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05-19-2010, 06:59 AM   #1
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How do you know when a pentax dslr is in focus with a manual lens?

With a manual lens is it all just eyeballing it? Is there anything in the pentax dslr that will let you know when you are in focus even though it doesn't focus automatically? I ask because my vision may not be good enough. Thanks.

05-19-2010, 07:07 AM   #2
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As with any other brand DSLR, you get a standard focusing screen. This does make manually focusing hard. But you do get focus confirmation via the green hexagon and a focus point overlay beep. Additionally, you can use trap focus, so that when the image comes into focus, the camera automatically takes the image. Live view can be useful as well. Switch to live view and zoom in. Change focus till the subject is perfect and snap.
05-19-2010, 07:09 AM   #3
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Check page 121 of the K-x manual.
05-19-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
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Take a photo.

05-19-2010, 08:09 AM   #5
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The little green hex will light up in the viewfinder when you have focus, even with a manual lens. Many use a split image focusing screen which helps enormously. Another thing you can use is trap focus. With the camera set on AF-S, the shutter won't fire until the lens is focused. Slowly turning the lens focus ring with the shutter held down, it will fire when focus is acheived. You need to make sure your lens mount shorts all the contacts on the camera body for this to work. On Taks or lenses with paint or plastic on the mount, a piece of tin foil works. This won't work in AF-C mode as the camera will fire whether it is in focus or not.
05-19-2010, 08:53 AM   #6
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I don't let the camera try to tell me when things are in focus....something usually is, but often it's not what I want. I set the camera to centre focus, focus on my subject till it looks good to me (and I see the focus indicator etc), then reposition the shot and take the picture.

For moving targets, it just takes practice.
05-19-2010, 08:56 AM   #7
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The AF system will give you focus confirmation; just set your camera to AF S and it won't even fire unless it's in focus

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05-19-2010, 09:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
<snip> you do get focus confirmation via the green hexagon and a focus point overlay beep <snip>
Please note that the red focus overlay does not indicate that the subject is in focus, only that the camera is using that particular focus point. There is a finite period of time when the red square is lit but the green hexagon is not. Use only the green hexagon and/or your focusing screen. Those of you with K-X models will have no idea what we are talking about "focus overlay". The other DSLR models light up a little red square to tell you which focus point the camera is using.

05-19-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Please note that the red focus overlay does not indicate that the subject is in focus, only that the camera is using that particular focus point. There is a finite period of time when the red square is lit but the green hexagon is not. Use only the green hexagon and/or your focusing screen. Those of you with K-X models will have no idea what we are talking about "focus overlay". The other DSLR models light up a little red square to tell you which focus point the camera is using.
I was under the impression that the flash and beep of a focus point indicated that that particular point has achieved focus. Is this not correct? If not, why does it flash and beep? What purpose would that serve other than to indicate focus?
05-19-2010, 09:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
I was under the impression that the flash and beep of a focus point indicated that that particular point has achieved focus. Is this not correct? If not, why does it flash and beep? What purpose would that serve other than to indicate focus?
Not quite. The beep does indicate focus has been achieved and the green hexagon will light up to also state that focus has been achieved. The red square indicates which point the camera is trying to use to focus the lens. Usually all three of these things happen so fast that we humans cannot see the delay.

To see the difference, set your camera to auto select focus point, pick a complicated scene such as a plant border where you have subjects close together sideways and vertically, but in differing focus planes. Turn on the beeper and set the camera to continuous auto focus. Mount an AF lens, the slower the better for this demonstration. Dark lighting will also increase the fun.

Press the shutter release half way, or hold the AF button, and wave the camera around fairly rapidly. Enjoy the light show. Notice the absence of beeps when you get the speed just right, while the little red squares dance around the viewfinder, but the camera never quite achieves focus because of the mechanical time to actually focus the lens.
05-19-2010, 09:58 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Not quite. The beep does indicate focus has been achieved and the green hexagon will light up to also state that focus has been achieved. The red square indicates which point the camera is trying to use to focus the lens. Usually all three of these things happen so fast that we humans cannot see the delay.

To see the difference, set your camera to auto select focus point, pick a complicated scene such as a plant border where you have subjects close together sideways and vertically, but in differing focus planes. Turn on the beeper and set the camera to continuous auto focus. Mount an AF lens, the slower the better for this demonstration. Dark lighting will also increase the fun.

Press the shutter release half way, or hold the AF button, and wave the camera around fairly rapidly. Enjoy the light show. Notice the absence of beeps when you get the speed just right, while the little red squares dance around the viewfinder, but the camera never quite achieves focus because of the mechanical time to actually focus the lens.
Is it safe to assume that when using manual focus (or auto for that matter) and the center focus point, that when the center point flashes and beeps, the thing the center point is pointing at is in (or should be in) focus? This is how I shoot with my manual focus lenses and it always seems to work.
05-19-2010, 10:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
Is it safe to assume that when using manual focus (or auto for that matter) and the center focus point, that when the center point flashes and beeps, the thing the center point is pointing at is in (or should be in) focus? This is how I shoot with my manual focus lenses and it always seems to work.
Again, it is a matter of timing. Using only the centre focus point, with the camera pointing at something where the focus engine is having trouble, the centre red square will flicker as you move the camera around, but no beep and no hexagon. I first noticed the light show with my 50-135 shooting indoor soccer. It was just as fascinating as it was frustrating. Little red lights flickering all over the viewfinder, then after a while, the last one and finally the click as the shutter tripped.
05-19-2010, 10:46 AM   #13
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From my K7 manual:

Re: Manual focusing..."The focus indicator appears in the viewfinder and you will hear a beep when the subject comes into focus."

The red overlay does indeed indicate focus, but only the center focus point is available in MF. If you trust the focus indicator, focus your shot centrally, and recompose the shot.

Last edited by porterHause; 05-19-2010 at 10:47 AM. Reason: forgot a quotation mark
05-19-2010, 10:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by porterHause Quote
From my K7 manual:

Re: Manual focusing..."The focus indicator appears in the viewfinder and you will hear a beep when the subject comes into focus."

The red overlay does indeed indicate focus, but only the center focus point is available in MF. If you trust the focus indicator, focus your shot centrally, and recompose the shot.
Focus Indicator = Green Hexagon
Focus Point Indicator = Red Square

From the K10D manual, p. 27
QuoteQuote:
The AF point in use for autofocus is superimposed in red when the shutter release is pressed half way.

Last edited by Canada_Rockies; 05-19-2010 at 11:00 AM.
05-19-2010, 03:28 PM   #15
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Aluminium ( or 'aluminum' for the Americans ) tape on my Helios, which works perfectly for focus trap.

Most heating and A.C. repair guys will have some you can beg.
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