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Thread: Question about age and manual focusing...

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    Question about age and manual focusing...

    Hello,

    Been a reader here for a few years and was convinced to purchase an M8 and some lenses. I then proceeded to have some health issues that kept me from learning the system and indeed from even using it.

    Have recently pulled it out of the cupboard and at 57, I'm really struggling with the manual focus. Has anyone here with presbyopia been able to become comfortable with the M8? If so, can you share what helped?

    I'm discouraged and thinking of throwing in the towel and going with an autofocus system....but I do love the size of the M8 and the images that I have seen all of you capture.

    Thanks so much!

    Barbara

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    We're the same age, Barbara, and I have just started to use the M system these last 6 months. I wear glasses (progressibe bifocals now due to my nearsightedness and our beloved "old eyes"). With my glasses, I can easily see through the viewfinder to focus and the presbyopia is not an issue since I am looking at subjects through the viewfinder that are at a distance. However, I am now experimenting with an MS-MAG 1.15 viewfinder magnifier with variable diopter adjustment. With the diopter properly set, I am removing my glasses and focusing through the viewfinder; once again, presbyopia does not interfere.

    Do you wear glasses for near of distance adjustment? I think that is a bigger issue than the presbyopia.
    Last edited by tom in mpls; 13th May 2010 at 12:27.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Barbara,

    Welcome to the forum! I'm 61 and I had a pair of M8s that I finally had to sell as my keep rate was just nowhere near what it needed to be to justify either the tied-up expense or the aggravation. Currently however, I enjoy using my M glass with both my Panasonic G-series and Olympus E-PL1 bodies. Manual focus on the EVF is just so much easier then trying to do so on the M bodies. Perhaps you could try this out and see if it works better for you.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Hmm. I've been wearing glasses since I was in third grade and wear progressives now (at age 55) since my near vision has gone rotten. Never have had any trouble focusing an SLR manually. An RF camera doesn't really require super sharp vision to focus anyway: just line up the images in the rangefinder patch. Presuming you have glasses that correct your vision so that you can see sharply at about 18" to 1m distances, you should be able to focus anything easily, with practice.

    Manual focusing is a skill you have to learn and practice, that's all. An RF camera takes a different technique to learn than an SLR or other focusing system that requires you gauge the sharpness of an image on a screen, but neither is particularly hard to do with most modern cameras. The key to success is practice.

    Auto-focus is not a panacea either. I see so many mis-focused photos made with sophisticated AF systems ... !

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Barbara, I'm at the same age and in the initial stages of glaucoma in both eyes. I never experienced any difficulty in focusing with my M8.
    Best,
    Osman

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    First in general I find digital to be more demanding and its easier to see the exact plan of focus. Start reviewing images at 100% and you may find that many acceptable images maybe slightly misfocused. So the your standard maybe higher.

    Three things that may yield improved results:

    1. Diopters and magnifiers make a big difference . The viewfinder is -0.5 and provides a perspective of 2M. So you need the correction to get your very best sight at 2m ..that may not be your prescription . A 1.25X is a good universal magnifier and the 1.4X works great with 50MM and up. There are plenty of threads on this at the LUF.

    2. Calibration particularly of the M body is critical to avoid front or back focusing. Lenses can be all over the place (both new and used) but you have to start with a perfect body .

    3. Practice....if you don t shoot frequently give yourself a little time to warm up and try to practice. A line of staggered books makes a good target. When ever you are evaluating focus look for leading elements (like text ) and trailing elements . The trailing should in general be just a little sharper than the leading. You may find that a particular technique works for you . Its not unlike any hand eye coordination exercise...if you ever played golf its like putting. You benefit from a disciplined process that you have internalized . Its hard for almost anyone to focus a rangefinder in dim light or on a moving subject.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    I am in my mid 70s and I found that whilst I could use an M8 whilst wearing progressive (varifocal) glasses I found it (a) very difficult with a 25mm lens to see the framelines and (b) almost impossible to prevent the camera viewfinder from skating over the surface of my glasses, result severe camera shake.

    I then used a diopter and removed my glasses when using the M8, result good images but I had to put my glasses back on to see them, or to adjust any settings on the M8.

    My solution is to wear Contact lenses. To deal with presboyopia, and to give me a working range of 0.5m to 2m, I wear +3.75D in my Right eye and +2.25D in my Left eye! Sounds extreme - but it works for me.

    For driving I wear a pair of glasses to meet the legal requirements for vision.

