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01-12-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
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Wide Angle Zooms and Focus Peaking: trouble focusing?

Hello all,

another lens question for the group here. I haven't had a good session with this lens yet or in the best lighting (I have been in love with an SMC-M 50mm 1.7), but I have a Phoenix 19-35mm Wide Angle zoom, manual focus, A-aperture lens (f 3.5-4.5). So far, in focus peaking mode, I am having the damndest time being able to tell what is and what is not actually 'peaking.' I can tell the obviously out of focus, but the in-focus portions are a little harder to tell. Mostly, I have the lens set at 19, with the focal length input as "20" as there is no setting for 19 in the camera.

My question are as follows, and I am wanting to make sure I am posing the correct question, so I am trying to consider this from a number of perspectives:

1) Is there something about wide angle lenses that cause it to peak funny, or cause everything to peak as in focus?

2) Something particular to focal lengths below a certain threshold?

3) Perhaps something particular to the way FP, as implemented in the current FW version in the K-o1, that causes this behavior?

4) Possibly something particular to Wide Angle Zoom lenses in particular (havent really had this problem with the prime 28mm's I have )?

5) Or (and this is the possibility I will have to come to terms with) possibly just a problem with either a) my copy of this lens or b) the build/design of this lens in particular.

I have not been able to find a whole lot out about this lens. There are a few Phoenix lenses in the database here, but not this particular lens. The customer reviews for the entry on B&H are favorable. A few other rather tepid mentions here and there, as well as some favorable reviews here and there. I am just concerned with being able to focus the lens. I suppose I could just not care if it is in focus and try to pass it off as 'post-post-post-modern art photography' but I like wide angles as a lot of my photoing is done in an urban area on my lunch breaks.

Now granted, I will say this:
1) i have not had adequate light to use this lens with an ISO of under 800, wide open. I have noticed that the live view on the K-o1 tends to get noisier as the ISO increases
2) perhaps having it wide open may figure into the equation somehow. I know a lot of lenses are harder to focus wide open, but at 3.5, I figured....Well, that's not exactly an 'insanely fast' aperture.

Any input is greatly appreciated, also any input as to whether there are issues I have not considered in trying to figure this one out.

Thanks so much

01-12-2013, 09:22 PM   #2
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Probably is the combination of a) not enough light, therefore not enough contrast, b) the seemingly large depth of field, c) the noisy "LCD representation" mixing with your observation of the peaked areas.
01-12-2013, 10:05 PM   #3
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I've found focus peaking to be of limited use with wide angle lenses. I use the one-press zoom function, it works great.
01-13-2013, 12:02 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cristigj Quote
1) Is there something about wide angle lenses that cause it to peak funny, or cause everything to peak as in focus?
When using a CV 15 mm on my GXR, I've always had the same problem so it's not just a K-01 issue.

Magnification makes it work just fine though.

01-16-2013, 07:00 AM   #5
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The shorter the focal length the larger the depth of field, and that makes a large portion of the image appear in focus and focus peaking just doesn't like it.

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