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05-01-2009, 02:38 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
The writer also use liveview. You wont be able to see that good in any optical viewfinder. The liveview is more accurate.
Liveview is one second slower than the actual . Both K10D & K20D VF are not the best but they are decent enough at least for my retirement age eyesight. And I wear glass as well

05-01-2009, 03:50 AM   #17
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It is hard to knock the convenience of AF but as Daniel notes it is good to see there is still something human left in image making. In my case it is a moot point as almost all my lenses are MF.

Tom G
05-01-2009, 05:32 AM   #18
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i think the bottom line really is that regardless of auto focus or manual focus, both have thier limits.

you need to understand those limits and use what ever focusing system is most appropriate for the situation.

People also need to understand that we have the capability to look at things pixel by pixel and view each pixel from less than 1 foot. I think some times our expectations are troo high.

Aside from that, people also need to consider, when they manually focus everything, not all AF lenses are really designed to do this.

a great example is my sigma 70-200F2.8 it has 1/4 turn (90 degrees) from minimum focus to infinity. to make the comparison truely equal, add a 2x TC. Now I have 400mm F5.6 with an extremely narrow DOF and only a very limited adjustment range to get it perfect. Compare this to my manual focus vivitar 400mm F5.6 and I have amost a full turn (330 degrees) of fotation of the focusing collar.

with these two combos in manual focus:
-it is easy to get the sigma close, for fast action, but difficult to get exact focus, therefore for action you need light to let you stop down.
-with the vivitar, it is very easy to get exact focus, allowing you to shoot wide open, if that is what you really want, but with almost a full turn of the focusing collar, it is absolutely impossible to follow action.

the bottom line is that yoou have to understand how your system works and then pick the operating mode that best suites your system (both camera and lens)
05-01-2009, 07:48 AM   #19
julianactive
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I try to shoot everything with manual focus and am always striving to better my techniques and skill. To me, a shot done with manual focus means much more to me because more of me made it. Anyone can push a button and take a picture. This is why I also enjoy manual mode, and using basic math skills to get a correct exposure rather than delegating that to the computer as well.



LOL, yes, when I first shot with that lens, especially with the original Pentax-supplied focus screen, I thought the same thing. But with the split prism and the excellent KPS magnifier, even f 1.4 is a treat to focus. Hang in there, you will get it down pat--and, please, post some images with that lens so I don't miss it anymore.
I am going to get the magnifier, but sometimes the big issue IS the narrow DOF at smaller apertures. When I shoot my wife's horses, so little of them is in focus, that the picture doesn't look pleasing at all. I guess I need to shoot smaller animals with real flat faces!

05-01-2009, 09:18 AM   #20
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The Pentax forum is filled with positive comments regarding the replacement split-image focusing screens and their positive effect on manual focusing. Just for fun (and because I just found it while researching something else) a quote from highly acclaimed nature photographer and workshop leaded John Shaw...this is from his 1994 book, John Shaw's Landscape Photography: Professional Techniques for Shooting Spectacular Scenics. Note that his comment was made in reference to 35mm film camera viewing screens and the brighter viewfinders of that era which tend to be well regarded by those of us adapting to darker digital screens...

"One advantage of the newer autofocus cameras is that they come with decent viewfinder screens, generally a clear, all-matte type. I hope that the days of the split-image rangefinder screen--where you had to bring together two half-moon images--are over."

My Pentax 67II bodies came standard with the split-image screens, but I replaced them with matte screens and grid matte screens. Every so often I'll switch them back just to play around and I find myself looking "around" the split image area to the matte surface. I find the split-image and microprism to get in the way--but admittedly I'm way outside the norms for this forum and possibly I'm the only "matte preference" guy on this forum? Perhaps just a scenic photography issue? BTW I've stayed with the stock screens on my digi bodies too. Maybe I'm lost?

Call me a troll if you want, but I just had to throw Shaw's comment out there
05-01-2009, 09:31 AM   #21
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QuoteQuote:
Julianactive: I am going to get the magnifier, but sometimes the big issue IS the narrow DOF at smaller apertures.
Yes, it can be a big issue. But, as you get used to it, you will learn ways to use it to your advantage.

QuoteQuote:
Julianactive: When I shoot my wife's horses, so little of them is in focus, that the picture doesn't look pleasing at all. I guess I need to shoot smaller animals with real flat faces.
You can still shoot the horses, but strive to only have the upper head and eyes in focus with larger apertures. Also, you can stop down to smaller apertures, gaining DOF though decreasing shutter speed which, of course, makes a fast moving horse tougher to capture. Remember, all picture taking used to be done with manual focus and great pictures were obtained.