    I have to say that having made the switch I do not want to wear glasses again. It is quite amazing how one's brain learns to combine the images from each eye.

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    ..... but you have to start with a perfect body .
    .....
    OK, so THATīs the root of my problems....

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    HI Barbara
    I'm your age too - and I also suffer from long-sightedness.

    Like V64 above I started using different strength contact lenses instead of my vari-focals. I use a +2.5 in my left eye, and a +1.75 in my right eye - this is perfect, as I can read the lcd with the left eye, and focus with the right eye.

    Having said that, I find that I can focus reasonably easily even without aid (or with the wrong glasses) I think it's a knack, and you get better and better at it.

    I've tried using 1.25 and 1.4 magnifiers, but I find the slight reduction in brightness more than removes the advantage of the magnification.

    For the last 5 or 6 years I've given up wearing glasses all together (except for night driving). It's much more pleasant wearing contacts, and, as V64 says, the brain accommodates the different strength's really well. I find it a great deal more comfortable than varifocals (especially when sitting in front of a computer screen).

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    I'm 62 years old and wear tri-focals; I keep my glasses on while using my M9 and have had little problem using the camera with glasses. Actually for whatever the reason I feel more comfortable using the M9 (and I assume the M8 is the same) with glasses than I have with my wife's 1DsIII.

    Don
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    At 68, and 5.25 diopter reading glasses, most adjustments dont work. However, after practice, I find the M8 (now M9) actually easier than ground glass or split screen on an R9 say.
    The beauty of a rangefinder is you don't need to find the best point, but just merge the split image, even if it is a little 'fuzzy' itself.

    best regards
    Victor

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    I am 70 and using a M8, I have very little problems focusing. Always , if possible fine a straight line on your subject to focus on. That helps a lot. I am using a 1.5 + Diopter which really helps me focus an item.
    Keep practicing, practice make perfect, but not in golf. Practicing in golf make permanent
    Sunny Florida Rick of Fla

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Thank you all very, very much for your time in answering my questions. It has given me a lot to think about and to try.

    Now if it will stop raining in Chicago perhaps I can get outside and put this information to good use!

    Bless you all for your kindness.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    I had laser surgery in the early '90's. I am now 65 with a returning astigmatism in my right shooting eye which has created a terrible blur. My eye doc doesn't want to go in again to correct it. So, I am down to one eye (the left). I added a 1.4 magnifier and a +1.5 diopter and, eureka....good images again. Well, I like them!!
    Best to all,

    Reynolds

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Without pointing anyone out...are these the same eyes that are critically evaluating 100% enlargements on 30 " screens and debating the bokeh of two lenses? Just an observation? LOL

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    OK, so THATīs the root of my problems....
    Uh oh, you look perfectly normal to me

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    a bit younger, with slight myopia in viewing eye, I use the exact distance value as my glasses rx for distance and this diopter value in my M8, as well as film M's works perfect from .7m to infinity, and I haven't needed magnifiers even with the 75/1.4 lux.

    However, the standard M diopters don't accommodate for astigmatism, so you may want to go with glasses if needed.

    Also, if you have a severe prescription, you might find it safer to use glasses for correction, so that when you take your camera away from your eye, your vision is still correct.
    My Photography Blog here

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    Brian Puccio
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    I'm under 30 but with a pair of glasses that's around -8.75 for both eyes, diopters do nothing for me. I have no issues focusing with glasses on and find the .58 finder to work well for me. My glasses correct for astigmatism, my contacts (which I've given up wearing) do not. I tried a magnifier out for when I'm not shooting wide (more often than not) and it looks like something I'll have to purchase in the future. Maybe try one for yourself.

    I find MF on my M6 is much easier than it was on my GF1 (with and without EVF) and much easier than it was on my 5D with standard screen.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Without pointing anyone out...are these the same eyes that are critically evaluating 100% enlargements on 30 " screens and debating the bokeh of two lenses? Just an observation? LOL
    So what? As I understand it, the people who vote on the Academy Awards don't even view the movies

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by gogopix View Post
    So what? As I understand it, the people who vote on the Academy Awards don't even view the movies
    Mr Magoo evaluating a large gallery print from a foot away.


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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    The problem sometimes as we get older is not necessarily just vision issues but more often the delay between getting the subject focussed and pressing the shutter!

