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Samuli: your pictures of trees with cascading layers of DoF make Zeiss 1.4/85 really shine.
I am seriously considering adding Planar 1.4/85 to my set, especially after recently seeing your and Ronny Olsson's shots. Is the reported focus shift really an issues at f/1.4-f/2?
Thanks. Focus shift is stronger at close distances, but issue won't disappear on large distance either just gets smaller. If you watch your images larger than ~800px you cannot compensate focus shift by closing down the lens. On large photos even at f/11 one can see sharper zone inside the DOF and at least I want that to be in correct place. I don't like focusing with f/1.4 because image contrast is low and it's quite challenging to nail the focus.
I have shoot years using only live view and viewing live view with LCDVF (loupe which attaches metal frame on top of LCD with magnets) and when I shoot f/1.4-f/2.8 I focus with shooting aperture and when above f/2.8 I use the f/2.8 for focusing. This is quite easy to do once you get used to it and setup correctly (Canon 5DmkII, maybe other Canons work same way as well):
- set liveview to movie mode
- set Av mode to f/2.8
- if you want to shoot with f/1.4-f/2.8 you focus and shoot with M
- if you want to shoot f/3.2-16 you focus with Av (=f/2.8) and shoot with M
No need to play with the DOF-button or anything else. Once you get to used to it the process is very fast. For moving stuff I can't do the Av/M switch, so I use f/1.4-2.8 range or other lenses. Same procedure for 50mm planar as well.
Av mode I only need for shorter than 1/4000s shutter speeds (for some reason live view used in M won't allow shorter shutter speeds but Av allows). However shooting with Av is quite challenging since the light meter is just made to annoy me and it wants to ruin all my correct exposures.