NEX-C3, Manual-Focus: Disable Auto-Magnify?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by larrytxeast, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 23, 2013
    As I posted recently, I just purchased a Sony NEX-C3/18-55mm kit, it is my first-ever NEX model after years with DSLRs (I still shoot with a Nikon D5100 & 2 lenses for it) and a year with Olympus m4/3rds. It arrived today, and I'm just getting to know it, and I intend to post a "first impressions" post, but first, I have this question.

    My apologies if this question has already been answered & beat to death, I did do a Yahoo! search first but can't seem to find this topic addressed.

    The question regards manual-focusing. While my intention is mainly to do this with legacy lenses (waiting for an adapter for my old 1980 Nikon 50mm 1.8 to arrive), I also may have to manual-focus with E-mount lenses when doing macros etc, plus I was just getting a feel for how the camera worked. Anyway--I tried manual-focusing with the 18-55mm, I have the soft-button B set to "MF assist." I was under the impression that when you manual-focused you were at "normal" magnification view" throughout the entire time & it only zoomed-in if you pressed the button, otherwise it wasn't zoomed in any at all. That is how I want it--it's early, so I may change my mind later, but at this moment I most certainly DO NOT like it zooming-in even just to 7x until I specifically TELL it to. Is there anyway to turn this off but without turning off MF assist altogether? Would it otherwise be prone to do behaving this same way with legacy lenses (I would think there would be no way it would know since there's no focusing communication with the camera from legacy lenses.)

  2. teefin1

    teefin1 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    i may be wrong but i think its off or its not and that every time you touch the focus ring it magnifies. i wouldnt mind if it was x3 but the minimum is what, x7?.
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    With legacy lenses, it works the way you want. With native lenses, well, not. That said, peaking is much better for MF than any kind of magnification anyways.
  4. larrytxeast

    larrytxeast TalkEmount Rookie

    Feb 23, 2013
    (teefin1) Yes I found this dpreview post (finally, took me awhile to find anything on it) and yes, with E-mount lenses (not legacy), the NEX absolutely INSISTS on auto-magnifying when you turn the focus ring it only resumes "normal" view once you stop and half-press. I don't like that behavior at all.

    It's not apt to interfere much insomuch that most of the time my manual-focusing, when I used my Olympus models, was when I was using my old 1980 Nikkor 50mm 1.8 for portraits. When using the kit, I almost always autofocused. However with macro shots where it kept focusing on the background & not the close-up object, I'd revert to manual-focus, and it only zoomed-in when I TOLD it to, when I exited to "normal" view, it STAYED there until I told it to magnify again. I don't know that I like the NEX treatment here. But then, I've only had the camera today, it's early just yet.

    NEX-C3 (today), 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
    Olympus E-PM1, 14-42mm II R, old 1980 Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
    Nikon D5100, 18-105mm VR, 50mm f/1.8 AF-S G
  5. nianys

    nianys TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    I concur, try Peaking before you rack your brain with anything magnification related. I'd bet my boots you'll soon find out Peaking is vastly more powerful, not to mention insanely fun and easier than it has any right to !
  6. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    I think there were two settings related to MF assist that would help here.

    1. MENU->Step->MF Assist->On/Off
    2. MENU->Setup-MF Assist Time->2/5/NL

    The first enables the auto-zoom for E-mount lenses. It sounds like you want this off.

    The second says how long to wait without any further focus changes before returning to the full display. If the prior setting is off, this may not matter as you will only be using the soft-button to rotate through the zoom factors, but I can't remember whether or not it has an effect with the soft button. If it does, then for MF lenses, I like setting this to No Limit - Let me futz with the lens as much as I want since you can't tell when I'm done - I'll half-press the shutter again to clear it. For AF lenses, I prefer either 2 or 5 secs. 5 works better for me, as I have a little more time to decide if I need further tweaking. I like using the AF lenses in DMF mode, so I can't repress the shutter button to clear the zoom, that will attempt a re-focus in my case. So I need a timeout to reframe if necessary. In MF mode, No Limit is also fine, I can press the shutter half-way when I'm ready to reframe.
  7. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Okay, so after there are some questions over and over again, here are my top 3 settings that are absolutely necessary when shooting a NEX camera:

    1. RAW. Period.
    2. If you focus manually, PEAKING. No AF magnification.
    3. Shoot in A/S/M modes (most of us do that anyways), depending on the situation.

    Everything else is just personal preference, but I consider these three basic settings as a must.