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08-10-2011, 09:07 AM   #136
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
I think any APS-C, brightness optimized viewfinder makes MF a pain. And the catch-in focus is a joke and gimmick that barely functions (kitchen and home renovation supply solutions doesn't count).

With static subject I can *try* to achieve reliable focus around 50mm or more. Under that (e.g. 28mm) either everything is sharp, or nothing is sharp (i can quickly distinguish close, medium, far focus). Thats usable only with f8 or more.
I have never had any problem whatsoever with manual focussing. Both with MF lenses or AF lenses set to MF. And the catch-in focus works perfectly.

If your unit is faulty, send it in for repair.

08-10-2011, 09:15 AM   #137
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Firstly we need to remember there are many situations where a fast AF, or indeed any AF, is not actually needed at all, I'm sure we can all think of some situations but landscape, portraits, architecture, still-life, macro etc. are just a few and MF lenses will work out just fine so if that is your direction then you can almost certainly get a highly reliable, fast, MF lense for a decent price that will, in all reasonable expectation, increase in value (unlike the sparkly new zoom you just bought) thanks to those legions of Canon users and now the NEX, G, Q and whatever comes along that can be expected at some time or another, to have an adapter to make all those MF lenses work beautifully on the latest & greatest.

QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
I'd love to try the Sigma 30/1.4 that you mentioned even though the review I read was less than stellar .
I love my Sigma 30/1.4, superb lense for low DoF, portraits (too sharp but you can always dial that back in PP), incredibly sharp so cropping 75% of the shot off ... not a problem. Lovely bokeh too.It is currently my most used lens and goes everywhere with me.

QuoteOriginally posted by hangu Quote
There are plenty of great 35/2 lenses out there, such as the S-Tak/SMC Tak 35/2 and the SMC FA35/2, all of which are pretty sharp wide open. I'm not sure the extra half-stop at a wide focal length of 35mm is really worth it if it doesn't perform well at f1.7.
It's not all just about how sharp it is wide-open. It often means the lens starts to get really sharp just where other lenses are starting (and therefore not at their sharpest), e.g. 1.8 / 2 / 2.4 / 2.8. I often use my Sigma 30/1.4 at 1.6 or 1.8 - and it's incredibly sharp. People say it's soft in the corners - but it's not that bad at all - and blows my M28/2.8 away.

QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
There are some manual focus prime (and zoom) lenses that I do think are the Bee's Knees And the Cat's Pajamas (as my former coworker from Ireland use to say).
You mean farmer ?

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
It is a funny myth that old cheap lenses make the best value on digital cameras. Why buy an expensive camera and use cheap lenses.
Because many of them are better than the AF versions available today. Unless you are willing to pay US$1,000s per lens when you can get the same optical quality for much much less.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Old lenses are not optimiized for digital use - lower IQ
BS. It depends on the lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Old lenses do not have new lens coatings - big advances here
True - but that doesn't mean the coatings on older lenses are crap ... or that you could tell the difference in 99% of situations.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Old lenses do not take advanage of new camera features - that may be disabled anyways, but with old lenses you have no choice
The vast majority of Pentax's features work just fine with most MF lenses. Attach one and see what's greyed out.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Old lenses are not designed for crop sensors - especially problematic for wide angles
There weren't that many lenses that can be described as WA now as they were built for 35mm (and most were crap anyway). However MF lenses such as the (not exactly an old lens but MF) Voigtlander Heliar 15mm (equiv. 10mm on a Pentax) is an unbelievable lens and blows anything available for a crop camera away.

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Old lenses are OLD - used for 10 or more years and probably worn out.
Such BS. I have 50 year old lenses that are nowhere near 'worn-out' !
*where's that damn Rolling Eyes Smilie when you need it* !

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Old lenses designed for full frame are actually larger than their new counterparts for cropped sensor sizes
Que ?! (think Manuel in Fawlty Towers)

QuoteOriginally posted by zapp Quote
Old lenses are cheap so you can esily add more lenses to you camera, but don't tell me they are better than new ones
Absolutely some are. today's manufacturing and QC can often not hold a light to many of those of yesteryear. Today it's make em fast and sell em quick.

