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09-25-2015, 06:34 AM   #1
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Focusing on the KS2

Hello

I just purchased a KS2. I do newborn photography so I was looking for a camera that would allow me o get great sharp focus on babies faces. I had a session yesterday and most of my images came out soft. I was not able to find a way to focus on the face, the camera just seems to focus wherever it wants. is there a way to focus on one spot of your choice? Is it possible to focus on a spot and then move the camera to compose? I have the standard 18-50 lens. Thank you

09-25-2015, 07:06 AM   #2
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RTFM. pdf manual page 58 (56)! you can try the spot mode... are you sure its not soft due to low shutter speed? have you tried live view? upload a picture...?
09-25-2015, 07:16 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by barladeanca Quote
is there a way to focus on one spot of your choice? Is it possible to focus on a spot and then move the camera to compose?
Yes. You can check the manual or download a pdf version of the manual. i don't have that specific model, but on my DSLR you have to press Info and there there is an icon with some green squares where you can choose Auto point selection (not most reliable, this is for beginners), centre point (this one is fast and reliable, but only uses the centre point, in the middle of the frame), or select point (probably best choice. After some practice, you can adjust which focus point you want the camera to use really quickly)
I would also suggest you go into camera Menu and find the "AF / AE-L button" option (or something similar). Here you can choose which button on the camera will trigger AF. This is great, because you can de-couple the AF from the shutter. Now you can take focus, and move the camera and press as many photos as you want, without the camera trying to refocus. Lots of us have done this, so the AE-L button on the back is the AF button.

Next thing you can do is use LiveView. This uses different AF method, which has its pros and cons (you can google Phase detect AF vs. Contrast detect AF). In live view, you can also go to Menu and enable Focus Peaking. This is a great aide for acquiring focus. In fact, you can switch camera to MF and use manual focus with focus peaking. After practice, you can manually focus faster/better than the AF (though, this depends on the scene as well as the lens)

QuoteOriginally posted by barladeanca Quote
I have the standard 18-50 lens.
This is a fine lens, but it is far from the best in the lineup. Check your photos to see which focal length you use the most, or at least which one gives you the best photos. Then I would suggest you buy a fixed focal length lens (this means no zoom, but much better image quality). Pentax makes great DA 35mm f2.4 and DA 50mm f1.8 lenses, which are really affordable and give you much better image quality and low light performance, fast AF than the kit lens. You can try something like Pentax 16-50mm or the more affordable Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 lens (read here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/pentax-16-50-vs-sigma-tamron-17-50mm/introduction.html). These still give you a zoom range, and allow a brighter image, and still have a better image quality than the kit lens. The kit lens is just.. well, the lens that comes with all cameras. By definition it won't be the most top notch technology.

One more thing. Photos can be blurry due to misfocusing or handshake blur (in combination with slow shutter speeds). Misfocusing can happen due to camera making a different choice than what you wanted, or due to user error, or due to lens and camera being miscalibrated. If you are certain the first two options are not the cause, you can try adjusting the AF (there is a camera option for this, many threads and blog posts about techniques that help you do this, including focus charts).

Edit: Also, do not forget the importance of light. I assume the subject are indoors, which usually means dim light. You can light up the room, use a diffused flash, or something else to help you, but this takes a lot of work. And don't forget to adjust the WB to Tungsten or whatever light quality you are dealing with.
And if you shoot jpeg, switch to Portrait mode. Practice practice practice is crucial, as well.

Last edited by Na Horuk; 09-25-2015 at 07:21 AM.
09-25-2015, 07:19 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by max_pyne Quote
RTFM. pdf manual page 58 (56)! you can try the spot mode... are you sure its not soft due to low shutter speed? have you tried live view? upload a picture...?
I don't have the manual. Is it online? I only have a camera guide nd there's no page 58 or 56 I don't think it's the shutter speed because the focus is fine on parts of the image, just not the parts I need ...

I've uploaded a photo. I would like focus to fall on his eyes...don't know how to achieve that

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09-25-2015, 07:20 AM   #5
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Download operating manuals - RICOH IMAGING - European Hub Site or

http://www.ricoh-imaging.eu/media/7b41dd78e80088233f583159a6b800e0/KS2-OPM-EN.pdf
second link is directly to the manual :-)

hm if you start using the center AF point and decouple the AF from the shutter button you can start working..:-)
And don't forget that every lens has a minimum focus distance. If you are to close with your 18-50 mm lens you will not be able to get a sharp image. looking at the exif details is states macro = very close to the subject in your case the baby. you are using a shutter speed of 1/80s that should be fine unless the baby moves or you move the camera rule of thumb to freeze people is to use 1/125s to freeze the eye lid movement.

Last edited by max_pyne; 09-25-2015 at 07:27 AM.
09-25-2015, 07:23 AM   #6
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Thank you much. The image I posted is not the best example. I have others where the background/hat is in sharp focus. Anyway, I'll check the instructions in the manual.
09-25-2015, 07:28 AM   #7
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I have the 1.4 fixed lens but I can't go very far back with that...I have to shoot very close and I can't fit the whole baby in the frame without loosing the focus and depth of field.Or maybe I should just practice more I use continuous lighting, I adjusted the WB. Thank you all very much for the replies.
09-25-2015, 07:30 AM   #8
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by the way the decoupling of the the AF is described on page 103 (101) starts at 102 (100)
and another thing: the closer you are to your subject, the smaller the F number (the bigger the aperture) and longer the focal length the smaller is the resulting DOF.

