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Need some reassurance...

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by NkedFatWhiteGuy, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Today we received a few inches of snow, which is not very common here, and was pretty much the first real snow my 3 year old has experienced! My wife went our with him to play, and I grabbed my NEX 6 to capture some of the fun.

    This evening, when I told my wife that I missed a few that would have been really good , she said "I hate that <expletive removed> camera! It won't focus on anything! The old Sony never missed...". The "old Sony" was a DSLR-A500 which normally had a 16-80ZA on it.

    Today, I had the same 16-80ZA mounted to a LA-EA2 on my NEX 6. It was in Program mode with wide area focus. The shots were spot on with exposure once I compensated with a +2 over, but focus was "off" in about 40% of my images.... I have shot a lot in the snow so I know what can happen with auto focus, but that wasn't what was happening. It seems almost like the focus point was different than what was illuminated on the display.

    I have had my NEX for about 3 or 4 months and have not been very pleased with the AF that whole time. At first I thought it was just getting used to a new camera, but I don't know if I can just attribute it to learning a new camera. I also have the kit 16-50pz, 55-210, and the 50 1.8 which all seem to have the "issue". The best result with AF seem to come from my SAL35F1.8 on the LA-EA2. With legacy, MF lenses, everything seems fine...

    This is probably all in my head, or I am just missing something that I should know, but I really need some help or at least reassurance that I didn't make a bad decision with the NEX 6 because right now I am really wondering if I should have abandoned Sony and gone Fuji or stuck with A-mount :-(
     
  2. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    I've had this issue too with my NEX 6 using a 16-50 lens. My understanding for this is that in program mode the camera does not do a face detect focus (use auto or auto+ for that). So it tries to keep most of the shot in good focus which means most of the time it ends up focusing on the background and missing the people you were trying to focus.

    As of now, I switch over to the auto or auto+ modes whenever people are involved. I also keep DMF on so I can finetune the focus before the actual click. Hope that helps, I would love to hear a better workaround for the Program mode if you find one
     
  3. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks izzikiorage! I had not heard that about the 6 in program mode. I normally shoot in aperture priority with center spot auto focus, but like to switch to program when my subject and I are both moving around in unpredictable ways (my son is definitely unpredictable!). I have had disappointment with auto focused images in pretty much all modes.

    I really keep hoping it is just something that I am doing wrong, or something I don't know or realize yet...
     
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Snow is probably one of the hardest things for contrast based focus to focus in.

    Sounds like you know he camera pretty well, but I'll offer a few ideas.

    1- As mentioned the DMF is great, but with active kids, you don't want to wait those few extra seconds. You can also try just converting over to MF.

    2- Have you tried the modes under SCN. The "Action" one is pretty handy and one I use often when shooting the kids.
     
  5. WT21

    WT21 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    610
    Aug 7, 2011
    I agree on Action mode. I have used this with my 55-210 and got reasonable results for such a long lens. About on par with my old Canon Rebel DSLRs with consumer-grade telephotos.
     
  6. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Thanks for the great input! I went out again today with the 16-50 and tried some shots with auto and auto+, but have yet to review them any more than to do a quick exposure check (which looked good without any compensation which I find interesting based on my need yesterday to over expose by 2 stops in program mode under almost identical situations -same time of day, same quality of light, and same "type" of snowfall- and multi metering). I am hoping that I will see better results in these newer shots, and maybe I will change my ways and break out of trying too keep so much control ;-)

    As a fallback, I did take out my trust Fuji X20 for some later shooting.... But shhhhh, don't tell!
     
  7. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    let us know how the shots come out.

    BTW if you really want to shoot in program mode then it might be wise to switch to center focus, lock the focus on the point of interest (by half pressing the shutter) and then recomposing to get the frame you need.
     
  8. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, I finally got some time to look at the second round of shots. Still not real great "hit rate", bit better. I was also trying a bit to keep subject in the phase detection area - I will just need to crop the images appropriately.

