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Thread: Manual Focusing!

  1. #1

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    Manual Focusing!

    Hi. Yesterday I bought the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
    I am still trying to get hang of it. But my camera (Nikon D3000) doesn't have an in-built motor, so I need to focus manually, which I am finding pretty difficult. I read somewhere that the focus indicator should blink or make sound when the subject is in focus. But this isn't happening with my camera
    If there is something I am overlooking, please let me know.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Hi Sahil,

    I don't believe it will beep (in manual).

    You may, depending on the lens I think, be able to use the electronic rangefinder function, see the viewfinder screen shot in this review at dpreview, note item 6. Item 1 is also relevant, it lights steadily when the focus point selected is on something it thinks is sharp.

    Certainly on my D5000, which I think has same focus features; when I switch an AF-S lens to manual, the item 6 scale lights up to left if you're focused too near, or to right if too far away.

    HTH,

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
    Hi. Yesterday I bought the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
    I am still trying to get hang of it. But my camera (Nikon D3000) doesn't have an in-built motor, so I need to focus manually, which I am finding pretty difficult. I read somewhere that the focus indicator should blink or make sound when the subject is in focus. But this isn't happening with my camera
    If there is something I am overlooking, please let me know.
    Sahil,

    I have the same lens and once you have adjusted the focus ring you should be good to go. The only issue I can see with this lens, is that the slightest movement will give you an out of focus image. The key is to adjust your shutter speed so that movement is minimal before the image is captured. I have a few low light photos that I took with this lens that I will post later.

  4. #4
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Sahil,

    I have the same lens and once you have adjusted the focus ring you should be good to go. The only issue I can see with this lens, is that the slightest movement will give you an out of focus image. The key is to adjust your shutter speed so that movement is minimal before the image is captured. I have a few low light photos that I took with this lens that I will post later.
    Manual Focusing!

    I should add that a tripod would also be helpful. Shot with the D60, manual mode, 50mm f/1.8 lens, ISO 100, 1/20s shutter, adjusted for noise and exposure with photoshop elements.

  5. #5

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Thanks Dave & John.

    @Dave:- Thanks for the link. I never paid much attention to the display thing, thinking I knew those already. I missed the DOT though.. It does work. Although item no.6 isn't of much use when it comes to focusing. As a light meter, yes it is.

    @John.
    the slightest movement will give you an out of focus image
    'SLIGHTEST' indeed.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
    @Dave:- Thanks for the link. I never paid much attention to the display thing, thinking I knew those already. I missed the DOT though.. It does work. Although item no.6 isn't of much use when it comes to focusing. As a light meter, yes it is.
    It does take some getting used to and has confirmed that for me, with ancient eyes, should always buy AF-S lenses in future

    Item 6 definitely switched to focus mode for me, but may behave differently with that lens.

    btw, don't forget to add it to your signature strip

    Cheers,

  7. #7

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Done

    Btw, did you notice Sigma 70-300mm. I didn't sing songs about it . My cousin sister gifted this lens to me Getting hang of it too.. Again a non AF-S.

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Make yourself one of these:

    Manual Focusing!

    This is a Hartmann focusing mask that I created from a screw on aluminum lens cap. If you've never heard of this, you need to get more involved in astronomy where manual focus is still the predominant method and the subjects are always low light and/or highly variable in contrast.

    First of all, you do not photograph through a Hartmann mask. It is placed over your optics solely to focus. it's then removed and the image shot.

    Theory: if you limit the light of a scene to only a portion of the optics, you will still get an image. If you have multiple apertures, when the image is focused, the individual images created by each aperture are aligned, But if it is out of focus, you'll get multiple images.

    A Hartmann mask, as shown here, works well when a scene has enough light to permit easy viewing of the multiple images through a view finder. Then adjust the focus until the two subject images stack and merge onto each other. Elements of the foreground or background may still show duplicates. I also chose to limit this mask to two apertures since it allows horizontal and vertical subject focusing by orienting the pair of apertures. A three or more aperture mask would collect more light but it would also create more images when out of focus.

    Want to learn more, there are many astronomical web pages which deal with DIY and purchased focusing masks. here are a few:

    Secret of the Hartmann Mask... Revealed!

    Hartmann Mask, Schnier Disk

    Hartmann mask

    Now, if you want to focus a dark scene which includes light sources, just as astronomers do photographing the sky, there are alternatives to the Hartmann mask which collect more light and the focus is depicted by the alignment of light source diffraction spikes. The Bahtinov mask consists of three separate grids, positioned in such a way that the grids produce three angled diffraction spikes at the focal plane of the instrument for each bright image element.

    Bahtinov mask

    Bahtinov Focusing Mask Generator
    I tried this with the parameters for my Sigma 28mm f/1.8 and it did not turn out well. It may require a scale factor to properly create a SLR lens Bahtinov mask.

