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12-15-2011, 03:13 PM   #1
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Manual focus

I have just been reading a thread discussing focus confirmation when using a manual lens on a k-5. I have been taking a few shots with my old manual lenses but thought as it was a manual lens I would have to rely completely on manual focusing, am i missing something here?

Sorry if it sounds like a dumb question but I'm just getting to grips with the digital age!!

12-15-2011, 04:35 PM   #2
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I don't have the K-5, but in the K20D The center focus indicator will light when the subject comes into focus, it's a pretty helpful feature.
12-15-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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Well, the center focus indicator comes on when its *active* - meaning, when it has been triggered. It doesn't mean you're actually in focus. Only the green hexagon confirms when you are actually in focus.
12-15-2011, 04:48 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Well, the center focus indicator comes on when its *active* - meaning, when it has been triggered. It doesn't mean you're actually in focus. Only the green hexagon confirms when you are actually in focus.
Thanks for correction, Mark. Brain Drain I guess

12-15-2011, 04:51 PM   #5
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The focus confirmation on manual focus is "close" - but not all that accurate for fast lenses. Try 10 "head shots" at f1.4 and simply go by the confirmation indicator and you'll see what I mean.
12-15-2011, 05:55 PM   #6
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On my K7 I switch the focus to Spot setting and this seems to work quite well. I use manual focus lenses quite a bit.
12-16-2011, 02:49 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone, it all makes much more sense now.
12-16-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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bigdave: i thought, that when using manual focusing , only the center metering is actually working? does the spot , really narrow the metering point down , then ?

12-17-2011, 12:02 PM   #9
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If time permits I will take a shot focusing from the short side,from the long side then try to get focus close to the middle of when the focus indicator is on.With my eyesight the focus indicator can do better than myself.
Jake
12-17-2011, 01:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dh4412 Quote
bigdave: i thought, that when using manual focusing , only the center metering is actually working? does the spot , really narrow the metering point down , then ?
There are two different concepts here, metering and focus. For metering, any lens with an A setting can use multi-segment metering, 77 segments on the K-7 or K-5, 16 segments on everything else. If the aperture displays in the viewfinder, that lens has the A setting. With older lenses that don't have an A setting on the aperture ring, the camera automatically chooses center-weighted metering instead, even if it's set to multi-segment. For any lens type, you can choose spot-metering instead, and the meter will only use the very center of the frame. That's kind of a specialized metering, so be sure you know how it works before using it.

Focus has different rules. With an autofocus lens, the camera can use different focus points, I think it's anywhere from 5 to 11 points depending on the model. Some points are cross-type and some are not. With a manual focus lens, only the center point is active. The other points are switched off automatically. With an AF lens you can choose to only use the center point also, but you get no choice with an MF lens.

It may be useful if you have a lot of different lens types to set center-weighted metering and a single focus point, so the camera operates one way all the time.
12-17-2011, 02:09 PM   #11
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thanks , bigdave. i always have trouble with spot metering, seems the shots always ( just about always ) come out too dark or too light. but didn't know i could use spot metering on manual lenses. maybe that will work better than spot on autofocus lenses? or not why does one use spot metering , anyway?
12-17-2011, 02:10 PM   #12
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oh, sorry, not bigdave this time just1moredave ! lots of daves.
12-17-2011, 07:21 PM   #13
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Spot metering should work fine if you choose your spot carefully enough - it has to be something close to 18% in value. You can't just point it anywhere and expect to get a good exposure. That's what the other metering modes are for.
12-18-2011, 03:22 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Spot metering should work fine if you choose your spot carefully enough - it has to be something close to 18% in value. You can't just point it anywhere and expect to get a good exposure. That's what the other metering modes are for.
Indeed. Spot really does mean spot. On my K20D, it's somewhere around 4% of the image. Mentally divide the horizontal view into 1/8ths -- that's how big the center spot is, a dot about 1/8 of the X-axis. At least, that's how it's shown in the manual.

I find spot-metering more useful for readings than exposures. For instance, spot-meter the brightest and darkest points in a scene and set the exposure 1/2-way between. Or pick a point that looks close to midtone, as Marc said, and meter it carefully.

It's usually best to stick with center-weighted metering for most work with non-AF and -A-type lenses. And of course, when in doubt, BRACKET BRACKET BRACKET. I don't often hit the my K20D's Bracket button, but when I do, it's needful, and butt-saving.
12-18-2011, 11:08 AM   #15
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I read the two important spot-metering concepts: the spot is a small portion of the viewfinder, and the reading is a neutral gray tone. It sounds simple. One example is a headshot portrait. The exposure on the face is important, and the other tones are not. (Even if you're doing a special effect like a silhouette, that's true.) So put the spot on the face, decide whether to adjust the face's exposure with compensation, reframe if needed and shoot.

You can't forget the two concepts without getting bad shots. If the spot is on a random point, the metering is also random. The other methods see the whole frame so it's hard to get used to a method that ignores most of the frame. And the reading is a neutral tone, not a suggestion for rendering the scene very well. Say you have a black and white dog. With spot-metering, if the spot is on a black part of the dog, that part will look gray and the white parts will be really overexposed. Pointed at a white part, the meter reading will lead to an image where the white looks gray and the black parts are really underexposed. Spot-metering has no safety net and requires different thinking than other modes.
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