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Manual focusing A7R2

Focus issues

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#1 sundial215

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 03:22 PM

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I am a new Sony user, but not new to photography.  The new A7r2 replaces my Nikon D810 out fit mainly becasue of weight /size, and the ability to use legacy lenses of which I have a fair collection.  

My concer is that when I use focus peeking and magnified image, I an niot getting images from my Olympus OM 300mm f4.5 lens that are crisp and sharp.  My questionis as follows.  I thought using these aids on the A7 that I was using the actual plane of the sensor to acheive focus and that calibration i not needed. Is this correct?  And if so, then must be something I am doing and I am having diffculty sorting it out.  I also thought using a Ultra Wide lens like th eTokina (Nik mt) and stopping down to f8nwould yield nice crisp shots.  It is not doing so, at least to my satisfaction because wwith this lens, the peeking (yellow) is very difficult to see.  Again is it helens, me or a issue with the camera?

The attached image shot with the 300mm OM lens looked sharp when I was taking it, but is far from that as i look at it now on screen.

EXIF show 1/60 sec exposure, Iso 100.  I should add that I was using a monopod stabalized against the window and the floor (two solid points) and I had the vibration correction (Sony name for it in body was ON)

I would appriciate any thoughts or suggestions concerning this concern of mine from  some of more experienced Sony camera users?

 

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#2 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 04:40 PM

There are several possible explanations.

1) The sensor out-resolves the lens.
2) You're not actually hitting focus.
3) Misalignment of the adapter causes blur.

The focus peeking is only an approximation. If you need to nail focus, you should use magnify. Also, I find that sensor stabilisation ruins pixel sharpness so I have it off most of the time.

#3 adwb

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 04:43 PM

I would appriciate any thoughts or suggestions concerning this concern of mine from some of more experienced Sony camera users?[/quote]

No lens calibration required ,because no mirror to be out of alignment .
Lens adapters are not all equal some ,if not made properly ,will cause out of alignment = soft image
Do you know that F8 is best for that lens or are you guessing?

Peaking does not indicate in focus only that you are close turn off or set to lowest. With peaking off ,look in elv ,not back screen ,for slight shimmer when zoomed in , that is a focus indication that (unofficially ) shows in focus.

1/60 for 300 lens to slow, use at least 1/300 , I don’t care if you use tripod or mono or House I bet that animal was not still, in the fact that the fence and ground is blurred which I have to assume were still indicates only 2 things, out of manual focus or camera shake?

Try again and then try again, manual focus is a skill that has to be acquired, it’s not as easy as the reviewers all try to tell you
Alistair

Edited by adwb, 11 May 2018 - 04:51 PM.


#4 Username

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 10:13 PM

` 

 

 

Wide and ultrawide lenses defy peeking. Peeking 

only marks out contrast edges, which may or may 

not indicate best focus .... and since WA scenes 

will have a zillion contrasty details most of which 

do not indicate focus. MF magnifier WILL focus a 

wide angle lens very well, especially without the 

visual clutter of all that peeking.  

 

As to the 300mm, it's more than long enuf to be 

quite immune from minor misalignment due to a 

cheap adapter. A misalignment that wreaks total 

havoc with a short FL will have no effect on a 300. 

OTOH long lenses are more vulnerable to crappy 

window glass ... as well as the shutter speed you 

chose which is waaaaay too slow. 



#5 sundial215

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 01:07 AM

I would like to thank each of you for your thoughtful comments. I gather the following from your three responses, the folllowing points:

1 Turn off Peeking.

2. Use the magnify function without Peeking

3. Consider turning off IBS,  I will try this, but I am inclined to think that this is not the source of my issue.

4. Consider a higher shutter speed.  I should add that at the time I shot the woodchuck,  I also took several pictures of birds at the same location and none of these images were any sharper.  But the shutter speed with the Birds was 1/80 sec.  Clearly not sufficient to meet the old rule of 1/fl.  However, my main camera for wildlife shooting is  a Panasonic GX8 with a 100-400mm lens.  With that rig I often shoot and hand-held using a Bushawk shoulder mount. And I frequently shoot at speeds as low as 1/60 sec and lower.  As a comparison I submit the following image taken with the GX8 and Panasonic 100-400mm lens.  From the EXIF I get the following FL=318mm Shutter 1/80, f7.1.(ISO =800)

Of course the camera has both Lens stabilization and in IBIS that works together. In short, with my GX rig, I can get reasonabelly sharp images at speeds as low as 1/30 sec.  So I am inclined to think that shutter speed is not the decisive issue here, but to be on th safe side, the next time out, I will not allow the shutter to go below 1/300 and use auto ISO.

