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What DSLR for manual focus, Why?

I want hear some of opinion about which system is optimized for Manual focus.

I will start with Nikon I know

1. it has focus confirmation, I did rely on it 25% of time, especially low light, contrast is low, My eyes just can't tell. and 40% I use my eyes and rest 35% by both.

2. I use Canon S-type screen with f1.4-f1.8 DOF, this is really nice especially shooting Nikkor AIS or ZF, as I can focus at f1.2/4 but shoot at any aperture. IT really helps keeper rate once slow down, even with lens with focus shift, it seems still does better job than let my eyes judge or Camera judge at that small aperture.

3. In Nikon, there are focus direction arrow to guild you turning focus. I found I use it a lot as well. As most of the time, I just raise the camera and shoot, I have no idea where i were left. so the direction will quickly guild me to right location.

4. build very good. better than 5d and 5dII I handled for sure. though I have the feeling it is go down hill from my limited D800E and latest 1.4G lens experience.


1. There are not many choice for adapter lens on the system due to flange distance. Only Leica R, some Contax MM, and Olympus lens can be used.

2. There are not many choice on focus screen work with it, I use aftermarket Canon type, but my exposure seems erratic some times. Though I can do the compensation with some experience with particular lens.

3. 12M or 36M, jump is huge. though 12M satisfy me most of the time. pix quality seems very high on D700. It is just so clean with pleasing color. 36M sensor is not really for Manual shooting everyday IMO. Unless you want bond with Tripod and LV

4. The focus ring and aperture go the opposite way to any other system for Nikkor and ZF. This is really awkward for me as the way I shoot require speed, so it is not good for multiple system/lens user. This is the main reason I sold off my ZF and start this thread.

I want hear your opinion to choose system and why? I mainly interesting in FF DSLR system, so my choice are limited with Canon, Nikon and Sony.

Lets put EVIL aside for the time being.

I especially interesting in how you shoot use your system.
Something like: I found Canon confirmation noticeable better/worse than Nikon etc...
that would be helpful for all forum user.

My recent Leica R lens purchase make me realize that I have very limited experience on lens and systems. I wonder there might be better system than Nikon for me?

Oct 30, 2012 at 07:30 AM

  Previous versions of zhangyue's message #11078634 « Which DSLR for manual focus, Why? »