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Archive 2013 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?
  
 
carstenw
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p.4 #1 · p.4 #1 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


retrofocus wrote:
Even the OP specifically asked for DSLR model, Canon is by far not the "best" system for manual focus in general. The best is Leica in my opinion. Try any of the M rangefinder cameras and you will be surprised how bright the viewfinder is in comparison to any Canon camera and how quickly and well you can focus manually with this system. Unfortunately this comes with a high price tag as we all know. But this is more or less where I can see the advantage of using a Leica rangefinder camera.


The Leica R cameras also fall into this category, but the DMR is a rare beast these days.



Oct 09, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Joe Garner
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p.4 #2 · p.4 #2 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


carstenw wrote:
Can you give some examples of these expensive lenses? There are loads of awesome old Nikkors on the market for very nice prices, and they are supported natively on a Nikon camera, i.e. with auto-aperture. This is very different than adapted lenses on other cameras. There are of course also the ZF and ZF.2 lenses, which are awesome.

By the way, I believe the Nikkor 50/1.8G to be quite good. Can you show some images or reports which say it is garbage?


You don't read me correctly. Or may be I should have been more precise - all Canon's 50/1.8 AF lenses are garbage. In my experience.

re: Nikkor prices. Here's an example. What is the going rate on superb FD 50/1.8? I could get one off e-bay for under 15 shiped right now. Lovely Rokkor 55/1.7 (or its twin, 1.9)? 25-ish? Granted these are mirrorless only, but what about those we can put on DSLR? Zuiko 50/1.8, Tak 55/1.8, Pentax-A 50/1.7 - all are fairly easy to find in mint condition for $30-40. The cheapest Nikkor? 50 Series E. Excellent small lens, and early metal ring version looks great, but I had three over the years, sold all of them and at $50 they went like pop-pop-pop. 50/1.8 ai-s, on the other hand, easily crosses $100 barrier.



Oct 09, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Robin Smith
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p.4 #3 · p.4 #3 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


"I also like the fact that Nikon systems generally allow more user control than Canons and their sensors have better dynamic range and they're renowned for their low noise high iso capabilitys. "

This is just such nonsense. You are making up reasons to try a new toy. I understand this. But don't expect all your focusing issues to be solved by changing brands, as I can guarantee if you pick comparable bodies you can make either brand work just as well.



Oct 09, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.4 #4 · p.4 #4 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


With regard to lenses maybe it would help if I suggested a good starter kit for Nikon. Here is what I would recommend:
1) Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S (don't get the E series one) - $250 or if you need to save money the excellent Olympus OM 28mm f/3.5 with Leitax conversion $150. The Olympus is very sharp and tiny an excellent at infinity, but the Nikkor focusses very close and is an excellent lens for close up photography.
2) Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 Ai-S - $75 (although the poster above says they typically cross the $100 barrier which is true there is one on sale in bargain condition at KEH for $70 right now--you can get them a bit cheaper than $100).
3) Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Ai or Ai-S (I actually prefer the Ai version) - $125 or if the OP prefers 135mm then I would suggest the Olympus OM 135mm f/2.8 plus Leitax conversion for $150.

So you can get a very good starter set of lenses for Nikon for $350 to $450. A similar set of lenses for Canon would cost about $300, so in my view that isn't a huge difference. The much bigger difference is in the price of the cameras if you are comparing a 5D classic with a D700. You can get a 5Dc for about $500 if you are patient and a D700 for about $1,000 plus you need to add the after market focus screen to the D700. So the D700 system comes in at about $1,500 whereas the 5Dc comes in around $800. In my view they aren't really in the same category price wise. A 5D MKII with a very good starter set of lenses will be about the same price as a D700 with a similar set of lenses.



Oct 09, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Sneakyracer
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p.4 #5 · p.4 #5 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


warrenjrphotog wrote:
I'm tired of relying on Canons subpar AF system.

I went from the xsi to the 40D and both AF systems are hit or miss in my experience of using primes that have wide apertures.

This has led me to buying the precision focus screen for my 40D a few weeks ago but now that I'm using Manual Focus only I'm starting to seriously consider jumping from Canon to another brand that has a nice manual focus prime lens line up and that also offers more user control as I like to be in full control over everything when it
...Show more

Hi, you are complaining about 6 year old Canon lower end bodies and a bottom of the barrel lens. Canon has come a long way since then in all aspects of camera and lens performance. Even a simple 40mm STM (pancake) lens and an entry level 100d will probably AF much much better than your current setup.

