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11-18-2011, 12:40 PM   #16
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Although manual lenses have no autofocus mechanism, the camera is still able to detect when focus is achieved. When you turn Catch-in-Focus on, you can hold down the shutter button while you're adjusting focus, and when the camera detects focus, it releases the shutter. With the smallish viewfinder on the K-x I wasn't able to reliably judge focus, so I was getting a lot of soft shots. But now that I'm using CIF, my keeper rate has gone up tremendously.

It is also useful for catching a moving subject when you know where the subject will be. For example, if somebody is running towards you, you can focus where you want, hold the shutter button down, and when/if the camera detects your subject in the field of focus, it will fire. It's a useful technique, but unfortunately it can't be used on AF lenses (at least not on K-x). I've been told that it is possible to cover some pin(s) on the AF lens mount to trick the camera into thinking it's a manual lens, but it's not a real convenient solution when you also want to be able to use AF.

11-18-2011, 01:04 PM   #17
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Thanks that does sound useful! Guessing it's in one of the menus somewhere? I didn't' recall seeing it before.
11-18-2011, 01:14 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Even the SuperTak and FA versions of the 50/1.4, which have near,y identical optics, are very different in use. One with smooth firm manual focus, the other with fast agile autofocus, the evolved coatings -- and of course they're very different than my planar Yashica ML 50/1.4 or my rich Tomioka 55/1.4, or the incomparable K50/1.2.
I always wonder if one of my lenses are either defective or special, but despite the touted "exact same optical formula" of SMC TAK 50/1.4 and FA 50/1.4, My copy of these lenses makes really different bokeh... I'll post a sample later when I have the time :X
11-18-2011, 01:55 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by jennverr Quote
Thanks that does sound useful! Guessing it's in one of the menus somewhere? I didn't' recall seeing it before.
Yup. It is under the custom (C / last / rightmost) tab.

11-18-2011, 02:32 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by jennverr Quote
Thanks that does sound useful! Guessing it's in one of the menus somewhere? I didn't' recall seeing it before.
I don't have my camera with me (because it's on its way back from Sigma), but I think that on my K-x the CIF setting is under the Custom menu, maybe item 21 or 22.

I kind of wonder why they even have a setting for it (instead of having it enabled by default) since it only engages with a manual lens and when you're holding the shutter button down. I don't see how having it on by default could really interfere with regular camera operation.
11-18-2011, 03:12 PM   #21
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hmm i don't know. maybe in case you want to take an out of focus photo with a manual lens? haha
11-18-2011, 03:51 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
I kind of wonder why they even have a setting for it (instead of having it enabled by default) since it only engages with a manual lens and when you're holding the shutter button down.
Actually, CIF works with AF lenses too. The trick: set AF to AF.S, hold down the lens-lock button and the shutter, and the shutter will fire only when focus confirmation is achieved.

QuoteQuote:
I don't see how having it on by default could really interfere with regular camera operation.
And that is indeed a good question. Maybe it's just to provoke these discussions? I can imagine why: We may not always WANT to always use CIF with MF lenses! (Although CIF is easily disabled by switching AF to AF.C.) When not to use CIF:
  • When you don't want to wait for the camera to decide when to shoot. CIF is a good way to get in-focus shots that aren't timed exactly right. If timing is important, disable CIF.
    .
  • When using hyperfocus / zone focus. If I stop-down my Tokina 21/3.8 to f/8 and prefocus at 3m for DOF from 1.5m to infinity, I don't want to wait for CIF to trip the shutter.
    .
  • When insufficient light will reach the sensor. I've found a cutoff around f/8-f/11 -- there's probably an EV factor here too but I haven't tested that. In ordinary or dim light, CIF *usually* works if the aperture is f/8 or wider, and *usually* doesn't work if it's f/11 or tighter.
    .
  • When you don't want your subject centered and you don't want to crop. Disable CIF, get focus confirmation, recompose, and shoot.
    .
  • When you don't care if the picture is sharp or not, whether for artistry or just because you're a perv.
There may be other exclusions, but those are what I can think of right now.

Last edited by RioRico; 11-18-2011 at 04:12 PM.
11-18-2011, 04:11 PM - 1 Like   #23
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I would like to add to RioRico's list:

6- sport shooting, or catching kids. Set focus to a fix distance, then fire a series, and hope one turn out ok.

