PDA

View Full Version : How do you MF on dSLRs?



Terracotta
11-16-2004, 09:45 AM
dSLRs have small and dim viewfinders without any centre magnification for finding focus, I've spent much of today trying to pull off a few shots. My main problem is that AF can't see the target properly (there's not much contrast there) or it's obscured by something (AF picks up the neared target) but in the viewfinder I can't get a decent focus manually... so what do you guys do?

I'd like to add that the problem is there's a far amount of 'play' in which things seem to be in focus...

D70FAN
11-17-2004, 06:56 AM
dSLRs have small and dim viewfinders without any centre magnification for finding focus, I've spent much of today trying to pull off a few shots. My main problem is that AF can't see the target properly (there's not much contrast there) or it's obscured by something (AF picks up the neared target) but in the viewfinder I can't get a decent focus manually... so what do you guys do?

I'd like to add that the problem is there's a far amount of 'play' in which things seem to be in focus...

Could you add a little more information. Lens?

Typically in MF I focus until it looks right, but generally AF works well except on poorly defined objects, which tend to be clouds and horizon shots where focus is infinity so I just use a distant defined object to prefocus in AF and then shoot the original scene.

I do miss the split screen center focus of film SLR's for MF, but with a little practice you will find where the paticular focus points are for a specific lens.

Terracotta
11-17-2004, 08:12 AM
Something like what's below, I'm yet to find away to get the AF to lock onto the ends of the spikes, . The first is auto, the second is manual -
http://www.pbase.com/terrac/image/36460978/medium.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/terrac/image/36460978/orginal) http://www.pbase.com/terrac/image/36460979/medium.jpg (http://www.pbase.com/terrac/image/36460979/orginal)
This time out I got a camera confirmed lock in manual almost instantly though the subject was different, yesterday every shot was slightly short or long (though the camera confirmed a focus lock).

I've found an solution to the lock on something semi-obscured, it might take 2 or 3 attempt but if you go to MF set the lens to infinity, change to AF and then get a lock the camera locks on the rear object first about 50% of the time.

Thanks for the ideas I'll try again tomorrow maybe...

D70FAN
11-17-2004, 08:27 AM
Something like what's below, I'm yet to find away to get the AF to lock onto the ends of the spikes, . The first is auto, the second is manual -

This time out I got a camera confirmed lock in manual almost instantly though the subject was different, yesterday every shot was slightly short or long (though the camera confirmed a focus lock).

I've found an solution to the lock on something semi-obscured, it might take 2 or 3 attempt but if you go to MF set the lens to infinity, change to AF and then get a lock the camera locks on the rear object first about 50% of the time.

Thanks for the ideas I'll try again tomorrow maybe...

Still don't know which lens...

Terracotta
11-17-2004, 08:33 AM
opps Nikon D70 using a 50mm f/1.8

D70FAN
11-17-2004, 08:46 AM
opps Nikon D70 using a 50mm f/1.8

OK sorry I couldn't remember from past posts...thanks. Also make sure that the diopter adjustment is set correctly, as this will affect your MF adjustment as well.

Manual focus does take some practice and to be honest I only use it infrequently when shooting cloud formations, or checking for sensor dust using a clear blue sky, where I just set it to infinity.

glennp
11-19-2004, 10:12 AM
I'm not a big fan of the small dim viewfinders either. Perhaps an Angle Finder adapter might help. Canon's adapter offers a 1.25x to 2.5x magnification of the viewfinder which helps tremendously with MF. If you can find one with magnification that'll work with the D70 body, I'd definitely check into it. I couldn't tell from B&H's description if Nikon's had magnification, hopefully someone can shed more light on this.

PS - don't forget to take DOF into account with that f1.8 lens. Depending on your subject and distance and aperature, the DOF might be a lot smaller than you think which makes getting the entire intended subject in focus more difficult.