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06-25-2008, 04:54 PM   #16
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I only use manual focus with my DA 21mm lens when shooting landscapes and then by employing the hyperfocus distance setting, not by actually focusing on the subject. With other subjects and my other primes it's autofocus exclusively because of my aging eyesight.

On the other hand, I still shoot film sometimes (Velvia) with a Nikon FM3a and have no trouble focusing manually with that camera. But with my K10D (or any other digital camera) - no way.

Richard

06-25-2008, 06:18 PM   #17
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I suspect anyone who is passionate about SLR photography* is equally passionate about manual focus. SLR photography = creative freedom. Manual focus = creative freedom.

[*NB: Of course, being passionate about SLR cameras is not necessarily the same thing.]
06-25-2008, 06:30 PM   #18
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More manual focus than AF, because my K-series lenses that I have had since I could see are just plain better lenses. I have tried to buy F and FA lenses that have a good reputation and use them for casual photography, and my DA 50~300 (coming Friday) should be great outdoors in the sun, but nothing (that I can afford) can beat an A35~105 or K28/3.5 or a S1 105/2.5 for resolution and sharpness.

At my age it may take more time, but that just means that I have to shoot stationary subjects - I play with what I have, not with what I wish I had.
06-25-2008, 06:38 PM   #19
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I've been using manual focus since the 1970s with a k1000. I've had the K100 since November or so & didn't use the kit lens much at all because I was used to the very good images produced by the old manual focus primes. Sold the kit lens then I tried the AL II kit lens and sold it shortly after. IQ just wasn't what I'd expect from modern digital hardware. I also bought & sold a 40mm Limited, but I may have kept it if not for an unexpected funds sqeeze I found myself in.

I currently have only two autofocus lenses that I'll keep; a fast 50 and a tall zoom. The tall zoom is there for utility, and I really don't use it much. The fast 50 is a very recent addition (a few weeks now). Everything else that has earned a spot in my bag is a manual focus prime.

I really can't say enough about the manual focus lenses. The good ones anyway. You can get a fantastic collection of lenses for a FRACTION of the cost of the AF variants, and basically blow away any other camera make & their fancy auto focus gear.

Just check out this thread for manual focus goodness: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/27739-m-club.html


As for auto focus toys:

Been experimenting with the FA 28-105mm PowerZoom lens & I like it a LOT! Nearly ideal focal range for an outside walkaround lens, VERY good IQ for a zoom, and the thing is built very well... Quite solid with none of the looseness or weakness of the other PZ lens I've read about. Super quick focus too. Press the shutter button & ... BANG! In focus with authority! This one may find a home with me.

06-25-2008, 07:13 PM   #20
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For parties/barbeques/gatherings at which there's ample light, I use auto-focus.

But after a few times of my 16-45 hunting in dim conditions, I either use manual focus, or ask the people to move to where there's more light, provided it won't spoil the moment.

I've had my K100D almost a year now, and have to admit I was getting a bit lazy and using auto-focus the first six months I had it.

That all changed when I got my Lensbaby, a lens that fights you every step of the way in that it's auto-nothing, but gives very pleasing results once you know how to place its sweet spot, and choose the appropriate aperture for the effect you want.

Recently I bought a 100mm M macro, and I must say that it feels so good to be focusing a well-damped manual lens once again! It puts you right back into the thought process of making a photograph.

Auto for quick candids, manual for tripod time.

Mike
06-25-2008, 07:14 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by paolo g Quote
I just wanted to hear from people who use manual focus all, most or some of the time as to why they do and what benefits it brings?

Thanks, Paul

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/28170-impossible-af-shots.html

I started a long thread on the same subject. For me shooting fast moving subject like bird in flight , it is a necessity.
MF has huge advantage in that you can prefocus and would not be screwed by the AF system. If I cannot make the shot, I have myself to blame not the equipment. It also allows me to concentrate on taking images with parameters that I know. And not to delegate anything to the AF system

Daniel
06-25-2008, 07:17 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I shoot manual all the time. AF focus just will not work for wildlife photography well in my opinion. There is no AF system that I know of that has the intelligence to know the difference between the bird and a branch a foot in front of it.

A case in point...
Lovely Bird in a good shot !
06-25-2008, 07:51 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
I shoot manual all the time. AF focus just will not work for wildlife photography well in my opinion. There is no AF system that I know of that has the intelligence to know the difference between the bird and a branch a foot in front of it.

A case in point...
We each have our own reasons...

I bought the 50-200 kit lens because when using my old 70-210 Sigma lens I could not focus fast enough to catch birds, they move to quick! I set the camera to spot focus, it focuses only exactly where I point it. I have never gone back to multipoint focus since! My wife used manual lenses for decades, never bought an AF lens for her istD. But, after seeing me taking birds in flight she finally tried AF.

BTW with your example photo I could focus on the bird or any branch I chose!

06-25-2008, 09:41 PM   #24
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control

MF gives you total control over the image from the outset, as does manual adjustment of exposure or total manual exposure itself. As an artist who uses photography as a working method rather than a photographer per se that is my over-riding priority. It also involves the honing of skills, central to any creative endeavour whereas AF is effectively a de-skilling entity. I want the camera (mine is a wonderful K10D) to be a tool to record what I see rather than an arbiter itself, however scientifically accurate and technically sophisticated it is. Its decisions are in essence mechanical whereas mine are aesthetic.
06-25-2008, 11:53 PM   #25
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Given my kit, I shoot 100% manual with the Spotmatic (gee...duh) and about 90% AF with the K10D. I haven't shot the AF camera much in full manual mode, but love the Quick-shift focus system for manual touch-ups and making sure my subject is focused in busy scenes. Most of the time, though, the AF matches or beats my aging eyes.

No complaints with either system, really.
06-26-2008, 01:36 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
BTW with your example photo I could focus on the bird or any branch I chose!
Really?
taken with a 600mm prime at 60 feet at f/16...

Last edited by wildman; 06-28-2008 at 11:55 PM.
06-26-2008, 02:03 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by chris hall Quote
Its decisions are in essence mechanical whereas mine are aesthetic.
Well said.

I would take it a step further.
I don't care what the hardware "sees" nor even what my eye "sees" but rather what my mind thinks it saw at the moment I released the shutter.

For me the file that I download at the end of a day of shooting is just raw material in which I try to recreate that moment in my mind's eye when I released the shutter. I'm taking pictures for my own purpose not to follow some abstract rules of photography.

By the rules this should not have been taken.

Very early morning with strong backlight. Crows waiting for the fog to lift.

Last edited by wildman; 06-28-2008 at 11:55 PM.
06-26-2008, 02:36 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Really?
taken with a 600mm prime at 60 feet at f/16...
Are u sure it was F16? Can't see the exif.
There must be ample light for BJ to have such vibrant color and sharpness. Job well done

Daniel
06-26-2008, 04:10 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by danielchtong Quote
Are u sure it was F16? Can't see the exif.
There must be ample light for BJ to have such vibrant color and sharpness. Job well done

Daniel
Yes I'm sure.

I don't use conventional telephotos but rather fix aperture astro scopes. This scope is aprox a f/8 with a prime focal length of 600mm barlowed at x2 (a barlow acts rather like TC on a conventional telephoto) to an effective FL of 1200mm thus giving me f/16. This setup gives me a magnification of about 36x. Because this is non-standard glass with no electrical contacts to camera body no exif file is generated.

This photo was taken with this setup...

Last edited by wildman; 06-28-2008 at 11:55 PM.
06-26-2008, 07:08 AM   #30
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holy! that's a telescope!!
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