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02-19-2014, 05:00 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Focusing epiphany (albeit late)

I love my K-01, but alas I have hit the big 5-0 and my eyesight is now officially crap.
I bought a beautiful leather 39" neck strap from Cam-in http://www.cam-in.com.cn/ which enables me to get the camaera far enough away from my deteriorating eyes to focus on the screen (Newson strap bequeathed to my daughter for her K-r).
I have boosted the brightness on the LCD.
I bought a loupe (too bulky) then a flip-bac mirror/shade/protector.
I bought grandpa bi-focals.
Most of my good lenses are old KA 35mm primes and I still struggled to get perfect focus.
Then it hit me by pure accident. I was stuffing about with monochrome when I discovered that both the LCD and focus-peaking are so much clearer in monochrome!
Maybe it's a delusion, but it appears that a lot of the contrast and clarity information is wasted on colour.
Suddenly all my shots were easily focusable with or without focus-peaking, which I quickly assigned to the Red Button for easy toggling.
The real beauty is that I shoot everything in DNG RAW anyway, so all the shots are in unprocessed colour ready for post-processing in Photoshop/Lightroom regardless of the screen setting.
Try this if you too have reached the top of the age parabola and it's all down hill.
The attached photo (converted and reduced to comply with forum restrictions) was taken spontaneously of my overweight (but lovely) cat at night in dim lighting without flash at ISO 6400, 1/25, f2.0 with a SMC-A 50mm 1.7 and I'm very happy under the circumstances.

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02-19-2014, 07:16 PM   #2
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I like it. That pic is nice, but then I am a sucker for cats.
02-19-2014, 08:27 PM   #3
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The Ricoh GR has multiple focus assisting modes including more than one style of focus peaking. Interestingly, all the focus peaking style modes are monochrome. I like the GR focus peaking and had never thought of trying monochrome peaking on my K-01 nor K3. Makes sense though. Thanks for the tip.
02-19-2014, 09:27 PM   #4
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I've long thought that focusing effectively on the K-01 required "thinking in black and white", whether using Focus Peaking or CDAF. We've had a couple threads where someone was unhappy with the K-01 missing focus on their intended subject, but when you looked at the shots in B/W, what appeared to be very different colors had about the same luminosity (hope I'm using the correct term correctly), while what the camera locked onto was clearly the area of greatest difference.

PS: I had the same problem with the supplied neck strap being too short to see to focus (just started using reading glasses last year). I switched to a wrist strap.
PPS: Love the expression in that shot!

02-19-2014, 09:32 PM   #5
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Very nice tip, great ingenuity - thanks Chris!
02-20-2014, 09:05 AM   #6
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Thanks for a great tip, certainly be giving that a try.
02-23-2014, 10:58 PM   #7
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Older video guys will get this,.. Pure video camera's always had a B&W viewfinder, initially for cost of manufacture, but later because pro users demanded them for better focus through finer detail levels then colour viewfinders had - broadcast camera's still have B&W viewfinders in many cases, or a B&W mode.
Also, up until the last five years or so, a lot of broadcast camera's retained a CRT based viewfinder, there were some LCD's, but most new high end viewfinders are OLED based, with OLED's having a finer dot-pitch then LCD, and so higher resolution for the same physical size.

My 'B-camera' (now that I've been able to get the part to fix it) is a JVC GY-HD7 - 3CCD/Mpeg2/FullHD -, it has a Focus assist mode with selectable colours for the assist halo, and when activated the display goes to B&W to make those assist halo's more obvious for the operator - especially useful in bright conditions.

This B&W with Colour images,... won't work for Jpegs or Video, only for Raw.

Anything that keeps ya shooting is a good thing Chris!
02-24-2014, 06:16 PM   #8
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Wow, very interesting idea! I will definitely try it soon, thanks for sharing

03-23-2014, 02:24 AM   #9
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Great tip... makes sense... will try it tomorrow on my K-5 IIs!
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