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Re: How important is a manual focus?

 
 
Mike Graham
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      08-16-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, Tamara wrote:

> I'm new around here. Have an old digital Kodak, and half thinking about
> getting a newer camera. I was just wondering how important it is to have a
> manual focus?


My single greatest complaint with digital cameras in the price range that
I play in (less than 1000 bucks, say) is that you often miss shots because
of the auto focus. It drives me up the *wall* when I see a perfect shot,
push the button, and a full second later the camera takes the picture, and
I've missed it.
If you use manual focus then the picture is taken much more quickly, in
maybe 1/3 that length of time.
MF isn't something you're likely to want to use all the time, but it sure
has its moments. If it's a toss-up between two cameras, and one has MF and
one doesn't, then go for the one with MF.

My guidelines for selecting a digital camera are these:
- only buy from a company that normally makes cameras
(Nikon, Olympus, etc.)
- go for the largest *optical* zoom that you can afford.
- try for as much optional manual control as you can get
- being able to use accessory lenses is a big big plus

I bought my C3020 for the above reasons, and also because I liked the body
shape - it fits nicely in your hand.
Digital zoom is a horrible thing! I can't think of a *single* useful
function for digital zoom in the hands of someone who has a computer and
knows how to use it.

--
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Mike Graham | Metalworker, rustic, part-time zealot.
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) |
<http://www.metalmangler.com>| Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Lousy photographer with a really nice camera - Olympus C3020Zoom.
 
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Larry Caldwell
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      08-16-2003
(E-Mail Removed) (Mike Graham) writes:

> My single greatest complaint with digital cameras in the price range that
> I play in (less than 1000 bucks, say) is that you often miss shots because
> of the auto focus. It drives me up the *wall* when I see a perfect shot,
> push the button, and a full second later the camera takes the picture, and
> I've missed it.


That is why autofocus has always been worthless for sports photography.

--
http://home.teleport.com/~larryc
 
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Ian Burley
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      08-16-2003
That's absolutely not true!

Top end AF pro SLRs are good enough to track focus action in servo AF mode.
Have you ever used something like a Canon EOS-1D?

Ian

--

DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY NOW - http://www.dp-now.com
UK-based Web magazine for users of digital photography
hardware, software and services.


"Larry Caldwell" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) k.net...
>
> That is why autofocus has always been worthless for sports photography.
>
> --
> http://home.teleport.com/~larryc



 
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JK
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      08-16-2003


Mike Graham wrote:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, JK wrote:
>
> > Manual focus isn't that useful though unless it is done manually.With
> > most digital cameras, it is done with with a motorized control, and
> > is much more difficult to use.

>
> I agree. The manual focus that I have used on film cameras was much more
> intuitive - being able to just rotate the 'barrel' on the lens to focus. I
> assume the same can be done on digital SLRs.
>
> >> - go for the largest *optical* zoom that you can afford.

> >
> > I disagree. I think you should go for the digital camera that has
> > the lens that lets the most light in at the telephoto end(lowest f number)
> > that is within your budget, provided that the zoom range is reasonable
> > for your needs.

>
> I assume you'd have to look these numbers up on some website somewhere?
> It's certainly not mentioned on the box, that I know of.


On most cameras it is written right on the rim of the lens.

>
>
> > UGH! The often diminish image quality substantially and should be avoided.

>
> There is a 5X zoom lens for my camera that will give me 15X zoom. Let's
> pretend for a moment that it lets half the light in that my regular lens
> alone will.


I doubt it. A 2x will probably cut the light in half. A 5x might let 1/5 or less

of the light through.

> Given that it is a 5X lens, and therefore the subject is 5X
> larger than it would otherwise be, can you really say that I will get worse
> quality from the 5X lens than I would by taking the shot without the lens
> and blowing it up 5X on the computer?


LOL! That is like saying that one should use a wrench to hammer in nails
since it works much better than a screwdriver. One should use a hammer
to hammer in nails, and a decent telephoto lens to take telephoto images.


>
>
> > The 3020 has an f2.8 lens which is pretty good. Many digital
> > cameras have lenses that are f4.8 or slower at the telephoto
> > end. UGH!

>
> So the shot would be darker, yes?


