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05-27-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
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K-x problems

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

05-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
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.
Upgraded focusing screen? Is it just your manual lenses or the auto lenses also? In "AV", my manual lenses (Taks) act the same way, in "M" mode, the exposure is spot on.

QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
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.
Maybe I am not seeing something here, but all 3 shots just look soft and not out of focus. Also I noticed all three shots were shot in areas of limited light - did the flash trigger (noticed the umbrella) in the first image?

QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
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.
Mine makes this noise also, but I have the sensor shake activated at start up - not sure what other thing it could be...
05-27-2011, 09:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
4. When I zoom in on a picture (1:1) in Lightroom most of my images look grainy, even at ISO 400-800.
Forgot to add this one - the grainy look will be present depending on the lighting, have you shot with these ISO's in better lit conditions? It seems there is a dead zone with the ISO noise and lighting, with the wrong lighting, the noise can really stick out - brighter lighting conditions will eliminate this and lower lighting conditions will also eliminate this, just need to find the correct balance. I have been caught in the dead zone of lighting a few times and the noise was almost unbearable, I have also had extremely solid results in low light conditions...
05-27-2011, 09:29 PM   #4
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Joe:

1.I have not upgraded the focus screen. It seems to meter dark with both my manual and auto lenses. My manual lenses to seem a lot warmer than the auto, figured this was just their characteristics.

2. I couldn't tell if they were just REALLY soft or out of focus. the umbrellas were from another shooter. The wedding shot was outside at mid day with no cloud cover.

05-27-2011, 09:30 PM   #5
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First thing I noticed is that you are using spot metering mode which is guaranteed to give you exposures all over the place unless you really know what you are doing. I'd suggest you change to centre weighted or evaluative metering.

The picture of the couple was shot wide open at the extreme wide end of the zoom, this isn't ever going to give you the best result, although it does look even softer than I would have though. Is your lens perhaps FF/BF a bit? Shoot a test chart to confirm, here's a link (I suggest using the 5% chart) Jeffrey Friedl's Blog Jeffrey’s Autofocus Test Chart
05-27-2011, 09:45 PM   #6
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Twitch: thanks for the advise on my metering mode. I was using the evaluative but it seemed like I got better results with the centered. I'll try center weighted and see what's up. Also the "soft/bf/ff" issue is whats keeping me from upgrading to some nicer better lenses. I've got me eye on a Tamron 17-50 and a 28-75.
05-27-2011, 09:59 PM   #7
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I to am having the same problems with my K-x. Whilst it is suppose to be good in low light situations I am having trouble. I shot in full sun yesterday & got much better results. Thought it was operator failure so tried both auto & manual yesterday & both were better.
I was using the 100-300mm kit lens from my MZ-60. The week before it was overcast & I was taking birds etc at the local lake - none were great. Wondering if the full 300mm zoom is pushing my luck in lower light/cloudy conditions.
05-27-2011, 11:18 PM   #8
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Cameras cannot read minds, regarding exposure or focus. The picture labeled "dark" is nothing of the sort - it was taken using spot metering, which works a very specific way, and the picture is exposed in exactly that way. You told the camera to make the middle of the image come out average in value, and that's exactly what you got. If you had wanted to the camera to expose the picture brighter than this because of the dark background, you'd need to tell the camera this, either by metering off the background specifically or using a metering mode that takes the background into account, or by dialing in exposure compensation. There is no single metering mode that always produces the result you want. It's a question of knowing how to use the metering mode you have chosen.

Similarly, with focus, the *starting* point is telling the camera with focus "point" to use, but it is important to realize that these are not "points" at all, but largish areas, so you can't tell the camera *exactly* where to focus. Just approximately.

But really, the main problem in the second shot shots is blur from using too slow a shutter speed. SR can't work miracles.

The grain in the picture that was supposedly taken at ISO 400 is due to the fact that it was actually taken at 1600 according to the EXIF. That also explains where a good amount of the detail went. But I suspect that lens wasn't overly sharp at f/2.8 to begin with.

And the noise you are hearing is the sensor cleaning system. There should be an option somewhere to turn it off.

05-27-2011, 11:51 PM   #9
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As far as softness goes, in Av mode the camera will only fire a manual lens wide open - and most lenses tend towards being soft when shot that way. Try shooting manual and stopped down a couple notches and see if it improves.
05-28-2011, 01:34 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote

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
I seem to be saying this a lot just lately, but using the green hexagon for "focus confirmation" when you're using MF lenses is extremely unlikely to result in accurate focus, in my experience. It works sort-of OK for some of my 50s, but for all other lenses it's all over the place. So don't do it!
05-28-2011, 11:33 AM   #11
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Thanks for the help guys. I experiment w/ the other focus and metering modes on the camera. Just trying to narrow down my problems, if it's me or the camera, so I know how to move forward. I'm just like everyone else on the forums. Trying help out and do the best I can!

ps: Mark, why so angry?! All I was asking for was help with a few problems. Not sarcastic remarks, but thanks for the help...I guess.
05-28-2011, 12:43 PM   #12
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I can't find the EXIF in the photos; what were the shutter speeds?
I found that I needed to do a global focus adjustment on my K-x as some pics were coming out soft. I now use 3 lenses mainly: Tamron 17-50 2.8, Sigma 50-150 2.8 and the 55-300. All 3 lenses give sharp pics, even wide open. High ISO shots are still quite sharp. Just keep practicing and try different settings to see what works.

note: Marc gives quite direct, clear and helpful insights when folks have problems. Although I don't know him and can't speak for him, I've never interpreted his posts to my queries as anything but supportive and helpful. I've learned a lot from him and others here.
05-28-2011, 01:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tstaires Quote
ps: Mark, why so angry?! All I was asking for was help with a few problems. Not sarcastic remarks, but thanks for the help...I guess.
Sorry if my remarks somehow came off as sarcastic or angry; that was not the intent. I was just explaining the facts.
05-28-2011, 02:41 PM   #14
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So this all boils down to exactly what I mention when I replied earlier in the thread.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sagitta Quote
As far as softness goes, in Av mode the camera will only fire a manual lens wide open
Depends on the manual lens in use - screw mount with the auto/man switch work fine in AV, no need to go full "M" mode for these lenses (A slight adjustment of exp comp will more then likely be needed in AV with these lenses). If you do go full "M" mode with these lenses, you will not need to use exp comp unless you are intentionally over/under exposing...


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05-28-2011, 02:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wandapics Quote
I was using the 100-300mm kit lens from my MZ-60. The week before it was overcast & I was taking birds etc at the local lake - none were great. Wondering if the full 300mm zoom is pushing my luck in lower light/cloudy conditions
@Barbara

The two issues to your issue is right in your post, shooting on the long end of that lens and overcast conditions - on top of that, I see you mentioned lake and shooting birds, all of that mixed together is a volatile cocktail.

You would need to overcome the limitation of the lens on the long end, deal with the overcast conditions and also glare on the water (YES, there is a ton of glare on water with overcast conditions, sometimes even more than a clear sky). A kit lens is not a lens that will perform well in these conditions...




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