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06-12-2019, 03:09 AM   #1
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Focusing with f.2 lenses

Hi!

So people are telling me that with an f.2 manual lens on the Pentax K-1, I won't be able to get he right focus through my viewfinder using focus peaking. This is because the focusing screen doesn't work with manual lenses faster than f2.8.

Is this true?

So if I want to use my insanely good Rokinon 135 mm f.2 lens wide open I will have to resort to using liveview?

06-12-2019, 03:13 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Hi!

So people are telling me that with an f.2 manual lens on the Pentax K-1, I won't be able to get he right focus through my viewfinder using focus peaking. This is because the focusing screen doesn't work with manual lenses faster than f2.8.

Is this true?

So if I want to use my insanely good Rokinon 135 mm f.2 lens wide open I will have to resort to using liveview?
By f.2 do you mean f/2?

In any case, nailing the focus with a lens that has a shallow depth of field can be a challenge, but it's certainly doable using the viewfinder. In fact, natural body sway may be a bigger challenge to overcome than discerning what's in focus, whether it be through the viewfinder or live view. I would recommend experimenting a bit to see what technique works best for you.

If you're on a tripod, though, it's hard to beat the precision offered by live view with magnification.

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06-12-2019, 03:16 AM - 1 Like   #3
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practice, practice, practice...

it can be done with VF only; you may want to swap out the standard VF for the Pentax magnifying VF to assist with this, however....
06-12-2019, 03:17 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
By f.2 do you mean f/2?

In any case, nailing the focus with a lens that has a shallow depth of field can be a challenge, but it's certainly doable using the viewfinder. In fact, natural body sway may be a bigger challenge to overcome than discerning what's in focus, whether it be through the viewfinder or live view. I would recommend experimenting a bit to see what technique works best for you.

If you're on a tripod, though, it's hard to beat the precision offered by live view with magnification.
Thanks Adam!

So when I get the "beep" focus confimation sound, will this beeb be reliable or is it not reliable on lenses faster than f/2.8?

Yes i mean f/2

---------- Post added 06-12-19 at 03:18 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
practice, practice, practice...

it can be done with VF only; you may want to swap out the standard VF for the Pentax magnifying VF to assist with this, however....
Thanks buddy! So there is no optical limitation stopping the focus peak from working on faster lenses than f/2.8?

My preferred way is using the viewfinder and getting the beep, I know it's a shallow depth of field but it doesnt bother me. I would like to do head shots on f/2 with the 135 lens. But people are telling me this is not possible without a different focusing screen or by using the liveview (I'm not a big fan of liveview, i do a lot of handheld shots).

06-12-2019, 03:21 AM - 3 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote

Thanks buddy! So there is no optical limitation stopping the focus peak from working on faster lenses than f/2.8?

My preferred way is using the viewfinder and getting the beep, I know it's a shallow depth of field but it doesnt bother me. I would like to do head shots on f/2 with the 135 lens. But people are telling me this is not possible without a different focusing screen or by using the liveview (I'm not a big fan of liveview, i do a lot of handheld shots).

those are the people to stop listening to.... slap the lens on and go to work...

when you start nailing those shots at f2, show 'em how it's done...
06-12-2019, 03:23 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
those are the people to stop listening to.... slap the lens on and go to work...

when you start nailing those shots at f2, show 'em how it's done..
Thanks a lot buddy, I was just worried there were technical limitations to this, but if there aren't great
06-12-2019, 03:26 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
So when I get the "beep" focus confimation sound, will this beeb be reliable or is it not reliable on lenses faster than f/2.8?
AF confirmation always has some degree of tolerance. It will get you in the ballpark, but you should always verify and adjust visually as needed, especially when shooting wide-open.

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06-12-2019, 03:27 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
AF confirmation always has some degree of tolerance. It will get you in the ballpark, but you should always verify and adjust visually as needed, especially when shooting wide-open.
Thanks buddy!

06-12-2019, 04:06 AM - 6 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Focusing with f2.0 lenses
It can be done but it takes practice, remember to enjoy this journey of discovery.

Thin DOF is not for everyone, but it's critical to get what you want sharp, usually it's the nearest eye or eyes in portrait work. Don't be disheartened by the first results and take many shots, it does take time to perfect and hone your skills.

I'm old... hence lucky enough to have learnt my craft over the years, through the viewfinder with manual focus lenses. Long before all this digital, autofocus, and LV malarky had even been invented, but make sure that you embrace the new ways, as they're there to help make life a little easier.

That all said... I certainly enjoy the images it gives me, as I shoot much of my client imagery at faster than F2.0 apertures.

