manual focus--stopped down?

Started Aug 21, 2014 | Questions thread
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davidstock Regular Member • Posts: 401
manual focus--stopped down?

I'm considering buying an A7 to use with my vintage Contax/Zeiss lenses. What could be bad, right? What's holding me back is that when I experiment with focus magnification on my NEX-7, I find it unsatisfying.

Wide open, no problem. Using magnification, it can be a little hard to hold a telephoto still enough while turning the focus ring, but the plane of focus does snap into view.

The thing is, when I work stopped down (say, at f8), I find it much harder to judge the exact point of focus. That's only logical, since there's more depth of field.

What do you manual focus people do in this situation?

I suppose I could focus wide open, then stop down. But this adds yet another step on top of the focus magnification. Open up the aperture, push the magnification button twice, stop back down, half-press the shutter release, compose, shoot. Really?

Plus, I'd be concerned about possible focus shift as I stopped down.

Much of my landscape work is done at f8 and f11. That doesn't mean I want to just focus approximately, and pray that the depth of field will cover my lack of precision. I want the sharpest point of focus to be exactly where I choose.

I see lots of comments here from folks who are very happy with manual focus lenses. Is that true only for low depth-of-field photographs? Or zone focusing? Educate me, please!


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