A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?

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Amrbeethoven2
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A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
8 months ago

Hi ,, am a pentax user ,, i want to buy Sony A7 for using manual lenses , pentax and other minolta , nikon , fd lenses ,,, i have heard about inaccuaracy of focus peaking of A7 ,, is that true ,, also if it works in viewfinder as i mainly depend on VF on focusing ?

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Rhawi Dantas
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

As with whatever other camera, peaking is just there to help you and by no means guarantees that you will focus properly. There is also the matter of getting adjusted to peaking so expect that your first images will not be properly focused.

Having said that peaking in the A7r is nice, we get different colors (white, red and yellow) and, together with magnification, your eyes will help you see where to place the focus.
I have a Voigtlander 50 f1.1 and use it all the time with peaking. Of course if I want to shoot at 1.1 it means that I will struggle, even with naked eye, to properly place the focus where I want.

It is just another way of focusing. I suggest you try it out before buying one.

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Lightshow
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

Amrbeethoven2 wrote:

Hi ,, am a pentax user ,, i want to buy Sony A7 for using manual lenses ,

Thats why I bought my NEX-7 and now A7r.

pentax and other minolta , nikon , fd lenses ,,, i have heard about inaccuaracy of focus peaking of A7 ,, is that true ,,

I haven't seen any inaccuracy that wasn't in my NEX-7, the issue comes from the DOF of the plane of focus that the lens has, it generally takes some time to get to know your lens and how the peaking behaves with it, also,  some lenses work great with peaking, others not so much.

But combine focus peaking with zoom in to focus and its a deadly accurate focus system, its better than my now sold Canon pro AF gear, or any AF gear, provided you have the time to focus on the subject.

also if it works in viewfinder as i mainly depend on VF on focusing ?

Indeed it does work with the EVF, actually better than the LCD.

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nzmacro
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Lightshow, 8 months ago

Lightshow wrote:

Amrbeethoven2 wrote:

Hi ,, am a pentax user ,, i want to buy Sony A7 for using manual lenses ,

Thats why I bought my NEX-7 and now A7r.

pentax and other minolta , nikon , fd lenses ,,, i have heard about inaccuaracy of focus peaking of A7 ,, is that true ,,

I haven't seen any inaccuracy that wasn't in my NEX-7, the issue comes from the DOF of the plane of focus that the lens has, it generally takes some time to get to know your lens and how the peaking behaves with it, also, some lenses work great with peaking, others not so much.

But combine focus peaking with zoom in to focus and its a deadly accurate focus system, its better than my now sold Canon pro AF gear, or any AF gear, provided you have the time to focus on the subject.

also if it works in viewfinder as i mainly depend on VF on focusing ?

Indeed it does work with the EVF, actually better than the LCD.

I would trust this post. He does know what he is talking about. Sounds similar to FP on the NEX-7 then. Some lenses work better than others.

All the best and good to know.

Danny.

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Tobers
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to nzmacro, 8 months ago

Using focus peaking on the A7R with legacy lenses, it is noticable that when using very shallow depth of field you can't rely on focus peaking without zooming in. If you are looking for critically accurate focusing at f/2.8 for example, the focus peaking can indicate it is in focus but it's not quite as sharp as it could be so a slight adjustment is needed once zoomed.

I think its worth noting that focus peaking is really just edge detection and in the current implementation it isn't as accurate as you'd need for totally accurate focus. Knowing this, I just zoom (set to the button in the AF/MF switch on the back) and set focus to be spot on.

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Richard Ettinger
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

Amrbeethoven2 wrote:

Hi ,, am a pentax user ,, i want to buy Sony A7 for using manual lenses , pentax and other minolta , nikon , fd lenses ,,, i have heard about inaccuaracy of focus peaking of A7 ,, is that true ,, also if it works in viewfinder as i mainly depend on VF on focusing ?

I've been using manual focus lenses on my NEX7 ever since I got it 2 years ago. Focus peaking gets you close and using focus assist (electronic zoom magnification) lets you fine tune. The problem on the NEX7 is that magnification of an APS-C sensor is often too great and it becomes difficult to hold the camera steady enough to find true focus.

Enter the A7. The focus assist system is greatly improved adding a box to the viewfinder that can be positioned to the area you wish to focus on, a second push on the focus assist button zooms you in to a much more stable vantage to focus on.

It's only been a week. it's been too cold to venture out and test this feature further, but I'll be in LA the rest of week and will gain more experience.

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Brian Caslis
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Tobers, 8 months ago

Tobers wrote:

Using focus peaking on the A7R with legacy lenses, it is noticable that when using very shallow depth of field you can't rely on focus peaking without zooming in. If you are looking for critically accurate focusing at f/2.8 for example, the focus peaking can indicate it is in focus but it's not quite as sharp as it could be so a slight adjustment is needed once zoomed.

I think its worth noting that focus peaking is really just edge detection and in the current implementation it isn't as accurate as you'd need for totally accurate focus. Knowing this, I just zoom (set to the button in the AF/MF switch on the back) and set focus to be spot on.

