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How magnify and focus peak on manual lenses? A7r3


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Just bought a “cheap” Opteka 650-1300mm tele to see if it can resolve moon shots better than my current Sony 70-300 G.

The Opteka is a 100% manual lens with fixed aperture (based on zoom status).

Having a good tripod and Manfrotto 410 Junior geared head, I “only” need to peak the best manual focus.

Yet with my A7r3 I’ve not been able to manually enable the focus magnifier and peaking features that I normally use when manual focusing with other Sony GM/G or Samyang lenses.

Any ideas if it is possible to assign a button to switch on the “focus helper”?

Many thanks in advance

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It's possible, I have my camera configured that way but it's not an A7Riii so can't guide you through the menu. It's under custom button settings.

Because the lens has no electronic contacts, the camera doesn't know you're trying to focus.

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There are two such "focus helpers."

One is the one which magnifies as soon as the focus ring (on an electronically-connected lens) is turned.I think this one is called MF assist.

The other is called focus magnifier, and this is what you can use with a manual lens. This is not operated by the focus ring, not even with an automatic lens: you have to assign it to a button. There are two levels of magnification.

Focus peaking senses contrast in the image. Once turned on, with your camera set to MF or DMF, it just works.

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  • Posts

    • Hi Pieter, Not yet. I've thought about that, to use a tripod. But I've no time to try that yet. I'll try it this weekend and let you know.  Thanks!
    • Did you try manually focussing at 135mm, camera on tripod / solid ground, delayed release? If you can get sharp pictures that way, at least you know the optics are fine.
    • I don't know how those cameras would fare as aviation cameras - either of them are far beyond my scope of purchase - but people have been taking pictures of planes and other man-made flying objects well, as long as they have been around.  Unless the aircraft is flying straight at you or flying perpendicularly away from you, the AF lagging behind the shutter should not be an issue and in almost all cases you would be shooting at infinity so internal lens movements to acquire focus should be at a minimum.  If you are expecting to crop a lot, I guess a camera with higher resolution would be better for you but that also depends on what you are going to do with the image.  If you are going to be printing large mural sized prints, higher resolution image would be better but if you are going to print at or below 11x17 or not print at all, even a cropped image from my A7II will be good enough on any consumer grade monitors on the market.  I have seen images printed from the first generation Olympus OM-D E-M5 (16MP) at 11x17 and they were excellent.
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