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06-03-2018, 02:20 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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The Manual Focus Challenge!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here to host a 'challenge' to the forum members. I say 'challenge' because I am challenging you to try something new.

There is a photo contest attached to this. Please don't be scared off if you think other people are better photographers than you are. Just go with whatever skill level you are at. The idea here is to get YOU to try something new and to try to learn a new set of skills.

The contest rules and theme are as follows:

Camera type: Anything is allowed, not brand specific but I assume most will be Pentax and they must have the ability to manual focus your lens.

Lens type: Anything you have.

Rules: You must manually focus your photo! This means turning the AF function off and using your fingers and eyeballs to focus. The idea is to push you out of your comfort zone(s) and learn new techniques. Questions about how to accomplish things are 110% allowed and encouraged either on this thread or you can make your own(thread). More experienced users can give tips as needed.

We will have two categories of entry: If you are either 1) a new shooter or 2) exceptionally good at manual focus your subject(s) can be "Stationary". By stationary I mean anything from flowers, to trees, to parked cars, mountains, the Grand Canyon, all the way to good looking models posing for you.

For more advanced users or anyone who wants to push their skill level up our second category is "Movement". By this I mean you have to capture something that is moving. It can be a dog catching a frisbee, a kid diving into the pool, a high jumper, runner, motor cross, three year old, or anything else that is moving. The only limit is your imagination and your ability to manual focus.

We will have a winner and three honorable mentions for each category.

The deadline for entry is after the July 4th holiday. That gives you approximately ONE MONTH to enter.

To qualify for the contest at present I am not putting a time frame on when the shots must have been taken (but this is subject to change). The photo(s) just have to follow the manual focus rule.

Only one entry per user per category is allowed.

Good Luck!

06-03-2018, 05:07 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Thanks for organizing this, alamo5000. I hope a lot of forum members take up this challenge. I'm sure some will find manual focus to be much easier than anticipated. With a little practice, it might also become second nature. Having said that, I love manual focus.
06-03-2018, 05:31 PM - 1 Like   #3
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A point for beginners to manual. This seems a good place to point out different lenses have different focus throw. You need to use each lens alot to get it down. A short throw and you might get close alot but miss. A long throw can make you not get focused before the shot is gone but when you get it you got it.
A long focus you turn a mm and move focus maybe a mm. A short focus you turn a mm and you might focus a meter off.
06-03-2018, 06:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by onlineflyer Quote
Thanks for organizing this, alamo5000. I hope a lot of forum members take up this challenge. I'm sure some will find manual focus to be much easier than anticipated. With a little practice, it might also become second nature. Having said that, I love manual focus.
You are very welcome! It's my pleasure. Honestly I have been thinking about this for a really long time. We get so many posts where people rely on AF so much to the point that it's become a crutch to them. I've seen people move off to other much more expensive systems only to discover that their photos still suck. It's no different than buying the most expensive golf clubs you can find. It's no substitute for fundamentals.


I also think that particularly with Pentax and it's backward compatibility there are a lot of people who are missing out on something the brand prominently offers as a strength.


There is something to be said about getting back to the roots of photography. At the end of the day the people who embrace this challenge will probably wind up being better photographers on the other side.


QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
A point for beginners to manual. This seems a good place to point out different lenses have different focus throw. You need to use each lens alot to get it down. A short throw and you might get close alot but miss. A long throw can make you not get focused before the shot is gone but when you get it you got it.
A long focus you turn a mm and move focus maybe a mm. A short focus you turn a mm and you might focus a meter off.
Thank you! This is definitely the right spirit of the contest. Share on!


Learning proper technique will help so much.

06-03-2018, 06:34 PM - 1 Like   #5
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alamo5000, This is a fabulous idea and thanks for taking the time to do it. I only have one question, do you post the photos in this thread?
06-03-2018, 06:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
alamo5000, This is a fabulous idea and thanks for taking the time to do it. I only have one question, do you post the photos in this thread?
Good question. I don't know

We can do that or we can get submissions some other way via Adam's internet magic. Stay tuned and when he shows up let's let him give us some feedback.
06-03-2018, 07:45 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Awesome idea! Looking forward to it.
06-03-2018, 07:52 PM   #8
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@Adam


Ping for your input.

06-03-2018, 07:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by KC0PET Quote
Awesome idea! Looking forward to it.
All of you guys please spread the word. The more we discuss and bump this thread, offer advice or just outright participate hopefully the more entries we have.
06-04-2018, 05:36 AM - 1 Like   #10
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This is a great idea! Shooting manually is a skill that is well worth cultivating. Looking forward to seeing everyone's shots and posting as soon as we know where to post to.

---------- Post added 06-04-18 at 08:38 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
All of you guys please spread the word. The more we discuss and bump this thread, offer advice or just outright participate hopefully the more entries we have.
You know, I almost missed this thread in part because there's no picture on the Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories index page. If you post an example photo, then I imagine it'll then be reproduced as an icon on the index page and therefore draw the eye of people scanning.
06-04-2018, 07:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
alamo5000, This is a fabulous idea and thanks for taking the time to do it. I only have one question, do you post the photos in this thread?
I have not gotten word from Adam just yet but I'm going to make an executive decision here

Just put your entries here on the thread. I think that will be best.

It will bump the thread and also hopefully get more participants interested.
06-04-2018, 07:42 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tamia Quote
You know, I almost missed this thread in part because there's no picture on the Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories index page. If you post an example photo, then I imagine it'll then be reproduced as an icon on the index page and therefore draw the eye of people scanning.
Great idea!

I won't be home for a while so if anyone has an example photo or two laying around post them here with the caption "Example".

If we get 3 or 4 Adam can pick a good one for the thumbnail.

If we get more than one example it's fine. It will help the participants either way.

Just make sure to tag it so its not confused with your entry.
06-04-2018, 08:01 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Here is an example photo, not the best but it will give folks an example of manual focus. This is a cross post from the Manual Zoom Club, K5iis + M 35-70mm f2.8-3.5


---------- Post added 06-04-18 at 11:08 AM ----------

And another

Last edited by onlineflyer; 06-04-2018 at 08:16 AM.
06-04-2018, 09:35 AM - 7 Likes   #14
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Don't try to catch the subject. Prefocus for action shots.






Use stationary objects to prefocus. I focused on the orange cones and took the shot when the skateboarder was over them.


Bird feeders are a good place to prefocus. They're stationary and you know the bird will show up.


Some things aren't predictable. Focus in front of the subject and wait for it to come into focus.




Manual focus action is often more patience than technique. I hope the tip helps. Good luck!
06-04-2018, 04:52 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gifthorse Quote
Don't try to catch the subject. Prefocus for action shots.






Use stationary objects to prefocus. I focused on the orange cones and took the shot when the skateboarder was over them.


Bird feeders are a good place to prefocus. They're stationary and you know the bird will show up.


Some things aren't predictable. Focus in front of the subject and wait for it to come into focus.




Manual focus action is often more patience than technique. I hope the tip helps. Good luck!

Those are absolutely AWESOME shots! You are definitely the go to person here! LOL!

Those are exactly the thing I am 'shooting' for! Be prepared to get an onslaught of questions of 'how did you do that!? HAAAHAA!!!
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