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06-25-2008, 08:00 AM   #1
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Manual or Auto Focus

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

06-25-2008, 08:33 AM   #2
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With manual you can focus at where you want, not where the camera thinks you want :P

I own 10 lenses. Only 2 are autofocus. Manual focus is fun
06-25-2008, 08:41 AM   #3
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I only own 1 AF (kit lens) and 4 MF...

I bought them all right after the camera, in a heavy LBA crisis, they were all cheap and I've had fun with them... with time I got way better MF'ing but still screw up sometimes... mostly whenever the DOF is very shallow.


The only advantage that I figure out in my case for MF is that in low-light situations I can pre-focus to a certain distance and quickly snap pictures with having the AF to hunt in low-light situations... that saved me lots of time in taking pictures inside clubs and bars... whereas while in AF i wasnt able to shoot till the green AF indicator was on.. PIA!


Cheers
06-25-2008, 08:41 AM   #4
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just saw an interesting blog post on this

When is Manual Focus Better than Auto Focus?

06-25-2008, 09:03 AM   #5
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Using MF is like unlimited focus point eye control focus, i can just look at another point and focus on that without a focus and reframe if the point in the shot is outside the area of the focus points on the camera.
But i am heavily buying back into AF lenses right now, since it's also very convenient to not have to judge focus and be able to blame the camera for a missed shot
If you take pictures of people, they now expect AF, and expect you to take the shot fast, so my thinking of taking portraits of people with time to MF never worked out, expecially if you have a group of people who all want individuals. (Maybe i should have tried "Catch in focus" more..
I use MF now only when i am shooting for fun and i know i have the time.
06-25-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies so far. One other thing. Which form of Auto focus do you tend to prefer. Auto, SEL or Centered?
06-25-2008, 09:52 AM   #7
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Centered, always
06-25-2008, 10:14 AM   #8
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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
Paul

I own 8 manual focus lenses, and 6 auto focus ones.

Many but not all the MF lenses were from my film days, and while when travelling I use the newer AF zooms, the MF lenses get any portrait work, low light work (except for my 300mm F4 and 400mm F5.6 they are all fster than F2.8) some inside sports wiork, macro work, etc...

I enjoy using them.


I generally don't try using my newer AF lenses in manual focus, for one reason, the rotation of the focusing collar on the newer lenses from infinity to minimum focus is only 90 degrees. This is not precise enough to focus properly. Many of my MF lenses are more than 180 degrees, with the 400mm F5.6 being 330 degrees (almost a full turn)

Note: the one exception to all of the above is my 300mm F4, which gets a lot of wildlife work, connected to my 1.7x AF TC and my *istD along with a flash

06-25-2008, 10:17 AM   #9
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All my lenses are -A series. I also installed a Katz-Eye. Manual focus just works better for me.
06-25-2008, 12:06 PM   #10
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1) manual focus only = better quality lenses cheaper
2) my manual focus bodies outnumber af bodies 6 to 2. I won't count lenses, but I use both Limiteds on MF bodies.
3) with aging eyes it's more difficult to focus manually, especially with the digital body. So I do like using the auto focus lenses in AF.

I've filipflopped like a politician with the AF point mode - had it on Auto, then centered, now on Auto again. In a crowd center is better as you can pick what it latches on to - when I first got the camera I'd have perfectly focused photos - on someone in the foreground rather than my subject! (So yeah, that's another reason to MF, though the center spot works pretty well too)
06-25-2008, 12:38 PM   #11
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I have 25 or so manual lenses.

I have 2 autofocus, that I regret that I bought, they have not been mounted on my camera for more then 5 times each.
06-25-2008, 01:48 PM   #12
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Manual focus almost exclusively.
06-25-2008, 01:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zewrak Quote
I have 25 or so manual lenses.

I have 2 autofocus, that I regret that I bought, they have not been mounted on my camera for more then 5 times each.

06-25-2008, 02:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BBear Quote
Give me a sum of dollars you want to pay for my Sigma DC EX 18-50mm f2.8 MACRO . Ill take the 50/1.4 as part of the payment . 10 months guarantee left.
06-25-2008, 04:43 PM   #15
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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...

Last edited by wildman; 06-28-2008 at 11:55 PM.
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