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Thread: Thoughts about manual focusing

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Thoughts about manual focusing

    Hi,

    Once something like an Alpha 7rII arrives I would jump on the FE-mount train. But I have some consideration and one of them is that I like manual focusing (using magnified live view). I have nothing against AF, just that I want to be able to focus manually, too.

    The lens I would be most interested in is a short large aperture lens with excellent correction. Yes, the Otus 85/1.4 would fill the bill, but I don't appreciate the size of neither the lens nor the bill. The longer Zeiss 135/2 Apo-Sonnar would also fill the bill, but it is a bit to long for my perceived needs.

    The new Batis 85/1.8 is very interesting and so is the 90 mm macro, which seems to be quite excellent. But, these later lenses are focused by wire. How workable is that?

    I don't need very large aperture, but I want a lens that is fully useful fully open, without magenta/green fringing in out of focus areas.

    Best regards
    Erik

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Several manual focus lenses work quite well for me- a custom mounted Yashinon 40/1.7, Olympus pen f 60/1.5, Apo Summicron 75/2, Nikkor P.C. 10.5cm f/2.5 and the like. They all pretty much have similar diameter and focus throw (barring the 10.5cm lens). It is user specific and you have to find your own. Perhaps the Loxii may fit the bill for you.

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Leica M 90/2.8 last version.

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    Once something like an Alpha 7rII arrives I would jump on the FE-mount train. But I have some consideration and one of them is that I like manual focusing (using magnified live view). I have nothing against AF, just that I want to be able to focus manually, too.

    The lens I would be most interested in is a short large aperture lens with excellent correction. Yes, the Otus 85/1.4 would fill the bill, but I don't appreciate the size of neither the lens nor the bill. The longer Zeiss 135/2 Apo-Sonnar would also fill the bill, but it is a bit to long for my perceived needs.

    The new Batis 85/1.8 is very interesting and so is the 90 mm macro, which seems to be quite excellent. But, these later lenses are focused by wire. How workable is that?
    The 90/2.8 Macro is not focus by wire only. As you can see in the pics it has distance scale on the lens barrell and when you switch to MF using "pull" switch on the lens barrell you have linear MF with the distance scale functional, not focus by wire. When you keep the switch in the lens in AF position but switch the camera to the MF mode you'll be doing focus by wire.

    I asked specially this from Mark Galer (he is in very good terms with Sony Australia and gets to test practically everything from Sony quite early) in facebook when he was testing the the FE 90/2.8 and what is said above is what he told. Kinda makes sense perfect since the focus scale on the lens barell would make zero sense if the lens was focus by wire.

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Focus by wire isn't naturally intuitive but it helps that a zoom scale pops up in the viewfinder to let you know where you are in the zoom range. You get used to it over time. Between the 85 and the 90 it's your call but I think either would make you happy. As for adapting lenses that's your call. Most SLR lenses work fine. My 90 Summicron is great as well.
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Hi,

    Thanks for good info!

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by tn1krr View Post
    The 90/2.8 Macro is not focus by wire only. As you can see in the pics it has distance scale on the lens barrell and when you switch to MF using "pull" switch on the lens barrell you have linear MF with the distance scale functional, not focus by wire. When you keep the switch in the lens in AF position but switch the camera to the MF mode you'll be doing focus by wire.

    I asked specially this from Mark Galer (he is in very good terms with Sony Australia and gets to test practically everything from Sony quite early) in facebook when he was testing the the FE 90/2.8 and what is said above is what he told. Kinda makes sense perfect since the focus scale on the lens barell would make zero sense if the lens was focus by wire.

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    I like my 90mm Summicron-R. Relatively inexpensive, but MF-only, of course.

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    Senior Member Eoin's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    IMO, in the 85-135 range you are considering, there is the superb Contax C/Y mount 100mm f/2. Well worth considering. If budget was tight, I would look at the old inexpensive EBC X Fujinon 100 f/2.5 or 135 f/3.5.
    A7II, FE 35, 55 C/Y 18, 28, 85, 100, 28-85

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Erik two hints
    either the old Canon FD 2,0/100mm - Budget
    or the Zeiss ZF Macro 2,0/100mm - Universal -one of the best lenses around.
    Both lack AF, but who needs that on the Sony ?

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    Both lack AF, but who needs that on the Sony ?
    Leica M fanatics who up until recently very very vocal about the OVF and RF. Now, they are bit less vocal since the new Ms also allow the use of an EVF , albeit very crippled compared to a Sony EVF.
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    I have not yet tried the Sony 6000, but as long as I can do focusing with EVF as fast or even faster manually than the built in AF, I do not want AF lenses. I started doing photography without it and I simply am used to it, composing my sharpness where I want it, not where a computer "thinks" it should be.
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    I have not yet tried the Sony 6000, but as long as I can do focusing with EVF as fast or even faster manually than the built in AF, I do not want AF lenses. I started doing photography without it and I simply am used to it, composing my sharpness where I want it, not where a computer "thinks" it should be.
    My dad told me once that he really liked the horse & buggy, he could fall asleep and the horse would know the way home after the dance. He never-the-less ended up preferring the automobile. Cars are faster too. Like the AF on the 6k.

