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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 21 Nov 2017 (Tuesday) 10:11
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autofocus vs Manual focus

 
Alveric
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Nov 22, 2017 01:22 |  #16

When I'm using a lens/camera without AF!


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Nov 23, 2017 17:47 |  #17

I use manual focus almost exclusively. I shoot a lot with my Nikon FM2, so AF on that isn't even an option. On my E-M1, I find manual focusing to be enjoyable. Yes auto focus is far faster and easier, but I just simply enjoy manual focus.


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gonzogolf
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Nov 23, 2017 18:05 |  #18

Like others here I'm old enough to remember when manual focus was the only option. I might still use it viewfinders on modern digital cameras were as large, bright, and we'll equipped as old film cameras were for the task at hand, but they aren't. Except for the odd landscape, macro etc there are few circumstances where manual focus works better than autofocus once you master it.




  
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Nov 24, 2017 12:34 |  #19

gonzogolf wrote in post #18502925 (external link)
Like others here I'm old enough to remember when manual focus was the only option. I might still use it viewfinders on modern digital cameras were as large, bright, and we'll equipped as old film cameras were for the task at hand, but they aren't. Except for the odd landscape, macro etc there are few circumstances where manual focus works better than autofocus once you master it.


Actually there is one time that the modern AF camera viewfinders work well for manual focus, and with the standard screen at that. Just hang a long telephoto lens on the camera. The current viewfinders work great with those at f/5.6 to f/8. I think they still seem really bright even at f/8 is in part due to the fact that they don't have prismatic aids blacking out spots all over the place.

I'll use MF when I want the focus locked down. I am a user of BBAF and have it set up so that AF is not on the shutter button, and using AI Servo, so that I can use the camera much more like I used to when limited to MF only.

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Tom ­ Reichner
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Nov 30, 2017 23:09 |  #20

James Crockett wrote in post #18501090 (external link)
when does you yourself personally use manual focus? Thanks and hope all is well.

I only use manual focus when AF will absolutely not work. . One example of this is in a heavy snowfall, with big flakes. . The camera's AF system will often try to focus on one of the snowflakes instead of on the subject that is behind the flakes. . In these instances I am pretty much forced to use manual focus, even though my eyes and fingers are not as accurate as the camera's AF system.

The other times when I have focused manually are very rare occasions when the camera or lens was having an AF issue and not working perfectly. This happened once in 2016 and for an entire day in 2011. . On both occasions, the AF was just a little bit off, and when I'd zoom in on the images on the LCD playback, they were slightly soft. . So I had to resort to using MF ....... which of course was terrible because my eyes can't really tell what's sharp and what isn't unless they have a big huge 5k monitor to look at.

I am, of course, quite picky about what part of my subject is in sharpest focus. . I once had an image of a Bighorn Ram that everybody thought was "just fine", but if you brought the photo up on my big monitor and zoomed in to over 100%, you could tell that the nose of the ram was actually sharper than the eye - and that is NOT how it's supposed to be!

So, when someone says that they use manual focus, I always wonder if their images exhibit absolute perfection by having the very sharpest focus on exactly the one tiny little thing that they want to be sharpest, or is it just a "plenty good enough for their purposes" kind of thing. . I like knowing that focus is absolutely perfect, and will hold up to the highest degree of pixel peeping scrutiny, even if that kind of accuracy will never be necessary for one's intended output.

A properly working AF system delivers much greater focus accuracy than my eyes would ever be able to. . I mean, I can't really tell exactly what is in perfect focus until I zoom way in on a big 5k monitor - so how would I ever be able to tell when looking through a viewfinder or on a Live View screen? ..... especially if what I'm trying to focus on is walking around the woods or running through a meadow - in those cases how can you really tell if the animal's near eye is in sharper focus than the muzzle or the base of the ear? . I mean, these things are moving around, darn it! . And it's not like I just want the animal's head to be in focus - the issue is, what part of that animal's face do I want to be in the very sharpest focus?

I would never just leave it to the depth of field and call it good. . Those DOF calculations are really not the most precise things - there is always going to be one part of that DOF area that is minutely sharper than the other areas, and this is what I want to make sure is absolutely spot-on.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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ZoneV
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Dec 08, 2017 05:45 |  #21

I am a hard boiled manual focus user, I use about always manual focus.
Not always because I would hate autofocus, but because the lenses I love are manual focus.

To get precise manual focus I often focus for and back, and set in the mid of the both the near and far out of focus settings. But with the Sony A7Ii liveview and loupe it goes quite good.

On my EOS 5D cameras on of the first things was to change the standard focus screens. Thos standard screens show only about f/2.8 and slower rays, so even with AF I would not see the correct blur in the image with for example f/1.2 lens settings. An absolut "no go" for, I do not understand how people could use the standard screen for those lenses.
On one of my 5D cameras I made a bit more of optimization - why should I spend ~40% to the AF system I don´t use? I changed the mirror to get near 100% inside the viewfinder. And I shim the focussing screens to have them in right position and right angle:
http://www.4photos.de …D_mirror_replac​ement.html (external link)


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juliusmagno08
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Dec 20, 2017 16:02 |  #22

I used both! of course it depends if im lazy to mf :))




  
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jay125
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Dec 21, 2017 12:01 |  #23

Canon, usually AF, unless macro. Sony, manual. The focus peaking is amazing. IMO, modern camera's really aren't set up for manual, i.e. no split screen.



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gjl711
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Dec 21, 2017 13:22 |  #24

jay125 wrote in post #18523314 (external link)
Canon, usually AF, unless macro. Sony, manual. The focus peaking is amazing. IMO, modern camera's really aren't set up for manual, i.e. no split screen.

Live view zoomed in 10x works better than split screen ever did. Only works well for stationary or slow moving objects though.


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jay125
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Dec 21, 2017 13:32 |  #25

gjl711 wrote in post #18523411 (external link)
Live view zoomed in 10x works better than split screen ever did. Only works well for stationary or slow moving objects though.

I need my tripod to do that though. That is how I capture moon shots, however.



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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 21, 2017 13:40 |  #26

gjl711 wrote in post #18523411 (external link)
Live view zoomed in 10x works better than split screen ever did. Only works well for stationary or slow moving objects though.

jay125 wrote in post #18523438 (external link)
I need my tripod to do that though. That is how I capture moon shots, however.

.
But at long focal lengths, such as 800mm, even on a tripod it is extremely difficult to use live view for checking focus, even for stationary subject matter.

.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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jay125
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Dec 21, 2017 14:00 |  #27

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18523445 (external link)
.
But at long focal lengths, such as 800mm, even on a tripod it is extremely difficult to use live view for checking focus, even for stationary subject matter.

.

.

Using the 10x zoom for moon shots is how I learned how fast the moon moves. I haven't used the zoom feature enough to remember how it all falls in place. It makes those times when I do use it rather awkward.



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autofocus vs Manual focus
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