5N DMF Problem

Started Feb 5, 2013 | Discussions
Jeff Kott
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5N DMF Problem
Feb 5, 2013

I've been struggling with the 5N manual and can't sort out my issue. I've had my 5N for a while, but just got the 35 SEL as my first autofocus lens for my NEXs.

I've got my 5N set to "DMF" under AF/MF Select and MF Assist set to "on," but when I turn the focusing ring on my 5N I don't get image magnification unless I hold the shutter button half way down. The problem is that after I focus with magnified view if I want to check my composition before engaging the shutter, AF gets reactivated when I take  my finger off the shutter to exit magnified view.

With the same lens on my NEX 7 in DMF mode I get magnified view just by turning the lens focus ring without having to hold the shutter button down. Then when I press the shutter half way, I exit magnified view, I can check my composition without the AF being activated and take my photo.

What do I need to do to get the 5N to function in DMF mode like my NEX 7?

Thanks in advance for your advice. I'm sure I'm missing something really obvious.

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Jeff Kott

Sony Alpha NEX-7
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dannytang
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to Jeff Kott, Feb 5, 2013

That's how DMF works on my 5N, are you sure your 7 is set to DMF and not manual?

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windowsmaclinux
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to Jeff Kott, Feb 5, 2013

On the 5N: that's the way it works. You have to half press and then adjust focus. I agree that it can be physically demanding to hold the shutter while turning the focus ring. However, if you're dexterous enough you can use one finger to press the upper soft key (the one that engages the menu usually) to get out of magnified view. I think Sony has just ruined an otherwise very good function of the camera.

Here's how I do it on my NEX-6 (should be the same except that you're staring at the LCD while I'm looking at the EVF the whole time): initially use the left hand to hold the lens and right hand around the grip with index finger on the shutter. Half press with that finger and turn the focus ring to adjust focus to your taste. Move the left hand back to support the body. Lift your right hand up (which is possible now because it doesn't have to grip to support the body) with the index finger still half pressing the shutter so that your thumb can cancel the magnified view. Check your composition and shoot. It's really unwieldy.

Alternatively I have found that if your focus area is reasonably different from the surrounding you can use object tracking to achieve the same thing much more easily. Engage object tracking (which I have assigned to a soft key), choose your object. After the object is locked with a square box you are free to move the camera around to compose and the square box will be still on that object. Half press the shutter to focus on that object. You can turn the focus ring to fine tune focus because the camera will zoom in to the object you chose. Since you've already figured out your composition before the magnified view you just need to press the shutter. Voila!

Or since you're DMF'ing something that thing is not moving so why not just use MF? You have to turn the ring more but there's no fussing around with holding the shutter.

On the 7: make sure you're in DMF and not MF. MF behaves the way you described. Or maybe I'm missing something that others can fill in.

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Jeff Kott
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to dannytang, Feb 5, 2013

yes

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Jeff Kott
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to windowsmaclinux, Feb 5, 2013

windowsmaclinux wrote:

Here's how I do it on my NEX-6 (should be the same except that you're staring at the LCD while I'm looking at the EVF the whole time):

Actually, I have the EVF for my NEX 5N.

initially use the left hand to hold the lens and right hand around the grip with index finger on the shutter. Half press with that finger and turn the focus ring to adjust focus to your taste. Move the left hand back to support the body. Lift your right hand up (which is possible now because it doesn't have to grip to support the body) with the index finger still half pressing the shutter so that your thumb can cancel the magnified view. Check your composition and shoot. It's really unwieldy.

I just tried this. Yes, it is a way to get out of magnified view without releasing the shutter. It works, but it's very awkward.

Or since you're DMF'ing something that thing is not moving so why not just use MF? You have to turn the ring more but there's no fussing around with holding the shutter.

I'm using the AF with face detection mode enabled to capture a moving kid. But when she slows down, I like to MF with magnified view to really dial in focus on the eyes. It works well on my NEX 7, but I guess will not work well on the 5N.

On the 7: make sure you're in DMF and not MF. MF behaves the way you described. Or maybe I'm missing something that others can fill in.

