Ugly Hedgehog - Photography Forum
Camera Focus Peaking feature
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Jan 10, 2021 15:26:58   #
BigDogGuy
 
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking" feature on some of the newer cameras. One resource promoted the feature as a real asset toward improving an individual's photography. As I read more about the feature it appears to me to be an asset if the photographer was primarily into landscape or architecture photography using manual focus off a tripod. It also appears there is a wide range of how camera models provide focus peaking set-up; such as allowing a custom button to quickly turn it on or off as needed (something not clear in model specification info). Going into the menu could be a hassle. For a photographer not making a living shooting landscape photography I wonder if this feature is that significant. I am interested in experiences with using Focus Peaking.

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Jan 10, 2021 15:33:17   #
rcarol
 
I have adapted some of my older manual focus lenses to my camera. In this instance, I find focus peaking an essential feature.

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Jan 10, 2021 15:47:44   #
rmalarz Loc: Tempe, Arizona
 
My experience has been simply looked at it once, said wow that's cool, and never bothered with it again. Auto-focus works quite well for me and that's all I need. When needed manual focus work equally as well.

In fact, most of the whistles and bells for which I paid are hardly used and I could easily do without them.
--Bob
BigDogGuy wrote:
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking" feature on some of the newer cameras. One resource promoted the feature as a real asset toward improving an individual's photography. As I read more about the feature it appears to me to be an asset if the photographer was primarily into landscape or architecture photography using manual focus off a tripod. It also appears there is a wide range of how camera models provide focus peaking set-up; such as allowing a custom button to quickly turn it on or off as needed (something not clear in model specification info). Going into the menu could be a hassle. For a photographer not making a living shooting landscape photography I wonder if this feature is that significant. I am interested in experiences with using Focus Peaking.
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking"... (show quote)

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Jan 10, 2021 15:49:05   #
BigDogGuy
 
Good point! Thanks

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Jan 10, 2021 15:56:16   #
BassmanBruce Loc: Middle of the Mitten
 
I don’t use it often as I prefer the 10x focus magnifier for static subjects. I do use it with mf lenses on moving subjects but that doesn’t happen to often. If an af lens will work it is my go to.

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Jan 10, 2021 16:02:27   #
Ourspolair
 
I use it a lot when I have Mamiya 645 lenses mounted on my A7c. Generally I work hand-held. For super-critical focus, I use the focus magnifying feature, which I have programmed for one of the buttons I use the least.

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Jan 10, 2021 16:19:35   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
BigDogGuy wrote:
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking" feature on some of the newer cameras. One resource promoted the feature as a real asset toward improving an individual's photography. As I read more about the feature it appears to me to be an asset if the photographer was primarily into landscape or architecture photography using manual focus off a tripod. It also appears there is a wide range of how camera models provide focus peaking set-up; such as allowing a custom button to quickly turn it on or off as needed (something not clear in model specification info). Going into the menu could be a hassle. For a photographer not making a living shooting landscape photography I wonder if this feature is that significant. I am interested in experiences with using Focus Peaking.
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking"... (show quote)


It depends. You say "newer cameras". Did you mean mirrorless cameras where that 10x zoom can be presented to your eye in the viewfinder with the camera held in a shooting position? Then yes, this mirrorless EVF feature does makes shooting adapted manual focus lenses very practical, whether hand-held or from a static stand like a tripod.

I've also found it helpful for AF lenses where one of the rings on a mirrorless lens can be programmed to 'pop' to EVF (electronic view finder) directly to the 10x zoom with just a twist. In the case of shooting hand-held macro, say standing over a monarch caterpillar in a patch of milkweed, adding a slight manual focus tweak where you can see the 10x details improved the next set of images where the AF wasn't returning the precise focus needed / expected.

So yes, if your camera provides this feature, even on yesterday's DSLRs in LiveView, being able to see a 10x zoom of the details can greatly aid in the perfection of your results, in all shooting situations where precise focus is relevant, i.e., all photography.

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Jan 10, 2021 16:35:59   #
Strodav Loc: Houston, Tx
 
It's a feature on my Nikon D850. I thought it was a gimmick until I tried it and found it very useful. It works in LiveView mode and has 3 different levels. Just hit the info button when in Live View and follow the menu to enable it (I leave it enabled on level 2), but to make it work you need to move the manual/auto focus switch on the camera to manual focus and flip the manual / auto focus switch on the lens to manual focus. Looking at the lcd panel, as you manually focus the lens a bright red halo appears around things in focus (you can change the color).

