I'm doing mostly landscape photography and the manual focus is a thing for me. Since the native Sony lenses all have focus by wire, the MF experience is poor. I never know if my focus is still at infinity after I adjusted the focal length, the risk of touching the focus ring is so high when wearing gloves in the dark.

So the only way to make sure that the focus distance is still correct is to actually turn the focus ring slightly and wait for the liveview to show the focus distance bar. And of course by turning the wheel, focus has moved. This is so annoying.

-> Is there any way to permanently show this indicator in liveview?

I cloud not find anything. The are hundreds of settings for this camera, I can't believe this is not possible.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Good question. Before I go through the manual, did you check if the manual states anything about it? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 7:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes I already checked the manual, but the only thing i could find was this: "When you rotate the focusing ring, the focus distance is displayed on the screen. The focus distance is not displayed when the Mount Adaptor (sold separately) is attached". By the way: when using a non E-Mount lense with focus by wire, you're screwed ^^ \$\endgroup\$
    – Dominik
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 9:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ "I never know if my focus is still at infinity after I adjusted the focal length..." Unless you are using a parfocal lens, the focus will always change slightly anytime you change the focal length. Please see: Why do photo cameras lose focus when you zoom, when movie or TV cameras keep it? and Why does this lens lose focus when you zoom in but not when you zoom out? and Why are so many kit-lenses parfocal if it's an expensive feature? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 20:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ This was just an example.. The point is that i want to see on the display where my focus is, without the need to turn the ring and probably mess it up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dominik
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 21:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean this should be an absolute easy task for sony to put this option into the menu. Expecially if they sell 2000+ dollar ultra wide angle f2.8 lenses with focus by wire. People interested in these lenses are astrophotographers using MF. It's ok to drop a mechanical focus ring to reduce size and cost, but then please give us an alternative sony. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dominik
    Commented Dec 11, 2018 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


Yes, there is a way.

The distance indicator is also shown when you are in the focus magnifier mode, which zooms the picture to help you achieve focus. The camera exits the mode per default after 2 seconds. And touching the focus ring will show it again.

You can however, set the time you stay in this mode to forever.

Option page 1, 13/14, Focus Magnif. Times -> No Limit

This is a problem, because you might want to see the full viewfinder as well. The solution is to set a button to turn focus magnifier on/off. You can do that, too.

Option Page 2, 8/9, Custom Key (the 1st one)

Then set any key, like AF-ON or the lens button to

Option Page 12/23, Focus Assist, Focus Magnifier

Now you can display the focus magnifier including the meter as long as you like. And exit the mode at will.


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