Ricardson posted ...

Manual Focus Tips

Login to start new topic
Help topics

Manual Focus Tips

Category: Techniques and Tips

Posted: 07-27-10 7:45 PM - Views: 5874

By: Ricardson

Back to post list


Share this topic with your colleagues

Start of discussion

Hi all,

I was thinking buy a Zeiss MF lens, but I used my Nikon lens only feel times in MF, my question is in some way its more easier to focus with Zeiss than Nikon? or all the same? I tried manul focus with my Nikon AF 35mm f/2.
I do a lot of Street Photography.


Replies ...

Reply Nr.11 from Russell Dyer on 09-5-10 6:58 AM

I have been reluctant to respond to this thread because I knew it would lead to me pointing to an article I wrote on this subject a few months ago about using manual focus and changing the camera's focusing screen. I thought that might not be appropriate and a bit vulgar. Many of the points I make in my article are made here, so if this is in bad form, please excuse me and don't click on the link below and only read the other posts. I thought of copying and pasting relevant text here, but there's too much and the photographs help the reader appreciate better manual focus with a good focusing screen. In my examples, I use a Canon 5D, Mark II camera. However, the points are still valid for a Nikon camera. Anyway, here's the address for the article: http://fotocapito.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?article_id=35 I hope you find it useful.
Reply Nr.10 from Lollus on 08-5-10 2:06 PM

Philber +1. I only shoot manual focus lenses because I don't do sports (but I do closeups of fast things, such as crazy cats) and they are way more accurate than automatic focus lenses: the reel has a longer throw and less game and the crappy in-camera autofocus stays put. Just yesterday I tried this for "fun" (wife had periods): I put my only AF lens on a tripod and shot the carpet several times, well, no two shots were the same. If you have even more time, MF cum live view is a cracker! Otherwise you need a specific focussing screen, it's a bit darker but amen.
Reply Nr.9 from Philip Bishop on 08-5-10 2:51 AM

A lot depends on your focussing screen. When I got my D2x, it came with a second, brighter screen, which I found to be a lot better for me. Even so, manual focus with macros and long lenses was tricky, even when using a 2x right angle finder.
When I got my ZF100, I paid attention to advice on the DPReview forums and purchased a Katz Eye screen. The split prism and micro prism makes focussing much quicker, easier and more precise with all my lenses, not just the longer ones.
Like a lot of old timers who grew up with all manual cameras, I cannot understand why camera manufacturers stopped supplying split/micro prism screens as standard.
Reply Nr.8 from Philippe Philber on 08-3-10 12:29 AM

ZE 28/2 is a lens I am having trouble with, frankly. I had a 35 f:2.0 that was stolen, and want to wait for the rumoured 35 f:1.4 that should be released this fall if the rumours are to be believed. So I thought that the 28 would be useful in plugging part of the gap between my 21 and my 50 f:1.4.
That was the plan. Fact is, I find the 28 not at all the same as the "wider 35" which I expected. The 35 is always spectacular and very much an all-purpose walk-around lens. Well the 28 is never spectacular, and I have not found (yet) how to do certain things with it. Basically, if shots do not include a foreground, I find the results flat and boring, which means it is simply not a landscape lens, not a good feature for a 28mm... Besides which it has quite a bit of CA. Now, if I do it right, it can be quite pleasing, though I have yet to get "Wow!" shots from it, whereas I got some from day 1 with both my 21 and my 35. Hope this helps.
Reply Nr.7 from Zach Blake on 07-29-10 1:17 PM

Dependng on which Nikon you shoot, you can also get the focus indicater (and even which direction your need to focus) in the bottom left side of the viewfinder.
Reply Nr.6 from Albrecht on 07-29-10 12:38 PM

If your camera has "LiveView" you can use it to get sharp focus.
Reply Nr.5 from Steve Watson on 07-28-10 5:00 AM

The Zeiss lenses on a Canon EOD 5D Mk.II are not totally Manual Focus. If you hold down the Shutter Release halfway and then rotate the focusing ring, when the Central Focus Point is in focus on the subject, this Focus Point lights in the View Finder. NOTE Only the Central Focus Point works in this way. I use Live View for most of my work (no good for Street Photography).Stephen
Reply Nr.4 from Ricardson on 07-27-10 9:16 PM

Hi Philber,

And about 28mm f/2? I saw some pics in your Gallery... thanks!
Reply Nr.3 from Philippe Philber on 07-27-10 9:10 PM

It is much easier to manually focus a lens designed for MF than a lens designed for AF. Because, for AF, you nees speed, so the gearing will be radically different from that of an MF design, where you need accuracy. Also, th efeel of the MF ring, will be 100% different.
The 35 f:2.0 is a great lens. Have fun!
Reply Nr.2 from Ricardson on 07-27-10 8:40 PM

Thanks JT! I'm thiking about Zeiss 35mm ZF.2
Reply Nr.1 from Zeiss Images on 07-27-10 8:06 PM

Manual focus is easy once you get use to it. I grew up with manual focus lenses and thats the way it was for the longest time. The faster the lens, the easier it is to focus because of the amount of light coming in. You may also want to consider a micro prism or split screen for your camera which will greatly improve your focus and speed to do so. I would start at least with the 50 if I were just getting into it. It is a good focal length and keeps the objects a good size in the finder for viewing.
Please login to post or reply

Advertise your company and services on ZeissImages.
Send us an email to support@zeissimages.com

ZeissImages is 100% free to you.
Even a one time donation or subscription can really go a long way in helping to run the site.

Thanks for your support !