I'm in DMF on the 7 and it works great. Autofocus with face detection. Slight turn on the ring zooms me in to fine tune the focus. Half shutter press and I'm out of magnified view to check composition. This is very useful and fairly easy to implement. I guess there's no way to get my 5N to do the same thing easily. This is unfortunate as it would be nice if both cameras operated under DMF the same way.

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blue_skies
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to Jeff Kott, Feb 5, 2013

I just checked, after the FW update, and both 5N and 7 behave the same:

in MF mode, touching the dial ring brings up the zoom focus window. You do not have to touch the shutter button, the zoom stays up, and you can click on the x2 zoom.

in DMF mode, pressing the shutter half-way, then touching the dial ring brings up the zoom focus window. You have to keep pressing the shutter button, or you will loose the focus point. After time-out, the view resorts back to full window view. To click on the x2 button, you have to keep pressing the shutter button halfway, a bit awkward.

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Cheers,
Henry

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DtEW
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to blue_skies, Feb 5, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

in DMF mode, pressing the shutter half-way, then touching the dial ring brings up the zoom focus window. You have to keep pressing the shutter button, or you will loose the focus point. After time-out, the view resorts back to full window view. To click on the x2 button, you have to keep pressing the shutter button halfway, a bit awkward.

This is one of my biggest complaints about UI.  The reason this is awkward is because Sony chose to place the x2 button on the bottom softbutton, and instead put the cancel button on top softbutton.  This would be much easier to use if the two were reversed, as you wouldn't have to shift your entire grip to reach that bottom button with your thumb.  And if you need to cancel out of MF assist, chances are you are reframing the entire shot, so shifting your grip isn't an issue.

But they are trying to keep it consistent with the rest of the UI in which the top softbutton is the cancel button...  which is itself stupid as most people intuitively associate up with "yes" and down with "no", like a light switch... or Caesar's judgemental thumb.

I do wish so bad they can hack the 5N.

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captura
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to blue_skies, Feb 5, 2013

blue_skies wrote:

I just checked, after the FW update, and both 5N and 7 behave the same:

in MF mode, touching the dial ring brings up the zoom focus window. You do not have to touch the shutter button, the zoom stays up, and you can click on the x2 zoom.

in DMF mode, pressing the shutter half-way, then touching the dial ring brings up the zoom focus window. You have to keep pressing the shutter button, or you will loose the focus point. After time-out, the view resorts back to full window view. To click on the x2 button, you have to keep pressing the shutter button halfway, a bit awkward.

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Cheers,
Henry

I tend not to use MF because I use auto ISO a lot. So I use the DMF option but I've become used to it. I compose/frame first, then magnify, focus, then shoot. I've learned not to trust peaking so much so this method is preferable with a normal or telephoto lens. Very wide is much more forgiving.

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Glenn
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to captura, Feb 5, 2013

why would auto ISO have any influence on using MF or DMF?

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Rob Wal
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to Jeff Kott, Feb 5, 2013

This is what I do on the 5N when using DMF. Menu > Setup. I set MF assist to 2 seconds (there is also a 5sec or unlimited). Set MF Assist to enabled. Enable DMF for AF/MF Select in the Camera settings.

Press shutter half way to autofocus then turn focus ring as desired wait 2sec (still holding shutter halfway) for the DMF to zoom back out from magnification. Recompose while holding shutter then press shutter all the way.

On the 5N. In Manual focus mode turning the focus ring will magnify without half pressing shutter.

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NEX5N 18-55kit, SEL16F28 & Sigma 30f2.8

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KingCharles
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to Jeff Kott, Feb 5, 2013

Jeff Kott wrote:

I've been struggling with the 5N manual and can't sort out my issue. I've had my 5N for a while, but just got the 35 SEL as my first autofocus lens for my NEXs.

I've got my 5N set to "DMF" under AF/MF Select and MF Assist set to "on," but when I turn the focusing ring on my 5N I don't get image magnification unless I hold the shutter button half way down. The problem is that after I focus with magnified view if I want to check my composition before engaging the shutter, AF gets reactivated when I take my finger off the shutter to exit magnified view.

