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10-03-2015, 06:31 PM   #1
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Very blurry/soapy images in daylight

Hi guys.

Last time I whined about bad pics, it was a hair on my sensor. I hope it is something as simple this time too.

I went out on a hike today and had some fantastic photo opportunities. I took some photos (K30 with HD DA 55-300mm ED WR) and when I came home and looked at them, they looked like they were taken using a flip phone. Seriously, they turned out to be that bad. Last time I used the camera was in June. Does the blurriness have something to do with this?

You can see the June pics (F1, Parc J-D). I have also attached the blurry ones here. I have also attached a picture I took on my iPhone. Unfortunately, the sharper one is from the iPhone.

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
IPhone 6s  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-30  Photo 

Last edited by kmhtax; 10-03-2015 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Typo
10-03-2015, 06:57 PM   #2
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I'm finding it a bit hard to give you definitive advice, so I'll throw a few suggestions out for you.

I noticed you've used high ISO values. In daylight, reduce them down to below 400 but keep the exposure >>1/300 for the <300mm shots. This will help with outline edge sharpness/clarity.

It looks like your focus points might be too distant in a couple which is making the foreground blurry. The rule of thumb for stopped down apertures is to focus about a third into the distance. Look up Depth of Field (DoF) charts and you'll see what I'm talking about.

The other thing to note is that the haze in the distance will obviously limit the sharpness you can achieve for distant hills and trees.

The pile of rocks is a bit perplexing as I'm assuming you were focussing on the rocks. It's sometimes possible to mis-focus even when you're pointing at an object. The zone the AF point uses isn't a single point, it's a small area so if the rock was sharing that space with some twigs in the background it might have focussed on the twigs.
10-03-2015, 06:58 PM   #3
osv
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well, a couple of those were shot at f/16, which is well into the visible diffraction range of aps-c sensors... that will lower the p.q., i'd suggest staying at f/8 unless you absolutely have to stop it down more, maybe f/10 at the max.

the stacked rock pic was shot at 1/3200th? plenty fast enough to not get any camera shake in there, but it does look like it's maybe backfocused... hard to tell with such a small photo... iso6400 will also hurt the resolution there, you should have slowed the shutter speed way down, which would have let more light in, so that you could have lowered the iso.

the race car shot is not too bad.
10-03-2015, 07:01 PM   #4
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The iso is set to 6400 on the last three, this will yield much lower quality than iso 100 of the F1 and Parc Jean Drapeau shots. You had plenty of room in all of these for a lower iso and lower shutter speed to compensate.

10-03-2015, 07:03 PM   #5
KDD
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Maybe HD coating damage????
10-03-2015, 07:26 PM   #6
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Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I will read them and try to understand them as much as I can and use those tips when taking the pics next time. But I still think there is more to it. Here's why. I used Auto mode for both Parc J-D and today. I didn't pay much attention because I didn't think the scene need anything more.

Here's what I see when I compared them side by side: A slimy layer on top of the pictures (on the right, in the attached picture). Is this ISO related? I guess that's what you guess have been saying so far. But I am annoyed that the auto mode selected that ISO.

As far as the damaged HD coating, I don't think it is the reason because I later clicked some photos with another non HD lens and I got the same artifacts.
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10-03-2015, 07:32 PM   #7
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That's the high ISO at work. You can limit the range the auto setting will use somewhere in your menus. Duck back outside, set the ISO to 200 in Av mode, set the aperture to F8 and see how you go.
10-03-2015, 07:34 PM   #8
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OK! It's night here now. I will do that first thing tomorrow and report back.

10-03-2015, 09:10 PM   #9
mee
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if you have a tripod, I'd take photos with the camera on it... first take a photo with the camera shooting normally.. then turn the AF wheel to minimum focus and, set the camera to Live View mode, and then let the camera take another photo. Compare the two images. If the LV one is sharper then you need to adjust the lens with the AF micro adjustments in the camera menu.
10-03-2015, 11:45 PM   #10
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All of the advice above is very good but you should take control of your camera,try not to use scene modes,try;

AV I use this most of the time, if you look at what you want to do in the scene, if you want 1 object in the scene to be prominent use a large aperture,small number,

1 or 2 stops above minimum with low ISO the SS might be low, but if you can hold steady 1/60 will give you a good photo in this case use spot metering, and a tripod will help.

The billboard photo is back lite the above will give you good results on the board but might blow out the background, and give you boken (out of focus)

The same applies to land scape but use f 8- f 11 and meter the hi lights and shadows then you can average between the two checkout dof master to get the amount of focus you want in the scene in focus.

This is what I use for reasonable results.

Jack.
10-04-2015, 09:04 AM   #11
osv
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmhtax Quote
As far as the damaged HD coating, I don't think it is the reason because I later clicked some photos with another non HD lens and I got the same artifacts.
you can usually see "damaged hd coating" by shining a flashlight into the lens, at an angle to the direction that you are viewing it.

look at the photo comparison of different apertures here: photo technique magazine

you can clearly see that f/16 has more blur than f/5.6... and that's on a camera with a full-frame sensor, your aps-c crop sensor camera will be worse than that... f/8 on crop is roughly equal to f/11 on ff.

1)don't close the aperture down more than f/8 unless you absolutely have to
2)turn the iso way down
10-04-2015, 12:07 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kmhtax Quote
Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I will read them and try to understand them as much as I can and use those tips when taking the pics next time. But I still think there is more to it. Here's why. I used Auto mode for both Parc J-D and today. I didn't pay much attention because I didn't think the scene need anything more.

Here's what I see when I compared them side by side: A slimy layer on top of the pictures (on the right, in the attached picture). Is this ISO related? I guess that's what you guess have been saying so far. But I am annoyed that the auto mode selected that ISO.

As far as the damaged HD coating, I don't think it is the reason because I later clicked some photos with another non HD lens and I got the same artifacts.

That, what you are calling "a slimy layer on top of the picture", is nothing you can do anything about other than pick a different day or time to take the picture. That "slime" is moisture in the air, also known as haze.


If you are out taking photos on a day that has high humidity and it is quite warm, you will get haze in photos like these type of landscape photos.
10-04-2015, 12:11 PM   #13
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High ISO (I never shoot higher than 1600 if I want a decent outcome) and atmospheric haze.
10-04-2015, 12:54 PM   #14
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Thanks a lot for your kind suggestions guys. The menu was stuck on manual ISO 6400 somehow :/. I made it auto and now I'm getting stunning pictures as usual. After reading the posts here I ended up learning a bit more about my camera which is good. Thanks again.
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