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Old Jun 24, 2008, 5:51 PM   #1
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I just purchased the 50mm lens with 1.8 f number. I had read a lot of reviews about it and everybody said how it was fast with the auto focusing etc. and I did not check to see if my D40x would be able autofocus as well. I knew it was not compatible with older lenses but I thought the AF indication was ok. Regardless bad research on my part, yet I wanna keep the lens and now master the art of manual focusing. I like the 1.8 f number and the flexibility it will give me, but I am not so sure about manual focusing.

Can any of the experts out there help me with some tips, tricks, methods about manual focusing? There is the green dot in my viewfinder that I assumed it would tell me when I have focused right, but it keeps blinking even if stays still for a second. I will go back to the manual about that as well.

Anyway please help so that I can keep this lens and also use it in my trip which is coming up in couple of days.

Thanks.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 5:14 PM   #2
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mmm read this earlier and no one as replied, so i thought id reply with what seems a too obvious answer?

so.....

isnt it as simple as turning cam to manual focus and just twisting the focus ring till image is sharp in the viewfinder, like on my olympus???

Gary
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 6:04 AM   #3
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Manual focus is easy if, and its a big IF, your vision is correct...If you wear glasses and your subscription isn't up to date or your eye sight isn't 20/20, your efforts will be thrown off...It would be like looking through binoculars and adjusting the settings so you can see clearly...You will be adjusting the lens to see the object clear and for you it would be, but for the right lens distance it might not be...Does that make sense....
You do have the little dioptic adjustment, if that is the right word, that you can set for your eye sight...Make sure that is set to your sight, or..........Auto focus is a good way to go...:?
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 3:39 PM   #4
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I've moved this thread down to our Nikon dSLR Forum, where other D40/D40x/D60 users may be able to give you some tips.

But, from opinions I've seen from experts that should know a lot more about optics than I do, your viewfinder is really not going to be accurate enough for sharp focus at apertures wider than around f/4 when the image is enlarged to typical viewing sizes later (although you may get lucky and stay within the acceptable sharpness range anyway if you are very good about finding the mid point between where the image starts getting blurrier as you turn the focus ring in one direction or the other, and you're shooting at focus distances where your depth of field is not too shallow).

You can get third party split image prism type focus screens to help out. Here's one example:

http://haodascreen.com/sifs.aspx

If you search using Google, you can find some reviews on them:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=haoda+screen

But, sometimes this solution can impact a camera's metering (this type of focus screen tends to be a bit darker).

As for the focus confirmation in the viewfinder, you should be able to half press your shutter button and turn the focus ring until the green light is steady (indicating accurate focus) with your model.

Another option would be the new Sigma 50mm f/1.4 HSM lens, which should be available around July 10th for Nikon models from what I've been able to determine (although it looks like it's going to sell for over $400 from preorder pricing I've seen so far).

http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english...8_50_14_dg.htm

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Old Jun 26, 2008, 4:33 PM   #5
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John at the Beach wrote:
Quote:
Manual focus is easy if, and its a big IF, your vision is correct...If you wear glasses and your subscription isn't up to date or your eye sight isn't 20/20, your efforts will be thrown off...It would be like looking through binoculars and adjusting the settings so you can see clearly...You will be adjusting the lens to see the object clear and for you it would be, but for the right lens distance it might not be...Does that make sense....
I believe JimC is correct - The difference here is there's no viewing screen in a binocular, wereas on a dSLR the plane of focus is right on the viewing screen which is always fixed and is at the same distance as the image sensor (and/or the focus sensor which is facing opposite to the viewing screen)

-> IMO the diopter only compensates for the photographer eye sight as he can not see pass the opaque viewing screen through on to the lens like on a binocular
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Old Jun 27, 2008, 8:22 AM   #6
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I am 41, and I confess that my right eyecannot see the difference with the 50mm 1.8D when I turn the ring about 10 degrees on the left or about 10 degrees on the right.

I justset-up the lens roughlyat the middle of thesharp focus "range" I found by turning slightly left and slightly right

Until now, I have failed to be able to use the green dot effectively.

I saw for sale an oldsecond hand 1.4 lens with thesplit image focus system, and I guess the older I will be, the more I will need it.

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Old Jun 27, 2008, 8:35 AM   #7
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philgib wrote:
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I saw for sale an oldsecond hand 1.4 lens with thesplit image focus system, and I guess the older I will be, the more I will need it.
The split image prism type focus is not a feature of the lens (you need a split image prism type focus screen in your camera to get that). You can see some images on this page showing how one works:

http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2007/0...oprism-screen/



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Old Jun 27, 2008, 9:09 PM   #8
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One more thing I did not know... Thanks a lot Jim.
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Old Jul 10, 2008, 3:05 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. I do wear glasses and they are probably not up to date. Anyway, I started using the green dot on the left bottom corner in the view finder. When I adjust the ring to what I see clearly, the green focus dot starts blinking and then I fine tune it so that it would stay solid. So my D40x still calculates the right focus but it wont focus the lens obviously. But I am able to take sharp pictures now.
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 11:27 PM   #10
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Cyrus,

I just tried to scroll the diopter back and forth and at some stage, the "sharp" rangebecame very narrow.

I guess I need to get myself some lenses now
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