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01-28-2013, 12:55 PM   #1
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focus peaking

As a new soon to be owner, how are all you K30 owners liking the focus peaking? Is it enough for your needs or has anyone purchased a katzeye focussing screen?
Just curious as I have some fast manual glass on the way as well and wanted to see what people thought as I know from my K20 that I will need some help focussing as my eyes are not what they used to be

01-28-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Focus peaking is a real boon, expecially in low light where even an improved focus screen is not much help. I regularly use 50mm f1.7 manual focus lenses as well as my Sigma 30mm 1.4 in MF mode with my K30 handheld in LV. I'm middleaged and wear glasses so I feel you pain with regards to trying to manual focus.
01-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #3
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Thanks Stephen, that is good to know, especially the 1.4 bit as focus becomes critical wide open
01-28-2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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Focus peaking is the BEEZ KNEEZ! (it is amazing). It makes manual focus lenses a joy to use, and can be even better than the already amazing AF on the K30. It will work really well with fast glass (I've used it with the Sigma 30 1.4 and several manual lenses f 2.0 or faster).

I use it regularly in tough conditions, such as low light scenarios (so you don't have to use the stupid and annoying AF lamp), or situations where there isn't a lot of contrast and I rely on the surrounding area to help nail the focus.

Focus peaking helps immensely with macro shooting.

The one drawback I would say is that focus peaking seems to drain the battery more. Not necessarily from the focus peaking itself, but from having the LCD on all the time.

One improvement they could make is to have the focus peaking colors be something other than white, or have the option to change the color into another one, because it can sometimes be hard to see the focus peaking "shimmer" in bright situations.

Anyways, I had no idea what focus peaking was when I got my K30, but after discovering it, I'm glad I have it. I will not use manual focus without it, and it's a deal breaker for future camera purchases (it will be a huge strike against a camera if it doesn't have it). I've shown it to people without the feature, and they get super jealous.

Why isn't it standard in all cameras? (the K5II/IIs doesn't have it apparently).


Last edited by EarlVonTapia; 01-28-2013 at 02:00 PM.
01-28-2013, 02:00 PM   #5
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I know I must be an idiot, but I have tried it on a couple occasions and just cannot get the hang of it. I find I get much more accurate results through the viewfinder. What am I doing wrong? It seems like the part I want in focus is outlined, but when I take the picture it's out of focus. It could be that i am just not used to using LiveView and the mirror flop is getting me?
01-28-2013, 02:07 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
I know I must be an idiot, but I have tried it on a couple occasions and just cannot get the hang of it. I find I get much more accurate results through the viewfinder. What am I doing wrong? It seems like the part I want in focus is outlined, but when I take the picture it's out of focus. It could be that i am just not used to using LiveView and the mirror flop is getting me?
It took me a little while to get used to it.

Here's how I came to really understand how it works.

Take a giant sheet of text, either from a newspaper, or something you print out. Set focus peaking on, set the lens wide open, and focus on the page. You will see the text "shimmer" where it is in focus. On fast glass, this shimmer will be confined to a band. Move the camera back and forth, forward and backward, and take note of how the shimmery band behaves. Stop down a bit, and notice how the band increases in width.

For me, I just always try and make sure that whatever I'm trying to focus on is within that shimmery band. For example, if I was taking a head shot, I would make sure that the shimmery band is sufficiently wide enough to get the whole face in the focus zone, and then I would check things like the shoulders to make sure that it's all in focus.

Of course, different strokes for different folks. It may be the case that you are just really practiced with the viewfinder, and that's okay too.
01-28-2013, 02:14 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
It took me a little while to get used to it.

Here's how I came to really understand how it works.

Take a giant sheet of text, either from a newspaper, or something you print out. Set focus peaking on, set the lens wide open, and focus on the page. You will see the text "shimmer" where it is in focus. On fast glass, this shimmer will be confined to a band. Move the camera back and forth, forward and backward, and take note of how the shimmery band behaves. Stop down a bit, and notice how the band increases in width.