There is advice here:

Taking Pictures of Horses - Photo.net Nikon Forum

How to Take Pictures of Horses - Photography QnA at BetterPhoto.com


Do a search on Google--you will probably find a hit which is tailor made for you--Best!
05-01-2009, 09:52 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Aside from that, people also need to consider, when they manually focus everything, not all AF lenses are really designed to do this.
That's one of my excellent reasons/excuses for keeping an A50/1.4 and an F50/1.7. The F is harder to focus manually - not impossible, just harder. Although when I bought it, it was attached to a K1000.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
...My Pentax 67II bodies came standard with the split-image screens, but I replaced them with matte screens and grid matte screens. Every so often I'll switch them back just to play around and I find myself looking "around" the split image area to the matte surface. I find the split-image and microprism to get in the way--but admittedly I'm way outside the norms for this forum and possibly I'm the only "matte preference" guy on this forum? Perhaps just a scenic photography issue? BTW I've stayed with the stock screens on my digi bodies too. Maybe I'm lost?

Call me a troll if you want, but I just had to throw Shaw's comment out there
I know when I got the Katz-Eye for my *ist DS, I had less eyestrain from focusing. I have never switched back, but mostly because I don't want to mess with a completed installation. I have always preferred split-prism since seeing my brother's ST605.

On dpreview, Godfrey used to hold the same opinion as you, that the split-prism was in the way. He had a tutorial on practicing MF and what to look for. The split-prism from a film camera screen is not an ideal size for APS-C either.

I do have a couple of MX cameras here that I haven't decided what to do with. One has a split-prism and the other one had the SD-11 screen with lots of mirror seal gunk stuck to it. I installed a screen from a broken SF1, F20, all matte except for a couple of brackets in the center. Manal focus with this screen is not hard at all. A really big bright viewfinder certainly helps, possibly why your 67II works well too.
05-01-2009, 10:03 AM   #23
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I disabled the half-press of the shutter release through the menu and now use only the rear AF button for autofocus. When I use manual focus, which is often, the camera doesn't interfere with my choices.

05-01-2009, 10:12 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
The Pentax forum is filled with positive comments regarding the replacement split-image focusing screens and their positive effect on manual focusing. Just for fun (and because I just found it while researching something else) a quote from highly acclaimed nature photographer and workshop leaded John Shaw...this is from his 1994 book, John Shaw's Landscape Photography: Professional Techniques for Shooting Spectacular Scenics. Note that his comment was made in reference to 35mm film camera viewing screens and the brighter viewfinders of that era which tend to be well regarded by those of us adapting to darker digital screens...

"One advantage of the newer autofocus cameras is that they come with decent viewfinder screens, generally a clear, all-matte type. I hope that the days of the split-image rangefinder screen--where you had to bring together two half-moon images--are over."

My Pentax 67II bodies came standard with the split-image screens, but I replaced them with matte screens and grid matte screens. Every so often I'll switch them back just to play around and I find myself looking "around" the split image area to the matte surface. I find the split-image and microprism to get in the way--but admittedly I'm way outside the norms for this forum and possibly I'm the only "matte preference" guy on this forum? Perhaps just a scenic photography issue? BTW I've stayed with the stock screens on my digi bodies too. Maybe I'm lost?

Call me a troll if you want, but I just had to throw Shaw's comment out there
I used to shoot a lot with a MamiaFlex C2 - 2.25" x 2.25" format twin lens reflex. That camera had only a mat focus screen, but it was the same size as the film format, plus it had a flip up magnifier which was necessary for accurate focusing. Had the viewfinder size been smaller it would have been a huge challenge to focus. My 35's all had some version of split prism or micro prism focusing aids which I found to be necessary to get accurate focus on the smaller format. I find it almost impossible to get an accurate focus with my M f1.4 on my K10 using the mat screen, but then again I've got 68 year old eyes and 20-400 vision in both eyes.

JimH
05-01-2009, 01:40 PM   #25
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Yes, my vision is 20/400 also which means without glasses neither of us can see the TV across the room--no matter how big the screen may be!

Fortunately for me, my close-up vision is extremely strong. Not only can I see the mint mark on a coin, I can see Abe Lincoln's statue inside the columns of the Lincoln memorial on the back side of a US penny (he's winking with his left eye).

