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Thread: Manual Focusing

  1. #1
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Manual Focusing

    I am wanting a Lensbaby lens for my Nikon D60, but the Lensbaby does not AF on my camera. So... I am going to start working on manual focusing. Question-when manual focusing, do I just focus until the image appears focused to my eye through the viewfinder? I know, silly question, but, I've never used manual focus.

  2. #2
    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Yes, that is how it works. If you have a diopter adjustment on your viewfinder eyepiece, make sure it is adjusted to give you the sharpest image. Auto focus is convenient but sometimes the camera may not focus on (or change focus) from the most important part of your subject. I use manual focus frequently for landscape and still-life.

    - Paul -

  3. #3
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    The whole idea of a Lensbaby is to make the vast majority of your photograph out of focus so I can't see that focusing correctly is going to be an issue.

  4. #4
    PhotoRob's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Does your camera have a function called 'peaking'? Makes manual focus much less subjective, IMO -

  5. #5
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Thank you, Paul and Robin. Rob - I looked in the settings, the manual and on line and did not see any setting or feature called 'peaking'.

  6. #6
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Hi Maja,

    I suggest you do a bit of research into the Lensbaby before you buy one.

    As Robin pointed out the whole purpose of the Lensbaby is to mess with conventional planes of focus. It's not the simplest gadget in the world to master, but can be loads of fun.

    They do two models; the Muse (basically plastic) and the Composer (more metal & glass). I bought the cheaper Muse and quickly became disillusioned with it's shortcomings so, bought the Composer, then bought the Optic kit and finally the Accessory kit. It's a difficult one to call. If you just want a laugh, buy the Muse. If you want to do anything remotely serious you have to get the Composer.

  7. #7
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by MajaMolly View Post
    I am wanting a Lensbaby lens for my Nikon D60, but the Lensbaby does not AF on my camera. So... I am going to start working on manual focusing. Question-when manual focusing, do I just focus until the image appears focused to my eye through the viewfinder? I know, silly question, but, I've never used manual focus.
    The simple answer to your question is yes. But the more detailed one is to use the DOF preview to get a better idea of what is sharp in your image, and what is not. Unfortunately, the Lenbaby doesn't seem to have aperture control (thus a preview feature). Pity.

    When I do macro/closeup, I never use auto-focus; simply because the camera doesn't have a clue what the primary focal point of the image should be - only I know that and this is part of the creative process.

    A Lensbaby could be a great learning tool as it forces one to focus on what's important in the image (focus as in: concentrating the mind, and also making the prime subject sharp - double entendre).

    I've seen some very interesting and intriguing images captured with a Lens Baby - have fun and be creative - it's very rewarding.

    Glenn

  8. #8
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by krispix View Post
    Hi Maja,

    I suggest you do a bit of research into the Lensbaby before you buy one.

    As Robin pointed out the whole purpose of the Lensbaby is to mess with conventional planes of focus. It's not the simplest gadget in the world to master, but can be loads of fun.

    They do two models; the Muse (basically plastic) and the Composer (more metal & glass). I bought the cheaper Muse and quickly became disillusioned with it's shortcomings so, bought the Composer, then bought the Optic kit and finally the Accessory kit. It's a difficult one to call. If you just want a laugh, buy the Muse. If you want to do anything remotely serious you have to get the Composer.

    I've been looking into them for almost a year now and am leaning toward the Composer... I love the look and have read that it takes some time to get a handle on.

  9. #9
    The Stig's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    I have a D90 and just purchased the Composer and the optic kit. Great fun - steep learning curve. Forget AF - it will just AF on the expensive Nikons - D3, D700 and maybe one more, if memory serves. DOF preview isn't a choice, it's there whether you like it or not. Aperture is controlled by magnetically attaching aperture disks to the outside of the lens , so what you see through the viewfinder is the aperture you're using. Regarding focusing you get some help from the little green dot in the viewfinder - it lights up when the subject beneath your chosen AF point is in focus.

  10. #10
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stig View Post
    I have a D90 and just purchased the Composer and the optic kit. Great fun - steep learning curve. Forget AF - it will just AF on the expensive Nikons - D3, D700 and maybe one more, if memory serves. DOF preview isn't a choice, it's there whether you like it or not. Aperture is controlled by magnetically attaching aperture disks to the outside of the lens , so what you see through the viewfinder is the aperture you're using. Regarding focusing you get some help from the little green dot in the viewfinder - it lights up when the subject beneath your chosen AF point is in focus.
    Great Fun? Perfect! I'm tired of all the photography 'rules' and thinking I should like what others say I should like and then try to create what they want to see. I want to create what I want to see and I think it should be fun!! Thanks, Stig.

  11. #11
    The Stig's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Go for it! What's the worst that can happen? OK, you may decide at one point (although I don't think you will) that it was a waste of money, but you probably would have wasted that same money on something different if you hadn't bought the LB

    Seriously, I think it's a lot of fun - can't wait for some sunny autumn days here in Oslo to get all those wonderful distortions and aberrations that the LB is (in)famous for!

  12. #12
    MajaMolly's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by The Stig View Post
    Go for it! What's the worst that can happen? OK, you may decide at one point (although I don't think you will) that it was a waste of money, but you probably would have wasted that same money on something different if you hadn't bought the LB

    Seriously, I think it's a lot of fun - can't wait for some sunny autumn days here in Oslo to get all those wonderful distortions and aberrations that the LB is (in)famous for!
    I think I will.

    I'll look forward to seeing some of your images!

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