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08-26-2008, 06:49 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kei Quote
Care to share any tips in improving MF speed and accuracy?
Learn which way to turn the focus ring based on the distance to your subject. That saves time. Also, practice in bright light. Focus your lens manually and then switch to AF and see/listen to how much correction the AF does.

You'll get good in no time without using focus screen. You will get some softness, but it will improve over time and sometimes softness is good too.

08-26-2008, 12:02 PM   #17
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I agree with everyone who suggests manually focusing the FA50 when using f/1.4 to f/2.0, at least.

Mine autofocuses pretty nicely outdoors and in natural light (even relatively dim indirect natural light) indoors. But with incandescent and fluorescent lighting, it seems to front-focus significantly on my K20D. Weird, but very noticeable and repeatable.
08-26-2008, 01:36 PM   #18
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I can really recommend Pentax A series manual focus lenses for use with the latest K10D, K20D, try the 50mm f1.2 (its to die for) also 85mm f1.4 and 135mm f1.8.

All are IMHO some of the finest lenses Pentax have ever made; they are all a joy to use, especially with a Katz Eye focussing screen.

"All things bright and beautiful"
08-26-2008, 02:28 PM   #19
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I recently shot at a concert in a dim stage that forced me to use the FA50 wide open, at ISO1600 and shutter speeds of around 1/20 - 1/60s (just to give you an idea of how crap the light was). I never once had to focus manually! I was fully prepared to do so, but I thought I would give AF a chance and it performed admirably, being both quick and accurate. I didn't lose any shots due to poor focusing.

You can check out the pics in my gallery of the Cello Chix and Axemunkee.

08-26-2008, 02:34 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kei Quote
Care to share any tips in improving MF speed and accuracy?

I love the old “A” lens for them being fast and affordable, but my MF skills is FAR from tapping the potential of these fine lenses. Getting into focus takes much longer than I would’ve liked, so any pointers helps here. Thanks.
you use can always use so-called "focus trap"... it is a no brainer with "A" lenses... certainly if the combination of the light (dim and/or tungsten), SAFOX and your lenses are not allowing AF to work at all or lead to BF/FF then there is no other way but put your eyes to work... but otherwise you have AF on your MF lenses, just a slow one (fingers instead of in-camera drive).
08-27-2008, 07:01 AM   #21
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Many of you must have a better eye for manual focus than I. I have an old M-50mm F1.7 lens and found that I was not getting the focus just right at times due to the DOF being so small. I have since bought the FA 50mm F1.4 and found that in autofocus mode, even at 1.4 or 2.0, it does a better job than I could.

Another comment is that there are times that you want the additional "zoom" of the 50mm over the 35 mm - getting a little closer to the action in a gym or auditorium as an example, where the light is not great and a strong flash is not really an option.

I recently took shots at an international Tae Kwon Doe compitition, and the 50mm at an aperture of 1.4 gave me a shutter speed that was pretty good, and close enough to the action with the 50mm. I tried a F 2.8 lens, and there just was not enough light to be acceptable.
08-27-2008, 08:49 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by krs Quote
Many of you must have a better eye for manual focus than I. I have an old M-50mm F1.7 lens and found that I was not getting the focus just right at times due to the DOF being so small.
Actually, the dirty secret of MF is that with a fast lens (f/2.8 or greater), the viewfinder is lying to you. At wide apertures, it shows you *more* DOF than the picture will actually show (and no, doing a DOF preview won't help!)

For instance, shooting a newspaper at an angle, th viewfinder might shows 20 lines of text in focus, but the picture might show only 5-10. So that does indeed make the job harder - things that look in focus in the viewfinder won't necessary be in focus in the image, unless you stop down. But not impossible. It just takes practice to learn how to "place" your subject within the zone of acceptable focus. I find I get results by making sure the subject and some of the area behind it is in focus but nothing in front of it is. If there is nothing in front of or behind the subejct to gauge, I just move back and forth until I'm convinced the subject is at the forward edge of just being about to go out of focus.

Your screen may be adjusted slightly differently - it's possible for you it would make more sense to put the subject toward the back, or toward the center, of the focus zone. But with experimentation and practice, you can get there.

Of course, now that you have th FA, that may be largely a non-issue. But I find even with my AF lenses, I use MF quite a bit, as I can't always force the camera to focus on exactly what I want it to focus on.