Manual focus on modern high resolution DSLRs is not that simple. In the film days most 35mm film cameras had split image rangefinder / microprism focusing screens. Even if the cameras of today had that same system one will not get great results most of the time due to the digital image being much more discerning than film in showing the extact focal plane due to increased resolution and lack of grain to soften things. Rangefinders like the ones on Leicas work well but with fast lenses wide open a lot of times the hit rate is not great.



Oct 09, 2013 at 03:34 PM
retrofocus
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p.4 #6 · p.4 #6 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


Sneakyracer wrote:
Manual focus on modern high resolution DSLRs is not that simple. In the film days most 35mm film cameras had split image rangefinder / microprism focusing screens. Even if the cameras of today had that same system one will not get great results most of the time due to the digital image being much more discerning than film in showing the extact focal plane due to increased resolution and lack of grain to soften things. Rangefinders like the ones on Leicas work well but with fast lenses wide open a lot of times the hit rate is not great.


Even for macro shooting with DSLRs you need to rely on MF! And this works already very well (assuming the eyes of the user are okay). I personally had no trouble at all using fast manual Leica lenses on a M series rangefinder camera for testing as long as the subject was not moving. In fact it was more reliable than using a fast Canon L lens on my DSLR body with AF (given that I microfocus adjust lenses, too). For capturing motions at fast lens speed, AF is of course the better choice.



Oct 09, 2013 at 04:21 PM
jerbear00
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p.4 #7 · p.4 #7 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?



Photography for me is a hobby. I don't see the point in putting out the money for a 6D or any newer body. Even with the 6D I doubt that it's AF is as accurate as a good eye and a lot of practice using manual focus only. I like to be in full control when it comes to taking photos.



Wow your eyes must be way better than mine.... Canon AF has always smoked my MF ability outside of landscape work where I use T/S under live view.



Oct 09, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.4 #8 · p.4 #8 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


jerbear00 wrote:
Wow your eyes must be way better than mine.... Canon AF has always smoked my MF ability outside of landscape work where I use T/S under live view.


No more likely he has a viewfinder screen that allows for MF and you do not. I don't have particularly good eyesight, but I have no difficulty with the 5D MKII and the Eg-S scorn. I have also practiced a fair bit. MF does take a bit of a learning curve, but with a decent viewfinder screen and practice fantastic eyesight is not required.



Oct 09, 2013 at 04:48 PM
sebboh
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p.4 #9 · p.4 #9 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


carstenw wrote:
Can you give some examples of these expensive lenses? There are loads of awesome old Nikkors on the market for very nice prices, and they are supported natively on a Nikon camera, i.e. with auto-aperture. This is very different than adapted lenses on other cameras. There are of course also the ZF and ZF.2 lenses, which are awesome.


those old nikkors might have "nice prices", but if you look at comparable lenses from the same time period you'll find that the pentax, canon, minolta, and olympus ones are almost all 15%-50% cheaper. just look at 50mm lenses if you want to see the difference quickly, but it extends throughout the focal range. i always figured it was just the nikon name since many of the cheaper lenses are noticeably better, but maybe it's the auto aperture?

jerbear00 wrote:
Wow your eyes must be way better than mine.... Canon AF has always smoked my MF ability outside of landscape work where I use T/S under live view.


most likely he just spent a little time learning the tricks to manual focus. i've never found an AF system that could get close to as high a hit rate with fast glass as i can with manual focus especially when it comes to chasing around little kids.



Oct 09, 2013 at 05:16 PM
zhangyue
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p.4 #10 · p.4 #10 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


sebboh wrote:
those old nikkors might have "nice prices", but if you look at comparable lenses from the same time period you'll find that the pentax, canon, minolta, and olympus ones are almost all 15%-50% cheaper. just look at 50mm lenses if you want to see the difference quickly, but it extends throughout the focal range. i always figured it was just the nikon name since many of the cheaper lenses are noticeably better, but maybe it's the auto aperture?

most likely he just spent a little time learning the tricks to manual focus. i've never found an AF system that could get
...Show more
Manual focus require more brain work, and there is many trick/freedom to use which is not the case with AF lens. Once you get use to manual focus chasing kids, you will feel the limitation of AF once switched, vice versa...
They both have their merit to each own. But no question Manual focus is more fun...



