So much struggling with the digital workflow

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by alaios, May 29, 2014.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    I wanted to share how still confusing a digital camera can be.
    In the film times for example I would like to shoot lets say landscape and as an example I wanted to have focus from the tree over there to infinity.

    I was able to look at the tree and calculate that this is at 3 meters. I was able to confirm that by focusing on the tree and then looking at the lens to see that 3m is written there.
    Then based on the dof calculator printed on the lens I would be able to see how much aperture I need to have focus from three to infinity.
    I was setting the aperture and boom the shot was sexy and ready

    Then I pick up my digital camera, a sony nex with a legacy lens. I still see the tree and I focus there. I have no optical confirmation that it is indeed at 3 meters. Then I have to assume that is at 3 meters and my guess was correctly. I want from the tree to infinity in focus. Which aperture do I need now? There is nothing printed on the lens... Yes a DOF calculator would do the trick, only if my 3 meter guess was correctly.. but still I wonder why on a digital age I need a second device, like cell phone running a dof application to take such a shot?

    Am I missing something here?

  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    If you're using a native lens, sure, the DOF info isn't printed on the lens, but what legacy lens are you using that doesn't have that information?

    You could also guess the distance and aperture, then magnify on the tree and on infinity to see if you're right. For native glass without the info, I think it's just a matter of slowly learning the lens. I seem to have unintentionally memorize hyperfocal distances for certain focal lengths and apertures.

    I don't know what else to say. I certainly agree that it is a little absurd in a digital age that DOF information isn't available in-camera.
  3. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    tw if I have confused you.. with legacy lens I meant native lens... So a native nex lens does not have dof calculator, no aperture ring and no focus ring...
  4. binuocta

    binuocta TalkEmount Rookie

    Apr 9, 2014
    Binu Octa
    if you're using nex 7 or 6, as far as i know you can adjust focus point to whatever object you want to shoot.

    the problem with lower model such as 3 and 5, yes you'll be confused to find that focus point, but i think the "focus peaking" mode will help you to choose which object do you want to choose by rotating the focus ring on the lens (turn autofous into semi or manual focus)

    the native lens (i assumed kit lens) such as Sony SEL 18-55 and the 16mm actually have a focus ring (which can be enabled when you choose manual focus) and as for the aperture ring, they make it "digitally" on the menu

    ps: i'm sorry for my english, it's not my native language :)
  5. MAubrey

    MAubrey TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Actually focus peaking is a pretty good suggestion for determining the DOF from your tree to infinity, too. That's probably the easiest way to see how much is in focus quickly and efficiently without having a DOF chart for the lens.
  6. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I agree with Mike. Focus peeking is the way to go. You can enable it in the menus and set the camera to DMF or MF and adjust with focus ring (most native lenses have a focus ring). When all the objects in the frame are shimmering, then everything is more or less in focus.

    BTW - I'm not sure why @binuocta says you can't adjust focus point on NEX 5. Maybe this was the case with older versions, but on the 5T it's actually easier than NEX 6 or 7. Just touch the screen where you want to focus and that is your focus point. From there, you can use the focus ring as needed.

    Hope this helps
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