Is it difficult to manually focus with this lens?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by heinzsoup, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. heinzsoup

    heinzsoup TPF Noob!

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    I have a nikon D40, and I was wondering if it's difficult to manually focus with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens?

    Do you think nikon will ever come out with an affordable prime lens AF-S or AF-I that will offer a blurry background to my subjects? Or have they?

    thanks in advance!

    Sue
     
  2. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    No, a 50mm 1.8 is a pretty easy lens to manually focus.

    However, the focusing screen is kinda poo on digital cameras...so if you can..maybe get a split screen?
     
  3. heinzsoup

    heinzsoup TPF Noob!

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    excuse me if I sound stupid, but what is a split screen? Something in addition to the camera?
     
  4. Sideburns

    Sideburns TPF Noob!

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    You know when you focus there's those little red dots in your view finder?

    Well, having just boxes and dots is fine for autofocus...but for manual focus, older bodies had a circle in the middle that was split. WHen the two pictures joined, the picture was in focus.
     
  5. RTXPIX

    RTXPIX TPF Noob!

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    How would you add a split screen to the camera?
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Google Katz Eye focusing screen. Every lens is the same difficulty to manual focus on the D40, i.e. bloody hard. The viewfinder is tiny and it'll frustrate the hell out of you.

    That said that's not a reason not to try.
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    There's a similar recent thread here: link.

    As I mention in that thread, the Katz eye screen is a Nikon K3 screen cut down to fit. It's the sort of screen that you would find on a manual focus Nikon.

    I don't have a 50/1.8 to try on my D40x, but my results using the 50/1.4 AF-D on the D40x are given in that thread. If I'm using a 50 mm on my D40x, I use the 50/1.2 manual focus lens. In general, manual focus lenses are easier to focus manually than Nikon autofocus lenses used in manual, because that's what they were designed for. The disadvantage of using an MF lens on the D40 and D40x is that you lose the in-camera (TTL) metering. This isn't usually a big deal.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    I can get pretty good results manually focusing my 50/1.8 on my D40 at up to f/2.8. At larger apertures than that (smaller f/number) you really need a better focusing screen. The lightweight D40 body plus these small primes are a perfect combination, IMHO. Too bad they won't autofocus, but manually focusing is not always a big deal.
     
  9. heinzsoup

    heinzsoup TPF Noob!

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    Do you have the katz focusing screen?? I think that I'm going to splurge and get the 50mm with the new screen.
     
  10. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    Nope, but I'm planning to get one too.
     
  11. petey

    petey TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. Turning the focus ring with the shutter button half pressed is not a big deal. I've been practicing and am getting better.

    Sharp images. I dig the results. When I compare the images with what I see with my own eye the pictures are a marked difference. Much lighter and sharp.
     
  12. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well depending on what you are focusing on you can do the old fashioned measuring with an actual tape. We used to do that sometimes in the really old days before auto focus. :lol:
     

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