Manual focus. why the obsession?

Started Jan 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Shawn67 Senior Member • Posts: 1,458
Re: Manual focus. why the obsession?

For me it comes down to a few reasons.

1) In good light the AF on the 35mm is pretty quick. However, in poor light it can hunt a lot to hit focus. I ran into this Christmas night trying to get pics of a bunch of kids. In that situation I used a flash (f5.6 on the lens) and used the AF to mark the distances to a few points in the room. I then switched to MF. Using the OVF on the lowest magnification I could see a large portion of the room and when I saw a picture I wanted while I was framing it used the built in distance scale in the OVF to zone focus. Worked very well and was very quick.

2) If you stick with legacy MF lenses you aren't as invested in a system and can change camera bodies for less total cost. I just switched from m4/3 (with lots of native glass) to the X Pro 1. Selling all those lenses had me rethinking my approach on the X Pro 1. For now I'm happy with the native 35mm (at $300 with body it was a no brainer) and am using a Minolta 58mm 1.2 for portraits and a Voigtlander 21mm for wider angles.  If I ever change systems the Minolta and Voigtlander will move over, both are also full frame lenses. For this reason I'm thinking about the Voigtlander 12mm as well.

3) Along with #2 above legacy glass opens up possibilities that don't exist natively. For example I can use my great Nikon primes on the Fuji (85 1.4d, 135 DC 2, 500 f4p). There is no native comparable lenses for the Fuji.

4) If you run multiple systems you can share glass between them. If I add my Q and an adapter to my Fuji bag (very little extra space/weight needed) I can take that Minolta 58mm (effective 87mm FF on the Fuji) and get an effective 320mm lens if the need for a telephoto presents itself. Can't do that with native glass.


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