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03-25-2018, 02:06 AM   #1
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Focus issues. K200D Is it the Camera or the piece of meat hanging off the end of it?

So I go out to take pics, so far all on Auto pict, or in scene mode.

AF.S, AE metering is set on the middle one, and AF point is set on the last one, point in middle.

Some pictures turn out fantastic, some are rubbish, how do I get consistently good shots?
Go to manual?
Set AF point to auto?
Some are action shots, some are landscape?, (Nothing should move in landscape!)

And some are taken within a couple of seconds of each other.

Or is it a case of practice makes perfect?

Any hints, tips and suggestions are welcome.

Cheers

Laurie

03-25-2018, 02:38 AM   #2
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If you are using single points AF you need to be sure you are pointing that point at an area with contrast. Post some pictures.
03-25-2018, 02:42 AM   #3
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ok ill put up some baddies

---------- Post added 03-25-18 at 02:49 AM ----------

ill have to do it tomorrow peter, they are in RAW and to upload i gotta put them in JPEG

Cheers
03-25-2018, 04:26 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by laurie02 Quote
So I go out to take pics, so far all on Auto pict, or in scene mode.

AF.S, AE metering is set on the middle one, and AF point is set on the last one, point in middle.

Some pictures turn out fantastic, some are rubbish, how do I get consistently good shots?
Go to manual?
Set AF point to auto?
Some are action shots, some are landscape?, (Nothing should move in landscape!)

And some are taken within a couple of seconds of each other.

Or is it a case of practice makes perfect?

Any hints, tips and suggestions are welcome.

Cheers

Laurie
G'day Laurie we've not introduced, so welcome to the forums from me. I'm not a guru, but I'll try and provide some feedback that should help you narrow down what's not working so you can get the consistency you need.

To start with the K200D is not the latest around so AF is going to be representative of the technology from the era it was made. No bigee if you're okay in making up for that with some smarts. With landscapes you don't need AF you can use manual focus. I do as do many real landscape photographers as you know exactly what your focal point is. For action you can also use manual focus but it's not as easy but might work for some subjects. To that end knowing any sports you shoot will help as you get to predict what is likely to happen and be ready for it. You can pre-focus on a point, track a subject and some lenses allow you to AF and assist that AF manually. Making use of these options should help you with the AF. There are many AF setting options on various camera models but as I'm not completely familiar with the K200D I will leave it there and hope a more knowledgeable person can come along with some further feedback.

AE relates to metering, it's to do with how the camera measures the light within a given scene. Normally there's three options these being, point, center weighted and full or something like that. What these mean is where the camera will assess the light to work out what the correct exposure is. I'd recommend that if you're doing landscapes you allow the camera to assess the whole scene to set the exposure unless there's a big variation between light and dark areas say with the sun in frame with some subjects in the shade. For these times I'd use centre weighted or point where the camera uses the average of the centre third of the scene to set the exposure or just the centre. With point it's basically just focusing on what's in the centre of the frame and ensuring the exposure is correct for whatever that is. And this is where these options can come in handy for sports/action shots. Say you are shooting a dancer in light clothing on a dark stage with a spotlight on the dancer. If you set AE to meter the entire scene it will default to averaging the dark background and the white dressed well lit dancer and will result in the dancer being overexposed. But if you went spot metering and kept the dancer in the centre of the frame the dance would be exposed correctly and the backgrounds would be dark and irrelevant, as they should be.

And this leads us into Ev, the exposure value which can be set for semi auto modes. Let's say in the example above you had the whole scene metered for the dancer and the dancer was just a sea of white and no detail as the white is all over-exposed. You could change the metering, which is the smart thing to do as the camera will adjust automatically or if you're in a hurry you might set a minus or plus Ev so the camera will know to make the scene darker or lighter to suit what you want. And what you want means you need to understand the exposure triangle.

To get the right exposure which is; sharp where it needs to be, bright enough for the scene and with sufficient depth of field for the elements you want in focus, you need to get to grips with balancing shutter speed with aperture and ISO. Shutter speed is a straight forward time component. The faster the shutter speed is the more you can freeze the motion. But that speed means less light available over a given time, so to help that you make the aperture wider to let more light in for that given time. But sometimes you find to freeze the action and have enough depth of field it still ends up dark so this is where you make the camera sensor more sensitive to light by pushing the ISO higher.