For me there are situations where I'll use AF lenses exclusively; maybe as 2nd shooter on a pro-shoot that requires speed or being unable to pose people, or a sports event shoot, or also sometimes when I go shooting street (though the MF lens Voigtlander 50/1.8 and CIF works well there too).
And there are others where I prefer MF for the better or equivalent quality I can get at a lower price point (a couple of days ago I bought a Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8 in beautiful condition and a Zeiss 85/1.4 in pristine condition, both are being converted to PK mount - and all for far less than the cost of a new 31 Ltd) and when I have time to compose my shots e.g. landscape, portraits, still life & architecture - BTW there is often no need to even refocus, set your 28 to maybe 8' and f8 and everything beyond that is in focus, so who needs AF ?

Last edited by Frogfish; 08-10-2011 at 09:22 AM.
08-10-2011, 09:24 AM - 1 Like   #138
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
I think any APS-C, brightness optimized viewfinder makes MF a pain. And the catch-in focus is a joke and gimmick that barely functions (kitchen and home renovation supply solutions doesn't count).

With static subject I can *try* to achieve reliable focus around 50mm or more. Under that (e.g. 28mm) either everything is sharp, or nothing is sharp (i can quickly distinguish close, medium, far focus). Thats usable only with f8 or more.
CIF works very well for me in numerous situations. If you can't get it to work for you ........
08-10-2011, 09:33 AM   #139
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
CIF works very well for me in numerous situations. If you can't get it to work for you ........
Me too. With a few exceptions, every single shot taken with this lens, a manual focus zoom, was done with CIF.

Pentax A 35-105 f3.5 - a set on Flickr

It is NO joke nor is it a gimmick.



08-10-2011, 09:35 AM   #140
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QuoteOriginally posted by ll_coffee_lP Quote
Let's not kid ourselves here, Tom just hit the nail on the head - MF lenses are still revered because of their feel and the throwback to "old" times when they are used. I think this debate would be near 100% unanimous if the question was do you prefer manually focusing a Tak vrs newer AF lenses.

I suspect that the same folks who would argue that MF lenses are superior because they have less components to potentially break down are currently using a touch tone phone (likely cordless too) that obviously would never last nearly as long as a table top rotary dial phone (that you can still use today). Would they also still daily drive an older manual transmission, carb'ed, crank windowed, no air conditioning car too...

c[_]
I would not buy a car with an automatic transmission, had a couple of them and will not again unless health issues decide otherwise. And if I still lived in Edmonton ac in a car is not a necessity. One of my cars is not a daily driver but the back windows are push out not crank or electric.

But I shoot a totally manual Hasselblad and large format and even the slowest manual focus lens on a DSLR is speedy compared to either of those. My Pentax set is now all primes except for the 17-28 fisheye and I went prime (2 manual and 2 autofocus) because I had some of them and for their small size. But my wife has all zooms except for her macro and we of course swap. There is a time and place for manual and or prime and autofocus and or zoom. It depends so much on your needs and requriments. To me photography is now a pastime and I do not need to be able to shoot quickly and effortless, I want to enjoy what I do. The right or the best type of lenses depends more on the person then the technology. Having said that I also think that just because something is easier to use does not mean it does the job better. For sports though I would not use my large format camera but the Pentax and most likely my new to us 70-200 2.8 but only because it is more suited to that job. For landscapes I am happy manually focusing on my Hasselblad or taking the time with the 4X5 but also with either a digital or film Pentax and I have the time to focus and set my exposure and even compose and the landscape is not changing that fast. Perhaps downtown Calgary 5 years ago you would have needed the fastest focusing just to catch buildings but that time has passed
08-10-2011, 11:07 AM   #141
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I'm taking my words back about CIF.

I must apologize, but indeed it works perfectly. After your replies i mounted a Pentax M-type (100/2.8) lens and tested with it.
I guess all my previous experiences were only with various kinds of adapted m42 lenses.

