Beginner question about my Oly 17mm 1.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by kgeissler, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. kgeissler

    kgeissler Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 25, 2012
    Rowlett, TX
    This is probably a stupid question, but when I put the lens in manual focus mode, there are 2 sets of numbers on the ring. One has the distance. The other set of numbers are 22,11,5.6, a red line, 5.6, 11 and 22. What do these numbers mean? When focusing manually, should I put the distance on the red line or one of the other numbers?

  2. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    It's a depth of field scale. The 2nd set of numbers are apertures, and their position relative to the distances indicate how much should be in focus at those apertures.
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Note the numbers on the 17mm's scale are completely wrong... There's a thread about it here somewhere.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Which is a shame. But eventually with familiarity, you get to successfully use the scale by instinct.
  5. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    What street photogs used to do before autofocus was to set the lens to f8 or so and set the infinity mark to the f8 mark on DOF scale. Then you could grab shots without focussing (or even viewing sometimes) to catch the most fleeting, and sometimes unforgettable moments.

    Nowadays I trust autofocus most of the time. Still grab some without looking -- especially if I have the 14mm on my camera (as I often do).

    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    Now that I think of it, didn't have much use for metering either, used the "f16 rule" -- Outdoors, bright sunlight exposure time (shutter speed) at f16 equal to ASA rating of film, or equivalent.

    So, shooting PlusX (ASA100) meant f8-1/500th (good DOF, great stop action) in sunlight. + 1 stop for open shade or overcast (1/250), +2 or 3 stops for deep shade.

    You'd be surprised at how many shots were pretty good just like that.

    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2015
    • Agree Agree x 2