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Lack of AF/MF switch focus shift problem

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by mbridge87, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. mbridge87

    mbridge87 New to TalkEmount

    6
    Aug 18, 2018
    Hi,

    I'm new to sony cameras so apologies if this is an obvious question.

    I'm a still life, product and advertising photographer and will often spend hours photographing one item. In that time, I usually have to change batteries. I've noticed with some of my Sony lenses that this will cause the focus to shift. This is quite an annoying problem if I'm in the middle of creating a complex composite and the focus shifts.

    I have three lenses; 90mm macro, 55mm f1.8, and 16-35 f4. The 90mm macro is the only lens with the option to set AF/MF on the lens itself, otherwise I have to do it using the camera body. With the 90mm, if the lens is set to MF then the focus does not shift. If the lens is set to AF and the camera body is set to MF, then the focus will shift when changing batteries.

    On both the 55mm f1.8 and 16-35 f4 the focus will shift when changing batteries, even if the camera is set to MF.

    Clearly, this issue is related to lenses which do not have an AF/MF switch; at least it seems that way from my relatively small lens pool.

    Is anyone aware of a fix for this?

    Is there a setting within the camera which will stop this occurring on lenses without a AF/MF switch?

    Can anyone confirm using other lenses that do have a AF/MF switch that this issue is not present?

    In terms of cameras, I have an A7Riii and A7Rii.

    Any help would be much appreciated.
     
  2. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    I can see where that would be annoying, though I am surprised you have to switch batteries on the A7Riii. These must be really long shooting sessions. Sadly I have an older body (A7ii) and mostly manual lenses, so not much help in that respect, but I do hope someone here might know.

    As a workaround you might consider the power side of the equation. If you don't need to switch batteries, no problem, right? There are grips that have multiple batteries, and external power packs with multiple batteries. Assuming you are in a studio type setup, there are also AC adapters that power the camera off of wall power. I cannot confirm but am under the impression that USB-C ports on the newer bodies can also be used in place of battery power. Most of these options are not super cheap, but could provide a workaround solution.

    And welcome to talkemount. Hopefully your question can be answered and you'll hang around afterwards.

    :Welcome:
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Top Veteran

    602
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    I do not have sufficient expertise to respond to your question but I do welcome you.
     
  4. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Sorry, but I don't have any AF/MF switch lenses to confirm your question.
    I agree with Bob, as I'm not aware of a 'fix' for your special case issue. To get around the problem may be to eliminate the need to change batteries.
    The A7Riii is capable of being powered via USB so a high capacity power bank will provide you with the run time needed and portability.
    The A7Rii can be powered via a battery adapter to AC. These go for as low as $15 per kit. If your shooting environment can't accommodate AC service, instead of the wall wart, you can plug the battery adapter into a Li-Ion battery pack of 18650 cells or better, 26650 cells. This will provide 2-4x the runtime of the battery grip.
     
  5. mbridge87

    mbridge87 New to TalkEmount

    6
    Aug 18, 2018
    Thanks for the comments and suggestions.

    I usually shoot with a remote trigger so I can fire the camera with a trigger in my hand from anywhere in the studio, with the A7Riii this needs to be connected to the Multi port and the USB port is used by my tether cable. Sadly, using either one of those ports, while great suggestions, won't work.

    I also don't like the idea of attaching a battery grip as I prefer the rigidity which shooting without one provides. When shooting jewelry, having as little movement as possible is always best.

    As it stands, I think the only solutions are to either power the camera using an ac adaptor and just suck it up having an extra cable, or, and this is my preferred option, get a different lens.
     
  6. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    A USB connection can be attached to a hub. The hub can be one that provides a sufficient current for charging, thus powers the camera and still pass through the data out the hub. A possible idea for the A7Riii.

    I was thinking of suggesting to go with a manual focused lens option for your type of work.
     
