K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Started Apr 8, 2010 | Discussions
Edwin13 New Member • Posts: 9
K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

I hate to add to the K-x mirror-slap scaremongering but I'm beginning to think I actually have an issue with mine. Having said that I'm new to SLR photography (I've had the camera for about three or four months) so I'm cognisant of the fact that the issue may well be with my technique and not with the camera. So I thought I'd let you more experienced lot decide for me.

Hopefully GIMP has saved the exif data but if not:

Pic 1: F8, 1/100, 40mm focus
Pic 2: F11, 1/80, 32mm focus
Pic 3: F10, 1/125, 55mm focus

Now it seems to me that with those sort of focal lengths and shutter speeds I should be able to get pretty sharp details, even as a beginner. All the pictures were taken using centre point focusing, and I've verified that SR was enabled for each one. This hasn't been an issue with all my shots but as far as I can tell I haven't had any issues with pictures shot at 1/160 or faster, irrespective of focal length (I also have the 50-200mm kit lens).

I know this has been gone over before, but what would be the best way of verifying if the fault lies with the camera? Taking dozens of hand-held shots at 1/80, 1/100 and 1/125 using the 2-second timer and comparing them to normally-taken pictures? Live view vs non-live view? Tripod (which I don't have, and may possibly dampen vibrations) vs hand-held? I'm going overseas in a few months so if I do have a problem that would be repairable under warranty I'd like to sort it out now, but I don't want to send the camera away if I don't have to.

Let me know if you'd like me to post further samples, and thanks in advance.

Edwin

GaryDeM Veteran Member • Posts: 6,297
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

the simplest way to check if it is you or the camera is to put the dslr on a tripod with a cable release and shoot. then take the identical shot handheld.

you also have to consider that it may not be shake at all that is the problem. the lens may not be the sharpest possible. so you could be running into the lens' limit.

also, any SR system has limits the user cannot just move all over the place and think i do not have to practice proper holding technique and stance and be steady because the SR will fix all. this is not going to happen. also, if you are shooting in a snap shot style this will a affect the sharpness of the image. snapshot means that you pull the camera to your face face and fire without attaining the proper stance and handhold and notr letting your body come to rest. if you coming from a p&s then dslrs are heavyer and need more muscle power to hold them steady.

lastly, the dslr is capable of far more resolution than a p&s, mostly because of the extra pixels. well, those pixels are giving you more rresolution all right but at the same time can also be utterly ruthless in displaying and miscues in technique used to take the shot. a lapse in technique that wouldn't even be noticable with p&s will show up for all to see in all its glory with a dslr. and the more megapixels the dslr has the more the miscue will show up.

there arealso m2 "rules" that should be noted. the first is minamum shutter speed. the old rule wqith film slrs was 1/focal length of the lens in mm. since the coming of dslrs and the crop facytor this has been modified to be 1/ focal length of the lens inn mm X crop factor. so, on a dslr with a 1.5 crop factor(nikon, pentax) a 100mm lens becomes 1/100mm X 1.5 = 1/150sec minamum shutter speed. the second item is diffraction distorsion. trhis is what happens to light when it passes through a small hole. for crop factor dslr diffraction is starting at any aperture above f11.0 with sAY F16-22 you will gewt more dof but it will be at the price of distorsion and will be seen as a decrease is sharpness. you were sahooting at f8-11 so you were not running into this yet. personally, i avoid any fstop above f11 if there is any way to do so.

ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,311
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Yep you have the problem Edwin, that's exactly the shutter speeds that it shows up, 1/60 to 1/125 and it should not be there with those focal lengths. I sent mine in to our Australian distributor and they repaired it perfectly.

BTW if you put it on a tripod it will disappear, the tripod absorbs the shock, you should also find it worse with SR off when HH.
--
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ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,311
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

BTW my friend bought a Kx the other day, I tested it and it was fine.
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timo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,680
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

ozdean wrote:

Yep you have the problem Edwin, that's exactly the shutter speeds that it shows up, 1/60 to 1/125 and it should not be there with those focal lengths. I sent mine in to our Australian distributor and they repaired it perfectly.

