cliveh - I couldn't agree more, most modern design does leave a lot to be desired but sometimes it does give viable options; my 200/1.8 has three settings to alter the focus throw when in manual, which can be useful.
I know those who shoot motorsport - while they most certainly did OK shooting motorsport back in the 80's with manual focus equipment, quite often 'the shot' was spoilt by not quite being in focus. While its easy to say that you can prefocus and shoot at a certain spot, what happens if the incident of the race occurs 15 metres before then?
Originally Posted by cliveh
Today, there is a much higher probability that 'the shot' will be very much in focus, even if it means a quick point and shoot to get the shot. Shortening the travel of the AF movement increases speed of the focusing - The manufacturers don't give a crap about some film user who expects micrometer focussing...actually, they are not trying to sell lenses to you at all.
Like I have said in many different threads (& this thread)...these things are just tools that can be used by the photographers in the right instance. It is up to the photographer how to use these tools.
The thing that I personally dislike is those of the 'consumer' level of photography who get sucked into this whole 'Must be the fastest AF possible (DAMMIT) and I WILL upgrade to the latest and greatest in 12 months time when something faster comes along'.
Me, personally - I am not gonig to disagree with the fact that I have a much higher success rate shooting slow and static objects using my Manual Focus gear. A split screen is a God send for this. But, I also realise that AF has its place...and having AF that is firm ware upgradeable and fine tunable is another handy tool that is worth it.
I watched the video and have a question. It appears this is not about AF directly but changing the spot it focuses at. For example, there are four zones on a zoom lens in their program. You offset the focus point in each zone. Why would you do this? Do zoom lenses mis-focus? IF thier zoom lens is mis-focusing, shouldn't they fix it or produce a lens that focusing correctly throughout the zoom range?
I've not used auto-focus, but personally I don't like technology if it is mandatory for the operation of something that can be done mechanically. I want things that are robust enough to function even if the electronics die. Unfortunately, my main/favorite camera is a Sears KS-2 (Ricoh XR-7), with coupled meter and battery. Not much to go wrong, but enough to make me worry.
In general, if a manual mode is achieved by an electronic switch, and the electronics die, then it can't be used manually.
If manual mode is purely a mechanical option, there I'm fine with the automatic functions, since I can still use the device if the automatic part breaks.
A smart phone is basically a computer, and I don't like how it's camera focuses and decides what the light level should be. I'd not have the patience to deal with things like that in a real camera, digital or otherwise.
I can see situations where auto-focus would be very useful, but I'm not in those situations. Manual is fine for the photos I want, and if I wanted convenient or easy, I'd pay someone to do it for me.
I totally agree with Anikin, that this is just another way a manufacture can turn out a product that can have lower tolerances. You shouldnt have to do this out of the box with a nice new lens, but I am sure there are those who really like to test their gear, would be really into this feature for test charts and so on.
I prefer manual focus all the way with a nice focusing screen or a contrasty rf patch, if I have to use an auto focus camera, I always set it to center spot and recompose, no matter how many af points there are, the cameras always seem to pick the wrong one when you need it most haha.
It is interesting to see though how camera and lens manufacturers are currently trying to differentiate their products, sigma has even renamed a new series of lenses, labeling them as Contemporary, Art, and Sports. I wonder what else is in store for the camera market now that it seems to be super saturated across the board for both professionals and amateur alike.
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I shoot manual focus most of the time. The only camera I have with AF is my Nikon F100, and sometimes I am glad to have it...
Nine years ago I tried digital and hated it. I only own film cameras now. What I remember about firmware is that it was used to fix problems. My first thought about this lens is, "What the XXXX? This lens seriously plugs in?" Secondly...what is wrong with it that you have to plug it in?
I am far out of the loop with digital technology (thankfully)...
I am assuming the firmware upgrades might also allow the lens to be compatible with future camera bodies. There was a whole generation of Sigma lenses made for Canon, that did not operate with the newer bodies because of the firmware on the old chips. They rechipped them for a period of time, but I dont think they do that anymore.
Like many still developing technology modern AF has some applications where it can make a deference in keepers. A fast moving bird in flight captured by predictive follow auto focus for instance. Other fast evolving situations etc. Otherwise, in 35mm SLR's, give me an all matte grid screen and eyepiece correction set for my eyesight. There is a certain delight in focusing a precise, well damped, manual focus lens. And even with manual focus I often go for zone focus with an aperture that allows for enough DOF to cover the scene.
Do companies have to make EVERYTHING into some kind of whiz-bang video game experience, now?
I just went to get a burger and the place I went, Five Guys Burgers and they just installed one of those newfangled Coca-Cola soda fountain dispensers. They call it the Coca-Cola Freestyle
It's got a touch screen display and you have to press the icon of the product you want to have. Then you press on whether you want cherry flavor or vanilla flavor, etc., etc. There are up to 106 different variations to choose from. Next, you put your cup in the compartment to get ice then, finally, press the button to dispense your soda.
It's like playing a damned video game!
Okay. Technology. All well and good. That's the way things are. Fine!
But, I sat there as I ate my dinner and watched people get their soda from that machine. The average time to serve a customer was at least 30 seconds. Each person would stand there for at least ten seconds before making a choice. Then the touch screen wouldn't register their choice. Then they changed their minds. Then they fumbled getting their cup under the dispenser. Finally, they figured out where the "fill" button was.
On a busy midweek lunch hour, that would back up the serving lines clear out the door! They'd have to install twice as many machines just to keep the customers moving. Those machines don't look cheap, either. $5,000 apiece if they cost a cent!
All this just to market an "enriched experience" to the customer?
No, not me! I just want my good, ole' Coca-Cola. Easy on the ice.
I stood in line, waiting for people to fumble their way around this monstrosity, and turned to the guy standing behind me and said, "I'd pay an extra quarter just to push a button and get a damned cupful of Coca-Cola without having to play a stinkin' video game!" He and the two people standing behind him in line both laughed.
I don't need a camera lens that has upgradeable firmware with adjustable parameters any more than I need a soda fountain with 106 selectable choices on a touch screen display!
Our local Sheetz gas station has food (as most do any more). You have to figure out the menu on the touch screen and it is not intuitive. After going through three levels of menus you order an hot dog - if you make a mistake you must start over. Then you wonder if someone behind the counter is paying attention, wait, get your food and pay for it. Oddly, the coffee is self-serve.
Our speedway has an island with food. You use tongs to grab what you want and take it to the cashier. Much faster and certain.
Guess which one I avoid. (Actually, I avoid gas-station food; only had it about 3 times in the past 15 years, but one time with the Sheetz "high-tech" canteen experience was enough to make me a life-long non-customer.)