Oct 09, 2013 at 06:42 PM
 

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carstenw
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p.4 #11 · p.4 #11 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


Robin Smith wrote:
"I also like the fact that Nikon systems generally allow more user control than Canons and their sensors have better dynamic range and they're renowned for their low noise high iso capabilitys. "

This is just such nonsense.


Certainly the sensors have better dynamic range, at the moment. The high ISO is also generally better, once you factor in shadow noise. I don't know about the first point though. I would expect that they are similar.



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:16 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #12 · p.4 #12 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


sebboh wrote:
those old nikkors might have "nice prices", but if you look at comparable lenses from the same time period you'll find that the pentax, canon, minolta, and olympus ones are almost all 15%-50% cheaper.


Sure, because the systems are partly abandoned or much less popular. However, a large percentage difference in this price range does still not make the Nikkors expensive, just more so than the others. Only a few lenses with strong reputations are actually expensive. Most are very affordable.



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:18 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #13 · p.4 #13 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


Joe Garner wrote:
re: Nikkor prices. Here's an example. What is the going rate on superb FD 50/1.8? I could get one off e-bay for under 15 shiped right now. Lovely Rokkor 55/1.7 (or its twin, 1.9)? 25-ish? Granted these are mirrorless only, but what about those we can put on DSLR? Zuiko 50/1.8, Tak 55/1.8, Pentax-A 50/1.7 - all are fairly easy to find in mint condition for $30-40. The cheapest Nikkor? 50 Series E. Excellent small lens, and early metal ring version looks great, but I had three over the years, sold all of them and at $50 they went
...Show more

Okay, so they are *more* expensive, but $100 for a good lens is not expensive. And for the money you get proper metering and auto aperture, well worth it, IMO. You can't get that with Canon.



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:19 PM
panos.v
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p.4 #14 · p.4 #14 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


You can get a Katzeye with split screen for your 40D.

Personally I'd look for a 5D body (any version depending available money) with one of the S precision screens. This way you get an excellent screen for MF that shows DOF down to f/1.8 (most won't show anything less than f/2.8) with much better snap and a body that can be used with any Canon, Nikon, Olympus, M42, Leica lens and pretty much every other brand.



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Steve Spencer
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p.4 #15 · p.4 #15 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


carstenw wrote:
Okay, so they are *more* expensive, but $100 for a good lens is not expensive. And for the money you get proper metering and auto aperture, well worth it, IMO. You can't get that with Canon.


If you use a matte screen, you will actually get better metering with the Canon and an adapter than with the Nikon. The after market screens need a lot of exposure compensation to get proper exposure. With the Canon E series screens and the proper menu setting selected the camera meters very well. For example, my Nikkor 105 f/2.5 meters perfectly with my 5D MKII even with a $25 fotodiox adapter.



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:27 PM
zhangyue
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p.4 #16 · p.4 #16 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


Steve Spencer wrote:
If you use a matte screen, you will actually get better metering with the Canon and an adapter than with the Nikon. The after market screens need a lot of exposure compensation to get proper exposure. With the Canon E series screens and the proper menu setting selected the camera meters very well. For example, my Nikkor 105 f/2.5 meters perfectly with my 5D MKII even with a $25 fotodiox adapter.

Not that bad, I use S screen for Leica R, occasionally EC is good enough,and it is a non-issue for Digital now days. plus, there is not really right or wrong exporsure depend on subject. It is definitely not a concern to me.
But, Canon's focus confirmation is not useful compare to Nikon's, which is big consideration to choose the system to MF.



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:43 PM
Joe Garner
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p.4 #17 · p.4 #17 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


carstenw wrote:
Okay, so they are *more* expensive, but $100 for a good lens is not expensive. And for the money you get proper metering and auto aperture, well worth it, IMO. You can't get that with Canon.


True - mechanical aperture lever is an awesome feature.



Oct 09, 2013 at 08:45 PM
warrenjrphotog
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p.4 #18 · p.4 #18 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


What is a mechanical aperture lever? Is that what allows you to see the picture wide open and bright and than it closes down the aperture to what you have it set do when snapping hitting the shutter button?

To be honest, I could care less about metering or if it works with any of these lenses.

My eyes have been trained well to the point where I just rely on my own intuition and on the lcd for exposure corrections that might need to be made. I don't rely on any meters.

I'm having difficulty deciding what to choose to be honest.

Maybe someone can point me in the right direction based on the primary focal lengths that I love to work with where lens speed is of the most importance a long with image quality.

