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09-19-2007, 08:20 AM   #1
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Voigtlander 125 macro lens on K100D - any limitations?

I am considering the Voigtlander 125 among other options for a macro lens. From the website (cameraquest) - I am unable to ascertain if this is an auto focus or manual focus lens. I am not familiar with either macro photography or manual focus lenses and would appreciate any guidance (if it is manual focus) or limitations regarding using this lens on a K100D to help me make a decision.

Thanks in advance,
Arvind

09-19-2007, 08:37 AM   #2
and
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It is a manual focus lens. I believe most people tend to MF when doing macro anyway, as do I so I dont see this as too much of a limitation. And its a beautiful lens.
09-19-2007, 08:43 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
It is a manual focus lens. I believe most people tend to MF when doing macro anyway, as do I so I dont see this as too much of a limitation. And its a beautiful lens.

Thanks Andreas... I will have to search through these forums to learn how to use a manual lens on my K100D... looking forward to it actually, (a) I need to learn how to do this and (b) will enjoy reading through the older posts... need to manage my time though or I may end up spending too much time reading through these forums
09-19-2007, 09:06 AM   #4
and
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There is not that much to learn actually. It is a manual focus lens, but the aperature is automatic.

A manual focus lens and a manual lens is not the same thing.

Basically if you put your FA 35 on your camera, and then set the focus selector to MF then your FA 35 will behave the same way as a Voigtlander 125 would. Except that the manual focus feel will be different, pure MF lenses typically have a stiffer focusing ring that, altho slower to use, allows for more accurate fine-focus, which is nice for macro.

09-19-2007, 09:29 AM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
There is not that much to learn actually. It is a manual focus lens, but the aperature is automatic.

A manual focus lens and a manual lens is not the same thing.

Basically if you put your FA 35 on your camera, and then set the focus selector to MF then your FA 35 will behave the same way as a Voigtlander 125 would. Except that the manual focus feel will be different, pure MF lenses typically have a stiffer focusing ring that, altho slower to use, allows for more accurate fine-focus, which is nice for macro.
Thanks for clarifying - I was mistaking 'manual focus lens' for a manual lens. Your comparison to the FA 35 helps!
09-19-2007, 09:33 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
It is a manual focus lens. I believe most people tend to MF when doing macro anyway, as do I so I dont see this as too much of a limitation. And its a beautiful lens.
Haha you'd be surprised to find that its a bit of a rarity nowadays especially with all the nonsense AF marketing pitches.

I just listened to a 3-4 month old D80 shooter the other day bragging about how 'fast' his 50/1.8 was AFing. He aimed the camera at me and in an instant, a 3 shot burst went off. He showed me the pics on the lcd. "See?" "Awesome, eh?".

I sighed and asked him to zoom in. Not one was in focus. The camera either focused on the wall behind me or nothing at all. Just a little earlier, he was talking about how the new Nikon D3 had like 50 something AF points and how he wanted a macro lens but couldn't afford it and then so on about how Nikon AF speeds are top notch. I don't doubt the speed of ultrasonic AF motors but I asked him about center bias in AF and he told me you can pick them. true. Say you got the fastest AF possible. Some large aperture lens with ultrasonic AF. What is faster?

Eyesight
-> Realization and Processing (human reaction delay)
-> Formation of Idealized or Mental Image
-> Activation of tendons and muscles in the arm and hand (Manual Focus)
-> Shutter

-OR-

Eyesight
-> Realization and Processing (human reaction delay)
-> Formation of Idealized or Mental Image
-> Activation of tendons and muscles in the arm and hand (D-Pad, AF shift to left/right/up/down side bias. Remember not every picture is dead center.)
-> Shutter

Unless you play alot Gameboy, you will end up taking time in using the d-Pad and depending on how your dslr is configured, you might have to take your eye off the viewfinder to check your lcd menu. Its really too bad camera companies are furthering the numbing of creative potential in today's enthusiast/hobbyist/amateur/average jane n' joe photographer, all in efforts to grow market share/profits.

(Sry about the rant.)
09-19-2007, 09:47 AM   #7
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Wait, you're saying that I can't have all 11-points in focus at once? Glad I didn't spring for one of them 5Ds with 50 AF points (I think I tend to overuse the emoticon....)
09-19-2007, 10:24 AM   #8
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Well, technically the 50 AF points are all 'status pending'. Say you take the Nikon D3 or the 5D or even the K10D. The points are kinda spread through out, albiet center biased.

The thing is your lens can only be focused at any but only one length at any given time. Using your eye for example. Like place your hand close to your face. If you focus on your hand, your background loses focus. If you pay attention to the background, your hand loses focus. You can't optically focus on both at the same time.

What I mean by "status pending" is that the AF chip looks at the image coming through the lens and evaluates it for an 'image' based on many parameters. So if say it detects something close by, it will activate the AF sensors overlaying that part of the image. So its like when you see those red boxes appear in your viewfinder. Its telling you that the camera is evaluating those AF points and using them to judge focus.

