Does your E-mount replace a DSLR?

Started Jul 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
JurijTurnsek Regular Member • Posts: 497
Re: Ever took a picture of moving subject with MF lens?

Mel Snyder wrote:

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

Jerry Fusselman wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

Al_10D wrote:

Mel Snyder wrote:

II urge you to give manual focus a fair shot. Buy a nice medium tele and adapter, and don't get frustrated by your first attempts -

I'll urge you to take 10 frames per second burst with you MF lens of my daughter jumping to the swimming pool. I hope your skills allow you to keep her in focus. I also offer you to take a picture of my RC plane in flight using your best MF lenses. I have no doubts you will feel proud of the accomplishment. Just don't get frustrated by your first attempts - they are unlikely to be great.

Check post

Where do you live? If anywhere near Boston, I'd be glad to drop by and help you get MF shots of your daughter jumping into a pool. I had a pool from 2000-2004 before I got my first AF DSLR, and was shooting both my then 13 and 10 year old kids and their friends jumping into it.

I was fortunate enough to be born the son of an industrial photographer, and for almost 2 years, I shot football (all night but one day game/year) and basketball with a 4x5 Speed Graphic. Same with weddings - 4x5 Speed Graohic, as soon as I turned 16 and could drive in PA.

Al, I see by your posts you've been shooting quite a while. I'm sure with a bit of assistance, you would discover you can get all the action shots you want with MF. When you do, you'll not lament the lack of fast native E-mount lenses.

That would be amazing, to manual focus that well. I would like that ability. Is it just a matter of practice, or is there some key mental aspect to focus on?

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Jerry Fusselman

There's a sense of distance and DOF and positioning that's key. Here was my marathon secret: The Boston traffic people paint lines and words on the asphalt. I got a sense of how far I had to rotate the focus on my Nikkor to cover the range from the most distant point to the nearest point I would want to shoot.

Knowing that, go back to my marathon photos and you will quickly see that almost all the shots were within that range.

You need to develop a sense of how far you need to move the focus ring to cover that range. A marathon is a great place to learn the technique because you have a steady stream of runners to perfect the technique.

You can't see it in the theater, but many stage shows have tape marking where different actors need to be to "hit their spots." Same when shooting Hollywood movie scenes. Both actor and camera person are working that way. Why? MF. You can't afford to have Tom Cruse at $10,000 a minute being tracked by AF - and then discover the AF went off him on a scene. The cameraman must track him across a predetermined path.

Every sport pretty much has the same predictable path. A quarterback drops back, rolls right or rolls left. Unless the play is busted, you know where he's going to be, and where the defense is going to be. That's why so many Sports Illustrated shots are of a quarterback being creamed. Very predictable.

Same with baseball. You know where all the close plays will be - mostly second base and home.

The best example in camera history was the "big Bertha" camera used to cover baseball in the 1940s-50s. It was lever-focused. It had 3 lever positions - "Home" "1st-3rd" and "2nd." 90% of baseball action occurs at those 3 points on the field.

With MF and Sony, you just need to develop a sense of how to rotate the focus to capture the range, and how the focus peaking looks.

Once you "get it," you will not be amazed at how easy it is.

Shooting active kids with MF? That's the subject of a later thread.

Thanks. Very interesting. I read this about ten times. Can I ask which aperture you are successfully manual focusing? I'm thinking of moving objects. OK, maybe football. For example, is your aperture like f/11, f/5.6, or perhaps something closer to f/2?

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Jerry Fusselman

I usually shoot one or two stops down from maximum aperture on any lens, on general principles that the best performance is there - except in the rare instances when I can't control the background of a portrait.

For action sports, even though it compromises DOF, you really do want to shoot action MF at a wide aperture - if for no other reason than to assure the grandstands are out of focus. I read complaints here all the time about "back focusing" when it's really the inability of most cameras to AF properly a small athlete against background, all of which is avoided with MF.

It's all about practice. Once school restarts, you can go to local high schools and practice shooting at their practices - in some states, football practice can legally start August 1. Burst shooting does little good in manual focusing mode - there's just one good moment, and you need to get that.

Larger apertures also allow faster shutter speeds, although I would suspect the A6000 does better at ISO 1600 than the NEX-6, which was already pretty good. By using a tele, you get a big image and lose less when you enlarge.

Basketball is another great sport for MF if you know where to stand and shoot. Most newbies shoot the basket - but other than remote shots from above, that gets passé quick. The best place to stand to shoot MF is along the baseline shooting up court. All the action is roughly at a line that intersects the top of the key. Players stop/start/pass and steal along that line.

Soccer is similar - there's a line just ahead of the penalty box where the action is great, although watching word cup, I realized there are lots of opportunities in pro soccer farther upfield. I've never shot there because the kids were never that organized or good.

Wrestling is fabulous. AF does nothing but risk back focusing there. A great takedown is a thing of beauty. Also - a great sport for multiple flash.

Track and field is also great for MF. ***LOVE*** the high jump - focus on the bar, lie on your back, and shoot up as the jumper clears the bar. Same for pole vault. Other easy are discus, the hurdles, javelin, shot put. Track is cornucopia of MF action opportunities.

Skateboarding can also be shot MF only if you are an experienced skateboarder and can tell exactly where the best moment of a trick is going to happen (and prefocus on that spot). Though I must admit that using burst you can ensure a higher probability of a keeper (a skateboard flips in half a second or so and the prime moment to catch it is when it is about 3/4 done with the rotation).

I believe the world of camera gear is just to vast and newbies choose the safe choice (Canikon) and then stick with it once they invest in the lenses and other gear. It takes guts to try out something new, especially if you can't afford to invest in a second kit and if you are afraid of missing a photo-op due to no knowing your gear well enough.

 JurijTurnsek's gear list:JurijTurnsek's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS +1 more
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