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11-08-2015, 01:37 AM   #16
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Call me crazy, but the first photo looks okay (it's a super zoom pic), the second doesn't seem to be sharp anywhere - can't even tell what the point of focus was!

11-08-2015, 04:02 AM   #17
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I agree with Clackers, the first photo looks fine, at least at web size. Maybe a little soft from iso 800, but I still think it looks good. I would get a faster lens though, for portraits -- something that you can shoot f4 at 70mm. Tamron 28-70 f2.8 is probably the cheapest zoom. I would use auto focus too. Live view is probably the most accurate way and works fine if folks are holding still.

It does take a lot of practice. I wouldn't worry about RAW development. That just feels like a red herring and has little to do with why your photos would be sharp or not. If your jpeg isn't well focused, your RAW photo wouldn't be either. The only thing RAW does is gives you more leeway if your white balance is off or you need to bump up shadows or something like that.
11-08-2015, 05:49 AM - 1 Like   #18
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It's true that shooting in RAW won't help the focus, but it gives more leeway in post processing to adjust contrast, remove noise, balance and manipulate colors and other factors that can affect the perceived sharpness. Unless I missed the point altogether, the question was about softness of the images, not focus per se. The first photo appears to be in focus to me but the colors are somewhat washed out and the contrast is flat which leaves the impression of softness.


If your photo is not in focus then it doesn't matter what format you use and if you're happy with the jpeg rendition then RAW doesn't get you a thing, but if you do have to edit then jpeg images will start to fall apart after just a few edits. You can also use RAW+ so that you have a jpeg right out of the camera that you can use if you're happy with it and a RAW image you can edit if you aren't.


When all is said and done, the best thing you can do is keep practicing. Try things; use what works and toss out what doesn't. Everyone has opinions and they are useful as learning tools but each person does things a little differently and that's what makes life and art so interesting. Good Luck.
11-08-2015, 08:09 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by charchri4 Quote
+1 ^ Have you tried autofocus?
Yes, still a little soft. I'm going to try all of your suggestions today if I have time with the kids.....I will let you know how I do. Wish me luck!

11-08-2015, 09:52 AM   #20
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50 f 1.8 at the current price would make a difference. Try some fill flash , might clean up some color .
11-08-2015, 10:46 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffw Quote
50 f 1.8 at the current price would make a difference. Try some fill flash , might clean up some color .
Good choice of lens but unless everyone is lined up on the same plain, I would use something around f3.5-4.0 to keep everyone in focus

Randy
11-08-2015, 02:12 PM   #22
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Just recommending the lens not the settings. Sorry for any confusion:-)
11-11-2015, 08:25 PM - 2 Likes   #23
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Well, I tried adjusting my diopter and I used the only prime lens I have which is the Pentax 50mm 1.8. I used the tripod and cable release for this photo.
ISO 100 - SS 1/125 - f/1.8 and focal length 50mm. The original photo was shot in .PEF or RAW...this was an accident as I meant to shoot in DNG
The one piece of data I cannot seem to locate is whether I had my focus set to auto or manual..can anyone tell me if this info is in the exif anywhere?
At any rate, I have to say, the end result was better than what I've been getting, so, again, thank you all very much for your help!

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12-30-2015, 04:33 AM   #24
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Never mind the technicalities, this is a great portrait.
12-30-2015, 05:45 AM   #25
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Nice moment caught, but the eyes look very soft. I would suggest stopping down a bit from f1.8.
For portraits I always use spot focus and make sure to focus on the eyes. Where are you focussing?

Last edited by Papa Lazarou; 12-30-2015 at 05:51 AM.
12-30-2015, 07:03 AM   #26
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I'm sorry about asking a question in this thread, but it does relate to the advice given. Why should camera shake reduction be turned off while using a tripod, and doesn't it get automatically turned off using remote control (not sure about cable release)?
12-30-2015, 08:29 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kenntak Quote
I'm sorry about asking a question in this thread, but it does relate to the advice given. Why should camera shake reduction be turned off while using a tripod, and doesn't it get automatically turned off using remote control (not sure about cable release)?
Pentax always recommends turning it off on a tripod but I can't recall an official reson from them. The SR system entering a 'feedback loop' of trying to detect and correct shake that wasn't there in the first place is the usual reason cited by 3rd parties. You can always try both and see if you can tell the difference.

And yes, it is automatically disabled in a few situations where the camera assumes a tripod is in use - the Self-timer, IR Remote Control, Mirror Lock up, Bulb mode, and maybe some I'm missing. As far as I can tell, SR is still active with a cable release (outside of the previous cases).
12-30-2015, 12:08 PM   #28
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Thank you Brian that ^ is good to know.
12-30-2015, 01:27 PM   #29
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Thank you!

As usually, everyone on this site is so helpful. Also, thanks for your nice comments. I'm getting a little better each time I do portraiture, I'm so lucky to have 5 grandchildren that are always willing to smile for me
12-30-2015, 02:45 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by NancyK Quote
As usually, everyone on this site is so helpful. Also, thanks for your nice comments. I'm getting a little better each time I do portraiture, I'm so lucky to have 5 grandchildren that are always willing to smile for me
A benefit to threads like this is for people like me "reading over your shoulder" and learning about photography with you. Thank you.
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