D5100 Manual Focus Advice
Hi all just joined this forum I'm a keen amatuer photographer and just got the d5100 around September this year after previously owning just compact cameras. I got the 18-55mm kit lens then bought the Af 50mm f/1.8D lens for portaits and bokeh etc. The d5100 is great and I know that the 50mm lens is good but I find I struggle with manual focus and feel that is what I need to master but felt that would be one of the easiest things to achieve first. Any tips and advice on this. My 50mm lens is the one you have to manual focus only. I wish I had paid the bit extra to get the g lens and Only went for this one as it was cheaper after my initial outlay of camera bag and case etc. I didnt think manual focus would bother me so much but it does. I guess its when the dot is on the viewfinder that focus is right but I find it fiddly and not always easy to get the stop to stay lit and requires a lot of fine tuning and patience thought I know there are situations when using manual focus is the better option.
I had read a D5100 blog online where the guy said never go for a G lens as having no aperture ring was a step back and a handicap but since I find that the D5100 cant use the aperture ring anyway I cant see that having the G lens would have been bad. I feel that choosing the cheaper lens may have been a false economy. Sometimes your portrait pics seem ok on screen. Its not until you use the screen to zoom in or check your pics at home that Ive realised they are too blurry for me. What would you suggest for eg taking a photo of my neices dog or had and shoulders shots of my neices indoors. Ive had d lighting turned on. Any tips is appreciated. Thanks.
#1. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 0
Leonard62 Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Sun 25-Dec-11 09:57 PM
My first advise is not not read any more blogs from this particular blogger.
My next advise is to sell the 50mm D lens. If you're having a lot of trouble manually focusing you'll end up not using it anyway.
I would say to nail manual focus you could use liveview but that's not a good option for following a dog around. It's great for long telephotos though.
In any case good luck. The D5100 camera is capable of producing sparkling photos.
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#2. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 1
JosephK Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006Sun 25-Dec-11 11:29 PM
Len is correct about the blogger and the lens.
DSLRs are not designed for manual focus, especially the DX bodies. While it can be done, all of the factory focus screens are optimized for auto-focus and have removed all the manual focus aids.
If you see yourself doing a lot of manual focus work, you will probably want to replace the factory focus screen with one optimized for manual focus, for example the ones by KatzEyeOptics.com
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D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II, 50mm f/1.4 D,
17-55mm f/2.8 DX, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX
#3. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 0
Hi thanks for the advice I think your right that maybe I should sell my D lens I could put it up on gumtree or something I still have the box etc. Sharpness and being in focus is something I worry about. And it you knew that your camera was handling that for you that one less thing to worry about. Then you can concentrate on composition exposure and all that. I would probably change it for this one 50mm lens instead AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G and will be less expensive than the 1.4G people say the 50mm are good for portraits and background blur. The blog I was refering too I looked up and found that it was Ken Rockwells site I guess a lot of you will be familiar with it as prior to joining this fourm one or two people where not so complimentary about him on another site. He has a guide to the various lenses and it was this line in particular that had put me off the G lens at that time.
** G is not a feature. G is a handicap. G lenses are lenses which have been crippled by removing their aperture rings to save cost. This is a classic example of taking away features while making customers think they are getting something new. G eliminates many features with older cameras. Since G lens is a crippled version of something else, you must look in the other columns that apply to your lens, probably traditional AF or AF-s. The features that will work are only those present in all relevant columns. But the D5100 is not an older camera I should have thought about that. I'm looking forward to participating in this forum more and maybe somnetime I can upload a few pics that I have took with the camera.
#4. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 3
Leonard62 Nikonian since 15th Mar 2009Mon 26-Dec-11 02:12 AM
I could have guessed it was KR you were referring to. Most of us ignore what he says as he can be over the top at times.
He's talking about earlier film cameras. Even the F90 from 1992 could use the G lens in program and shutter priority mode.
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#5. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 0
You have a fine camera and bad information on the AFD lens. The lens is many things that recommend it highly, but not in manual focus on a DX body.
I would sell the lens. Next I would review all your images that you have taken to this point using the 18-55mm lens and see if you are readily choosing to use that lens at or about the 50mm focal length.
Nikon makes two excellent "G" lenses that work on a DX camera; notably the 35mm f/1.8G AFS DX and the 50mm f/1.8G AFS. If you are satisified with the focal length of your current 50mm f/1.8 AFD, then the 50mm f/1.8G AFS is the correct lens for your D5100. If you would like a slightly wider field of view, the 35mm f/1.8G AFS DX lens might be worth looking into.
