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Is manual focus easier than DSLR?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Johnny1.33, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    I had some manual focus lenses on a Pentax, super takumars. When the shots were in focus the image was great. But most of the time they were not in focus and it was incredibly difficult to focus them properly. Many folks recommend a split prism focusing screen or use live view. I was not able to do any better with live view and I wasn't going to get a focus screen. Focus confirmation was also always wrong (it was a k-x).

    Is there any reason I should expect manual focus lenses to be any easier to operate on the m4/3 platform?
  2. I use the magnified view to assist with focusing when using MF lenses most of the time. I assume your Pentax would have had the same feature.
  3. Johnny1.33

    Johnny1.33 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2011
    It did but was cumbersome. I suspect MF will never be for me. I hated it because I never could get in focus.
  4. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    ~1hr north of Portland OR
    Jim R
    On my k-x I need to start Live View, then press Info to magnify once for fine focusing. On my G1 I press center & left buttons - so in button presses it's a draw. If I just dial in focus without live view and magnification, the camera will beep & light up a mark in the OVF.
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    On the Olympus PEN cameras, there is a MF Assist option which will zoom in as soon as you touch the focus ring, then zoom back out to full compositional view when you let go of the ring. This works with any Four-Thirds or Micro Four-Thirds lens on a PEN body.

    If you are using legacy lenses, then the new Olympus E-PL2 is the best for this, as it has a dedicated Close-Up button which zooms in for you.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. mikeetastic

    mikeetastic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 3, 2011
    is this feature also on my E-P2? if so can you please teach me how to enable it?

    My 2nd post BTW.. great site you all got in here :thumbup:
  7. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    No focus confirm with adapted lens - only magnified live view to aide MF. Using an EVF has proved beneficial to a lot of people to improve MF.

    To see some serious live focus action watch Kai use the MF 25mm f0.95 on an E-P1 -

    <object width="640" height="390"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/wUmXGXxD1Dc?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/wUmXGXxD1Dc?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="390" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  8. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Even without MF assist, if find MF on my ep1 easier than on my 5d. With MF assist, it's slower, but accurate.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. MegaPixelTravel

    MegaPixelTravel Mu-43 Regular

    May 14, 2011
    In good light I find focus with zoom in is great. But if your shutter speed drops below 1/60 the video image starts to get a bit dodgy and its harder to focus handheld (as your dealing with some lag). However if you take that extra second (and if the picture isn't worth the extra second why take it) I find its pretty easy to use.

    On DSLR without using live view (which is basically the same as using any MFT) they have a phase shift detection indicator. On Nikons there is a green dot (on pro models its arrows and a green dot >0<) which indicate if your focus point is in focus. Phase shift is better for MF (screen method is the best) than contrast such as the MFT but the MFT is pretty advanced.
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanks for posting that Nic. Yes, the E-P2 works the same as the E-P1.

    MF Assist started being useful after Firmware update 1.2 on the E-P1 (the other PEN models didn't need an update). Prior to that, the MF Assist would stay zoomed in after you release the focus ring, and was a pain in the arse. After they fixed that (now it zooms out as soon as you stop moving the ring) I've kept using MF Assist except for fast moving action (manually focusing without MF Assist is still faster, if not as accurate).
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    It's a lot easier than my old Olympus E500 and E520 as they had minuscule viewfinders. With MF assist it's a lot easier as long as the EVF is giving you a good image (good light) it can get a bit dodgey in poor light...then again poor light with an OVF isn't any picnic either.

    So yes. I'd say overall a bit easier.
  12. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I have some Sup Tak lenses that i use on the E-P2. I find it's much easier with the VF2 viewfinder. It can be done using the LCD, but I find it really awkward to MF the lens while holding it away form my body.
  13. mikeetastic

    mikeetastic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 3, 2011
    thanks MF assist ON, question now is how can i make the zoom work by touching the focus ring as NED mention? i can zoom 7X and 10X by pressing OK in green box mode but i have to press OK again to zoom back out.
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Was this for a Four-Thirds/Micro Four-Thirds lens, or for a non-Four-Thirds lens? If it's neither 4/3 or :43: then the MF Assist won't work automatically, and you will have to use the green box. If you have an E-PL2, you can use the new Close-Up button instead on non-4/3 lenses, which will bring up that green box with a dedicated button. Much more convenient than using the Info settings on the E-P1 or E-P2.
  15. When using m4/3 or 4/3 lenses, I think that if you set your focus mode to SAF+MF you should automatically get the magnified view when you turn the focus ring, but I am not familiar with the EP-2 so I can't be certain exactly how that model works. My E-P1 had this setting as a default when I set it to SAF+MF.
  16. mikeetastic

    mikeetastic Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 3, 2011
    go it, it's a Minolta MC lens thats why its not working. Thanks for the quick reply guys.
  17. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    This button exists on all Olympus pens. In my humble opinion the E-PL1 is the camera on which the button is placed best.
  18. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    When I compared the E-PL1, E-P1, and E-P2 in the store, I couldn't find the equivalent close up button on either E-P1 nor E-P2. You had to navigate a couple buttons and selections.

    I use my collection of M42 Takumars and Pentax K's on m43 and a Pentax DSLR. I haven't had much trouble on focusing on either system but the m43's ability to provide a magnified view (and increased brightness) within an EVF is certainly an advantage. Manual focus using the LCD display is a pain and I bet is equally painful using the Pentax live view. On the other hand, the Pentax's larger sensor is closer to using the lenses as intended.

    The Pentax KX's penta-mirror viewfinder may be too dark for your taste. Older film cameras were equipped with Penta-prism viewfinders which were brighter. Also, (in either system) you should establish focus with the lens wide-open first, stop down, then meter prior to tripping the shutter. Focusing wide open is much easier to get critical focus.
  19. Yeah, the EP-1/2 don't have the same dedicated button for the magnified view like the E-PL1/2, except in one display mode where the "OK" button performs this function.
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