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Author Topic: Auto vs manual focus  (Read 4267 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2013, 11:02:48 AM »
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Hi,

My solution is live view at actual pixels or selectable focus point.

Best regards
Erik

We keep asking for things nobody is going to make.

I'd love a huge viewfinder and mechanical lenses, (pentax 645d anyone), but once makers went to autofocus the viewfinders got smaller and were perceived to be used for composition only, focus was to be handled automatically.

How many times with a dslr have you stopped and said to a subject, "hold it, let me move the focus point, nope, one more time, ok got it, now let's work".

But I really believe that modern dslrs are designed for sports photographers that use long lenses, center the subject and hold the button down.

For advertising, editorial and fine art it's a different animal.

There might be great promise when evf's finally evolve.  The OMD is not good at focus, the gh3 good, not very good, but good.  One thing the gh3 does well, 70% of the time is face recognition.  When it works, it's freaky good, like csi freaky good.  When it doesn't it's a mess.

I think the beauty of the M series Leicas is you can manually focus, even on moving subjects, if the subject is centered and if you use lenses no longer than 50mm.

IMO

BC
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wildlightphoto
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« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2013, 11:27:59 AM »
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Presumably you took the same view of the central microprism ring and split screen that used to be so common.

I do.  I replaced the screens in my Nikon and Leica-R cameras with plain matte with grid (i.e., Nikon E).
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Isaac
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« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2013, 11:48:15 AM »
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Live view is for static subjects and for checking zone focusing. LV is totally non-ergonomic for real action.

That's kind-of confusing for the few of us who see LV all-the-time in the view finder :-)

I think the issue of OVF vs. EVF was nicely covered in last year's Sony Alpha A99 Field Test Report.
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TMARK
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« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2013, 02:22:10 PM »
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I did that with my MF cameras (RZ and 501cm) and my F5.  I have a matt center split in my F4, which I do like.

Fuji had a screen for their GX680 that was matt BUT had several split image/RF spots where a person's eyes could appear in the frame. 

I do.  I replaced the screens in my Nikon and Leica-R cameras with plain matte with grid (i.e., Nikon E).
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LKaven
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« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2013, 03:02:02 PM »
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Quote from: Luke
The mere presence of autofocus points exerts undue influence on one's creative decisions in framing a composition.
Presumably you took the same view of the central microprism ring and split screen that used to be so common.

The ground glass was good enough for manual focus on the film SLRs.  Works fine on the D4 for that matter.

I guess you're suggesting the central microprism was somehow like a "single point AF", but not to me.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 10:32:13 PM by LKaven » Logged

Isaac
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« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2013, 03:10:42 PM »
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I guess you're suggesting the central microprism was somehow like a "single point AF", but not to me.

I'd have found your argument more persuasive if you'd said you replaced the focusing screen ;-)
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #46 on: September 07, 2013, 12:03:36 AM »
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Hi,

Live view is pretty accurate at actual pixels, but it is slow. Peaking is nice in theory, but with the stuff I have (Sony) it is not really useful for critical focus.

I would also guess that manual focus has a lot to do with lenses. Lenses built for AF have short focusing throw, may be to short for accurate focus. Also, many lenses have focus shift (focus changes when stopping down) but it is no issue if you shoot fully open with a very good lens.

I guess that practice helps, personally I use either AF or live view at actual pixels on Sony.

On the Hasselblad V I use a prism finder with the acute matte screen that came with the camera and Zeiss Victory 3x monocular that gives additional three times magnification and can be adjusted for eyesight. That works mostly well.


One reason we had less problems with focus on film was that we enlarged less. Going actual pixels on digital images corresponds to extreme size prints. Screen pixel pitch is about 100 PPI, so looking at a 24MP image at actual pixels corresponds to looking a 40x60" print at close distance. How often did we make prints that size and looked close in the film times?

Birdman is right about practice.

Best regards
ERik
Useless for active subjects.
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Isaac
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« Reply #47 on: September 07, 2013, 01:24:37 PM »
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Now currently using  either ... my biggest issue is out of focus shots.

  • Are you comparing the same standard of out-of-focus? (ErikKaffehr's comment)

    For example, now that I can so easily look at magnified images on screen I seem to expect much more.

  • Are you comparing the same "value" of equipment?

    For example, I was using bottom-of-the-range equipment back then which in inflation adjusted $ cost much the same as the bottom-of-the-range equipment I'm using now.

    With bottom-of-the-range equipment, I think there's more that helps me get in-focus shots now than back-in-the-day:

    - now viewfinder magnification makes my use of MF so much better

    - now burst mode captures tiny variations in focus

    - now zero cost images let me practice both MF and AF and review and practice

    - now burst mode with continuous AF provides an additional way to photograph the sudden and unexpected

  • Why AF vs MF?

    The camera doesn't know what I want in-focus so, however good the AF, AF will mis-focus (and MF is always more fun to use because we're in control).

    otoh There probably are situations where the AF provided by your camera will work very reliably, so the question becomes - How best can we make use of both AF and MF? - and that's different for you and me, and different for different cameras.
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