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90 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 ...
scottbb's user avatar
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35 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. ...
scottbb's user avatar
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27 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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
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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 ...
Reinmar Bielau's user avatar
12 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 ...
Rafael's user avatar
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9 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 ...
Oddthinking's user avatar
  • 1,141
9 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 ...
JDługosz's user avatar
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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 ...
mattdm's user avatar
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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 ...
John Sørensen's user avatar
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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
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 ...
KeiferJ's user avatar
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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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
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 ...
inkista's user avatar
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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, ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
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 ...
xenoid's user avatar
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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-...
osullic's user avatar
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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 ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
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 ...
twalberg's user avatar
  • 5,138
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 ...
OnBreak.'s user avatar
  • 20.5k
6 votes

How to figure out the order of lens elements in the rear group?

Note whether there are any symptoms that indicate the elements may be out of order, flipped, or misaligned. There are other reasons lenses may not focus as expected that aren't related to elements ...
xiota's user avatar
  • 27k
5 votes

How did photography work before auto-focus was invented?

The simplest camera you can have, something you can easily build at home, is just a cardboard box with a pinhole. You'll get a focused image right on the film (albeit inverted). This also works with ...
Luaan's user avatar
  • 269
5 votes

Why am I allowed to turn my focusing ring beyond infinity?

If you shoot infrared, the "infinity" point for IR is actually farther than the infinity point for visible light. A lens that did a hard-stop at the infinity point for visible light wouldn't be ...
Tim Campbell's user avatar
  • 3,947
5 votes

What is the point of Auto Focus?

If you'll excuse another oldish timer's comment: Ha ha. Ha ha ha. Wow !!!! But, seriously, do what works for you. If you prefer not to use AF and can get the shots you want and do not feel you'd ...
Russell McMahon's user avatar
5 votes
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I keep getting out of focus shots on manual focus - Why?

I think everyone is struggling with the example itself, but let me suggest an answer to the underlying question: How can the lens be badly out of focus when the green dot indicates it is in focus ...
Linwood's user avatar
  • 2,363
5 votes

What makes the difference on partially and fully visible moon?

The full moon is illuminated by the sun which is directly overhead, i.e. noon. Mountains on the moon's surface, at noon local time, cast no shadows. When the moon appears to be partially illuminated, ...
Alan Marcus's user avatar
  • 39.2k
5 votes

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

Your camera (PowerShot SX###) cannot use other lenses, unless you consider screw-on converter lenses. I expect most here would not consider such "lenses" to be "real" lenses. Conversion lenses would ...
xiota's user avatar
  • 27k
5 votes
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What does focusing past infinity look like?

Past infinity sounds magical, but it's really not. Here's a thought experiment: what does something five feet away look like when you focus somewhere past that? Focusing past infinity simply means ...
mattdm's user avatar
  • 143k
5 votes
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With an old manual lens and modern digital camera, sharp image on the matte focusing screen, blurred one on the sensor

With the adapter it seems your lens is too far from the camera to focus at infinity. The registration distance of the EF mount lens is 44mm. The registration distance of the Praktica B mount is also ...
Michael C's user avatar
  • 175k
4 votes

Do I use the camera or lens switch to change between auto and manual focus?

D7000 Manual (p99) clearly states that having the lens on "M" while having the body on "AF" can cause damage to the camera. It does not say in what order the switches should be set so the safest ...
Paul's user avatar
  • 41

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