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Archive 2012 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?
  
 
Hrow
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p.1 #1 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


Just got my first digital Nikon and I am wondering how accurate the manual focus confirmation is on the D800? Without interchangeable screens I can see MFing being a bit of a challenge, especially on wider angle lenses unless the focus confirmation is pretty good. Also, does anyone know if you can get the focus confirmation to "Beep" in manual focus mode?


PS: The lens under consideration that is generating this question is the Zeiss 35mm f2.



May 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM
rd4tile
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p.1 #2 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


There's no beep, you got to watch the green dot. If you're using a lens with a lot of fine adjustment you can start fine tuning your MF to green dot just off the left arrow, right arrow or in the middle based on the peculiarities of the lens. Sounds crazy but it works for me.


May 28, 2012 at 02:38 PM
CGrindahl
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p.1 #3 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


Though the thread is devoted to Nikon MF lenses rather than Zeiss or any other third party manufacturer, the Manual Focus Nikon Glass thread in the Nikon forum now has perhaps half a dozen participants shooting with the D800 or the D800E with little difficulty relying on the focus confirmation light. Others shoot with the D700, D7000, D200, D300 and rely on that little green light. I believe it is useful as my California neighbor says to become familiar with an individual lens as to whether to accept an image as sharp as you turn the focusing ring and activate the green dot from either the left or right. Yes it isn't easy to explain but once you begin shooting with MF lenses you soon get the hang of it.

One of the participants on the thread I link to above, whose username is LieutenantZ, posts there as well as on the Best Nikon Shots thread. He uses both Nikkors and Zeiss lenses. He would be a great person to contact with this question. His name is Philippe and he lives in France so your paths might not easily cross. Good luck sorting it all out.

Edited on May 15, 2013 at 02:47 AM · View previous versions



May 28, 2012 at 03:22 PM
tobicus
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p.1 #4 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


It's one of those things you've just got to practice a lot. I started out with a 50/1.8D that didn't AF on my D3100, and it was a lot of work, but I eventually got pretty fast at it.


May 28, 2012 at 03:49 PM
James Markus
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p.1 #5 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


Henry, I wish I could find a way to enable a "Beep" during manual focus confirmation, but it seems to only work during AF modes on my D300. However, Live view works really well in many situations. It would seem intuitive to use an audible beep - instead of taking your eye off the subject in the view finder...or relying on peripheral vision. Maybe a future firmware update will finally add this feature.

Hrow wrote:
Just got my first digital Nikon and I am wondering how accurate the manual focus confirmation is on the D800? Without interchangeable screens I can see MFing being a bit of a challenge, especially on wider angle lenses unless the focus confirmation is pretty good. Also, does anyone know if you can get the focus confirmation to "Beep" in manual focus mode?


PS: The lens under consideration that is generating this question is the Zeiss 35mm f2.




May 29, 2012 at 03:11 AM
AMaji
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p.1 #6 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


I use the Zeiss 35/2 on D800 and rely on the focus confirmation dot often. It is a pain in the butt and wish that the beep was there. I second Markus' request that it be added via a firmware update.

I feel it is fairly accurate except for low contrast situations where I depend on the VF image.




May 29, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Todd Warnke
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p.1 #7 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


When I first started to use MF lenses (my Zeiss 50/1.4) I was frustrated with the large number of out of focus images I was getting. Yes, I was shooting at 1.4 to about 2.0 and I was relying on what I saw and not on the green dot. For kicks I decided to spend an afternoon of just using the dot to see if the narrow DOF was messing me up and low and behold it worked! I learned my lesson and now anytime I use manual focus I always confirm what my eyes tell me with what the green dot says, and if the dot and my eyes disagree I go with the dot.

Peace,

Todd



May 29, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Zebrabot
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p.1 #8 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


I usually ignore the focus dots and look at what I'm trying to focus on.

it works fine, plus you can focus on ANYTHING you can see in the viewfinder- you're not limited to the dozens of uselessly located focus spots on these AF cameras.




