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05-20-2016, 11:44 AM   #1
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What is the proper procedure when using M and A zooms?

I have a couple of older zooms that I have enjoyed using for literally 'decades'. They've been on the shelf since my *istDS days, but with the Full Frame K-1, I've dusted them off and it is time to start playing with them again. As we all know, as soon as you mount a manual zoom, the body says to you, "Okay dummy. I see you're using an ancient, legacy lens. What focal length is it?"

What value should I use for a manual zoom? And what ramifications are there by specifying an incorrect focal length for a particular shot? Will it be that the shake reduction is off a bit, or something else?

Would I select any focal length initially, compose my shot, set my exposure, then take a look to see where the focal length the lens lands and go through the menu to re-set it? That seems like a lot of 'work'. Okay for static scenes, but if there is any motion involved, the shot will be long gone by the time I'm ready to press the shutter.

05-20-2016, 11:54 AM   #2
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I think the common view is to set it to the shortest FL. That way you won't have the SR over-compensate your movements. Of course, you won't get as good a stabilisation at the long end as you could have had.

Another strategy could be to dial in the longest FL, and switch off SR if you go wider. That way you get the best possible stabilisation at the long end (where you probably need it the most), but nothing at shorter focal lengths.
05-20-2016, 11:56 AM   #3
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That is one reason I do not use legacy zooms. Legacy primes, yes, zooms, no.

The focal length question will impact two things:
1) The focal length input is recorded in the EXIF and is therefore a part of the file information. This might not matter much and in any case there is little that can be done about it.
2) It also sets the focal length for the shake reduction. There are a number of theories on this. Some folks say to just set it in the middle, others set it to the short end, some say set it to the most used focal length. At faster shutter speeds this might not make that much difference. At slow ones there might be some impact, I've never noticed any difference to be honest. YMMV.
05-20-2016, 11:57 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
I have a couple of older zooms that I have enjoyed using for literally 'decades'. They've been on the shelf since my *istDS days, but with the Full Frame K-1, I've dusted them off and it is time to start playing with them again. As we all know, as soon as you mount a manual zoom, the body says to you, "Okay dummy. I see you're using an ancient, legacy lens. What focal length is it?"

What value should I use for a manual zoom? And what ramifications are there by specifying an incorrect focal length for a particular shot? Will it be that the shake reduction is off a bit, or something else?

Would I select any focal length initially, compose my shot, set my exposure, then take a look to see where the focal length the lens lands and go through the menu to re-set it? That seems like a lot of 'work'. Okay for static scenes, but if there is any motion involved, the shot will be long gone by the time I'm ready to press the shutter.
See this thread and the links in it:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/253121-manual-focus-...h-setting.html

Basically you have 4 options:
1. set it to the lowest focal length and forget about it (at longer FLs, you may get sub-optimal stabilization, but no blur)
2. set it to the focal length you use most frequently (results at shorter FLs may be slightly blurred)
3. change it as you zoom
4. set it somewhere in between (could potentially yield better results at longer FLs at the expense of over-compensation at shorter FLs)

QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
That seems like a lot of 'work'.
On the K-1, you can put the focal length setting in the control panel, so the procedure would be info -> e-dial -> done! I put mine in the bottom-right:

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05-20-2016, 11:57 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
Another strategy could be to dial in the longest FL, and switch off SR if you go wider.
And here is another theory
05-20-2016, 12:04 PM   #6
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It really depends on how you'll be using the lens. My 100-300/4 lens is almost exclusively shot at 250-300, so I feel comfortable at 250. No other lens I own reports that length, so that helps, as well. As for my 35-105/3.5, it is generally used as a portrait lens (for which it is very good), and mostly from 65-105 (where it is optically very strong). Set at 65 - another length not reported by another lens. Overall, setting slightly conservatively is the best advice, but the over-correction of shooting a bit wider than the setting can be overstated. Ballpark is usually good enough.
05-20-2016, 12:18 PM   #7
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This could have been something for the new function dial, or whatever it's called.
05-20-2016, 05:25 PM   #8
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Do the user modes store MF focal length? If they do you could set FL ranges in the modes and switch it that way.

05-21-2016, 03:35 AM   #9
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Interesting concepts. Thanks for sharing, friends. Good ideas in here.
Never gave it too much thought
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