    For many subjects this delay doesn't matter a jot, ie landscapes, still life, studio portraits etc. However if wildlife, action sports or even grandchildren is your thing.........then take it from me as a septuagenarian, good, modern autofocus dslr systems nail it every time!

    Not the thing that Leica MF enthusiasts always want to hear, but I am afraid that it's true. I am the first to admit that AF never replaces that sensual movement required to focus a Leica lens...........but for me, getting the shot is far more important.
    Cheers, Dave
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    The problem sometimes as we get older is not necessarily just vision issues but more often the delay between getting the subject focussed and pressing the shutter!

    For many subjects this delay doesn't matter a jot, ie landscapes, still life, studio portraits etc. However if wildlife, action sports or even grandchildren is your thing.........then take it from me as a septuagenarian, good, modern autofocus dslr systems nail it every time!
    So true, so true...and thank you for being frank about it. I keep beating myself up for my "wobbliness"!

    B.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I'm your age too - and I also suffer from long-sightedness.

    Like V64 above I started using different strength contact lenses instead of my vari-focals. I use a +2.5 in my left eye, and a +1.75 in my right eye - this is perfect, as I can read the lcd with the left eye, and focus with the right eye.
    t
    Being the same age, shortsighted, having to wear distance glasses I can get by with keeping the glasses on and using a .5 diopter and peering over the top to see the LCD. However it is not ideal and hard to see the corners of the viewfinder.

    I am going to see if this contact lens idea works for me, I have not had contacts for many years so it will take a bit getting used to. I also do not know how much astigmatism will affect things, I know I have some.

    Will report back once I have visited the optician.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Being the same age, shortsighted, having to wear distance glasses I can get by with keeping the glasses on and using a .5 diopter and peering over the top to see the LCD. However it is not ideal and hard to see the corners of the viewfinder.

    I am going to see if this contact lens idea works for me, I have not had contacts for many years so it will take a bit getting used to. I also do not know how much astigmatism will affect things, I know I have some.

    Will report back once I have visited the optician.
    HI There
    Good luck - make sure you get the moist disposable ones (all that washing is a pain in the backside). You may need to persevere for a day or so, but something I started ten years ago just for photography has turned into an everyday habit.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Being the same age, shortsighted, having to wear distance glasses I can get by with keeping the glasses on and using a .5 diopter and peering over the top to see the LCD. However it is not ideal and hard to see the corners of the viewfinder.

    I am going to see if this contact lens idea works for me, I have not had contacts for many years so it will take a bit getting used to. I also do not know how much astigmatism will affect things, I know I have some.

    Will report back once I have visited the optician.
    For years I have worn a contact in my left eye for reading. My distance vision (right eye) was fine except for an astigmatism that didn't cause much trouble. I focused with the right eye (with astigmatism). I just recently went for my annual checkup and my astigmatism situation had worsened, so now I am wearing a contact in my right eye that corrects the astigmatism. It is working great.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by dhsimmonds View Post
    The problem sometimes as we get older is not necessarily just vision issues but more often the delay between getting the subject focussed and pressing the shutter!
    True enough! My vision isn't what it used to be; in fact I can't read for sh!t anymore without my glasses. Manual focusing so far has been just fine for me without them. Though I'm definitely a bit of a slow focuser.

    If anything, I spend a little extra time just racking the lens in/out to make sure the RF patches are definitely lined up, especially in dimmer light or lower contrast scenes.

    One solution? Stop down more to cover your error.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cindy Flood View Post
    For years I have worn a contact in my left eye for reading. My distance vision (right eye) was fine except for an astigmatism that didn't cause much trouble. I focused with the right eye (with astigmatism). I just recently went for my annual checkup and my astigmatism situation had worsened, so now I am wearing a contact in my right eye that corrects the astigmatism. It is working great.
    That's good to know Cindy. I hadn't realised that you could get such lenses.

    Have appointment with optician this week.
    David Anderson

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI There
    Good luck - make sure you get the moist disposable ones (all that washing is a pain in the backside). You may need to persevere for a day or so, but something I started ten years ago just for photography has turned into an everyday habit.
    Thanks Jono, I couldn't get on with varifocals at all, they were horrible for the computer, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that contacts are something I can cope with.

    Yes, I will be wanting the daily disposable ones, as I recall the mucking about with cleaning solutions when I did have contacts so many years ago.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    There's no freakin' way I could deal with contacts. I can't even put eyedrops in my eyes without flinching... Let alone getting "all up in there" to put in/take out contacts. Yeesh.