So these three elements, shutter speed, aperture and ISO, need to be in balance to get the exposure right. To do this you need to understand what your camera can do, and I recommend you try Av, Tv and TAv drive modes. These are three semi-automatic modes that will help you come to grips with what your camera can do. Here's the details on each:

  • Av The aperture priority mode lets you choose the size of the aperture set in the lens. This means the size of the hole through which light will enter. You can make it larger or smaller, the steps are fractions so when you think 1:1 then the hole through which light can enter is the same as the maximum available for that lens. In all but a few cases a lens will never get to 1:1 but be a fraction of that. For example a fast lens could be 1:2 and a moderately slow lens may not get wider than 1:4. In these two examples the 1:2 lens has an aperture that allows 1/2 the light through whilst the slower lens can let no more than 1/4 of the light through. And often with for example landscapes you want to shoot with even smaller apertures like f8, f11 etc. Thinking of these as fractions of light allowed through the lens will tell you straight away that there's less light coming through so I need a slower shutter speed and/or higher ISO to ensure the exposure triangle is balanced.
  • Tv Do you like sports shots where the action is frozen and you capture a moment in time that you would otherwise have missed? This is one of the reasons you would set your camera to shutter priority. Here you can set your shutter speed to freeze the action or allow tracking of a subject across the front of you whilst blurring the background. In this drive mode you are focusing on maintaining a shutter speed to match the subject, so if you were shooting a performance by actors or dancers you would need to keep the shutter speed to something like 1/500s or higher to freeze the action. To do this you set the shutter speed you want and the camera will adjust the aperture to suit. This will mean of course that the depth of field will vary if the light does, as the aperture will open wider when the scene gets dark and narrow as it gets light. This means you have to be more careful with focus as the depth of field will narrow with the wider aperture and may miss things you want to be sharp.
  • TAv So the previous two drive modes focused on two elements, these being the aperture and the shutter speed. The TAv drive mode however will allow you to set both the shutter speed and the aperture, and the camera will read the scene and adjust the ISO to keep the exposure correct. For example, maybe you are capturing images outside at a soccer match and the light changes due to cloud. No problemo as you have set your aperture to say f5.6 for a moderate depth of field and your shutter speed to 1/1000s to freeze the action and the camera will see these two corners of the triangle and know for the light available that it needs to set ISO to 1600. Yet five minutes later the sun breaks through the clouds and you have ample light so it drops the ISO back down to 100 or 200 which will give you cleaner images. Higher ISO means more noise in your images though so you need to also consider resetting the aperture and shutter speed to help the camera manage the noise to a level that you find suitable.
My aim in these explanation is to help with AF & AE settings whilst pointing you towards the camera assisted drive modes that will allow you to focus on what you're capturing not what the camera is doing as this is way more important than a bit of kit and what it does. And cameras and lenses, no matter how much you pay will have compromises and you just need to work out how to work around the compromises of the kit you have in your hands. If you get the balance right in these modes then there's nothing stopping you from getting consistently good results. Which means, I hope you will choose to share some images with us.


Tas

03-25-2018, 09:00 AM   #5
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I have a K200d and while I wouldn't choose it today, it was a nice camera. When it comes to focus, it's number-one shortcoming to my mind is the lack of per-lens AF microfocus adjustments, so if your lens needs them, you're entirely out of luck. I can't use some lenses (including a Pentax DA* until Pentax fixed it for me) on the K200 that work on my K5 for that reason. But that's not the issue you describe. Possibly you either are or aren't locking focus (by partly pressing the shutter release button) when you should or shouldn't be. Keep in mind that locking focus in the correct location can also lock metering in the wrong location, and that might not work out well depending on the situation.

As for manual focus the only camera that's harder to manually focus than my K5 is my K200. I don't recommend using manual focus for most situations, although I do use manual focus a lot when attempting to create the correct depth of field. Why my camera can't figure that out for me (and I don't think new ones can either?) is a mystery to me.
03-25-2018, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by laurie02 Quote
So I go out to take pics, so far all on Auto pict, or in scene mode.

AF.S, AE metering is set on the middle one, and AF point is set on the last one, point in middle.

Some pictures turn out fantastic, some are rubbish, how do I get consistently good shots?
Go to manual?
Set AF point to auto?
Some are action shots, some are landscape?, (Nothing should move in landscape!)

And some are taken within a couple of seconds of each other.

Or is it a case of practice makes perfect?

Any hints, tips and suggestions are welcome.

Cheers

Laurie
Sounds like you need to switch to matrix metering rather than spot metering.