BTW, do any of you use the Peeking function?  If so, how?

 

Once again, thank you for these thoughtful suggestion and I will work with them on my next outing in a few days.

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#6 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 11:34 AM

You don't have to turn off peaking, just set it to low and red. Then be aware that it often lights up the edges of things even if they're not in focus.

You can't compare the manual Olympus lens with the dual stabilised Leica lens. Like I said, the IBIS doesn't help much on the Olympus lens. It will reduce some of the effects of shake such as double outlines, but the movement of the sensor will reduce pixel sharpness. Since the IBIS isn't talking to the lens, it's really just guessing what it's doing.

Regarding the shutter speed, you really need to bring it up. Basically, treat it as you would with an unstabilised lens.

All in all, you have a perfect storm going here where everthing is working against sharpness, instead of for it.

#7 Username

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:47 AM

.......... Since the IBIS isn't talking to the lens, it's

really just guessing what it's doing. ..................
 

 

Which brings up something I took for granted, 

but maybe should have asked ... of sundial:  

  

You DID ? or or did not ? manually set the IBIS 

to the correct FL for the 300mm ? 



#8 sixzeiss

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 08:03 AM

Hi,

 

And use much faster shutter speed ... its the difference between sometimes getting a good shot and always getting a good shot. You can increase the ISO to 400 at least without any noticeable loss of IQ, and even higher. Configure the IBIS FL correctly, if necessary.

 

 

Best way to get accurate focus is to turn focus peaking off ... and then pay attention ... the image will shimmer at the point where _perfect_ focus is. Try it, you will see!

 

 

Manual focusing a long lens is hard work, but its worth it when it all comes together.



#9 tonibaz

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 12:48 PM

You don't have to turn off peaking, just set it to low and red. Then be aware that it often lights up the edges of things even if they're not in focus.

You can't compare the manual Olympus lens with the dual stabilised Leica lens. Like I said, the IBIS doesn't help much on the Olympus lens. It will reduce some of the effects of shake such as double outlines, but the movement of the sensor will reduce pixel sharpness. Since the IBIS isn't talking to the lens, it's really just guessing what it's doing.

Regarding the shutter speed, you really need to bring it up. Basically, treat it as you would with an unstabilised lens.

All in all, you have a perfect storm going here where everthing is working against sharpness, instead of for it.

 

I totally agree with the peaking issues, you need to be careful with it, only the experience will tell you wether something is on focus or not. In my opinion, focus magnifier is the best feature of this system to come alive again the old but good lenses. And not so old lenses; for UWA lenses is a must (like my Laowa 15 f:2). Practice makes perfect.


A7III - RX100III
Laowa 15 f:2 | Tamron 90 f:2.8 | Sony FE 85 1.8 | Tair 135 2.8 | Sony 70-400 SSM GII

#10 sundial215

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 05:19 PM

First, thanks for a load of good advice. Today was a rany day so I thought I might use the time to check out some of the suggestions made.

So, the first Issue I had to dealwith is locating the place to set the FL of the Lens. It took a bit of digging, but I found it and set the FL for each lens, e.g., The OM at 300mm. Second, I set the C4 button to shift from IBIS to No IBIS.

Third, I went into my treasure trove of Legacy lenses and picked out several WA lenses, to normal and tele, up to the 300mm OM lens.

And using my usual indoor target I began testing to see if the IBIS made any difference with the various FL lenses.

BTW, all of these tests we using a Tripod.

Bottom line is that for the UWA lenses the use of the IBIS seemed to make no difference to my eyes and my ability to detect a diference. All of these comparisions were at F8.0 my preferred aperature for use with these WA lenses. Perhaps wide open there mightbe a decernable difference, but I tend to doubt it given the DoF found with the WA lenses.

My 35mm Canon FD f2.0 seemed to favor the off setting, but the diference was very minor and could well have been due to minor vibration while taking the shots.

The 50mm f2.8 Digma Macro seemed to be slightly sharper when the IBIS was ON.

Suprisingly the 100mm Canon FD f4 Macro seemed to favor the IBIS OFF, but that too was a very small difference.

The Oly 300OM f4.5 seemed to favor the IBIS being ON and here the diference seemed to be much more apparent than with the shorter FL lenses. This prompted me to rasie a question about how IBIS works with shorter vs longer lenses?

