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Manual Focus

Lesson 19 from: FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

19. Manual Focus


Class Trailer

Photographic Characteristics


Camera Types


Shutter System


Shutter Speed Basics


Camera Settings Overview


Camera Settings - Details


Sensor Size: Basics


Focal Length


Lesson Info

Manual Focus

all right, so we've been talking about auto focus up to this point, which is awesome. Focus, right, It's awesome. But there are times when auto focus just isn't really the best technique to you. So let's talk a little bit about manual focus and some of the things you need to think about and ways to work with it. First off, you gotta think about what type of lenses you have and what type of focusing rings they have. It's one thing to consider when you are buying a lens. A lot of the least expensive lenses have very small, almost non existent focusing rings because they're not really designed for people who are likely to manually focus. I prefer lens. It has a nice wide rubber ring that you can easily grab and turns very, very smoothly. And some of the best are are, you know, ones that are designed specifically for manual focusing and back in the camera shop. When we got in, used lenses were always checking to see that their optically good and been on the manual focus ones were like How ...

good does it focus? If it was good, it was like butter because he wanted a lens that was really smooth, wasn't grainy or stiff or too loose. And in the newer autofocus lenses, they haven't really replicated the feel of a good manual. Focus lands. And so some of those, like a and older Nikon lenses, really had a nice manual. Focus. Smooth feel to it. And that was great for manual focusing. Now, one of the other things that's really important on here is the distance scale, and you'll see that it is not on a lot of the inexpensive lenses. It's on some of the intermediate and most all of the higher in lenses, and then this depth of field scale. It's really nice on the older manual focus lenses. Now this is actually a new lands, but in this category, like only makes manual focus lenses. And so this is really handy for anyone who's doing manual focusing, and we're going to get into this a little bit more into the section. For those of you with DSL ours, the viewfinder of your camera can help or hinder your focusing a little bit, depending on what level and what features it has in there. There are four different things that I think are important. Important Number one is having a large viewfinder, and large viewfinders seem to come with large sensor cameras on behalf because they have larger mears in there. They have larger ground glasses. In there, they have larger prisms. You get a bigger view of what you're looking at that is gonna make focusing easier because you can see the detail of your subject more clearly. Ah, bright finder. Now one of those things that's just buried deep in the specifications of a camera is whether it has a Penta prism or a pen. Tamir in there the entry level from Nikon and Canon have Penta Miers, and this is little plastic box with some coded material that acts like a mere. It's very lightweight. It's very cheap, and it does a pretty good job for the money. You know it does a pretty good job, but the higher end cameras have an actual prism system in there, which is going to be brighter and better. And so when you pick up the two cameras, you'll go. Yeah, this one's a better view finder, but you won't know why, but that's what's going on on the inside. That makes it better. The other thing for the SLR user is a bright lands. If you have a lens that opens up to 2.8, that's gonna let in more light, and you're going to see that with your eyes When you look through the camera, those of you on muralist systems, you have an electronic view, and it's amplified and its adjusted according to the lens you have, so you don't have quite the same thing going on. But if you have a brighter lands, it's gonna look brighter in the viewfinder, and it's gonna be easier for you to see. Cameras will have different levels of magnification. I talked about this towards the beginning, the class in the camera section. But you can dive into the specifications of your camera, and you can see what the magnification ratio is Now. This magnificent rations magnification ratio can be difficult to compare between different sensor sized cameras, and so you can Onley fairly compare them between sensor size cameras. So, for instance, the Nikon D 7500 is 75000.94 The D 7 is 500.7, and I'm not gonna compare which one's better because they're different. They're in different size sensors, and so you have to compare him by sensor size. And then the fourth thing is a large. I point higher, and cameras typically have a larger I point, which means you can view the entire screen from a little bit further back, which means you might be able to wear glasses as you look through the viewfinder. One of the things that I don't like about cropped frame cameras in general and this is more on the SLR side than on the Miral aside, is that the viewfinders air kind of small and sometimes people will say it's kind of like looking through a toilet paper tube. You know, there's this little tiny window out here that you're looking at and with the nice cameras like you look in there and you're in a big movie theater and you can see the image really clearly. And so your ability to manual focus will be dependent on all of these things going in there. The most accurate way to manually focus with an SLR camera is to activate the live you system so that you can see what's going on in the back of the camera and talk a little bit about why it's not best to use the viewfinder. It's acceptable to use the viewfinder, and it's what we've done for quite some time. But if you want the most accurate way, you activate the live you on the back of the camera. You like the video that I put in here for this one. It's what else? Things. I'm a still photographer, and I don't shoot video. But every once in a while I need little bits of video in my class to just, you know, make it look nice. And I came across this an aquarium. I'm like, This is gonna make the best live you screaming on a camera. Ever so sorry to divulge into my keynote talk a little meta meta talk there. Okay, so using this for focusing can be very good using the screen on the back. Your camera is good in general for just getting a unique point of view. The auto focus performance is accurate but slow eso the performance low. Is it good or is it bad? Well, it's accurate, but it's not necessarily quick, so you don't want to use it for action photography, but for a stationary subject, it works fine. Typically, I find it's it's hard to use this with the camera. Hand held usually needs to be on a tripod to be most beneficial in my mind. And so what you can use is you can zoom in and I'm gonna show you example of zooming in and then checking focus. And so what? I'll dio if I really want accurate focuses. I put my camera tripod. I turn live you on and then I magnifying in on my subject. And then I see if it's in focus. And then I had just focus manually and I get my image in focus, and I've done so at the highest magnification that I could get into. And if it looks sharp there than its sharp and it's good, and then I can zoom back to the standard position and I can shoot the photo. That's the 100% guarantee that you have got proper focus is that you've done it manually. You've gone into look at the very fine details exactly where you want it in focus, and it does it right. And so if I'm on a tripod and I really want to be precise, I'll go through that process, which doesn't take very long

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