Manual Focus suggestions with legacy lenses on EM5

Started Nov 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
rrr_hhh Veteran Member • Posts: 6,022
Re: Manual Focus suggestions with legacy lenses on EM5

Look at the wiki of Gary Ayton he shares very good information there . Scroll down untill you can see the title "Optimizing Manual Focus", it is quite low in the page; especially check the paragraph concerning "Magnified View for Legacy Lens".

Personnally : I'm missing the split screen for MF too. But I find that using the magnifier is a good substitute.

  • I have the Fn2 button set to multifunction, where the magnifier is ready most of the time.
  • I have the AF target on the center point most of the time with the magnifier set at 14x, aka the highest magnification.
  • Two short pressures on Fn2 bring the magnifier on;
  • Then MF;
  • Then one single long pressure and I'm back into normal VF mode (full view).

S. Miller wrote:

The only problem is that I'm so rusty with manual focusing that I have a very low hit rate for in focus shots. I've taken some shots of my kids, dog, trees, walls, whatever, but I've had very few keepers. Aside from the fact that I'm so out of practice, the main problem I'm finding is that I'm used to a split screen from when I used to manual focus.

I have a relatively low keeper rate when focusing on moving targets (people at family events) and using wide apertures at close distances with longer lenses or even a 50mm F1.4 lens. Then either I choose a native AF lens or try using a smaller aperture allowing more DOF to compensate. I do rather keep MF for still subjects; I focus with the lens wide open and the close down if I need to.

With the EM5, I have three choices:

1) Regular view through EVF: This is what I've been using. I see when things generally go in and out of focus, but it doesn't seem nearly as precise as the old split screen method. I'm sure this is okay if I stop down the lens and gain DOF, but I'm finding it tough with the lens wide open (or close to wide open). I'd love to shoot this lens close to wide open and therefore want to figure out how to focus better.

i'm not able to focus manually without the magnifier. I tend to use it at 14x, aka the highest magnification level and take my time. When using longer lens, if the focus is way out, I will get a first approximation with the full view and switch to the magnifier for the final touch. Almost each time I have tried to focus precisely withhout the magnifier I misfocused, so lesson learned. Some people prefer to use a lower level of magnification, like 7x. See what works for you best.

2) Magnified view through EVF: I find this difficult because a) I don't like losing sight of the bigger picture (unless the camera is on a tripod, which isn't my intent with this lens) and b) at magnified view, the small section of image moves around too much (and yes, I have IS turned on with half-press but I don't think it works in the magnified view with legacy lenses).

Look at the Gary Ayton's explanations linked above a) with his trick to zoom in and out quickly this shouldn't be a problem anymore; b) once again look at Gary Ayton's settings linked above : it is not enough to set the IBIS with half shutter release, you have to set the close up mode to mode 2 (if I remember correctly); it works perfectly for me now. I have AEL on half pressure and without that second setting the IBziS would go off when using legacy lensrs). BTW, his pages are really full of good advices And well worth reading.

3) Fake Focus Peaking through the Key Line filter. I shoot in RAW, so in theory, I could live with this (tossing the JPEG) but it's such a weird way of composing a picture that I just can't seem to get used to it.

I didn't try it yet, but I don't feel any hurry, since Gary Ayton's method works quite well for me.

So after a long-winded lead in, I'd love to hear any suggestions people have for quickly and accurately focusing manually with legacy lenses on the EM5.

I think that accurately is possible, but quickly ... mmm... less so; I switch to AF and native lenses when I need to shoot fast at moving target like people. Unless I can make use of zone focusing at smaller apertures. It is however possible to speed things a little with a judicious use of the customizable buttons and settings. I hope this helped you a little.

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