Here's a few examples of what I mean.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-1  Photo 
06-12-2019, 04:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
It can be done but it takes practice, remember to enjoy this journey of discovery.

Thin DOF is not for everyone, but it's critical to get what you want sharp, usually it's the nearest eye or eyes in portrait work. Don't be disheartened by the first results and take many shots, it does take time to perfect and hone your skills.

I'm old... hence lucky enough to have learnt my craft over the years, through the viewfinder with manual focus lenses. Long before all this digital, autofocus, and LV malarky had even been invented, but make sure that you embrace the new ways, as they're there to help make life a little easier.

That all said... I certainly enjoy the images it gives me, as I shoot much of my client imagery at faster than F2.0 apertures.

Here's a few examples of what I mean.
Kerrowdown, brilliant mate. Thanks for tips and great photos!
06-12-2019, 05:23 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kerrowdown Quote
It can be done but it takes practice, remember to enjoy this journey of discovery.

Thin DOF is not for everyone, but it's critical to get what you want sharp, usually it's the nearest eye or eyes in portrait work. Don't be disheartened by the first results and take many shots, it does take time to perfect and hone your skills.

I'm old... hence lucky enough to have learnt my craft over the years, through the viewfinder with manual focus lenses. Long before all this digital, autofocus, and LV malarky had even been invented, but make sure that you embrace the new ways, as they're there to help make life a little easier.

That all said... I certainly enjoy the images it gives me, as I shoot much of my client imagery at faster than F2.0 apertures.

Here's a few examples of what I mean.
Great examples!
06-12-2019, 05:27 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by sergysergy Quote
Great examples!
Thank you, I think it's often easier to show some images to support the words, as alone the words don't give the full weight...

Or alternatively I'm a better photographer than a wordsmith.
06-12-2019, 07:23 AM - 1 Like   #13
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It has been argued/discussed that the stock focus screen is optimised for the kit lens which is relatively slow - f3.5-5.6 - and therefore the visual focus discrimination with lenses f2 and faster is potentially lacking, however I haven't seen a rigorous evaluation of this.

My suggestions:
1. make sure your VF diopter correction is at best setting. Any softness of the view of the viewfinder (look at the sharpness of eg the framing marks) will irrevocably compromise your visual focus accuracy (I have to use my tenpa 1.36x magnifier because that gives me an extra ~ -1 diopter, the on camera correction isn't enough).
2. as already mentioned practice and familiarity with a lens is fundamental. Out in the field use live view and picture review (magnified) to double check and gain a sense of how visual best focus relates to focus cue relates to results. If you're diligent enough, relate the review of the pic on the PC to notes made of the focus at the time. This is how also you might figure out any tendency to front or back focus with a lens.
3. bear in mind that lighting and subject are important influences. Focus is always easier in good light, and of subjects with edges and contrast features that you can key into.
4. consider aids like a viewfinder magnifier, as already mentioned my tenpa lives on my K3. The tenpa also has a good rubber eye shade. I also use/experiment with lcd loupes - video style if you like. I also tried swapping the focus screen for an old style screen with split prism and micro prisms, that was with my old K-r. In the end I wasn't convinced it was a fundamental help with the lenses i was more often using (slower telephotos) - sometimes it was. There is a big thread here on PF discussing the canon EES screen, which some reckon is the biz.
5. as also already mentioned, when working with a very shallow depth of field (very fast F, macro etc) , you may not be able to discriminate whether your visual focus was accurate or there was movement. Time really to resort to a tripod, bean bag etc.or failing that a judicious use of burst mode while consciously moving through the plane of focus.

Last edited by marcusBMG; 06-12-2019 at 09:02 AM.
06-12-2019, 08:01 AM - 5 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Hi!

So people are telling me that with an f.2 manual lens on the Pentax K-1, I won't be able to get he right focus through my viewfinder using focus peaking. This is because the focusing screen doesn't work with manual lenses faster than f2.8.

Is this true?

So if I want to use my insanely good Rokinon 135 mm f.2 lens wide open I will have to resort to using liveview?
I donít know where this stuff comes from. In a nutshell, youíve not been told the truth. In photography, itís more important to trust your eyes than your ears.
06-12-2019, 08:17 AM - 5 Likes   #15
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I'm another one who shoots mostly manual focus, and I recommend the PENTAX Magnifier Eyecup O-ME53 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database that @pepperberry_farm alluded to.


And even when I'm not shooting in earnest, I'll casually practice a bit, because I find manual focusing is a skill that requires maintenance - like most skills.


Depth of field just a few mm...

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