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Archive 2012 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?
  
 
zhangyue
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


sebboh wrote:
michael if you are only adverse to evfs because of the trouble you had shooting stopped down on the NEX-7, maybe you should see if there are any alpha lenses you are interested in (ZA 24/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 135/1.8?) and test how you do with the a99, which will actually let you focus wide open and shoot stopped down.


Come-on, I don't want mess up with AF lens. It take my pleasure away. I'd better go ZE if I really want it. It is nice to have feature but not must.



Oct 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM
sebboh
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


zhangyue wrote:
Come-on, I don't want mess up with AF lens. It take my pleasure away. I'd better go ZE if I really want it. It is nice to have feature but not must.


fair enough, i feel the same way about AF lenses. i forget sony doesn't actually have any native manual focus lenses unlike canon, nikon, and pentax.

sadly, nobody is designing digital cameras with manual focus in mind these days except for leica.



Oct 30, 2012 at 10:29 PM
freaklikeme
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


I found focus confirm on the 5DII to be much like AF on the 5DII. It got me close, the rest was up to me. The a900's focus confirm works about as well, but it gives me a much nicer, brighter, more readable view with the M screen installed than I ever got with the S screen on any of my Canons. The EF mount lends itself to simple adaption or conversion of a broader range of lenses, yes, but my choice to switch to Sony was based primarily on three things: better OOC color, better VF, and the ability to easily convert a few specific lenses that foul the Canon FF mirrors. Picking up the IBIS with chipped adapters was a great bonus.

Where I feel like I lost out was with macro, since that's where I used live view most (a feature, in case anyone needs to be told, the a900 lacks). Sony's angle-finder isn't really up to snuff with Canon's either, in my opinion, and neither is as good as a three-inch LCD zoomed in 10x or more. So I started using the NEX for macros and found it to be a better system for the purpose than the bulkier DSLRs ever were. So, right now, in my opinion and for my purposes, the best camera for MF lenses is actually a two-camera system.

That's subject to change once I've been able to give the a99 a test-drive.



Oct 30, 2012 at 10:49 PM
michael49
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


sebboh wrote:
hmmm. i actually just tried wilhelm's tests on my NEX-7 + 35/1.4 @ f/1.4 with peaking turned off and magnification turned off. i just turned the focus ring steadily in one direction till i saw the moire in evf and fired the shutter. seems maybe i should put more faith in the unmagnified evf for wide open shooting. 100% keepers, 90% or more in perfect focus for all contingencies. targets were a water glass at 1 meter against a white wall and a turntable 5 meters away in front of a window. it's daytime here though, so definitely different light
...Show more

This works, I've used it on my 5n and OM-D. Its more subtle than foucs peaking, but it does work.



Oct 31, 2012 at 12:29 AM
zhangyue
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


wfrank wrote:
The visual confirmation is also momentarily, but unlike the Nikon the actual points in focus lit up, I believe the Nikons dont do that.


The focus point is light up right now on my D700 setting. I don't remember if I can turn it off or not.



Oct 31, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


zhangyue wrote:
zhangyue responded:
For LV, if you have time to do that, either implementation will work just fine. I have not much complain about either d700 or d800. While, d700, I can't do timer and MLU together.

For Matt screen, there is after market one available, and exposure compensation is easy.
As for focus confirmation, if you don't use how you deal with slow down shooting, Matt screen won't help you unless you shoot WO all the time. Actually, that is my biggest complain about adapt R to Nikon. I lose DOF focus advantage.


I am sure live view works well in a lot of situations with Nikon, but the decision to sample only some of the frames is an odd one and I wonder if it works well in low light. Perhaps someone who has used the Nikon live view in low light can chime in. I know some on the forum have complained a bit about Nikon live view.

The matte screen does help you even when you aren't shooting wide open. In my experience I just set the aperture that I want and I focus and compose at the same time and press the shutter. It is a very natural process and I don't have to worry about focus confirmation boxes and where they line up. To me that would be a huge pain. This works well if I shoot at f/1.2 or if I shoot at f/11. In natural light, if the aperture is set for a good exposure (i.e., proper exposure with enough shutter speed to prevent blur handheld), then in my experience there is plenty of light in the viewfinder. The only time the viewfinder is dark in my experience is if flash is needed to get enough light. With my fast lenses this just doesn't happen as even one shaded 40 watt light bulb with an f/1.4 or f/1.2 lens is enough to use the viewfinder. I suppose if under those very severe conditions you also wanted to stop down and your lens wasn't auto-aperture, then you might have a problem, but I have never experienced it. So, I simply just don't use focus confirmation ever and that I think is a big advantage.

I also think you don't appreciate the metering problems with after market focus screens. I find with my 5D MKII, that I simply shoot in A (aperture priority) mode, and the camera selects a good shutter speed based on the metering. This works well at f/1.2 and at f/11 and every aperture in between. The metering works great. With an after market focus screen, you have to dial in exposure compensation, but the amount of ec will change with aperture and lighting condition--it won't be a fixed set amount. You basically have to guess a bit and check the histogram. To me this isn't easy and is an annoying distraction. Having the camera correct the metering for the focus screen is easy and with the 5D MKII works very well.



