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09-24-2010, 10:45 AM   #16
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Marc makes an excellent point. I've been shooting for almost four decades, so I'm quick, confident and comfortable with it. I don't use it out of habit, but because it is more reliable and accurate, but there is no way I could mannually focus the kit lens that came with my camera. I tried. It was nearly impossible.
DA Limiteds are fine for MF, and my DA* 200mm is pretty good. Don't really know about zoom lenses, because I shot all primes, but I would suspect even the better DA zooms are a little klunky.
The only old lens I have is a FA 50. It is smooth, and I would suspect that is the case with most older lens designed in the first place for MF. The smoothest focusing lens I've owned was a Zeiss.
It really never occurred to me before, but I would guess that anyone who tries to MF with modern lenses, especially cheaper zooms, would be severely handicapped. No wonder the majority believe that AF is better.

09-24-2010, 11:20 AM   #17
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I would also agree with marc about trying MF on an AF lens.

I will give a really good example with fair comparisons.

I have 3 lenses which can get to 200mm, an old Takumar 200F3.5 preset, a vivitar Series 1 70-210 F3.5 (version 1) and a sigma 70-200F2.8 EX (non DG non Macro)

Now I don't think any one wil argue the sigma is the absolutely best lens in this set. Very sharp even wide open at 200mm, and lots of contrast. But just try to Manual Focus that lens, it will turn you off manual focus in an instant for 2 reasons, first, it is a two ring zoom, so to frame the image you need to adjust focal length and focus separately, and second, the focus throw, while nice and smooth, is only 90 degrees, which is not enough to get accurate focus.

The vivitar, for a zoom is an ideal setup, it is a one ring zoom (push pull for zoom, turn for focus), it is a true zoom which means focus does not shift as you zoom, and focusing throw is 180 degrees, much more precise than the sigma at 90 degrees but still not too much to make aquisition of focus a pain if you shift subjects (distances) in a hurry.

The Tak is a great lens, but with a 350 degree focus throw. It can be very very accurate and precise in focus, but needs experience in use so that you can aquire focus quickly. It is very sharp and a pleasure to use, but then I have been using MF for a long time and have the patience for this lens. someone who perhaps is from the digital era where everything is expected right now would hate this lens in MF just as much as I hate my sigma just for different reasons.

You need to approach MF lenses a little differently, and also you need to think about what you want to do, in some situations, you may want the quick aquisition of my vivitar or the precision of the tak, or simply go with the AF convenience of the Sigma
09-24-2010, 05:50 PM   #18
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Thanks for all of your replies. Really appreciate the feedbacks.

Maybe I'll try get a 50mm MF lens first to try it out. I've tries using the kits lens set at a certain focus length (e.g 50mm) and just try to focus using the focusing ring. Takes time and practice to get used to though.

Have a few more questions:

1. Does the split focusing screens (e.g Katzeye) require some kind of calibration? Overall, is it hard to install?

2. Can I use the liveview to confirm the focus as well?

3. In low light situations, I find that trying to confirm the focus through the viewfinder is quite hard? Any tips?
09-24-2010, 06:22 PM   #19
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I am not familiar with split focus screens however you can focus very accurately using live view. When in LV, if you press the info button it will magnify the image. It is very ease to get spot on focus with LV - I use it many times with my A 50 1.7. In low light (depending how dark it is) live view also helps to a certain extent. If it is too dark than the image on the screen gets too grainy.

09-24-2010, 07:02 PM   #20
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Split screen is easy to install, I have one in my k10 and one in my *istD. From what I have heard generally split screens do not need adjustment in cameras with prisons but occasionally do need shims in penta mirror bodies the screens in my two bodies seen right on

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