Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?

Started May 18, 2012 | Discussions
Tee1up
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Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
May 18, 2012

At a risk of sounding like an old fart, I constantly find myself reminiscing about my old F3HP and how much I loved that camera. Every Kodachrome 64 shot I took with that camera was done with a set of manual focus lenses and I never found myself wishing I didn't have to make the effort.

Does anyone manual focus anymore?
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Hulamike
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Of course. I do.

Simply put, it's still the most reliable way to get what YOU want in focus and not the camera. I use it for stationary product work, portrait, some action. Believe it or not, I get my best results at air shows shooting in MF. AF can be fooled so easily! If you're an old geezer (like you and I ?) MF is second nature anyway.

Trust me, we're not alone. That's why they put the switch on the camera and most modern lenses.

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cjnielsen_nz
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Tee1up wrote:

At a risk of sounding like an old fart, I constantly find myself reminiscing about my old F3HP and how much I loved that camera. Every Kodachrome 64 shot I took with that camera was done with a set of manual focus lenses and I never found myself wishing I didn't have to make the effort.

Does anyone manual focus anymore?
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At the risk of being pelted with rotten eggs for mentioning film in a digital forum.. I use my D90 but most of the time I use a Mamiya RB67 medium format SLR, or an Olympus OM2N and an OM4. None of those have autofocus, and are designed to manually focus with MF friendly focus screens, and especially the OM2 with it's huge viewfinder, is great fun

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Hulamike
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to cjnielsen_nz, May 18, 2012

Yeah. I really miss the ease of changing out focus screens on my old Nikon F2s. Think I had 4 of them for different use.

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fotolopithecus
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Hulamike, May 18, 2012

I had three F3s, but didn't care for them much except that they were straight forward, and uncomplicated. Yes, I still focus manually, because I don't really need auto-focus in most situations.

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Tbolt47
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Only really for macro now
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Without a split manual focus screen it's just not very easy for a lot of subjects.

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stuntmonkey
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Tee1up wrote:

Believe it or not more college kids than you would expect... except that i'm not really sure they understand why they're shooting manual, since the technique I've seen is not that rigorous. I don't do it anymore, without the split screen it's just frustrating. For me, liveview is the new manual focus for when I want to take the time to nail focus on a very specific part of the picture.

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DuaneV
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Most of the time, actually. The only time I dont is when shooting "snapshots" of my son playing because he's just too fast. But when shooting portraits, landscapes or macros, I ALWAYS use manual focus. It allows me to get the capture exactly as I want it.
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Reilly Diefenbach
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Does anyone manual focus anymore?

The camera does a much better job focusing than I do for telephoto shots of moving subjects. For macro and tripod mounted landscapes, live view and manual focus to the exact pinpoint works better.

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Jezzualdo
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

I always manually focused with my F601 & 50mm lens, beautiful bright clear viewfinder image....

Partly because I hated the whirring sound of autofocus, and partly as it makes you more involved in your photography.

And it removes any problem of locking focus, then recomposing.

The focus confirmation blob provided welcome confirmation you'd got it right.

On my new D5100 this is fine, nice and silent. But the blob is absurdly small. Surely Nikon could do this better?

I still use the 601 with 20, 24 & 28 lenses for proper wide angle pictures the DX format suggests are just for "zoom" users...

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GMack
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Yes.

The primary lens on the camera now is a 24mm PC-E so I have to as it is full manual only. I just use the AF Green Focus Dot though as long as I don't throw the lens too far out for it to work.

Mack

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Camnu
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to GMack, May 18, 2012

Auto-focus 99.9%.

Manual focus only when I shoot macro or I want out -of-focus of the Christmas tree, or another light source.

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Pedro Vera
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

I do it with the Nikkor DX 35mm f/1.8 more than 50% of the time, especially if it is a macro shot. With the kit lens I doubt I have used it in manual more than a couple of times.

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Happyboy
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Auto for snapshots, Aperature Priority for birding and Manual for astrophotography. Everything else - depends. Use what works best for the situation.

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Blue Guitarist
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

Anymore? Not exactly.

My first memory of an SLR is when a favorite uncle let me look through his camera and focus it. Something about that was wonderful.

When I was in a position (i.e. both money and time) to begin pursueing photography has a hobby, I was very disappointed to learn that the split focus screens were gone. I know that I can change the focus screen on my D90, but with the current technology, I expect that I'm better off with liveview when necessary, so I don't.

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Randy Z
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Great old lenses
In reply to Blue Guitarist, May 18, 2012

For portraits with my D7000 and other cameras I always use my vintage 85 f2 and 105 Nikkor MF lenses, got them for about $100 each used from Adorama. Precision glass and metal -- smooth as silk. You aren't going to get anything as good for less than five times that with the new stuff. Amazing resolution and sharpness, and MF is the only way to go for portraits as far as I'm concerned.
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Z-Man

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herbymel
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Blue Guitarist, May 18, 2012

From time to time depending on the situation...still have that F3HP if you'd like it or that RB67...
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Herby

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Tee1up
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Happyboy, May 18, 2012

Do you have a site with any of your astrophotography (my personal fav)?

Happyboy wrote:

Auto for snapshots, Aperature Priority for birding and Manual for astrophotography. Everything else - depends. Use what works best for the situation.

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Happyboy
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Re: Does Anyone Manual Focus Anymore?
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012

I am fairly new at astrophotography. Only 4 images so far. The first 3 are with my D40 while the 4th is with my D5100.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thehappyboy/

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rhlpetrus
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Yes, with all my primes n/t
In reply to Tee1up, May 18, 2012
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Renato.
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Good shooting and good luck
(after Ed Murrow)

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