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02-16-2015, 05:36 PM   #1
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Out of focus

I recently bought a K3 and I can't seem to get it to focus correctly. The viewfinder is completely out of focus. I can't use it at all. The live view is slightly better but even when putting the camera in AF mode -which I don't usually shoot in- it doesn't seem to work correctly. I can't seem to get clear, sharp images. I don't know if this is a defect or there's a setting or something that's preventing this. I've tried all my lenses and it does the same thing so I know it's not the lens. Any help would be awesome!

02-16-2015, 05:50 PM   #2
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Have you adjusted the diopter in the viewfinder?
Maybe you can post some pictures
02-16-2015, 06:41 PM   #3
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Unlikely but is the screen in proper position--if you look into camera w/o lens it should not be sticking out from the area on top--inside camera but under the prism.

If it is this--don't touch the screen--you will want tweezers, and first look for a tutorial on this (see replacing focusing screen).

Last edited by dms; 02-16-2015 at 07:03 PM.
02-16-2015, 08:13 PM   #4
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In case you aren't familiar with the diopter adjustment.



QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
Have you adjusted the diopter in the viewfinder?
Maybe you can post some pictures


Attached Images
 
02-17-2015, 09:10 AM   #5
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Allow me to summarize your problem:
  • Viewfinder image is blurry
  • Live view is blurry
  • Final image is blurry
  • You did not indicate whether you attempted manual focus
Now a list of possible causes:
  • You have auto-focus turned off
  • You have auto-focus turned on in AF-C mode, but were unable to acquire focus
  • You have auto-focus turned off and did you attempt manual focus
  • You have very poor vision and are unable to do manual focus
  • AF mechanism on the camera is broken
  • AF mechanism in the lens is broken
  • Manual focus mechanism in the lens is broken
  • Any combination of the above plus camera motion
At the very least, you should be able to attempt manual focus (AF turned off* and eyepiece diopter properly adjusted so that the bracket markings in the viewfinder are sharp). If manual focus is impossible, you most likely have a problem with the lens. If the lens and camera were purchased new as a bundle, contact your dealer for a replacement.

I would also suggest that your user manual is your best friend. At the very least, with AF on and the camera in "green" mode, you K-3 should act like a glorified P&S and should be able to render usable images for any shooting situation in adequate light.


Steve

* Care should be taken to never not attempt manual focus with an AF lens unless the AF is turned off both on the body and, for some lenses, on the lens itself. Failure to do so may damage the focus mechanism of both lens and camera.
02-17-2015, 11:12 AM   #6
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other than focusing issues, which I would check, I was having issues with blurry images - and it was a few things, one was shake reduction, I needed to turn it off, and also turn off low shutter noise reduction and high ISO noise reduction. There was one other thing, but I pretty much went through and turned off everything, and my images were sharper again. It was something I had set after I first got the camera because the images were great, then went downhill with sharpness.
02-17-2015, 03:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I was having issues with blurry images - and it was a few things, one was shake reduction, I needed to turn it off, and also turn off low shutter noise reduction and high ISO noise reduction. There was one other thing, but I pretty much went through and turned off everything, and my images were sharper again.
I know you have posted this other places in the past, but I really must express my doubts. I regularly shoot with my K-3 with all of the above turned on and have no issues with sharpness or loss of detail. Mind you, I shoot exclusively RAW, have a steady hand, and use a tripod for critical work. My general comments:
  • Except for one specific situation*, SR should be acceptable for hand-held shooting and does not degrade camera performance
  • SR should be turned off for all on-tripod work
  • Reports of degraded performance due to low shutter NR (background subtract) are unsubstantiated
  • Ditto for reports of detail loss due to high ISO noise reduction (I have done the comparison testing)
Of course, there is no arguing with success and I am happy that doing so improved your results. Why is puzzling, but perhaps you are special?

Steve

* There is a recent report of issues with the Sigma 17-70/2.8-4.0 DC (C) where the lens reports the wrong focal length to the SR system resulting is SR-induced blurring at the short end of the range. Sigma is treating this as a product defect and has offered to upgrade the lens bios for free.
02-17-2015, 06:34 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by grayrace Quote
I can't seem to get clear, sharp images. I don't know if this is a defect or there's a setting or something that's preventing this. I've tried all my lenses and it does the same thing so I know it's not the lens. Any help would be awesome!
I had the same issue and these are links I came across in my research a few months ago:

Re: Need Advice before returning K3 because of blurred images: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/282441-k3-concerns-resolved-completely.html
Pentax K-3 Random Blurry Image Theory | Digital Photography Zen

