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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 07 Jul 2010 (Wednesday) 17:46
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Focusing with Zeiss lenses

 
mcluckie
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Jul 08, 2010 12:22 |  #16

I'm sure some famous street photographers have used MF lenses in the past so it shouldn't be impossible but it's all about practice I suppose. I really love my 35L, my favourite lens so it's a hard decision.

All of them. af is for pussies, and maybe zooms where too many rings are a pain


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bohdank
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Jul 08, 2010 12:27 |  #17

Back then they all shot at f8 and/or used cameras that had real viewfinders. The FF cameras of today cannot compare to the viewfinders in older film SLR's. Been there, done that.

PS: The pussy is the guy that misses the shot ;-)a


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Jul 08, 2010 12:33 |  #18

bohdank wrote in post #10499737 (external link)
Back then they all shot at f8 and/or used cameras that had real viewfinders. The FF cameras of today cannot compare to the viewfinders in older film SLR's. Been there, done that.

The size of the viewfinder is the same and the magnification is similar - the rest is down to the focusing screen - which is replaceable on the 5D & 1Ds series FF cameras. What else is there?


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Stan43
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Jul 08, 2010 15:10 |  #19

I have the Zeiss 21 and 100Makro. The 21 is easy as I set it at F8 and hyperfocal distance and shoot away quickly. The 100 is a different story. as others have said it takes practice.I also reccomend the matte focus screen, Eg-s for the 5DMK2. In the end you'll get less keepers and like the ones you got better than anything else. I might hang on to the 35L and get the 50 F/2 Makro instead if I were you.


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palwin
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Jul 08, 2010 16:44 |  #20

Stan43 wrote in post #10500766 (external link)
I have the Zeiss 21 and 100Makro. The 21 is easy as I set it at F8 and hyperfocal distance and shoot away quickly. The 100 is a different story. as others have said it takes practice.I also reccomend the matte focus screen, Eg-s for the 5DMK2. In the end you'll get less keepers and like the ones you got better than anything else. I might hang on to the 35L and get the 50 F/2 Makro instead if I were you.

Is there a reason other than the focal you recommend Zeiss 50 Macro instead of Zeiss 100 Macro? For macro I don't care about AF, it's nice but not a must as I can take the time I need. I previously had Canon 100/2.8 Macro and it was great, and was comfortable with that focal. But... the grass was greener on the other side :) and sold it.


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banpreso
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Jul 08, 2010 16:49 |  #21

i do quite a bit of street photography with the zeiss 35mm. i don't think it's hard at all, and i do shoot at large apeture a lot (larger than f4). i think just take your time, take multiple shots, and through practice just trust your mf. once it's sharp in the view finder just take the picture.

i do find focusing difficult in back lit situation, it's just much harder to see the detail i'm trying to focus on.

you can see my photos at banpreso.smugmug.com i don't shoot at f8 unless i want that much DOF


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bohdank
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Jul 08, 2010 16:49 |  #22

denoir wrote in post #10499774 (external link)
The size of the viewfinder is the same and the magnification is similar - the rest is down to the focusing screen - which is replaceable on the 5D & 1Ds series FF cameras. What else is there?

Viewfinders were often larger and certainly brighter. And, no, there is no screen made that will give you a viewfinder as bright as an older manual SLR. Can't possibly be. Mirrors these days do not reflect all the light to the viewfinder since they need to be able light to the focusing system, below it.

To get a more precise screen, for focusing, usually robs you of even more light hitting the viewfinder.


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Jul 08, 2010 19:55 as a reply to  @ bohdank's post |  #23

More than a few people, including me, consider a rangefinder an excellent tool, if not the best, for street photography. This would not be the case if manual focus were such a liability.


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Jul 08, 2010 20:02 |  #24

What lens focal length and at what aperture and range are you shooting ?


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Jul 09, 2010 07:09 |  #25

palwin wrote in post #10501354 (external link)
Is there a reason other than the focal you recommend Zeiss 50 Macro instead of Zeiss 100 Macro? For macro I don't care about AF, it's nice but not a must as I can take the time I need. I previously had Canon 100/2.8 Macro and it was great, and was comfortable with that focal. But... the grass was greener on the other side :) and sold it.

My only reason for suggesting the 50Makro over the 100 was the lenses you already have . With a 35/85/135 it seems that 50 is a logical fit.


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Pentax 645Z,90 2.8 Macro,55 2.8,24-48 . Fuji: EX2,XT1,14mm,18-55,56,55-200,Zeis Touit 2.8 Macro

  
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palwin
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Jul 09, 2010 07:29 |  #26

banpreso wrote in post #10501378 (external link)
i do quite a bit of street photography with the zeiss 35mm. i don't think it's hard at all, and i do shoot at large apeture a lot (larger than f4). i think just take your time, take multiple shots, and through practice just trust your mf. once it's sharp in the view finder just take the picture.