I'm sorry you had to endure this problem. Fortunately, I think this is one time to cut your losses and replace it with the correct lens for you. Life will be so much more enjoyable and productive and all that time you are investing in trying to manual focus a lens on a camera that wasn't built for manual focus will be better spent enjoying photography or something else.
#6. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 5
Mon 26-Dec-11 03:10 AM
Your so right Rodger I can get back to enjoying photography take the picture and not have to spen so much time messing about with it before hand and at least with the G Lens I could do manual if I really needed too but at least I would have the choice and also have the silent wave motor plus Ive just read a review with rated the G lens as having slightly better bokeh and picture quality. You learn by your mistakes as they say. I plan to take the D5100 on holiday to Lanzarote with me this February so the camera will get a good road test then. I Still plan on taking my compact Panasonic TZ7 too as it has great 12X optical zoom and wide angle which will be good for landscape shots. Plus I plan to use the TZ7 as my camcorder when there. I reckon the battery would drain quickly on the Nikon while doing video.
#7. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 6
Tue 03-Jan-12 02:16 AM
I had ordered the 50mm G lens from Bristol cameras but its temporary out of stock but after reading more I have decided I'm going to cancel that order and go for the AF-S DX NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G instead because of it being closer to the 5Omm field of view on the DX camera. Wish I'd waited before ordering that 58mm kood UV filter as the Nikon 35mm uses the 52mm filter size. I think this field of view will give me a little more versatility and the price is similar. I only hope I can get a decent amount of background blur with this lens and that the bokeh is fairly decent quality.
#8. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 7
MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Tue 03-Jan-12 02:52 AM
Welcome to Nikonians!
>Wish I'd waited before
>ordering that 58mm kood UV filter as the Nikon 35mm uses the
>52mm filter size.
Keep in mind that DLSR's are not sensitive to UV light.
If you want to use a filter for protection, get a quality clear multi-coated filter.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#9. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 8
Tue 03-Jan-12 03:37 AM
It was a friend of mine who owns a Canon 550D who had originaly informed me that UV filters where good protection for your lense but I didnt know that DSLR's are not sensitive to UV light so you learn something new every day.
>Keep in mind that DLSR's are not sensitive to UV light.
>If you want to use a filter for protection, get a quality
>clear multi-coated filter.
>Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#10. "RE: D5100 Manual Focus Advice" | In response to Reply # 0
You've gotten good advice. An AFS lens that will AF on your camera is an entirely appropriate solution.
> ** G is not a feature. G is a handicap. G lenses are lenses which have been crippled by removing their aperture rings to save cost.
For the record, the aperture ring is not removed merely to save cost. On today's cameras the aperture ring serves worse than no purpose. Everything is being controlled by the camera, either directly or indirectly. Moreover, with the aperture ring, you'd be AMAZED at how many people post "I just got my new lens and all it does is say fEE..." People even return lenses because of this! On modern cameras, the aperture ring is just something else to go wrong, with essentially no benefit(*).
Claiming that the G is a handicap is like claiming that your appendix helps you live a better life. The automotive analogy would be claiming that the lack of a crank starter (like a 1930's Model T) or even a manual choke (in a 1950's car) was merely removed to save cost in a Toyota Prius, a car that turns its gasoline engine on and off automagically and under electronic control ...
Incidentally, I said "today's cameras" above. "Today" really means "since 1995." It's been more than two full decades since Nikon has offered a camera that required the use of an aperture ring. The two exceptions within the past twenty years are the ultra-budget manual focus FM-10 of 1995 and the deliberately retro FM3a of 2001, which was also fully manual focus. Leaving aside these two, the last thirty million or so Nikon SLRs and DSLRs have all been designs that have less than no need of an aperture ring. I think it's time for KR to move on, into the 1990s.
(*) Yes, I am aware that there are still occasionally reasons to use an aperture ring, including use on a bellows, and reversed lenses for ultra-macro magnification. Quick, how many of us are using a bellows? Bet it's less than 0.01%. (Hint: Nikon discontinued the PB-6 about twenty years ago, and the current Novoflex ones run about $700 and up.) And yes I am also aware that modern top-level Nikons can be configured to control aperture on non-G lenses with the aperture ring. That's different from needing to use one.
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