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04-29-2009, 01:20 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andi Lo Quote
I actually don't own this lens yet... cheap as it is, I find it hard to justify purchasing it since my Tak50/1.4 is already so good (best lens I own) and just doesnt get enough use. It's very easy to go down the hole of collecting fities as there are so many of them and they're (almost) all unique! Although from the results using this lens that I've seen everyone posted, I have no reservations recommending this over the 50/1.4 Tak, especially for the price

I'm actually hunting for a manual film body these days just so i can use the Tak in its proper glory... That CLA-ed Spotmatic F, ESII, or ME Super just isn't coming my way yet

And yes you're right FA50/1.4 is hazy at 1.4. Although I have no tests to prove this, My SMC Tak 50/1.4 seems like a better performer wide open
Oh my! Hopefully when you find that CLA-'d body it'll come with a 55/1.8. Conversely, I don't own the Tak 50/1.4 yet, but I'm very happy with the results from the 55/1.8. That, and the 28/3.5 are probably my two favorite Taks at the moment.


04-29-2009, 03:03 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by edl Quote
I have fairly quick focusing 30 year old eyes, and I'd easily say that it's basically impossible to achieve accurate focus on the default matte screen.
I would agree it is "hard" at first, but even my 40+ year old eyes that have worn thick glasses for nearsightedness since I was a child and now require me to remove the glasses in order to read can do it - and in very low light, too. I won't be surprised if eventually I need a split screen, but it's certainly not "impossible".

It does take practice, though. The main thing thing one accomplishes through practice: learning to recognize and deal with the fact that the stock screen shows you *too much* in focus when using large apertures (f/2.8 and better). You can't assume that everything that looks in focus in the viewfinder will be in the picture. In fact, it's a *given* that some of it won't. But once you develop a feel for how to place your subject within the zone of apparent focus in the viewfinder, you can greatly increase the chances that your subject will be still in focus when your check the results. You can't think of focus as a single point of "yes this is now in focus", but instead, you have to "see" the whole zone of focus as it moves forward and backward while you turn the focus ring, and stop when that zone encompasses your subject in the right way. For my camera, that means I place my subject at the *front* of the apparent focus zone in the viewfinder. I want my subject and things just behind it to be in focus, but nothing in front of the subejct to be. If I achieve that, I'll have it. And actually doing what i just described gets easier with practice. It's mostly a matter of finding a spot on the focus ring where the apparent focus zone is clearly too far back, and another spot where it's clearly too far forward, then splitting the difference.

But again, yes, just looking through the viewfinder and trying to stop when your subject looks to be in the most "perfect' focus is unlikely to work well.
04-30-2009, 02:27 PM   #33
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To be honest, the DOF is so razor thin wide open on the 50/1.4 that I rely on autofocus on the subject's eyes to pull a portrait off. Remember the Nat Geo criteria: if the eyes are out of focus, the photo is a tosser.

04-30-2009, 03:00 PM   #34
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I never considered age as a factor for accurate manual focusing.
Makes sense.

I hope I won't need the assistance of a split focus screen for many years to come.


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