Manual Focus in G1X

Started Apr 22, 2012 | Discussions
Ron Hirsch
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Manual Focus in G1X
Apr 22, 2012

G1X in manual focus

I find the information re using manual focus (MF) on page 106 of the manual very confusing. The manual says to go into MF mode, which is straightforward. then point the camera, and press the shutter button 1/2 way down to to "fine tune the focal position". But then what??

If you now want to point the camera somewhere else, to take the picture, will not things change once the shuitter is pushed half way down, when taking the picture, as it just did above??

Oviously there is no mechanical focus where one can physically turn a focusing ring or the like.

But it would seem to me that the optimum way to set the focus on a specific spot, and lock the focus, would be to use the "AF Lock" as described on page 114 of the manual, by using the usual autofocus, press the shutter half way down, and then press the left arrow key on the back. This will lock the focus when the shutter button is released, and one can then compose the shot, and shoot.

After the shot is taken, it is not clear if the focus is still locked where it was set. I know that when one used the "Lock Exposure" button, and then takes a shot, the lock is released

In the real world, if I want to lock the focus, I will probably just leave the camera in autofocus mode, press the shutter 1/2 way down to lock focus and exposure, recompose if necessary, and then shoot. It would seem unlikely that the locking the exposure would not create much, if any, of a problem in the exposure.

skillet01
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to Ron Hirsch, Apr 22, 2012

Hi Ron,

I had this same issue and found the fix, again well hidden in the manual. In my copy of the manual, the MF info is on page 110 and on page 111 is a note that you can disable the automatic focus fine-tuning by going into the MENU and setting "Safety MF" to OFF. It then allows you to set a focal distance that stays constant, independent of half presses on the shutter.

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gordonsbuck
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to Ron Hirsch, Apr 22, 2012

Here's what I do: With Safety MF off, but in AF mode, use the half-press to focus then release the half-press. Now switch to manual focus. Try this a few times and you'll see that the focus point remains locked at the distance determined by AF before switching to MF.

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Ron Hirsch
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to skillet01, Apr 22, 2012

Yes, I spotted that there just now - thanks

I have to say that Canon did not do a good job on all the focusing activities with the G1X. In my view, they have over complicated things, and made them confusing.

And, in the focus lock section, they do not make it clear if the lock goes away after taking the picture. If it does, then I will use that. If not, then I will just stick to locking focus and exposure with the halfway shutter press, and then compose and shoot.

When one locks the exposure via the * button, that goes away after a shot is taken

Surprising that your manual and mine are different re the page numbering - something was obviousoly changed somewhere. I downloaded my copy from the Canon site, assuming it would be the most current, before I got my camera. And I printed the whole thing out, and GBC bound it, to start studying the camera before I received it.

I always assume that when the manual is on the CD, that they'll not change the CD in already boxed units, and that the download is the most current - but who knows??

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Ron Hirsch
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to gordonsbuck, Apr 22, 2012

Gordon,

That approach would make sense also. That should keep the autofocusing from happening on the next shutter presss.

But using the focus lock approach by pressing the left arrow button would be the easiest way that I can see to lock focus, assuming that it auto unlocks after the shot is taken, just as the exposure lock auto releases after the shot is taken.

If you have to start going into menus et al to unlock it, I'll avoid that.

I still feel that large amount of focus "Activities" for the G1X was not assembled by someone who then actually used them, and he/she made them difficult to use and comprehend.

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Thomas Niemann
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Manual Focus for Panoramas
In reply to Ron Hirsch, Apr 22, 2012

For panoramas it's desirable to maintain the same focus for a series of images. For this purpose you can disable the following options:

MF-Point Zoom
Safety MF

Focus using the auto-focus feature then switch to manual focus. As mentioned in an earlier post, the focus remains constant when Safety MF is off. I also disable MF-Point Zoom since I never focus from scratch using manual focus and it just gets in the way when doing panoramas.

Under Custom Display I recommend you enable Electronic Level and use the level as a guide. Works well for hand-held panoramas too.

I should probably point out that I don't use the Stitch Assist scene mode as I shoot in portrait orientation. So I also set Manual exposure and White Balance.

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deep7
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to Ron Hirsch, Apr 22, 2012

Lots of features on the G1X seem aimed at the gimmick loving point and shoot crowd and could be implemented better!

Thankfully, manual focus has a trick which makes it simple and easy. When set in manual focus mode, just press the AF point button and the camera autofocuses - it then stays focussed there until you change it yourself. Good for panoramas, HDR or studio work.

The only thing which isn't simple is that you still have to select normal focus range or close range (which you can do with the focus dial) - it only autofocuses within one or the other ranges, not across both, using this technique.
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tinpusher
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to deep7, Apr 22, 2012

MF isn't available in Manual Exposure Mode.

At least I thought that but I've just discovered that pressing the Exposure Metering button toggles through Focusing/Speed/Metering.
I hope that Canon are working on better firmware.

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deep7
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to tinpusher, Apr 23, 2012

tinpusher wrote:

I hope that Canon are working on better firmware.

You'd really have to hope they would! It's like they decided to make a great photographic tool, then let some department that likes gimmicks take over the final implementation, without referring back to the photographers.
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Don.

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Ron Hirsch
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to deep7, Apr 23, 2012

What is the "AF Point Button"?

I don't see anything with that name anywhere on the list of the camera's buttons et al.

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deep7
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to Ron Hirsch, Apr 23, 2012

Ron Hirsch wrote:

What is the "AF Point Button"?

I don't see anything with that name anywhere on the list of the camera's buttons et al.

Page 5 of the manual, no 3, AF frame selector. I've been playing around with the button today, in MF, and can't quite figure it. Sometimes it focuses, sometimes it doesn't. Weird little thing.
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Don.

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Ron Hirsch
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Re: Manual Focus in G1X
In reply to deep7, Apr 23, 2012

As I've commented before - Canon has managed to to construct such a "mess" of the focusing options in the G1X, that I'm going to take the simple path, and avoid trying to use most of them.

Manual focus is something that I will rarely need. So I'm goinmg to avoid using it altogether. For now, I'll settle for halfway press to lock focus and exposure and avoid using MF except in unusual circumstances.

I've also read some messages about the Servo AF, and the complications that it can produce.

I think that as in many such situations, Canon should insist that the "designers" who come up with these functions should insist that the designer actually should be instructed to use those functions to confirm the ease or lack of ease that they present.

They might then go back in, and change some things around.

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