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06-23-2011, 08:44 AM   #1
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Nobody has patience for manual focus anymore

I have a bunch of manual lenses that I bought recently and love to play with. Shots aren't always perfect the first time, but I make adjustments and I've turned out some gems. It seems with today's point and shoots and auto focus lenses people don't have any patience for the photographer to make manual adjustments anymore, or even worse take 2-3 shots to get the right one. Sometimes I feel like I sacrifice the shot because the subject won't have enough patience for me to get it right, so I'll stop down to get a broader depth of field and sacrifice my bokeh to get a shot quicker. I have considered a katz-eye, but they're pricey, probably worth as much as my k100d.

Another thing sometimes, on the lcd, it seems that the picture is in focus even zooming in pretty far, and on the computer screen it ends up being out of focus. Manual or Automatic, I have this problem on the k100d and even the K-r, with the higher res. Any tips here? I have switched to a single focus point in the center with the k-r.

06-23-2011, 08:53 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I shoot 95% of the time with MF lenses.

QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Sometimes I feel like I sacrifice the shot because the subject won't have enough patience for me to get it right
CIF will help (if your body has that feature). My bodies are dead on with focusing and the focus indicator (VF green indicator), which makes it easier for me. Takes an immense amount of concentration to be able to snap at the exact moment the indicator blinks all while keeping your subject framed properly.

I put if your body has that feature, and now see you have the K-R, which does have that feature. Read up on "Catch-In-Focus", that should help you some...


EDIT: It also helps knowing your lens also, if you are tracking a moving subject, you need to know which way to turn your focus ring and at what increments - being turning ccw rather quickly if your subject is coming towards you, or cw very slowly if your subject is moving away from you at a 20 degree angle, etc...



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06-23-2011, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #3
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No one has patience for ANYthing anymore.

Try Catch In Focus. Turn on the feature in your custom menu (Kr), set your camera for AF-S, Press and hold the shutter release while turning the focus ring. When the camera senses focus, it will take the photo. Not quite as fast as an AF lens but faster than making 2 or 3 attempts. I don't know if the K100d has this feature or not. On the K10d, there was no menu option for it, it just worked. The K100d may be the same.

06-23-2011, 09:32 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, I will check this out. I hope it works on the k100d as I use this mostly for my manual lenses since I only have a generic m42 adapter (sucks taking on and off).

06-23-2011, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Thanks guys, I will check this out. I hope it works on the k100d as I use this mostly for my manual lenses since I only have a generic m42 adapter (sucks taking on and off).
Ken,

Yes, it works on the K100D. HOWEVER, if you use M42 lenses, you will need to put a thin piece of foil under the lens edge where the lens-mount contacts are to short them out. CIF will ONLY work if those pins are shorted, and a piece of foil does it. I use a thin piece of brass shim-stock (from the local automotive parts store) and slip it under the edge as I'm screwing down the Takumar lenses. The brass shim-stock is stiffer than aluminum foil, so holds up better. Buy a little piece of the shim-stock, then you can cut out a piece with scissors. I cut mine in a crescent shape with the same radius as the M42 lens mount (used a piece of paper to make a pattern first).

-Joe-
06-23-2011, 09:55 AM   #6
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Kenafein: I've been having the same types of problems. My Katzeye has finally been shipped, and I'm anxious to see if that helps me focus faster and more accurately. My interest is primarily in using manual lenses, but so far it has not been especially easy to master focus.

JeffJS and joe.penn, thanks very much for the information about the CIF! I have it marked in my K-x manual to read after work today. I can see how that could be very, very helpful in this situation.
06-23-2011, 09:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k0og Quote
Ken,

Yes, it works on the K100D. HOWEVER, if you use M42 lenses, you will need to put a thin piece of foil under the lens edge where the lens-mount contacts are to short them out. CIF will ONLY work if those pins are shorted, and a piece of foil does it. I use a thin piece of brass shim-stock (from the local automotive parts store) and slip it under the edge as I'm screwing down the Takumar lenses. The brass shim-stock is stiffer than aluminum foil, so holds up better. Buy a little piece of the shim-stock, then you can cut out a piece with scissors. I cut mine in a crescent shape with the same radius as the M42 lens mount (used a piece of paper to make a pattern first).

-Joe-
Yep! Need that foil piece. However, you say you are using a third party adapter, correct? Here is the cheat for the foil thing.

If you are using a "Flange Style" third party adapter, you do not need the foil - the flange itself shorts out the contacts. The downside is you get no "infinity" focus. I carry multiple adapters with me with one being the flange type. I use this flange type adapter when I am shooting moving subjects with my Tak's where I do not need to focus to infinity.


Good luck on honing those MF skills, I for one love seeing images of extreme moving subjects shot with MF lenses ....





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06-23-2011, 09:56 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Another thing sometimes, on the lcd, it seems that the picture is in focus even zooming in pretty far, and on the computer screen it ends up being out of focus.
May not be the issue. But if this is a more recent thing, have you had your eyesight tested recently..

[I am one of those that dont do manual focus. Some of us started with AF lenses from the get-go. But I dont do stick shift cars either. And I started with stick shift car...These things are not so important. Its a matter of preference in most situations].

06-23-2011, 10:01 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by psychdoc Quote
May not be the issue. But if this is a more recent thing, have you had your eyesight tested recently..

