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I'been having a bad time trying to shoot photos with manual focus.

When I'm trying to shoot a picture, using the viewfinder it's really hard to see how sharp is the picture you see through the viewfinder. So, most of the time I go to live mode, zoom in, adjust the focus to what I want, then go to viewfinder, adjust everything and shoot.

Doing that, takes me like 30 extra seconds. Any advice to do all of this faster?. I know there are two options, one is the rangefinder, other is change the "ok button" setting to zoom in on live view.

I can't use the rangefinder on manual mode (it's a Shame, I would love to have the exposure meter and the rangefinder at the same time)

And it appears that the nikon d3300 doesn't have the control functions menu to change the behavior of the "ok button" during live mode.

So, How can I get sharper photos using manual focus without taking so long to focus using the live mode?

marked as duplicate by mattdm, Michael C, Hueco, Philip Kendall, inkista Jun 18 '18 at 19:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • This may be an 'x→y' type of question. What is it about using autofocus that isn't working the way you want? Properly used AF usually, but certainly not always, gets better results when using APS-C cameras with relatively small, dim viewfinders than manual focus. – Michael C Jun 18 '18 at 8:11
  • @mattdm should I delete my question?, the question you linked solve my problem but I wasn't able to found it when I googled my problem. Other people could find this question due to the difference on keywords used on the question. – lcjury Jun 18 '18 at 14:29
  • @lcjury You don't need to delete it — you're exactly right that it will help other people find the other one. I believe that you can accept the duplicate suggestion and then it will be automatically linked. – mattdm Jun 18 '18 at 14:48
  • What do you mean by "the rangefinder" if you were not referring to the focus confirmation dot? – Michael C Jun 19 '18 at 1:16
  • Didn't know the green dot was "the rangefinder", I knew the range finder on non-manual mode was the bar at the bottom (where the exposure is when you use the manual mode). – lcjury Jun 19 '18 at 14:52
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In the Viewfinder is a dot in the left bottom corner, that appears when the camera recognize the focus on the focus point is focused, in manuell focusing this is also there. This recognition if it is focused is not a single distance but a little range where it looks to be sharp. So set your focus point where you want to measure and then search for the front point and the back point, where it is sharp and adjust somewhere in the middle of these 2 points.

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How can I effectively manually focus a Nikon D3300 using the viewfinder?

It may not be possible to do it as effectively as you wish. Every system has its limits.

I didn't knew about the green dot in the manual mode, so, it is pretty effectively, at least now I can take sharp photos even when I can't clearle see if the item is correctly focused or not.

Keep in mind that the focus confirmation dot will be no more accurate than using AF, because it relies on the same information AF does. If the reason for desiring to focus manually was due to inaccuracy of the AF system, that inaccuracy will also be evident using the focus confirmation light

  • I didn't knew about the green dot in the manual mode, so, it is pretty effectively, at least now I can take sharp photos even when I can't clearle see if the item is correctly focused or not. I would love to have some kind of "zoom" option on viewfinder to see, but, as you say, every system has its limits. thanks for the answer – lcjury Jun 18 '18 at 16:31
  • Keep in mind that the focus confirmation dot will be no more accurate than using AF, because it relies on the same information AF does. If the reason for desiring to focus manually was due to inaccuracy of the AF system, that inaccuracy will also be evident using the focus confirmation light. – Michael C Jun 19 '18 at 1:12
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Pentamirror and tiny viewfinder combo of consumer grade dslrs can be difficult to manual focus with. However there are tools available to help in that regard. You can get compatible focusing screens and install them yourself which can help in focusing.

But, in my opinion, before jumping into that you should ensure your technique is not at flaw here. Using a tripod (or at least leaning against a support/fixed surface if possible) can also help in getting sharper photos. However with the lack of info in the question (which lens? samples? are you sure its not motion blur from handheld shake) it would be just speculation.

Good luck!

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