I started using it for landscape / seascape / cityscape photography where I usually take 3 images for focus stacking. One is at the closest thing I want in focus, one in the middle, and one at the thing furthest away. After I got use to it, I started using it for most still subjects where I use LiveView

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Jan 10, 2021 16:36:28   #
Gasman57 Loc: NYC
 
BigDogGuy wrote:
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking" feature on some of the newer cameras. One resource promoted the feature as a real asset toward improving an individual's photography. As I read more about the feature it appears to me to be an asset if the photographer was primarily into landscape or architecture photography using manual focus off a tripod. It also appears there is a wide range of how camera models provide focus peaking set-up; such as allowing a custom button to quickly turn it on or off as needed (something not clear in model specification info). Going into the menu could be a hassle. For a photographer not making a living shooting landscape photography I wonder if this feature is that significant. I am interested in experiences with using Focus Peaking.
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking"... (show quote)


I find it very useful when I do close up flower photography.

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Jan 10, 2021 16:41:32   #
SteveHmeyer Loc: Cincinnati OH USA
 
I primarily shoot with old manual focus lenses and find focus peaking indispensable.

But like BassmanBruce I also use the 10x zoom feature to double check focus reached with peaking.

When shooting moon and sun shots I always use a tripod and find the 10x zoom feature more accurate and faster to use.

If you are shooting in a low contrast situation - fog or wispy, thin clouds for example focus peaking may not be accurate.

In my experience for birds in flight or any subject that requires quick panning autofocus is far better.

But overall when using the view finder focus peaking is my go to when using a manual focus lens.

Using a Sony A7Rii old manual lenses have a new life with focus peaking and the in-body stabilization (IBS).

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Jan 10, 2021 17:04:27   #
repleo Loc: Boston
 
BigDogGuy wrote:
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking" feature on some of the newer cameras. One resource promoted the feature as a real asset toward improving an individual's photography. As I read more about the feature it appears to me to be an asset if the photographer was primarily into landscape or architecture photography using manual focus off a tripod. It also appears there is a wide range of how camera models provide focus peaking set-up; such as allowing a custom button to quickly turn it on or off as needed (something not clear in model specification info). Going into the menu could be a hassle. For a photographer not making a living shooting landscape photography I wonder if this feature is that significant. I am interested in experiences with using Focus Peaking.
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking"... (show quote)


I find focus peaking only useful for evaluating depth of field not critical focus. Using spot or narrow focus and/or focus magnifier (Sony) is much more accurate for actual focus. Focus peaking helps to confirm that the DoF is covering the subjects I want.

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Jan 10, 2021 17:31:30   #
Blurryeyed Loc: NC Mountains.
 
BigDogGuy wrote:
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking" feature on some of the newer cameras. One resource promoted the feature as a real asset toward improving an individual's photography. As I read more about the feature it appears to me to be an asset if the photographer was primarily into landscape or architecture photography using manual focus off a tripod. It also appears there is a wide range of how camera models provide focus peaking set-up; such as allowing a custom button to quickly turn it on or off as needed (something not clear in model specification info). Going into the menu could be a hassle. For a photographer not making a living shooting landscape photography I wonder if this feature is that significant. I am interested in experiences with using Focus Peaking.
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking"... (show quote)


It is great for using older manual focus vintage lenses, collecting old lenses is a hobby of mine and every now and again I actually mount them for a day of fun.

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Jan 10, 2021 18:06:11   #
burkphoto Loc: High Point, NC
 
rcarol wrote:
I have adapted some of my older manual focus lenses to my camera. In this instance, I find focus peaking an essential feature.




Video filmmaking with dSLRs or MILCs requires manual focus pulling for effect. The focus peaking feature is very important for this!

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Jan 10, 2021 18:35:12   #
bleirer
 
I use it on my Canon RP and I don't think I would buy a future camera without it. On my setup I use the af-on button to turn autofocus off, then with my thumb pressed any twist of the lens has focus peaking. When my thumb is not pressed I am in servo focus with tracking on. It's cool to see the red glow wash over the image in the viewfinder as I turn the focus ring.

Without this little trick, you have to be in one shot on this camera to get peaking.

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Jan 10, 2021 18:56:25   #
IDguy Loc: Idaho
 
BigDogGuy wrote:
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking" feature on some of the newer cameras. One resource promoted the feature as a real asset toward improving an individual's photography. As I read more about the feature it appears to me to be an asset if the photographer was primarily into landscape or architecture photography using manual focus off a tripod. It also appears there is a wide range of how camera models provide focus peaking set-up; such as allowing a custom button to quickly turn it on or off as needed (something not clear in model specification info). Going into the menu could be a hassle. For a photographer not making a living shooting landscape photography I wonder if this feature is that significant. I am interested in experiences with using Focus Peaking.
I have been exploring the "Focus Peaking"... (show quote)


I want to learn it also so will follow here. My interest is critters in brush or behind bars.

I believe both of my Nikons (Z6 & Z50) have it. Haven’t tried it.

If I like it I suspect I can program the touch screen or a function button to do it.

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