How to Know You are Focused Using MF

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by smackitsakic, May 31, 2010.

  1. smackitsakic

    smackitsakic TPF Noob!

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    I have been meaning to ask this for a while now.

    As i'm progressing into learning more and more about the wonderful world of photography, I am starting to find that I need to use manual focus more than relying so heavily on auto focus.

    My question is, how do you know if you're focused or not in MF? I can obviously adjust the focusing ring all that I want, and make it so that it looks focused through the viewfinder, but i've often been finding that when I get back onto the computer and view the pictures in full screen, they appear to be slightly off-focus almost every time. Is there a sure-fire way to use MF and know that you're going to get a crisp, clean exposure? Or is the success of your exposure when using MF heavily dependent on your aperture choice?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    These modern, entry level DSLR cameras have rather tiny viewfinders, which makes it harder to see & focus, than it used to be with most film SLRs (and the big pro bodies).

    I'm not sure if you can change the screen the the rebels, but some people replace the focus screen with a split screen, which makes it a lot easier to manually focus.

    Also, does it look to you, that your AF is accurate? Because it could be possible that your viewfinder diopter is not adjusted accurately, so that what you are looking at in the viewfinder, isn't accurate.

    How close are you looking (on the computer monitor) when you judge the images? You can't expect them to remain sharp as you zoom past 100%, 200%, 300% etc. Especially as you are using lenses that are nearer to the bottom of the barrel, than the top.

    How do the images look when printed out and held at an appropriate viewing distance?
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I forgot to mention, that even when using manual focus, I believe there is a light that comes on in the viewfinder, to tell you the active focus point it in focus.
     
  4. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    I also have been struggling with focus issues, manual focus more so.

    I remember the 'split screen' focus viewfinders of years past. Is it possible to install something like this on a modern digital camera...maybe a 7D? Or should I keep ploddng along until I get it right or...die? :mrgreen:
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  6. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    there is a small light that become hard when you are in focus
     
  7. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Mike
    Do you know anyone who has had this installed on their camera?
    The skeptic in me is always leary of the 3rd party add-ons.

    Will this void the Canon Warranty?


    Thanks for all your help!
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There were a couple members here who had it done, I don't think they're active around here anymore though.

    They liked it, I do remember that.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Katz-eye has great products and they are used my many photographers.

    Adding any 3rd party parts, including lenses, is mentioned as an issue in most camera body warranties.

    It usually doesn't void the entire warranty but if you have issues related to the non-standard part(s) a warranty repair is usually not going to happen.

    Many of the prosumer bodies allow for changing the focusing screen and the camera makers usually has those other screens available.
     
  10. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    The only times i use manual focus is when i'm on a tripod, and I use live view, zoom in at 100% and do it then.
     
  11. smackitsakic

    smackitsakic TPF Noob!

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    My camera does have a focusing light that will illuminate when i'm adjusting my manual focus, but only when it reaches the 'focus' on the center dot. I guess, from now on, any time I need to use MF i will manually focus using this centre dot until it indicates that i'm 'focused', then recompose and fire away. I'll try that and see what happens.

    Thanks for the suggestions!!
     
  12. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm a little bit curious as to why you 'need to use manual focus more'. :scratch:
     

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