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05-18-2013, 01:12 AM   #1
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Just got a Pentax-A 50mm f1.7

I just bought my first prime lens which is a manual focus one also (Pentax-A 50mm f1.7)
So I wanted to share my excitement with whom understand it )

I'm going to practice manual focusing, any advice is appreciated

05-18-2013, 03:53 AM   #2
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I have that lens too and it's one of my favourites, particularly for shooting people. It gets pretty sharp very quickly (I often shoot it between f2 and 2.5). My tip for getting used to manual focus would be to stop it down to at least f4 to give yourself slightly more chance if you miss the focus a little. The other thing that's helped me with manual focus on APS-C is a magnifier for the viewfinder. Go and take lots of photos!
05-18-2013, 04:19 AM   #3
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Thanks Brisboy, I think getting in focus with f/2 to f/4 is easier, but I'm practicing with f/1.7
Magnifier would be a cool idea, I'd go for it if I couldn't get used to default viewfinder.
05-18-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
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For focusing you might want to learn about CiF. Catch in focus, aka focus trapping. There are some threads and tutorials on this already, but basically you have to set the camera to the right AF mode, enable CiF in the menu. Then you just hold the shutter until something comes in-focus. You can even hold the shutter and turn the focus ring, thus getting things perfectly in focus. Only works for centre point.

05-18-2013, 06:39 PM   #5
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Next time, share your excitement in the proper forum.
05-18-2013, 06:49 PM   #6
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I learned on a view finder camera that had no focus help at all. You either measured or guessed the distance. This is a skill I suggest you develop as it puts you in control, and is a double check on your view finder. You will find that at times you can pre-set a focus distance that will allow you to shoot without further adjustments. For example, in bright sunlight, a distance of say 20 feet set may cover you from 10 feet to infinity. As an aid to estimation, you can use you arm-span (it equals your height) as a reference. If you are six feet tall, you can imagine how many arm-spans to the subject. There is a lot of satisfaction from using the sunny 16 rule and distance estimate, when your pictures show how spot on you were.
05-18-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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What is the proper forum Tom?

@Na Horuk Thanks for bolding that feature, It seems cool, However I couldn't manage to make it work on my K30 :/ I'll try more

@arnold Thanks, I'll check that rule

Last edited by mtux; 05-18-2013 at 07:56 PM. Reason: typo mistake
05-19-2013, 02:49 AM   #8
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Welcome to my world, I only manual focus.

You might want to think about changing the focussing screen in camera, further down the line if manual becomes you chosen route.

05-19-2013, 02:53 AM   #9
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gongrats man, keep in mind if you want to nail a shot, if you ahve time, the most acurate way to check focusing is using the live view, nothing beats the live view in acuracy. it's slow, but if you're doing a portrait, you have time.. so go with the live view
05-19-2013, 03:12 AM   #10
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Congrats on a great lens purchase. Everyone should have one of those. It's a cheap, yet very good prime lens.
Now, just use it.

Regards
05-19-2013, 07:09 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mtux Quote
@Na Horuk Thanks for bolding that feature, It seems cool, However I couldn't manage to make it work on my K30 :/ I'll try more
I suggest you look at the manual. On my K-r, I have to have a regular DA lens on the camera, set AF to AF.A, then put on the manual lens, and enable CiF in the menu. And the AF/MF button on the camera has to be turned to AF. And the lens must short the camera mount contacts (yours should do that, since it is A series and has metal mount with no insulating coating)
05-19-2013, 07:24 AM   #12
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Thank guys, I bought it for portraits, so I'll have enough time to focus either with live view or viewfinder (fortunately K30's viewfinder is really bright and clear)

QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
I suggest you look at the manual. On my K-r, I have to have a regular DA lens on the camera, set AF to AF.A, then put on the manual lens, and enable CiF in the menu. And the AF/MF button on the camera has to be turned to AF. And the lens must short the camera mount contacts (yours should do that, since it is A series and has metal mount with no insulating coating)
I already checked manual, it says:
1. this feature only works on Manual focus lenses (done)
2. set focus to AF.S (done)
3. disable AF.A (already disabled after mounting manual focus lens)
4. Set focus on position (done)
5. Press shutter fully! here the shutter releases right after I pressed it fully! and won't wait to anything happen So error :/

What did u mean by "the lens must short the camera mount contacts" I think there might be a problem either with camera or lens mount And I don't have another manual focus right now to test.
05-19-2013, 07:44 AM   #13
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Did you also go into the camera menu to the rightmost tab and set CiF to 2? And the little AF/MF switch on the camera, near the mount, set to AF? There are a couple of threads on this topic with more detailed instructions. Also, make sure you start out out of focus, maybe it takes a photo right away because there already is something in focus)
Shorting the lens contacts.. basically, the camera mount has the AF contacts on it, and they need to be depressed by a conducting surface for CiF to work. So if your lens is so narrow that the lens contacts aren't touched (mostly very old m42 lenses), or if the lens mount is completely plastic (cheapo pre-digital lenses) or covered by non-conductive paint (mount is black), it also won't short the AF contacts and it won't allow CiF. For a lens like that, you can put a piece of conductive foil or scratch off the paint to get to the metal. But I don't think the A 50mm f1.7 has that problem. Don't worry, though, I needed a couple days of fiddling with my M 50mm f1.7 to finally get CiF to work.
05-19-2013, 08:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Did you also go into the camera menu to the rightmost tab and set CiF to 2? And the little AF/MF switch on the camera, near the mount, set to AF? There are a couple of threads on this topic with more detailed instructions. Also, make sure you start out out of focus, maybe it takes a photo right away because there already is something in focus)
Shorting the lens contacts.. basically, the camera mount has the AF contacts on it, and they need to be depressed by a conducting surface for CiF to work. So if your lens is so narrow that the lens contacts aren't touched (mostly very old m42 lenses), or if the lens mount is completely plastic (cheapo pre-digital lenses) or covered by non-conductive paint (mount is black), it also won't short the AF contacts and it won't allow CiF. For a lens like that, you can put a piece of conductive foil or scratch off the paint to get to the metal. But I don't think the A 50mm f1.7 has that problem. Don't worry, though, I needed a couple days of fiddling with my M 50mm f1.7 to finally get CiF to work.
I did all of your suggestions with no result yet
I'll try more and search more to make it work. Thanks for your comments and helps
05-19-2013, 09:08 AM   #15
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Good job getting the A 50/1.7 ... enjoy it, I do mine ... J
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