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11-21-2013, 07:14 AM   #1
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K-01 Focus peaking what am I doing wrong

Two mornings in a row tried taking pictures of the moon with my K-01. Used tripod. No filters. Full manual. Various apertures. Various shutter speeds. Various ISOs 12 second timer. Two different lenses: DA 55-300 and Nikon 500mm mirror via Fotodiox adapter.

All I could get with focus peaking is a white, blown out image, thus no fine focus. Both images posted are far clearer than what was seen in focus peaking.

What am I doing wrong please?

Thank you

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11-21-2013, 07:45 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
Two mornings in a row tried taking pictures of the moon with my K-01. Used tripod.
Is SR turned off?
11-21-2013, 07:59 AM   #3
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May be lens focus creep.
11-21-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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The Moon is hard to get accurate exposure, as in the metering will see more black and will boost the exposure for centre weighted average, Use spot metering or bracket till you find a accurate exposure. The moon is in full sunlight and the sky is dark, you can use a daylight exposure. Hope this makes sense and may help. Also you should not need focus peaking, turn it off, focus for infinity.


Last edited by gmans; 11-21-2013 at 08:04 AM. Reason: focus for infinity
11-21-2013, 10:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
Two mornings in a row tried taking pictures of the moon with my K-01. Used tripod. No filters. Full manual. Various apertures. Various shutter speeds. Various ISOs 12 second timer. Two different lenses: DA 55-300 and Nikon 500mm mirror via Fotodiox adapter.

All I could get with focus peaking is a white, blown out image, thus no fine focus. Both images posted are far clearer than what was seen in focus peaking.

What am I doing wrong please?

Thank you
At 500mm I would recommend using a slightly faster shutter speed, like 1/500s. Apart from that you have to nail the focus, and to do that you would need to darken the live view image so that you can see the moon more clearly. Focus peaking isn't going to do you very much good, I don't think, as there aren't really any hard edges on the moon.

Adam
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11-21-2013, 10:42 AM   #6
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Just set the lens at infinity and use higher shutter speeds... remember the Moon and Earth both move... if you have the speeds too slow, the moon will come up as a blur.
I would also keep it at the slowest ISO possible.
Turn off SR.
11-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #7
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Two things that, I think, are likely more productive than the advice above...

1. Pentax's live view does NOT adjust with your shutter speed. Therefore, I've found that using liveview to focus on the moon is extremely challenging. It currently provides no means to adjust the liveview exposure in order to rectify these things. This issue is why your moon is blown out during liveview...it's just how Pentax does things. I've had P&S cameras in the past that actually provided an exposure-adjusted liveview image, but this option is not available in Pentax cameras at the moment.

(Come to think of it, I've not experimented with spot/center exposure to see if this helps. You might try this option.)

2. Contrary to what was said above, focusing to infinity probably will not work. Modern, autofocus lenses often have some "slop" beyond the moon's "infinity" that will give you an out-of-focus image. My best luck has been with using the edges of the moon as focus guides in liveview. If you're at anything other than a completely full moon, the craters, etc. on the edge provide some non-blobbish topography relief that can be used as focus guides. Basically, if you can see them, you're in focus.

Good luck!
11-21-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
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Liveview smiveview...
  • Camera on tripod
  • SR off (use 2s delay to minimize tripod movement)
  • Expose per sunlit landscape (try M mode, 1/250s, f/16 @ISO 200)
  • Manual focus, focus index mark on lens at infinity
A little explanation regarding the exposure setting. The surface of the moon is a sunlit landscape and that is what you should expose for. Since it is difficult for the camera to meter, a good fallback strategy is to use M mode and the so-called sunny-16 rule where you set the aperture to f/16 and use a shutter speed that is 1/(ISO setting) or something close to it.


