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08-24-2022, 08:21 AM   #1
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Live View Focusing Error...

I hope you all don't mind providing some useful information to a long time Pentax shooter who has recently tried to use Live view and is sorely disappointed with the results...

I had an even this past weekend, which I participate in yearly. My Motorcycle club holds an annual "Brit Jam" Motorcycle Show where people from all over bring antique and modern motorcycles to show, which and spectators come to see...

Earlier this year, I injured my back, to the point that I have a great deal of difficulty "taking a knee" when I take my images of the show bikes...

In other years, I have used a tripod, set at a particular height to take my pictures (of course adding a lot of weight to my rig, which I carry around all day...) and making all my shots homogeneous and predictable.

This year, I decided to use the articulating rear screen and live view to get my focus and composition... (Less bending, kneeling and no carrying he tripod...) I also had to use an off camera flash this year because of overcast.

Anyway, all that aside... I am desperately disappointed by the focusing performance of the autofocus while in Live View... Now, I know it could be a lot of "Operator Error..." But, I am wondering if anyone else has experienced this also...
What seems to be happening is... In live View, the camera seems to want to focus on a point that is either further away from, or much closer, than the point that I put the "Spot Focus" point on then move the frame for composition...

But, as I said before... It could just be user error...
Any help or advice would be truly appreciated!
Here's a prime example of the majority (Well, perhaps half...) of the 260 plus images I took, look like... (a lot more are just not sharp...)



08-24-2022, 08:55 AM   #2
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When you write "the point that I put the "Spot Focus" point on then move the frame for composition..." does the camera indicate that the focus is locked and you hold it there with the shutter or AE-L button?
Difficult to be more detailed without being sure which camera (an possibly which lens) you're using.
I'm a recent convert to "waist-level viewfinder" now that my long-term back problems are being more intrusive, so I'm well aware of the issues involved when using my KP.
08-24-2022, 08:59 AM   #3
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Liveview uses a different and less sensitive focusing system compared to the viewfinder focusing. The Liveview focusing is based on contrast and can be slower and grab things that you don't want to focus on. Usually, when I'm using Liveview, I'm also using manual focus and use magnification to get the best focus on what I want. That works very well and can be better than using the VF autofocus since it bypasses any errors in the VF focus system and uses information that the sensor is seeing directly.

This doesn't address your original issue however, and there might not be a good answer to using the contrast focusing Liveview offers. Note: In your sample photo, the highly reflective chrome surface can misdirect the autofocus to make it try to focus on the reflection which is a virtual image far behind the subject you're trying to focus on. The same thing happen when you're trying to focus through screen wire - the AF may not get the right subject matter when it focuses. The only solution in those situations might be going manual.
08-24-2022, 09:53 AM   #4
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It is unclear what camera you're using and what problem you encountered exactly. Could you tell a bit more?

08-24-2022, 04:59 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobphoenix Quote
In live View, the camera seems to want to focus on a point that is either further away from, or much closer, than the point that I put the "Spot Focus" point on then move the frame for composition...
Focus the camera. Turn the AF off. Recompose.

It sounds like you are focussing on one spot then allowing the camera to re-focus when you have recomposed. Your image above shows a very sharp focus in the centre of the image.
08-25-2022, 05:36 AM   #6
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Sorry for the lack of information... (I knew what camera and lens that I was talking about... in my head...)

I'm using my K1 (Firmware update 1.6) with a Pentax 28 - 105mm DFA HD WP lens and the auto focus set to spot (center frame focusing).

The procedure I use is; acquire my subject using the spot focus until the subject/ image is sharp on the live view screen... and while continuing to hold the shutter release button half way down, compose my image...

On a side note, I've tried using LV for Astro photography with disastrous results... making sure the edge highlighting is perfect the using a remote to capture the image.

Maybe it's a "feature of convenience", meaning, it's a nice feature to have, but is really not reliable enough for those critical shots...
08-25-2022, 08:29 AM   #7
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Is it possible to set the screen to focus and instantly take a picture when indicating on the the screen where you want focus?

It could be movement of the camera but it seems much more likely that for one reason or another you're not conveying to the camera where you want it to focus.

The chrome could throw things off but Live-View focus should actually be more accurate than when using the viewfinder, as long as it is given the time it needs. You should be able to focus on the "O S A" in the example photo, which is not chrome, without any problems.

I wouldn't recommend focus and recompose for live-view focusing as the way the camera is held make front-to-back movement much more likely. Place the focus point where you want it on the screen and take the photo straight away. If you're using focus and recompose maybe you're using continuous AF and when you move the camera it re-focuses to somewhere you don't want it?

08-25-2022, 09:49 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobphoenix Quote
Sorry for the lack of information... (I knew what camera and lens that I was talking about... in my head...)
I'm using my K1 (Firmware update 1.6) with a Pentax 28 - 105mm DFA HD WP lens and the auto focus set to spot (center frame focusing).
The procedure I use is; acquire my subject using the spot focus until the subject/ image is sharp on the live view screen... and while continuing to hold the shutter release button half way down, compose my image...
Fine but is your camera configured to retain that point of focus whilst you hold the shutter button down?
Are you sure you haven't managed to accidently move the focus point from the centre of the screen?
My KP shows a green square on the screen when the focus is locked and an asterisk (star symbol) in the corner of the screen when the exposure is locked and I can retain those settings by keeping the shutter button half-pressed, but I imagine the K-1 may have more options with regard to a/f lock and AE lock etc.
If you review the original image on the camera, does the K-1 show where the chosen point of focus was? you may have to press the Info button a couple of times to get to the screen which displays this information.
08-25-2022, 12:48 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
Fine but is your camera configured to retain that point of focus whilst you hold the shutter button down?
Are you sure you haven't managed to accidently move the focus point from the centre of the screen?
My KP shows a green square on the screen when the focus is locked and an asterisk (star symbol) in the corner of the screen when the exposure is locked and I can retain those settings by keeping the shutter button half-pressed, but I imagine the K-1 may have more options with regard to a/f lock and AE lock etc.
If you review the original image on the camera, does the K-1 show where the chosen point of focus was? you may have to press the Info button a couple of times to get to the screen which displays this information.
Ha! Bingo!!!
In checking my setting again... (after your suggestion to check further options...) apparently, this is another case of operator failure...

When I was at the event and set my camera to "Spot" using the 4 way pad on the rear... I thought I was good to go...
What I didn't realize was, I ALSO needed to push the "AF MODE" button on the side... while I was in live view and select where I wanted that spot to be... As soon as I did that I found "Face Detection", "Tracking" (That is a strange duck that is going to take some getting used to...) "Multiple AF points", "Select" and of course... "Spot" (which provides a white window in the center of the screen... (And which will hold that focus point as long as the shutter button is semi pressed...)

Looks like another case of "RTFM" in order to cure the ID:10T error...

I should have known it was not a fault of the camera... I've been using Pentax since the late 1970's and they have been rock solid... (They just didn't have so many features back then... Talk about catching up with the times...

Many thanks to all who helped with this issue...

Great sense of community here!
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