Manual focusing with long lenses - "pop" techinique?

Started Nov 2, 2009 | Discussions thread
94 Senior Member • Posts: 1,074
Re: Manual focusing with long lenses - "pop" techinique?

John King wrote:

Gidday Peter

I just "rock" the lens through the point of focus and then back. This is how we did it before AF ... If necessary, multiple iterations to get it right - successive approximations ...

It is surprising how quickly one gets used to doing this. I have little trouble using this simple method with even my E-510 (not the greatest OVF ever ... ). It is even easier with my E-1 and E-30.

But the advice about practise is spot on. Tends to improve pretty much everything ... lol

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Regards, john from Melbourne, Australia.
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Exactly - manual focusing was the only focusing for much of my career and for most of the years following my (early) retirement. So much the norm that it still surprises me to find posters unfamiliar with the techniques of focus. It was elemental in all photography before the advent of autofocus, and autofocus was only available in the amateur or ' low enthusiast' level cameras of the times. I mean that no one who took his pitcher-takin' seriously would consider a camera that autofocuses (or auto exposed) to be adequate for obtaining respectable imagery.

You might think it was unGodly slow, and it could be in static image situations. You relished the time and used it if you had it. But for action shooting photographers were continually aware of distances and anyone worth his salt became very adept at judging quickly how far a photo possibility might take his focus and prefocusing his lens accordingly..

Remember that at small apertures the depth of field lengthens - this is the distance front to back within which EVERYTHING is in sharp focus and needs little attention. To raise the shutter speed in order to capture a moving subject one thing or another had to give - either the aperture increased, the film speed increased, the shutter speed increased, or a plan to push your fast film in processing for at least two stops and sometimes more.

All of this may sound surreal and impossible but keep in mind that people took those fantastic images at the Ali-Liston fight in 1964 SOMEHOW....:)

I'll go so far as to say that waiting for these modern cameras to find their focus by transiting back and forth electrically is very often causing me a frustrating wait and so I tend toward manual focus if the equipment allows for that in a way similar to what I've been used to, and very good at, for the better portion of my life.

"Pop" focusing is not new, girls. Pick up any old photo book and learn all about it.

I know.....I'm a dinasaur.

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