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Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?

kshapero

South Florida, US
318 posts

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kshapero Gold Member Nikonian since 29th Jan 2006
Sun 19-Sep-10 07:36 PM

I have some real nice chipped Zeiss and Voigtlander primes. Does the D700 handle manual focus well?

Akiva S.
www.akivaphotography.com
D70s, FM3a, FM, FTN (chrome & black), F2A

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#1. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Sun 19-Sep-10 08:15 PM

Hi there,
I'm unable to comment on Non Nikon lenses but I often use Nikon Ai lenses which are MF and produce excellent images, (if I do my part),
Nikkor Ai 135 2.8

Click on image to view larger version

Nikkor 180mm 2.8
Click on image to view larger version


I also use an Ai 35, 1.4, have a 50mm as well but don't use it

I just use the green arrow and dot to focus, as you would be aware, AF is not always right
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3374 posts

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#2. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sun 19-Sep-10 08:50 PM

Akiva - As you are no doubt aware, since your lenses are NOT AI capable, while they will focus manually and allow you to set f/stops the same way, they do not communicate with your camera. Nonetheless, the arrows and green light indicating sharp focus should serve well. I have one remaining AI Nikon lens, a 50mm f1.2, and it performs quite well on my D700. The only problem is that if you are used to autofocus there may be a moment's hesitation when it doesn't do that! I used to use this lens, which I have had since my first Nikon FE, on my D100 and D200, but the considerably smaller image on the screen made it harder to see focus -- although again, the green light confirmed focus. Good luck! Just make sure your lenses are mechanically compatable and don't introduce any mechanical conflicts. I cannot even suggest if each of your non-Nikon lenses will work without that. In fact, a few Nikon lenses don't work for that reason.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

MEMcD

US
31592 posts

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#3. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 2

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Mon 20-Sep-10 05:05 AM

Hi Alan,

>...since your lenses are NOT
>AI capable, while they will focus manually and allow you to
>set f/stops the same way, they do not communicate with your
>camera.

The chipped Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses are AI capable and since they are chipped they will communicate with the camera body just like Nikkor AI-P type lenses. Therefore all exposure modes P, S, A, & M are possible. You are correct that the electronic rangefinder will assist with Manually focusing the lens.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!

Best Regards,
Marty

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3374 posts

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#4. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 3

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Mon 20-Sep-10 09:56 AM

Ooooooops. Sorry to provide bum scoop. Thanks for correcting the record and giving Akiva the straight info. Alan

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Luke_Miller

Rural Virginia, US
1765 posts

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#5. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

Luke_Miller Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2006
Mon 20-Sep-10 10:24 AM | edited Mon 20-Sep-10 10:27 AM by Luke_Miller

One of the reasons I got the D700 was to use it with my MF Nikon primes. I use the DK-17M magnifying eyepiece and it helps with focusing although it is not necessary.

The D700 and an MF prime take me back to my Nikon F and F2 days. I think it is a great combination. An MF prime on my D3 just seems out of place.

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3374 posts

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#6. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 5

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Mon 20-Sep-10 11:48 AM

Luke - Great insight. I wonder how one of those after-market focusing screens with a split-image rangefinder might help add to this experience.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

eyciboy

Toronto, CA
131 posts

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#7. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 6

eyciboy Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Mar 2009
Mon 20-Sep-10 12:02 PM

Also don't forget the great macro primes (55mm/200mm. Used on tripod with Liveview and zoom manual focussing is quite precise. Enjoy the primes! Ray

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

seres

US
34 posts

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#8. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 6

seres Registered since 07th Jan 2008
Mon 20-Sep-10 02:20 PM

>.....I wonder how one of those after-market
>focusing screens with a split-image rangefinder might help add
>to this experience.

I installed a Katz Eye on my D300 for just that reason, but was disappointed. The Katz Eye was nice, but no faster or more accurate than the factory screen of the D300.

In comparison, the factory screen of my D700 seems slightly brighter and easier to focus manually than the D300. Probably because of the slightly larger image. I don't have any problem focusing manual focus lenses on my D700.

blw

Richmond, US
28703 posts

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#9. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Mon 20-Sep-10 03:12 PM

I've found FX viewfinders to be much more usable for manual focus than DX ones - this is one place where I DO think that "FX > DX." Part of it is simply that they're bigger (as in 24x36 vs 15x23mm), but part of it is also the optical design. It's just plain easier to get it right.

I have a KatzEye in my D2h and D2x, but I don't feel the need to have same on my D3. (Good thing - they don't offer one for the D3.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

vicmac64

UK
84 posts

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#10. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 1

vicmac64 Registered since 27th Dec 2006
Mon 20-Sep-10 08:49 PM

Your photos are proof that AI is just as capable of astounding photos as afs.
They are a credit to you.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

f5titan

HILO, US
1062 posts

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#11. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

f5titan Platinum Member Nikonian since 12th Jul 2006
Tue 21-Sep-10 08:37 AM

I use PC28mm f3.5MF and 28mm f3.5Ai MF lenses when I don't want to straighten curved edges in PS! Other times I use them just so that I can slow down the photographic process and get good results the old fashioned way.

"Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." Vincent Van Gogh

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#12. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 10

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Tue 21-Sep-10 09:46 PM

Tks Victor,
Actually, I started out with my "old" MF lenses on the D700, (Budget),

The "new" AF-S lenses are a steep learning curve for me, soon found out good AF is not always guaranteed
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

SteveLig

Rochester, US
224 posts

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#13. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

SteveLig Registered since 16th Aug 2004
Thu 23-Sep-10 02:51 PM

I have found manual focus on the D700 to be very workable. I'm generally using a Tamron 90mm macro or 105mm AiS f/2.5 this way.

The screen is very clear and as long as you don't rush, you'll get bitingly sharp images just about every time.

--SteveL

GiantTristan

Stamford, US
2688 posts

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#14. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

GiantTristan Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jan 2006
Wed 29-Sep-10 02:54 PM

The D700 gives outstanding results with my manual Zeiss primes.
In fact, using LiveView at high magnification allows for superior sharpness compared to the "Green Point" focusing.

Tristan

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

GilesW

Edinburgh, UK
67 posts

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#15. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 14

GilesW Silver Member Nikonian since 01st Nov 2010
Sat 05-May-12 08:23 AM

> using LiveView at high magnification allows for superior
> sharpness compared to the "Green Point" focusing.

It had not occurred to me to use "magnified LV" for manual focussing.
Many thanks for sharing that brilliant insight.

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NASattack

Dartford, UK
177 posts

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#16. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 15

NASattack Silver Member Nikonian since 13th Feb 2008
Sun 06-May-12 08:28 AM

I only last month I sold all of my MF lenses as to be honest after comparing images taken with them against today’s pro modern optics they really didn’t stack up .I found them rather soft at the edges and often subject to flare, even with the correct lens hoods in place and the metering/exposure is just not as good as modern lenses especially when using flash. They have a lovely feel to them when mounted on a D700 and are a joy to use but personally I find I get far more keepers with AFS lenses so I sold them all with no regrets and bought a Fuji X100 with the proceeds!
They were all Nikkors,
28mm AIS F2.8, 35mm AIS F2, 50mm AI F1.4 and 135mm F2.8 converted to AI.

Steve.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Captain Rich

Savannah, US
1279 posts

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#17. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

Captain Rich Silver Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Sun 06-May-12 04:33 PM

Akiva,

Let me resolve your dilemma. Send the lenses to me! But, yes, I think they work just fine. I occasionally use my Nikkor AI or AIS 24, 50, and 105 lenses and love the manual focus workflow. The manual focus itself seems to provide me with a much better feel for depth of field, because the focus is MUCH slower than AF, and you SEE what's happening as you turn the focus wheel rather than having it all happen in an instant. I also like selecting the aperture manually. Having come from Nikon manual focus film cameras, it all just feels so much more natural.

Rich

musical

north-central, US
1050 posts

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#18. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 17

musical Registered since 12th Feb 2010
Mon 07-May-12 12:40 AM

I also use LV and then the plus/zoom button to focus by hand. Also, at night I don't use anything but manual focus done using LV, same with macro. As for old lenses, I am not too sure, but others are.

....
"Above all, it's hard learning to live with vivid mental images of scenes I cared for and failed to photograph. It is the edgy existence within me of these unmade images that is the only assurance that the best photographs are yet to be made."
Sam Abell

olivierrychner

Boudry, CH
5260 posts

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#19. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

olivierrychner Gold Member  Awarded for his long standing high level of commitment to the Nikonians community and demonstrated excellence in the art and science of photography. Nikonian since 03rd Jan 2005
Tue 08-May-12 05:23 AM

I have some real nice chipped Zeiss and Voigtlander primes. Does the D700 handle manual focus well?


It does! I do use a 105/2.5 pretty often, a 28/3.5, a 135/2.8 and a 28/3.5PC on my D700 (and on my previous D200 and D300). No example handy (mostly family portrait that don't come on the web), but it is more than doable! Let me confess that the longer telephoto lenses here above are usually at about f/4: it maximises my chances to have the subject (usually the eye) sharp, while the background is nicely smoothed.

Moreover, it's not necessary to chip the lenses à la AI-P, since the camera has a bank of manual lenses: you can easily enter focal length and max aperture, then toggle between them.

Hope this helps!

Olivier Rychner
__________________________________________
Jetez un oeil à ma galerie if you feel like it! And it's a bit void as of now, but I also have a Nikonians blog

Auta i lomë! And my Nikon's only awaiting daylight...

Fogtripper

US
131 posts

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#20. "RE: Would you ever use a D700 with manual focus primes?" | In response to Reply # 0

Fogtripper Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2004
Wed 09-May-12 01:23 AM


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The only AF I still use on my D700 is my 150mm Sigma Macro, and I never use it in AF mode. My favorite glass is my AiS Nikkor 85mm 1.4. Rounding out my glass are 28mm and 50mm Nikkor MFs.

G