Digital focus rings, what the?!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TBAM, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    I'm not too sure about other cameras but I recently purchased an Olympus E-420. I used to have an old Pentax *Ist D (freaking love that camera) with a Tamron 28-200mm lens with manual aperture, focus and zoom rings.

    Now, on these new Olympus lenses (and it seems to be on other camera lenses too) there's a digital focus ring. There's no measurement of distance on the focus ring, no maximum focus, no minimum focus. I can keep turning the ring even though it's already at infinity.

    The reason for my semi-whinge post, is that it's starting to drive me crazy when it comes to manual focus. I have no idea where I am in the focus range when i'm doing it. There's no focus all the way in then back track until the item is in focus.

    I get lost, and find it so bloody hard to focus, especially with the smaller / darker viewfinders of the later low-medium range dSLRs.

    I can turn the focus ring when the camera is off. I can change the direction of the focus ring in the camera's menu system.

    I don't get it.

    Is it all digital, and what's so wrong with the old manual focus rings where you had set measurements and an absolute minimum focus andan absolute maximum focus.

    Am I crazy? Am I just anal retentive. Is this on all lenses, and why do new lenses have these digital focus rings?
     
  2. TBAM

    TBAM TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I found what i'm looking for I think.

    It's called focus by wire, I think.

    Would make sense as to why noone read my post, hehe.
     
  3. Davey Jones

    Davey Jones TPF Noob!

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    my cam has that too.
    i imagine its simply cheaper to make.

    i realy find it only usefull in combination with autofocus.
    my cam has a button that wile in manual focus mode
    will autofocus one time and then keep that setting
    so u can fine tune with the focus ring.
    i havent used it much yet, but it seems to be the only way to
    do anything usefull with the manual focus.

    it gets worse though, my old cam had focus by wire
    controlled by 2 buttons instead of a ring, that was utterly
    useless, in my hands anyway.
     
  4. reg

    reg TPF Noob!

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    For one, let me say that most of the lower-level lenses made recently by ANY manufacturer has had a distance/DOF scale. I hate that.

    But as an Olympus user, let me give you a tip about the fly by wire: you should try giving different pressure, and possibly spinning the ring a bit faster. On both my 14-42 and 40-150, I can get a fairly consistent feel like a real MF ring. As a bonus, you get full-time manual focus override in the C-AF + MF and S-AF + MF modes available in your menu.


    And I've just never had an issue with focusing in the viewfinder, I know I'm a freak like that but I just thought I'd throw it out there.
     

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