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02-07-2015, 07:54 AM   #1
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Infinity Focus Issues w/ K-3

I suspect I messed a setting up on my new K-3, but for the life of me I can't figure out what. I messed with it a bit last night and for some reason I found myself unable to focus to infinity on any of my lenses.

I know its not the camera or the lenses (I did a moon shot the other night), but for some reason everything came out soft beyond belief for me yesterday shooting from the apartment window.

I gave myself overnight to try to think of some reasons, but I'm still a bit stumped.

The only major reason I can think of for failure was I set the ISO from normal" to "slow". Would that be enough to kill detail focus?

The second possibility (maybe combined with the first) would be the fact that I was shooting towards the river and we had a lot of mist kicking up from the cold (hence why I was shooting from inside). IE, a very unstable bit of sky in that direction.

They were all test shots, so no big losses involved, but I'd love to know where I was screwing up so I never do that again.


EDIT: Posting from the laptop, I'll post the results from last night when I can get at the main PC.

02-07-2015, 08:17 AM   #2
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Inside a house to outside in the cold? Lots of distortion in the air.
02-07-2015, 08:19 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by derekkite Quote
Inside a house to outside in the cold? Lots of distortion in the air.

That was another thought. I've shot like that before though and its bad, but never THAT bad. This was an entire level of horrible I've never experienced before.

I know its user error on my part, but I'm trying to narrow it down to just what. Even with distortion, I should at least have a moon shot that is recognizable as the moon.
02-07-2015, 08:25 AM   #4
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Can you shoot something without those conditions and see if it's clear? If not I would recommend you do a factory reset of your settings - then you know it will be set back to normal - maybe walk through the menu's first to see what settings you might want to put back.

02-07-2015, 08:44 AM   #5
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I actually shot one a few days back.

Also, I just went through and figured out at least part of how I screwed up. I'd been goofing around with a 3X TC earlier in the day, and I was shooting with SR set at 800mm!

That said, I was *also* shooting mirror lock-up, on a tripod, with a remote so I'm not sure if that would have even come into play.

Anyhow, this was my handheld shot from the other night. I'm not certain of the settings, but I believe I was stopped down to f/8 or f/11


Same lens, stopped down similarly, last night. The bad IQ is pretty obvious, but I'm thinking now it could have been a distortion thing - the moon was very low to the horizon when I shot this.

Big difference was it was tripod mounted, utilizing mirror lock-up and the remote (so the 800mm error in the EXIF shouldn't have come into play as SR should have been automatically shut down for it)
02-07-2015, 08:55 AM   #6
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Have you shot these looking through WF, or using LV and 100% magnifying? If WF you could just have moved diopter adjustment by accodent. I have done it with my K-3.
02-07-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by repaap Quote
Have you shot these looking through WF, or using LV and 100% magnifying? If WF you could just have moved diopter adjustment by accodent. I have done it with my K-3.
Or the lens focus adjustement.
02-07-2015, 09:25 AM   #8
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The ISO in image #2 (the bad photo) is 3200. Image #1 was at ISO 400. That's a 3 stop difference in noise levels and goes a long way to explaining the problem.

I suggest always using Manual mode for consistent results with the moon. ISO 400 is a good starting spot. Set the aperture near the sweet spot for the lens (often f8 for telephotos but it varies). Then adjust the shutter speed to get a proper exposure.

02-07-2015, 09:32 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
The ISO in image #2 (the bad photo) is 3200. Image #1 was at ISO 400. That's a 3 stop difference in noise levels and goes a long way to explaining the problem.

I suggest always using Manual mode for consistent results with the moon. ISO 400 is a good starting spot. Set the aperture near the sweet spot for the lens (often f8 for telephotos but it varies). Then adjust the shutter speed to get a proper exposure.
They were pretty much just test shots last night. I was actually more worried about why I couldn't get the stars in focus on the shots I had of them (but without comparison photos... pointless to post 'em).

I did set the ISO to 'slow', which is really the only major difference from what I'm used to doing with my K-x/K-30 (as they don't have that option).

Just that the fact that the first shot was an off the cuff, handheld shot while the second was planned out then tanked irked me a bit, especially as I'm 95% certain it was user error on my part.

I'll blame the weather/turbulence and my not accounting for it until I get a chance to actually get outside and do some shooting at night. At this rate that'll be April though, temps are stupid cold lately.
02-07-2015, 09:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagala Quote
Or the lens focus adjustement.
I mean the front-focus or back-focus adjustement in menus.
02-07-2015, 10:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagala Quote
I mean the front-focus or back-focus adjustement in menus.
Said lens is a manual focus 300mm prime from about 1986 or so.

That's why I was confused since it worked... then it didn't work.
02-07-2015, 11:45 AM   #12
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Just plugging in a remote doesn't turn Shake Reduction off. If the camera is not set to "Remote" mode, Shake Reduction defaults to its check-box setting.
02-07-2015, 12:14 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
Just plugging in a remote doesn't turn Shake Reduction off. If the camera is not set to "Remote" mode, Shake Reduction defaults to its check-box setting.

If you set the camera to using an IR 'remote' it disables shake reduction automatically. Always has, unless they did something with the K-3 I am unaware of. If you set the camera to mirror lock up, it ALSO disables SR, and always has. I was using both.
02-07-2015, 04:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
but I'm thinking now it could have been a distortion thing - the moon was very low to the horizon when I shot this.
Low on the horizon=lots of air to shoot through.
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