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Old Aug 9, 2009, 3:25 AM   #1
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Default nuts!!

We've had a walnut tree in the garden for years and last year was the first time it had nuts on it but before they were allowed to ripen the squirrels stripped it of all of them - almost overnight. This year the same thing happened but they seemed to be mocking us by sitting on the fence posts eating them but at least they posed for a few photos. I've taken loads but can't seem to get them focused where I want - at first I thought it was the lens (Pentax 55-300 F4-5.8) but then found a different picture that looked perfectly focused so I guess its me (always blame the tools first). Here's the best example of the ones I've taken, adjusted the levels slightly to lighten it but looks a bit wishy-washy now to me (good technical term) - will have to wait until next year to try again.......

Cheers, Michael
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Old Aug 9, 2009, 6:01 AM   #2
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They are so cute, lovely shot.


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Old Aug 9, 2009, 11:09 AM   #3
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Nice shot!

The battle begins when you decide you want to deny them the nuts. When it comes to food, I think they are the most tenacious animals I have ever encountered.

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Old Aug 9, 2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Hey Doc,
the problem may be the equipment after all... the 55-300 is a good lens but, seem to be notorious for either back focusing or front focusing. Fortunately you have the K20 and can adjust for that in the auto focus menu.
It looks to me like you might be back focusing just a little, notice the tail is more focused than the face, if you were focusing on the face, then it's the lens, if you were focusing on the tail... well, you need to aim better! I use spot meter and spot focus settings for that very reason.

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Old Aug 9, 2009, 1:12 PM   #5
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GW - I noticed that it had focused on the tail but I can't be sure whether its the lens or me. I didn't realise that I could adjust the autofocus in the camera to adjust for it, just read the manual and it seems a relatively easy thing to do. If the weather is good next week I will have to dig out my tripod and have a bit of a play and see if I can sort it out - probably me though as don't have the steadiest of hands. If it is the lens that would be good as will be more likely to use it more if the results are better than I've been getting generally
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Old Aug 9, 2009, 4:29 PM   #6
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There is often more in an image than is apparent at first look. A little more aggressive post processing can often salvage an image even if it isn't perfect. Here is what a quickie attempt yielded - I hope you don't mind.

Before making any adjustments, make sure it is the lens and not your technique. Remember that at telephoto lengths depth of field is often very shallow - spot focusing on the eye might have helped (a sharp eye can make an otherwise unsharp image acceptable).

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Last edited by penolta; Aug 9, 2009 at 4:41 PM.
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Old Aug 9, 2009, 10:26 PM   #7
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Nice edit, Penolta..
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Old Aug 10, 2009, 1:45 PM   #8
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thanks Penolta, much nicer colours - perhaps a bit saturated for my eyes but that might be my screen.

Had a quick play with the lens this evening and I think its more likely me than the lens, but I will set up my tripod and an inanimate object at the weekend and see how it focuses on it and whether there is a problem, and then make any adjustments if I need to.

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Old Aug 10, 2009, 2:15 PM   #9
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Take a look around the internet for focus charts - there's several different varieties available. If you follow the directions available with them, you can get a much more accurate idea of how much or how little front or back focusing a lens might have. Using an object doesn't always give you an accurate picture of what's going on (as you found out with the squirrel - there's often an operator componenet and you'll be able to remove that when using a focusing chart).
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