Manual Focus Troubles

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Jon0807, Feb 4, 2008.

  1. Jon0807

    Jon0807 TPF Noob!

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    95% of the time I'm using AF but 5% of the time when I do have to use MF, such as low light situations, I'm having trouble being able to tell if the image is focused or not. With my old film SLR it was easy cause I had those circles in the middle to help me know when something was in focus or not. But with DSLR's I don't have that. I'm still new to the whole DSLR scene, and even AF SLR's. I came straight from manual film SLR to P&S to DSLR. Are there any tips / tricks out there or is my eye just screwy?
     
  2. fightheheathens

    fightheheathens TPF Noob!

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    well, it depends on what type of slr you have. I know for some you can buy one of the split prism focusing screens which would solve your problem...if you dont have a camera with interchangeable focusing screens...well i dont have any tips :(

    EDIT:
    i just did a quick google search and it looks like the Canon 40D has interchangeable focusing screens which means you can probably fine one for your 40d similar to what you used with the old manual focus SLR's
     
  3. Jon0807

    Jon0807 TPF Noob!

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    ahhhh welcome to the digital age!
     
  4. Big Mike

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

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    Part of the problem is that most DSLR cameras have small viewfinders, compared to 35mm film SLRs. The 40D, I believe, actually has a rather large viewfinder compared to most.

    You can but a new focusing screen from http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/

    Another member here has pointed out that those are actually Nikon screens that have been cut down to size...so if you were inclined, you could just buy the part and cut it yourself...to save yourself some money.
     
  5. Jon0807

    Jon0807 TPF Noob!

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    hmm....this is going to take some research ;) Thanks for the input guys!
     
  6. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    I am old with bad eyes and couldn't manually focus with confidence. I recently got a 1.2x viewfinder loupe and I was surprised at how much difference the .2 made. Now, if I don't get a focus lock I simply go to manual focus and manage without a problem.
     
  7. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As much as I like Canon, their DSLR viewfinders are dim and more difficult to focus than Manual SLRs of yesteryears. The focusing screen that BMike pointed out might help... a little...

    My advice is to leave it in AF and leverage the red focus assist that is provided with the 580 and 550EX flashes.
     

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