Having more is good with respect to say sports and tracking shots. The more sensors, the more a camera can keep AF on track by switching sensors.

But my beef with AF is that its way too overated. It may technically be within spec and lock on fast with ultrasonic, but its not one with your brain. A camera doesn't know what photo you really want. It can only look at a scene and based on a variety of parameters like contrast, movement, decide the most probable locations to activate overlaying AF sensors.

For example a landscape photo of your friend standing on the edge of a busy street with some iconic architectural backdrop. What if the camera spots a car zipping by on the curbside lane at the moment you plunge the shutter button and decides to focus on that instead? You will have lost your photo and there could have been no way to prevent it. Manual although a tad slower than AF (that made the right 'choice'), is faster than going into the D-pad and selecting a Left AF bias.

To me, AF is putting your photo out of your hands. (someways ironic because SLR = more control). Anyhow, AF does have its benefits but to use it dominantly means your photos will always be in part decided by the AF sensor.


Last edited by FotoPete; 09-19-2007 at 10:35 AM.
09-19-2007, 10:28 AM   #9
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Forgot the <sarcasm> tag...... Yeah, I'm fully aware of the "can only focus on one point at a time" and DOF and all that....
11 points is more than enough for me, I usually use the center point and recompose (unless I'm really close with a wide aperture). Although since the K10D makes switching the points/method so easy, I've been experimenting more with Auto-select, center, and the "select-a-point" using the 4-way controller (with the AF button selecting the center one for you). Gosh I love my K10D!
09-19-2007, 11:58 AM   #10
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
Haha you'd be surprised to find that its a bit of a rarity nowadays especially with all the nonsense AF marketing pitches.

I just listened to a 3-4 month old D80 shooter the other day bragging about how 'fast' his 50/1.8 was AFing. He aimed the camera at me and in an instant, a 3 shot burst went off. He showed me the pics on the lcd. "See?" "Awesome, eh?".

I sighed and asked him to zoom in. Not one was in focus. The camera either focused on the wall behind me or nothing at all. Just a little earlier, he was talking about how the new Nikon D3 had like 50 something AF points and how he wanted a macro lens but couldn't afford it and then so on about how Nikon AF speeds are top notch. I don't doubt the speed of ultrasonic AF motors but I asked him about center bias in AF and he told me you can pick them. true. Say you got the fastest AF possible. Some large aperture lens with ultrasonic AF. What is faster?

Eyesight
-> Realization and Processing (human reaction delay)
-> Formation of Idealized or Mental Image
-> Activation of tendons and muscles in the arm and hand (Manual Focus)
-> Shutter

-OR-

Eyesight
-> Realization and Processing (human reaction delay)
-> Formation of Idealized or Mental Image
-> Activation of tendons and muscles in the arm and hand (D-Pad, AF shift to left/right/up/down side bias. Remember not every picture is dead center.)
-> Shutter

Unless you play alot Gameboy, you will end up taking time in using the d-Pad and depending on how your dslr is configured, you might have to take your eye off the viewfinder to check your lcd menu. Its really too bad camera companies are furthering the numbing of creative potential in today's enthusiast/hobbyist/amateur/average jane n' joe photographer, all in efforts to grow market share/profits.

(Sry about the rant.)
Pete - I have read many of your posts and see that you often prefer manual focus. I have tried using manual focus on my K100D and (especially in low-light situations when the AF seems to hunt) and found it difficult to see if focus was achieved - the auto focus 'beep' sound doesn't seem to help that much in low light. I don't think this is a problem my eye sight but a case of the viewfinder being not very bright or clear in the K100D. I have seen recommendations for view finder screens and magnifying eye pieces - do you use these?

Thanks
09-19-2007, 11:29 PM   #11
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it is easily the nicest lens I have ever used. One of those lenses that just makes you want to go take photos, I could rave on about this lens for hours. (it is pretty susceptible flare though - rather that than ca / soft etc)
09-20-2007, 07:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by philmorley Quote
it is easily the nicest lens I have ever used. One of those lenses that just makes you want to go take photos, I could rave on about this lens for hours. (it is pretty susceptible flare though - rather that than ca / soft etc)
Thanks Phil, I have seen some great photos from this lens posted by other forum members and am leaning towards getting one. Next task is to improve my photography skills!
09-20-2007, 08:27 AM   #13
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I have a split image microprism for my GX-1L but my K100D screen is still the default supplied Matte screen. It is a bit harder to define focus, but sometimes its a bit easier especially in dark environments where there is not enough light to illuminate both halfs of the microprism aid when using the split image focusing screen.
09-20-2007, 08:46 AM   #14
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How about an 11-point AF that determines the closest + furthest points then auto-adjusts f/ to include the whole range within depth of focus -- too difficult?
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