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08-16-2009, 02:29 PM   #1
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Manual lenses.

Just curious as to if anyone shoots paid gigs (like a wedding) with manual glass. (Takumars for example) I'm sure lots shoot with auto focus, and I'm sure sometimes that's challenging enough, but shooting manual would be a good challenge. I'm just not sure it would be worth the trouble. What are your thoughts?

Whoot! 500th post for me.


Last edited by eccs19; 08-16-2009 at 02:29 PM. Reason: 500th post.
08-16-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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I shoot manual glass at music gigs and events, as it would be too dark for AF, also many sports photogs shoot manual.
08-16-2009, 03:14 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by eccs19 Quote
Just curious as to if anyone shoots paid gigs (like a wedding) with manual glass. (Takumars for example) I'm sure lots shoot with auto focus, and I'm sure sometimes that's challenging enough, but shooting manual would be a good challenge. I'm just not sure it would be worth the trouble. What are your thoughts?
Seems before 1980 or so, everyone did :-)

It took a while for photographers to start trusting AF even when it came out, with many seeing it as a gimmick - more or less like opinions on Liveview now.

Anyhow, I'm not a pro, but do shoot concerts seriously and in the company of pros. Most of them can afford fast AF zooms and don't min lugging them around. But as someone who mostly uses manual lens, I can confirm it's perfectly possible to use MF and get excellent results. In some low light conditions, it's probably more efficient (AF can hunt like crazy on every shot; the MF, you do it once and leave it alone). I actually disable the AF at times when shooting with my DA70. But mostly, I don't shoot MF because of the occasional situation where it's more effective, or because I enjoy a challenge - I shoot MF because I can't afford the AF lenses I might otherwise want (plus they are mostly bigger than I'd prefer).
08-16-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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Disclaimer: I started with Canon AF gear and have been moving towards adapting Taks to my Canon. I hate MF on my Sigma zoom, it's really fast throw and inaccurate. My 100mm f/2.0 does better, but it's really hard to MF when light levels are around sunset or brighter (it's weird, I'd expect it to be the other way, but it's not).

I feel better about shooting with manual glass, and I shot my first real paid gig with mainly Taks, aside from sniping some portraits at the Sweet 16 celebration with a 70-300 Canon AF/IS zoom.


What's odd is: Most people like the results I get with AF/zoom gear, than the results I get with manual glass, but I'm like the stuff I shoot with MF primes. Maybe I'm just in need of re-alignment with what is "good." Or I need to stop asking for those people's opinions...

08-16-2009, 05:16 PM   #5
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As another poster mentioned, years ago everyone used manual focus for everything. However I will add that with the new smaller viewing screens, manual focus becomes a little more challenging. That said, younger eyes may well deal with that problem better than us old eyes.
08-16-2009, 06:10 PM   #6
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With fast glass it's actually very easy to focus manually. Of course it's a skill you must practice and hone and most people rely on the crutch of autofocus and never learn it, then they'll curse when autofocus locks quickly in the wrong place and later find their pictures are misfocused.
08-16-2009, 07:28 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for the replies. I've got all manual glass, and enjoy manually focusing, I'm just thinking that if a shot presented itself, auto focus might have a better chance at catching the moment then the manual glass. I enjoy the challenge of getting the focus right, and seeing the results. I do have one auto lens, and I rarely use it, but it's not a great lens anyways.
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