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04-29-2013, 06:20 PM   #16
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Here is an example:


1:1 crop


As you can see the 1:1 crop the eyes are very soft.
Taken at f-stop 2.5
ISO 400
1/3200
these are SOOC


Last edited by SashasMom; 04-29-2013 at 06:22 PM. Reason: added info
04-29-2013, 06:46 PM   #17
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Hmm, looks like focus may be on the black strap.
We're you using a focus point on the eye? Re-composing from center? AF, right?
04-29-2013, 06:49 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Hmm, looks like focus may be on the black strap.
We're you using a focus point on the eye? Re-composing from center? AF, right?
yes that's correct and the focus is definitely behind her eyes

Last edited by SashasMom; 04-29-2013 at 06:54 PM.
04-29-2013, 07:11 PM   #19
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The lens is also softest about 1/3 out frm the center, especially wide open; so the composition also puts the eyes in a weak area.

04-29-2013, 07:30 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
The lens is also softest about 1/3 out frm the center, especially wide open; so the composition also puts the eyes in a weak area.
The camera missed the focus, its sharper behind the eyes. At 2.5 this lens is sharp, images taken when subject is close are super sharp at that f-stop
04-29-2013, 07:31 PM   #21
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most dogs will not look directly at their owners for more than a glance. In doggy language, it is a challenge to their pack leader. That generally means one eye is often closer to the camera than the other. Shooting wide open with shallow depth of field will be difficult at best.

I grabbed a couple shots of my dog this past weekend (in my gallery if you are interested). I used an aperture with good depth of field - a lousy shot with great bokeh is still a lousy shot, so I went for depth of field. I had to shoot fast to catch the moment he looked at me. So I shot wide and cropped in PP. I lost some additional detail reducing the cropped images for upload, but I can pixel peep the originals and readily see the pattern in the cornea of his eyes, so any softness is not due to focus.
04-29-2013, 07:41 PM   #22
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The dogs head is outside the DOF in that shot, it's forward of it.

The cause is either 1) your camera is back focusing with this lens at this subject distance or 2) the AF grabbed something different to focus on (eg the strap) than what you intended. The solution to the first problem is to fine tune the AF for that lens. The solution to the second problem is better technique to work around the large AF sensors that Pentax cameras have.

I'll say though that is it literally impossible to put the AF point over the dogs eye in that scene and know it will focus on the eye because the AF cross point is much much bigger than your dogs eye. This is why I say you need to work around the AF system to make it focus on what you intend.
04-29-2013, 09:14 PM   #23
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May I suggest next time you try a...


wait for it...


Katz eye!

04-29-2013, 09:25 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by SashasMom Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Hmm, looks like focus may be on the black strap.
We're you using a focus point on the eye? Re-composing from center? AF, right?
yes that's correct and the focus is definitely behind her eyes
I've never been a fan of focus-and-recompose, and your example is the reason. Using your method works great at slower apertures, but no way will you get your dog's eyes in focus if you're using f/2.5 and recomposing after focus. The depth of field is just too narrow at 77mm. It's not a calibration issue or all the other equipment problems suggested, it's your technique.

To fix the issue you need to use other focus points after composing the image (unless your subject is in the center of the frame), or use a smaller aperture. Try this with f/1.8-2.0 and see if it helps.
04-30-2013, 03:18 AM   #25
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Yep, the leash appears to be in perfect focus, and you can see the DoF appears to be only a couple centimetres. Maybe try MF in live view? The shutter speed and ISO are all okay, though, those can't be the problem in that photo
04-30-2013, 06:22 AM   #26
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I agree. Focus and recompose won't work in this case. Either use manual focus or use the AF select points and place the appropriate one over the dog's eye, so that you don't have to focus and recompose. I used to center point/focus and recompose and have started using the select focus points and have found them much more accurate and very easy to use. Unfortunately, at large apertures, you simply have to use manual focus in some cases.
04-30-2013, 06:49 AM   #27
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Hmmmm.
As a live music event photographer I get this all the time. Centre point AF and recompose can be made to work well (it's what I use), but to get good at it takes a lot of practice. Other modalities seem to require too much time fiddling with menus when you should be nailing the shot.
04-30-2013, 07:27 AM   #28
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At least with the K-30, you simply use the four-way buttons to choose your focus point and proceed as normal. It doesn't take long, although if you are really in an extreme hurry, it will take a tiny extra bit of time.

Can you explain how practice at center point and recompose can improve your camera's AF ability to nail focus? I used it for over a year and found it lacking, that's why I changed. Never occurred to me that I simply wasn't any good at it.
04-30-2013, 07:37 AM   #29
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Thanks for the advice. I'll try selecting focus points next time. I thought I was doing a good job at recomposing but maybe not. Thanks for the suggestions. Selecting focus points may be challenging in pet photography since it does seem to take time, but I will work on it, and my dog is cooperative, but when shooting clients dogs it may be more of a challenge.

I will calibrate the lens also, which I have not done just to be sure.
04-30-2013, 08:01 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Can you explain how practice at center point and recompose can improve your camera's AF ability to nail focus?
I'll take a stab at justifying using the AF center point and recomposing.... My first thought is if the lens is significantly sharper in the center than the edges. Personally, I am unlikely to routinely use a lens with this much center to edge difference. My second thought is if the scene has too many distractions to use multiple AF points and speed is critical, center focus and recompose will on average put the subject's framing equi-distant from the focus point.

Now the big limitations- if metering is locked in at the same time as focus, exposure may be adversely affected. And the real biggie, recomposing after focusing will always change the subject to sensor distance. This is no big deal if the depth of field is adequate. But with a shallow depth of field like the circumstances shown in this thread, you are just asking for trouble.
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