For me, I just always try and make sure that whatever I'm trying to focus on is within that shimmery band. For example, if I was taking a head shot, I would make sure that the shimmery band is sufficiently wide enough to get the whole face in the focus zone, and then I would check things like the shoulders to make sure that it's all in focus.

Of course, different strokes for different folks. It may be the case that you are just really practiced with the viewfinder, and that's okay too.
Thanks very much for this! It's a great suggestion, and I'll definitely give it a try. I appreciate you taking the time to offer some advice!
01-28-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Thanks very much for this! It's a great suggestion, and I'll definitely give it a try. I appreciate you taking the time to offer some advice!
No problem! I consider focus peaking to be a killer feature, and the more people who know about it and how to use it, the better.

01-28-2013, 03:26 PM   #9
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Well, I never found a 45 degree split screen on my K100D as easy as K-30 FP is to get sharp manual focus shots.
01-28-2013, 03:34 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by EarlVonTapia Quote
No problem! I consider focus peaking to be a killer feature, and the more people who know about it and how to use it, the better.
I tried focus peaking on a NEX6 with a Takumar 50/1.4 and I found it imprecise. The shimmering of the focus peaking was showing on a wider area than what was in focus. It was actually more distracting than helpful, because the shimmering was making it harder to see which sub area was in focus. Stopping down, focus peaking was becoming more useful for quickly focusing on an object at a distance and I think that is probably its main application. But for critical focusing with a thin DOF, I did not find it good enough. For example: trying to focus on the eye of a person, I was getting shimmering both on the iris and on the eyebrows; focusing on a line of cans at an angle, the shimmering was showing over multiple cans when it should have appeared only on one. It is probably a better approach than using the OVF, but I prefer zooming into the image in LiveView for perfect accuracy (that actually improves the performance of focus peaking too, but my expectation from focus peaking was that it would allow me to avoid this extra step entirely).
01-28-2013, 04:11 PM   #11
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Well I find focus peaking pretty cool. I find it easier to pinpoint focus on distant objects like a particular twig on a tree using an f1.4 lens. Using the OVF on a K7, I struggled to get the tree in focus, let alone a single twig. It can produce false results but I've found it easy to work out when that's happening.
01-28-2013, 08:34 PM   #12
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I've found focus peaking to be more accurate for 'A' lenses in 'M' mode.
In other auto modes, the camera automatically stops down the lens resulting in more DOF seen at LCD than intended, resulting in imprecise results.



QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
I tried focus peaking on a NEX6 with a Takumar 50/1.4 and I found it imprecise. The shimmering of the focus peaking was showing on a wider area than what was in focus. It was actually more distracting than helpful, because the shimmering was making it harder to see which sub area was in focus. Stopping down, focus peaking was becoming more useful for quickly focusing on an object at a distance and I think that is probably its main application. But for critical focusing with a thin DOF, I did not find it good enough. For example: trying to focus on the eye of a person, I was getting shimmering both on the iris and on the eyebrows; focusing on a line of cans at an angle, the shimmering was showing over multiple cans when it should have appeared only on one. It is probably a better approach than using the OVF, but I prefer zooming into the image in LiveView for perfect accuracy (that actually improves the performance of focus peaking too, but my expectation from focus peaking was that it would allow me to avoid this extra step entirely).
Thats my impression too from a Nex5.
But it does help get to that ball park of focus fast.
Some accuracy issues boils down to the user too as he/she needs to judge when is this highest peak tu press the shutter
01-28-2013, 08:35 PM   #13
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Well I guess I need to try out FP this week I haven't tried it yet.
01-28-2013, 10:15 PM   #14
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I am looking forward to it, have a few older lenses here, that FP will make using that much more pleasurable!

B
01-29-2013, 01:42 PM   #15
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Sounded gimmicky to me at first, but it is amazing for low-light manual focusing. In daylight though, using focus confirmation in the viewfinder is much easier than trying to see the white squiggles on the LCD.

Highly recommended for anyone else with bad eyes.
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