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Thread: Manually focusing Sony E-Mount lenses

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    Manually focusing Sony E-Mount lenses

    I think it is rather anoying to manually focus a Sony E-Mount lens. I use the Zeiss 55/1.8 first with AF and then with DMF to get it really sharp. This is more a trial and error loop, than an controlled action, until I get it right. The movement of the focus plane is not proportional to the amount the manual focus ring was turned.

    Now, sometimes, if I turn the focus ring it will be sharp right away, which leads me to the conclusion, that the camera might preasume what might be sharp.

    Does anybody has a proper method how to focus manually with "Focus by wire" lenses?
    Last edited by jfzander; 1st October 2014 at 10:57.

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    Re: Manually focusing Sony E-Mount lenses

    As outstanding as the 55FE is, the focus by wire is utterly crap for all the reasons you stated. I tried using it a few times when I first got the lens but I found I rather just have plain old mechanical focus. I think this is why many welcome the Loxia's so much.
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    Re: Manually focusing Sony E-Mount lenses

    I agree that the focus by wire thing isn't great. On the flip side, I've had good success with the 55 (and other FE glass) using AF. I recently rented a Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon and fell in love. Not only with the look of the files, but the true joy of manual focusing that puppy. Just bought one. If the Loxia 35 is a winner, I'll probably grab that one too.

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Manually focusing Sony E-Mount lenses

    Part of the reason I am excited by the new Loxia lenses.

    Best regards
    Erik
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    Re: Manually focusing Sony E-Mount lenses

    You really have to play to strengths and weaknesses - the FE55 and RX1 are much the same in this respect. They are AF lenses, and even when tempted to use 'focus by prayer' my heart just isn't in it. I'd rather have another go at AF, and it works well enough almost always. For me, it has to be deliberate, look for something edgy and contrasty in the intended focal plane, use different boxes until you find what's best, and wait until the camera finishes the focus.

    The Loxias look so happy on the a7 bodies - just...right. Not sure why, but Zeiss seems to have made itself able to produce landmark lenses frequently these days, viz. the Otuses and the APO Sonnar 135/2. Let's hope they keep up the good work.

    The Distagon 21mm - a landmark lens from 1992 - is a joy simply because you know you will get a fine result. If in a hurry, just focus a smidgen (see below for detailed instructions) back from infinity does the job for any aperture - I swear that lens has a mind of its own, and I am happy to call it my friend, lol.

    smidgen
    ˈsmɪdʒɪn/
    noun
    informal

    noun: smidgen; plural noun: smidgens; noun: smidgin; plural noun: smidgins; noun: smidgeon; plural noun: smidgeons

    a small amount of something.
    "add a smidgen of cayenne"
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