Manual Focusing Tips & Techniques

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by noodlehaus, Feb 19, 2010.

  1. noodlehaus

    noodlehaus Mu-43 Veteran

    202
    Feb 14, 2010
    Hi guys. New to the site and really eager to learn. I got my first manual lens from ebay (Canon FD 50mm F1.4) as well as the adapter (ceicio7).

    I can see that a lot of the folks here are veteran shooters coming from old manual SLRs. Could you share some tips and techniques when shooting manually? Especially in choosing the correct aperture and shutter speed. Same with pre-focusing

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi noodlehaus,

    welcome to the home of m4/3rds! may I ask which m4/3rds body are you using? so we can give more specific ideas...

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  3. noodlehaus

    noodlehaus Mu-43 Veteran

    202
    Feb 14, 2010
    Thanks Brian. Sorry, forgot to indicate that :D

    I've the E-P2 personally, while my wife, I gave her the GF1 so I could "borrow" the pancake lens from her :D
     
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  4. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Strong work :bravo-009: :biggrin:
     
  5. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Excellent!

    I believe the GF1 has a one touch MF assist zoom... one of our GF1 owners will probably pitch in with specific tips.

    For the E-P2, there's an Info screen with a green MF assist zoom box... while in live view, you press the Info button to cycle to that screen.

    You can then frame your shot, move the green box using the cursor keys to the patch where you want critical focus, and press the OK button to zoom in... you can then focus knowing that your composition is 'anchored' by the patch being placed where you want critical focus... so you can take several shots if you wish without zooming out each time.

    Probably the best thing I can suggest is that you start by reviewing the series of E-P1/2 Quick Start videos I created for members here.

    I may do further videos for other aspects in due course, if there's interest.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
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  6. noodlehaus

    noodlehaus Mu-43 Veteran

    202
    Feb 14, 2010
    Thanks guys. I'm really loving this lens, but not the weight though. It made my camera quite heavy.

    Looking at your videos now Brian :)
     
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  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Welcome noodlehaus, and yes - great work on that move! Too bad my husband isn't into photography...

    Brian's videos are excellent and I keep coming back to them...and hoping for more.:biggrin:
     
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  8. ballfresno

    ballfresno Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Feb 11, 2010
    West Sussex, UK
    For aperture, one of the best things about the m43 range is that you see the effect of the aperture immediately on the screen/evf. I tend to use aperture priority mode (A) when using my manual lenses, letting the camera choose the shutter speed accordingly. I use the aperture to control the depth of focus, either to maximise what is in focus for, e.g., landscapes or to send the background of focus for portraits, say.

    For some lenses, I do find that I need to dial in a particular amount of exposure compensation. The metering, for some reason, consistently underexposes with my 24mm f/2.8 lens. This is on a G1.

    Hope this helps,
    eric
     
  9. noodlehaus

    noodlehaus Mu-43 Veteran

    202
    Feb 14, 2010
    Thanks Eric. I finally learned how to get to the magnified view when doing manual focusing. Also learned today how to pay attention to the exposure guide on my screen, and getting used to turning the lens in the right direction based on the subject's distance.

    I hate the weight though :D The lens weighs as much as my camera, I think!
     
  10. ballfresno

    ballfresno Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Feb 11, 2010
    West Sussex, UK
    Having the histogram displayed continuously, I find, helps quite a bit with these lenses.

    The Canon 50mm f/1.4 is indeed a heavy lens. Although I love that lens, I find that the f/1.8 is better for weight and balance on the G1. You may wish to try to get yourself one of those and try it out.

    Currently, I have been using a Tokina 24mm f/2.8 (Canon FD mount) on my G1 and the weight and balance are just right.
     
  11. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Thanks BB, I'll come back and do more... I'm just focused on shooting every day for my PAD project at the moment - giving me new tips and tricks to share!

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Real Name:
    Muttley
    I just ordered my first manual lens ever, the Voigtlander 35/1.4. I should be getting it this week along with the Voigtlander M to m4/3 adapter. SUPER excited!

    I will be using it with my EP2. Can someone share with this noob (me) what settings work best with a manual lens? Here are some of the questions I have:

    (1) Does a manual lens work on all modes, including program, shutter priority and apperture priority?
    (2) Which of the camera mode typically works better for manual lens?
    (3) Do I control apperture using the apperture ring or the in-camera controls or both?
    (4) What happens to the depth of focus distance scale in terms of actual depth ... does the depth change from the numbers marked on the lens itself because of the crop factor?
    (5) When I enter the focal length in the EP2 for the purposes of the image stabilization, would I enter 35mm or do I enter 70mm because of the crop factor?

    Hmmm ... how about a sticky for a "beginner's guide" to using manual lens with a m4/3 camera?

    Thank you for all your help.
     
  13. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    1/ I don't think so. It will work in Manual & Aperture Priority modes.

    2/ AV is my favourite. Just set the aperture you want & the camera will determine the exposure, taking into consideration the ISO set.

    3/ You control via the aperture ring on the lens.

    4/ I think that the actual value will be double of what's indicated due to the crop factor.

    5/ Not sure about this. But I'm guessing that you enter 35mm.

    Cheers,

    Sammy.