I have fear of Manual Focus Lenses but

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by Robert Evangelista, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Robert Evangelista

    Robert Evangelista Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2016
    Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
    Robert Evangelista
    Weekend Photography: 50 - SAMYANG 85mm 1.4 on Micro Four Thirds Body

    I have fear of Manual Focus Lenses but... Now it is gone.
    Now it is my new direction.
    It means that I don't need to break the bank every time GAS attacks.
    Some lenses are 75% cheaper than the native AF lens.
    It is worth the trouble of loosing AF / Auto Aperture / Exif data.
    It can compete against expensive native prime lenses.
    Need more practice and patience.
    I started out using Focus Peaking.
    Now I end up using magnify.
    Exciting options are out there.

    3 weekends of shooting results:

    P9110167.jpg P9100035.jpg P9040041-2 SUPER LUX NO ONE WILL GO YOUR WAY.jpg

    P9160189.jpg P9160180.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016
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  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Great work, @Robert Evangelista@Robert Evangelista

    I agree with you and enjoy shooting manual focus sometimes also. Besides the financial advantages, I enjoy the process of manual focus. Magnify works great for focus assistance, but sometimes it's fun to just go without an aid. Photos don't always (or even usually) need perfect focus to be good (IMO).
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  3. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    Getting the Voigtlander 25 sent me down a MF rabbit hole from which I may never emerge. Getting cheesy, I love how manual focusing forces me to "be there."

    Best analog I could maybe conjure is the difference in satisfaction between grilling or microwaving your dinner, even if the taste was identical.
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  4. Robert Evangelista

    Robert Evangelista Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2016
    Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
    Robert Evangelista
    PA080063 (2).jpg PA080028 (2).jpg PA080033 (2).jpg PA080161-2.jpg PA080167-2.jpg PA080135-2.jpg PA080126-2.jpg
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  5. catmurphy

    catmurphy Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 1, 2013
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Some of us older folks started out using manual focus before AF even existed.
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  6. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    A modern camera is a set of algorythms and an optical extension.
    MF and or legacy lenses adds a bit of machinery to the equation.
    My old Pentax lack so much, in terms of IQ. Even I see the difference with my 12-40.
    It is that mechanical touch, that I like. The illusion that I am controlling the matter and not some software engineer. I know I fool myself....
  7. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    I was totally afraid of manual focus for a long time. When I had a Canon DSLR, literally every time I tried to manually focus I ended up with out-of-focus shots. Combination of small view through the OVF + possible mirror misalignment + lack of skill.

    When I found out about focus peaking, I got really excited for manual focus. My first real aha! moment with manual focus was with a Fujian 35/1.7. But it turns out it's not focus peaking that makes manual focus awesome -- it's magnification.

    Now I use manual focus lenses almost all the time.
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  8. Robert Evangelista

    Robert Evangelista Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2016
    Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
    Robert Evangelista
    Funny thing is, I watched your youtube videos and I am pretty sure, it influenced me in my lens choice :)
    and to go ahead with Manual Focus.

    This video in particular: All the points you mentioned in this video
    really helped me to take better focused shots.
    I used my 45mm earlier on portraits, and I chose MF even though it has AF.
    That is how confident I am in MF + Magnify (what you see is what you get)
    So Thanks to your generouse sharing of your experience!!!!!
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
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  9. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 15, 2014
    I use peaking first, and if that doesn't work I switch to magnification. I'm not really clear on why peaking sometimes works really well and sometimes hardly works at all.
  10. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    It's basically running a 'highlight areas of highest contrast' filter over the image, once contrast drops (from low light or narrow aperture or whatever) below the threshold for that filter it stops.
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  11. MarylandUSA

    MarylandUSA Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2013
    Poolesville, Maryland
    Paul Franklin Stregevsky
    Next month, I will turn 60. I figured my manual focusing days will soon behind me. But now I'm not so sure, thanks to focus peaking and in-body stabilization. My 50mm prime is a Contax Zeiss Planar. I bought it as an interim 50, one that I would use until I could afford a native autofocus 42, 45, 50, or 60. But now I plan to take the $300 I would have spent on a native 42.5/1.7 and and apply it toward a Panny G80 body. With the G80's superb viewfinder, stabilization, and grip, I can more easily use all my manual-focus lenses, including my Minolta MD 100/2.5, Konica Hexanon 135/3.2, and Joseph 8/2.8 fisheye (290g in M43 mount).
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  12. Robert Evangelista

    Robert Evangelista Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2016
    Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
    Robert Evangelista
    After using the Magnify function. I am more at peace on my shots now.
    With Auto Focus, I am always at fear, Did I Get it. With MF I do less shots but higher % of Keepers. And for the type of shooting I do, I can take the time to do MF.

    Funny thing is, When I use my AF lenses, I tend to activate the MF, because I am more comfortable relying on it compared to the autofocus. I wan't to see that I am in focus before I even take the shot.
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  13. jdcope

    jdcope Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 21, 2015
    After I bought my EM-10 with the kit lenses, I started picking up older MF lenses and adapters. Mostly because they are cheap, but I really like using them. Although I dont use peaking or magnify. Haven't needed to I guess. The viewfinder works just fine for me.
  14. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    The G85 has reminded me about the extent to which Panasonic does MF better. Olympus really isn't even close. And it makes me sad, because it's just software, and probably not even patented :p Features include monochrome live/EVF view (great for focus peaking contrast), PIP magnify with intelligent activation and removal, etc.
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  15. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yep, the manual focus aids was one of the reasons I bought my GX7 instead of an E-M10, E-M1 or Sony A7. Just so much better than the competition.
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  16. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Hi Robert, thanks for the link to Mark's channel. I think this is the specific video you referred to:
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  17. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I think that peaking works best with busy backgrounds that are close to your subject. Landscapes as well. Love MF it really makes me think about pictures in advance, my V17.5 is on my E-M5 II now.
  18. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    I'm quite happy with AF. Not yet dipped my toes in MF.

    Even with eye detect, I get out of focus shots with our moving kid. I'd have no chance with MF.
  19. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Great shots Robert! But does this mean that you're no longer an Olympus Visionary? I thought that in order to be one, you could only shoot with their cameras & lenses.
  20. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    The PIP magnification was nice when I had a panasonic but the other two points are possible on Oly bodies. I'm not sure exactly what you mean by intelligent activation when using when are talking old lenses with no electronic contacts. Are you saying that it knows you are focusing and activates?. B&W live view is possible with choice of focus peaking color. You can also remove magnification with half press shutter (you have to set it up on an Oly body)