My post with a picture done with focus peaking only. Want to tell me again how you can't get accurate without zooming in?

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3588807

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nspur
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

I have bought the A7 to use with manual lenses and I would not consider using focus peaking since however and by whom it is implemented it is inaccurate and distracting. The A7 has an excellent EVF with wide range dioptre adjustment and two levels of magnification for focusing. The Fujifilm X-100s and X-E2 cameras have a coincident image option that is very precise and in principle this sort of thing could be implemented on the A7 (but not the A7r) via a firmware upgrade but don't hold your breath. If worried, just stop down to f11 or so and use the distance scale on the lenses for zone focusing.

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Lightshow
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to nzmacro, 8 months ago

nzmacro wrote:

Lightshow wrote:

Amrbeethoven2 wrote:

Hi ,, am a pentax user ,, i want to buy Sony A7 for using manual lenses ,

Thats why I bought my NEX-7 and now A7r.

pentax and other minolta , nikon , fd lenses ,,, i have heard about inaccuaracy of focus peaking of A7 ,, is that true ,,

I haven't seen any inaccuracy that wasn't in my NEX-7, the issue comes from the DOF of the plane of focus that the lens has, it generally takes some time to get to know your lens and how the peaking behaves with it, also, some lenses work great with peaking, others not so much.

But combine focus peaking with zoom in to focus and its a deadly accurate focus system, its better than my now sold Canon pro AF gear, or any AF gear, provided you have the time to focus on the subject.

also if it works in viewfinder as i mainly depend on VF on focusing ?

Indeed it does work with the EVF, actually better than the LCD.

I would trust this post. He does know what he is talking about. Sounds similar to FP on the NEX-7 then. Some lenses work better than others.

All the best and good to know.

Danny.

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Thanks, it is very much like the NEX-7, but with this EVF there is more resolution, and the shadows seem better, refresh is good, and focusing in low light is even easier because of less noise and more resolution, its much easier to see detail in the in-focus area.

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Lightshow
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Brian Caslis, 8 months ago

Brian Caslis wrote:

Tobers wrote:

Using focus peaking on the A7R with legacy lenses, it is noticable that when using very shallow depth of field you can't rely on focus peaking without zooming in. If you are looking for critically accurate focusing at f/2.8 for example, the focus peaking can indicate it is in focus but it's not quite as sharp as it could be so a slight adjustment is needed once zoomed.

I think its worth noting that focus peaking is really just edge detection and in the current implementation it isn't as accurate as you'd need for totally accurate focus. Knowing this, I just zoom (set to the button in the AF/MF switch on the back) and set focus to be spot on.

My post with a picture done with focus peaking only. Want to tell me again how you can't get accurate without zooming in?

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3588807

As I said earlier, some lenses are easy to focus using just peaking, they have a narrow plane of focus and a narrow band of peaking that seem to match well and can place on your subject and nail focus.

Others seem to never show peaking where you want it, like nothing is in focus(I only have one or two lenses like this).

And others seem to have peaking everywhere, it seems to go well past the DOF which itself is deeper than the plane of focus(lenses seem to generally fall somewhere between the first and last type), it turns it into a guessing game to find the plane of focus, The last two benefit from zooming in, the first, not so much.

With this EVF you should be able to focus without peaking quite well in many circumstances.

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Keit ll
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Lightshow, 8 months ago

Focus peaking is just a tool & to get good results it needs to be used correctly. It is designed to show colour fringes on all edges that have high contrast & this can be distracting as it can find too many such edges in a normal frame & seeing a lot of fringes doesn't automatically mean the frame is in best focus.

The user needs to concentrate on the intended focus target & ignore the rest. Focus magnification helps greatly to nail the precise focus & using DMF helps. Most difficulties arise when shooting very close-up in lowish light when the EVF image may not be precise enough for the eye to judge absolute sharpness , PF can help here but don't expect the colour fringes to be very pronounced. All that is needed is to watch for shimmering dots on the intended target & move the focus to maximise these dots , they may be slight but they are there & appear & disappear when focus is changed.

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John A Clark
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Keit ll, 8 months ago

I use focus peaking and zoom in. Get pretty much 100% keepers. Surprised me too ...

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nzmacro
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Lightshow, 8 months ago

Lightshow wrote:

nzmacro wrote:

Lightshow wrote:

Amrbeethoven2 wrote:

Hi ,, am a pentax user ,, i want to buy Sony A7 for using manual lenses ,

Thats why I bought my NEX-7 and now A7r.

pentax and other minolta , nikon , fd lenses ,,, i have heard about inaccuaracy of focus peaking of A7 ,, is that true ,,

I haven't seen any inaccuracy that wasn't in my NEX-7, the issue comes from the DOF of the plane of focus that the lens has, it generally takes some time to get to know your lens and how the peaking behaves with it, also, some lenses work great with peaking, others not so much.

But combine focus peaking with zoom in to focus and its a deadly accurate focus system, its better than my now sold Canon pro AF gear, or any AF gear, provided you have the time to focus on the subject.

also if it works in viewfinder as i mainly depend on VF on focusing ?