[I am one of those that dont do manual focus. Some of us started with AF lenses from the get-go. But I dont do stick shift cars either. And I started with stick shift car...These things are not so important. Its a matter of preference in most situations].
The LCD is the most deceptive thing on your camera - never, ever rely on an image looking good on the LCD. I use the LCD to cycle through images before deleting, menu functions, and histogram info...
06-23-2011, 10:21 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
I have a bunch of manual lenses that I bought recently and love to play with. Shots aren't always perfect the first time, but I make adjustments and I've turned out some gems. It seems with today's point and shoots and auto focus lenses people don't have any patience for the photographer to make manual adjustments anymore, or even worse take 2-3 shots to get the right one. Sometimes I feel like I sacrifice the shot because the subject won't have enough patience for me to get it right, so I'll stop down to get a broader depth of field and sacrifice my bokeh to get a shot quicker. I have considered a katz-eye, but they're pricey, probably worth as much as my k100d.
I have many sets of candid photos of my wife. They start with photo #1, a great moment or expression, but technically flawed - focus or exposure or a dumb mistake. In photo #2, I have fixed something but it could be better. By photo #3 or #4, it's technically perfect, and I have beautifully captured the "Stop taking pictures of me!" look.

I get around this by setting stuff in advance. The dumb mistakes, like SR set for 300mm, 2 second timer and ISO 1600, are easy fixes. I can at least get focus within the right range. Exposure is not as hard as it seems. My first guess is usually OK. The K-7 has a quiet shutter that's great for a sneaky test shot, not of the subject, but something in similar light. Then you're just adjusting focus right away.

I like the Katz-Eye and I think it's worth it, but it probably won't help you in a candid portrait situation. You'll be looking too hard at the split-prisms for the perfect focus, and the person will move. Practice and seeing the whole frame are better.

Persistence, practice and results will pay off eventually. For some people, it will be enough to just try again. For others, seeing your great shots might help.

QuoteQuote:
Another thing sometimes, on the lcd, it seems that the picture is in focus even zooming in pretty far, and on the computer screen it ends up being out of focus. Manual or Automatic, I have this problem on the k100d and even the K-r, with the higher res. Any tips here? I have switched to a single focus point in the center with the k-r.
Look at either the camera LCD or computer screen the way you would look at a viewfinder. If your chosen subject isn't in perfect focus, is anything else?
06-23-2011, 11:32 AM   #11
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Yeah Dave,
My wife pretty much defaults to the "Stop taking pictures of me!" look now, but that was the scenario before. My baby is actually more patient with her dear dad .

Doc,
My vision has never been great(astigmatism), but I don't really need glasses and it's been stable since high school. I also get the same thing with the K-r and autofocus lenses. Maybe joe's right and I just can't trust the LCD even with the higher res of the k-r. It doesn't happen with every pic. Many are obviously our of focus or blurred from body shake. Perhaps I confuse the two at times.
06-23-2011, 11:36 AM - 1 Like   #12
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if you're going to use cif, keep in mind that if you adjust the focus from near to far, the front of your subject will come into focus first and trigger the shutter. if you adjust the focus from far to near, the edges of your subject and reflections will come into focus first and may trigger the shutter sooner than you want.
06-23-2011, 12:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by maltfalc Quote
if you're going to use cif, keep in mind that if you adjust the focus from near to far, the front of your subject will come into focus first and trigger the shutter. if you adjust the focus from far to near, the edges of your subject and reflections will come into focus first and may trigger the shutter sooner than you want.
Agree, if the DOF is shallow, it would be difficult to achieve sharper focus. Therefore, I usually make sure that I have enough DOF and also go from near to far for catch-in-focus shots.
06-23-2011, 12:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
I have a bunch of manual lenses that I bought recently and love to play with. Shots aren't always perfect the first time, but I make adjustments and I've turned out some gems. It seems with today's point and shoots and auto focus lenses people don't have any patience for the photographer to make manual adjustments anymore, or even worse take 2-3 shots to get the right one. Sometimes I feel like I sacrifice the shot because the subject won't have enough patience for me to get it right, so I'll stop down to get a broader depth of field and sacrifice my bokeh to get a shot quicker. I have considered a katz-eye, but they're pricey, probably worth as much as my k100d.

Another thing sometimes, on the lcd, it seems that the picture is in focus even zooming in pretty far, and on the computer screen it ends up being out of focus. Manual or Automatic, I have this problem on the k100d and even the K-r, with the higher res. Any tips here? I have switched to a single focus point in the center with the k-r.
Other than taking pictures with people (posted for shots), I use manual focus (with MF lens) most of the time (in fact quite often); my favourite one is the Vivitar 200mm f3.5 T4 mount. Manual focus also allows focus subject selection which at times is much desirable especially when shooting birds on trees. If you allow the camera to pick and choose focus point as many do, you are using the dslr as a point-and-shoot camera. Nothing wrong with that, just that the result would be as such.
06-23-2011, 12:18 PM   #15
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It probably helps that I started out with manual focus, but I find auto focus just too slow and I lose control over the focal point. I guess it might take a little practice, but if you can start out with the lens set to close to where focus is, you can tweak it as you shoot. You can also focus to when your subject is going to move towards it helps too.

Have you tried focusing on the the persons eyes and ignoring the rest? Might help?
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