Zone and hyperfocal focusing with FE lenses

Started 9 months ago | Questions
Miki Nemeth
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Zone and hyperfocal focusing with FE lenses
9 months ago

Since manual focusing (MF) is so important on A7 in low light situation, I wonder, if there is away to set the focus distance manually on a native FE lens. I am experimenting with zone and hyperfocal focusing, and it is quite straightforward with the depth-of-view scales printed on my FD/MD/OM lenses.

FD 50mm lens set to 2.5 - 4.5 m zone focusing at f8 on A7

FD 50mm lens set to 5 m - infinity hyperfocal focusing at f8 on A7

The A7 does not even display the focus distance. Am I missing something?

Thank You, Miki

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Trollmann
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Re: Zone and hyperfocal focusing with FE lenses
In reply to Miki Nemeth, 9 months ago

The A7 give live view depth of field preview - a that better, eh...

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spacemn
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Re: Zone and hyperfocal focusing with FE lenses
In reply to Miki Nemeth, 9 months ago

Miki Nemeth wrote:

Since manual focusing (MF) is so important on A7 in low light situation, I wonder, if there is away to set the focus distance manually on a native FE lens. I am experimenting with zone and hyperfocal focusing, and it is quite straightforward with the depth-of-view scales printed on my FD/MD/OM lenses.

FD 50mm lens set to 2.5 - 4.5 m zone focusing at f8 on A7

Thank You, Miki

Yes, you are missing something It will show a slider with the focus distance when you manual focus native lenses. This is very cool and you also can see when you are actually focussing to infinity. With legacy lenses it naturally will not show you this, but then you have the DOF scale on the lens.

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abortabort
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Re: Zone and hyperfocal focusing with FE lenses
In reply to spacemn, 9 months ago

spacemn wrote:

Miki Nemeth wrote:

Since manual focusing (MF) is so important on A7 in low light situation, I wonder, if there is away to set the focus distance manually on a native FE lens. I am experimenting with zone and hyperfocal focusing, and it is quite straightforward with the depth-of-view scales printed on my FD/MD/OM lenses.

FD 50mm lens set to 2.5 - 4.5 m zone focusing at f8 on A7

Thank You, Miki

Yes, you are missing something It will show a slider with the focus distance when you manual focus native lenses. This is very cool and you also can see when you are actually focussing to infinity. With legacy lenses it naturally will not show you this, but then you have the DOF scale on the lens.

This. The A7 will show focus distance scale, but not DoF scale, which is difficult to be accurate anyway compared to the film days... just ask a Fuji user.

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Mike Stratil
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DOF Preview
In reply to Miki Nemeth, 9 months ago

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

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Michael S

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tex
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Ahem. This is why I love manual lenses! /nt
In reply to Miki Nemeth, 9 months ago
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Fred Briggs
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to Mike Stratil, 9 months ago

Mike Stratil wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

You can turn on Live View Display which is in settings 2, but even with this on, from my observations it appears that the aperture opens to some extent, though it seems not fully, while focusing, so the DOF portrayal will not be accurate until focus is achieved.

However from what I have observed, even with Live View Display turned off, although the aperture seems to fully open during focusing, once focus has been achieved then it appears to shut down to your selected value, so at this point, with respect to DOF,  what you see should be what you get.  However you will not see the brightness of the exposure realistically portrayed with Live View Display turned off.

Fred

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Fred Briggs
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to Fred Briggs, 9 months ago

I should have mentioned that my observations of the aperture behaviour were when using back button focusing - i.e. with AF-ON enabled on the AF/MF button, and with focus on the shutter turned off.  The behaviour may be different in the standard setup.

Fred

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spacemn
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Re: Zone and hyperfocal focusing with FE lenses
In reply to abortabort, 9 months ago

abortabort wrote:

spacemn wrote:

Miki Nemeth wrote:

Since manual focusing (MF) is so important on A7 in low light situation, I wonder, if there is away to set the focus distance manually on a native FE lens. I am experimenting with zone and hyperfocal focusing, and it is quite straightforward with the depth-of-view scales printed on my FD/MD/OM lenses.