Indeed it does work with the EVF, actually better than the LCD.

I would trust this post. He does know what he is talking about. Sounds similar to FP on the NEX-7 then. Some lenses work better than others.

All the best and good to know.

Danny.

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Thanks, it is very much like the NEX-7, but with this EVF there is more resolution, and the shadows seem better, refresh is good, and focusing in low light is even easier because of less noise and more resolution, its much easier to see detail in the in-focus area.

Very interesting and good to know. I guess with the EVF, its a bit like I had when going from the Panasonic G2 to the NEX-7, I was amazed to be honest. Probably the same thing going from the NEX-7 to the "A" series then. That is good info to have.

All the best and great news to hear.

Danny.

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nzmacro
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to John A Clark, 8 months ago

John A Clark wrote:

I use focus peaking and zoom in. Get pretty much 100% keepers. Surprised me too ...

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Yes exactly. When people ask what is your keeper rate, I always say on a perched bird, I expect 100%. So I agree. BIF's are a little different though for sure.

All the best and it is good huh

Danny.

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Marla2008
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to nzmacro, 8 months ago

Totally untrue as far as I'm concerned, and even opposite to the truth, actually. I shoot Manual Focus 80% of the time, and 100% of this with Focus Peaking, as magnification is utterly useless for living targets that are bound to move, even ever slightly so. I shoot fast primes wide open on children all the time, and my hit rate is very high.

I do have a love and hate relationship with the A7, and can't even decide whether I'll keep the camera right now, but one big positive about it is how accurate and well visible I find focus peaking to be over the NEX7, my pet cam. I think reports of unaccuracy com from people not trained enough with peaking, or expecting miracles and foolproof results. As many others have noted Peaking is an aid, not a guarantee of anything, but I find it works extremely well on the A7, not to mention than being able to assign Peaking  color and level to physical controls or the shortcut menu is godsend.

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nzmacro
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Marla2008, 8 months ago

Marla2008 wrote:

Totally untrue as far as I'm concerned, and even opposite to the truth, actually. I shoot Manual Focus 80% of the time, and 100% of this with Focus Peaking, as magnification is utterly useless for living targets that are bound to move, even ever slightly so. I shoot fast primes wide open on children all the time, and my hit rate is very high.

I do have a love and hate relationship with the A7, and can't even decide whether I'll keep the camera right now, but one big positive about it is how accurate and well visible I find focus peaking to be over the NEX7, my pet cam. I think reports of unaccuracy com from people not trained enough with peaking, or expecting miracles and foolproof results. As many others have noted Peaking is an aid, not a guarantee of anything, but I find it works extremely well on the A7, not to mention than being able to assign Peaking color and level to physical controls or the shortcut menu is godsend.

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Not sure what you read in my post. All totally true.

On static subjects I use the magnify method and expect 100% keeper rate .......... true. On BIF"s and motor sports, I dont use that method because it doesn't work. I only own MF legacy lenses and use focus peaking 100% of the time, even with the magnified view. So I think you might have read my post worng

All the best and I do expect a 100% keeper rate on a static bird on a perch.

Danny.

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Amrbeethoven2
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

I think i now have a positive feeling toward A7 after those replies ....

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Amrbeethoven2
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Re: A7 ,, What about metering with manual lenses ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

what is the mode used to meter correctly using A7 ,, also is the exposure appear live on screen when i change aperture manually or shutter speed or iso setting ?

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sroute
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Re: A7 ,, What about metering with manual lenses ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

Amrbeethoven2 wrote:

what is the mode used to meter correctly using A7

? choose whatever metering approach is suitable for your needs.

,, also is the exposure appear live on screen when i change aperture manually or shutter speed or iso setting ?

Menu > Cog > 2 > Live View Display > "Setting Effect ON"

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sroute
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Re: A7 ,, manual lenses and peak focus accuracy ?
In reply to Amrbeethoven2, 8 months ago

Amrbeethoven2 wrote:

I think i now have a positive feeling toward A7 after those replies ....

I find the combination of easy manual focus assist (magnification) for critical focus and focus peaking for quick focus works very well on the A7 / A7r cameras.

This is the third live view / focus peaking enabled camera I've used; the first two - NEX-5N and GXR/M I used exclusively with manual focus lenses and extensively so over the space of two and a half years.

In my opinion, the my A7r is the easiest to focus camera yet and by no small margin.

I wouldn't say focus peaking has evolved so much - Ricoh's implementation is actually quite a bit better - but the quality of the OLED finder and high resolution LCD - from crispness to refresh rates - makes for the best manual focus experience so far.

This is a very personal subject. What lenses you use, your own skills and experience, and the nature of your photography will be factors in whether you consider the setup to be successful or not.

Let's put this another way - if you personally can't successfully manual focus lenses on these cameras, you won't be able to on any other mirrorless system camera. If you've never gone down this road, you might hedge your bet with some autofocus lenses in the kit too.

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