Dean - what did they actually do? You may have said but I have missed it.
--
tim

PS I've just bought a K-x - it's fine at these shutter speeds.

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Sheld Senior Member • Posts: 1,899
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

looks like a bad camera. I've never had shake at those combinations of shutter speeds and focal lengths, especially with SR.

  • Shel

Edwin13 wrote:

I hate to add to the K-x mirror-slap scaremongering but I'm beginning to think I actually have an issue with mine. Having said that I'm new to SLR photography (I've had the camera for about three or four months) so I'm cognisant of the fact that the issue may well be with my technique and not with the camera. So I thought I'd let you more experienced lot decide for me.

Hopefully GIMP has saved the exif data but if not:

Pic 1: F8, 1/100, 40mm focus
Pic 2: F11, 1/80, 32mm focus
Pic 3: F10, 1/125, 55mm focus

Now it seems to me that with those sort of focal lengths and shutter speeds I should be able to get pretty sharp details, even as a beginner. All the pictures were taken using centre point focusing, and I've verified that SR was enabled for each one. This hasn't been an issue with all my shots but as far as I can tell I haven't had any issues with pictures shot at 1/160 or faster, irrespective of focal length (I also have the 50-200mm kit lens).

I know this has been gone over before, but what would be the best way of verifying if the fault lies with the camera? Taking dozens of hand-held shots at 1/80, 1/100 and 1/125 using the 2-second timer and comparing them to normally-taken pictures? Live view vs non-live view? Tripod (which I don't have, and may possibly dampen vibrations) vs hand-held? I'm going overseas in a few months so if I do have a problem that would be repairable under warranty I'd like to sort it out now, but I don't want to send the camera away if I don't have to.

Let me know if you'd like me to post further samples, and thanks in advance.

Edwin

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OP Edwin13 New Member • Posts: 9
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Thanks guys. I don't think the lens is the issue as some shots come up really nicely. It's not much to look at but below is a 100% crop of a photo taken at 55mm, 1/250 of an A4 focus test page from about 4 metres away. To my untrained eye it looks pretty sharp. Excuse the derelict car on which it was placed (bonus points if you pick the make and model).

I'll have a look through my photos and see if I can find any other examples, those were just some of the more obvious ones. It'd be a pity if it is the camera as apart from this issue I'm loving it. Has amazing battery life with Eneloops.

A few questions Dean - did CRK ask for any photos showing the issue or were they happy to accept it and test themselves? What exactly did they say the issue was once it had been repaired, and how long were you without a camera?

Cheers,

Edwin

manuf Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

I may be wrong but it was my understanding that you shouldn't have a problem anymore at 1/250 sec., the shake being visible mostly between 1/60 sec. and 1/125 sec. (with a bit of variation with users).

timo Veteran Member • Posts: 5,680
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Edwin13 wrote:

Excuse the derelict car on which it was placed (bonus points if you pick the make and model).

Citroen CX? 70s/80s-ish. Can I have a DA70 as the bonus?

Looks a bit like Lancia Beta but it isn't.
--
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OP Edwin13 New Member • Posts: 9
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Pity they don't have an applause smiley here - nice work timo. I don't even know if I'd pick that, and I've got three of them out the back! Fortunately this car (a 1981 CX2400) is just a parts car, I've got an '84 CX25 GTi turbo in slightly better condition.

Back on topic, no, I haven't seen any issues with pictures taken at 1/200th or faster. Some pictures taken at 1/50th or slower are blurry, but not in the same way that these pictures are. Those taken at 1/50th that do blur just seem kind of soft and blurred, whereas the photos I've attached look like a double exposure. Almost like the sensor being in one place, then moving incredibly quickly only a few pixels away and stopping there.

Model Mike Veteran Member • Posts: 3,895
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

As Dean says, you've got the issue - the double image is the giveaway.

