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09-09-2015, 05:53 PM   #1
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AF, RF or eye Viagra?

I'm getting to...a certain age, and my eyes aren't what they used to be.

All my photographic life, I have used manual focus bodies and lenses. As the years roll by, however, I'm starting to wonder if it's time for a little...er, performance enhancement. The focus isn't as crisp or as rapid as it used to be. I don't blame my equipment; I'm using clean M & K bodies and good M lenses. Sadly, it's me.

(This is the point where you say, "It's okay, it happens to everybody. Really. It's fine.")

So, what are my options? How have other folks dealt with the inexorable march of time? Autofocus? Rangefinders? Eat more carrots?

I'm open to suggestions for tips, tricks or whatever you have to offer.

Thanks.

09-09-2015, 05:56 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lenscap Quote
Eat more carrots?
I've been eating carrots all my life and face the same problem you have...
09-09-2015, 06:08 PM   #3
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When was the last time you went to an eye doctor? I had cataracts I didn't know about until I went to get new glasses. Don't have them anymore, after lasik surgery though, and my eyes are back to 20/20.
09-09-2015, 06:18 PM   #4
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Yes, sadly, this happens to all of us. I've yet to find a little blue pill that improves my eyes, so I think you may need to use a more traditional cure for that one - cheap glasses has done the trick for me!

09-09-2015, 06:26 PM   #5
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Carrots: worthless.

Cataracts: nope. Annual eye doc visits confirm it's simply age.

Cheap glasses: check. I just don't like the way they bang against the camera. Maybe I'll adapt.
09-09-2015, 06:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lenscap Quote
Cheap glasses: check. I just don't like the way they bang against the camera. Maybe I'll adapt.
Yes, the bloody things bang against everything. I find I'm still ok with the camera with diopter adjustment all the way to the one side. Reading is impossible without glasses now.
09-09-2015, 06:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lenscap Quote
So, what are my options?
Find the appropriate diopter correction eyepiece adapters (good luck...they are becoming quite rare) or wear cheap reader glasses when shooting. You might also be able to craft your own correction eyepiece from a pair of glasses and an aftermarket eye shade.


Steve
09-09-2015, 06:59 PM   #8
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I've looked for the diopter eyepieces for the K bodies to no avail. (I much prefer the Ks to the Ms.)

I read something I think about crafting some homemade corrective eyepieces. If I can find K eyecups, an afternoon with a cheap pair of readers and a Dremel might provide the answer.

Meanwhile, I'll just pass the misfocused shots off as artistic blur, and look down my bespectacled nose at those who don't understand my vision (so to speak).

09-09-2015, 07:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lenscap Quote
Meanwhile, I'll just pass the misfocused shots off as artistic blur,
There you go, fixed.
09-09-2015, 08:52 PM   #10
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Pentax AF film SLRs focus confirmation might facilitate continued using those nice manual focus lenses.

Chris
09-09-2015, 09:13 PM   #11
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I've been visually impaired / legally blind since I was 8. I'm now 30. I fully depend on autofucus unless the lighting conditions / time constraints etc. allow me to use live view and focus peaking. Without the white highlights I'd have no clue what exactly is in focus. This usually revolves around landscapes or closeups with a tripod.

This being said, I'd love to try a K series film body. My dad had K1000 when I was a kid.
09-10-2015, 05:18 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Pentax AF film SLRs focus confirmation might facilitate continued using those nice manual focus lenses.

Chris
I've never used the AF bodies. The focus confirmation works with MF lenses?

---------- Post added 09-10-15 at 07:24 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wissink Quote
I've been visually impaired / legally blind since I was 8. I'm now 30. I fully depend on autofucus unless the lighting conditions / time constraints etc. allow me to use live view and focus peaking. Without the white highlights I'd have no clue what exactly is in focus. This usually revolves around landscapes or closeups with a tripod.

This being said, I'd love to try a K series film body. My dad had K1000 when I was a kid.
I really like the K bodies. My favorite at this point is the KX. The M bodies, for the most part, are splendid cameras, but my personal preference is for the larger bodies and needles rather than LEDs. Like a bazillion other people, my first SLR was a K1000. If it had been an M-something, I might prefer those today.

I would encourage anybody to try a K body, but I'm not sure how the MF would work for you.
09-10-2015, 05:40 AM   #13
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Range finders are a pain, and tend to be expensive if you want a curtain shutter and exchangeable lenses. And, despite our complaints about focusing with an SLR, I soon discover how much I use the ground glass when focusing - it takes a while to get used to the wee focus spot. There are some advantages, with either the later Japanese models or even the Cosina Voigtlanders: the viewfinder does stay bright and is large. Whether or not the RF spot works for you has to do with are there contrasty lines available to help you see. Fixed lens Yashicas, Minoltas, Konicas etc are plentiful and cheap, so trying one out doesn't mean a huge commitment.

As you mentioned RF and there hadn't been a comment as yet

I have written about this before, the KX viewfinder may be smaller and dimmer than the one in the MX, but that does not automatically make the MX better. What I appreciate about focusing with the KX is how well the image snaps into focus on the ground glass...

Eye Viagra comes in large sizes, and makes you slower. A 2x3 Graflex SLR with a 6x6, 6x7 or 6x9 back gives you a huge area of glass to focus with. The main issue is I wonder howcome nobody thought of preset lenses with these large SLRs or the LF view cameras. That's the main pain. And of course Pentax made some wonderful 120 cameras, which certainly make things larger to the aging eye.

(ps. I should mention that Gralfex made a doo-hickey for their RF where it shone a light through the range finder... two beams, where they crossed is where the focus was. This enabled anyone to shoot a black cat in a coal bin; but made sense shooting a sun flower in full sun)
09-10-2015, 06:08 AM   #14
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I have no experience with rangefinders. People who use them seem to love them, so maybe I should give it a whirl.

I do have a Yashica Mat 124G. I enjoy using it, but it's not as agile as my 35mms. But, oh, that ground glass! When I'm shooting a static scene and have time, composing and focusing on that thing is a joy. Especially with the little flip-down magnifier.
09-10-2015, 07:41 AM   #15
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Depends on what you are shooting, but hyperfocal focusing will help with wider lenses.

Phil.
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