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05-27-2013, 09:49 PM   #1
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K5 suddenly complete out of focus

Hi all,


I had a not so nice surprise two days ago when almost all my images form that day turned out to be not only out of focus but almost more hazy and noisy. There is no clear in-focus area visible, hazy really is the right word to describe it. I tried two different lenses, a 35MM 2.8 Limited and a Sigma 70MM macro, tried focus adjustment, to no avail. Please take a look at the attached file, taken with the Pentax 35mm Limited macro. At 5.6 this picture should be razor sharp, focus was right on the face of the squirrel. Unfortunately it is hard to tell at this image size.

This doesn't seem to be a back or front focus issue. Would a camera develop those issues over time? I've had this K5 for 2.5 years now.


Any input is greatly appreciated!


Thanks!

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05-27-2013, 11:54 PM   #2
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Check AF screw on body it can be half stuck. Clean contacts on body and lenses.
05-28-2013, 02:06 AM   #3
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From personal experience (ouch!): check focus mode switch on camera body and make sure it is not inadvertently set between two settings or even set to manual focus. Also: check focuspoint selector on body.

Others: clean the lens, throw away "UV filter".

Last edited by newmikey; 05-28-2013 at 03:27 AM.
05-28-2013, 03:14 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
throw away cheap "UV filter".
Not only cheap "UV filter" any "UV filter"

05-28-2013, 03:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by i83N Quote
Not only cheap "UV filter" any "UV filter"
Yes, fully agree! (edited the post to remove the offending word)
05-28-2013, 08:26 AM   #6
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I played with different focus settings, to no avail. No UV filter used, a B+W Polarizer, yes, but I also tested without any filters attached. Like i said, it appears as nothing in the pictures is in focus like it would be in front or back focus problem, they look ike one big blur.


Any ideas or similar experiences?
05-28-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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Roadrunnerdeluxe, I have had my K-5 about as long as you have had yours, I think. And I find that focus accuracy and consistency are its weakest points. Over the course of time, I have wondered whether the problems might be getting a bit worse, but I can't back that up objectively.

But nonetheless, at f/5.6 in good lighting I don't think I have ever had a problem this visible. Certainly not with a sharp, well-coated lens like a Limited.

I have two further suggestions for you to check:

(1) Look through your lenses for haze. Use a penlight and look through the other end. I know you said you tried multiple lenses, but the beach is a harsh environment, and saltwater haze does happen. This would probably show up as reduced contrast rather than blurriness, but check anyway.

(2) Put the camera on a tripod and take some shots of high-contrast black-and-white test targets. Is the problem still there?

If the problem were this image alone, I'd also suggest making sure that the camera didn't attempt to focus on something else, like the rocks. But if it happened in all your images, that's probably not it.

If these and any other suggestions don't pan out, first do a full settings reset to reduce the likelihood of a firmware/settings gremlin, then check again. If it's not better, a service trip might be in order. Sometimes things get knocked loose, out of calibration.
05-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Roadrunnerdeluxe Quote
There is no clear in-focus area visible
Are you absolutely sure this is a focus problem? If your camera is mis-focussing, then surely something within the frame would be in focus.

What's your shutter speed? Is SR operating correctly?

Try shooting the same scene twice, once with SR on, and once with it off.

05-28-2013, 10:59 AM   #9
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Well, somebody is bound to say it, so it may as well be me: a reminder that the actual focus area is much larger than the red AF indicator in the Viewfinder.

I'd say that the AF area is larger than the squirrel's head, and hence the point of focus is not necessarily as intended . One could argue that if the AF point is not the head, then it would be the background, which also is not in focus. I have no answer for that, except to point out that one of my early threads showed a photo where it seemed that nothing was in focus. Somewhere along the way, my problem vanished - perhaps some firmware update, in conjunction with AF adjustments.

If you're using an old firmware, an update may prove beneficial.
05-28-2013, 11:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quicksand Quote
Roadrunnerdeluxe, I have had my K-5 about as long as you have had yours, I think. And I find that focus accuracy and consistency are its weakest points. Over the course of time, I have wondered whether the problems might be getting a bit worse, but I can't back that up objectively.

But nonetheless, at f/5.6 in good lighting I don't think I have ever had a problem this visible. Certainly not with a sharp, well-coated lens like a Limited.

I have two further suggestions for you to check:

(1) Look through your lenses for haze. Use a penlight and look through the other end. I know you said you tried multiple lenses, but the beach is a harsh environment, and saltwater haze does happen. This would probably show up as reduced contrast rather than blurriness, but check anyway.

(2) Put the camera on a tripod and take some shots of high-contrast black-and-white test targets. Is the problem still there?

If the problem were this image alone, I'd also suggest making sure that the camera didn't attempt to focus on something else, like the rocks. But if it happened in all your images, that's probably not it.

If these and any other suggestions don't pan out, first do a full settings reset to reduce the likelihood of a firmware/settings gremlin, then check again. If it's not better, a service trip might be in order. Sometimes things get knocked loose, out of calibration.
Thanks, Quicksand, for the input, but the lenses are clean. The problem started very sudden, I will try the full reset, good idea.


QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
Are you absolutely sure this is a focus problem? If your camera is mis-focussing, then surely something within the frame would be in focus.
I don't think it is a focus issue since like you said there would be some in-focus area or am I mistaken? I will play with some manual focus tests tonight and see if get sharp images that way.

Thanks so much for everybody's input!!
05-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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Turn of SR
05-28-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by i83N Quote
Turn of SR

I am thinking it might be sensor related, is there such thing as erroneous shake reduction? Will try it and update.
05-28-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
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Try shooting a part of a newspaper from about 2-3m (7-10'), when mounted on a tripod (SR off). Compare the AF centre-point result vs MF with focus confirmation beep vs MF with 6-10x magnification in LV.


Dan
05-28-2013, 04:04 PM   #14
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Shoot a better sample image - eg books on a bookshelf from a couple of metres away, under bright non-tungsten light, or a traffic sign outside in sunlight.

Turn off all lens corrections AND any lens AF corrections. Find a contrasty section of the target subject. Set the AF to AF-S, set the focus point to centre-spot, set the AE to centre-weighted or spot, set the white balance to auto AWE, shoot wide open (plus a few closed down a bit more), and shoot the shutter faster than for example 1/100. Shoot less than 800 ISO. Also try and turn on/off SR, while avoiding camera shake.
05-28-2013, 05:07 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Shoot a better sample image - eg books on a bookshelf from a couple of metres away, under bright non-tungsten light, or a traffic sign outside in sunlight.

Turn off all lens corrections AND any lens AF corrections. Find a contrasty section of the target subject. Set the AF to AF-S, set the focus point to centre-spot, set the AE to centre-weighted or spot, set the white balance to auto AWE, shoot wide open (plus a few closed down a bit more), and shoot the shutter faster than for example 1/100. Shoot less than 800 ISO. Also try and turn on/off SR, while avoiding camera shake.
Thank you! This explains why using manual focus all the time is much simpler and reliable than autofocus!
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