Full frame dSLR for manual focus?
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Tarocco
Registered: Mar 18, 2012
Total Posts: 171
Country: N/A

I've been using my Nex-5N / EVF combo for a while and really enjoy it for manual focus. I also have an Olympus OM2N that I absolutely love, and I find the huge bright viewfinder relatively easy to focus even under low light conditions I often need to shoot in. I don't have much experience with dSLR's but the few crop sensor models I've tried had horrible viewfinders - tiny and very dim. I often shoot fast lenses wide open so I'm looking for the best full frame dSLR manual focus experience I can afford - my budget will cover a used 5D MKII and maybe stretch to a new D600. I'm leaning towards a 5D MKII with the right screen but will I be disappointed compared to the OM2N? What is the best manual focus screen option? How will the D600 compare for manual focus? Thanks!



Jabberwockt
Registered: Aug 22, 2011
Total Posts: 557
Country: United States

Maybe to offer a point of opinion/comparison. When I had a 5D2 briefly, I felt that the focusing screen was brighter than the crop sensor DSLRs but not as big and bright as the OM1 that I've had for a few years now.



slungu
Registered: Jan 25, 2005
Total Posts: 880
Country: Germany

Ahm, first a little question : what lenses do you have/want ? If you have the lenses from your Oly, a Canon is easier to handle than a Nikon because for the Nikon you have to "leitax" the lenses ( getting a new mount for them ). If you have, for example, Leica-M lenses, you can not use them on D(SLR)'s. With Leica-R again it would work but you would have the same problems a s with the Oly lenses. This is why it is important to know what lenses you plan to use on your "new" DSLR.



freaklikeme
Registered: Apr 08, 2005
Total Posts: 5545
Country: United States

If you can live without the niceties of Live View and Video, the Sony a900 with M screen is the best DSLR OVF I've used. Not quite the match to your OM2, but probably as close as you're going to get.



Lee Saxon
Registered: Jun 07, 2012
Total Posts: 861
Country: United States

How do you feel about DSLTs? The A99's EVF with peaking is excellent.



Tarocco
Registered: Mar 18, 2012
Total Posts: 171
Country: N/A

slungu wrote:
Ahm, first a little question : what lenses do you have/want ? If you have the lenses from your Oly, a Canon is easier to handle than a Nikon because for the Nikon you have to "leitax" the lenses ( getting a new mount for them ). If you have, for example, Leica-M lenses, you can not use them on D(SLR)'s. With Leica-R again it would work but you would have the same problems a s with the Oly lenses. This is why it is important to know what lenses you plan to use on your "new" DSLR.


Good question - I have a few OM lenses I would like to use but I'm willing to invest in lenses that will work on whatever system I choose (preferably Zeiss). The fact that I can get started with the OM lenses with an adapter rather than Leitaxing is a definite plus for the Canon. I have Zeiss M-mount lenses I use on the Nex but I know those can't be used on a dSLR.



mh2000
Registered: Oct 06, 2005
Total Posts: 7596
Country: United States

You will need to get a DSLR with replacable screens, the ones that ship are optimized for bright composing, not for manual focusing. For my Canon gear, I liked the micro prism only patch... others like a split image screen.



Tarocco
Registered: Mar 18, 2012
Total Posts: 171
Country: N/A

freaklikeme wrote:
If you can live without the niceties of Live View and Video, the Sony a900 with M screen is the best DSLR OVF I've used. Not quite the match to your OM2, but probably as close as you're going to get.


Good idea, I hadn't considered this. Should be in my price range too.



LightShow
Registered: Aug 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4904
Country: Canada

If you're comparing an OM viewfinder, you're in for disappointment.
http://snapsort.com/learn/viewfinder-size although I believe the OM2 is slightly smaller than the OM1.







Jabberwockt
Registered: Aug 22, 2011
Total Posts: 557
Country: United States

^That's very informational and somewhat disappointing at the same time. I always liked the OM-1 viewfinder, now i think i know why.



