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Thread: GH3 Manual Focus?

  1. #1

    GH3 Manual Focus?

    I will preface this with:
    I am new to Panasonic. I have been using Canon and Nikon DSLR/ Film cameras for many

    Now the short of the long of it is:

    I received my new GH3 along with my HS12035 12-35mm F2 lens today and was very excited.
    Upon firing the camera up, I discover the manual focus ring is disabled on the lens
    unless the camera is set to MF mode (thus after reading manuals and contacting a
    Panasonic tech)

    I am confused how the focus ring can be disabled when auto focus functions are enabled.

    It's seems counter productive for a professional body/lens to remove manual control. I
    don't trust autofocus to always get it right (especially in lowlight or narrow DOF
    situations), and sometimes you need to make a slight adjustments while shooting, but with
    the ring disabled, you are now required to press the shutter release repeatedly to get
    the camera to to adjust the frame as I want it, remove a supporting hand and put a finger
    to the lcd or resort to a colored fader bar using a macro pop up screen, even if the
    adjustment is small. Something that would have taken me mere milliseconds previously
    would now possibly take minutes.

    This is especially odd to me with the added other high tech features to somehow miss
    basic manual override of the auto focus in the design.

    I am aware this is not a Canon or Nikon, however, with an interchangeable lens system, I
    would not have expected the inability to adjust focus manually at any time. It seems
    very "point and shoot" or "consumer" to have an 'either /or ' design.

    Is this a Panasonic / Lumix Lens common design?
    Is the a GH3 design issue?
    Is there a work around the MF only OR AF only?
    Since the ring works in MF, is there a software issue causing the glitch?

    I contacted Panasonic directly and was informed the focus ring only functions when the
    MF mode is on, they didn't know why it can not override the auto focus.

    I was not able to get my hands physically on one (GH3/lens) before I ordered mine online,
    and I did extensive research before investing my 3700$ (I also bought the HS35100)and
    this issue was not ever raised, so I am hoping there is something I am missing here or
    there is a simple work around. I do not feel this is expecting too much our of a
    semiprofessional platform (especially at this price point) and would really hate to have
    to return it.

    Thanks in advance for the help.


    *I am posting this on a few different forusm in effort to get as much input as possible. So if its a repeat for you, I apologize..

  2. #2
    Member ThePhotoSoup's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
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    Re: GH3 Manual Focus?

    Hey, I feel your pain in trying to get used to a new system. For me I wasn't coming from Canon or Nikon. I was coming from nothing so this has been 'fun' for me to figure all of this out. I too was a little discerned when I went to turn the focus ring and nothing happened. BUT.... If I read you correctly, I think you're mistaken and here is the answer (I hope).

    In your GH3 menu, go to the 'Custom' section to page 3/8. There you will see 'AF+MF'. Make sure that is ON. When you press the shutter button half way to achieve the cameras assumed focus, and while the shutter button is still pressed, turn the focus ring to manually adjust. Once you've manually adjusted, snap the photo.

    If I read your post properly, I think that is what you're talking about. Don't worry, this is a very VERY capable system. I've found that if I can get the cam to do something I want it to, it's usually my fault.

    Hope that helps,


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Re: GH3 Manual Focus?

    a quick flick of the thumb switch from auto to manual focus does the trick for me. Is this what you are after? if i am not mistaken you can then decide if you want it to zoom in or not for focusing in the menus. Not much of a focus by wire fan myself either.

    There is also an auto + manual focus option where you can fine tune manually after it has autofocused
    Last edited by MRfanny; 29th March 2013 at 16:26.

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