for photographers

Manual autofocus for photography - good or bad?

An influx mirrorless cameras Sony has brought up this seemingly irrelevant topic. Everyone is used to autofocus and its convenience. When test each lens they always compare the speed, accuracy and reliability of this mechanism. And here's a new trend:

Sony a7 cameras are so cool that you can pick up any vintage glass through an adapter and it is very convenient to focus manually.

camera sony a7 sii

I have heard this argument very often, so I decided to share my thoughts on this topic.

About the adapter... Let's start with the fact that the adapter can be put on ANY camera. It doesn't smell of any uniqueness here. But the point is different. Sony has tons of features to make manual focusing easier: peaking, zooming in, zebra crossing, electronic subject distance metering, etc. Sounds cool, isn't it?

Is manual focus good?

Everyone wants and ties shoelaces focuses. This is the choice of everyone. Somebody creates Masterpieces and with a set like this:

photo junk

Manual lenses are good for amateur photography and sometimes video. For commercial photography, lenses without autofocus are of little use. Try shoot corporate on some super cool manual Zeiss.

Even if you get the hang of (with picking and other crap) quickly work with them, the speed and accuracy will not be comparable to autofocus models. The airiness of the design of a super vintage lens is not as important to the client as the content and quality of the photos they receive.

Autofocus optics allow you to work more with a person and not with a camera. This has a positive effect on the shooting process and its effectiveness. To get a good shot with a person, you need to shoot a lot and not waste time (for which he, by the way, pays). Manual lenses require an unreasonable amount of attention to themselves and slow down the shooting process. When a photoset takes a long time, people get tired. And if it's a wedding, then everything is scheduled by the minute and your fuss with focusing will lead to the fact that people will get a minimum of photos from a walk.

Why are adapters and manual glasses so advertised for Sony cameras?

Because Sony has a problem with its native lenses. Their choice is small, they are excessively expensive, and the quality of autofocus is inferior to DSLRs.

sony a7 sr ii camera

As a result, a person who has bought a Sony camera gets an adapter and hangs something non-native there. This is just a general phenomenon. What to hang there? There are several options:

a) cheap Soviet lens for 400 UAH... Cool decision considering the cost of the camera. Interesting bokeh, does not work well in backlight, with sharpness as luck would have it.

b) Canon lens. I personally saw many people with Canon 24-70 f2.8 first version... A chic lens with perfect autofocus, which remains inactive in such a bundle.

c) an expensive hand-held lens like something from the Carl Zeiss Distagon series. We have not seen.

What comes out of this?

Anyone with a configuration will praise and extol its benefits. Therefore, it makes no sense to consider these sets in detail. I only admire how individual companies are trying to set the fashion for technology. We see that our lenses compete poorly with Nikon or Canon, so we will advertise the adapter and talk about convenient manual focus.

Cool photographers know how to work by hand

We can say that before professional photographers somehow filmed with hand-held lenses and everything was fine. And now the films do not even show and in general everyone is spoiled. And so, but not so. Of course spoiled, so are the clients. Everyone's expectations, requirements and standards have risen. This is normal, because progress does not stand still. So why go back to the last century? Because this is a marketing whim of one company? Or is it because a hipster with a mirrorless and manual lens looks trendy? Unconvincing.

Interesting information about autofocus adapters for manual glasses:

In the next article, I share my experience of using various cameras: DSLRs vs Mirrorless.