    The next thing I will try is using the face detect feature. In these couple of rounds, faces were pretty much covered in winter hats and hoods so wouldn't have made much difference!

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk
     
  9. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, unfortunately the disappointment is continuing. Spent the weekend in Seattle and the pictures from the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project were continually out of focus even with the 55-210 at infinity.

    I was trying center focus, locking focus on the subject before release and I was trying full auto mode but continued to get unreliable results. It did seem that my best chances were with the 55-210 @ 55 mm with subjects as close as possible.

    I did end up shooting with DMF and focus peaking which did result in good focus.

    I am not sure what to do next. Send it in for repair? Just start shooting full manual (not really what I want to do)? Anymore advice?

    I really am glad to hear that this is not a "normal" problem and that there may still be hope for my and E-Mount!

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
  10. Fundadores

    Fundadores TalkEmount Regular

    41
    Oct 14, 2013
    Have you tried Continuous AF (only available with Auto focus) on moving subjects.
     
  11. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    After all this i suggest that you take it into a sony service center, since its across lenses it has to be an issue with the camera

    You might also want to check the firmware. The latest is 1.02 and it had support for a bunch of lenses added to it. Its grasping at straws but that might just be it

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
  12. olli

    olli TalkEmount Veteran

    318
    Aug 16, 2011
    Washington DC
    olli
    As far as I know the LA-EA2 does not use the camera's autofocus system but has the autofocus system from the SLT cameras built into the adapter. If you are getting focussing issues with both the cameras autofocus and the LA-EA2s focus it seems unlikely that it's just about the cameras foussing system.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    I thought the focusing system is in the cam sensor only. The adapter probably has the motor for the focusing of the lens

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
  14. olli

    olli TalkEmount Veteran

    318
    Aug 16, 2011
    Washington DC
    olli
    Kurt Munger suggests that the adapter has a PDAF system built in -http://kurtmunger.com/sony_la_ea2_nexid333.html

    This seems to make sense since older NEX models that are CDAF only gain in autofocus speed when using the adapter. Like I said, I haven't used it so can't say for sure but it's something to check on before concluding that the problem lies with the camera own AF system.

    Confirmed on the Sony website.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Fundadores - I will try continuous AF with some of the moving subjects and potentially try my skill with focus tracking as well!

    Izzikiorage - I am running on 1.02 and the latest for each of my lenses (Ver. 02 on the 50 OSU 2.8 for example). I will definitely validate though!

    Olli - I am going to run through some more tests with my A - Mount lenses on the LA-EA2 to make sure the results are still the same... I have not tried any micro focus adjustments yet because I want to check a bit more to make sure what I am up against.

    Thanks all of the input! I will try and post some examples tomorrow from this latest trip to illustrate what I am seeing. I think I will go ahead and reach out to Sony now as well. No harm in that ;-)

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
  16. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Just a quick update on my situation...

    I updated to 1.03 and things seemed to get worse for me with AF and camera handling in general. In an act of desperation I did a full factory reset, and it seems like things just got a lot better!

    I am still testing things, but so far things are looking up! :-D

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
  17. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    323
    Jul 30, 2013
    Nice, guess there were some wonky settings then. Btw does sony allow you to fine tune your lens focus. As in is the a setting that allows you to calibrate your focus

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
  18. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    There is the ability to fine tune focus on A Mount lenses using the LA-EAX adapters under a "micro focus adjustments" setting (I think that is what it is called), but no ability to make changes to the native E Mount lenses that I have found, unless I am missing something ...

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
  19. NkedFatWhiteGuy

    NkedFatWhiteGuy TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Oct 28, 2013
    Portland, Oregon
    Quick update... I think things are looking much better!!! Still needing to do some more testing, but my auto focus hit rate is WAY up with the new firmware and the factory reset.

    I am still not all that happy with my NEX 6, but things are improving. I need to use the LA-EA2 some more to make sure things are good there.

    Thanks again for all of your input and advice! I will let you know how my journey continuess!

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk