Blurred images - please help!


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:27
Hi everyone

I haven't been on the forum for a while as my photography has been pretty quiet. I'm sure this is an old topic, I've read up where I can but can't seem to get a definitive answer to my problem - blurry poor images using my 70-300mm Sigma lens on my K5!

As spring is with us we have quite a bit of activity in the garden with a pair of blue tits using a nesting box fixed to my shed - approx 10m from the conservatory (I'm not shooting through glass) I've been trying to get images of these new visitors setting up home with very mixed and often disappointing results.

My set up and settings - Pentax K5 with a Sigma 70-300 DG lens, ISO is 200 set manually, programme dial set to Av. As the weather has been reasonable I've been getting 125 & 250th at f5.6. I've been using the lens at 300mm.

The bottom line is that most, if not all of the images are blurry, they lack sharpness especially when I crop or try to enlarge. I'm shooting in JPEG @ 10 megapixels.

I've recently invested in a Sigma 120-400mm lens as I like to do the air shows. I've not used it much at all yet but what images I have taken are again blurry and lack sharpness at the extremes of the focal length.

I hope you guys out there can point me in the right direction or I might have to take up golf!!



Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:29
You able to share some images on this thread so we can have a look at them?

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Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:33
Hi Andrew

I'll give it a go - I.T and me don't usually get on!


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:41
I think your shutter speeds are too slow for those lenses- I would suggest 1/500 as a starting point- up the iso to 400, then hopefully the lens will be able to stop down a bit and your images will be a bit sharper.


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:45
Definitely too slow. I would up the ISO further, to 1600, and make sure I had a shutter speed of at least 1/500s. SR can be switched off as that does nothing to reduce subject movement.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:45
I am having the same problem. I am about to send my K5 away for repair. It is surely an AF issue in body ie mirror issues. Have you tried in LIve View?


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:45

Hoping this works - I forgot to mention I also used manual focus on some of the images.


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:47
You are also too far away for that lens, which means you are having to crop very severely.

If you tell us where you are then perhaps we could point you to somewhere with a hide that's close enough to the birds.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:48

Thanks for the responses so far, the shake reduction mode was switched on when I was doing this. I've never got my head around this "Live View", can anyone explain to me please? I feel a round of golf coming on!! Thanks


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 12:49

Not far from you in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs.


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 13:43
As well as keeping the shutter speed up, I'd suggest checking whether the lens is front of back focussing and then adjusting the AF calibration for it in camera if it is
[i]Bodies: 1x K-5IIs, 2x K-5, Sony TX-5, Nokia 808
Lenses: Pentax DA 10-17mm ED(IF) Fish Eye, Pentax DA 14mm f/2.8, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8, Pentax-A 28mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.2, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-FA 50mm f/1.4, Pentax-A 50mm f/1.7, Pentax DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, Sigma 135-400mm APO DG, and more ..
Flash: AF-540FGZ, Vivitar 283


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 16:51
I'd suggest a great day out for you would be a WWT site. You have three choices, south to Slimbridge, west near Llanelli or north to Martin Mere.

If you decide on Martin Mere and let me know when you're going I'll see if we can meet up there.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 19:15
If you decide on Slimbridge again let me know and see if we can meet up.

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax DFA 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax DFA* 24 - 70 F2.8

Samyang 14mm F2.8, Pentax DFA* 70-200 F2.8

K3iii + K3ii + K5iis converted to IR, Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Pentax 55 - 300 F4.5 / F5.6 PLM


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 20:21
Interesting method I found quite accurate.

Smeggypants wrote:
As well as keeping the shutter speed up, I'd suggest checking whether the lens is front of back focussing and then adjusting the AF calibration for it in camera if it is


Link Posted 01/05/2015 - 21:41
Nobody has replied to you regarding Live View.

Put the camera on a tripod and put your specs on so you can see straight (serious! It's important).
Push the LV button and the mirror will go up with a loud 'clack!' Now the screen on the back is showing exactly what is being registered by the sensor. It's a good idea to cover the viewfinder at this stage as light entering there can affect the exposure.
Point the camera at the subject and watch the focus on the screen. Now here's the clever bit. If you push the INFO button the image will zoom in increments for each push. Use the 4 way controller to navigate across the enlarged image (which is 'live' don't forget). Now you can really see what's being focussed on. Push the MENU button to de-zoom. Not only can you see the focus happening (it's better with a manual lens) but you can see the effect of the exposure compensation button too. With a preset manual lens you can watch the effect of stopping down on the DofF.
So, if you do this with an AF lens (over which you have little control) AND a manual one (where you have full control) you ought to discover if it is the lens or the camera (or you) that is the problem.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

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