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05-04-2008, 10:45 AM   #1
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Focusing issuses?

I am new to the D-SLR thing and have had my K10D only since January. My issue is I have been struggling from the beginning to get a truely sharpe photo. This isn't true all the time, but for the most part it just doesn't cut what I should be able to do with a camera of this caliber. I take into thought user error but I have tried everything other than mirror lockup. Tripod, delayed timer and they still come out of focus it seems.
Some of the initial pictures downloaded to the computer and viewed look okay but as soon as I try to crop or zoom in I loose detail fast. No good sharp edges. Now again, my thoughts was this was just the known fact that the K10d natually shoots soft and needs a little tweeking PP or have the camera settings set for a
+2 sharppen +1 contrast but that still doesn't give me the detail I know I should get. I do alot of manual focusing ( another reason I thought it may be user ) macro/closefocus but the Tamron 90 2.5 isn't the lens I know it can be. So this is one of the reasons I believe it is a focus issue. I have let the camera do all the work with other lenses but I still get a either very soft or blurred picture.

What is a good way to really tell if it is focus vs. user and how does one know the difference between soft and out of focus?

05-12-2008, 02:06 AM   #2
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I am using the k100D and I find that the focusing is acceptable. Even an older lens such as the FA80-320 is sharp on my k100D. So I would guess the k10D should be at least equal (or better) in IQ as my k100D.

You might want to take a look here:
_IGP9615_neo on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I am sure there are many other people who can show you that Pentax DSLRs actually can take very sharp pics.

I usually just zoom in around 8 times at the preview screen and see if things are sharp. If they are, things are generally good when viewing on the PC screen.

Another thing would be are you setting the shutter speed too low that it is not possible for the SR to compensate? I encounter this when I first started using the k100D.

I know how it feels to be a newcomer to the DSLR thingy...so I hope this helps.
05-12-2008, 09:06 AM   #3
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Oren,

It is always best if you post examples with EXIF attached so we can help. It could be so many things.

One thing you might check: Is your dial set to spot focussing or auto? In spot mode, the camera focusses where you point it. In Auto, the camera has to decide what to focus on. It could be the closest object, it could be something in the scene with alot of contrast. You just don't know for sure. (I just don't know why anyone would use auto mode).

One other thing: Sharpening does not add detail. It only highlights the detail that is there. I disagree that the k10d "naturally shoots soft." You must have been reading DPReview. When I do jpeg conversion if I am using the Pentax Photo Lab, I use "Natural" tone. That is exactly the same as setting the camera to "Natural". I find that setting most closely resembles what I see in the viewfinder. On another thread, I just posted some comparisons at high iso of my k10d and k20d. Take a look at the k10d shots. They were jpeg converted on "Natural" which has a -1 sharpening by default! The photos are very "sharp" with alot of detail:
k10d vs k20d ISO 1600 - a set on Flickr
Click on "all sizes" and "original" and look at the detail of the cottage for example. Or the "bricks" on the picture frame.

Last edited by PentaxPoke; 05-12-2008 at 09:20 AM.
05-12-2008, 10:39 AM   #4
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Me too, I've had my K10D for 30 days and often , out - of - focus . .
I am discouraged .
I resised buying when they first came out because of this and now it looks bad .

Still , I will stay with it in the hopes that I will make it closer to "right" than it is .

J

05-12-2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jesus Quote
Me too, I've had my K10D for 30 days and often , out - of - focus . .
I am discouraged .
I resised buying when they first came out because of this and now it looks bad .

Still , I will stay with it in the hopes that I will make it closer to "right" than it is .

J
It might help us if you posted some actual pictures taken with your k10d. All of the pictures you posted are from a Canon DSLR.
06-05-2008, 03:23 PM   #6
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K100D focus

Thanks for reading this. I am using an older SMC 100 - 300mm Zoom and cannot get a sharp focus with the lens, neither in auto mode nor manual. Is the method one of the folks on this thread suggested good for a zoom lens? If it IS out of focus, might it be possible to somehow "shim" the bayonet mount (assuming that is the correct direction, of course)?

I am sure it is a lens problem and would like to fix it myself.

Any recommendations for a reasonably priced telephoto or zoom lens for the K100D DSLR? I like taking bird pictures.

