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03-17-2015, 08:52 AM   #1
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Cannot seem to get sharp photos

I have a K50 and a 18-135, and have been frustrated with a lack of sharpness with my photos. I have been trying different metering and focus settings ect. We started in Auto mode, changed to Program for more control over aperture, and shutter speed, but still a one in ten keeper rate. Lately I have been shooting in TAv with better results, but the exposure is dramatically different shot to shot in a string and the results are still meh.

I checked for FF / BF by setting up my camera on a tripod and shooting down at the ground at a 45 degree angle. My focal spot was the center of a yard stick. Front and back focus seemed fine, but my results from 50mm and below showed nothing in focus at all, (when 100% cropped).

So I'm wondering if its my lens, is it the camera, or is it me? How do I check focus on my lenses? Do I have to calibrate it for each focal length or do I send it off for that kind of thing?

I have purchased new lens and would like to be able to properly check it for issues when it arrives as well.

We have had this new equipment since late November and have shot well over 3,500 photos since. We currently have a litter of puppies on the ground, so my wife is shooting around 75 - 125 photos per day with depressing results. We want to stay the course here, but quite frankly, the results we had with our Lumix FZ35 were much more consistent, both in focus accuracy and exposure

I need help getting better results or my wife will jump ship.

03-17-2015, 08:58 AM   #2
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Why don't you post some photos, to see if we can see if there are particular issues, either with the settings you are using, or with the focus.

To check focus accuracy, I often use live view -- AF microadjustment for the 1Ds mark III, 1D Mk3, 5D Mk2, 7D, 1D X. It is pretty easy to do and seems to work fairly well.
03-17-2015, 08:58 AM   #3
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That's strange indeed. It could be a lens issue, might it be a shake reduction issue? Have you tried turning off the SR and keeping your shutter speed above 1/125 or so? Also, which focus mode are you using? If the subject moves while you're in AF.S then you might be missing focus - but some part of the image will still be in focus, so that doesn't sound likely. AF.C is for tracking a moving subject.

A zoom will change focus as it extends out or in - unless it's a parfocal lens like in a videocamera.

Does the image seem in focus in the viewfinder? Does the focus confirmation hexagon light up? I presume you did your focus test with Live View, does this make a difference?
03-17-2015, 09:14 AM   #4
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What are your settings for Sharpness, Contrast, etc., set up on your camera?

03-17-2015, 09:42 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
What are your settings for Sharpness, Contrast, etc., set up on your camera?
I set up my K50 as per the set up guide on this forum. I would have to check the camera to know what those settings are.
03-17-2015, 09:45 AM   #6
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and how close to the puppies are you when you're taking your photos? at close range, a small movement by the dog could put them out of focus since these bigger cameras have a narrower depth of field (all other things being equal).

also, what shutter speeds are you using?

your exposure issues is a different issue - are you shooting in manual or are you using auto modes? I'd suggest using manual since the angle of your shot, the color of the puppy vs color of the ground can wreak havoc on auto exposure modes.

Definitely post some examples if you can. Not enough info from you to really make any suggestions yet.
03-17-2015, 09:51 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nonstopnick Quote
We currently have a litter of puppies on the ground, so my wife is shooting around 75 - 125 photos per day with depressing results. We want to stay the course here, but quite frankly, the results we had with our Lumix FZ35 were much more consistent, both in focus accuracy and exposure
Sounds like a mix of things might be causing you problems. A litter of puppies means lots of movement. You might be using a shutter speed too slow for the situation causing their movement to blur. Another thing, coming from a p&s, you have to be aware of your depth of field. Things can be in focus and things can be out of focus in the same shot. With a p&s and its small sensor, pretty much everything is in focus. You have to be mindful of your depth of field and ensure that you are focused correctly. You might only get the tip of the body in focus but the backend will be out of focus.
03-17-2015, 09:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
That's strange indeed. It could be a lens issue, might it be a shake reduction issue? Have you tried turning off the SR and keeping your shutter speed above 1/125 or so? Also, which focus mode are you using? If the subject moves while you're in AF.S then you might be missing focus - but some part of the image will still be in focus, so that doesn't sound likely. AF.C is for tracking a moving subject.

A zoom will change focus as it extends out or in - unless it's a parfocal lens like in a videocamera.

Does the image seem in focus in the viewfinder? Does the focus confirmation hexagon light up? I presume you did your focus test with Live View, does this make a difference?
1) I have not tried turning off the SR - I will though

2) I have been keeping the shutter speed above 125, and yesterday I kept it above 300 - no improvement.

3) There is usually some part of the photo in focus, just not what I want. If I use spot focus and place the focus point on the face of a stationary puppy laying on its side, I will sometimes get a body in focus and a blurry face.

4) we are using the "shutter half down" to focus before each shot.

5) I get the red focus point / points when I pre-focus, and the green hexagon at the bottom of the information display, yes.

6) I did NOT use live view when doing my focus test.

7) I have not posted pictures before, I assume I need a photo bucket account or similar? I can do that, maybe there is a thread on how to post pics to the site?

03-17-2015, 09:55 AM   #9
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Are you shooting wide open or close too, you will have little in focus, if you shoot at f8-f11 you will get more in focus,make sure the green focus confirmation light is on by half pressing the shutter.

Jack
ps get down to the level of the dog.
03-17-2015, 09:57 AM   #10
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You might have a decentered or faulty lens, but if you post results, we would be able to tell more easily.
Other possible causes:
. you might be shooting the lens wide open, in which case it won't be as sharp as if it was in f8.
. you might be shooting with ISO set too high, or the camera is picking high ISOs - that will rob your sharpness quickly
03-17-2015, 09:59 AM   #11
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Lots of guesses here but it would be best to post photos with the EXIF, so a more accurate diagnosis could be achieved.
03-17-2015, 09:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by vagrant10 Quote
and how close to the puppies are you when you're taking your photos? at close range, a small movement by the dog could put them out of focus since these bigger cameras have a narrower depth of field (all other things being equal).

also, what shutter speeds are you using?

your exposure issues is a different issue - are you shooting in manual or are you using auto modes? I'd suggest using manual since the angle of your shot, the color of the puppy vs color of the ground can wreak havoc on auto exposure modes.

Definitely post some examples if you can. Not enough info from you to really make any suggestions yet.
125 - 400 on shutter speed
I have not tried manual mode yet, but have tried TAv. The way I understand TAv, I set the shutter speed and aperture, and the camera chooses the exposure. I went to this mode to ensure I kept the lens stopped down enough to increase my DoF. I usually keep it at f8. Some motion blur is to be expected below 500-800, but its more of a "wrong focus" than out of focus.

Exposure may be part of the issue, as most these dogs are fawn with black masks. The camera does a much better job with the pinto marked puppy than the others.
03-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #13
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See this https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/6-how-upload-link-pho...tart-here.html
03-17-2015, 10:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by monty69 Quote
Are you shooting wide open or close too, you will have little in focus, if you shoot at f8-f11 you will get more in focus,make sure the green focus confirmation light is on by half pressing the shutter.

Jack
ps get down to the level of the dog.
f8 usually.

Yes, we get down to their level, I have the chicken droppings on my cloths to prove it.

---------- Post added 03-17-15 at 10:04 AM ----------

Thank you
03-17-2015, 10:17 AM   #15
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Try the same shots in live view vs OVF and see what happens.
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