Oct 31, 2012 at 01:53 AM
zhangyue
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


Steve, thanks for clarification. I can't agree about focus confirmation on your reply. The reason I give in my early post.
But you made a very good point about EV, which I never thought about: at different lighting the compensation will not work as easy. Though d700's shadow performance is so good that allow you mess up .5ev with no problem.

It is the best time to buy 5dii IMO now for its price. it is really tempting!


Edited on Oct 31, 2012 at 07:06 AM · View previous versions



Oct 31, 2012 at 03:00 AM
super_paws
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


Sony A99 for peak focusing


Oct 31, 2012 at 03:02 AM
carstenw
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


super_paws, do you have a Sony A99?


Oct 31, 2012 at 10:34 AM
mawz
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


sebboh wrote:
fair enough, i feel the same way about AF lenses. i forget sony doesn't actually have any native manual focus lenses unlike canon, nikon, and pentax.

sadly, nobody is designing digital cameras with manual focus in mind these days except for leica.


Sony does have a native MF lens, the 135STF is not an AF lens. Canon has a bare minimum, the 3 TS-E's and the MP-E.



Oct 31, 2012 at 01:34 PM
 

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mawz
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


carstenw wrote:
super_paws, do you have a Sony A99?


I dunno if he does, but he is right. Peaking and an EVF are a whole new world for Alt shooting in terms of focusing.

And no, I don't have an A99, but I have shot with one (got to play extensively with one at the local Launch) and I've been using alts on a NEX-7 for quite a while, with the same focusing aids.



Oct 31, 2012 at 01:36 PM
douglasf13
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


carstenw wrote:
super_paws, do you have a Sony A99?


Between the A77, Nex-5n and Nex-7 users, there is a wealth of experience in these forums using the current Sony EVF tech and manual lenses. No experience with the A99 required, although I've read that the A99's EVF performance may be slightly improved over these cameras.



Oct 31, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.3 #13 · p.3 #13 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


mawz wrote:
Sony does have a native MF lens, the 135STF is not an AF lens. Canon has a bare minimum, the 3 TS-E's and the MP-E.


4 TSEs 17 /f/4; 24 f/3.5; 45 f/2.8; 90 f/2.8, and of course all the ZE lenses and most of the Voigtlander SL IIs (all except the 58 f/1.4) are Canon native mount manual focus lenses with auto aperture.



Oct 31, 2012 at 02:21 PM
douglasf13
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p.3 #14 · p.3 #14 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


There are also the Samyang lenses for the various systems.

p.s. m42 is a great option on Sony.



Oct 31, 2012 at 02:27 PM
wfrank
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p.3 #15 · p.3 #15 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


super_paws wrote:
Sony A99 for peak focusing


Magic Lantern adds a bunch of features to Canon used as an MF camera. Among them focus peaking but I dont use it as I find some of the other addons better. Most of them affects LV usage, but some are generic.



Oct 31, 2012 at 02:44 PM
douglasf13
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p.3 #16 · p.3 #16 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


wfrank wrote:
Magic Lantern adds a bunch of features to Canon used as an MF camera. Among them focus peaking but I dont use it as I find some of the other addons better. Most of them affects LV usage, but some are generic.


True, but focus peaking in a viewfinder is a different experience than using it on the LCD.



Oct 31, 2012 at 02:48 PM
wfrank
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p.3 #17 · p.3 #17 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


douglasf13 wrote:
True, but focus peaking in a viewfinder is a different experience than using it on the LCD.


Agree, but as I said there are a number of other features that I find better for MF. You can have a simulated split screen, a selectable portion of the LCD act as a enlargement and possibly best of all, a half press of shutter gives instant magnifcation of the full screen. You can set peaking on and off to combine with other features so it's pretty neat. I have not explored all but there are features for time-lapse, focus trapping and other things too.



Oct 31, 2012 at 02:54 PM
cogitech
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p.3 #18 · p.3 #18 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


wfrank wrote:
...and possibly best of all, a half press of shutter gives instant magnification of the full screen.


Sounds great as long one desires the plane of sharpest focus to land in the centre of the photograph, however the vast majority of time this is not the case. Perhaps the point is to recompose after focusing, but then how do you recompose while "zoomed"? Forgive me if I am missing something, but that feature sounds like it would be infuriating.



Oct 31, 2012 at 03:04 PM
cogitech
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p.3 #19 · p.3 #19 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


I have been out of the game for quite some time, certainly, and there have been a lot of technological advances in VF tech but after doing quite a lot of reading around here I have come to the (personal) conclusion that they are all solutions to a problem that does not exist.

Properly tuned, high-precision matte screen + practice "compocusing", for the win. Infinite focus points and complete control. No electronics between me and my subject, please.

Just my opinion, of course.




Oct 31, 2012 at 03:14 PM
wfrank
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p.3 #20 · p.3 #20 · Which DSLR for manual focus, Why?


cogitech wrote:
Sounds great as long one desires the plane of sharpest focus to land in the centre of the photograph, however the vast majority of time this is not the case. Perhaps the point is to recompose after focusing, but then how do you recompose while "zoomed"? Forgive me if I am missing something, but that feature sounds like it would be infuriating.


You dont have to turn in on.

But if you do you can select what portion of the screen that gets magnified - and you'll use the joystick to move it. But in the case you're talking about - I am assuming fast lens pretty open & closish subjects - I would use the OVF/fast matte.



Oct 31, 2012 at 03:15 PM
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