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05-28-2011, 04:52 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
I seems to be having a few problems with my Kx.

1. Since I received the camera it usually seems to meter dark by almost a stop. I mainly shoot in Av mode and change my aperture to suit my DoF.

2. In the last few months almost half (if not more) of my shots seem out of focus. This happens with both my MF & AF lens. I have a M50 f2, a A28 2.8, MF Vivitar 28-85 and the 2 kit lenses 18-50 and 55-300. I tried most everything I know to do and still get the same results. Tried changed the AF points (I usually shoot w/ center point). I let someone borrow my camera recently and they noticed it too.

3. Recently the camera started making this "clacking/typewriter" sound when I turn it on. It only last for a second, but it didn't do this when I got it.

4. When I zoom in on a picture (1:1) in Lightroom most of my images look grainy, even at ISO 400-800.

I really like my Kx and I want to upgrade my lenses but I'm hesitant to do anything because of the problems I'm having. Maybe you guys can help shed some light. Thanks!

Shot in Av mode w/ my 55-300 lens, center point focus ISO 200
Wedding Shot - Out of focus

Shot in Av Mode w/ my 18-55 DAL, ISO 1600 center focus
Info Paper - Out of focus and dark

Shot in Av Mode w/ Vivitar MF 28-85 f2.8, ISO 400 center focus w/ light saying I was in focus
Five Guys Cup - Out of focus, dark, grainy

-Tony
#1 Photo - I think you were wise using Spot Metering, I am sure your other shots/metering made the Couple look way too dark. So in this instance, Spot Metering might have been your best choice. A couple of things that can cause this image to look grainy; your EXIF info shows you used both High Contrast and Hard Sharpness settings, both of these will cause "grain" to be more noticeable, too much of each actually would create more "grain" and with more "grain" you lose detail. This was a bad setting for this image with these lighting conditions. Your soft focus could have been caused by using the lens wide open, but because you used High Contrast and Hard Sharpness, it's very hard to tell.

#2 Photo - I think you just moved, you can tell when you look at the words, a little bit of ghosting effect, I think pretty obvious. The grain could be from the ISO 1600 you used. (I notice you compensated the meter reading which is normal to get the exposure right for white or very light colored subjects.)

#3 Photo - I think you did not hit the focus just right. Even though you saw the confirmation light go on, it just takes a lot of practice and knowing your lens to get the focus perfect. Practice and a combination of having more experience with Distance to Subject and Depth of Field should help you become more proficient in manual focusing. Again, I think your use of ISO 1600 caused some of the "grain". (BTW - I love Five Guys!)

Make sure you have not turned off any Noise Reduction in the camera custom settings, etc. In fact, if you're totally frustrated, reset your custom settings and try again. If you are metering on something very light colored or white, you will always need to compensate the exposure to get the whites/light colors to look right, otherwise you might get a dark image with dingy whites. And this hold true for very dark colors as well...

Focusing would be my big worry. Personally, I would take the Sunday paper lay it flat on a table and take a picture of it with your lens wide open. Be at an angle, use center focus point and make sure you focus on a word or paragraph and then check it. Something there should be in focus and hopefully it will be the word you picked out.

Good luck...

08-05-2011, 08:50 PM   #17
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I hate to resurrect and old thread, but I'm still having the same problem and didn't see the reason to start a new one.

I've added a new lens to me arsenal (Tamron 28-75), and most of my shot still seem out-of-focus or soft. Also, they seem to be a little noisy even at low ISO.

I'm attaching a link to a Flickr folder containing some examples of what I'm talking about. I can't seem to narrow it down to 1 specific thing. I've tried different lighting scenarios, different apertures, and ISO but I keep coming up with out of focus and very "soft" images.

After owning the camera for almost a year and have taken 1000's of shot; I would hate to think that the problem with 8 of 10 shots is me. But stranger things have happened.

Link to the problem images.

Thanks!
08-05-2011, 10:15 PM   #18
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I looked at a few of the shots, and one that you labelled "soft" (3rd shot) is f/2.8 @ 75mm. That's probably the Tammy's weakest spot, at the end of the zoom and the largest aperture. Most lenses struggle (relatively) here. The 1st two shots seem OK in terms of sharpness. The group shot with the kids seems pretty soft, the last shot also.

I wonder if your Tammy is front or back focusing a tad.

None of the pics seemed noisy to me. How is your monitor calibration?

You're not using a UV filter, are you? Crummy ones can negatively impact your photos.

You can increase "sharpness" for jpg's in the camera's menu.

The bride is very pretty.
08-05-2011, 10:38 PM   #19
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I've been going through editing the wedding shots tonight and most (90%) of the shot I have when I zoom in (1:1) all seem very soft. I don't have too many that look sharp and most even seem a little noisy. Luckily I was there to shoot video not photos. I was taking shots for practice between video takes.

