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Do you have focus screen EG-S for your 5D II manual focus? That is very important step to use Manual lens, I install Canon S-type screen for my D700 and it turns out a sea change for my manual experience. For 35, 50mm focal length with f1.4, I can put my subject anywhere in the frame and focus by eyes. This is the beauty of manual fast glass. It is incredible fast to shoot even with moving kids (small movement or predictable movement) as long as they are not running around fast. By putting at aperture smaller than f2.8, I get nearly 100% focused shots from 35mm and 50mm Zeiss 1.4 and 80% of my shots are family type with my two kids
at wide open, my rate drop to about 50%, 25-35% for 35mm (Which is difficult manual lens) still not bad to me, but I gained freedom to compose by using manual this way. Even with Nikon 51 point AF to choose, I will feel very busy to select the AF point if say eyes are not in the center, not too say if your subject is moving and only center 9 point is strong enough to focus right at low light.
It need some practices, I improved a lot comparing I first use this technique but it works surprisingly good for me, I can't go back to my AF lens. and it may works for you as well.
BTW, I have 20/20 eyes That is important too
Edit--keep rate for 35mm
Edited on Jan 30, 2012 at 08:55 PM · View previous versions