...

Yes, you are missing something It will show a slider with the focus distance when you manual focus native lenses. This is very cool and you also can see when you are actually focussing to infinity. With legacy lenses it naturally will not show you this, but then you have the DOF scale on the lens.

This. The A7 will show focus distance scale, but not DoF scale, which is difficult to be accurate anyway compared to the film days... just ask a Fuji user.

That is what I am saying. You will see a focus distance scale and not all the details of a on lens DOF  scale, but the important information is there. It is easy to have an idea about the DOF even if you haven't memorised the numbers you do have peaking.. It is a very neat upgrade over my NEX-7 where you could not be sure about reaching infinity.

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abortabort
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to Mike Stratil, 9 months ago

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

Set one of your custom buttons (I use C3) to DOF preview or there is an option for 'shot preview' which will show you full DoF preview (doesn't go dark like an SLR).

DOF is not fixed, which is basically why DOF scales are difficult to implement especially in digital.

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stevo23
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to Fred Briggs, 9 months ago

Fred Briggs wrote:

Mike Stratil wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

You can turn on Live View Display which is in settings 2, but even with this on, from my observations it appears that the aperture opens to some extent, though it seems not fully, while focusing, so the DOF portrayal will not be accurate until focus is achieved.

However from what I have observed, even with Live View Display turned off, although the aperture seems to fully open during focusing, once focus has been achieved then it appears to shut down to your selected value, so at this point, with respect to DOF, what you see should be what you get. However you will not see the brightness of the exposure realistically portrayed with Live View Display turned off.

How does the aperture open or close at all on the manual lens in question?

When using FE lenses, have you observed the aperture opening or closing during viewing? I'm curious if it's actually doing this, or if it's the EVF compensating. I've been assuming it's the EVF trying to give constant output.

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stevo23
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to abortabort, 9 months ago

abortabort wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

Set one of your custom buttons (I use C3) to DOF preview or there is an option for 'shot preview' which will show you full DoF preview (doesn't go dark like an SLR).

DOF is not fixed, which is basically why DOF scales are difficult to implement especially in digital.

I've used this setting before and I didn't find it helpful - perhaps I'm missing something.

I tend to use focus peaking and live view to get an idea of DOF. You can watch the focus zone moving if you use MF. It's tricky to interpret, but you start to get a feel for it pretty quickly. It's important to adjust the peaking level to match your lens - telephotos needing more, wides needing less.

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spacemn
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to stevo23, 9 months ago

stevo23 wrote:

abortabort wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

Set one of your custom buttons (I use C3) to DOF preview or there is an option for 'shot preview' which will show you full DoF preview (doesn't go dark like an SLR).

DOF is not fixed, which is basically why DOF scales are difficult to implement especially in digital.

I've used this setting before and I didn't find it helpful - perhaps I'm missing something.

I tend to use focus peaking and live view to get an idea of DOF. You can watch the focus zone moving if you use MF. It's tricky to interpret, but you start to get a feel for it pretty quickly. It's important to adjust the peaking level to match your lens - telephotos needing more, wides needing less.

As default the Aperture of Shot preview will not help you greatly. It is only when you turn Live View Display Effect to "OFF", then the aperture will be wide open when focussing, and you can use the aperture or shot preview to preview DOF, like you do with a DSLR. Pretty neat that you have the choice.

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Fred Briggs
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to stevo23, 9 months ago

stevo23 wrote:

Fred Briggs wrote:

Mike Stratil wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

You can turn on Live View Display which is in settings 2, but even with this on, from my observations it appears that the aperture opens to some extent, though it seems not fully, while focusing, so the DOF portrayal will not be accurate until focus is achieved.

However from what I have observed, even with Live View Display turned off, although the aperture seems to fully open during focusing, once focus has been achieved then it appears to shut down to your selected value, so at this point, with respect to DOF, what you see should be what you get. However you will not see the brightness of the exposure realistically portrayed with Live View Display turned off.

How does the aperture open or close at all on the manual lens in question?