Steve

11-21-2013, 11:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Liveview smiveview...
  • Camera on tripod
  • SR off (use 2s delay to minimize tripod movement)
  • Expose per sunlit landscape (try M mode, 1/250s, f/16 @ISO 200)
  • Manual focus, focus index mark on lens at infinity
A little explanation regarding the exposure setting. The surface of the moon is a sunlit landscape and that is what you should expose for. Since it is difficult for the camera to meter, a good fallback strategy is to use M mode and the so-called sunny-16 rule where you set the aperture to f/16 and use a shutter speed that is 1/(ISO setting) or something close to it.


Steve
Good point on the sunny-16 rule... who said the era of film is dead!?
11-21-2013, 02:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrNewt Quote
Good point on the sunny-16 rule... who said the era of film is dead!?
"Sunny-16...It's not just for film anymore..."

Truth be told, everything important to exposure with film photography is at least as important for digital and probably more so.


Steve
11-21-2013, 06:02 PM   #11
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Just to clarify... The OP asked about focusing rather than exposure. (The blown-out image was in liveview, not the final image.) This result is a product of Pentax's liveview instead of any exposure value set by the user...sunny-16 or otherwise.

And for many modern AF lenses, "just set to infinity" doesn't work. My 55-300, for example, would render the moon out of focus at the infinity stop.

The viewfinder, of course, does not have the same overblown issue, but it also doesn't have the option of magnifying the image as much. My recommendations to the OP above were based on this tradeoff. Liveview can work, but you'll need to be creative with it.
11-22-2013, 06:54 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ofer4 Quote
Just to clarify... The OP asked about focusing rather than exposure. (The blown-out image was in liveview, not the final image.) This result is a product of Pentax's liveview instead of any exposure value set by the user...sunny-16 or otherwise.

And for many modern AF lenses, "just set to infinity" doesn't work. My 55-300, for example, would render the moon out of focus at the infinity stop.

The viewfinder, of course, does not have the same overblown issue, but it also doesn't have the option of magnifying the image as much. My recommendations to the OP above were based on this tradeoff. Liveview can work, but you'll need to be creative with it.
Based on your previous post, it sounds like the OP is screwed. The liveview image is blown out (no detail to focus on regardless of magnification) and his DA lens may not be capable of scale focus with any degree of confidence. As for the viewfinder focus..I do believe that the OP is using a K-01, so that is out too.

I don't know what "creative" solutions you might suggest for getting Liveview to work, but I might suggest that the OP still use manual focus and bracket the focus (starting at the infinity lock and backing off in small steps) over several shots until he/she gets acceptable sharpness.

I might also suggest that the results from the adapted Nikkor 500 may never provide a sharp result due to the additional optical element in the adapter.


Steve

BTW...both example photos are badly overexposed compounding the focus issue. Manual exposure is the best option here.
11-22-2013, 11:00 PM   #13
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Okay...this post spurred me to check something I've been wondering for awhile.

I just aimed my camera (K-30) at one of our under-cabinet fluorescent light bulbs, with a good bit of the cabinet in the frame. As expected, the bulb was pretty washed out in liveview. The bulb has a brand label printed directly on the bulb at one end, and this label was not discernible in liveview.

However, I tried switching the auto exposure setting to center/spot, and lo and behold, I was suddenly able to make out the printing on the label! The exposure in liveview was able to adjust to make this possible. Aiming a little off of the label (to force the center AE onto the cabinet), the label blew out again.

So, to the OP, there may be hope yet! Try switching your AE setting to center/spot, and put the moon in your crosshairs. I can't see the moon yet here, so I can't test for you.

Last edited by ofer4; 11-22-2013 at 11:56 PM.
11-23-2013, 08:29 AM   #14
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Thank you all

Thanks to everyone for the kind tips and suggestions.

Spot metering was the most productive.

I was able to use focus peaking as I've done in the past moon shots.

Banskojoe
11-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Banskojoe Quote
Thanks to everyone for the kind tips and suggestions.

Spot metering was the most productive.

I was able to use focus peaking as I've done in the past moon shots.

Banskojoe



Steve
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