The focal lengths that I want to have primes covering are:

28mm or 35mm

85mm

135mm

That would be basically my initial "trio" of prime lenses. Eventually I'd probably also get a wide angle prime as well and a long telephoto like a 200mm.

I've looked up quite a few 85mm lenses but most are actually pretty slow......The Rokinson 85 1.4 looks very appealing however.

So far it looks like I might be going with a 5Dc and the trio of lenses that I mentioned. After practicing even more with my 40D and even using the 50 1.8's crappy MF wheel I can get tack sharp focus images around 10/10 times on any shot shooting wide open as my vision is well above average.

If Nikon offers a substantial difference regarding image quality and low light noise performance and I can get a MF:

28mm or 35mm

85mm

and 135mm lens

All for a reasonable amount of money than I'll just save up and get the D700. Otherwise I'll get the 5Dc.

40D's MF is actually not that bad with the precision focusing screen but I think that it's time for me to jump to FF with all MF lenses.

Sorry if my post seems all over the post but I don't have time to make revisions at the moment. (I just made this post on a quick break in response to the amount of reply's that this thread has received within the past couple of hours).



Oct 09, 2013 at 10:46 PM
carstenw
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p.4 #19 · p.4 #19 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


Yes, that is auto aperture, the camera stops down when shooting. This works only with native lenses, i.e. Nikkor on Nikon, and for Canon, EF lenses, as well as of course the Zeiss ZF/ZE lenses. Manually stopping down is a pain, IMO.

Both solutions are good, but the D700 is somewhat more modern, and has live view and so on, whereas the 5D is plain jane (which might suit you).

The Samyang/Rokinon etc. lenses are good optically, but personally I can't stand their build and feel. They are essentially of throw-away construction, i.e. if they need repairs, it is cheaper to replace. You would be able to find lenses covering your desired focal lengths in both systems. Which specific lenses are you thinking of for the Canon? What is your budget for the lenses?

The Nikon has cleaner shadows and much better high ISO (remember how the D3 revolutionised high ISO when it came out?), but if you expose correctly and don't post-process heavily, the Canon might be fine, at least with a reasonable amount of light. I didn't like the way mine burned out highlights, whereas I was okay with the same on my D3 (same sensor as D700). You might want to download some raw files from somewhere and play with them, to see what you think, before deciding.



Oct 09, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Frogfish
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p.4 #20 · p.4 #20 · Tired of Canon's AF System, Which DSLR is best for MF?


I think in your situation I'd go for Pentax unless there are specific Canon lenses you are interested in.

The K5II is basically a Nikon 7k with more tweaks but 'inferior' AF. By that I mean it's AF is slower but more accurate (a French magazine, I don't have the link now, tested multiple cameras and lenses from multiple manufacturers and Pentax came out on top for accuracy though somewhat slower - already known to most Pentax users - which makes them slightly inferior in fast paced multi-frame shooting but great for portrait, landscapes, family etc).

I used 2 x K5s and had around 35 lenses (over 20 MF) from different manufacturers (CY, Cosina, Leica, Nikon etc plus all the huge range of fantastic legacy Pentax lenses, ALL of which can be used on any modern Pentax camera), Contax Zeiss being my favourites. Easy to change focus screens (and relatively cheap, ca. US$100, and choice if you buy from the excellent Taiwanese supplier) to say nothing of the holy trinity of incredible primes considered 3 of the best lenses ever made (31mm, 43mm and my favourite the 77mm). You can of course get professional Leitax conversions for many lenses to Pentax PK mount.

If you want modern AF lenses then you need to check out the range first to make sure you can get the lenses you need as Pentax's range of new lenses is nowhere near as extensive as those of Nikon/Canon and if you plan to buy long lenses (over 300mm) then you are realistically restricted to Sigma or legacy lenses.

The other great feature of Pentax cameras for MF users, using legacy lenses, is the famous 'Green Button' which stops down with one press for you and of course EVERY lens is stabilised with in-camera stabilisation.

If in no hurry I'd even wait for the new K3 (same sensor as the 7100 but Pentax always seem able to tweak a little more from it than Nikon, 8.3 fps, dual SD, 60i video, and of course Pentaxes are superbly fully WR). Size factor may also suit you (roughly the same as the 7100) and the price is just US$1,299 expect that to drop slightly right after launch.



Oct 10, 2013 at 02:22 AM
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