09-25-2015, 07:33 AM   #9
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In the sample shot you posted, slow shutter is part of the blur. Pentax cameras have an SR function, but you need to give it two seconds for it to activate (I think an icon lights up when this happens, check manual)

And yes, now you notice that photography is all about compromises. You can use a wider angle lens to get closer, but you risk getting some distortion and casting a shadow on the subject. You can use telephoto, but you need more space and DoF becomes shallow. You can use a macro lens, but the DoF becomes really shallow and the subject might be too big for the frame.

The f1.4 lens that you have is 50mm? Look into the Pentax DA 35mm or Sigma 30mm f1.4
09-25-2015, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #10
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I have the K-S2. It is a nice camera. Mine is "forest green". Very nice.

In your case, you need to turn off the auto AF select and go to manul selection of focus points.
First, see to that your flip back screen is visible with the LCD panel facing towards you. Otherwise you won't see a thing.
Second, press the INFO button.
Third, locate the third row from top to bottom. Move the marker with the 4-way controller (it is around the OK button) to the *second column* from left in the third row. When you hare highlighting this, press the OK-button.

Here you can select between Auto 11, Auto 5, Select, Select Extended and Spot. I recommend choosing the Select-option. You choose it with the 4-way controller then press OK when you are highlightning the Select-option.

Now you're all set.

Ok, time to take a picture.
At the back of the screen you should have the AF area visible with a red dot showing the actual AF position. With the 4-way controller you can now move around and select the position of your choice. If you have a look in the viewfinder, you will find a red dot showing the AF position.

When you have moved it to your preferred position just shoot away, press the shutter button.

The AF stays where you left it, so if you want to reset it to the center just press the OK button.

You can also choose the Spot AF - this locks the AF in the middle and then you re-compose.

If you wish to change ISO, flash and White balance etc. you have to give the OK button a *long* press - then it switches from AF position to those functions. When you're finished, you can go back to AF point selection with a long press on the OK again.
09-25-2015, 07:55 AM - 1 Like   #11
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Welcome to the Pentax Forums!

QuoteOriginally posted by barladeanca Quote
I don't have the manual. Is it online?
No manual? If you purchased new from a reputable dealer, it should have been in the box with the camera. You can download a PDF from Ricoh/Pentax Canada:

Support?RICOH IMAGING CANADA

QuoteOriginally posted by barladeanca Quote
I've uploaded a photo. I would like focus to fall on his eyes...don't know how to achieve that
If you allow the camera to chose the focus point, it will lock on that point where it is able to attain best focus. This may or may not be the eye. You have three main options and numerous other techniques:
  • Use center-point AF on the eye and recompose
  • Compose and manually change the focus point to the eye
  • Use manual focus
With DA-series lenses you also have the option to manually fine adjust using the quick-shift feature.

QuoteOriginally posted by barladeanca Quote
I have the 1.4 fixed lens but I can't go very far back with that
You lost me here. You should be able to focus from the minimum focus distance to infinity with any lens that has been properly fitted to your camera. The exceptions would be if you are using extension tubes for macro or with an adapted M42 screw mount lens with an improper adapter or if the lens is not in a proper condition (physical damage or messed up service attempt).

As for the softness, part of the blame might lie with the lens and how it was being used. The 18-50 is a capable optic, but not particularly sharp wide open as in the photo above. I suggest spending some time with your camera on a wider range of subjects (including the baby) and learn how to leverage its features to get the results you have in mind. The suggestions above are good ones, though some like decoupling the AF (back-button focus) are more advanced techniques and might be better left until you have mastered the basics.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-25-2015 at 08:02 AM.
09-25-2015, 08:33 AM   #12
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You've got a lot of good tips and tricks. As you can see, there's many ways to get the results you want!

FWIW, for portrait, I use a different method than the ones listed above. I usually set the camera on AF.C (continous focus), focus on the eye, and then recompose if needed. This way, the AF.C will compensate the focus for any movement of either you or the baby (or, in fact, anyone you want to shot a portrait). This works particularly well in the situation you described, since at close range and wide aperture even a small change in distance can lead to a misfocused shot.
09-25-2015, 09:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by barladeanca Quote
I have the 1.4 fixed lens but I can't go very far back with that...I have to shoot very close and I can't fit the whole baby in the frame without loosing the focus and depth of field.Or maybe I should just practice more I use continuous lighting, I adjusted the WB. Thank you all very much for the replies.
Which 1.4 lens? What is the full name on the lens? Are you saying it won't let you get the entire baby in the frame and you don't have enough room to back up far enough to do so?
09-25-2015, 10:01 AM   #14
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I would stand back more, or get higher up above the baby. I think you're probably too close with the camera . Go back more and zoom in to get the size in the viewfinder or screen that you want. After you zoom in from further back, then try to focus again.
09-25-2015, 11:23 AM   #15
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Thank you all so very much for your answers, you've been very helpful! I bought the camera on Amazon. It came with a guide - a small book - and not the whole manual, but I've downloaded it know and I'm going to read through it

---------- Post added 09-25-15 at 11:38 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by CarlJF Quote
You've got a lot of good tips and tricks. As you can see, there's many ways to get the results you want!

FWIW, for portrait, I use a different method than the ones listed above. I usually set the camera on AF.C (continous focus), focus on the eye, and then recompose if needed. This way, the AF.C will compensate the focus for any movement of either you or the baby (or, in fact, anyone you want to shot a portrait). This works particularly well in the situation you described, since at close range and wide aperture even a small change in distance can lead to a misfocused shot.
I am trying this now but not sure if it's working...when you recompose do the little green brackets stay on the focus point or move with your movement?
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