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02-09-2020, 11:37 AM - 3 Likes   #1
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Pentax K-1 vs Nikon D810 manual focusing test (K-1 wins)

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Yesterday, I was testing a couple of adapted Nikkor-O 55mm f/1.2 CRT macro/close-up lenses. These are old lenses that have no focusing capability. One focuses this lens with your feet (or more likely with a focusing rail).

Anyway, I tried this lens on my Pentax K-1 and on my Nikon D810 cameras. I nailed the focus on most of the images I took with the K-1 with focus peaking on; conversely, very few images taken with the D810 were in focus because the D810 does not have focus peaking.

For my style of photography, focus peaking is a necessary feature. I don't think I'll ever purchase another body without focus peaking.
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02-09-2020, 11:50 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
Anyway, I tried this lens on my Pentax K-1 and on my Nikon D810 cameras. I nailed the focus on most of the images I took with the K-1 with focus peaking on; conversely, very few images taken with the D810 were in focus because the D810 does not have focus peaking.
That surprises me. Was magnified live view and focus rail being used for both cameras?


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02-09-2020, 12:03 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I've been a Live View shooter for a long time. When focus peaking became available, I was an instant convert to it. Like you, it's a must for every camera I purchase in the future.
02-09-2020, 12:28 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Thats great to hear.

Focus peaking is a useful feature for sure. This only negative for me is that I'm often shooting wider apertures than f2.8 and personally for me, at f2 or wider I find the focus peaking can hinder determining best focus in LV at 100% (as too wider area looks in focus with focus peaking and becomes more hit and miss). So whether I use it or not depends on lens and scenario.

To my surprise I find the vari-angle LCD on the K-1 really good in real world use (much better than I was expecting) as it really helps with composition when you view the LCD square on.

02-09-2020, 12:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
This only negative for me is that I'm often shooting wider apertures than f2.8 and personally for me, at f2 or wider I find the focus peaking can hinder determining best focus in LV at 100% (as too wider area looks in focus with focus peaking and becomes more hit and miss).
This is my experience as well, though I won't disparage the feature for those that find it helpful. What you describe is due to how focus peaking works. It driven by contrast boundaries and when those are ambiguous (say receding angles or broadly curved surfaces), peaking can fail to detect OOF rather broadly.


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02-09-2020, 06:02 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I use an external monitor designed for videography that has this feature available at the flick of a switch - that way, every camera I work with has focus peaking. I use focus peaking a lot for art reproduction, though peaking can be difficult to use particularly with T/S lenses as DOF is no longer on just a flat plane.
02-10-2020, 12:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
.
Yesterday, I was testing a couple of adapted Nikkor-O 55mm f/1.2 CRT macro/close-up lenses. These are old lenses that have no focusing capability. One focuses this lens with your feet (or more likely with a focusing rail).

Anyway, I tried this lens on my Pentax K-1 and on my Nikon D810 cameras. I nailed the focus on most of the images I took with the K-1 with focus peaking on; conversely, very few images taken with the D810 were in focus because the D810 does not have focus peaking.

For my style of photography, focus peaking is a necessary feature. I don't think I'll ever purchase another body without focus peaking.
.
Did you shoot handheld? Or using focusing rail?
02-10-2020, 04:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kiwi_jono Quote
Thats great to hear.

Focus peaking is a useful feature for sure. This only negative for me is that I'm often shooting wider apertures than f2.8 and personally for me, at f2 or wider I find the focus peaking can hinder determining best focus in LV at 100% (as too wider area looks in focus with focus peaking and becomes more hit and miss). So whether I use it or not depends on lens and scenario.

To my surprise I find the vari-angle LCD on the K-1 really good in real world use (much better than I was expecting) as it really helps with composition when you view the LCD square on.
I agree. Focus Peaking is overly optimistic when it comes to what is in focus. If you are shooting a lens like the FA 77 at f2, you are better off having it off and just zooming in in liveview using the OK button.

02-11-2020, 12:25 PM   #9
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Great comments all, thanks.

I should have clarified something in my original post. I shoot all of my lenses wide open (or one click down). I have 2 styles of shooting - hand held run and gun, and tripod (sometimes with focusing rail). The test I did on the Nikkor-O CRT lenses was the "run and gun" hand held test.

For the run and gun method, I use focus peaking to get me in the ballpark. For the run and gun method, I need focus peaking.

However, for the more rigorous tripod/rail method I don't use focus peaking I use a Zacuto viewfinder 3X on the LCD with magnification.

Sorry for not posting examples. I no longer do that as I save all of my photos for incorporation into my video tutorials.
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02-11-2020, 12:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
.
Yesterday, I was testing a couple of adapted Nikkor-O 55mm f/1.2 CRT macro/close-up lenses. These are old lenses that have no focusing capability. One focuses this lens with your feet (or more likely with a focusing rail).

Anyway, I tried this lens on my Pentax K-1 and on my Nikon D810 cameras. I nailed the focus on most of the images I took with the K-1 with focus peaking on; conversely, very few images taken with the D810 were in focus because the D810 does not have focus peaking.

For my style of photography, focus peaking is a necessary feature. I don't think I'll ever purchase another body without focus peaking.
.
I thought you can count on every new model of any brand having focus peaking.
I am suprised it is not implemented in the D810 yet. Does the D850 have it?
I myself have great trouble focusing with mf and back screen, while it works pretty well using the viewfinder. I know it is strange but I gave up changing this and stick to the viewfinder.
02-11-2020, 01:45 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
I save all of my photos for incorporation into my video tutorials.
You do video tutorials?

QuoteOriginally posted by WorksAsIntended Quote
I am suprised it is not implemented in the D810 yet
I am too. My buddy, who's a Nikon guy, bought an D810. When we were comparing it to the K-1, I was surprised focus peaking wasn't a feature. He was not familiar with with focus peaking was. And now he wants it, LOL!
02-11-2020, 03:17 PM   #12
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Having shot the D810 now for a few months, I can say that I prefer the K-1 better than the D810.

Last edited by Fenwoodian; 02-13-2020 at 09:21 PM.
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