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04-22-2010, 02:46 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Such is the nature of random chance. It's like tossing coin and hoping for heads. Some people might get lucky and see it come up heads the first few times they toss the coin, but inevitably, they'll start seeing tails too. Same here. It's *always* - repeat *always* - a crap shoot due to the design of the focus screen as I explained. But sometimes you do get lucky enough for a while that you don't notice there is an issue. Took me a couple of years myself. Not that I had perfect success those first two years, but I blamed myself for any failures, and didn't start becoming aware that the camera was actually fighting me until much later.

Marc

Perfect, and thanks for the reality check!

Later


04-23-2010, 12:18 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Such is the nature of random chance. It's like tossing coin and hoping for heads. Some people might get lucky and see it come up heads the first few times they toss the coin, but inevitably, they'll start seeing tails too. Same here. It's *always* - repeat *always* - a crap shoot due to the design of the focus screen as I explained. But sometimes you do get lucky enough for a while that you don't notice there is an issue. Took me a couple of years myself. Not that I had perfect success those first two years, but I blamed myself for any failures, and didn't start becoming aware that the camera was actually fighting me until much later.
I thought Tall Guy has mentioned using his lens many times before. When you fail consistently after succeeding consistently, you may call it many ways, but the probability that it's random chance is very small
04-23-2010, 07:54 PM   #18
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No, read my response again. It's actully a very common thing - at first, you don't realize there is an issue, and assume all misfocuses are your own fault. You refocus, get a better picture (due to random chance), and assume you just didn't do a good enough job the first time. You blame your eyes, you blame the small size or dimness of the viewfinde,r but you don't realize the viewfiner is actually lying. This can go on for years before you ever become aware this notice this specific issue. And I'd say that is the case with the majority of photographers.
04-23-2010, 09:32 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
No, read my response again. It's actully a very common thing - at first, you don't realize there is an issue, and assume all misfocuses are your own fault. You refocus, get a better picture (due to random chance), and assume you just didn't do a good enough job the first time. You blame your eyes, you blame the small size or dimness of the viewfinde,r but you don't realize the viewfiner is actually lying. This can go on for years before you ever become aware this notice this specific issue. And I'd say that is the case with the majority of photographers.
Well, I use MF pretty much exclusively and I get good results consistently - it's the reason I stay clear of AF. I've also compared my DSLR viewfinder with that of old film cameras like the K1000 and the MX, and I find it more suitable for MF - it's brighter and let's me see details more clearly, especially around the periphery of the frame. In my experience MF is a matter of practice and not at all a crapshoot.

Are you still using a K200D? You know that uses a pentamirror, not a pentaprism, and the magnification of the viewfinder is smaller as well. That makes a significant difference with MF:

K200D:
Fixed molded penta-mirror type
Magnification approx. 0.85X (with 50mm F1.4 lens, infinity, -1m-1)

K10D:
Eye-level pentaprism
Magnification: 0.95x (with 50 mm F1.4 lens at infinity)

04-24-2010, 06:52 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
Well, I use MF pretty much exclusively and I get good results consistently
Have you performed the check i described? I am not making this up. The focus screne really does lie when shooting large apertures. It is true of every DSLR Pentax has ever made. There is nothing subjective about this - everyone who owns a Pentax DSLR with the stock screen has a viewfinder that shows too much in focus at large apertures. If you've never noticed missing focus as a reuslt, that's fine, but do the rest, and you'll see that I am right.

QuoteQuote:
Are you still using a K200D? You know that uses a pentamirror, not a pentaprism, and the magnification of the viewfinder is smaller as well.
I am still using a K200D, but i first became aware of this phenomenon when shooting my *istDS, which has the larger pentaprism viewfinder. Also, I have installed an O-ME53 on my K200D viewfinder so it's now about the same size as the DS, and in back to back tests, there is really vry little difference in focusing ability.

But in any case, size and brightness of the focus screen has nothing to do with what I'm talking about. The viewfinder could be the size of an IMAX screen and as bright as my living room window on a sunny afternoon and it wouldn't help - if the focus screen shows too much in focus, there *is* a potential problem.
04-24-2010, 10:24 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Have you performed the check i described? I am not making this up.
I didn't say you're making anything up. I'm just saying that it's not really a crapshoot with practice, regardless of the limitations of the focusing screen.

I focus back and forth then I converge in-between - I don't fully rely on what I see, in the sense that I don't stop when the viewfinder image looks in focus - I go past that till I see it out of focus then I come back. The advantage of brighter viewfinders with higher magnification is that I can do all this faster. I get better results than with AF with this technique. I do miss too, but not enough to call it a crapshoot.
04-25-2010, 12:57 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
I do miss too, but not enough to call it a crapshoot.
OK, a crapshoot with surprisingly good odds if you spend the idea time to do it carefully as you've suggested. That's what I do, too, so I don't mean to say it's impossible - just that you do need to understand how to work within the system to get the results you want rather than just assuming "if it *looks* in focus, it *is* in focus". Sounds like you've already figured that out; I was speaking to people who haven't.
04-25-2010, 02:39 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by wildlifephotog Quote
Adjusting the AF has no effect on manual focus. Manual is totally dependent on your eye, nothing else. A good split screen would make it easier.
Not entirely an accurate statement. Adjusting the AF will affect the focus lock indicator, which I use exclusively when focusing in manual mode. I never had focus issue using that method. I cannot visually focus accurately with my K10D, with any lens, so obviously the focusing screen would need to be adjusted with shims, but I won't bother at this point, I'll wait to get my next Pentax DSLR (K7 or whatever comes next)

04-27-2010, 01:13 PM   #24
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BTW, here's an interesting article on manual focusing from Zeiss.
04-28-2010, 03:04 AM   #25
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As other have already said, I use fast manual lenses all the time and can recommend the Katzeye range of screens, but here's another thought for you.

In addition to the Katzeye screens, I also use the Pentax magnifying eyecup O-ME53 on all my cameras, it helps me see more clearly the split screen and microprism collar. Yes I have to move my eye around a bit more to see all the viewfinder information and viewfinder corners (also not helped by being a spectacles wearer), but sharp sharp focus is what I need.

Its the old eye syndrome with me.
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