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10-23-2012, 05:54 PM   #1
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Is this lens or camera broken? (sample pics)

This is a new (most likely gray marketed) lens and body. The lens is a Pentax 40mm 2.8 and the body is a Pentax k-30.

When I first tested the lens today, it would not autofocus, only manual. However, it seems to be autofocusing now... Also, i cannot see exif data on pictures. Error messages just pop up when I try to see it.

Here are some sample images. I am new to photography so I'm sure a lot of it is my own error. But my pictures never looked this bad with other DSLR's.... So I thought maybe someone could tell me if it looks like the lens or camera is bad.

Here are some sample images:
1. - This looks *very* noisy. Pretty sure I was at ISO 100 (but again, I can't see the exif data for some reason)

2. - automatic everything with flash

3. - SO blurry! Granted this was manual focus, but still.


5. - again, noisy.

* *I CANNOT see exif data (shutter count, shooting settings) from the pictures that I take with this camera. I've tried multiple websites and it either says that there was an error or no exif data exists. Why is this?

10-23-2012, 07:06 PM   #2
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The photos seem fine to me. I'm thinking the exif data was stripped by whatever software scaled the photos.

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10-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #3
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Have you tried to see the EXIF informating while browsing the images in the camera? When playing back an image, hit the Info button to display the EXIF information.

It would be interesting to know the shutter speed of the blurry image.
10-23-2012, 07:48 PM   #4
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If you're new to Pentax DSLRs, one thing to bear in mind is that standard Pentax autoexposure settings seem to be weighted toward lower EVs, to avoid blowing highlights. The majority of your photos have this appearance (which is easily corrected in post-processing, of course) but which may have contributed to the graininess in some, and the associate flatter contrast may also contribute to the sharpness issues elsewhere.

10-23-2012, 09:12 PM   #5
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Interesting. Is there a way to change the in-camera settings to combat this?

Also, I finally found a website that would tell me exif data. For the blurry tree picture, the shutter speed was 1/10, ISO 3200 (way too high), and it says my aperture was 8? But I'm pretty sure I had it at 2.8.

I just started learning photography, so I'm sure that it's my fault, not the camera/lens. I'll take more test shots tomorrow on auto mode and see if it looks alright.
10-23-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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You can set the camera to increase the exposure in 1/3EV steps. The general practice, however, seems to be that most accept the standard setting to preserve highlights, and increase exposure as necessary in post-processing. The other factor, of course is which AE mode you employ, as different lighting situations require different exposure approaches.
10-24-2012, 06:11 AM   #7
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Here are more pictures:

Photo Album - Imgur
10-24-2012, 08:56 AM   #8
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The picture of the black cat looking out the window is about as tricky a lighting and subject situation as you can get. In my book, and the camera did a very good job of it. You can recover the detail in the cat's fur with most post processing systems by selectively increasing the exposure on the cat, but leaving the rest of the image alone. Please note that the exposure increase needed in the cat's fur is not very much at all - the cat is black after all. None of the images you posted in that last set are seriously off exposure.

I never use JPEG as the default simply because RAW retains much more image detail. With film, I tended to use Kodachrome and Fujichrome simply to keep as much of the subject detail as I could. For the same reasons, but with much less hassle, I now have my K10D set to RAW. It's a mathematical difference, and the amount is absolutely astounding, even at 12 bit like my K10D

8 bit = 2^8 = 256 levels of brightness in each colour channel
12 bit = 2^12 = 4096 levels in each channel.

JPEG is an easy output for any program, including the one that came with your camera.

If you really prefer JPEG, set everything in the camera to neutral and highest quality. Whenever you add sharpening, your are pushing a channel a bit more, whenever you punch up the colour, you are pushing things a bit more. It is very easy to adjust later in post processing to add punch but very difficult to remove it.

Enjoy your camera! You've got a pretty good tool there.

10-26-2012, 01:15 PM   #9
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I cant see anything wrong with them colours good.i think you may be looking too hard
10-26-2012, 06:00 PM   #10
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I think they look fine. A few of them look out of focus. On the picture in the front yard, what F stop did you use? If you shoot wide open, it is going to be a bit softer than when stopped down. As far as the noise, two of them do look noisy. A few things. Both seem to be shot in dim conditions especially the one indoors. Noise is more prominent in bad lighting. ISO 200 outside and ISO200 indoors dont generate the same noise for me. Are those JPG files straight out of the camera or you shot in raw and then converted them? Could it be the settings in the camera (contrast, sharpen etc) that may be causing it? I think your camera is fine. Looking at the all automatic picture, there is a ton of detail, it is tack sharp and no noise. Its probably due to the fact that there was proper illumination (flash) and the camera automatically stopped down a bit.
10-27-2012, 03:13 AM   #11
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Did you clean the lens and camera mount contacts? Are you sure the lens is mounted all the way? The little line on the lens should be at the very top, it should click when you mount it all the way. There is an MF/AF switch on the body, make sure it is in the position you want it to be. Test the AF in bright daylight. Keep in mind that photos can look blurry if they are misfocused, have a very thin DoF, or if the camera is shaken. You can also lose detail if you have high ISO or do a lot of post processing (like noise reduction, exposure editing, etc.), but noise is also environment dependent. Sometimes noise will simply be more pronounced than other times, depending on lighting, shutter speed, etc.
Edit: Oh, and maybe you should try the firmware update.
Edit edit: Also, what quality do you have jpeg set to? How many stars?

Last edited by Na Horuk; 10-27-2012 at 11:35 AM.
10-27-2012, 10:06 AM   #12
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Are you sure these images are directly copied from the SD-card?

They seem to me to have been post processed and saved with a lot of JPEG compression reducingthe quality so difficult to tell how the original photo looked. The file size is incredibly small - less than 1 megabyte when usually they would be between 6 and 8 megabytes.

If you are using some specific software to download the images from the camera try instead to just copy the file directly from the SD-card. Also look directly at the contents of the SD-card - what size are the files (in megabytes not pixels)?

If what you posted are the actual (not post processed) files coming out of the camera then it is not a k-30 or any Pentax camera for that matter - even if it looks like one on the outside.
10-28-2012, 02:12 AM   #13
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Welcome to photography, here is enough to chew on for about the next couple months.

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