Tarocco
Registered: Mar 18, 2012
Total Posts: 171
Country: N/A

Jabberwockt wrote:
^That's very informational and somewhat disappointing at the same time. I always liked the OM-1 viewfinder, now i think i know why.


Yes, thanks Lightshow, exactly what I was looking for. Guess I'm also spoiled by the little OM. Too bad no one can reject all the autofocus stuff and make a small full frame dSLR with a great viewfinder. The eventual full frame mirrorless bodies will be as close as we'll get. As much as I like EVF's a really good OVF is different and special. As for my choice I'm down to the A900 and 5D MKII. The A900 clearly has the better VF but the 5D wins for lens versatility. The 5D has liveview and video which are nice bonuses but the A900 has in camera stabilization.... Tough to choose



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

Now I'm drooling over 1DsIII. Thanks a lot, Lightshow!!



Steve Spencer
Registered: Nov 08, 2006
Total Posts: 7245
Country: Canada

If you get the 5D MKII, get the EG-S screen. I find it works well for manual focussing.



Bifurcator
Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9296
Country: Japan

Cool! I wonder where the mirrorless cameras place among these? It would be interesting to see them displayed with these.

LightShow wrote:
If you're comparing an OM viewfinder, you're in for disappointment.
http://snapsort.com/learn/viewfinder-size although I believe the OM2 is slightly smaller than the OM1.










wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2869
Country: Sweden

Steve Spencer wrote:
If you get the 5D MKII, get the EG-S screen. I find it works well for manual focussing.


+1, for fast lenses that is a great choice. No split screen or such, a fast lens and 5D2/EG-S allows in-focus to pop anywhere in the screen.

For infinity shots, LV and magnification is there to help, just wish it had a tilt screen. Magic Lantern offers various focusing aids too, including focus peaking.



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5897
Country: United States

Bifurcator wrote:
Cool! I wonder where the mirrorless cameras place among these? It would be interesting to see them displayed with these.



Not sure about all of them, but I know that the EVF in the NEX-7 is nearly identical in size to the A900, which is just slightly smaller than the 1Dsiii.

Here is a graphic from dpreview with the NEX-7 and a couple of other mirrorless EVFs:







Bifurcator
Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9296
Country: Japan

GH2 is 0.71x So not really any different than the G3 there.

The GH3 is 1.34x (according to DPR) so i guess that's different? The comparison sheet above doesn't give numeric values so I dunno how that relates - but the OM-1's VF is 0.92x if that's relevant.



douglasf13
Registered: Apr 09, 2008
Total Posts: 5897
Country: United States

You can't compare those magnification numbers directly acrossed different sensor sizes. The GH2 EVF is technically 1.42x, but it is .71x in 35mm equivalency.



Bifurcator
Registered: Oct 22, 2008
Total Posts: 9296
Country: Japan

What... so the GH3's EVF is actually SMALLER than the GH2? That's lame!

Oh, and thanks for explaining that. :)



wfrank
Registered: Feb 09, 2011
Total Posts: 2869
Country: Sweden

Micro-sensor decimal-orgy when TS looks for full-frame. Huh.

But when it comes to Sony FF vs Canon FF. Sorry but I cant see how A900 matches the 5D2 in any respect. Doesnt it lack both liveview and video, and can you change the matte to a fast one (factory supported)? It's a 30 easy switch for a 5D2. MF is o interest here, and I fail to flush away the ancient feel the A900 steams compared to the 5D2 right there. And then comes ease of adaptability, Sony may be better than Nikon, but both worse than Canon.

The one thing I see is IBIS, but in my experience that is only useful for longer focal lengths which is not what typical MF fans do a whole lot of. The sensor doesnt impress either, as opposed to current generation sensors from Sony such as in the A99 or D600/D800. I'd prefer the 5D2's over what noise I've seen from the A900, but maybe that's just a matter of what you're used to and what tools are available for RAW files between the brands.

Finally, with ML the 5D2 de-aged a couple of years for people interested in focus peaking and such. It also brings a number of other things too, one-click full magnification of screen (LV) and also can impose a small magnified view in the LCD when that is suitable. You can even configure it to a simulated split screen if you want.



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