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06-10-2009, 11:37 PM   #1
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Tweaking the K20D for Sharper Images

An avid Pentax fan last 30 years. Just bought my first DSLR the K20D. Unable to get tack sharp photos with the 18-55 AL II Lens, like my film Pentaxes. Can't afford to buy pricey "super" lenses. Will some good souls share "TWEAKS" for the K20D to get real sharp photos. Depressed with my first DSLR. Get blur widths from 2 to 7 pixels on Focus Magic. Cant waste time sharpening photos on the PC - rather have the camera do it. My son has a wicked smile - told you to go for a Nikon. K20D at factory settings. SR on. Checked for bad pixels - none. Nanhi.

06-11-2009, 12:39 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanhi Quote
An avid Pentax fan last 30 years. Just bought my first DSLR the K20D. Unable to get tack sharp photos with the 18-55 AL II Lens, like my film Pentaxes. Can't afford to buy pricey "super" lenses. Will some good souls share "TWEAKS" for the K20D to get real sharp photos. Depressed with my first DSLR. Get blur widths from 2 to 7 pixels on Focus Magic. Cant waste time sharpening photos on the PC - rather have the camera do it. My son has a wicked smile - told you to go for a Nikon. K20D at factory settings. SR on. Checked for bad pixels - none. Nanhi.
Shot film and you will never have the problem.

Or stop down when you shot with the lens.

aperture like 6,3 or less could be a good choice.

There are several tweaks to get sharp photos. mirror lookup, tripod always, stop down ect ect.

And i only say this one time!

It's not about the camera. If you don't get sharp shots, it's becasue of your knowledge.

//Emil
06-11-2009, 12:52 AM   #3
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did you ever look at pixel level on the film camera? no?

print them out to the same size as the film cam and then compare....

pixel level viewing is always going to be bad... especially when you have 14million plus of them to go at!

Steve
06-11-2009, 12:57 AM   #4
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yep..true!

and hey! if you have been 30 years with pentax I don't understand why you go into digital :S

I mean: the real gold-mine is pentax from the film-age. I would dig in that one insteed

//Emil

06-11-2009, 02:43 AM   #5
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Sounds to me like you have at least two problems:

1. You're not willing to post-process your images.

2. You're using the factory settings.

Either shoot raw and post process, or adjust camera settings until you find a jpg output that you find satisfying.

Switching to Nikon and making your son happy is another option.

By the way, if you've been shooting Pentax for 30 years, don't you already have a nice collection of lenses you can use on your k20d?
06-11-2009, 02:46 AM   #6
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One other thing, there's not much point, in my opinion, in having SR on when shooting conditions don't require it, and at 18-55mm I would think your shutter speed would be high enough in most cases to make SR unneccesary. And if the SR is trying to adjust when no adjustment is needed, it could make things worse, not better. Again, just my opinion.
06-11-2009, 02:48 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 5teve Quote
did you ever look at pixel level on the film camera? no?

print them out to the same size as the film cam and then compare....

pixel level viewing is always going to be bad... especially when you have 14million plus of them to go at!

Steve
Good point!
06-11-2009, 03:13 AM   #8
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You may want to test the camera to see if it's front or back focussing... unsharp pictures can be related to front/back focussing issues.

Quality control is spotty on K20d's, I had to go thru 2 of them before I got one that worked properly.

Pat

06-11-2009, 03:39 AM   #9
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Quality control? Damn. I've also been getting unsharp images. When I got my K20D about a week or two ago, I was surprised that the eye cap was a bit dirty/dusty. The zoom ring on the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 was very loose and smooth. And later, I even spotted damage marks on its lens hood that couldn't have come from my doing. Now I'm really starting to get paranoid about that salesman. Maybe he sold me CRAP.

The much smaller 17-70 gives me unsharp images too. Should I just bring all the stuff back and get repairs or demand fresh new replacements? Should I bring all the stuff back and return to my old love Canon? Or maybe I'm doing something wrong? Maybe it's the SR?
06-11-2009, 05:11 AM   #10
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The first thing to do is change the factory settings. Reviewers have long complained that the default settings have done a disservice to the camera.
06-11-2009, 05:20 AM   #11
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The best way to get sharper images is to remove the AA filter.
06-11-2009, 05:33 AM   #12
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Tips:

1. Turn off Shake Reduction if you're not needing it.
2. Set images to highest MP resolution (14.6)
3. If you're going to post process, set photos to RAW. Every time you tweak a JPG, you lose quality.
4. Use a different lens, as the 18-55mm kit lens isn't very sharp. Surely you can afford some older Pentax K-mount lenses.
5. Try manually focusing. If you've used Pentax for 30 years, you've done it before.
06-11-2009, 08:28 AM   #13
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For the people talking abut having unsharp images - maybe post some images so we can see what the fuss is about. Most unsharp images are due to not being focused well or camera shake. Sure, a better lens can help, but realistically, even the kit lens at f/8 is pretty darned sharp. So post some images (100% crops of the actual focus area) - it's usually obvious enough what's going on.
06-11-2009, 09:28 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
For the people talking abut having unsharp images - maybe post some images so we can see what the fuss is about. Most unsharp images are due to not being focused well or camera shake. Sure, a better lens can help, but realistically, even the kit lens at f/8 is pretty darned sharp. So post some images (100% crops of the actual focus area) - it's usually obvious enough what's going on.
I agree with Marc here, Nanhi.
Please post a photo and your camera setting. That way we will know what the real cause is.
First time I used K20D & FA*80-200, I got all soft images that never happened when I mount the FA 43. Guess what, my FA*80-200 needs -7 micro adjustment. It's perfectly spot on with my old K100D. I never know why. But after the micro adjustment, I'm a happy Pentax FA* owner again
06-11-2009, 09:44 AM   #15
Igilligan
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again with tone...

Here is another thread were I am sensing a funky tone to it... The OP asked a simple question and there is a lot of attitude... I don't get it. (maybe I am just being over sensitive lately... I am a delicate flower)

Nobody has any settings they can recommend to alter the factory presets for sharper Jpegs?

I use a +2 on fine sharpness... any other tips in cam setting that can help a brother who does not want to do a lot of pp? Surely there are some in cam adjusts that can make the K20 look as bad as a Nikon, hehe.

Hopefully Jay will chime in as his jpegs are some of the most consistantly eye popping I see on here.

Last edited by Igilligan; 06-11-2009 at 11:34 AM.
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