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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 13 Oct 2017 (Friday) 00:57
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Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Tamron PWN Zeiss

 
mdvaden
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Beaverton, Oregon
Post has been edited 6 days ago by mdvaden.
Oct 13, 2017 00:57 |  #1

As I played around with manual focusing this week using my Canon and Tamron lenses, there was day and night difference between my lens's autofocus accuracy and my manual inaccuracy. This made me realize more than ever the advancements and technology of Canon, Nikon, Tamron and Sigma.

The manual focus was a self-test to see whether I should buy a Zeiss 100mm Milvus that I began to covet. Not just macro, but portraits too. Undeniably, Zeiss has beautiful glass, some of the best. But I realized how handicapped the Zeiss "package" would be to me. If compared to walking, it would be like dislocating one of my knees.

Then it hit me just how advanced the "packages" of Canon, Nikon and Sigma have become. If all that the others had to do all day was work on manual glass, I suppose all of them could match Zeiss molecule for molecule.

I would enjoy owning a Zeiss, but not buying one. Now to those who somehow manage to manually focus easily and accurately for portraits or weddings, I'll applaud you're getting more of your money's worth.

They don't PWN Zeiss' potential image quality ... just the overall package. Sort of like Triathlon champs.


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BigAl007
Cream of the Crop
Joined Dec 2010
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Oct 13, 2017 07:14 |  #2

MFing MF lenses is much much easier than using an AF lens in MF mode, especially via the viewfinder. The sad fact is that in order for the AF to work well it really needs a short focus throw, and of course the resistance to turning also needs to be very low. The motor is very good at making incredibly small movements. The design of an MF lens is usually the opposite, you can use a much coarser thread so that the throw is longer, and you move the control a lot further to make the same amount of focus adjustment. You can also up the resistance so that those movement are damped by the system, so the control will feel much smoother. The very cheapest of old MF lenses from the old eastern block will have focus controls that are much much better than even the most expensive high end AF lenses.

Also if you are going to be using fast MF lenses, i.e f/2.8 and faster all the time, and you have a camera with interchangeable screens fitting the Precision screen will make MF much easier using the optical viewfinder. The standard screen is optimised for use with lenses with maximum apertures between f/2.8 and f/8. Using the precision screen with a slower lens will result in a much darker VF. Because the standard screen is actually brighter with slower lenses they oddly actually give a better MF experience with longer slower lenses, where the DoF can be just as problematical as with the more commonly used shorter faster lenses.

I really suggest you try renting the Zeiss for a few days and try it out, I think you will be surprised, even using it with a standard screen. I tired out an Otus 55 on my 50D with standard screen at the photography Show at the NEC a few years ago, and it was actually very easy to hit focus with, although it would take a little practice to be perfect every time. Of course absolute accuracy still relies on the positioning of the focus screen being exactly matched to the sensor. Because of this LV focus will always be the most accurate method of focusing a camera.

Alan


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Bassat
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Bourbon, Indiana - USA
Oct 13, 2017 07:23 |  #3

Way back in the Stone-Age, when I shot MF lenses on all manual cameras, I owned 135mm f/2.8 lens. It never occurred to me that focus could/should/would be difficult. I shot it wide open, sometimes up close for H&S stuff, and never considered focus an issue. No way I'd try that with my 6D/135L. The world has basically moved on from manual focus.


Tom

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mdvaden
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Beaverton, Oregon
Oct 13, 2017 09:10 |  #4

BigAl007 wrote in post #18471748 (external link)
I really suggest you try renting the Zeiss for a few days and try it out, I think you will be surprised, even using it with a standard screen. I tired out an Otus 55 on my 50D with standard screen at the photography Show at the NEC a few years ago, and it was actually very easy to hit focus with, although it would take a little practice to be perfect every time. Of course absolute accuracy still relies on the positioning of the focus screen being exactly matched to the sensor. Because of this LV focus will always be the most accurate method of focusing a camera.

Alan

We moved to southern Oregon, but I may rent one down the road when I visit family or do a bit of work in Portland.

I found the challenge with Zeiss to be a bit frustrating because I was itching to get one, understanding the reputation. Not particularly their fault. Plus, I started portraiture more recent when AF and VC are commonplace.

The past few days it's sunk-in more than ever that manual focus was the norm (business-as-usual) for decades, for most photographers.


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TooManyShots
Cream of the Crop
9,961 posts
Joined Jan 2008
NYC
Oct 13, 2017 20:31 |  #5

Generally, you need a focusing screen to aid you in the manual focusing. Is usually a split/prism screen. You can also rely on the AF confirmation light too. Is largely accurate. In some situation, manual focusing is faster because you don't need to switch to a different AF point to compose your shot. With certain focusing screen supporting f2.8 aperture or faster, you can literally see your subject in focus as you rotate the focusing ring.

Of course, if the focal length is wide, you can normally focus by the distance scale on the lens...because the F stop you are using gives you a greater DOF. 24mm shooting at F4? Pretty much anything in front of you from 5ft to infinity would be in focus.

If you are shooting faster pace subjects, you may want to shoot with AF lenses and only using these manual focus only lenses for the special shots......


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Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Tamron PWN Zeiss
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