Manual Focus

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by oldhippy, Oct 24, 2015.

  1. oldhippy

    oldhippy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    How many use manual focus, as opposed to AF as their primary method of focus, I have been wondering what others view of the topic. I have been using full manual, plus manual focus. Looking for pros and cons, feedback would be greatly appreciated, Ed


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    If a lens is an AF model, I will almost always use autofocus because most AF lenses have very coarse mechanical focusing ring systems that are difficult to achieve consistently accurate focusing with. If a lens is a manual focusing type, I will of course, focus by hand and eye, and occasionally, use the "green dot" focus confirmation system. The viewfinder screens in modern d-slr's are nowhere near as good for manual focusing as were the coarser screens used in manual focusing 35mm SLR models.
     
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  3. dennybeall

    dennybeall No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I only use manual focus when absolutely necessary. For instance if close up items are grabbing focus when I want to focus further out or for table top items or micro. Any other time I'm using auto focus, although I'm often in manual mode for exposure.
     
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  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    About the only time I use MF is when I'm doing macro work. I don't actually have any MF-only lenses in my stable any more, and modern AF works so well, and DSLR viewfinders just plain suck for MF.
     
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  5. oldhippy

    oldhippy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    thanks for the feedback, Thought I was on a good path, Guess I'll give auto an other shot or two. Ed
     
  6. DB_Cro

    DB_Cro No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From the 25k shots or so on my current dSLR, maybe 1% was manual focus, IF that. I just don't see the need, AF works fine 99% of the time, and
    when it misses, I can see it missing and I just refocus. The work that I do doesn't really allow for MF even if I wanted to (events etc.). Makes sense
    for macro and sometimes landscape when I got all the time in the world.

    As for the exposure, that's always in manual, I probably haven't moved the dial in 3 years.
     
  7. Raj_55555

    Raj_55555 Indian God of Photography Supporting Member

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    I find myself using manual focus quite a lot:

    1. Birding or shooting moving targets in relatively low light where I know the AF won't be great.
    2. Working with landscapes, I prefer to focus to infinity manually.
    3. Focus stacking, though I haven't mastered it, but I find it easier when I am focusing manually.
    4. When I'm using an older lens which can't focus on moving targets properly.
     
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  8. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    This is pretty much the case. I would say it's best to know when to trust your lens and when to trust your ability to manipulate focus. LCD screens and other than optical viewfinders make manual focus somewhat iffy at times. Focus peaking is a response to this situation but that probably would require a different camera.

    As long as there is a sufficient amount of light available and you've chosen your focus points wisely, most modern auto focus systems do very well. Some lenses though may need a bit of a tweak if you are shooting in close or wanting, say, a hyper-focal distance the lens simply doesn't comprehend.
     
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  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I am 100% manual focus because I only use manual focus lenses
     
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  10. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Next question, who still drives a steam powered car?
     
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  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  12. vintagesnaps

    vintagesnaps Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I focus manually. That's how I learned. I use lenses that are manual on film rangefinders and on my digital camera. I find auto harder to control, to get it exactly where I want it (when I had an auto film camera). I use it when I use a p&s which isn't often, or if I'm using a vintage plastic/bakelite midcentury camera that doesn't have any focus settings (not exactly auto but it is what it is, point and shoot a picture).
     

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