When using FE lenses, have you observed the aperture opening or closing during viewing? I'm curious if it's actually doing this, or if it's the EVF compensating. I've been assuming it's the EVF trying to give constant output.

Sorry - I was referring to FE lenses, not manual.

I have actually observed the aperture opening and closing, and different behaviour when in Live view Mode - and in fact posted about this a while ago:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3614025

And as for the concept of DOF itself, as another poster alluded to - it is all relative - so I'm not sure how valuable DOF preview is anyway:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53052678

Fred

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Miki Nemeth
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A7 displays the actual focus distance when turning the focus ring on E-mount lenses
In reply to spacemn, 9 months ago

spacemn wrote:

It [the A7] will show a slider with the focus distance when you manual focus native lenses. This is very cool and you also can see when you are actually focusing to infinity.

Hi MN, you are totally right. I apologize for the misinformation; I should have checked before writing silly things. As far as I know this is unique to Sony; no other mirrorless camera (Nikon 1, micro 4/3) displays the actual focus distance; I hope, this time I am not mistaken.

The only thing I should do is to keep an information sheet in my camera bag with a table shoing the most important zone/hyperfocal ranges/distances for the apertures and focal lengths I use.

Thank You, Miki

PS: Your gallery contains a number of gorgeous images, especially this one http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2140620381/photos/2224941/dsc02462

Are you from a Maghreb country?

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stevo23
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to Fred Briggs, 9 months ago

Fred Briggs wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

Fred Briggs wrote:

Mike Stratil wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

You can turn on Live View Display which is in settings 2, but even with this on, from my observations it appears that the aperture opens to some extent, though it seems not fully, while focusing, so the DOF portrayal will not be accurate until focus is achieved.

However from what I have observed, even with Live View Display turned off, although the aperture seems to fully open during focusing, once focus has been achieved then it appears to shut down to your selected value, so at this point, with respect to DOF, what you see should be what you get. However you will not see the brightness of the exposure realistically portrayed with Live View Display turned off.

How does the aperture open or close at all on the manual lens in question?

When using FE lenses, have you observed the aperture opening or closing during viewing? I'm curious if it's actually doing this, or if it's the EVF compensating. I've been assuming it's the EVF trying to give constant output.

Sorry - I was referring to FE lenses, not manual.

I have actually observed the aperture opening and closing, and different behaviour when in Live view Mode - and in fact posted about this a while ago:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3614025

And as for the concept of DOF itself, as another poster alluded to - it is all relative - so I'm not sure how valuable DOF preview is anyway:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53052678

I've also tried shot preview and I'm not really sure what it's doing other than giving you the relative brightness value.

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abortabort
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to stevo23, 9 months ago

stevo23 wrote:

abortabort wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

Set one of your custom buttons (I use C3) to DOF preview or there is an option for 'shot preview' which will show you full DoF preview (doesn't go dark like an SLR).

DOF is not fixed, which is basically why DOF scales are difficult to implement especially in digital.

I've used this setting before and I didn't find it helpful - perhaps I'm missing something.

I tend to use focus peaking and live view to get an idea of DOF. You can watch the focus zone moving if you use MF. It's tricky to interpret, but you start to get a feel for it pretty quickly. It's important to adjust the peaking level to match your lens - telephotos needing more, wides needing less.

The problem with this is the aperture isn't always at the shooting size, it adjusts for live view dependant on light, not on what aperture will be used during picture taking. In some scenarios it will be correct, but in others not, so using 'peaking' isn't an indication of DoF when you actually take the shot.

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abortabort
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Re: A7 displays the actual focus distance when turning the focus ring on E-mount lenses
In reply to Miki Nemeth, 9 months ago

Miki Nemeth wrote:

spacemn wrote:

It [the A7] will show a slider with the focus distance when you manual focus native lenses. This is very cool and you also can see when you are actually focusing to infinity.

Hi MN, you are totally right. I apologize for the misinformation; I should have checked before writing silly things. As far as I know this is unique to Sony; no other mirrorless camera (Nikon 1, micro 4/3) displays the actual focus distance; I hope, this time I am not mistaken.

