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05-02-2009, 05:05 PM   #31
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With manual, the camera is in sync with your mind, it becomes part of you and so choosing and focusing on the subtleties is not a matter of 'throwing dice' but the realization of your creative vision.
No truer words were ever spoken about modern photography! Most of what we see today is just glorified "Snapshot" photography. Most shots aren't thought out or pre-visualized as Ansel Adams might say. They are just automated shots with a machine that does all of your thinking for you. The user gives up all control to the machine. If you don't like what the machine gives you, tough!! I think I must be a manual focus guy.

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05-02-2009, 05:35 PM   #32
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I manual focus when I have an MF lens on the camera and use auto-focus otherwise. That's not as smart-assed as it sounds -- I prefer using MF with a lens designed for it. The slippy-slidey focus rings on newer lenses are difficult to use compared to the well-damped feel of my Vivitar and Pentax oldies.

I think I have an MF lens on the camera about 60% of the time. And much of that time I'm manual exposure as well. It just feels better to be in control, taking photographs I can feel.

passage to the netherworld
(Click for larger in Flickr.)

05-02-2009, 05:39 PM   #33
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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.
In most cases you will be shooting in daylight and will be stopped down with your M/F lenses. And don't forget that one of the great things about most of those old M/F lenses were that they had zones that were marked on the lenses that would allow you to preset the lens at a certain f stop such as f:8 and a pre-determined distance where you had everything in focus from say, 10 feet to infinity. I noticed it on my Pentax-M f 3.5 28mm lens, and on my Pentax-M f1.4 50mm. But that does give you some latitude in focusing your animals, in daylight with the older M/F lenses.

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05-02-2009, 05:57 PM   #34
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I manual focus when I have an MF lens on the camera and use auto-focus otherwise. That's not as smart-assed as it sounds -- I prefer using MF with a lens designed for it. The slippy-slidey focus rings on newer lenses are difficult to use compared to the well-damped feel of my Vivitar and Pentax oldies.
I agree with you on this one. I like the new auto-focus lenses and I do use them in the Auto-focus mode for the most part. The only time that I revert to manual focus with them is when I can't get focused on on my intended target with the auto-focus.

However, where my problems arise are with my good old M/F primes from my halcyon days. The cameras back then were adapted to be used with these great M/F lenses and focusing with them was a pure pleasure, but with these new cameras designed around the A/F systems, the older lenses are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to M/F. Consequently, those of us of an older vintage need to use some cheaters, otherwise known as the "split Prism" or "micro prism" viewfinders.

I love these old lenses because to buy the equivalent today you would be spending big bucks on the *DA lenses and I mean in the many "hundreds" of bucks. The only additional benefit is "auto focus" and no aperture ring. Big whup!

JimH

05-02-2009, 06:08 PM   #35
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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.
That depth of field isn't so shallow! I think that it's just right for this photo, the cat, (which is great by the way). This is what I remember from using my M f1.4. I love it, it isolates your subject perfectly and doesn't fade to quickly. It's a great photo, I love it! and I'm a dog person.

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05-03-2009, 07:10 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimH Quote
Consequently, those of us of an older vintage need to use some cheaters, otherwise known as the "split Prism" or "micro prism" viewfinders
You know, I tried one of those and instantly had to go back to the stock Pentax screen. I find the combination of the focus confirmation, "catch in focus" and focus bracketing techniques to work fine. Not perfect at extremely thin DOF, but that never was easy. (And my eyes are not great.)

How about a camera with switchable "catch in focus" even for AF lenses?

And in-camera hyperfocal distance indicator?

I'd prefer features like that to wiz-bang HD video any day.
05-03-2009, 07:18 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
You know, I tried one of those and instantly had to go back to the stock Pentax screen. I find the combination of the focus confirmation, "catch in focus" and focus bracketing techniques to work fine. Not perfect at extremely thin DOF, but that never was easy. (And my eyes are not great.)

How about a camera with switchable "catch in focus" even for AF lenses?

And in-camera hyperfocal distance indicator?

I'd prefer features like that to wiz-bang HD video any day.
I agree that any money a manufacturer puts into proper focusing vs. gimmicks like video in a still camera is more worthwhile. But I imagine since that seems to be the trend, that is where we are headed.
I did read somewhere that if they put in a better manual focusing system, it might highlight the deficiencies of their auto focus.
I did put in a split prism screen and overall I am satisfied with it. I don't see any other way of being able to focus a manual lens wide open. It sure wasn't happening with my stock screen on my K200D.
I do have to play with my catch in focus feature though.
05-03-2009, 07:39 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by julianactive Quote
I agree that any money a manufacturer puts into proper focusing vs. gimmicks like video in a still camera is more worthwhile. But I imagine since that seems to be the trend, that is where we are headed.
Pentax has been making a lot of noise about making a camera for photographers, but (as I just wrote in another thread) I do not see any evidence of it yet.

QuoteOriginally posted by julianactive Quote
I do have to play with my catch in focus feature though.
It doesn't work with all my manual lenses, which is odd and annoying. It can help, but having a lens f/2 or faster helps even more. It just ain't a real lens if it ain't f/2.

05-03-2009, 08:40 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Pentax has been making a lot of noise about making a camera for photographers, but (as I just wrote in another thread) I do not see any evidence of it yet.



It doesn't work with all my manual lenses, which is odd and annoying. It can help, but having a lens f/2 or faster helps even more. It just ain't a real lens if it ain't f/2.
Has anyone here used catch in focus for taking pictures of themselves in action? I would like to do that with a small tripod as I ride my bike. Whenever I turn my camera over to my friends I cringe and they usually mess up the shot anyways.
05-05-2009, 11:19 AM   #40
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For landscape work, I always, always, always use manual focus. Portrait work I also manual focus, particularly at f/1.7 so I can select what I want to be sharp, provided the subject isn't moving.

For fast action, moving objects or walk-around, then it's autofocus.
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