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Thread: Precision of manual focusing in modern camera

  1. #1

    Default Precision of manual focusing in modern camera

    Been using old mechanical camera with the split screen focusing screen until i switch to DSLR recently.

    I love the precision of the split screen focus screen in the old camera..
    but i'm lacking sharp focus with my canon DSLR when using manual focus.

    any solution for my DSLR? or i just have to 'suck thumb' and accept this's the only way?

  2. #2
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    Can check the accesories page of your dSLR manuals to see if a split screen focussing screen is listed there.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by ST1100
    Can check the accesories page of your dSLR manuals to see if a split screen focussing screen is listed there.
    I'm using Canon D30, checked out on the net, and it says the laser matte screen is non-changable.
    so this means i've no choice but to stick with the default one?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
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    Did you do any post editing on your digital images?

  5. #5

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    Just some USM to do the sharpening

  6. #6

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    Depends on how good your eyes are, and the lens you're using.

    The split screen is a visual aid to help you focus manually, whereas the matte screen depends on how well you can distinguish sharp and unsharp when focusing.

    The focusing throw of EF lenses is quite short, and this does not help in manual focusing. EF lenses are primarily meant for autofocus, and the manual focus mode is there only for those who insist on using manual focus. An exception would be a macro lens like the Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro. It has a large focusing throw and is a pleasure to focus manually. Not sure about other macro lenses, though.

    If I were you, I would stick to using autofocus.

  7. #7

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    Thanks.. And yes, technology made it a pleasure to use autofocus, but for normal usage when light condition is low to moderate, the AF is very slow, and even with assist, it still takes a long time. So i'll switch to manual focus. But due to the low to moderate light condition, it's very hard to get pinpoint sharpness, unless i'm lucky to just 'hit the jackpot'. Yah, this's the frustrating part.

    oh btw, i'm using the EF 50/1.8


    ..
    Quote Originally Posted by StreetShooter
    Depends on how good your eyes are, and the lens you're using.

    The split screen is a visual aid to help you focus manually, whereas the matte screen depends on how well you can distinguish sharp and unsharp when focusing.

    The focusing throw of EF lenses is quite short, and this does not help in manual focusing. EF lenses are primarily meant for autofocus, and the manual focus mode is there only for those who insist on using manual focus. An exception would be a macro lens like the Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro. It has a large focusing throw and is a pleasure to focus manually. Not sure about other macro lenses, though.

    If I were you, I would stick to using autofocus.

  8. #8
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    i miss split screen focusing

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by behyx
    Thanks.. And yes, technology made it a pleasure to use autofocus, but for normal usage when light condition is low to moderate, the AF is very slow, and even with assist, it still takes a long time. So i'll switch to manual focus. But due to the low to moderate light condition, it's very hard to get pinpoint sharpness, unless i'm lucky to just 'hit the jackpot'. Yah, this's the frustrating part.

    oh btw, i'm using the EF 50/1.8


    ..

    U using DSLR right? Just snap off a few more shots based on different focus positions lor..... I think after a while u'll get the hang of where the "in fcous" spot is when using the manual focus on the D30 lor..... I think the viewfinder of the D30 is a little dim as well (I used it for 3 days of shooting in ballroom) so that does not help, not just the lens (which plays an important part). Can try stopping down when focussed? The viewfinder should become marginally brighter so that u can see the sharp and unsharp parts of the frame better? Just a suggestion.

  10. #10
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    I think the split screen is dead already, it was designed for faster fixed focal lens of the past, current zoom all have small apertures, it will render it useless as half of the circle will be dark for you to see if focussing is good or not. If I remember correctly, this occurs normally at about f5.6 and even at f4 it is already bad.

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