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04-29-2013, 01:02 PM   #1
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Frustrated: 77mm dog photos blurry

I traveled to the arboretum with my dog for some great shots of her amongst beautiful flowers using my K-5 and my FA 77mm 1.8 lens. I always use center point focus, and focus on her eyes. I also mostly shoot around 2.5 - 3.2 aperature. I got home and anxiously uploaded my photos and about 80% of them were out of focus. Zoomed in at 100% her eyes are just too soft. Its so frustration.
When shooting my dog close up the focus is spot on, but from a distance seems off a lot of the time.

Is this due to the large focus points of the K-5?
Also I have not calibrated my lenses, would calibarating be a good idea? The thing is, if the focus is dead on when my dog is close to the camera and off when she is far from the camera is it still possible there is a front/back focus issue? Would I still need to calibrate?

Thanks in advance.

Debbie

04-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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When focus is critical there is no substitute for manual focus. The 77 should be quite easy to focus manually - especially with a change to a matte focusing screen in the K-5, which helped on mine.
But then I've been focusing manually since 1960... I've tried autofocus just enough to say "why bother."
04-29-2013, 01:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by SashasMom Quote
I traveled to the arboretum with my dog for some great shots of her amongst beautiful flowers using my K-5 and my FA 77mm 1.8 lens. I always use center point focus, and focus on her eyes. I also mostly shoot around 2.5 - 3.2 aperature. I got home and anxiously uploaded my photos and about 80% of them were out of focus. Zoomed in at 100% her eyes are just too soft. Its so frustration.
When shooting my dog close up the focus is spot on, but from a distance seems off a lot of the time.

Is this due to the large focus points of the K-5?
Also I have not calibrated my lenses, would calibarating be a good idea? The thing is, if the focus is dead on when my dog is close to the camera and off when she is far from the camera is it still possible there is a front/back focus issue? Would I still need to calibrate?

Thanks in advance.

Debbie
An easily solution would be to stop down to F5.6 or F8, as the DOF isn't to wide at F2.5.

Adam
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04-29-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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You may need AF Adjust, my 77 needs -10 to be spot on, worth doing a few tests to rule that out.

04-29-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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And you have the benefit of previewing and zooming in on your freshly taken picture to see how sharp it turned out. Yeah, you may not like chimping your pictures but unless you want to go back and take them over, it is a necessary thing.
04-29-2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
An easily solution would be to stop down to F5.6 or F8, as the DOF isn't to wide at F2.5.
Yes, that is the obvious solution but I like nice bokeh and isolation my subject. And I should be able to utilize the lens and all its capabilities i.e. shooting at 1.8.
04-29-2013, 01:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SashasMom Quote
Yes, that is the obvious solution but I like nice bokeh and isolation my subject. And I should be able to utilize the lens and all its capabilities i.e. shooting at 1.8.
Right, but the DOF is still going to be very shallow. Unless you're shooting directly at your dog's head and focusing on the eyes, the result probably won't be that good. Can we see some samples?

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04-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Right, but the DOF is still going to be very shallow. Unless you're shooting directly at your dog's head and focusing on the eyes, the result probably won't be that good. Can we see some samples?
Sure I'll post some tonight, at work right now Dont tell the boss.

04-29-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
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If the dog will hold still, might be a good place to use live view, and zoom in to focus on the eyes. It doesn't work with my kids, too mobile, but maybe your dog is better behaved. :-)
04-29-2013, 02:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nick Siebers Quote
If the dog will hold still, might be a good place to use live view, and zoom in to focus on the eyes. It doesn't work with my kids, too mobile, but maybe your dog is better behaved. :-)
haha, I have been photographing her since she was 4 months old, she is 3 year old now. Her sit and stay are definately better than any kids, except I do have to bribe her with good doggie treats.
04-29-2013, 02:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
You may need AF Adjust, my 77 needs -10 to be spot on, worth doing a few tests to rule that out.
The distance to subject makes a difference when doing AF Adjust, so use a distance that's typical for these shots (and preferably in the recommend range):

LensAlign (click on the Distance Tool tab)

FocusTune
04-29-2013, 03:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SashasMom Quote
I traveled to the arboretum with my dog for some great shots of her amongst beautiful flowers using my K-5 and my FA 77mm 1.8 lens. I always use center point focus, and focus on her eyes. I also mostly shoot around 2.5 - 3.2 aperature. I got home and anxiously uploaded my photos and about 80% of them were out of focus. Zoomed in at 100% her eyes are just too soft. Its so frustration.
When shooting my dog close up the focus is spot on, but from a distance seems off a lot of the time.

Is this due to the large focus points of the K-5?
Also I have not calibrated my lenses, would calibarating be a good idea? The thing is, if the focus is dead on when my dog is close to the camera and off when she is far from the camera is it still possible there is a front/back focus issue? Would I still need to calibrate?

Thanks in advance.

Debbie
i would check the calibration...this is about the time of season that my cameras both suddenly adjusted...1 went to +7 and the other +5 and they are pretty consistent to all lens...have never had to do each lens differently..good luck!!
04-29-2013, 04:19 PM   #13
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Would be nice to see some examples, but if there's not a lot of difference in color or contrast between your dog's eyes and her fur, the camera just might be having a tough time deciding what to focus on, partly due to large focus points. Are you focusing and recomposing using the center point? That can cause problems, too, especially when using a very large aperture.

In situations like that I always just switch to manual focus if I find the camera's AF is not cooperating.
04-29-2013, 04:20 PM   #14
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If the eyes aren't in focus, what is? Or is the photo blurry because of motion shake?
04-29-2013, 04:21 PM   #15
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as others have suggested, you need very good focusing technique to use f/2.5. can you describe the technique you used and show some examples?
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