

It's a process of elimination.
If I may add to this excellent answer.... high ISO will give the impression of softness as the outlines of the subjects will have "looser" pixels then those of low ISO. gee hope this makes sense as it is for me hard to get my point into words

cheers

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