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11-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #1
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Christine Tham's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
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My experiences with checking FF/BF using Yvon Bourque's focus charts

Hello, this is my first post on this forum but I have been using Pentax DSLRs for a few years (I bought an *ist D when it first came out, and prior to that I was using a Pentax film DSLR).

I would say my skills are very much beginner/amateur - most of my shots are the "point and click" variety with auto-everything (P mode). Occasionally I tweak Aperture, Exposure, Time and ISO, but very very rarely.

Anyway, recently I bought a set of primes (DA 21/3.2, FA 43/1.9 and DA70/2.4) as well as a "high quality zoom" (Sigma 18-50/2.8 EX DC).

I am finding these lenses to be so superior in quality (particularly the primes, but the Sigma isn't too far behind) that I no longer use any of my other lenses (I have the FA28-105/3.2-4.5, the stock 18-35/4, plus a FA*24/2 prime).

Recently I took a few hundred shots at the annual Sculpture by the Sea competition held in Sydney (around the Bondi/Tamarama coastline). Every single shot was taken using just one lens (the FA 43/1.9) with no exposure compensation (0EV for all shots). I have posted the ones I like in the following Picasa gallery:

Picasa Web Albums - Lyn - Sculpture by ...

Although I do like most of the shots - particularly the high contrast (most of these shots were processed in Adobe Camera Raw in "default" settings - Brightness 50 Contrast 50 with minimal exposure correction) and also the super-sharpness.

However, I did find a few shots that are out of focus - particularly the animal and some of the people shots. If you look at the gallery you will notice very few of the shots of dogs are completely in focus.

Thinking I may have the dreaded "back focus/front focus" problem that I've read about on this forum, I have downloaded Yvon Bourque's focus chart and have done some test shots. These shots seem to indicate I don't seem to have a consistent focus problem - at least not one that I can easily fix. Two of the lenses, the 21 and the 18-50, have a tendency to back focus and two have a tendency to front focus (the 43 and the 70) so I can't tweak the auto focus adjustment using the Debug Menu. I will say that the problem is not severe - for all the lenses, the "0mm" position is in focus, but only just.

Sounds like my only option if I want to have accurate focus for all my lenses will be to upgrade to a K20D. My other option is to buy the Katz Eye Optic and use manual focus. Any other suggestions?

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