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07-18-2011, 07:57 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by foto guy Quote
I'd love to convert some of my newer bodies to split-screen, tho I'm not sure that's possible.
Why don't you ? There are plenty of screens out there.

Try : Focusing Screen I bought mine from here and it is excellent, they also include better tools than Katzeye !

07-18-2011, 08:05 AM - 1 Like   #47
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I just got a PM asking about focus and split screens and metering. My response (slightly edited):
_____________________________________________________________

First, manual focus is no big deal. You can even practice with the kit lens -- just focus it by hand and let your eye tell you when a subject looks right. It is easiest when the aperture is wider than f/8.

Yes, split screens have been available for quite awhile. My father first let me look through his film SLR fifty years ago, and the split screen is what I remember most. It was easier and sexier than the groundglass on my TLR. Meanwhile, I still use TLRs, and an old SLR with the same sort of top-view groundglass. It is fun to watch the image form on such a screen.

When I bought my Pentax K20D three years ago, I ordered a splitscreen for it. I bought some budget no-name brand, I don't remember exactly which, but it was probably under US$20. And yes, in some situations, a splitscreen can help. I look for a subject that has details and contrast, not just a blank wall or sky. As I turn the focus ring, the split image comes together, the details on each side of the split line-up, and I have achieved focus.

The dSLR provides other aids: focus confirmation (FC), and catch-in-focus (CIF). I depend on CIF more than I do the splitscreen. The splitscreen helps me know when I'm close to focus; FC tells me when I'm there; and CIF snaps the shutter for me!

Is a splitscreen useful? Yes, when the scene isn't too dark. Is a splitscreen enough? No, it's just one means to help achieve focus, along with FC and CIF and knowing what you're looking for.

And no, I'm not bothered with metering problems. My K20D is more affected by the lens, or by the metering mode I use, than by the splitscreen. I shoot RAW, and I try to get the exposure right. But I also review my shots, and if s shot is too dark or light, I adjust the exposure and shoot again. And I fix any exposure problems in RAW development. WB and EV bother me much more than focus.

I read that some people just cannibalize a cheap wrecked film SLR which may cost only US$10 or less. I have sold junked SLRs for less than that, and the buyers probably just used the screens and tossed out the rest. Search the threads here and you will find accounts of how to change screens. Good luck!
07-18-2011, 08:48 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The dSLR provides other aids . . . CIF snaps the shutter for me!
Thanks for pointing out that one. Somehow I missed the CIF function in the manual.

Last edited by les3547; 07-18-2011 at 11:05 AM.
07-18-2011, 10:15 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Why don't you ? There are plenty of screens out there.

Try : Focusing Screen I bought mine from here and it is excellent, they also include better tools than Katzeye !
Hi which of the model is right for K-r and which one did you buy there? it is very confusing to go thru since some are marked for AF and MF but dont understand why they have different for MF and AF separately. So not sure which one to go for as the language in the site is also not clear.

07-18-2011, 12:05 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by sany Quote
Hi which of the model is right for K-r and which one did you buy there? it is very confusing to go thru since some are marked for AF and MF but dont understand why they have different for MF and AF separately. So not sure which one to go for as the language in the site is also not clear.
AF in this case is for the grids on the focus screens to aid in composition and framing. If you don't use the grids on your standard screen in your K-r, order the one without any grid marks. You are buying a split prism screen to aid in MF, AF will continue to work no matter the type of screen installed.

Thanks,
08-05-2011, 06:54 AM   #51
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I just bought a Pentax O-ME53 magnifier. It's made a huge difference in MF ability on the K-x. I'm tempted to buy another one for my K20D.
08-05-2011, 07:49 AM   #52
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For me, AF means I can concentrate on other things by not having to set focus myself. I'm not saying that AF is always right - it isn't, but at least I don't have to bother with it all the time. Not that I didn't try; I had a 50mm 1.7 A lens. But it took me so long to get the focus right that most often the moment would have passed.

QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
The second key point is 'catch-in-focus'. Anyone afraid of MF should try catch-in-focus. Set your camera to centered focus, and set catch-in-focus. Turn gently the focus ring. The camera will shot as soon as the focus confirmation symbol appears.
True, but this means your subject is always in the middle of the frame. Also, if you use a slower shutter speed - say 1/15th - and you use catch-in-focus, chances are the focus at the start of the exposure is different from the end of the exposure. With AF that doesn't happen.

What I would like is more fast lenses that can AF well.
08-05-2011, 08:37 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
QuoteOriginally posted by hcc:
The second key point is 'catch-in-focus'. Anyone afraid of MF should try catch-in-focus.
True, but this means your subject is always in the middle of the frame.
So, crop to compose. A 10-15mpx cam leaves plenty of pixels available for sacrifice. Unless an image is printed huge and for close inspection, shaving a few megapickles just won't be noticeable.

QuoteQuote:
For me, AF means I can concentrate on other things by not having to set focus myself.
And that was an advantage of the original Kodak, and all the box and P&S cams that followed. That's the subset of photography called the snapshot. Nothing wrong with that, same as using exposure automation. You're letting the design engineers control the details while you concentrate on framing images. Just another compromise.

