Anyone using manual focus lenses with the Panasonic S1/S1R?

Started Mar 29, 2022 | Questions thread
Alun Thomas Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Anyone using manual focus lenses with the Panasonic S1/S1R?

I have an S1, which I bought for an excellent mark down price after my Sony A7II failed.

It's a good camera, but has a few quirks which do mar the experience a little for an adapted lens user.

The bad:

The 'Constant Preview' function allows you to see in the viewfinder a representation of how your chosen exposure settings will work out, which I generally use in manual focus mode. However the implementation of the feature is flawed. When you are trying to do long exposures in lowlight, the update of the view takes the same amount of time as the exposure setting, making it more or less unusable for focussing and framing the shot. You need to disable the setting, set the focus etc, then later re-enable it to check the exposure chosen. I set up a custom button to quickly do this and still haven't found a better work around. As is it severely impedes the workflow.

Histogram - I like to use this as well to get a visual indicator of exposure. Unfortunately it is put in the very center of the viewfinder, other cameras put it down in the corner. I know there isn't a perfect place, but I prefer not in the center. If there's a way to move it I haven't found it.

IBIS - the S1 has it, but persists in asking for the focal length of the manual lens every single time you power on the camera. This quickly gets boring, to the point I just disabled IBIS and assigned a custom button to turn it on if I need it.

USB connection - likewise, every single time you plug in the cable to transfer files, it asks you what you want to do. I've only ever chosen one option and can't see why I can't just preset that option and have it start automatically.

The design inside the camera flange is more restrictive than other makes, you cannot use a Jupiter 12 biogon copy on this camera, and I presume not the original biogon either.

The good:

Great viewfinder

Focus magnification view - you can use the shutter speed control in this mode to alter the magnification level - very cool.

The histogram changes colour even in manual exposure mode, to tell you that the cameras inbuilt exposure calculator thinks this setting gives correct exposure - a good backup.

Buttons for Africa - you can set up custom buttons to do most things, and there are also loads of controls, i.e. for drive mode, which took quite a bit of discovery to work out where everything was.

Fully electronic shutter - After the shutter died on the Sony, I use this most of the time, even though the S1 has a heavy duty shutter design rated for double the activation count of most consumer cameras.

Time lapse as a standard feature - not that I've used it, but was noticeably missing from my previous camera.

The pixel shift high resolution mode - haven't used this either, but still a cool feature.

The build quality. Although it's a heavy camera, if you just want to buy a high quality camera and keep it, as opposed to constantly trading up, this camera is one that I get the feeling will last and last.

All up it's a decent camera, but it took a bit of getting used to after using a Sony, which in my opinion is actually easier to use for adapted lenses once set up for it. I never owned an auto focus lens for either mount, and treat the camera body as almost purely a digital back, and just need it to get in the way as little as possible.

I'm actually hoping another Panasonic user who has spent a considerable time with theirs can let me know if there's any way to work around some of the annoyances I've listed above.

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