Seek info: 5D III manual focus confirmation
/forum/topic/1164120/0



splathrop
Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Total Posts: 527
Country: United States

If you have been using a 5D III and rely on the focus confirmation light at times, what has your experience been? I am particularly interested in the 5 D III with Zeiss lenses, but other manual focus lenses are interesting too. Of course I will also be using live view focusing, but the interest for this post is focusing hand-held, and using the viewfinder.



mitesh
Registered: Jun 28, 2005
Total Posts: 3601
Country: United States

I no longer own any Zeiss lenses, but when I did, I had no problems using 5D3's focus confirm with the 100ZE or 21ZE. As you said, live view 10x when feasible will get you the best results. The only types of shots that I didn't feel confident relying on viewfinder focus confirm for were macro shots.

HTH,

Mitesh



mco_970
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 5283
Country: United States

I have a ZE 50 MP & did some careful testing. I had to focus adjust it - takes something like +15 on my 5D3. I made a small pencil mark on the barrel to figure out how to focus adjust it (focused using liveview, then marked the correct focus, and worked with focus adjust until it beeped when the pencil mark was lined up correctly).

I MA'd it by turning the focus ring from infinity back toward correct focus. I found that if I focused by going from near MFD toward infinity, it gave me focus confirmation too soon (it front focused). So at least on my copy of the lens and 5D3, I always need to go from the infinity side toward the focus point or else it will be noticably off if I am shooting wide open. It might not look off for a landscape shot where you were focusing further out and stopping down.

So yeah, it's workable but still a bit fiddly. IMO, YMMV, IIRC, and the usual disclaimers and stuffs.



splathrop
Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Total Posts: 527
Country: United States

mco_970 and mitesh, thanks for the feedback. I've had exactly the same experience on my 5D II. Always have to focus from infinity in, but used that way it has been very reliable. No trouble at f/1.4 using the Zeiss 35mm for portraits, fairly close-up. I'm now considering the 5D III to optimize the use of autofocus on the 70-200mm IS II, and want to know what to expect if I use it for my Zeiss lenses as well. Your comments help.



Mike K
Registered: Mar 01, 2002
Total Posts: 2251
Country: United States

Magnified Live View manual focus easily beats focus confirm for focus precision and accuracy. Not only that, by moving the focus rectangle about with the joystick you can focus on s subject anywhere in the frame. Shooting from Live View has the added advantage of absolutely no vibration (electronic first curtain), even better than MLU, which always has the vibration associated with the shutter opening. Remember when shooting from LV, that the exposure comes off of the sensor by looking at the pixels in the magnification rectangle.

Focus confirm takes a bit of rocking the focus ring back and forth to get a feel for the center of the "confirm" area. In this mode, micro adjust is active as you are using the same AF points and phase focus sensor. The only advantage of focus confirm is that one can do it handheld, while magnified LV usually requires a tripod.
Mike K



jstntym
Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Total Posts: 233
Country: United States

Another really great point using LV that Dan had helped me with. In addition to using the magnification rectangle and moving it around the subject, you can also use the DOF preview button in LV. In the LV mode when you hit the DOF button the screen will adjust to stay bright so you can see more detail as opposed to the optical VF when using the DOF preview. Sometimes when stopped down even in daylight the details were difficult to make out. Using the LV and hitting DOF is a really great feature, and of course this is on a tripod too.



splathrop
Registered: Feb 27, 2006
Total Posts: 527
Country: United States

Guys, I have the live view bit down. Use it on more than half my work. Swear by it. Won't buy a Nikon because of it. Use it with the DOF button as a matter of course. Structured my lens collection around it.

But today's question is about some other stuff. Specifically: 5D III and focus confirm using the viewfinder. Experience with that would be appreciated.



mttran
Registered: Nov 03, 2005
Total Posts: 6539
Country: United States

splathrop wrote:
... Specifically: 5D III and focus confirm using the viewfinder...


Can focus confirmation beep calibrated by AFMA process?

Does AFMA offset process work pre, during or post AF light/beep confirmation? If MA correction was always processed by firmware after the beep then manual focus MA might not work like the way AF does.

Has anyone verify AFMA process work with manual lenses. It should be easy to test this one. Having camera and focus confirmed chip lens (MF switch enabled if AF lens was used) on tripod, making a in-line mark on focus ring and lens barrel when you hear the confirmation beep. Get on MA menu and set +/- MAX MA number. Now try to get the confirmation AF beep for the same subject as your first trial then verify your mark position. If your second mark position has not been moved from your first mark then AFMA calibration process does not work in manual mode with any lenses. You might want to repeat this test with different dof just to be sure.

In the case that focus confirmation beep can't be adjusted by MA process, your lens or body might need to be sent in for their calibration if test image was not sharp after focus confirmation beep.

I prefer both AF beep and focusing screen aid for shallow dof application...too bad, you don't have later option for 5D3.... so you do need to rely on its AF & Live View in this case which is not the best way to shoot fast lenses.

1/3 shallow dof for final focal plan is not always an easy task for 5Dseries AF firmware...quite of challenge compared to 1Dseries. AF keeper is never be the same in both series for sure.