With the same lens on my NEX 7 in DMF mode I get magnified view just by turning the lens focus ring without having to hold the shutter button down. Then when I press the shutter half way, I exit magnified view, I can check my composition without the AF being activated and take my photo.

What do I need to do to get the 5N to function in DMF mode like my NEX 7?

Thanks in advance for your advice. I'm sure I'm missing something really obvious.

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Jeff Kott

I have the 5r, and this is an annoying usage issue as well.

I know my 5r has the option to set how long it stays zoomed in (yours probably has this?). So I have that set to two seconds. I use AF, I adjust with the ring and it zooms in, I stop messing with the zoom for two seconds, it returns to normal view, then I check my composition, and then take the picture. An option to take this down to .5 or .25 seconds would be REALLY nice.

Most of my primes are older lenses with mechanical focus so I stay in MF mode, and can usually focus faster using peaking than I can using DMF.

If I am shooting moving subjects with an AF lens and don't have time to wait the two seconds I will usually turn the zoom option off, use AF, adjust with DMF and just use the full image to check my focus and composition in a faction of the time it takes to use the MF assist.

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mbonsack
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to DtEW, Feb 6, 2013

> The reason this is awkward is because Sony chose to place the x2 button on the bottom softbutton

This has always bugged me too and this thread caught my eye even though I have a NEX-6.  It turns out, though, that on the 6 you can program the AEL button to do the MF assist.  You're right, having MF Assist at the top (in what turns out to be an even better position on the body than softkey A) makes a *world* of difference using legacy glass in combination with focus peaking and/or MF assist.

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Jeff Kott
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to KingCharles, Feb 6, 2013

The reason this is so easy on the NEX 7, is you can let the camera autofocus and if the subject (say my daughter) isn't moving, push the AF/MF button to switch to MF, turn the lens focus ring to automatically zoom in, dial in focus, half shutter press gets you out of magnified view, check composition then take the shot. This is all very fast and intuitive.

The problem with the 5N is that I haven't found a way to program any of the buttons to switch between AF and MF. It's more complicated on the 5N and doesn't work well for me. I appreciate some of the suggestions above, but none of them work as well as if you could push a button and switch between AF and MF.

Here's a shot I took with my NEX 7 and 35 OSS. I wanted to dial in focus on the eyes and focus had to be changed from where the cameras AF put it. I did what I described above and even with the NEX 7 file magnified to 100%, the closest eye is in perfect focus.

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Rob Wal
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to Jeff Kott, Feb 6, 2013

I believe using true DMF and the time out at 2 seconds as suggested up top is the closest you'll get to that on the 5N.  The NEX 7 has a dedicated AF/MF hardware button that temporarily changes focus mode between auto and manual. You are not necessarily using DMF on the NEX7 since that requires half pressing the shutter on both cameras.

What you are doing is temporarily switching between AF/MF using that dedicated button. You can program a button for the AF/MF mode on the 5N but you'll get a sub menu to select either AF, MF, or DMF so the process wouldn't be as smooth.

From the NEX7 manual:

AF/MF (AF/MF control)
You can switch the focusing mode between auto and manual temporarily. If you do so, in
the [Autofocus] or [DMF] mode, the focusing mode becomes manual. In the [Manual
Focus] mode, the focusing mode becomes [Autofocus].

1 Set the AF/MF/AEL switch lever to AF/MF.
2 Press the AF/MF button to switch the focusing mode.
The focusing mode remains switched while you press and hold down the AF/MF
button in the default setting. You can keep the focusing mode switched until you press
the AF/MF button again. Select MENU t [Setup] t [AF/MF control].

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Regards, Rob
NEX5N 18-55kit, SEL16F28 & Sigma 30f2.8

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captura
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Re: 5N DMF Problem
In reply to Glenn, Feb 6, 2013

Glenn wrote:

why would auto ISO have any influence on using MF or DMF?

Maybe you are using a Sony Alpha. With Nex you can't set on MF and select auto ISO.  Why doesn't Sony change that?

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