As mentioned in another post, setting the eyepiece diopter to suit my vision makes a big difference as well.

Shooting through fastish glass--Limiteds and FA*'s--when using digi probably buys me some leeway. Come to think of it, my slowest lens also happens to be the lens that I miss focus on more often than all the others combined...hummmn!

Perhaps not lost, just "in the dark"...now I won't be able to get the Billy Squire song out of my head for the rest of the weekend.
05-01-2009, 11:00 PM   #26
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QuoteQuote:
danielchtong: Both Canon and Nikon want to tell people that all you need to shoot a picture is to turn your camera towards the subject and press the shutter. And if you cannot take a better picture or you are not happy, upgrade your gear and not your skill.
I think there is some truth to this statement of yours. Everyone I know owns either Nikon or Canon and I can't imagine any of them shooting with manual focus. I have had the K20 for over a year and have not even bumped into another Pentax shooter yet

A friend whom I've shot with actually laughed when she looked at the split prism through the K20's viewfinder and responded "Oh, I've heard of those--you have to have a straight line to focus though. I did not even bother try to discuss it.

She also has a hard time fathoming my choice of a Pentax DSLR. I try to explain all the things which brought me to Pentax, but she is so attached to Auto-Focus technology that my talks of the great old manual focus glass does nothing for her.

I believe she would be seriously challenged to get a shot in manual mode (no green button assist) while using manual focus. I honestly do not think she could get a decent shot.

I mention all this, because I think she is typical of many Nikon & Canon people. Obviously, there are plenty of great Nikon & Canon shooters out there, but a good many hop aboard expecting a larger P & S experience with better IQ--and they call themselves photographers.

When I was struggling with the choice of A700, 40D, D300 and K20d, it was, finally, this forum where I began to fathom that owning Pentax was a whole different experience. I knew AF was not going to be the K20's strong point and I knew the D300 would get me a whole lot more respect out of those around me, but there is something very special about shooting Pentax.

Not just the glass, but using a split image screen is almost a norm here. I just find a harmony between present and past technology in using Pentax and I do not see myself trading that in for something else.
05-02-2009, 12:14 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Yes, it can be a big issue. But, as you get used to it, you will learn ways to use it to your advantage.



You can still shoot the horses, but strive to only have the upper head and eyes in focus with larger apertures. Also, you can stop down to smaller apertures, gaining DOF though decreasing shutter speed which, of course, makes a fast moving horse tougher to capture. Remember, all picture taking used to be done with manual focus and great pictures were obtained.

There is advice here:

Taking Pictures of Horses - Photo.net Nikon Forum

How to Take Pictures of Horses - Photography QnA at BetterPhoto.com


Do a search on Google--you will probably find a hit which is tailor made for you--Best!
I took some pictures yesterday. Not award winning but they will give you the idea. The one of my cat was wide open. As you can see the DOF is real shallow. The sunset was stopped down a lot.

Last edited by julianactive; 05-16-2009 at 11:41 AM.
05-02-2009, 03:29 PM   #28
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QuoteQuote:
Julianactive: I took some pictures yesterday. Not award winning but they will give you the idea. The one of my cat was wide open. As you can see the DOF is real shallow. The sunset was stopped down a lot.
The little Rascal looks great at f1.4. You did this without a focus screen--skip my advice to go to Goggle--you are on your way--thanks for the shots.
05-02-2009, 04:55 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
The little Rascal looks great at f1.4. You did this without a focus screen--skip my advice to go to Goggle--you are on your way--thanks for the shots.
I have a split prism focusing screen installed. I focused on his left eye, but you can see that even areas just a little bit out of the plane lose focus. This has been a tough lens for me to use. I have got some good results from it but I tend to grab either my kit lens or my new 55-300 much more often.
05-02-2009, 05:02 PM   #30
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QuoteQuote:
julianactive: I have a split prism focusing screen installed. I focused on his left eye, but you can see that even areas just a little bit out of the plane lose focus. This has been a tough lens for me to use. I have got some good results from it but I tend to grab either my kit lens or my new 55-300 much more often.
Yes, my apologies--I know you have a split prism. I have done so much posting on split prisms it is sometimes hard for me to remember who has what--brain damage setting in.

I used that lens to landscape with--stopped down it produces stunningly sharp landscapes, rich in depth of field. The more you use the lens the better you will get with it. But I can certainly understand grabbing the DAs.
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