7- use with fast glasses in close distance, say, f1.2 or f1.4, DOF is razor thin, just hold the camera and fire continuously while moving 1-2 inches toward the subject. One will be super sharp at the right point.

8- i have split screen to aid manual focus, cif is not used on those bodies ;-)

11-18-2011, 04:33 PM   #24
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Getting back to the theme in the OP. I have a few older manual lenses and they just 'feel' (subjective comment) so much better then any of the more modern plasticy kit lenses around. A pity they " don't make them like they usta" but with modern auto features.
11-18-2011, 04:51 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Actually, CIF works with AF lenses too. The trick: set AF to AF.S, hold down the lens-lock button and the shutter, and the shutter will fire only when focus confirmation is achieved.


And that is indeed a good question. Maybe it's just to provoke these discussions? I can imagine why: We may not always WANT to always use CIF with MF lenses! (Although CIF is easily disabled by switching AF to AF.C.) When not to use CIF:
  • When you don't want to wait for the camera to decide when to shoot. CIF is a good way to get in-focus shots that aren't timed exactly right. If timing is important, disable CIF.
    .
  • When using hyperfocus / zone focus. If I stop-down my Tokina 21/3.8 to f/8 and prefocus at 3m for DOF from 1.5m to infinity, I don't want to wait for CIF to trip the shutter.
    .
  • When insufficient light will reach the sensor. I've found a cutoff around f/8-f/11 -- there's probably an EV factor here too but I haven't tested that. In ordinary or dim light, CIF *usually* works if the aperture is f/8 or wider, and *usually* doesn't work if it's f/11 or tighter.
    .
  • When you don't want your subject centered and you don't want to crop. Disable CIF, get focus confirmation, recompose, and shoot.
    .
  • When you don't care if the picture is sharp or not, whether for artistry or just because you're a perv.
There may be other exclusions, but those are what I can think of right now.
Good answer to what I thought was a semi-rhetorical question! Your very informative post has earned you a "like". (Not that you don't already have enough) Thanks! Same for you Hoanpham (whatever a "hoanpham" is!)
11-18-2011, 05:14 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Edgar_in_Indy Quote
Your very informative post has earned you a "like". (Not that you don't already have enough)
I'm only here for the lulz.
11-18-2011, 05:24 PM   #27
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Winning!
11-18-2011, 05:46 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mychael Quote
A pity they " don't make them like they usta" but with modern auto features.
They make them even better these days. But customers don't want them anymore - they just want the cheap plastic zooms, and that's what they get. There is no pity in this - it is just market demand driving the design and features of products. Why do you think the M 50/1.7 is available for cheap? Its real price in adjusted dollars would be over $300 these days. The reason is that very few people would want a manual focus 50/1.7 lens as a kit lens, especially if they were asked to pay $300+ for it.
11-18-2011, 06:14 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
They make them even better these days. But customers don't want them anymore - they just want the cheap plastic zooms, and that's what they get. There is no pity in this - it is just market demand driving the design and features of products. Why do you think the M 50/1.7 is available for cheap? Its real price in adjusted dollars would be over $300 these days. The reason is that very few people would want a manual focus 50/1.7 lens as a kit lens, especially if they were asked to pay $300+ for it.
I fear the adjusted real price would be even higher. Yeah, these aren't mass-market items now, and their demand don't drive current lensmakers. Down here on the forums, we get all caught-up in the heat of desire, and we ignore that we're really just a lunatic fringe of lens fanciers / junkies. Fine systems sell to a few -- easy systems sell to many.

What's fine? Is FF fine? I'd be astounded if sales of cameras with FF sensors approached 1% of sales of crop-sensor cameras. Definitely a lunatic fringe -- or an elite. Same thing, eh? We see many fine old MF primes on eBay, some of which sell for absurdly low prices, because they just aren't in demand as much as a kit lens for a basic camera.

Quick quiz -- who is the world's largest (by volume) digital camera maker?

1) Canon
2) some Chinese plant churning out generic P&S's
3) Nokia

The sad truth: Quality is great, but good-enough wins.

Last edited by RioRico; 11-18-2011 at 07:03 PM.
11-18-2011, 06:14 PM   #30
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I was not thinking so much the lens still being manual. Rather the construction of the old lenses just seems to me to be more solid.. Heavier yes which is a trade off but they just feel better built to me then modern lenses.
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