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07-21-2008, 05:56 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ksignorini Quote
x_goal: I'm glad you posted those links I had posted in your original problem post. I didn't have them handy.

Kent!
Thanks, man! You helped me a lot!
I believe that first chart I used - "Nikon D70 Focus test chart" - was not designed properly. Seems to be that scale was kind of out of proportion, the focusing target wasn't that good ether, and set up is tricky. So, those test shots I made before you posted these links drove me crazy... But now I'm sure my camera and lens are just fine. At least you can not expect better from kit lens

07-21-2008, 06:05 PM   #17
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Guys please take a look at this picture taken using the same lens above. The front/back focus does not seem to be a significant issue with this camera, but the image captured is far from sharp.

Test Result Pictures

Is this normal or am I just being too anally picky about what's normal for this camera? If you guys have done this test, can you please upload the results for me to compare?

PS I'm using a k10d.
07-22-2008, 03:47 AM   #18
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If I was in your shoes, I would return the lens and ask for another one. There is something very wrong with that one. It seems to be focusing all right, but it is outstandingly soft. Unless you want to keep it as a soft focus lens for portrait....
07-23-2008, 08:31 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by innershell Quote
Guys please take a look at this picture taken using the same lens above. The front/back focus does not seem to be a significant issue with this camera, but the image captured is far from sharp.

Test Result Pictures

Is this normal or am I just being too anally picky about what's normal for this camera? If you guys have done this test, can you please upload the results for me to compare?
I cannot quite recognise the problems with focus. Look at the first image with the rails. It is obviously very near to the camera - so most of the image plain will be out of focus, as at f8 the depth of field is not that big.

And your focus chart is simply very soft, which could be attributed to the lens, but there are other factors as well: The paper is not white, or you underexposed severly. in both cases, the contrast is very low. And contrast is a determining factor of "sharpness", this alone would explain the lack of. On top, test charts are photographed at very close distances, I assume it is the same here (I cannot read any EXIF data). So the depth of field will again be very shallow. On top, the FA 50 is not optimised for near distances, as it is not a macrop lens. So it might perform much better at middle distances and at infinity. I know, this sounds vague but that is just the result of the simple fact, that the photographs are not conclusive.

You can control for back or front focus by simply comparing photos taken with and without AF. if the latter are visibly sharper, you may have indeed a AF problem.

Ben

07-23-2008, 11:10 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I cannot quite recognise the problems with focus. Look at the first image with the rails. It is obviously very near to the camera - so most of the image plain will be out of focus, as at f8 the depth of field is not that big.

And your focus chart is simply very soft, which could be attributed to the lens, but there are other factors as well: The paper is not white, or you underexposed severly. in both cases, the contrast is very low. And contrast is a determining factor of "sharpness", this alone would explain the lack of. On top, test charts are photographed at very close distances, I assume it is the same here (I cannot read any EXIF data). So the depth of field will again be very shallow. On top, the FA 50 is not optimised for near distances, as it is not a macrop lens. So it might perform much better at middle distances and at infinity. I know, this sounds vague but that is just the result of the simple fact, that the photographs are not conclusive.

You can control for back or front focus by simply comparing photos taken with and without AF. if the latter are visibly sharper, you may have indeed a AF problem.

Ben
Thanks Ben. After much research and looking around, I have concluded that nothing is wrong with either my camera or the lenses for the reasons you have already mentioned above. I also compared some of my better pictures with those of a professional wedding photographer and my pictures are actually sharper.

However, I realize now why I have issues with the softness of my images. Before a dSLR, I've owned several P&S cameras and upon reviewing my older pictures, they happen to be serveral orders sharper than images my dSLR produces today. But the quality of my dSLR picture is on par with others I have seen to date.

In summary, I consider this case closed! Thanks to everybody for all your suggestions and links. They were helpful for a newbie like me.
07-23-2008, 11:41 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by innershell Quote
However, I realize now why I have issues with the softness of my images. Before a dSLR, I've owned several P&S cameras and upon reviewing my older pictures, they happen to be serveral orders sharper than images my dSLR produces today. But the quality of my dSLR picture is on par with others I have seen to date.
Glad you've concluded that your camera and lens are Ok.

P&S cameras, and indeed some dSLRs, apply artificially intense sharpening to the JPEGs they produce to get that 'ultra-sharp' looking effect.

But it's not real - there isn't more actual detail recorded to get that look, and of course there can't be - the lenses and sensors in P&S cameras are tiny.

You can achieve the same thing on the computer - it's just that Pentax dSLRs default to a more neutral look that gives more control to the photographer.

I actually like this, since my default is to want a photograph to look as sharp as you'd see it - not beefed up with artificially contrast-boosted edges. But when there's some reason for wanting a sharper look, I like to have complete control over it.
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