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01-04-2011, 06:09 AM   #1
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Do you use only manual focus lenses?Do a lot of folks use only manual lenses?

Do a lot of folks use only manual lenses? I think I would prefer them over the auto-focus ones I have used so far. I have tried a few different brands of cameras, but I really like the way Pentax fits in my small hands. I only have to decide which body to buy. I usually shoot scenery, not too much indoors, and some action photos. I don't know if I should buy a used camera, or a brand new body. Are there some cameras which are easier to use with manual lenses than others...eg. using the "green button"?

01-04-2011, 06:18 AM   #2
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There are some people here who use manual lenses almost exclusively, or so it seems. Check out the Takumar, M, A, and K clubs in the lens section..

Pentax SLR Lens Discussion - PentaxForums.com

(see the club index to find the related threads).

As to what body to buy, I'm a personal believer in buying the best you can afford.

01-04-2011, 06:25 AM   #3
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You could really do a poll on this, but for the record I use both.

I have some excellent AF zooms, like the sigma APO 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC, the Tamron AR Di 28-75 F2.8 and the sigma APO 70-200F2.8 EX. I also have 3 pentax "Kit zooms" the FA 28-80, 28-105 and FA-J 18-35. only the 18-35 sees work today.

My MF kit is in 2-3 groups. I have M42 lenses from 24-200mm, K mount lenses from 24-400mm, and a few KA mount lenses from 8-85mm.

These form the backbone of my kit, and when I travel, they are on the top of the list because AF and zooms offer benefits when time is limited. (not all travel companions are patient when you are zooming with your feet or changing lenses, let alone allow time to focus)

When I am on my own time, I go with manual focus primes.

To that end, I have always kept my old cameras, and while my K7 is sort of designated AF only, I have put split image focusing screens into my K10D and *istD.

Both are still capable cameras and they have some different features, especially the *istD which supports true TTL flash, thus allowing metered flash photography with Non "A" lenses.

So if you go for a poll, you need to ask, do you shoot AF, MF, or both, and if you shoot both, do you have a dedicated body for MF.
01-04-2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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For myself, I mix it up in terms of old manual focus lenses. If I'm vacationing with family and friends I will take my autofocus glass. However if I am out by myself i take my manual lenses and have a field day with them. But then again my af lenses are all zooms and my mf ones are all primes so vacationing and lightweight wise the af ones are more practical.

01-04-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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Manual only here - even when using one of my few autofocus lenses.

It probably has a lot to do with what subjects you work with, Since I do a lot of landscapes and abstracts, it's important to me to think about composing in three dimensions, so to speak, rather than composing in two and letting the camera decide the third. (For the same reason, I never shoot in shutter-priority mode.)

If I did more sports, wildlife, and (paid) event photography, I'm sure I would start getting interested in autofocus.
01-04-2011, 11:31 AM   #6
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Lately 95% manual as I have such a big selection of primes, but I have a couple of good AF lenses that I use when I need the speed of focus or the FOV (of my DA14 which really doesn't need AF all that much)
01-04-2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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I have both kinds, the MF ones (Pentax A/M) are a pleasure to use when there is no particular hurry to get things in focus, AF helps to get snaps that wouldn't otherwise happen. Also the focus ring feel of the AF lenses I have seriously pale in comparison to the MF lenses and/or focus throw is short so I tend to use AF when available, in fact. As for body to use I have experience with the k-x and the k-5 and don't see much difference there using MF or green button; with green button metering, k-5's extra control dial doesn't make a difference as aperture is set with the ring. Both can also be fitted with a split prism + microprism collar focus screen which is really nice to have (but might break spot metering).
01-04-2011, 12:47 PM   #8
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Total manual guy myself just what I'm use to doing.

01-04-2011, 02:30 PM   #9
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I have both AF and MF lenses. My film gear is all MF, so that's how that goes.

My digital walkaround is the DA 35 Macro, and I use it in AF except for macro shooting.

I also use a manual focus 28mm lens for street shooting on my K200D, primarily setting it to F8 and the hyperfocal distance to simplify things. End result is a lot like shooting with my SuperProgram, but without the expense.
01-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #10
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I shoot MF about 80% of the time and have a collection which includes K, M. A, and a couple of DA lenses. When time allows I shoot manual all the time especially when birding or shooting sports. Not much choice as al my longer glass is MF. Portraits are the province of my DA 70/2.4 with the DA* 16~50/2.8 taking care of everything else.
As many others who shoot manually in the forum I have installed a KatzEye focusing screen in my K10 and find it invaluable for my purposes.

Tom G
01-04-2011, 03:26 PM   #11
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I'm retired, and to keep fairly fit after doing a physical job for many years I go for a walk every day, rain or shine, for at least 1 hour. And I always take my K10

9 times out of 10 I will choose a pair of manual lenses to carry with me, sometimes odd combinations such as a 300mm and a 28mm, whatever takes my fancy.

I have some nice auto focus lenses such as the DA 50-135, but I tend to use those when I'm taking pictures of something, or an event, that I know I want to keep a record of.
My main hobby is competing in 4x4 trial events, so I naturally take a huge amount of pictures at events of the other competitors etc, always with auto focus.

The manual lenses I use for the pleasure of using them, I like to slow down and compose the picture, manual lenses help me do just that.
Then I like to see the difference, and hopefully learn the difference, so that I can produce the image I want from the lens of my choice.
01-05-2011, 03:40 PM   #12
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I have a zillion MFLs (manual lenses - and film cameras for most of them) and dozen AFLs. I consider a DA18-250 my basic lens, and all others are specialty tools. Each lens is for a different type of shoot. Generally, AFLs are for dynamic situations, and MFLs are for slow-down-and-look-closely scenarios. The exceptions: I've nothing manual with the coverage of my Tam10-24 and DA10-17. But I have a carefully chosen (and sometimes luckily obtained) kit of MFLs that are always in my carry bag: fast glass at 16-24-55-85mm, a macro, and sometimes a 135 or 200 or beyond. All but one AFL are zooms. Only 6 of 160 MFLs are zooms. So that's my basic division: zoom AFLs, prime MFLs.
01-05-2011, 04:06 PM   #13
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Most of my lenses are manual. This is what happens when you fall in love with Voigtlander.
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