Did change to full-frame change your techniques?

Started Aug 31, 2013 | Discussions thread
Rick Knepper
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Re: eyesight?
In reply to yodermk, Sep 4, 2013

yodermk wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

There isn't a VF in the 35mm format that enables me to focus critically due to my particular eyesight. I'd say Live View did more for me in terms of focusing.

Curious if you'd want to elaborate on that any. I am visually impaired - about 20/100 corrected. Not sure if that's roughly your condition or not?

To be honest, I do not know my exact correction other than it's not 20 in the right eye. I just passed my eye test for driving if that gives you any idea.

I was talking about critical focusing in a historical perspective going back to the 5D & 5D2. Using the VF and AF is not a critical focus at least not for me. It's more like acceptable focus. I mean, AF can achieve a critically perfect focus but not 100% of the time and I can't confirm that even by simply viewing the image through the VF. I can only confirm it back at the hacienda in the computer.

Live View allows me to view a much larger image in the field and zoom in 10x on the precise spot I want to place focus without subsequently moving the camera for composition. This is critical focus by my definition (which doesn't have to be your definition).

As for my own condition and my new 5D3, I'm able to get a good general idea of focus with the VF, but for my MF lenses (Zeiss 50 Makro f/2 and TS-E 24) I rely heavily on the focus confirmation beep while twisting the ring. I then check the photo after the shoot, or use live view if I have a tripod.

When I first started out with MF lenses, my first being a Contax Zeiss 21mm, there were no AF confirm chips available (or if they existed, I was unaware of them). I resorted to the Anglefinder C to get at least a larger optical view of the image. When AF confirm chips got cheap, I only used adapters with AF confirm. By this time, I had amassed a large set of Zeiss ZF lenses, the originals without the chips installed by Zeiss. Of course, the focus acieved with AF confirm is the same focusing you get when using AF and as alluded to above, PDAF can be inaccurate at times for critical focusing while being fine for acceptable focusing. However, AF confirm chips coupled with manual focusing is a hybrid focusing technique which can exceed the AF system alone (but usually never did in my hands).

Lensrental put out a good piece on PDAF vs CDAF (in Live View) for AF lenses but it was something I had already noticed. People will listen to Lensrental while they may not listen to me. When I got my 5D2 (Live View for DSLR was new then), I discovered that I could improve upon the focus achieved by the AF system by tweaking it manually in Live View at 100%. I didn't know PDAF from CDAF but I thought maybe there was a backfocus issue. I subsequently discovered that by using the AF-ON button for AF in LV, I could routinely beat PDAF through the VF and images no longer needed the manual tweaking. The Lensrentals article confirmed what I was experiencing.

So, it seemed to me that in every case save one (AF-ON in LV) where I was able to use Live View and manually focus (or tweak focus) at 100%, I could achieve critical focus at a higher percentage rate i.e. 100% of the time vs. whatever percentage AF (through the VF) was giving me.

I haven't tested things since getting the 5D3, but the 5D3 AF may be more accurate than the 5D2.

Besides focusing, Live View allowed a 100% view of the image (and again larger view) for compositional purposes over the VF of the 5D2. For composing in the field, for me, LV beats the VF too.

In any case I'm curious if there are other low vision photographers out there. One co-worker retorted "wow you sure take good pictures for being blind!" Heh.

For the sake of this discussion, let's say you can achieve critical focus 100% of the time through AF confirm. Bear in mind that this happenstance doesn't have any bearing on what any other person can achieve.

Yesterday, I printed one of my photos to test a new office-level color printer, and my co-workers all oohed and awed at the result (while I cringed at the inaccurate color - though the printer color and graphics capability exceeds my office's needs so we're good to go).

This is no joke on my part and not intended to insult. I have often stated on DPR (probably in a different context but can apply here as well) that if you put a Zeiss lens such as a 21mm on a hi-rez camera, turn the focus ring to infinity (with Zeiss' hard stop) and stop down sufficiently, one would never have to look into the VF or LV. Just point the camera to a spot at or beyond about 6 feet and you'll get acceptably sharp images front to infinity, and you can crop for composition in the computer. One could almost do this blind-folded (except for the pointing part).

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If it's a *Single* Lens Reflex, why do I need so many lenses?

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Rick Knepper, photographer, non-professional, shooting for pleasure, check my profile for gear list and philosophy. TJ said, "Every generation needs a new revolution".

 Rick Knepper's gear list:Rick Knepper's gear list
Nikon D3X Nikon D800E Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 6D Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L +17 more
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