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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 15 Oct 2010 (Friday) 15:37
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Action shots with MF lenses

 
mosesport
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Oct 15, 2010 15:37 |  #1

I've always wondered how people were able to shoot sports/kids, etc before AF lenses existed.

I've been thinking about buying a few newer manual focus lenses, but when my subjects are moving, how do I keep up? Is there a trick to this? Did people used to just get lucky when shooting film and manual lenses?

Advice is appreciated :)


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RaZe42
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Oct 15, 2010 15:41 |  #2

It's timing, luck and experience. No magic trick really, except prefocusing. Of course stopping down a notch helps a little.


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airfrogusmc
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Oct 15, 2010 15:42 as a reply to  @ RaZe42's post |  #3

Zone focus. They used those DoF scales on the lens. ;)




  
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richardfox
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Oct 15, 2010 17:14 |  #4

RaZe42 wrote in post #11104056 (external link)
It's timing, luck and experience. No magic trick really, except prefocusing. Of course stopping down a notch helps a little.

Shot a lot of air show photos with my old Canon A-1 with my Vivitar 120-600 zoom attached. Practice, practice, practice. :lol: Yes, had many blurry shots to accompany the good ones. :(

The digital age has been a tremendous improvement!


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Oct 15, 2010 17:19 |  #5

richardfox wrote in post #11104550 (external link)
Shot a lot of air show photos with my old Canon A-1 with my Vivitar 120-600 zoom attached. Practice, practice, practice. :lol: Yes, had many blurry shots to accompany the good ones. :(

The digital age has been a tremendous improvement!

The split prism focus screens were nice.


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mosesport
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Oct 15, 2010 17:20 |  #6

So was it more just a matter of taking a lot more photos than you would nowadays and hoping some of them were sharp?


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richardfox
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Oct 15, 2010 17:22 |  #7

windpig wrote in post #11104581 (external link)
The split prism focus screens were nice.

Sure were, and still are. I bought a KatzEye split microprism screen for my 50D, and it's magnificent when you have to focus manually!


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RPCrowe
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Oct 15, 2010 17:25 as a reply to  @ richardfox's post |  #8

I skipped an entire generation of Canon cameras... The EOS film cameras.

I thought that I could manually focus better than any automatic system... Well I was wrong!


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richardfox
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Oct 15, 2010 17:26 |  #9

mosesport wrote in post #11104585 (external link)
So was it more just a matter of taking a lot more photos than you would nowadays and hoping some of them were sharp?

Yes, by a long shot. It was common for me to take 18 rolls of 36 exposure each to the air show in Dayton, Ohio. I'd use all the film in one day. I used to deal with a pro lab downtown, and they liked me as a customer as I always had at least a dozen rolls of film every time I walked in their door.

For the most part, aircraft were shot with the lenses at infinity. Having to back-step the zoom and focus nearly at the same time wasn't easy. Had tons of "almost but not quite" sharp photos.


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Woodworker
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Oct 15, 2010 17:29 as a reply to  @ windpig's post |  #10

One technique was to pre-focus on a given area, wait until the moving object, ie., bike, car or runner etc. reached it and then take the shot.

I began my photography in the mid 1960's with a Minolta SR1 and, take my word for it, those beginning now really don't know how much easier it is with modern technology. That isn't to say that an ability to see a picture isn't still needed, because it definitely is.

David :)


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wunhang
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Oct 15, 2010 17:41 |  #11

richardfox wrote in post #11104609 (external link)
Yes, by a long shot. It was common for me to take 18 rolls of 36 exposure each to the air show in Dayton, Ohio. I'd use all the film in one day. I used to deal with a pro lab downtown, and they liked me as a customer as I always had at least a dozen rolls of film every time I walked in their door.

For the most part, aircraft were shot with the lenses at infinity. Having to back-step the zoom and focus nearly at the same time wasn't easy. Had tons of "almost but not quite" sharp photos.

Random side question... how realistic was "spray and pray" with film slrs? I would imagine there were mechanical limitations on how fast the next frame would be ready for exposure


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artyman
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Oct 15, 2010 18:07 |  #12

I have my Dad's old 35mm Nikon, it sounds a bit pedestrian after the 8fps of the 7D :)


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KenjiS
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Oct 15, 2010 18:26 |  #13

wunhang wrote in post #11104686 (external link)
Random side question... how realistic was "spray and pray" with film slrs? I would imagine there were mechanical limitations on how fast the next frame would be ready for exposure

there were 8-10fps film SLRs...the problem was you had a 36-shot burst usually

But then of course, there were the 250 and 750 shot film magazines

It was not uncommon for a pro to have multiple bodies for obvious reasons, with an assistant whos job was simply to reload the camera as fast as he could, and for a pro to also be quick at changing his body

I mean even today, even with AF its a good idea to spray, Sometimes, just sometimes, your subject can go quicker than even a 1D IV can keep up with, In fact thats specifically why a 1D IV has 10fps capability and a huge buffer...The 1D IV cant necessarily get you 10 perfectly focused shots per second, But it will give you a greater percentage to get a perfectly focused shot than a 50D, 7D or 5DII.....

People will argue with me on this, but the reason more FPS is useful isnt to get 50 good shots, its to make sure you get 1 great shot...

Even in the past, there was a saying, Film is cheap, missing the shot is expensive...And its even more true today

-edit- another thing to note is our definition of sharpness is a lot more critical now than 20 years ago in the film times, Film was more "forgiving" than digital for a number of reasons...


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denoir
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Oct 15, 2010 18:48 |  #14

Zone focusing when you need reliaibility: you set the focus at a specific distance, stop the lens down and let the DOF make sure your subject is in focus.

I have however since starting using MF glass found a perverse pleasure in trying to shoot action shots wide open with fast lenses whenever I get the chance. There is a great satisfaction in nailing such shots with MF.

Relatively easy - Zeiss 35/1.4 Distagon @ f/1.4

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/rz35-153.jpg

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/rz35-156.jpg

Much more difficult - Zeiss 85/1.4 Planar @ f/1.4

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss85-59.jpg

IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeiss85-60.jpg


Very difficult - Zeiss 100/2 Makro Planar @f/2


IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeissbif-3b.jpg

100% Crop:
IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeissbif-3-crop.jpg


IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeissbif-4b.jpg

100% crop:
IMAGE: http://peltarion.eu/img/zeiss/zeissbif-4-crop.jpg

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CountryBoy
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Oct 15, 2010 18:48 |  #15

KenjiS wrote in post #11104977 (external link)
..........
People will argue with me on this, but the reason more FPS is useful isnt to get 50 good shots, its to make sure you get 1 great shot...

I think you're right on . Close plays at home base come to mind !


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