Manual Focus

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Dutch Newchurch
Dutch Newchurch Senior Member • Posts: 5,463
Re: Manual Focus

I have the Laowa 7.5mm.

It is an ultra wide angle lens, which means that composing with it is a bit of an art.  It's very easy to turn mountains into molehills and fill your frame with empty sky and uninteresting foreground.  Read into using ultra wide lenses a bit, to learn how best to use it.

It has tremendous depth of field, particularly when closed down to f/5.6 or f/8.  It also comes with a depth of field scale.  Using those two features together, I find that I can pre-set focus with mine, and then treat everything as being in focus if it's far enough away that can't actually reach out and touch it.

Here's a photo that might help explain:

The red line shows where the lens is focussed.  The numbers duplicated on either side of that line show how much of the image will be in focus for any particular aperture.  (Lots in focus at f/11; not so much at f/2.8.)

In that particular case I set the aperture to f/8.  Then I set the infinity marker on the lens to just short of f/8 (actually closer to f/5.6).  The '8' marker on the other side shows that the area in focus starts a bit closer than 0.5 m.

Just a word of warning.  If you get this lens, test to see where the infinity focus actually is.  On mine, the infinity marker is not accurately positioned.

Also consider the M.Zuiko 12mm f/2.0.  It's a bit less extreme than the Laowa, so may be more useful.  It is an autofocus lens, but you can slide the focus ring back to switch it into manual focus mode.  In that mode it too has a depth of field scale, so it offers you the best of both worlds.  It too has a lot of depth of field if closed down to f/5.6 or f/8 (but not so much as the wider Laowa).

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