To prove that the blur is due to a fault in the camera and not bad technique, simply take sample pics at a very slow shutter speed say 1/20 second with SR Off - if they are sharp (as they will be if you're well braced and have reasonably steady hands) then there's nothing more to demonstrate. Make sure that you take a series of photos in both cases as there is always some statistical variation.
--
Mike
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ellarsee_g Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Set up a test target.

Take a few shots at each shutter speed from about 1/25 to about 1/250 first with SR on then with SR off and see if the blur doesn't universally increase.

You could also try the same two scans with the camera on a tripod.

Alex Contributing Member • Posts: 725
Welcome to the club

Same issue here and pretty solid, 100% reproducible.

Pentax repair would not acknowledge though.

james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Edwin, the double image is the giveaway - you've got one the troublesome cameras.

Can you please indicate what batteries you were using? Battery power has been implicated in the problem.

I get this problem on an unpredictable basis, so far always at 1/60s, not higher.

Given that my battery meter also reads erratically, it may be a battery circuit problem.

Others have said that by changing their batteries to Eneloops, they have solved the problem. When this turns up on my cam, I switch off, open and close the battery compartment (reseat the battery contacts) and switch on. I also make darn sure that I'm stabilising my hands when I take the shot and of course that the SR has kicked in.

Good luck.
--
jamesza

ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,311
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Sorry timo, been busy, they replaced the main PCB and the Gyro PCB and serviced it.
Whatever they did it fixed it perfectly - I have the highest praise for CRK.

I am yet to be convinced it's an SR issue because HH shots in MLU were fine - difference is the mirror timing.
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ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,311
Re: Welcome to the club

Typical of the problem Alex note the 1/80 with MLU is fine - got to be the mirror Slap IMO not SR. It is fixable mine was.
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ozdean
ozdean Forum Pro • Posts: 26,311
Re: K-x shake - camera issue or poor technique?

Edwin13 wrote:

Thanks guys. I don't think the lens is the issue as some shots come up really nicely. It's not much to look at but below is a 100% crop of a photo taken at 55mm, 1/250 of an A4 focus test page from about 4 metres away. To my untrained eye it looks pretty sharp. Excuse the derelict car on which it was placed (bonus points if you pick the make and model).

I'll have a look through my photos and see if I can find any other examples, those were just some of the more obvious ones. It'd be a pity if it is the camera as apart from this issue I'm loving it. Has amazing battery life with Eneloops.

A few questions Dean - did CRK ask for any photos showing the issue or were they happy to accept it and test themselves?

I emailed shots directly to Clem and he asked me to send it in.

What exactly did they say the issue was once it had been repaired, and how long were you without a camera?

They said they replaced the main PCB and Gyro PCB and serviced it, took 3 weeks after sending to Melbourne and is now spot on _ great Service from CRK.

Cheers,

Edwin

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Regards Dean - Capturing Creation

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Alex Contributing Member • Posts: 725
Re: Welcome to the club

ozdean wrote:

Typical of the problem Alex note the 1/80 with MLU is fine - got to be the mirror Slap IMO not SR. It is fixable mine was.

As far as I remember in your case they agreed to replace main board, right?

james laubscher Senior Member • Posts: 1,225
Re: Welcome to the club

Hi Ozdean, please remind us, what was done to fix your problem?

Thanks
--
jamesza

Alex Contributing Member • Posts: 725
I called Pentax USA with this problem - we are dead in the waters

After camera was sent to CRIS repair in US twice, first time repair attempted, second time camera was sent back without repair.

Then two e-mails to Pentax USA - no response.

So now I called customer service at (800) 877-0155 and had really hard conversation with CSR.

He insisted - official answer from pentax - issue does not exists and where it exists it is user error. There is nothing wrong with the camera, if repair facility does not ackowlege the problem, the problem does not exists, there is nothing else Pantax can do.

I urge everyone with this problem to call Pentax.

I will also be filing complaint with BBB.

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