Shooting fall colors.....Interesting new discovery about Focus Peaking - NEX-7

Discussion in 'Nature' started by roundball, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    When I started out with my NEX-7 a couple months ago, there was a huge learning curve from my last days of serious attempts at photography back in film days with Canon A1's, etc and there were so many things to get set up on the NEX-7 just to use it that I took a suggestion to use mid level / red for focus peaking, it's worked great during July/August/September, and in light of all the other things to learn I basically left it and forgot about it.

    Then in October, testing a couple more used Canon FD / MF lenses I picked up I noticed a few shots where the focus was soft and it finally came to me yesterday that I wasn't seeing the red focus peaking much with those shots...couldn't figure why a lens would cause that.
    Then it hit me that it's usually been occurring when shooting October orange & red fall colors and maybe I just wasn't "seeing" the red focus peaking as sharp against the orange and red colored leaves...switched to "white" focus peaking yesterday and it's now again very obvious to my eye in those same another lesson learned.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------'s the really new discovery that I noticed switching to white focus peaking.
    When I get the subject dialed into a band of sharp focus as indicated by the appearance of all the white flecks, I also notice the whole general area of the band of focus all over the subject seemed to start 'shimmering' or 'quaking'.
    And it wasn't just yesterday afternoon shooting some pretty fall colors with that particular light...I tested for it again this morning, same body & lens, f stop, etc...out in the front yard and that shimmering effect appeared again with the white focus peaking in spite of it being dull/cloudy/overcast.

    I'm not complaining...and barring anything that comes up showing it to actually be a problem it seems to be beneficial in terms of easily / quickly seeing a broad band view of sharp focus.
    Anyhow...I'm not sure why I'm seeing this and at the moment, can only assume its associated with switching to "white focus peaking" as it started immediately coincident with the switch.

    Anyone else experience this?
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    I've always used yellow, but there are those rare times when it is hard to focus.

    At those times I either turn to White as you mention, or magnify to make sure it's clear.
  3. Deadbear77

    Deadbear77 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Sep 14, 2012
    Northeast Ohio
    Real Name:
    I always shoot raw+jpg with the black and white option. I also throw in red peaking. Works well against the black and white. When shooting raw you will have all of the color info saved.

    Plus you get a nice looking black and white jpg out of it.

    Helps me get focus almost anytime in difficult light.

    I hope this option will be available in the A7!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    What you're seeing is very similar to the DOF preview on a (d)slr. With focus peaking you see areas of high contrast so every high contrast edge within the depth of field will show some peaking.

    Go out and hold the camera very low to the ground over the sidewalk or street and you can see the dof quite easily. You can even see it move as you focus. A brick wall at a shallow angle will do the same thing. Pretty cool actually. :)

    Like Kevin, I sometimes switch to B&W to make the focus peak color easier to see, though I shoot RAW exclusively.
  5. izzikiorage

    izzikiorage TalkEmount Veteran

    Jul 30, 2013
    I've seen that quaking of the image when manual focus is being used in the enlarged view.... Not sure what causes it or how to avoid

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
  6. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    Its still to early for me to know if here's a down side to it...if it actually simply indicates sharp focus, so far I don't have a problem with it.
    PS: I was just shooting normally, Canon FD manual lens...don't know what 'enlarged view' is.