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Thread: Manual focusing on DSLR

  1. #1

    Default Manual focusing on DSLR

    Hello All,

    have you tried to use a manual focus lense on a DSLR? to me the metering is actually not a issue any some more u are able to preview it on camera and that means u can adjust the setting for right exposure.

    How about focusing?
    i tried to use a manual lense on D100 before, and it seem no way to check focusing..unlike a film SLR with split screen.. anyway to check?


    i have been using film SLR, and and for some situation that needs fast focusing i will just use the scale on the focusing lense to pre-focus..
    those DSLR users, do you think AF is really 100% advantage over manual focus?or AF will be off target too? or slow focusing speed? may you share your experience using a manual lense on DSLR? do you think there is still value to use manual focusing lense?

    the only things that DSLR impress me is it is so easy to shoot continous shots.. it is easy to capture natural expressions..

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    Only time I switch to manual is when shooting macros and at times portraits when I need to get accurate focus on the eyes... you need to check for focus through your viewfinder and for some DSLRs they do indicate a focused shot by a green light in your viewfinder.
    Canon 5D mkII|24-105 F4 IS L|70-200 F4 IS L|135 F2 L|580EX|

  3. #3

    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    Some photographers install split-image/micro-prism focusing screens. Type in 'focusing screen ....... (your camera model)' and you'll see one of several options.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    DSLR is not made for manual focusing unlike the manual cam used when dinosaurs were roaming the earth ... there is nothing to tell you if everything is precisely focused - not the viewfinder nor the preview screen. It is all agar agar and experience maybe.

    But I rather not do manual focusing on DSLR.

    The one one I will do manual is with the Oly E330 with its live view at 10x magnification, but then this is not too practical when u outdoors, only good in a very control environment.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    Quote Originally Posted by yehosaphat View Post
    Only time I switch to manual is when shooting macros and at times portraits when I need to get accurate focus on the eyes... you need to check for focus through your viewfinder and for some DSLRs they do indicate a focused shot by a green light in your viewfinder.
    Otherway is to use audible tone. When camera is enabled for tone/audio, then give tone when the image is focussed.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    Not all DSLRs with manual lense mounted will give focus confirmation. For example, Canon's EF system will not give aperture and focus readings without coupling to a "lens" or its circuits.
    I can speak for certain becasue I have a manual Nikkor arsenal that I use alot. Its a skill that you have to feel for slowly on a DSLR without those split screen focusing screens. Every lens you'll have to learn its quirks and torque in order to master focusing its manually very fast. You'll also have to learn at what likely focus on the viewfinder does your picture sure to come out sharp. use f/2.8 manual lenses or faster. Above f/2.8 you'll need focusing screens as its too dark to discern correct focus. Also, for manual focusing on DSLR, you'll have to ensure the diopter on the viewfinder is set right and not wear spectacles; only then you'll be able to put the viewfinder really close to the eye to see thingns clearly.
    Getting a full-frame DSLR will help due to the much larger VF hence its easier to see. I use a Canon EOS 30D and I'm going along fine.

    The only reasons I see for manual focus advantage over AF? You can get those really old but very very good primes that used to line the arsenals of professionals for a price much lower than even today's consumer level lens. So you get the superb image quality bar that you focus right.
    Last edited by JoshSiao; 8th August 2007 at 07:49 PM.
    5D MII w/16-35L,Sigma 28-70&Nikkors(35f2,85f1.4,105f2.5,180f2.8ED)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    I'll take a split-image screen anyday for focusing manually. I'm half-blind and don't like the idea of torturing myself. LOL!

  8. #8
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    I use manual focusing on my Pentax K100D quite a lot and I've never encountered any difficulty focusing manually. It's all in your eyes!!!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    I'm half-blind! Said so. And give an old mana chane will yer!

  10. #10
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Manual focusing on DSLR

    Look for the green dot...
    Michael Lim
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