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Thread: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

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    Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    I'm considering the Nokton 25mm, but am wondering about how difficult it is to focus it, given that it's completely manual. I understand that the lens must have the focal length entered in the settings, but is everything manual? ie set aperture, iso, shutter speed manually? Can you set viewfinder to magnify when focusing?

    I've looked at lots of pictures taken with the lens, but wonder how many were taken that were not in focus. Is this a lens you'd use only for static scenes where you have time to work through process of getting it set up. Lots of questions, but it's an expensive lens, and not a purchase I'd make without a lot of consideration.

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    Not familiar with the Nokton, but guess it's going to be similar to any other 'legacy' lenses. In my case I have some Pentax and Minolta lenses, and sure you have a couple of button presses to set the focal length on IS to match the lens. Then select the aperture from the lens and focus with the help of magnification, which you can get to with a button press.
    So it all works fine although takes bit more time than with full auto from an m4/3 lens - as such it's maybe not ideal when moving subjects are involved, but even then it's do-able with some practice.
    It's interesting to explore other ways to use the OM-D and if it doesn't work for you, then the Nokton is desirable and could be sold if it's not your style.
    Last edited by les; 23rd September 2013 at 09:58. Reason: Grammar

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    Quote Originally Posted by walter_j View Post
    Is this a lens you'd use only for static scenes where you have time to work through process of getting it set up.
    Yes. It sounds like you will not be able to use it properly.

    Why are you interested?

    I would suggest that you pick up a cheap c-mount lens from PRC (China) to try how a manual focusing lens works on a m43rds camera. Use the A mode (aperture priority) while using such a lens, yeah set the iso and let the camera meter to decide on the shutter speed.

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    As Vivek has suggested the answer may be to try the process out in the cheapest way possible. Maybe you have (or can borrow) an old lens from the film days - then you simply have to buy the appropriate lens adapter to connect it to your m4/3 camera. You can find the adapters, often for less than $20) in the usual online places like flea-bay or the one named after that big river.
    (I'm trying to avoid breaking any naming rules that there might be).

    Good luck and have fun, it's strangely satisfying to find that you don't need to have lenses costing a four figure amount.

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    I'm trying my oly 12mm in manual and it's a struggle. Part of problem is just practice and figuring out omd controls. I swear omd buttons change function every time i use it. The controls seem poorly thought out. I wish omd em5 had an app to change settings like the em1. I have produced pics that could only be taken manually though, and the results are incredible - for me anyways. Esp shots of the stars - which is why I'm so interested in the nokton's F0.95. I like the specs of the panasonic 25, but don't like the plastic barrel. I also have a oly 45 and love the pcis it takes, but the plastic is already beaten up. I don't see it lasting long. Maybe the oly 17 is a better fit for me, but it's close to my oly 12. What to do

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    I routinely use my em-5 with various configs for manual focusing. I have the op plate function button set for magnification mode, and I do use it regularly as the fact that ibis kicks in even when magnified is very helpful. I have also found that as I use it more, I am getting good results even without popping into magnified mode.

    I use a whole slew of old nikkors both with a regular adapter and with a speed booster. With the speed booster, I have been shooting with very narrow dof with success.

    I have the 12mm oly, but i seldom focus it manually unless close up focus is critical. Obviously for distant items, it is so,wide that auto focus is just fine. I also have the oly 45 and the panny 20. I've dragged that kit all over various California state parks, national parks, etc without the lenses or the camera having issues.

    Not sure about you issue with settings bouncing around as mine stay rock solid. I do also have my settings stored as a myset to make sure.

    I shoot either aperture or manual almost exclusively.

    Not sure if this helps...

    Doug

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    The settings don't change -just seems like they do. Takes a lot of practice I guess. I wish the 45 was the same quality as the 12 though - metal. snap focus ring, focus distance marks on barrel. The Oly 17 has these features, and it's tempting. The 17 is also so small that I'd carry camera around without problem all day. Not so handy with longer lens. The 17 probably should have been my first lens.

    I'm probably rougher with equipment then I should be.