Thanks, Jim in Oregon
06-05-2008, 04:26 PM   #7
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Many issues around sharpness may be lens related. OrenMc, you don't say what lens you are using. If you are using the kit lens, it is much sharper around F8 or so. Posting a couple of examples would help.
06-05-2008, 04:41 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
I am new to the D-SLR thing and have had my K10D only since January. My issue is I have been struggling from the beginning to get a truely sharpe photo. This isn't true all the time, but for the most part it just doesn't cut what I should be able to do with a camera of this caliber. I take into thought user error but I have tried everything other than mirror lockup. Tripod, delayed timer and they still come out of focus it seems.
Some of the initial pictures downloaded to the computer and viewed look okay but as soon as I try to crop or zoom in I loose detail fast. No good sharp edges. Now again, my thoughts was this was just the known fact that the K10d natually shoots soft and needs a little tweeking PP or have the camera settings set for a
+2 sharppen +1 contrast but that still doesn't give me the detail I know I should get. I do alot of manual focusing ( another reason I thought it may be user ) macro/closefocus but the Tamron 90 2.5 isn't the lens I know it can be. So this is one of the reasons I believe it is a focus issue. I have let the camera do all the work with other lenses but I still get a either very soft or blurred picture.

What is a good way to really tell if it is focus vs. user and how does one know the difference between soft and out of focus?
The Pentax K10 has known issues with out of adjustment AF. I believe on DP review someone posted a method of getting into a hidden menu that allowed biasing of the AF, but it was a global correction, meaning all lenses used would be affected. Pentax took the option away with a firmware update shortly afterwards.
The K20 has the ability to custom bias the AF for up to 20 different lenses in the custom functions. It's too bad that the K10 is dead in the water for firmware updates, as this would be a useful update for the camera.

06-05-2008, 05:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
The Pentax K10 has known issues with out of adjustment AF. I believe on DP review someone posted a method of getting into a hidden menu that allowed biasing of the AF, but it was a global correction, meaning all lenses used would be affected. Pentax took the option away with a firmware update shortly afterwards.
The K20 has the ability to custom bias the AF for up to 20 different lenses in the custom functions. It's too bad that the K10 is dead in the water for firmware updates, as this would be a useful update for the camera.
It sure would help me with my K10d, eh WW.

Dave
06-05-2008, 05:31 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentkon52 Quote
It sure would help me with my K10d, eh WW.

Dave
I think shooting your K10 with a small bore Canon would be the answer. You've had it in twice or three times now, and they haven't fixed it?
06-05-2008, 08:34 PM   #11
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Just a general comment on camera problems - it's pretty much impossible for anyone here to help someone else without a sample picture posted showing the problem.

Many times I've seen people complain about out of focus shots, only to finally see an example posted and they're shooting a flower at f/1.4 and 2 feet away, so the depth of field is nil.

I'm not saying that's the case here. I don't know what the cause is because no one has seen any samples.
06-05-2008, 09:14 PM   #12
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Yeah, examples would be good. It also depends on your definition of really sharp photo. If you are comparing your own shots to those in photo mags and some of the really good stuff on line then your standard is very high. IMO, it takes a lot of factors to get shots that sharp. It's almost like playing poker, it's a game of skill and chance. You can have all the skill in the world but if it's windy, cloudy, and your tripod is at home there is only a certain level you can hope for.

For those great shots you need good light, a steady hand or tripod and the subject to be still (unless you have super fast lenses). I got a couple of shots the other day with a k100d and cheapo sigma lens that blew my socks off for clarity. It was lightly cloud but a bright day, the subject was still and i was using a tripod.

The camera body that you use has very little to do with the end result. The lens helps a lot but the rest is skill and chance. The more skill you have the less chance you need.

mike
06-05-2008, 09:39 PM   #13
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It's quite possible then lens you're using isn't going to give you the sharpness you want in a crop situation.

The K10's just a body -- the quality of the glass you're using is an extremely important variable that you haven't disclosed. Also, like everyone else, we need sample pics with EXIF intact.
06-06-2008, 09:21 AM   #14
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Picture Example Question

Ok, everyone says, and I think rightfully so, that I should submit an example. I take all my photos as jpegs, and want to know if that will do or not? Should I take a few raw-mode ones and submit those?

Thanks, you people are the best. So far this forum has been great. None of that snooty "holier than thou" crud, and no "you should have searched the forum" messages without links.

Regards, Jim Darrough, Springfield, OR
06-06-2008, 09:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdarrough Quote
Ok, everyone says, and I think rightfully so, that I should submit an example. I take all my photos as jpegs, and want to know if that will do or not? Should I take a few raw-mode ones and submit those?

Thanks, you people are the best. So far this forum has been great. None of that snooty "holier than thou" crud, and no "you should have searched the forum" messages without links.

Regards, Jim Darrough, Springfield, OR
Take a picture that your not statisfied with from the pile you got and post it with the exif data intact.
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