    I've been toying with the notion of LASIK, but I'm not sold on it for a variety of reasons.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    For most of us at our age, LASIK immediately requires reading glasses after getting correction for poor distance vision. Does this affect acuity looking through the rangefinder for focusing?

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Negative View Post
    There's no freakin' way I could deal with contacts. I can't even put eyedrops in my eyes without flinching... Let alone getting "all up in there" to put in/take out contacts. Yeesh.
    Of course you could - it's really okay after a little practice. The only thing that one can never learn is not to stick out one's tongue when putting in contact lenses.

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Of course you could - it's really okay after a little practice. The only thing that one can never learn is not to stick out one's tongue when putting in contact lenses.
    Yes it does take some practice. But your optician will show you how! The white of the eye is actually not very sensitive (unlike the iris).

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by wolverine View Post
    For most of us at our age, LASIK immediately requires reading glasses after getting correction for poor distance vision. Does this affect acuity looking through the rangefinder for focusing?
    That's just it, my distance vision is fine; it's just the near that's shot. And I wear reading glasses now. My concern is the dry eyes, etc. I've got a friend who had it done who seems pretty happy in general with it. But I've been hesitant.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Of course you could - it's really okay after a little practice. The only thing that one can never learn is not to stick out one's tongue when putting in contact lenses.
    Quote Originally Posted by v64 View Post
    Yes it does take some practice. But your optician will show you how! The white of the eye is actually not very sensitive (unlike the iris).
    LOL!

    I suppose it's worth a shot. I'd rather use contacts for photography as then I'll get the better vision - without the glasses. It'll be a learning experience I guess!

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Does the contact cover all the field of vision in the eye? If so...how does one walk around with the magnified eye not making you nauseous? I can't even walk around with my reading glasses on my face..I have to put them on top of my head when I get up from reading because just getting a glimpse of anything in the distance under that magnification makes me dizzy.

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    Senior Member Braeside's Avatar
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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Well, I went to the optician this morning and we discussed the contact lens idea. He reckoned I could get away with just one lens in my right eye for distance, as I can read without my reading glasses (closeup). He under corrected the distance vision lens by 0.25

    I have almost no astigmatism, so that was not a problem.

    I got 7 days supply of lenses for a trial. I have to start wearing them for 2 hours a day then 4, 6, finally 8 hours max.

    Biggest challenge was taking the lens out - It took about 15 minutes at the opticians, with him watching. However when I tried at home, I got it in about a minute, so practice makes perfect. (I did have contacts back in the 80's, so I did have a bit of experience with putting them in and taking them out - but have clearly unlearnt all I knew).

    Managed to drive home without incident!

    However this setup will not do for my computer use I am afraid. I have to get too close to the screen to read it comfortably.

    As an experiment I tried one of my reading glasses lenses and the single distance contact lens and that looked pretty good to me when viewing the computer and it did not seem to affect the distance vision. Maybe I need a monocle for computer work?

    I will take a trip back to see him tomorrow and suggest that I do need my left eye corrected for reading with a lens as well. Also I am not happy with the distance under correction as things are not as clear as I would like.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Well, I went to the optician this morning and we discussed the contact lens idea. He reckoned I could get away with just one lens in my right eye for distance, as I can read without my reading glasses (closeup). He under corrected the distance vision lens by 0.25

    I have almost no astigmatism, so that was not a problem.

    I got 7 days supply of lenses for a trial. I have to start wearing them for 2 hours a day then 4, 6, finally 8 hours max.

    Biggest challenge was taking the lens out - It took about 15 minutes at the opticians, with him watching. However when I tried at home, I got it in about a minute, so practice makes perfect. (I did have contacts back in the 80's, so I did have a bit of experience with putting them in and taking them out - but have clearly unlearnt all I knew).

    Managed to drive home without incident!

    However this setup will not do for my computer use I am afraid. I have to get too close to the screen to read it comfortably.

    As an experiment I tried one of my reading glasses lenses and the single distance contact lens and that looked pretty good to me when viewing the computer and it did not seem to affect the distance vision. Maybe I need a monocle for computer work?

    I will take a trip back to see him tomorrow and suggest that I do need my left eye corrected for reading with a lens as well. Also I am not happy with the distance under correction as things are not as clear as I would like.
    HI David
    Good first try - I agree, get one right for reading and the other for distance, and the reading one really ought to be computer screen distance rather than close up. I don't think it's terribly useful if you are only using it for photography.

