How can manual focus ever be sharp?

Started Jul 31, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Northoceanbeach Contributing Member • Posts: 601
How can manual focus ever be sharp?

I know it can, but I was just wondering how you can ever get manual focus perfectly focused. I trust autofocus pretty well, but manual is a mystery.

I want the A7, but I would want contax manual lenses. I don't see how you could ever get the dial perfect. Maybe just a millimeter to one side or another and it's not perfectly in focus.

In my mind im comparing it to focusing binoculars and those always seem like they could use a little tweaking one was of the other. But at least with binocs you are just using them to see. With a camera you have to put them on your computer or print them or whatever you do and j would think they would always be just a little off.

So how do you get them focused perfectly? The screen or viewfinder is very small so you can't tell from that. I guess it is illuminated red or yellow when in focus and this is called focus peaking? Is it that good? When I have tried it to get the thickest yellow you have to be spot on. Is it hard?

Also from what little I have tried it I haven't figured out how to center the focus on what I want. With af I have different focusing options. I can use spot if there is a part of the frame I want to prioritize but manual seems to line everything with yellow. What's the deal? And how did people ever do it before digital when there was no focus peaking and they had to look through the lens very small and judge what was perfectly focused. Is it something that only certain people can do?

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