Still not sure how it would perform at shorter focal lengths.
08-10-2011, 11:43 AM   #142
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
I guess all my previous experiences were only with various kinds of adapted m42 lenses.

Still not sure how it would perform at shorter focal lengths.
I use CIF constantly with M42, KM, NI and Exakta mount lenses (sometimes on bellows) at 16-21-24-28-35-37-40-45-50-55-58-60-65-75-85-90-100-105mm etc. And longer. With my delaminating eyeballs, I depend on CIF. The trick: since MFL's don't allow multiple focus point on my K20D, I make sure the subject is centered. Composition happens in PP. My first priority: GET THE SHOT!
08-10-2011, 01:14 PM   #143
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
I'm taking my words back about CIF.

I must apologize, but indeed it works perfectly. After your replies i mounted a Pentax M-type (100/2.8) lens and tested with it.
I guess all my previous experiences were only with various kinds of adapted m42 lenses.

Still not sure how it would perform at shorter focal lengths.
Judge for yourself...

K28 f2.0

Pentax K28mm f2.0 - a set on Flickr

With wider lengths, it is pretty much infinity or somewhere closer.

Here's a Spriatone 20mm f2.8. The lens ain't much at distances but does a pretty fair job close up.

Spiratone 20mm f2.8 - a set on Flickr



08-10-2011, 03:32 PM   #144
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Good discussion. But, back to the original subject, I agree with what pimpim said in post #71:

QuoteOriginally posted by pimpim Quote
Hah, excellent troll topic!

...I believe that the idea is that you enjoy the process and get the tools to get most out of it.

The OP's topic may have been a jest, and I won't try to debate prime vs zoom. But, I will say my (used) manual focus primes were bargains and are fun.
They do what they were designed to do - they make me happy.

Last edited by .a.t.; 10-14-2011 at 09:51 PM.
08-10-2011, 03:47 PM   #145
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QuoteOriginally posted by all thumbs Quote
They do what they were designed to do - they make me happy.
And that's what's important!
Except for masochists, of course.

Y'know, we need some sort of satisfaction survey -- not, HOW SATISFIED ARE YOU? but, WHAT SATISFIES YOU? Cross-index that with psychological profiles: Are pixel-peepers necessarily paranoid schizophrenics? Are collectors all anal-compulsives? Do Ltd purchasers suffer from delusions of adequacy? Are AF addicts all lazy sods? Not that any PFC members fit these categories, oh no, of course not. We're all sane and norbal. Right? Right?
08-11-2011, 02:01 PM   #146
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the original poster often posted provocative topics and held unlikely opinions, and then disappeared off the radar

I do like the old manual kit from Pentax, and dont see why both analogue and digital cannot coexist. There is nothing like the focussing feel of the old manual kit, but equally, with fast sensors, do you have to have f2 on every lens...
08-11-2011, 05:13 PM   #147
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Nicely damped focus and DOF markings are much appreciated. Last year, I took a group photo of 150 people that included me. The AF kicked in and locked on someone less than optimum for getting the whole group in focus. This year, I popped a manual lens on, focused by distance and DOF marks, and got a perfect shot.
08-12-2011, 12:13 AM   #148
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My missus reckons AF lenses focus on the wrong blade of glass.
Just thought I'd contribute to the discussion.
As for old versus new, there's crap modern and old lenses as there always will be. New does not neccessarily equate to better quality even if the salesman at the camera shop is trying to convince you otherwise.
08-12-2011, 03:55 AM   #149
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I like auto focus. I am able to manual focus, but when it comes to chasing around kids and getting any in focus shots, auto focus comes in handy. I don't argue about the quality of older lenses (although there were plenty of stinkers made 30 years ago). I just have a hard time making them work for me.
08-12-2011, 06:35 AM   #150
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Less loss of lens value on the remote possibility that Ricoh decides to pull the plug on K-mount?
ie. they will be usable on other cameras w/ adapters without loss of too much function unlike more modern AF lenses which will loose auto aperture and AF.


Actually, I like both of them.
If shooting by myself, I find a zen like quality/experience in using MF lenses
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