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Thread: Focusing Help

  1. #11
    Allan Swindles's Avatar
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    Louis, I too have worn specs. for distance, for over 40yrs. and have NEVER found an eyecup that I could use whilst wearing them. Your optician should be able to tell you which dioptre correction lens would be most suitable if you choose to follow that route. I tried but could not get to grips with removing specs. to focus then having to put them back on to check the subject etc., the eyecup though, was excellent in keeping out extraneous light. I use the Olympus OM system and the range of optical accessories is second to non but they didn't work for me. I don't know the camera you are using but if you have/can obtain an eyecup which will accomodate a dioptre correction lens, you may find it suits - but they don't work with specs.
    I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Swindles View Post
    Louis, I too have worn specs. for distance, for over 40yrs. and have NEVER found an eyecup that I could use whilst wearing them. Your optician should be able to tell you which dioptre correction lens would be most suitable if you choose to follow that route. I tried but could not get to grips with removing specs. to focus then having to put them back on to check the subject etc., the eyecup though, was excellent in keeping out extraneous light. I use the Olympus OM system and the range of optical accessories is second to non but they didn't work for me. I don't know the camera you are using but if you have/can obtain an eyecup which will accomodate a dioptre correction lens, you may find it suits - but they don't work with specs.

    I'm pretty used to pulling off my glasses about half the time to focus now, so it shouldn't be a problem. I'm very uncomfortable putting my glasses next to the viewfinder anyway, I'm afraid of scratching my variable focus lenses, which would probably cost more to replace than my 35 year old camera.
    Louis
    (Paladin1420)

  3. #13
    loman's Avatar
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    Why don't you get a M42 camera with a brighter focussing screen?
    Like any of the fujica series, or the chinon ce, ce2 or ce3, that should at least make it a little easier on your eyes.
    The good news is that they cost next to nothing these days. Might even be cheaper than to get a diopter for your stl 1000.
    Best Regards
    Mads

  4. #14
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    Hi Louis,
    I don't really think it's your eyes that are the problem here, I'm in a similer situation myself. A 28 is allways more difficult to focus than a 50 because of it's inherently greater dof, even wide open, which makes it difficult to discern the real point of focus. Added to this the fact that your 28 is only f3.5, this exgagerates the problem. A faster lens, or a brighter focus screen would surely help. I don't know your camera, does the focus screen have any aids, like split field or micro-prisms?


    Pitxu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitxu View Post
    Hi Louis,
    I don't really think it's your eyes that are the problem here, I'm in a similer situation myself. A 28 is allways more difficult to focus than a 50 because of it's inherently greater dof, even wide open, which makes it difficult to discern the real point of focus. Added to this the fact that your 28 is only f3.5, this exgagerates the problem. A faster lens, or a brighter focus screen would surely help. I don't know your camera, does the focus screen have any aids, like split field or micro-prisms?


    Pitxu.
    The focus screen on my camera has a circle in the center of the view that exaggerates the focus. It was called "micro split image focusing spot" in the manual. It works OK for most situations, but indoors or low light, especially with the 28mm, it becomes difficult.

    It's a comfort to know that there are issues focusing a wide lens, other than my eyes.

    However, I have gotten some really useful information from everyone's help in this thread. I will use the DOF to my advantage as suggested and, although I hadn't considered it before, I'll look into getting another M42 body with a brighter viewfinder.

    Also, I have to see my eye doctor in the next month or so and I'll see what he can tell me.

    Thanks
    Louis
    (Paladin1420)

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by loman View Post
    Why don't you get a M42 camera with a brighter focussing screen?
    Like any of the fujica series, or the chinon ce, ce2 or ce3, that should at least make it a little easier on your eyes.
    The good news is that they cost next to nothing these days. Might even be cheaper than to get a diopter for your stl 1000.
    Best Regards
    Mads
    Getting a different camera is something I didn't consider, but you're right, since I only need the body it should be cheap enough. Do you know if viewfinder brightness is rated so models can be comapred?

    Thanks,
    Louis
    (Paladin1420)

  7. #17
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    Hi Louis
    I doo know that the fujicas are supposed to have the brightest focussing screens (well the Bessa TM has the brightest screen of any m42, but it's also quite a lot more expensive).
    I think that generally the Fujica st801 is supposed to be the best. It has an electronic shutter, but it should still be able to last 1-2 years on a set of batteries. If you want a more compact camera, there's the fujica st-605 (which is a mechanical camera, only needing batteries for the light meter). There's also a fujica st701, st705 (higher shutter speed) and a st901, but I don't know anything about those.
    Best Regards
    Mads

  8. #18
    loman's Avatar
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    Lois here's a list of fujica screwmounts:

    http://anusf.anu.edu.au/~aab900/phot...ras/fujica.htm

    Then you can choose for yourself.

    Best Regards
    Mads

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by paladin1420 View Post
    I used to be pretty good at this, but lately I've been having a bunch of my shots come out of focus. I'm using an old Argus SLR (STL 1000) from the early 1970s and I've been using it since the early 1970s. The out of focus part is a recent phenomenon. I have a couple of suspects, and maybe some of you have run into this before or have suggestions.


    1. I'm a bit older now than I was in 1973 so my eyes just aren't doing what they're supposed to do
    2. I bought a new lens for the camera recently, it's a 28mm 3.5 vs. the 50mm 2.8 I'm used to.
    3. It's winter and many of my questionable shots are indoors with flash and there just isn't enough light to focus properly.
    4. I've been wearing glasses my whole life, and while my vision isn't bad, I've gotten progressively more farsighted since the last time I really used this camera.

    I have one of those rubber eye cup viewfinder attachments, but it doesn't accommodate my glasses.
    I suppose that "all of the above" might be a good answer but this overlooks the fact that different lenses focus best with different focusing screens. The Nikon F3, for example, has a total of 19 different screens available, a bit of overkill IMO, but an example, among other things, of how different screens work better with various focal lengths.

    A wide angle lens, for example, would benefit from a different screen from the one best for a 50mm. Compromises have to be made which is why certain common features are the default screen.

    I don't know if the Argus has optional screens, but doubt it. This doesn't mean that you can't concentrate on one or more of the features of the present screen. The one(s) selected (split screen etc.) may differ from the way you focus the 50mm but there's usually time for thoughtful consideration of how to focus, especially with unmoving subjects.

    With my aging eyes wide angles provide a series of problems that I don't have with a normal lens or telephoto. Focusing is one of them and I've generally taken advantage of optional screens for my pro Nikons. There are other alternatives, though, as noted. Many of the "standard" screens have as many as three or four focusing aids.

    Jerry

  10. #20

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    Sorry about the long gap between replies.

    No, I can't change screens on my Argus. It was not a high end camera in its day, sort of a pro-sumer SLR (1973) and it was a bit behind even those times - screw mount when most SLRs had more updated lens mount systems, not hot shoe etc. But to a 13yo, it might as well have been a Ferrari.

    In the meantime I have moved toward a solution or two. I have been practicing a lot with the wide lens and I think I'm getting a better feel for finding good focus points now that I'm more aware of what the issues are.

    I also bought a Canon G-III QL to play with, and it is really easy to focus. Of course, I just got it and haven't processed any photos yet, but I have high hopes for my focus results.

    Regards,
    Louis
    (Paladin1420)

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