One will not be able to get a sufficient shutter speed to prevent camera
shake if one is hand holding the camera (a suggested shutter speed is
1/focal length equivalent or faster. So for a lens that is 400 mm eqivalent,
one would need 1/400th of a second or faster, which is difficult to obtain
at ISO 400, especially if the lens is f5.6 or slower, and you lose two stops
with a converter lens, then you are at f11! If one loses 3 or more with a
converter, it will be much worse.

> I've found some of my 'summer' shots
> and particularly by winter snow-shots to be overexposed. Gotta work on
> that.
>
> --
> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
> Mike Graham | Metalworker, rustic, part-time zealot.
> (E-Mail Removed) |
> <http://www.metalmangler.com>| Caledon, Ontario, Canada
>
> Lousy photographer with a really nice camera - Olympus C3020Zoom.


 
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dslr
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      08-16-2003
Ian Burley wrote:
>
> That's absolutely not true!
>
> Top end AF pro SLRs are good enough to track focus action in servo AF mode.
> Have you ever used something like a Canon EOS-1D?
>


Very true - mine even overcame the limitations of being given an f8
maximum aperture (f5.6 lens and a 1.4x extender) and my feeble panning
efforts to get ducks in flight last week.
I was very impressed that it coped, I wouldn't have had a chance with
the old D30.

--
regards,
dslr
 
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Larry Caldwell
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      08-16-2003
(E-Mail Removed) (Ian Burley) writes:
> That's absolutely not true!
>
> Top end AF pro SLRs are good enough to track focus action in servo AF mode.
> Have you ever used something like a Canon EOS-1D?


Have you ever set a lens to its hyperfocal setting and fired away without
having to track your subject?

--
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Mike Graham
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      08-16-2003
In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, JK wrote:

> On most cameras it is written right on the rim of the lens.


I'll watch for it.

> I doubt it. A 2x will probably cut the light in half. A 5x might let 1/5 or less


Are you assuming that the zoom lens is the same size as the camera's lens?

> LOL! That is like saying that one should use a wrench to hammer in nails
> since it works much better than a screwdriver. One should use a hammer
> to hammer in nails, and a decent telephoto lens to take telephoto images.


So if you can't afford/justify a digital SLR then you should just throw up
your hands in despair and deal with the fact that you can never take
telephoto images?

> One will not be able to get a sufficient shutter speed to prevent camera
> shake if one is hand holding the camera


Ah, I see.

--
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Mike Graham | Metalworker, rustic, part-time zealot.
(E-Mail Removed) |
<http://www.metalmangler.com>| Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Lousy photographer with a really nice camera - Olympus C3020Zoom.
 
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JPS@no.komm
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      08-17-2003
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Mike Graham <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>The manual focus that I have used on film cameras was much more
>intuitive - being able to just rotate the 'barrel' on the lens to focus. I
>assume the same can be done on digital SLRs.


With digital SLRs, focusing happens in the lens, and the mechanism
varies from lens to lens, just as with film SLRs.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <(E-Mail Removed)>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><

 
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JPS@no.komm
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      08-17-2003
In message <(E-Mail Removed)>,
Mike Graham <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>There is a 5X zoom lens for my camera that will give me 15X zoom. Let's
>pretend for a moment that it lets half the light in that my regular lens
>alone will.


You can pretend all you want, but the fact is, unless the adapter lens
has a larger diameter than the main lens, it will only transmit 4% of
the light to the sensor. That's because the same amount of light has to
cover 25x as much area.
--

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>>< ><<>
John P Sheehy <(E-Mail Removed)>
><<> <>>< <>>< ><<> <>>< ><<> ><<> <>><

 
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Pat Chaney
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      08-17-2003
On 17/8/03 2:15 am, "(E-Mail Removed)" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> The manual focus that I have used on film cameras was much more
>> intuitive - being able to just rotate the 'barrel' on the lens to focus. I
>> assume the same can be done on digital SLRs.

>
> With digital SLRs, focusing happens in the lens, and the mechanism
> varies from lens to lens, just as with film SLRs.


Are there any that don't involve rotating the lens barrel then?


Pat
--
Photos at:
http://www.shuttercity.com/ShowGalle...ll&AcctID=1251

 
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