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  #1  
Old 08-03-2014, 01:12 AM
davidb davidb is offline
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Default Manual Focus

Any one have any tips for manually focusing a DSLR.

When I was shooting film many years ago there was no such thing as auto focus at first and when it did come out costs for a new system were well above my means.

I don't remember having trouble manual focusing back then nor do I remember loosing many shots due to OOF.

Shooting with my new Sigma 105mm macro I sometimes need to manual focus but I just don't feel like I'm nailing the focus. I'm hunting back and forth just like the lens in auto (albeit in a smaller range) try to find the perfect focus.

Maybe if I didn't have the auto option, I learn faster.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:19 AM
Johndeere Johndeere is offline
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Try reading through this it may give you some tips.

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-us...our-dslr-lens/
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:27 AM
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Jim Jones Jim Jones is offline
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The screen on my Nikon D3100 is miserable for manual focusing. A few years ago I heard of screens that could be installed by repairmen that would enhance manual focus, but perhaps degrading some other features of the camera.
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Old 08-03-2014, 05:02 AM
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winger winger is offline
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While I can manually focus with my K-7, even I usually use auto-focus. I think the viewfinders on dSLRs are either smaller or dimmer or something and they just don't make it easy to focus. And I'm one who beat my brother at a focus contest back when he got an auto-focus camera and thought he could get a shot faster than I could with manual focus (that was late 80s or early 90s).
If you're using the macro part of the lens, maybe you need a focusing rail instead. Sometimes with macro it's easier to move the camera slightly than to refocus.
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Old 08-03-2014, 04:04 PM
davidb davidb is offline
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Thanks for the responses guys. I guess I'm going to have to go out and take a series of pictures using just manual focus and then a series of basically the same pictures using auto focus and compare the results. I'll keep doing this until I'm confident I can manually focus is as good as auto. I hate it when you have to work at something to become good at it.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:34 PM
BrettD BrettD is offline
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I'm not sure about all the camera manufacturers, but Canon's high end DSLRs allow interchangeable focus screens that can help you manually focus esier (split image, microprism and laser matte options). http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/app/p...QuickGuide.pdf. They're less than $50 each at B&H, Amazon, etc.
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Old 08-05-2014, 07:37 PM
davidb davidb is offline
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Thanks for the info Brett. I checked out Nikon USA and they have a few Fresnel focusing screens but they are for the professional D2 and D3 series. The do have a magnifying eye piece for the D3XXX - D7XXX series of cameras with some reviews indicating it is helpful in enlarging what is seen in the viewfinder and in focusing. I'm going to give this some serious thought if my skills don't improve enough with practice.
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:53 PM
BrettD BrettD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidb View Post
Thanks for the info Brett. I checked out Nikon USA and they have a few Fresnel focusing screens but they are for the professional D2 and D3 series. The do have a magnifying eye piece for the D3XXX - D7XXX series of cameras with some reviews indicating it is helpful in enlarging what is seen in the viewfinder and in focusing. I'm going to give this some serious thought if my skills don't improve enough with practice.
You're welcome. The magnifying screen will surely help some. Or you could just switch to Canon (Sorry, couldn't resist the urge to be a Fanboy.)
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Old 08-10-2014, 08:31 PM
davidb davidb is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettD View Post
Or you could just switch to Canon (Sorry, couldn't resist the urge to be a Fanboy.)
No problem, Canon makes some fine cameras, but at this point I just don't want to be trading down.
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