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07-12-2011, 01:21 PM   #1
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got any good tips on focusing a manual 50mm prime?

bought a cheap 50mm prime lens off ebay. when taking a portrait outside it seems hard to focus.

with a zoom lens i would zoom in, focus then zoom out to frame my shot.

with this prime i tend to take 3 shots. one that looks in focus. then 2-4 others after shifting the focus ring slightly in each direction.

anyone else got good tips on getting good focus?

07-12-2011, 02:25 PM   #2
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a focusing screen helps a lot

shotting at f2-f2.4 will be good to get more than the nose in focus, and it will be enought "open" to get some lights.

if you shoot Raw, you can underexpose the shot, then get back the light in PP (post production)
07-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
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Get an old film camera?
07-12-2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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A $28 dual-diagonal split prism screen plus the Pentax 1.3x magnifying eye-piece made all the difference for me (old eyes) when I started with the A50/1.4. I had no experience with MF to lean on.

07-12-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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Make sure your diopter adjustment is set correctly!! It's free and it can make ALL the difference.
07-12-2011, 04:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Make sure your diopter adjustment is set correctly!! It's free and it can make ALL the difference.
Quite so. Also learn about Catch-In-Focus. I shoot fast manual lenses extensively, and my de-laminating eyeballs depend greatly on CIF.
07-12-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aristophanes Quote
Get an old film camera?
You are 100% correct Sir
I still got my old KX Pentax KX Camera Reviews - Pentax Camera Reviews - DSLR and Film SLR Database Its a god gift in comparison to AF cameras using MF lenses.
07-12-2011, 06:18 PM   #8
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f/8 and be there?

07-13-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Do a search for the many existing threads discussing tips on manual focus. I've written up some pretty detailed descriptions in the psdt that remain valid.
07-14-2011, 01:33 AM   #10
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The focus "assist light" (actually the autofocus indicator) goes on and stays on then you are in focus, there is also normally a beep sound as well.
07-14-2011, 06:25 AM   #11
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Can you please provide a link to the $28 dual-diagonal split prism screen? I shoot K100D and am struggling with smc M50 1.4. Thanks!!
07-14-2011, 08:02 AM   #12
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jinfinance gets good feedback here: Diagonal Split Image Focus Screen Pentax K100D K200D DL | eBay

I have a horizontal Nikon split screen in my K-x and it helps a lot with MF lenses.
07-14-2011, 08:17 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info!
07-14-2011, 09:55 AM   #14
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I have a split prism screen installed but find I usually use the camera's beep and green hexagon indicator to tell me when to shoot. It took a little while to learn how to manually approach focus and avoid over focusing - but not all that long .... try it for a while!

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