    Bahtinov mask

    Free Bahtinov Mask Templates

    BAHTINOV MASK HOME PAGE
    Last edited by Steaphany; 7th August 2010 at 02:41 PM. Reason: Added More

  9. #9
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Wow! I never cease to learn things reading this forum!

  10. #10
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    I didn't know about that mask. It turns out my 17-50mm is crummy at focusing, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't. So I sometimes use Live View with 10x digital zoom, it is very easy to manual focus then.

  11. #11

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Wow! Thats something absolutely new to me, Steaphany. Something unheard of. Thanks.

  12. #12
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Manual Focusing!

    Manual Focusing!


    Two more with the 50mm f/18 lens, manual focus.

  13. #13

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    This is my first shot from my new lens..
    This is my sister. I don't know if she was posing or really thinking something.

    Manual Focusing!

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
    This is my first shot from my new lens..
    This is my sister. I don't know if she was posing or really thinking something.

    Manual Focusing!
    Sahil,

    You've definitely achieved selective focus and this gives the image a 3-dimensional effect, however this distracts from your sister's face as depth of field renders most of her face out of focus.
    Last edited by Shadowman; 8th August 2010 at 06:45 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
    This is my first shot from my new lens..
    Hi Sahil,

    It appears that your focus point is wrong, also you have taken photograph with f/1.8 as such DOF is very very narrow

    Manual Focusing!

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Sahil

    As you know, I'm an not a portrait photographer, so have little to say on the subject. However, what is of interest in the context of your portrait above, is an article in the latest issue of 'Black & White Photography' by Roderick Field. He ends the piece by saying, "My final word on the essence of portraiture is this: Eyes, Mouths and Hands - in that order."

    He also shows us a portrait in which he explains how a narrow depth of field allowed him to put a soft focus on the furthest away eye and ear, thus concentrating attention on the closest eye. But that was for a 'mood' shot of an adult male.

    The softness he induced was not as extreme as in your portrait and I'm not sure if your subject (your sister) was right for that treatment.

    Of course, the other great source of knowledge right here in C in C are Colin's online classes now underway. I suspect that all that needs to be known about good portraiture is going to discussed and explained in those lessons.

  17. #17

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Hi all.. Thanks for the feedback. Its always appreciated.

    But as I said, this was my first shot with my new lens & this is the first lens I have with such large aperture, my first shot had to be with large aperture. The idea was not to take a technically good portrait but to see how it worked on large aperture & in low light.

    I read Colin's thread. Its great & very knowledgeable, but I feel portraits are not my cup of tea. At least not formal ones. I like doing candids though. & as far as I know & think, I don't think there is much room for own composition & light set-up when it comes to candid portraits.

  18. #18
    New Member birgerhansen's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Hi Sahil.

    I figure, your new lense is a Nikkor AF-lense, which means, that it has CPU-contacts, and not an elder manual lense without (as mine).
    It means, that you'll have all the automatic features from the D3000 except for the autofocus.
    All you have to do is to make some choices in the usermenu.
    First you have to select "Full" user-menu.
    Now change the "Autofocus-menu" to MF (if not done by itself) and the "Rangefinder" to "On". You can set the "Beep" to "On".

    Now, in every programselection except for the "M" you will have the rangefinder-bar, which show you, when the object is in focus, and a green light in the focusindicator, showing the same. You'll have the "beep" too.
    In "M" selection, there will be no automatic features (thats where you use elder manual focus lenses) and the rangefinder-bar will be changed to an exposure-bar. The focus-indicator will still work with a green indicatorlight.

    With regards
    birgerhansen

  19. #19

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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    First of all, welcome to CiC, birgerhansen.
    & a big thanks for the help right in first post
    I don't have my camera with me right now. Once I get back home, will try the instructions.

    But as soon as I attach the lens, the selection for focus type becomes 'M' & gets disabled and cannot be selected. I just hope this beep thing comes up. It will be a big help.

  20. #20
    New Member birgerhansen's Avatar
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    Re: Manual Focusing!

    Hi Sahil.

    Thanks for your welcome!!

    And now, don't be confused - in your usermenu (that one on your screen) it changes the selection to "MF" by itself - and grey's out, when you mount the lense.
    But on the programselector - the wheel on the top with the motive ikons and the MASP - you can select which kind of automatic features you want - and here the "M" gives you none. The rest of them make the Rangefinder works.

    And the "beep"-thing - seemed I was a little hasty on that one.
    Looks like it works only in the AF-modes, sorry about that.

    I am myself shooting a lot with manual focusing with my D60, the reason that I have some elder lenses, which are rearly good, - and getting better practicing, but it is hard and gives a lot of garbish.
    Regards
    birgerhansen

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