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    I use the 25/0.95 with the EM-5. Works well. I sometimes go into the magnified view, but mostly I focus without magnification, and the results are very good. I really don't have any problems using it that way. I use a variety of other lenses manually, from some Nikkors to Leica lenses, but only the longer ones such as the micro Nikkor 200, Telyt 280 and 560. If I have the lenses on a tripod I generally focus with magnification, but even then often without magnification.

    The Olympus 12, on the other hand does pose some problems in manual use if you pull the focussing ring back. If you pull it back, it step focusses. If you don't pull it back, it focusses continuously, or as close as makes no difference. The steps in focussing when the ring is pulled back are too large at wider apertures, and many out of focus images result. Also, the scale is incredibly inaccurate, and is just plain useless. When you're focussed at infinity, the scale reads just under3m, which the DoF doesn't come near to covering. I've tried 3 samples, and they all had the same issues. But if you don't pull the ring back, the lens is good.

    Henning
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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    Quote Originally Posted by walter_j View Post
    I'm considering the Nokton 25mm, but am wondering about how difficult it is to focus it, given that it's completely manual. I understand that the lens must have the focal length entered in the settings, but is everything manual? ie set aperture, iso, shutter speed manually? Can you set viewfinder to magnify when focusing?

    I've looked at lots of pictures taken with the lens, but wonder how many were taken that were not in focus. Is this a lens you'd use only for static scenes where you have time to work through process of getting it set up. Lots of questions, but it's an expensive lens, and not a purchase I'd make without a lot of consideration.
    Manual focusing takes practice, no matter what camera. Some cameras make it easier than others. Note that it's quite a bit harder to manually focus a 12mm lens with critical accuracy than a 17mm or 25mm lens, no matter what focusing aids you've got to work with, due to the much wider field of view and greater apparent DoF.

    In the past, I've used mostly manual focus lenses on mFT cameras (Panasonic G1 and E-PL1 with VF-2) and not had many issues due to the EVF's ability to do magnification for focus assist.

    The newer bodies (E-M5 and E-M1) have higher performance EVFs and include focus peaking as well. I've ordered an E-M1; when I had hands-on testing time, I was delighted to find I could manually focus even my 11-22mm lens very easily with no focusing aids, the EVF is that good. I will set it up for one-button toggling of focus peaking or magnification, which will make manual focus for nearly any lens I want to use very fast and easy.

    I am also deciding between the Voigtländer Nokton 25/0.95 and Panasonic/Leica Summilux-DG 25/1.4. The latter provides full AF/AE capabilities and the effective difference in light gathering power is less than the nominal aperture difference would suggest. If you really want a fast normal lens, and are not pre-disposed to manual focus, and manual/aperture priority only exposure modes, I would strongly suggest you consider the Summilux over the Nokton.

    (Right now, I'm leaning towards the Summilux ... I owned the FourThirds SLR version of this lens and it was super, I expect the mFT version is very very similar.)

    G

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    I use magnification for focusing the E-M5 manually and find it works quite well. As Godfrey said, the EVF works quite well, and I will use just it when needing quick focus. But, for critical focus, I still use the magnification. The ability to half press the shutter to activate IBIS during magnification is a great help.

    And definitely, trying to MF a 12 is much harder.

    I have no personal experience with the 25mm, but agreed that if you are concerned about manual focusing, the 25 has an outstanding reputation.

    Doug

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    I bought the nokton 17. I actually thought i bought the 25, but when i realized my mistake, Leo's cameras in vancouver told me tough luck. Ah well. Its close enough to the 25 that I can crop to the image I want.

    I find focusing is not an issue. I'm getting better with practise. The bokh is great. I took this pic in vancouver

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    Re: Process for focussing Nokton 25mm

    Quote Originally Posted by walter_j View Post
    I bought the nokton 17. I actually thought i bought the 25, but when i realized my mistake, Leo's cameras in vancouver told me tough luck. Ah well. Its close enough to the 25 that I can crop to the image I want.

    I find focusing is not an issue. I'm getting better with practise. The bokh is great. I took this pic in vancouver
    Boy, now that's a dealer that I'd say "So long, nice to know you!" to.

    Happily, both the Voigtländer 17 and 25 are excellent lenses. If you're happy with the 17, life is good. Your photo looks very nice.

    G
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