QuoteOriginally posted by dfp771 Quote
It is noted here as well as in dprreview that the "default" noise reduction of the K-3 may be too aggressive. This would cause images that are not sharp.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I know you have posted this other places in the past, but I really must express my doubts.
I think you have me confused with someone else, I asked a question regard focusing issues about 4 months ago, when I said it was fixed by turning everything off, this was the response I got

QuoteOriginally posted by Tjompen1968 Quote
I believe Photouniverse on youtube found this out as well. Good you found a solution!
Other than that, I have been on the forum asking/answering other questions only 4 other times since 4 months ago and I don't recall any of those questions being about focus. Oops. my mistake, I found only one other response to someone else's post on focus here over a month ago, where I basically said it may be user error on my behalf.

Hopefully the original poster can sort through what works for her and report back what the issue was so others can gain from her experience. I know I was very appreciative of the information provided in the links that I posted above and have had great success since reading those links, and I am very thankful to those who were willing to post their experiences so that others can learn from them.

02-17-2015, 06:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I think you have me confused with someone else
I get confused a lot, but it was that earlier post I was remembering. FWIW, my opinion of the photouniverse guy is that he is not a reliable source of product information and it was the video posted above that set me on the course to check out his claims. He may be getting better results, but it is probably not due to disabling the NR feature. I tested specifically for loss of detail and found none traceable to the small amount of NR applied at moderate ISO (800-1600). What I would suggest is that users wanting optimum results should shoot in RAW as opposed to in-camera JPEG.

I too hope that the OP finds a good solution. From the description of the problem, I am not sure just what the source of the fuzziness is.


Steve
02-18-2015, 01:26 PM   #10
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I can honestly say I don't know *exactly* what fixed my issue, but turning off AA, NR and SR worked and I do believe I have SR back on, so maybe it was one of those 2 things and I haven't done a factory reset to figure out which one, but I am sure it was a setting I messed with, maybe I made NR too high while playing around. I don't know, but switching those 3 things off and shooting for a while with them off improved everything. I always shot in RAW, at least on the pentax, so it could be having the AA filter off. But turning those off and turning back on one by one to see if that may be a possible issue may help. I am just putting it out there as something to start with. I know I get to playing around and then forget to change things back, so that may be an issue here, who knows?! I should do a factory reset, and maybe that would work here. But those settings, of course, would not make the viewfinder or live view out of focus

Again not knowing the exact issue, doesn't the camera beep and show a little green dot in the view finder if the camera is in focus? I even think live view does the focus highlighting if turned on. It even does it on the old manual film lenses I have put on (although those are only center focus) but if it doesn't beep, maybe that could be a clue?
02-18-2015, 02:06 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
doesn't the camera beep and show a little green dot in the view finder if the camera is in focus?
Yes, the beep and green hexagon in the viewfinder indicate that focus has been acquired. If you are seeing a little green dot, you are not seeing the viewfinder clearly.* In live view, there is a beep and the focus point square changes to bright green when focus is acquired.

QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I even think live view does the focus highlighting if turned on.
Live view does support focus peaking (bright outline of the in-focus portions of the frame). This feature must be enabled since the default is Off.

QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
It even does it on the old manual film lenses I have put on (although those are only center focus) but if it doesn't beep, maybe that could be a clue?
Yes, focus peaking works regardless of whether focus is manual or auto. Where things get a little confusing is in regards to manual focus. When using the viewfinder, the camera will confirm manual focus the same way as for the AF system (beep+hexagon). Live view does not support manual focus confirmation (no beep and no visual confirmation).

For fine control of manual focus in live view, I recommend using focus peaking in conjunction with the magnfication feature (hold "OK" button a second or so). This is only really useful when the camera is on tripod, but is basically the gold standard for focus accuracy on the K-3.

When properly adjusted, you should be able to use the sharpness of the viewfinder image for manual focus. For general shooting this will provide results that are acceptable and should be as good or better than what can be had with the AF system. There are limitations, however, related to both the AF system and manual focus using the stock focus screen. I won't go into them here except to say that at wider apertures, neither will provide consistently good critical focus.


Steve

* When the viewfinder diopter adjustment is correct, the AF bracket lines should be sharp, the active AF point (red dot) should be small and well-defined, the numeric display at bottom should be clearly readable, and the AF confirmation should be visible as a green hexagon (six sides). If this is not the case, adjustment of the diopter may be in order. If you cannot attain a usable adjustment, shooting with glasses on may be an option. If shooting with glasses on does not work, you may need to talk with your eye doctor.

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-18-2015 at 02:14 PM.
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