89 votes
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How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

Through-the-lens focusing cameras had focusing screens — usually ground glass or fresnel lens (related: What is a focusing screen?). View cameras (the old-style large cameras with bellows) projected ...
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  • 31k
34 votes
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What makes the difference on partially and fully visible moon?

What makes the difference on partially and fully visible moon? In a word: shadows. I cannot understand why the IQ is extremely diminished when doing the same with an almost fully visible moon. ...
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25 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented? Pretty well for those willing to learn how to do it with the tools we had at at the time. The same is true now. The only difference is that ...
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  • 167k
19 votes
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Why do I keep getting out of focus shots on manual focus?

When using manual focus you have to adjust the plane of focus using the focus ring to acquire correct focus. You will have to choose this yourself and if I understand you correctly you have not done ...
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  • 8,138
16 votes
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Why does this lens lose focus when you zoom in but not when you zoom out?

The lens is not parfocal in either direction. What you have discovered is the difference between narrow Depth of Field (DoF) at longer focal lengths and deeper Depth of Field at wider focal lengths. ...
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13 votes
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Manual focus and depth of field

I haven't used this camera, but it has a "Manual focus magnification' feature. On my Sony Alpha a550 DSLR, it automatically sets aperture to full open to help you with precise focusing. The ...
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12 votes
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Do focusing screens exist for modern DSLRs?

What you are showing isn't just a focusing screen. It is a focusing screen with two special focusing aids. First, it has a split prism, which works as a tiny rangefinder — when the two sides are ...
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  • 140k
11 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

There are diferent topics here. 1) A toy camera, and some new cameras, for example survilance cameras, some phone cameras do not need to focus because its focus range is very extense. Normally this ...
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9 votes
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Nikon focus confirmation with manual lenses

Focus confirmation does indeed work. I have a D7000 (which is ergonomically very similar to a D600 - think of a D600 as a D7000 with an upgraded sensor) and have been using a Nikon 80-200mm f/4.5 AI ...
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  • 576
9 votes

Can you determine if focus is sharp without diopter adjustment if your sight is imperfect?

The image in the viewfinder is focused on the ground glass screen. The focused image converges on a 2D plane. (It's not like binoculars.) When you look through the viewfinder, your eyes focus on the ...
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  • 140k
9 votes

If I swap cameras, will my lens keep appropriate focus?

Ideally it should be possible as the distance from the lens mount to the sensor or the film plane should be the same. But in real life I doubt it. After all, if there is just a tiny difference between ...
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8 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

To suppliment the answers on focusing aids in SLR cameras meant to be manually focused, let me give you a link to hyperfocal distance which is used in fixed focus cameras. My parents’ (later handed ...
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  • 4,272
8 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

The current answers explore manual through-the-lens focussing and fixed focus cameras, and do a good job of explaining them, but they miss another approach - distance estimation. For example, my old ...
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  • 1,131
8 votes
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Supermoon: In focus and Out of focus

The biggest clue is the fact that the out of focus shot makes the moon appear to be significantly smaller than the in focus shot. With many Nikon telephoto zoom lenses as the focus distance is reduced ...
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  • 167k
8 votes

Focus to infinity with 10-18mm canon lens

It is almost always necessary to manually focus astronomical subjects. The AF systems in most cameras can't focus on small, dim objects in the sky. Even when they can, their margin of error is usually ...
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  • 167k
8 votes

Why doesn't the focal length in EXIF change when I manually focus my DSLR?

No. Focal length is characteristic of the lens. e.g. a 50mm non zoom lens will always show 50mm in the metadata / EXIF. For a zoom, like an 80-210mm the metadata / EXIF will show 80mm at the wide ...
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  • 538
8 votes
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How to use focus points in manual focus mode on Canon EOS 6D?

1) Manual focus means you must turn the focus ring to change the focus distance of the lens. Anytime the camera moves the focus point of the lens you are using autofocus (AF). With the Canon EOS ...
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7 votes

Why don't DSLRs come equipped with "classic" focusing screens (split prism, etc)?

You'll find most split-circle focusing screens in manual focus film SLRs. In these cameras, the mirror is very efficient, and reflects all of the light up into the viewfinder. A little gets diverted ...
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7 votes

Can I transform my manual focus lens into an autofocus lens?

The Nikkor (i.e., Nikon-made) 55-300 is an AF-S lens and should autofocus on your Nikon D3300. Why you think it's manual focus only, I'm not sure. If the lens is a Nikon-made one, but designated as ...
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7 votes
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Are there any DSLRs that are only manual mode?

No. The incremental cost in actually providing modern features including priority and program modes is very, very small — but the reduction in potential market would be enormous. Because of this, ...
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  • 140k
7 votes

Manual focus and depth of field

Manual or autofocus has no influence over the depth of field. Something else has changed (assuming aperture remained the same), like the focal length (longer zoom, shallow focus) or the distance to ...
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  • 16.1k
6 votes

Sony a77 doesn't recognize Rokinon 85mm manual lens

I am not familiar with this exact lens and camera model, but with similar questions related to Sony Alpha cameras and manual focus lenses. I assume your camera gives an error message similar to the ...
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6 votes

How does autofocus confirm work with manual lenses?

The AF confirmation actually works on a very similar principle to the old focus screen, in that they compare two different optical paths in order to determine exactly how in or out of focus the image ...
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6 votes
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Why is the battery required to manually focus through the viewfinder?

Yes, it's normal behavior. The reason you're having problems is that the 5DMkIII has an LCD overlay in the viewfinder. This overlay is used to give you grid lines you can turn on and off and different ...
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  • 49k
6 votes
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Is it safe to manual focus with AF ON on Canon L lenses?

To the best of my knowledge all current Canon "L" lenses have ring type USM focus motors, other than the TS-E lenses that are designated "L". They have no focus motor of any kind as they are manual ...
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  • 167k
6 votes

Why does a manual focus lens have an autofocus motor?

A focus motor without autofocus can be useful for manual remote control of the focus. For your particular example, the Rokinon 24mm, I think that the information on the Lenshero webpage is simply ...
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  • 739
6 votes
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Are focusing aids part of the lens or the body?

These focusing aids are part of the focusing screen, which is part of the viewing system within the camera body. Some cameras have user-interchangeable focusing screens, others have factory-...
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  • 8,934
6 votes
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Manual focus lens on fixed focus camera?

This camera appears to essentially be a phone camera placed into a body made to look like a compact 'point and shoot' or small advanced compact camera. Most of the "lens" is just window dressing for ...
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  • 167k
6 votes

Can I get a manual focus lens for my Canon PowerShot camera?

That lens is listed as compatible with Canon EOS-M cameras, which are interchangable lens cameras. The PowerShot line of cameras does not have an interchangable lens. So, no, it's not compatible with ...
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  • 5,012
6 votes
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How to handle frequent, uncontrolled lighting changes?

Slight under or over exposures are not the end of the world. Shoot RAW and adjust in post. If the lighting is drastically changing, such that your settings would lead to blown out highlights or too ...
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