The only thing I should do is to keep an information sheet in my camera bag with a table shoing the most important zone/hyperfocal ranges/distances for the apertures and focal lengths I use.

Thank You, Miki

PS: Your gallery contains a number of gorgeous images, especially this one http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2140620381/photos/2224941/dsc02462

Are you from a Maghreb country?

Sony do this (now) as well as Fuji with their X-Series. Ricoh on their GR and GXR. A few compacts (enthusiast compacts) do as well. Thing is DoF is determined by the viewing size of the actual image, so it varies and DoF scales / calculators rarely take this into consideration and all comes under 'circle of confusion'... Fuji uses quite a modern take, which means it's DoF scale is 'out' compared to traditional DoF scales. You need to know the reproduction size to get a fully accurate DoF calculation (or more your camera needs to know, which it can't possibly) and often we don't know what that is going to be, however viewing 1:1 (pixel peeping) usually means we have far LESS DoF than a calculator would normally indicated based on traditional circle of confusion figures used.

Point is, implementing a DoF scale is actually rather pointless. Focus distance however is extremely useful and you can work to your own DoF calculations (or experience).

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abortabort
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Re: DOF Preview
In reply to stevo23, 9 months ago

stevo23 wrote:

Fred Briggs wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

Fred Briggs wrote:

Mike Stratil wrote:

Trollman said that the A7 gives live view DOF preview. I own an A7R and I can't find any reference to DOF in the manual.

So how do we get DOF preview in the A7/R cameras?

-- hide signature --

Michael S

You can turn on Live View Display which is in settings 2, but even with this on, from my observations it appears that the aperture opens to some extent, though it seems not fully, while focusing, so the DOF portrayal will not be accurate until focus is achieved.

However from what I have observed, even with Live View Display turned off, although the aperture seems to fully open during focusing, once focus has been achieved then it appears to shut down to your selected value, so at this point, with respect to DOF, what you see should be what you get. However you will not see the brightness of the exposure realistically portrayed with Live View Display turned off.

How does the aperture open or close at all on the manual lens in question?

When using FE lenses, have you observed the aperture opening or closing during viewing? I'm curious if it's actually doing this, or if it's the EVF compensating. I've been assuming it's the EVF trying to give constant output.

Sorry - I was referring to FE lenses, not manual.

I have actually observed the aperture opening and closing, and different behaviour when in Live view Mode - and in fact posted about this a while ago:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3614025

And as for the concept of DOF itself, as another poster alluded to - it is all relative - so I'm not sure how valuable DOF preview is anyway:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53052678

I've also tried shot preview and I'm not really sure what it's doing other than giving you the relative brightness value.

It stops down the aperture to the actual 'taking aperture' that the camera will use when taking the shot. Traditionally SLRs and DSLR focus and compose with the lens wide open to let as much light in for the viewfinder and/or AF system. The lens then gets stopped down when taking the shot, however they had a DoF preview that shows what the shot will look like by stopping down the lens (though the view gets darker and AF doesn't work during this time).

On mirrorless, your native AF lenses will actually fairly constantly adjust aperture depending on the amount of light, so in dark situations it will open up to help the LV feed and in bright light will actually stop down to reduce the light hitting the sensor (probably partly to do with not cooking the sensor and probably partly to do with available exposure parameters with the rolling electronic shutter). So in these scenarios you won't see what the scene / focus looks like at the actual taking aperture, only what aperture is currently being used on the lens. Using the DoF preview or Shot Preview adjusts the aperture to the actual 'picture taking' aperture. So the standard LV preview cannot always be trusted to be the DoF required and stopping down will often not actually produce a differing results, until the preview button has been hit (and it isn't always possible to 'tell' when the camera in normal LV is showing the actual aperture or some other arbitrary value).

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Miki Nemeth
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Joe Miller's resources for DoF scales
In reply to spacemn, 9 months ago

spacemn wrote:

With legacy lenses it naturally will not show you this, but then you have the DOF scale on the lens.

I have found a very useful place for calculating and printing DoF scales on Joe Miller's photograpy website

http://www.fineart-photography.com/dof_plus.html

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