May 29, 2012 at 06:34 AM
DABNIK
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p.1 #9 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


I started with MF lenses many years ago. Now on digital cams (D300 & D700) the green dot is nice but just look in the viewfinder & you can see when things are in focus


May 29, 2012 at 04:48 PM
jhinkey
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p.1 #10 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


DABNIK wrote:
I started with MF lenses many years ago. Now on digital cams (D300 & D700) the green dot is nice but just look in the viewfinder & you can see when things are in focus


Hah! Not with a f/1.2 or f/2 lens you can't. F/4 or f/5.6 sure. Especially on a DX body.

John



May 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM
 

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Jan Brittenson
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p.1 #11 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


Like John says, with a fast lens it's not accurate enough. You have find some condition like the place where it switches from one of the arrows to the dot. Just a dot is good enough for web stuff and say 8x10 prints, but not for critical work.

Live view, despite its funkiness on the D800, is much much better but of course a lot more practically limited.



May 29, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Reagan
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p.1 #12 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


I use the Zeiss 2/35 on a D700 and have no trouble at all The focus on the Zeiss is well damped and easy to focus with
I also use it on older Nikkor MF lens with little trouble. I for one am glad there is no beep the light is enough

Reagan



May 29, 2012 at 06:55 PM
utildayael
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p.1 #13 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


Works fine on D800 with Zeiss [50MP, 21 2.8] and Nikkors [PC-E's]


May 29, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Hrow
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p.1 #14 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


DABNIK wrote:
I started with MF lenses many years ago. Now on digital cams (D300 & D700) the green dot is nice but just look in the viewfinder & you can see when things are in focus



I did too but we used focusing screens that were made for MFing. On the Canon 1DsMkIII MFing was difficult on the base screen but easy when using the proper interchangeable screen. The D800 is very similar to the base screen used by Canon and unfortunately it does not seem to be replaceable.



May 29, 2012 at 08:28 PM
lou f
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p.1 #15 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


depends on how well you have set your focus adjust...


May 29, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Steve Perry
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p.1 #16 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


It depends on what focal length, the subject distance, and how picky you are about it. It's pretty close most of the time, but if I'm on a tripod and really critical about it, live view is really the way to go (make sure you open the lens all the way, then stop back down to the working aperture, zoomed in a bit of course)


May 30, 2012 at 12:21 AM
cobra0469
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p.1 #17 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


I've used a 50 1.2 ais, Zeiss 100MP, and 180 2.8 all wide open on my D3s and D800 and had lots of success relying on the green dot. The majority of shots are using the D3s as I returned the D800 after a few days.


May 30, 2012 at 12:27 AM
galenapass
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p.1 #18 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


How accurate? More accurate than my 5DII.

Be happy.



May 30, 2012 at 12:36 AM
James Markus
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p.1 #19 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


Ask yourself this...why have an audible AF confirmation beep? Is it not already in focus - and being done so by one of Nikon's very very accurate AF systems? Ya see, for AF operation I turn the beep off. Now, mount a MF lens...place my 50+++ year old corrected vision eyes at the viewfinder...and you don't even offer a confirmation beep option? What kind of logic is that? Look, as a young buck I literally shot millions of frames all using manual focus glass, and a split image focusing screen. My vision is simply not that discriminating anymore...I need a little help. The "beep" is already there built into the camera...just not usable for the type of focus confirmation that - to me - makes the most sense to have as an option. Ok..whine is over...


May 30, 2012 at 02:04 AM
bossa
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p.1 #20 · How accurate is manual focus confirmation?


James Markus wrote:
Ask yourself this...why have an audible AF confirmation beep? Is it not already in focus - and being done so by one of Nikon's very very accurate AF systems? Ya see, for AF operation I turn the beep off. Now, mount a MF lens...place my 50+++ year old corrected vision eyes at the viewfinder...and you don't even offer a confirmation beep option? What kind of logic is that? Look, as a young buck I literally shot millions of frames all using manual focus glass, and a split image focusing screen. My vision is simply not that discriminating anymore...I need
...Show more

Yes it's insane.

My Pentax K-5's offered an illuminated focus point and a beep in manual mode when focus was achieved. It's hard to believe Nikon switch that feature OFF for manual focus on my D800E. The concept of diverting your eye to a little focus indicator away from the image area is quite bizarre. Why not have Focus Peaking in LV as well? I'm wondering if there will be a D900 coming soon. Or maybe a D800X



Jul 09, 2012 at 11:50 PM
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