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  1. #11
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I prefer manual focus and find that manual focus lenses are generally better designed for focusing manually.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  2. #12
    Uncle Bill's Avatar
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    Like a stick shift in my car, I prefer to do the focusing not the cameras.

    Bill
    "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once and a while, you might just miss it."
    Ferris Bueller

  3. #13
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    One For the Birds?

    I, as of yet, do not own any auto focus lenses or camera bodies, however, I am considering getting a long lens auto focus and body to photograph birds. Is there an opinion on a good bird lens...auto or manual? Longer that 300 mm on a 35 mm set up?

  4. #14
    sterioma's Avatar
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    I routinely mount MF lenses on my Nikon F100, especially the 105/2.5. I seldom do the other way around.

    I started my photography journey with a manual focus body (Nikon FG-20) and lenses; when my daughter was about to be born, I decided I needed an autofocus camera, so I bought a used F100 and a 50/1.8 AF lens.

    I dream of buying one day a 85/1.8 AF lens: I have missed many shots with my MF 105/2.5 due to (my) slow focusing (try chasing a 1.5 yr old baby girl ).

  5. #15
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wooten
    I, as of yet, do not own any auto focus lenses or camera bodies, however, I am considering getting a long lens auto focus and body to photograph birds. Is there an opinion on a good bird lens...auto or manual? Longer that 300 mm on a 35 mm set up?
    Dave it really depends on your pocket book, I use a 600mm f/4 for my main birding lense, and it is big, it is heavy and it was expensive, I started out with 300mm f/4 and then a 300mm f/2.8 with a 2X convertor, and have been far more please with the 600mm for quality and sharpness, most of the major companies make a good long lens, do you know what brand your think for your AF? But again, to do quality birding requires expensive glass..

    Dave

  6. #16

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    Good Afternoon,

    I use manual focus only. I figure that if I get to the point of being unable to turn a focusing ring or knob, it'll be time to hang it up and head for the rocking chair. In a few particular situations (shooting with auto flash in extremely dim conditions or using remotely operated cameras, for example) auto-focus certainly could be extremely helpful. Otherwise, it just adds to cost, increases dependence on batteries, and is something else to need repair. Besides how many autofocus lenses are available for my 4 x 5??

    Konical

  7. #17
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Boy I am glad I am not ready for the Rocking Chair!!! geeze, eyes go bad often times before desire and skill do, and especially the body, I will happyly shoot my AF gear and deliver the products my customers want! I do however use MF when I am shooting commercial macro work...

    Dave

  8. #18
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Dave (Wooten--too many Dave's around here), most bird photography starts at 400mm. A good combo is something like a 400/4.5 for flight shots and a 600/4 on the tripod, but the latest autofocus lenses with image stabilization and such are really expensive, and if it's a 600, it's also much heavier than an older manual focus 600/4 or 4.5. In my opinion, it's more important to have the long lens and a good tripod and head than to have autofocus or image stabilization, and for static shots, manual focus is better anyway, because DOF is short, and you don't want the camera hunting to focus on the right area.

    I use the Canon FD 400/4.5 SSC and 600/4.5 but the equivalent Nikon manual focus lenses should be fine as well, if you're shooting Nikon.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #19
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka
    I can't speak for other makes, since I use Canon...
    The current EOS lenses that are 'L' series are high quality glass lenses. Those that are not 'L' are much less pricey and are plastic. Easy to tell when you pick one up - huge difference in weight.

    The L lenses contain fluorite elements. The non-L lenses don't. The EF 50/1.4 is not an L lens but all the elements are glass. Since it has no fluorite elements (and many lenses do not need them), it isn't an L lens.

    Nikon uses ED glass. It serves the same purpose. It isn't as prone to temperature changes which is why Canon L lenses are often white (especially big telephotos and zooms) and Nikon's are generally black. Optically it is about a wash, although fluorite lenses are softer than ED glass so you can't use them as the outer element.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

  10. #20
    PhotoJim's Avatar
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    As you can probably guess from my sig line, I use both AF and MF stuff. Most of my lenses are autofocus because I want the ability to autofocus - and I find that the higher-end AF lenses have a really nice manual focus feel. (My AF 80-200/2.8 ED is a great example.) I have a few good manual lenses because I tend to shoot manual gear when I want to travel light, so I have primarily prime lenses and not zooms in the manual department. A few manual lenses like the 105/2.5 do not exist as AF lenses, so I focus them willingly and happily.

    As to which is better, the one you have with you when you need it is the best lens of all. How you focus it is largely irrelevant.
    Jim MacKenzie - Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

    A bunch of Nikons; Feds, Zorkis and a Kiev; Pentax 67-II (inherited from my deceased father-in-law); Bronica SQ-A; and a nice Shen Hao 4x5 field camera with 3 decent lenses that needs to be taken outside more. Oh, and as of mid-2012, one of those bodies we don't talk about here.

    Favourite film: do I need to pick only one?

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