Finally to try to get back to something like the real world I mounted the camera and the Oly OM 300mm on a Bushawk mount and went outside (under the portico) and shot several images of a flower pot that had a good deal of detail in its surface. I shot a sting of 5 images with IBIS on and five with it off, all at f4.5, ISO at 1600, and shutter at 1/250 sec. I did not changethe focus and I remained in a consrant position (sitting in a chair using my knee for a rest supporting the camera). Comparing the 1st(IBIS on) with the 6th(IBIS off) and so on for five sets. Bottom line is that four of the five sets favored the IBIS being ON. The image below is one example (set) of the diference that shorwed that IBIS ON seems to improve image sharpness. When using a hand held (Shoulder mounted) camera with the 300mm lens.

 

First let me thank all for helping me sort out this mess. It was indeed a mess of my ownmaking. I did not know that the FL needs to be set for legacy manual lenses. I did not fully appriciate that this is more likely to improve images when using longer focal length lenses. Of course it, in retrospect, makes sense since any jitter will be more evident with longer FL lenses. Finally, having come to the Sony system from FF Nikons, and never being able to use my legacy lenses on the Nikon, I learned a great deal from this experience and from the thoughtful responses I received to my initial questions.

 

I will now wait for a bright sunny day and take my OM 300mm lens out to try some Bird shots.

Thanks for all the excellent support.

 

 

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#11 Jaf-Photo

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:16 AM

Bushawk is essentially hand-held. So the shutter speed of 1/250 is on the low side for unstabilised shooting. That means you should have compared with IBIS off at higher shutter speeds. Nevertheless, I'm glad you worked it out for yourself.

Having shot Sony for five years, I have come to really appreciate lenses with optical stabilisation over IBIS. OSS will not degrade pixel sharpness.

#12 dbmiller

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 09:04 PM

IBIS on should definitely help with camera shake. As already noted, you have to tell the camera what FL you are each time you attach a legacy lens, as they have no way of telling the camera what their FL is. (You don't need to set it if it was the same as last time you set it, ie, two different days where that was the only legacy lens mounted).

 

Since the lens also cannot tell the camera the focus distance, you will only get 3-axis stabilization, not 5-axis. You get X, Y, and Roll, but not Pitch or Yaw.

 

And finally, the longer the FL, the harder it is for the camera to provide IBIS, as it has to move the sensor further to compensate for camera movement.

 

So keep shake as minimal as possible, and shoot with as fast a shutter speed you can to reduce the possibility of blur due to camera shake.



#13 slackercruster

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 03:51 PM

OP, if you are looking beyond snapshot material, you have to test all legacy glass to see how it works with the Sony. Some perform better than others.



#14 Username

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 11:38 PM



...................  

I began testing to see if the IBIS made any

difference with the various FL lenses. BTW 

all of these tests we using a tripod

...................

  

" Houston ? We have a problem ? " 

  

On a tripod, IBIS might either 

[A] do nothing ...... OR 

[B] activate unnecessarily. 

 

'A' is harmless. 'B' deteriorates 

your sharpness. IBIS is an aid

for handheld shooting [maybe 

for monopods as well]. 



#15 howgus

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 08:06 PM

My favorite topic!I will do my best to not bore.

 

I struggled with manual focus, all the while knowing it was always the key to the photos I knew were in this camera.I was raised on manual focus while making a living with a Rollei and a 4x5 Graflex.I've been shooting with a7r, a7rm2, and now rm3, starting with Nex because it was my only hope for digital and manual focus.

 

I've struggled with it though, giving up on peaking long ago, and always using zoom assist.What I discovered, while using autofocus one day, and for no reason I remember, I was watching the behavior of the iris, and noticed the camera always opened wide during autofocus, then stopped down when locked, but did not do so in manual focus.

 

Then I remembered how cameras used to behave before autofocus:the lens was always wide open until the photo was being taken or I pushed the preview button.

 

So I tried it with the m3 using the 55 f1.8:opened the lens wide by twisting dial, focusing, then setting aperture to whatever.You have to try it, I can't describe the difference, but take my word for it, it's night and day.Or day and night.

 

This also makes a big difference in low light, as well.Noise would often make manual focus impossible, but at wider apertures, noise almost disappears.Autofocus knows!

 

What I hope is we can convince Sony that to be a contender for use by serious photogs, manual focus needs to work. Opening the iris when manual focus assist is enabled and the focus ring is moved, then closing it with half press should be no more than 20 minutes of coding time, since algorithms are in place for autofocus.

 

That being said, the M3 autofocus is the best I've seen in a camera I can afford.




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