QuoteQuote:
What I would like is more fast lenses that can AF well.
I can't afford those. I have a few mostly-not-too-fast AF lenses that AF well enough for me. And some fairly-to-rather-fast MF lenses that CIF well enough for me. And various other lenses that I must work with. [Work?!?!?!?]

Back before AF and CIF, I had to do my own focusing, often without the benefit of SLR or TLR or RF or even TTL or VF -- measure or pace-off or guesstimate the distance, set the focus, meter or judge the light, set the aperture and shutter, frame the picture, and shoot. Quickly, if needed. And every shot cost money, so I had to do those pretty accurately. And fix whatever needed fixing in the darkroom.

Oh these kids today, spoiled with all this damn automation gimmickry! [/me peers through octagonal bifocals, waves admonishing finger, farts.] Working on AF technique is great. Working on ANY technique is great. Yes, practice practice practice. I practice various focus techniques. Sometimes the cam'bot is smarter than me, and picks the right focus-exposure-ISO-subject. And sometimes it ain't. Sometimes my measuring and prefocusing, or exploiting CIF, are all I need to outsmart the K20D. And sometimes I just grab the Sony P&S and have at it, so I needn't be bothered with tech details at all. Whatever it takes...

08-06-2011, 04:48 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
So, crop to compose. A 10-15mpx cam leaves plenty of pixels available for sacrifice. Unless an image is printed huge and for close inspection, shaving a few megapickles just won't be noticeable.
Of course that's technically possible. But when I look through the viewfinder, I want to record what I see at that moment. Not when I sit behind my PC. It just isn't as much fun for me. Also, what's the point of having a 100% viewfinder when you have to crop almost every picture to compose?

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And that was an advantage of the original Kodak, and all the box and P&S cams that followed. That's the subset of photography called the snapshot. Nothing wrong with that, same as using exposure automation. You're letting the design engineers control the details while you concentrate on framing images. Just another compromise.
If by compromise you mean that all-manual setting is better, I disagree. I almost always have the camera on P, but I also almost always put it into hyper-Av or hyper-Tv because that's just how I like to work.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Oh these kids today, spoiled with all this damn automation gimmickry! [/me peers through octagonal bifocals, waves admonishing finger, farts.] Working on AF technique is great. Working on ANY technique is great. Yes, practice practice practice. I practice various focus techniques. Sometimes the cam'bot is smarter than me, and picks the right focus-exposure-ISO-subject. And sometimes it ain't. Sometimes my measuring and prefocusing, or exploiting CIF, are all I need to outsmart the K20D. And sometimes I just grab the Sony P&S and have at it, so I needn't be bothered with tech details at all. Whatever it takes...
What's CIF? Anyway, you are right about automation in that it can be off. And sometimes I do manual focus. I.e. when using the hyperfocal distance to shoot landscapes. Or when shooting a horse through some high grass, you don't want AF to keep jumping back and forth.
08-06-2011, 07:05 AM   #55
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I don't seem to have the CIF on the K7. Is it on the menu? I have a Pentax M 1:1,7 and can't seem to make it work. When I push the AF, it does make a sound so I can take the picture but does not take the picture automatically (and of course, the AF has to be set on the 'central point' (have no idea how it's called in english). CIF should be a useful tool as my own glasses are not very adapted to my eyes and I tend to be quite bad at manual focusing.
08-06-2011, 08:09 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by volthord Quote
I don't seem to have the CIF on the K7. Is it on the menu? I have a Pentax M 1:1,7 and can't seem to make it work. When I push the AF, it does make a sound so I can take the picture but does not take the picture automatically (and of course, the AF has to be set on the 'central point' (have no idea how it's called in english). CIF should be a useful tool as my own glasses are not very adapted to my eyes and I tend to be quite bad at manual focusing.

It is on menu C5.25 catch-in-focus, turn it off or on. With M lens, you can only manual focus...regardless if your setting is on AF-S or AF-C or MF. Also, focus point for manual focus is only center-point (at least for now unless Pentax improves this in new models). You can set CIF to get the shot or you wait until you get the green hexagon to trip the shutter. There are some viewfinder screens available in the market to help if you are eager to try and many of the users confirmed that it helps.
08-06-2011, 08:57 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
But when I look through the viewfinder, I want to record what I see at that moment. Not when I sit behind my PC. It just isn't as much fun for me. Also, what's the point of having a 100% viewfinder when you have to crop almost every picture to compose?
My upbringing (I just about grew up in my dad's small darkroom), my training (in various graphic arts), and my work experience (back when photography was my job) all pointed to: DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THE PICTURE! My composition studies showed me that any one frame may contain a picture, or only a portion of a picture, or many pictures. A single image might indeed be a carefully planned composition, or a lucky snapshot. Or I might stitch together a matrix of frames to build an otherwise-impossible image. Or I might find numerous stories to tell with that one frame, many ways to recompose, to isolate elements. That's one of the thrills of PP, the malleability of source images.