  7. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    836
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I don't know of any in-camera solutions, but as Will suggested a manual focus lens might be the easiest fix for you, especially since you can get high quality MF macro lenses for cheap. Either that or just plug a cord to the USB port to keep the camera powered so you don't have to switch batteries. I have my camera connected to an external USB power bank when doing video to avoid battery swapping.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  8. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    For the remote trigger, could you use the smartphone app? This would free up your multiport, if that works for power, just an idea.

    If you are considering other lenses, there are a lot of good legacy lenses you could adapt. The Tokina 90/2.5 or the Zeiss 100/2 come to mind. I have an old Tamron 90/2.5 that has great image quality.

    I have to mention Voigtlander here. I have their 65/2 Lanthar APO macro. While not a very long macro lens, it is the best lens I have ever used (which is not saying a lot). It is native e-mount, so you get the camera integration, EXIF, etc. but it is manual focus. Perhaps more significantly for your purposes, dealers are waiting for its sibling the 110/2.5 Lanthar APO macro to come in stock. Expectations are very high that this will be an outstanding lens, perhaps in the same league as the legendary Voigtlander 125mm/2.5, which easily goes for 2x-3x the price it was when new nearly 20 years ago. There has been a delay, but current guesses are no later than October and you can pre-order them now if you wish. (CameraQuest will let you reserve one with $100 down with the balance due upon shipping.)
     
  9. mbridge87

    mbridge87 New to TalkEmount

    6
    Aug 18, 2018
    Hey everyone,

    Thanks again for the replies.

    Just had the sigma 50 art delivered thinking it would not have the same issue. Sadly, it does.

    I've been considering the Voigtlander 65mm, however, while I don't need af for most of my work, I do sometimes. That's why i hoped the sigma would work.

    Only option I can see now is using some kind of power adaptor. I've not tried the smartphone app as a trigger but I usually find those apps to have a pretty long delay. When shooting special effects, I do a fair bit of liquid work, the trigger needs no delay.

    As such, it would seem the options are:

    1) see if the sony 50 1.4 has the same issue. Don't like this option though as the lens is complete overkill for my purposes and I'd resent spending the money.
    2) find an ac adaptor for A7RIII
    3) see if the usb hub option works
     
  10. JonathanF2

    JonathanF2 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    836
    Aug 16, 2014
    Los Angeles, USA
    I like the USB power bank option when in the field, but if you're in the studio, they now sell NP-FZ100 dummy batteries that can connect to an outlet. Prices seem reasonable for third party options (under $40 USD I believe).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    Hmm, have you looked at something like the Pluto triggers? My guess is you know all about such things, and I have only read about them, but I thought I would mention it just in case.

    I for one would love to see some of your work some time, if that's possible (realize it might not be). It sounds rather intriguing.
     
  12. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Just an FYI, I detect no delay when I activate the shutter via the camera's IR remote sensor. Perhaps a resourceful individual can rig up a water droplet trigger to an IR emitter for a wireless setup thus freeing up the USB port.
     
  13. mbridge87

    mbridge87 New to TalkEmount

    6
    Aug 18, 2018
    Hi all,

    I've decided to simply buy the NP-FZ100 dummy battery. It's slightly annoying as I like to avoid extra cables where possible but it's not the end of the world and it's the cheapest solution.

    I haven't used the pluto triggers but have seen them around for some time. For my work, I prefer to trigger the camera myself, the pluto trigger would be over-complicating things, although it would free up the port.

    This is my website, if you guy want to see my work - Product Photographer | Square Mountain

    Thanks for all the help!
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
  15. mbridge87

    mbridge87 New to TalkEmount

    6
    Aug 18, 2018
    Thanks
     
  16. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
  17. mbridge87

    mbridge87 New to TalkEmount

    6
    Aug 18, 2018
    Thanks, I appreciate it
     
  18. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Great product photography work but the light captured in some of those wildlife shots is AMAZING!!! :eek-30:
     
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