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10-10-2012, 07:43 AM   #1
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Using Manual instead of Autofocus

Hi everyone,
I am still learning how to use my new Pentax K-r and I have been trying to use the Manual instead of autofocus.
With poor results !
If you could please share some tips on how to achieve good results with Manual , I would appreciate !
Thank you,
Masaryk

10-10-2012, 08:13 AM   #2
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What lens are you trying it with? Manual focusing can be tricky as the aperture becomes larger. The default focusing screen isn't precise enough for this. I changed my screen to a Canon Type S and it helped a lot. Not to the degree that it was a piece of a cake thing, but much much easier than with the stock screen.

That's the best tip I can give you - some lenses are easier than others as well - depends on how much the focusing ring travels, how much friction there is etc.

http://www.focusingscreen.com/
10-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
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Have you adjusted your diopter setting (page 58 in the manual)?

Tim
10-10-2012, 04:03 PM   #4
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I struggled with AF for over a year using the stock screen especially with my 50mm 1.7. However once I installed the Canon S screen the difference was night and day. I made a video of it https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-k-r/178682-s-type-screen-focusings...on-review.html. In hindsight I would have shot the video much differently and changed my approach but it more or less accomplishes what I was trying to do.

10-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
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Another thought. Do you watch for your focus confirmation in the viewfinder? I use that when I am in doubt. I don't have a k-r, just a DL and have not found a focus screen for it to help with MF.
11-15-2012, 10:31 AM   #6
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I have my first dslr coming tomorrow, a K-R with a 35mm 2.4, and the talk about the stock focusing screen being bad for faster lenses has me a bit worried. I can't seem to find the S type focusing screen you're referring to, and most of the screens I see on the website are around 100 bucks..which makes it even scarier when I still have so many things I need to purchase still (tripod, filters, extra battery, etc). Also, it seems with the "shims" replacing the focus screen sounds like a pain in the ass, requiring a certain degree of precision to get it perfect..which scares me even more since I'm a noob. I know a lot of people say they wish they replaced it sooner, should that be the case for me?
11-15-2012, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I will admit that manually focusing my K-r is not as quick as focusing my 30 years older Super Program (especially as my eyes are also 30 years older), but that doesn't mean that I have any particular problems manually focusing my K-r - even with my also 30 years older A-50mm f/1.7 lens. As you pointed out, in my opinion, you have better places to put your money right now than on a custom focusing screen. In addition to just looking at the matte screen, your K-r has several tools* to assist with manual focusing. I suggest you work with your stock camera for awhile using those tools.

*focus indicators - both the red dots on the focus screen as well as the green octagon at the bottom of the viewfinder, and Live View.
11-16-2012, 01:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by csmoore Quote
Also, it seems with the "shims" replacing the focus screen sounds like a pain in the ass, requiring a certain degree of precision to get it perfect..which scares me even more since I'm a noob. I know a lot of people say they wish they replaced it sooner, should that be the case for me?
I just got my screen from FocusingScreen last night, and whole installation took me less than one minute including time for installing the new shim...
Granted, I'm quite versed in swapping screens (I was the first Pentaxian advocate for the canon EE-S screen, more than one year ago!), but it's really easy once you know where are the latches (check on YouTube).

You can live with the stock screen, but if you plan to do a lot of f/1.7 shots, you'll struggle with the focus...

I went from a 40% focus hit rate to a good 95% just by swapping the stock screen for a EE-S (called S-type at FocusingScreen)

11-16-2012, 07:23 AM   #9
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thanks, I managed to find Focusing Screen it's important to get the one made for the k-r right? I don't want to have to be cutting anything, but I see a lot of people mentioning canon ones?
11-16-2012, 08:49 AM   #10
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Yep, get the one for K-r...
AFAIK, all K bodies share the same screens except for the K5/K7, but as FocusingScreen gives you the K-r choice, best go for it...
11-16-2012, 08:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by csmoore Quote
thanks, I managed to find Focusing Screen it's important to get the one made for the k-r right? I don't want to have to be cutting anything, but I see a lot of people mentioning canon ones?
The S-type they list for the K-r is a Canon screen that they cut down, the K3 is a cut down Nikon screen. I believe they will even custom cut something for you if you find a screen that you like that they don't offer.
11-16-2012, 09:17 AM   #12
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Thanks, I think I understand it pretty well now. Right now my fastest glass is 2.8 but I do plan on getting a manual 1.4 soon so I'll probably order this at the same time. Appreciate all the help
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