QuoteQuote:
Another comment is that there are times that you want the additional "zoom" of the 50mm over the 35 mm - getting a little closer to the action in a gym or auditorium as an example, where the light is not great and a strong flash is not really an option.
True, although then, 50mm is generally still not nearly enough. 135's are often better, but harder to get much faster than f/2.8, which indeed might not be good enough when shooting *action*. Still, most activities - even sports - involve moments of relative stillness, and part of the skill is learning to time your shots then (while not settling only for the "boring" shots when people are completely still). At ISO 1600, f/2.8 is usually good enough for a shutter speed of 1/30, faster if you don't mind underexposing and then pushing it in PP. And most activities do involve pauses of at least that long.

That said, I'm sure martial arts are probably at the extremes here when people *are* moving - but still, when I've seen demonstrations, there are always moments of holding poses.
08-27-2008, 09:16 AM   #23
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Have you had the chance to peruse this post by Benjikan?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/24545-why-i-lo...mm-f1-4-a.html

08-27-2008, 10:05 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by UliBär Quote
Get a split image matt screen from Katzeye optics or Virtualvillage (China). I've got one from VV and am very pleased with it. Just like the old times.
Now explain to me why the splitscreen from VV is $25 and the one from KatzEye is over $100... Did the VV splitscreen have tools to install it like the Katzeye one?
08-27-2008, 10:27 AM   #25
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I got an ebay screen and bought tools from the vendor at the same time. I was inept at installing it (saga in a thread somewhere). But regardless it soon bugged me so much I went back to the stock screen. I don't think this is because it was a cheap knock-off... it did what it was supposed to. I simply think the clear stock focus screen is easier to get focus on than a fresnel than obscures the central point of the viewfinder.
08-27-2008, 02:28 PM   #26
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My father has an old Program Plus and I have always liked the split image focusing screen. I've been wanting to get one for my *istDL.
08-27-2008, 02:46 PM   #27
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Excellent series of Manual focus exercises

QuoteOriginally posted by Kei Quote
Care to share any tips in improving MF speed and accuracy?

I love the old “A” lens for them being fast and affordable, but my MF skills is FAR from tapping the potential of these fine lenses. Getting into focus takes much longer than I would’ve liked, so any pointers helps here. Thanks.
Check out the link below. Yes, it's kinda dull and boring practice, but guess what? Dull and boring practice improves your craft. I've found that Godfrey's exercises really work. They are not instant but after a while you will really see what he means when he talks about "focus pop".
Re: Is a KatzEye required for those using manual focus?: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review


NaCl(if you want to get good you practice)H2O
08-27-2008, 04:22 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by madmikess Quote
Now explain to me why the splitscreen from VV is $25 and the one from KatzEye is over $100... Did the VV splitscreen have tools to install it like the Katzeye one?
I don't have the slightest idea. The screen from VirtualVillage is only exactly that, what i was expecting...
The only thing additional needed was a flat tweezers from a female friend of mine. It was a flat tweezers used for the eye lashes and it worked like a charm for the job. I don't have the slightest idea, for what the extraordinary price, Katzeye asks, is used for. Sorry, i think it is simply extremely inflated and absolutely not necessary to pay this ridiculous price.

[edit]
I've changed both of my cameras (K100D + Super) and will change also the screen on the K200D, that is on the way to me...
BTW: All are from VV - they are Germans, living in HongKong, so there is absolutely no problem...

Last edited by UliBär; 08-27-2008 at 04:30 PM.
08-27-2008, 05:09 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by UliBär Quote
I don't have the slightest idea. The screen from VirtualVillage is only exactly that, what i was expecting...
The only thing additional needed was a flat tweezers from a female friend of mine. It was a flat tweezers used for the eye lashes and it worked like a charm for the job. I don't have the slightest idea, for what the extraordinary price, Katzeye asks, is used for. Sorry, i think it is simply extremely inflated and absolutely not necessary to pay this ridiculous price.

[edit]
I've changed both of my cameras (K100D + Super) and will change also the screen on the K200D, that is on the way to me...
BTW: All are from VV - they are Germans, living in HongKong, so there is absolutely no problem...
Yeah, I've been scoping around trying to find information and reading other threads. I'm probably leaning towards buying the VV screen at this point for my *istDL. I'm also trying to find someone who sells the toolkit for the installation as well since it doesn't come with the screen.
08-27-2008, 05:27 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by madmikess Quote
Yeah, I've been scoping around trying to find information and reading other threads. I'm probably leaning towards buying the VV screen at this point for my *istDL. I'm also trying to find someone who sells the toolkit for the installation as well since it doesn't come with the screen.
You don't need special equipment for the change of the screen. You only have to be very careful and need a tweezers for the screen and something very pointed (like a very tiny screw driver used by watchmakers or a sturdy needle) to open the cage of the flatscreen. It is really very easy to do the change. Don't be scary. If you need an in depth description to change the screen, i'll try to post some pictures of the change, when i receive the new screen for the K200D and i will do the change of the screens.
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