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10-11-2011, 08:26 PM   #1
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Manual Focusing Secrets

Hi everyone, took my 645D out tonight and tried using the 645 F 35 and did not achieve the greatest results. What I thought was sharp was not when uploaded to the computer. Any pointers for manual focusing especially for night time photography.

Dan




Last edited by mrclark321; 10-11-2011 at 08:53 PM.
10-11-2011, 10:30 PM   #2
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limited

depth is very limited with these chips. looks a bit like the railing and boat nose is in focus. maybe deeper stop would help. also, the green focus assist hex in the bottom of the viewfinder is very helpful to me .

have fun,
d.t.
10-12-2011, 01:20 AM   #3
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how is it during the day? Anything out of focus there when you thought it was in focus?
I usually use the tone signal for focusing correctly with manual lenses and a split-image screen.
10-12-2011, 02:25 AM   #4
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The best way to focus when it's too dark to see is probably to take test shots wide open at high ISO and zoom in on them on the screen. (Live view is more convenient, but not available on the 645D.)

This technique can even be used with film cameras, assuming you bring along a digital as well, and the distance scales on both lenses agree.

10-12-2011, 03:12 AM   #5
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i don't have any MF, but i do some night shot. Most of time i stop down the lense as much as possible, and i only "focus" with the scale on the focusing ring.

Not the best way, but it work on FF and APS-C
10-12-2011, 04:08 AM   #6
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First you got to make sure it's not a general problem with manual focus. If that's the case, it might be an issue with mirror or matte screen alignment. My 645D has been serviced for that particular problem. In my case it was actually possible to confirm by mounting a 300mm lens, focus manually and then switch to AF and watch the viewfinder slip out of focus.

If it's just a nighttime issue, I recommend you bring a light you can beam at the motif for focusing. Or if you'd like to try something more fun, light a laser pointer through the viewfinder at your motif. You can then adjust focus by the crispness of the pointer beam's edge.
10-12-2011, 06:38 AM   #7
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I have no problem focus the A 35mm at night with the scenes like you have shown--when there is no artificial lighting, then it gets tricky (I use a light source like Alunfoto or just the distance scale on the lens). DOF is actually more than a film medium-format camera and not much different from a 35mm.
10-13-2011, 05:09 AM   #8
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Thank everyone for all the suggestions. Looks like part of the problem is Adobe Bridge and the file not fully loading and appearing OOF. I opend up a few files that looked OOF in Bridge and sent to CS5 and they were fine, not sure if it's my omputer or Bridge itself but I better be careful before I hit the delete key.

10-13-2011, 08:00 AM   #9
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This is not a focus issue but a (lack of) DOF issue. This shot need some depth of field. The bow seem to be in focus and a wide aperture is used, which is wrong if you want the whole boat in focus. You have both a DOF and focus scale on the lens. It should be possible to focus in complete darkness!

Last edited by Pål Jensen; 10-13-2011 at 09:54 AM.
10-13-2011, 05:01 PM   #10
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Just curious but the 645 lenses are made for the film camera and the 645D has a 1.3 crop for a medium format camera so are you suposed to multiply the distance on the lens for set apeture by 1.3 or does it matter?
10-13-2011, 05:24 PM   #11
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The distance scale will not be affected by the smaller sensor, but the DoF scale will. If you use the scales for a stop less than you actually set, you will be good--so if you are shooting at f/11, use the f/8 DoF scales. Naturally, you are not going to have scales to use for the largest apertures.
10-13-2011, 07:06 PM   #12
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For shot where it is dim and I know that my lens's distance scale is correctly calibrated (I am sure that your 35mm was checked in 2009); I use a good laser distance measuring device to measure distances for closest and furthest points of focus. I use a Bosch distance finder which has a laser point that you can pinpoint the focus point and it will measure that distance.
This is a modern modification of my Grandfather's method which he taught me using an optical rangefinder.
10-13-2011, 07:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by D W Quote
For shot where it is dim and I know that my lens's distance scale is correctly calibrated (I am sure that your 35mm was checked in 2009); I use a good laser distance measuring device to measure distances for closest and furthest points of focus. I use a Bosch distance finder which has a laser point that you can pinpoint the focus point and it will measure that distance.
This is a modern modification of my Grandfather's method which he taught me using an optical rangefinder.
Thanks Danny, I have been relying on AF too long and need to step it up a notch and understand my equipment more.

Dan
10-14-2011, 12:00 AM   #14
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Dont use Bridge

Bridge always looks soft . As you have found Photoshop(and printing) are the best way to see what you are really getting.
10-15-2011, 09:38 PM   #15
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To see better previews in Bridge, go to Edit > Preferences > Advanced and make sure the checkbox Generate Monitor-Size Previews is checked. If you don't, you can get soft-looking previews in Bridge that look fine when a file is actually opened full size in Bridge or Photoshop.

If you have the disk space for it, you might also wish to go to Edit > Preferences > Cache and make sure the checkbox Keep 100% Previews In Cache is checked.

These settings can make a difference when evaluating big files like from the 645D.

Back to the original question & suggestions, also make sure the viewfinder diopter adjustment hasn't gotten thrown off. I double-check mine with a good AF lens every so often, making sure that what the camera thinks is a nailed focus point agrees with what my eye is seeing through the finder. I use some of the above suggestions for manual focusing in low light -- hyperfocal focusing going by the distance scale on the lens, illuminating the subject with a high-powered flashlight, etc.
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