    Cheers, Monty:dh2:
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Leica M fanatics who up until recently very very vocal about the OVF and RF. Now, they are bit less vocal since the new Ms also allow the use of an EVF , albeit very crippled compared to a Sony EVF.
    Yeah I just sort of took note and moved along. It's much easier to attack Sony for going against the established grain than admit maybe the E/FE bodies are a great testbed for new technologies and we all benefit if any of it works well. Besides of course the Leica implementation is better because it's made in Germany and highlighted it on their YouTube channel.
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    Senior Member Stefan Steib's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by slickster View Post
    My dad told me once that he really liked the horse & buggy, he could fall asleep and the horse would know the way home after the dance. He never-the-less ended up preferring the automobile. Cars are faster too. Like the AF on the 6k.

    Cheers, Monty:dh2:
    I am sure the 6000 focuses faster than I do - but my A7R doesn´t.
    Reading helps.

    Regards
    Stefan
    because photography is more than technology - and " as we have done this all the time "
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    I am sure the 6000 focuses faster than I do - but my A7R doesn´t.
    Reading helps.

    Regards
    Stefan
    Aw, come on...... I'll bet you 100 million Marks (I'll hold the money) my a7r can beat ya........ Cheers, Monty

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Besides of course the Leica implementation is better because it's made in Germany and highlighted it on their YouTube channel.
    Zeiss also do that highlighting (made in Germany, Oberkochen) of their top tier cine lenses. Sony should highlight the fact that they make theirs in Thailand to even the filed.
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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Thanks Stefan,

    The Zeiss ZF Macro 2.0/100 mm is known to have a lot of axial chroma (magenta/green) out of focus fringing, and this doesn't play well with my intended usage. Other that that I would own it now.

    But, thanks for the suggestion anyway!


    Regarding focusing, I prefer to focus using magnified LV for accurate focus but I don't mind AF in general.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Steib View Post
    Erik two hints
    either the old Canon FD 2,0/100mm - Budget
    or the Zeiss ZF Macro 2,0/100mm - Universal -one of the best lenses around.
    Both lack AF, but who needs that on the Sony ?

    Greetings from Germany
    Stefan

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    There is a rumor that Zeiss forced Cosina to axe their 125 Macro APO Lanthar (devoid of the CA issues that plagues the 100 Makro Planar) to sell their own stuff. That could be worth the consideration although the Cosina lenses are a bit pricey.

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Hi,

    That lens is on my list!

    That list is something like this:

    Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 (awaiting tests and concerned about MF)
    Zeiss 2.0/135 APO (a bit to long for my tests)
    Zeiss Otus 1.4/85 (a bit to large and to expensive)
    Sony 2.8/90 Macro (awaiting tests, but LensRentals were quite impressed)

    The APO Lanthar is half on that list. I am not in a great hurry as I don't feel the Sony A-series "is there" yet.

    Best regards
    Erik


    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    There is a rumor that Zeiss forced Cosina to axe their 125 Macro APO Lanthar (devoid of the CA issues that plagues the 100 Makro Planar) to sell their own stuff. That could be worth the consideration although the Cosina lenses are a bit pricey.

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Erik, it seems like you just want a good, fast 85ish lens for the A7, and prefer to MF.

    Why even consider a native lens in that case? The A7 series likes lots of 85s, so many 85/2 lenses would work fine.

    Nikon has a nice small 85/2 AIS, OM even smaller. You can go M but will need a CF adapter, and more money.

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    That lens is on my list!

    That list is something like this:

    Zeiss Batis 1.8/85 (awaiting tests and concerned about MF)
    Zeiss 2.0/135 APO (a bit to long for my tests)
    Zeiss Otus 1.4/85 (a bit to large and to expensive)
    Sony 2.8/90 Macro (awaiting tests, but LensRentals were quite impressed)

    The APO Lanthar is half on that list. I am not in a great hurry as I don't feel the Sony A-series "is there" yet.

    Best regards
    Erik

    Erik, As uhoh says there are several choices in this FL range.

    I have the OM 85/2 (a true classic Sonnar clone), Contax 90/2.8 (very contrasty), Tokina ATX 90/2.5 (also Sonnar like rendering due to thick elements),etc.

    The best I am happy to have and use is the Apo Summicron 75/2. Just a superlative lens in a very compact package. Pricey (compared to others) but the used prices aren't that far off from that of the new Batii, in the EU!

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    Erik, I think it will depend on your needs, whether it is portraits/people or mainly landscapes.

    If it is people, I feel the Batis 85/1.8 will be superb. I love MF but having AF for portraits that is accurate allows you freedom to compose quicker. The FE 35/1.4 also has focus by wire, but it is well dampened, and it relatively easy to work with using MF. The sample images with Batis 85 presented so far look great!

    For landscapes, of course the Leica M/R 90 Cron APO is an excellent lens, as is the Elmarit. I did have the M 90 Cron APO, 75 Cron AA and still have the 75 Lux. All superb lenses.

    I really think the FE 90 will be superb, if landscapes and Macro are your main focus of interest.
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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    I don't subscribe to his testing but I noticed on his blog that Lloyd Chambers will start testing both Batis lenses tomorrow

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    Re: Thoughts about manual focusing

    WHat is the point of 11bit files to assess a lens?

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