Adam
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03-25-2018, 02:06 PM   #7
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Wow, thank you all, Tas, I read your comments and stuff makes sense, especially where you said expecting current results with yesterday's tech makes a lot of sense, but also freeing up the camera more to work properly, and to treat it like a real camera, rather than a point and shoot, which I came to the realization last night.
I was expecting Rembrandt results with painting by numbers, so the shot I am picking in my mind the camera isn't seeing!
Tibbits, I'll keep those comments in mind about locking focus, again, it comes to user experience and possibly older equipment, but I figure I'll master this machine first, cut my teeth on the basics and learn, then upgrade.
Adam, I'll make that change and see if it helps me at all, possibly , with that, changing to a more hands on and appropriate setting and taking a bit more time and care will help solve this issue.
03-25-2018, 03:18 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by laurie02 Quote
results with yesterday's tech
The camera is what it is mate, and I hope some of that info gets you to where you can be with it too. Don't forget that the latest tech is just that and people used to capture sports images with manual focus lenses on much simpler film cameras so there's nothing stopping you doing the same with your camera, which would have been tomorrow's tech when the following were captured.

Google Image Result for https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/28/25/d8/2825d818fee341c8a8adc7e5565bb2e9.jpg

Google Image Result for https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tMKarzvYchE/maxresdefault.jpg

Mortorcycles - OLD RACE PHOTOS

Tas

03-25-2018, 03:21 PM   #9
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The matrix metering is default for a DSLR. Spot metering is for advanced use. So is center-weighted metering these days- it has no compensation for backlit situations. In mastering the particulars of controlling exposure, and control is what owning a DSLR is all about, it might be best to just shoot JPEG images while you learn rather than taking up your time with RAW images, trying to compensate for what you did not do like using the wrong metering, or wrong AF setting, or whatever.

The K200D can provide plenty of sharpness in JPEG images. But it is desirable and necessary, especially with this model, to go into the Custom Images menus and set sharpening to Fine Sharpening to bring out fine detail. "Bright" and "Natural" will be your most used categories, with "Bright" being default.

Using "scene" modes, and even worse "auto-pic" which tells the camera to select a "scene mode" for you, is like handing over all control to automation and defeating the purpose of having a DSLR outside of being able to change lenses. If you are going to use a "scene mode" and it turns out well, at least look up the data to find out what the settings were as determined by the camera's specific "scene" program, and try to figure out why it turned out well. That said, there are numerous lighting circumstances that will fool even the best-laid "scene" automation.

You need to learn the when and why of controlling aperture, shutter speed, etc. but if desiring quick operation of both then use the "P" mode, which is fully programmed for both settings. The camera will then show you what settings it has chosen so you can determine if you want to change a setting. In using the Manual mode, you must determine what the settings will be. It is the best way to learn about lighting and exposure, as well as the use a spot meter.
03-25-2018, 04:12 PM   #10
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Thanks Tas, nice comparison too!

Hi Mikesbike I have to stop being lazy and " work for my art" lol

Cheers

---------- Post added 03-25-18 at 04:58 PM ----------

Regarding Focus,
Here is a bad one



A better one I think



the best one in my opinion



All untouched so far
03-25-2018, 07:02 PM   #11
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Regarding your examples, for some subjects at long distances there is no substitute for very serious lenses, and even with them you've got atmospheric issues when you're that far away from your subject. I've accepted that there are some things I just can't photograph the way I see/experience them.
03-25-2018, 07:13 PM   #12
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Well if you were using single point AF You are not going to get consistent results. In 1 and 3 the centre of the picture is featureless. AF will struggle to focus. On the second one it should have focussed on the building. Your pictures contain no exif data so it is impossible to tell what settings were used. Try again with more points active for AF and experiment with AF-C too. post pictures direct from your computer so they retain the exif.
03-25-2018, 07:51 PM   #13
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Fast moving jets are very hard. I think you need to start with slower moving subjects. No exif data but it looks to me like your shutter speed is too low for the subject. I’m going to guess you were moving the camera to follow the jets. There are blur-trails on the building.

For focus, I would be on manual focus and focus just a tiny hair short of infinity.

You are need higher ISO and a larger aperture. New cameras are much better at high ISO and long, large aperture lenses are very expensive and huge.
03-25-2018, 08:08 PM   #14
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thanks team....Whats EXIF?

off to google we go.......
03-26-2018, 12:39 AM   #15
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The K200D is not a camera with the fastest or most accurate AF, but focus errors like this could be due to:

User error
Lens requiring focus micro-adjustment
Poor performance of the AF system

If the lens requires micro-adjustment then this can be checked by testing, though micro-adjustment is only available on the K200D as a global setting and by "hacking" the camera's firmware.
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