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11-01-2007, 02:21 PM   #1
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Pentax K 10 Focus problems

I have been a Pentax user for many years starting in digital with the *istDS and this year moving to a new K10. Sharpness seems to be my problem! I am using the two kit lenses 18-55 and 55-200mm and just don't think that the new camera is anything like as sharp as using the same lenses on the old one. In fact I constantly find myself sharpening images in Photoshop despite shooting high res JPEG's with sharpness turned up high in camera. Sometimes the problem is so significant it looks like I simply did not focus properly - odd really, since I use manual focus most of the time. Has anyone had similar experiences? Any obvious solutions?

Two more questions:
Which flash gun (reasonable price) does anyone recommend for the K10 ?

Which long lens - upto 400mm does anyone recommend for airshow phtography?

11-02-2007, 04:28 AM   #2
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Please post picture examples so that we can have a look at "your problem".


QuoteOriginally posted by Rick Woodward Quote
I have been a Pentax user for many years starting in digital with the *istDS and this year moving to a new K10. Sharpness seems to be my problem! I am using the two kit lenses 18-55 and 55-200mm and just don't think that the new camera is anything like as sharp as using the same lenses on the old one. In fact I constantly find myself sharpening images in Photoshop despite shooting high res JPEG's with sharpness turned up high in camera. Sometimes the problem is so significant it looks like I simply did not focus properly - odd really, since I use manual focus most of the time. Has anyone had similar experiences? Any obvious solutions?

Two more questions:
Which flash gun (reasonable price) does anyone recommend for the K10 ?

Which long lens - upto 400mm does anyone recommend for airshow phtography?
11-02-2007, 05:26 AM   #3
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If it's a focus problem, there are probably areas in the picture which are sharper than the area you intended to focus on. Is that the case?

Also, remember that the K10D puts a 10 megapixel sensor in the same space as the *istDS's 6 megapixel sensor. This means the per-pixel quality is in fact worse -- but there's more pixels to compensate. Are you looking at the sharpness viewed 1:1 (a.k.a. "100% crop") on a computer screen?
11-02-2007, 05:49 AM   #4
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Hi Rick,I don't know about your light condition when you have a out of focus problem but if you are in low light condition yes you can have out of focus problem,the camera read your in focus but your not,I think its a common problem with digital SLR.I have a pentax k10d,nikon D200,D70S and all my camera in low light condition give me sometimes out of focus problem,its not just the pentax,nikon to,never had this problem with film camera,so what i do now,when i take a picture,i press the shutter button half way 2 or 3 times before shooting and everytimes i press the shutter,the camera adjust the focus,its like they can't fix the focus the first time specialy in low light,so when i shoot inside,i make sure i have sufficient ambient light in the room to eliminates the focus problem but outside is ok,its perfect and like i'm saying my nikon its the same,have a friend with canon 30D and sometimes he got the same problem to.That's why i said its not just the pentax problem its a common problem with other brand to.What is the problem,i have no idea but i think they are not completely pefect for focusing in low light condition for now.Don't forget,DSLR still new,in the future you'l see pentax,nikon,canon with new features for new focusing cam sensor with more precision,faster,and bla bla bla,like they do with film camera so take your time,press 2 or 3 times to make sure or use manual focus if your not sure and your problem will be resolve.

11-02-2007, 08:40 AM   #5
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Well if you shooting JPG you can expect to have different sharpening compared to most other cameras. Pentax after shipping the K10D received lots of complaints about the sharpness of JPG images.

The reason there is a difference is Pentax decided that the K10D should do detail sharpening and NOT edge sharpening which all of their previous cameras did.

The result is you actually have better images with more detail, but they don't look as sharp. Why Pentax won't add a second sharpening option that does Edge sharpening I can't tell you. I know a lot of people have asked for that.

In the end I shoot only RAW images (even though they aren't sharpened by the camera) they come out sharper. The thing to do is to have good software that allows you to batch sharpen your images. I like Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. I can select my images and then apply my sharpening to all of them.

Also, remember that less is more when it comes to sharpening and that in print even if you don't sharpening they will still look sharper becuase you are printing at a higher resolution than you see on screen.