    Hi Forbar
    you get used to it really quickly, what happens is you switch eye dominance when you look away to the distance - after a bit of practice you don't even realise that it's happening. Certainly less dizziness than trying to go down steep stairs in varifocals

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    I wore glasses for 10-15 years. Got tired of sweat collecting on them and, also inspired by a girlfriend's opinion, switched to hard contacts. Great vision -- 20:10 in both eyes. Good peripheral vision, which matters a lot if you fly airplanes, less for photography in the landscape, but maybe is important on the street. When I found I couldn't wear them 12+ hours a day, discovered gas permeable (current style non-disposable) contacts. Got 5-10 more years that way. Finally went to varifocal lenses, which took about a year to learn. They sacrifice peripheral vision, since only the vertical strip through the center of each lens gives a sharp image. Now I get nauseous going down steep stairs without my glasses... One eye is still good enough to focus with a rangefinder without glasses, but unfortunately that one is on the left.

    scott

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    ...but unfortunately that one is on the left.
    Too bad you can't switch 'em - or just drop in new ones. Yet...

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI David
    Good first try - I agree, get one right for reading and the other for distance, and the reading one really ought to be computer screen distance rather than close up. I don't think it's terribly useful if you are only using it for photography.
    Hi Jono, I certainly want a solution that I can use generally, not just for photography.

    Phoned up optician and assistant says to give it a couple of days and see if I still have the problem with computer reading . Hmmm - seems unlikely it will improve, but I'll go along with it and see.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by scott kirkpatrick View Post
    I wore glasses for 10-15 years. Got tired of sweat collecting on them and, also inspired by a girlfriend's opinion, switched to hard contacts. Great vision -- 20:10 in both eyes. Good peripheral vision, which matters a lot if you fly airplanes, less for photography in the landscape, but maybe is important on the street. When I found I couldn't wear them 12+ hours a day, discovered gas permeable (current style non-disposable) contacts. Got 5-10 more years that way. Finally went to varifocal lenses, which took about a year to learn. They sacrifice peripheral vision, since only the vertical strip through the center of each lens gives a sharp image. Now I get nauseous going down steep stairs without my glasses... One eye is still good enough to focus with a rangefinder without glasses, but unfortunately that one is on the left.

    scott
    Have you tried the new moist disposable contacts?

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    It is interesting to read about peoples experiences.

    There are many 'variables' to deal with. Not least the amount of accommodation that you have (i.e. the amount of focus adjustment you have in your eye). If (like me) you have/had to use trifocals (typically +3,+2,+1 for near middle and far sight) then two contact lenses will probably not cover all three regions. I also found that there is a limit on the difference that my eye/brain could cope with.

    In my case I chose to concentrate on a range of 1 ft to about 10 ft. This covers close reading, computer work and watching TV! So for driving I wear a pair of glasses. I could have chosen an 'outdoor set' and used a pair of readers for close work.

    I would also point out that it no more expensive to have two or more prescriptions and switch - so I do occasionally use an 'outdoor' set when I go out for the day.

    Finally, one other option is to investigate putting bi-focal contacts into the mix. So one eye is (figuratively) +3/+2 and the other eye +2/+1. As I say, plenty of options/variables - as always , talk to your optician.

    David

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    After a week of trying the contact lens, I am thinking about just keeping the glasses.

    Just not getting the clarity of vision at distance that I feel I need and cannot use the computer.

    Too much effort to put them on and take them out.

    I also realised that I like wearing glasses outside and feel naked without them. Perhaps it is my shyness but I feel better with glasses on.

    In the summer I always like sunglasses so it would not gain me much with contacts as I would end up wearing sunglasses anyway.

    Another appointment with the optician tomorrow so will see what he says.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Update: I decided against contact lenses. Even with one for close in the left eye, I just wasn't getting the clarity I like for computer work. It was great for actually using the camera though.

    Back to 4 eyes.
    David Anderson

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    Re: Question about age and manual focusing...

    Quote Originally Posted by Braeside View Post
    Update: I decided against contact lenses. Even with one for close in the left eye, I just wasn't getting the clarity I like for computer work. It was great for actually using the camera though.

    Back to 4 eyes.
    Sad to hear that - for me it's freedom (even if it's compromised freedom). Only compensation I can offer is the new Tom Petty album Mojo . . . it won't make your eyes better, but it'll give you a buzz when you're driving!

    Just this guy you know

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