The group shot I gave the camera to a worker on site to take the shot. I switched the camera to full auto and he took 3 shot. This was actually the sharpest looking one of the three. Also, the last shot I took, and it was shot at f8, 1/60 shutter, and ISO 200 at 50mm. You would think I would have gotten a decent image.

08-05-2011, 11:25 PM   #20
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I don't have the Tamron 28-75, but I hear good things about that lens.

A couple of comments on your issues:

- I'm seeing a lot of simple camera-caused motion blur in those shots on flickr - eg the first 3 shots, and especially number 3. Perhaps you should let the auto-ISO roam a little bit higher than ISO 100 or 200 so that you can get good DOF as well as use a higher shutter speed for important shots. Or alternatively, perhaps you might use in a monopod or tripod to reduce the risk of motion blur at the camera end for important shots. Or just practice a bit harder at holding the camera steady.

- There may be some improvements you could make to your post-processing workflow if you shoot RAW (or in-camera JPEG custom-image settings if you don't) to get sharper images. Even the best images can do with a touch of un-sharp mask sometimes to sharpen them up, and sometimes it is worth experimenting with the sharpening and contrast (and CA and noise removal options too, sometimes) in order to optimize image sharpness. Software tools like Photoshop Elements and Focus Magic also can sometimes help to tighten up an out-of-focus image caused by motion blur.

- I hope you aren't using a UV filter on that lens - that can cause problems.

My 2c
08-06-2011, 08:44 AM   #21
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There is a UV filer on the lens. Could that be part of the problem?

The first 3 shots there were outside about 10:00am in south Mississippi. It was bright, even under the covering, so I felt ISO 100 would be ok. Shot 3 was still shot at 1/160, just figured that would have been fast enough to combat the handheld shot.

I'm not trying to argue. Just trying to narrow down the culprit. Especially before my camera warranty runs out.

Btw. The colors I'm getting from the Tammy are very nice when compare to my other lenses.
08-08-2011, 06:34 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
I hate to resurrect and old thread, but I'm still having the same problem and didn't see the reason to start a new one.

I've added a new lens to me arsenal (Tamron 28-75), and most of my shot still seem out-of-focus or soft. Also, they seem to be a little noisy even at low ISO.

I'm attaching a link to a Flickr folder containing some examples of what I'm talking about.
Certainly take off the UV filter, although to be honest the shots look fine to me except perhaps the 75mm f/2.8 shots looks a little soft, but for wide open at the end of a zooms range it seems acceptable to me. The group shot looks like he people in the back row aren't quite as sharp as the front, so maybe next time focus on the middle row of people to get all rows in the DOF. 1/60 is too slow though, I would shoot such a group below ~ 1/200 as there's always movement.

I suspect you have too high expectations given the lens you are using. Primes will be sharper for sure, but to be honest these shots for a zoom are fine. Maybe you need to treat yourself to a Pentax limited prime
08-09-2011, 03:06 PM   #23
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@twitch: I've been really considering going the prime route. After looking through my photo collection, I've come to realize the most of my shots come at one end or the other w/ my Tammy 28-75. I do own a A28 f2.8 and a M50 f2, but the manual focus kills me at 28mm. I've been looking at either a F50 1.7 or a DA40, but I'm looking for something that's a little shaper than my Tammy @ 2.8. Also, thought about the Tammy 17-50 but not really sure that'll give me the sharpness I'm looking for.

Also, I took the VU filter off the lens and too some shots this past weekend, and it seems to have help slightly. I'm going to keep playing around with it to see.

08-09-2011, 03:26 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
@twitch: I've been really considering going the prime route. After looking through my photo collection, I've come to realize the most of my shots come at one end or the other w/ my Tammy 28-75. I do own a A28 f2.8 and a M50 f2, but the manual focus kills me at 28mm. I've been looking at either a F50 1.7 or a DA40, but I'm looking for something that's a little shaper than my Tammy @ 2.8. Also, thought about the Tammy 17-50 but not really sure that'll give me the sharpness I'm looking for.

Also, I took the VU filter off the lens and too some shots this past weekend, and it seems to have help slightly. I'm going to keep playing around with it to see.
I wouldn't expect the 17-50 to be any sharper than the 28-75.

The FA31 and FA77 would seem to be ideal then, the performance is absolutely stella, but unfortuantely the cost is horrific. The DAL 35 f2.4 and the DA70 are much more affordable and both are very sharp. There is an FA*24 but it's rare and costly. The DA21 is only 3.2 and soft in the corners until f/5.6.

Obviously the cheapest option is keep the 28-75 and get the most out of it. Use fast shutter speeds, good camera holding technique, shoot RAW, sharpen carefully in post, maybe even lower your expectations and don't pixel peep so much? I'd try all this before blowing a whole lot of money on expensive primes pursueing sharper images. Obviously I took none of my own advice and just blew a whole lot of money on primes

Good luck
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