I definitely going to do some MF practice for street photography but it's a matter of learning to trust your eye that you got the focus right. As far as I understand it's a lot easier to do manual focus with Zeiss compared to Canon so I think I need to try one to be sure if it's something that will work for me.

sjones wrote in post #10502317 (external link)
More than a few people, including me, consider a rangefinder an excellent tool, if not the best, for street photography. This would not be the case if manual focus were such a liability.

I have been looking into rangefinders, like the Leica M9 but it's a bit pricey so I'm sticking with DSLR for now. But I can see the usefulness with a rangefinder, especially if you don't want to get the attention of people on the street.


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palwin
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Jul 09, 2010 07:35 |  #27

Stan43 wrote in post #10504603 (external link)
My only reason for suggesting the 50Makro over the 100 was the lenses you already have . With a 35/85/135 it seems that 50 is a logical fit.

Ahh, I see. I haven't really considered the Zeiss 50 Macro. But I think a 100mm would fit me better as I have never been much for the 50mm focal.


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argyle
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Jul 09, 2010 07:59 |  #28

palwin wrote in post #10504678 (external link)
I definitely going to do some MF practice for street photography but it's a matter of learning to trust your eye that you got the focus right. As far as I understand it's a lot easier to do manual focus with Zeiss compared to Canon so I think I need to try one to be sure if it's something that will work for me....

The 'make' of the lens really has nothing to do with it...its the native format. Any fully manual lens will generally have a nice 'feel' to it, as well as a nice, long focus throw...this enables you to really dial-in and fine-tune the focus. An AF lens, on the other hand (be it Canon, Nikon, or any other) doesn't have the focus throw of a manual lens just because of the nature of the beast. Since the AF motor needs to lock onto focus rather quickly, the distance the lens has to move must be extremely small (why else can a lens' distance scale go from 3 feet or so to infinity in about 1/4-inch on the scale?). Manual focusing can be done with an AF lens, but I just find manual lenses a bit more precise in that regard.


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palwin
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Jul 09, 2010 08:19 |  #29

argyle wrote in post #10504809 (external link)
The 'make' of the lens really has nothing to do with it...its the native format. Any fully manual lens will generally have a nice 'feel' to it, as well as a nice, long focus throw...this enables you to really dial-in and fine-tune the focus. An AF lens, on the other hand (be it Canon, Nikon, or any other) doesn't have the focus throw of a manual lens just because of the nature of the beast. Since the AF motor needs to lock onto focus rather quickly, the distance the lens has to move must be extremely small (why else can a lens' distance scale go from 3 feet or so to infinity in about 1/4-inch on the scale?). Manual focusing can be done with an AF lens, but I just find manual lenses a bit more precise in that regard.

I haven't had any trouble doing manual with my AF lenses but some Zeiss users have said it's easier with their lenses compared to Canon when it comes to precision as these lenses are designed for only MF. Also that Zeiss got focus indicator on their lenses. I don't know if this will be something I care about in the end but in the combination of these things there can be some differences that you can't duplicate the same feel using a AF lens.

That's why I think it's best to try a Zeiss lens to be completely sure so I will most likely be renting one, if they are available for rent.


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Jul 09, 2010 08:34 |  #30

palwin wrote in post #10504872 (external link)
I haven't had any trouble doing manual with my AF lenses but some Zeiss users have said it's easier with their lenses compared to Canon when it comes to precision as these lenses are designed for only MF. Also that Zeiss got focus indicator on their lenses. I don't know if this will be something I care about in the end but in the combination of these things there can be some differences that you can't duplicate the same feel using a AF lens.

That's why I think it's best to try a Zeiss lens to be completely sure so I will most likely be renting one, if they are available for rent.

Which is pretty much what I said...I shoot manually with a variety of MF lenses on my 5D2 (Zeiss, Leica, Mamiya, Olympus, Pentax) and all have the same focusing traits...nice long throws, good feel.

Having focus confirm on the Z* lenses is good, but I don't rely on it. I use it mainly as a quick "in the ballpark" feature and rely on my eyes for nailing focus (along with a precision matte screen). As a matter of fact, you can get a focus-confirm adapter and use it with any of the older fully manual lenses (no auto-aperture). The older lenses (some, not all) are less expensive than the newer lenses, but generally with the same or better IQ. For example, the Contax-Zeiss 28/2.8 is regarded more favorably than the new Zeiss ZE 28/2.8. For about $200 plus a relatively inexpensive adapter, you'll have a smoking lens.


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Focusing with Zeiss lenses
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