QuoteQuote:
If by compromise you mean that all-manual setting is better, I disagree. I almost always have the camera on P, but I also almost always put it into hyper-Av or hyper-Tv because that's just how I like to work.
In Manual mode (or Bulb or XSync) YOU control the image. In Auto modes and/or shooting JPG-only, you cede that control to the design engineers. Whether or not that matters, depends. Do whatever it takes to get the picture, eh?

QuoteQuote:
What's CIF? Anyway, you are right about automation in that it can be off. And sometimes I do manual focus. I.e. when using the hyperfocal distance to shoot landscapes. Or when shooting a horse through some high grass, you don't want AF to keep jumping back and forth.
Others just explained CIF (Catch-In-Focus aka trap-focus) and it's raised in posts earlier in this thread. With my delaminating eyeballs, I depend on CIF with MFLs (manual-focus lenses). It can be used variously: Hold down the shutter button, and wait till a subject moves into focus, or until you adjust focus or move so the subject comes into focus. I use this for some street shooting: Hold the camera casually with the shutter down, and when someone reaches the hot point, SNAP! Or tripod the camera, set drive mode to Continuous, prefocus on a hot point, jam the shutter down (I use a wired remote with my K20D); and as subjects arrive, SNAP SNAP SNAP... This is a good way to shoot birds and bears and bicyclists and burglars.

Yes, careful portrait and landscape and commercial and macro work (among others) demands careful manual focus. And much street shooting benefits from hyperfocus and thick DOF. I set my Tokina 21/3.8 to f/11, prefocus to 2m for DOF from 1m to infinity, and have at it. I may compose in-camera, or in PP, it doesn't matter, AS LONG AS I GET THE PICTURE! Somewhere around here I mentioned my shooting priorities:

1) GET THE DAMN PICTURE!
2) Don't get seriously hurt.
3) Make a clean getaway.
4) Try to expose properly.
5) Try to compose nicely.

Enough for now. I'm sure this continuing symposium will return to these points. Cheers!
08-06-2011, 10:22 AM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
For me, AF means I can concentrate on other things by not having to set focus myself.
It depends on what you shoot. In some shots, focusing is so critical, you have to concentrate on it regardless of whether you're using AF or MF. Otherwise you're gambling with the ability of the AF system to lock focus on the detail you want in focus.
08-06-2011, 03:33 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My upbringing (I just about grew up in my dad's small darkroom), my training (in various graphic arts), and my work experience (back when photography was my job) all pointed to: DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET THE PICTURE! My composition studies showed me that any one frame may contain a picture, or only a portion of a picture, or many pictures. A single image might indeed be a carefully planned composition, or a lucky snapshot. Or I might stitch together a matrix of frames to build an otherwise-impossible image. Or I might find numerous stories to tell with that one frame, many ways to recompose, to isolate elements. That's one of the thrills of PP, the malleability of source images.


In Manual mode (or Bulb or XSync) YOU control the image. In Auto modes and/or shooting JPG-only, you cede that control to the design engineers. Whether or not that matters, depends. Do whatever it takes to get the picture, eh?


Others just explained CIF (Catch-In-Focus aka trap-focus) and it's raised in posts earlier in this thread. With my delaminating eyeballs, I depend on CIF with MFLs (manual-focus lenses). It can be used variously: Hold down the shutter button, and wait till a subject moves into focus, or until you adjust focus or move so the subject comes into focus. I use this for some street shooting: Hold the camera casually with the shutter down, and when someone reaches the hot point, SNAP! Or tripod the camera, set drive mode to Continuous, prefocus on a hot point, jam the shutter down (I use a wired remote with my K20D); and as subjects arrive, SNAP SNAP SNAP... This is a good way to shoot birds and bears and bicyclists and burglars.

Yes, careful portrait and landscape and commercial and macro work (among others) demands careful manual focus. And much street shooting benefits from hyperfocus and thick DOF. I set my Tokina 21/3.8 to f/11, prefocus to 2m for DOF from 1m to infinity, and have at it. I may compose in-camera, or in PP, it doesn't matter, AS LONG AS I GET THE PICTURE! Somewhere around here I mentioned my shooting priorities:

1) GET THE DAMN PICTURE!
2) Don't get seriously hurt.
3) Make a clean getaway.
4) Try to expose properly.
5) Try to compose nicely.

Enough for now. I'm sure this continuing symposium will return to these points. Cheers!
I already knew some of what RIco has said in the past, but the man is still my hero, because he explains it like it is:

You have to get the SHOT first, and the whole point of having all of this megapixel power at your disposal is to GET the shot, and then crop for best effect with plenty of resolution to spare.

I shot a house fire a few weeks ago...nothing great about the shots at ALL...but I could easily crop the firemen climbing up the ladder to pour the water hose from above--enough for 11 by 14 prints, with HEAVY cropping of the original image(s).

If you don't capture anything because you're fiddling around with composition, your shots are worthless. Shoot until you're blue in the face, and THEN worry about cropping and final composition.

But I'm talking about fast-moving subject matter, like a house fire!
08-06-2011, 04:51 PM   #60
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