You will get used to it. After a year with my K10D I don't even notice it any more. Most all images no matter what type of sharpening the camera does needs a bitch of extra sharpening anyways. The secret is to have software that gives you a workflow that makes this easy. For me it is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Robert
11-02-2007, 10:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rick Woodward Quote
I have been a Pentax user for many years starting in digital with the *istDS and this year moving to a new K10. Sharpness seems to be my problem! I am using the two kit lenses 18-55 and 55-200mm and just don't think that the new camera is anything like as sharp as using the same lenses on the old one. In fact I constantly find myself sharpening images in Photoshop despite shooting high res JPEG's with sharpness turned up high in camera. Sometimes the problem is so significant it looks like I simply did not focus properly - odd really, since I use manual focus most of the time. Has anyone had similar experiences? Any obvious solutions?
I agree with RiceHigh here: Posting a photo whose sharpness seems below par would be helpful.

Like Robert, I shoot only raw and sharpen in Lightroom -- and I agree with him also that less is more.


QuoteQuote:
Two more questions:
Which flash gun (reasonable price) does anyone recommend for the K10 ?
I have a couple of Pentax 540 FGZs, which seem to be the best choice for use with the K10D. The Pentax 360 is a little less powerful (and the 540 isn't a powerhouse to start with) and the 360 doesn't swivel as well as tilt, while the 540 does. Useful if you bounce the flash.


QuoteQuote:
Which long lens - upto 400mm does anyone recommend for airshow phtography?
You don't have lots of choices here, but they are mostly good. Tamron's 70-300 is a decent lens and you can extend the reach with a Tamron 1.4x converter. I've seen some terrific pictures taken with Sigma's 500mm (a.k.a. "Bigma") lens. I think there's also a lens with a range something like 100-400mm that I remember reading good things about but I don't recall if it was Sigma or Tamron.

But I should mention also the Tamron 18-250, which is an excellent and versatile lens -- and should do a fine job for air shows.

Will
11-02-2007, 01:04 PM   #7
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I just read below,may be some people will not agree with me,my opinion is when we talk about out of focus and sharp images,its 2 different things,you can have a image with perfect focus but is not sharp,of course JPEG and RAW is not the same,I took portraiture,JPEG file and its very sharp,RAW will be better for sharpness but you can take a picture in RAW and you can be out of focus to.I know the problem Rick mention,its out of focus picture,nothing to do with the sharpeness.Why i have the same problem with 3 different bodys in very poor light condition,its not just Pentax,Nikon to,I have a D200 and its the same.Yes you can adjust in the lightroom,better look,but when your out of focus your out of focus,dosen't matter the program you have,its impossible to repair the photo with a perfect look.
11-04-2007, 02:52 PM   #8
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This is a very helpful reply! Thanks. I am taking JPEG's and looking at them on screen. Maybe, as you suggest, printing them would alleviate my concerns. Certainly when printed they do look OK. I don't batch sharpen right now, but I will look at Adobe Lightroom as you suggest.

Waht frustrates me is that the *istDS took what seemed to be very sharp pictures compared to the K10D.

Finally - this is not an autofocus problem. I always focus manually - and I do know how to do that right!

Regards, Rick

11-04-2007, 02:53 PM   #9
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Yes. I think so. I am looking at the pictures in Windows Picture viewer on a full screen.

Then I am examining them in Photoshop Elements 5.
11-04-2007, 02:54 PM   #10
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Great advice, Bill. I'll research those options. Thanks!!
11-04-2007, 09:48 PM   #11
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It all has to do with the type of sharpening. Detail sharpening vs. edge sharpening. 99% of cameras consumer and pro do edge sharpening. It just takes a little getting used to and I think you will find that this allows for more control over your sharpening. Most cameras don't give you a lot of setting options for the amount of sharpening usually low, medium and high. Doing it yourself allows you to adjust the sharpening amount for each image. I tend to lean towards the subtle end of the sharpening scale I don't want my images to look as if they were sharpening, just sharp.

I do wish Pentax would add an edge sharpening option to the K10D with the option to turn it off for those that like the detail sharpening. I don't see where this would be too hard.

Robert
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