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Combined Manual-Auto Discovery

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Old Saturday 21st May 2011, 06:41   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Newport News, VA
Posts: 9
Combined Manual-Auto Discovery

Wondering if others have had similar findings: Newbie's new gear:

- Optics: Kowa 774 (straight) + DA10 adapter + Canon 50mm Mk1 f1.8 + 30D.
- Support: Carbon fiber tripod + pan head + D3 H-bracket

In two days at the park, I haven't gotten good focus or contrast on squat, whether a bird or a tree; even a woodpecker 30 ft away looked worse than if through a cheap zoom. It wasn't so much motion blur - I'm using remote and mirror lock - just inability to focus, period. (Scope alone looks fine.)

Today I put a mini-poster of 1951 resolution targets on a tripod in our parking lot. Same results, piss poor - until I took the DA10 adapter off, and swapped to my old "kit" 17-55. It's not an internal focus lens either, but now had physical room to focus and/or adjust focal length a bit.

I'd do as follows:

- Set the lens at 55, fully macro or infinity, up against the eyepiece;
- Focus the scope
- Shoot in MF
- Turn AF on, press half-way and confirm AF locked on
- Turn AF off, and shoot again.

More often than not, that second shot was a massive improvement as the lens front backed away from the eyepiece up to 1 mm. I could read "1951", no more than 1/8" high, from 50 ft at ISO 400, 800, even 1600 after dusk.

I am wondering if you folks with SLRs or especially P&S find this kind of combo-focusing useful.

Although more testing is to come, I'm also concerned about that 50mm Mk I. When I autofocus with it, the inner elements jump up with a "clink". It's not an image-stabilized lens. 'Also has a fair amount of dust in it, though no fungus. Suspect, you think?

- Chris in Virginia
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Old Sunday 22nd May 2011, 02:14   #2
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Combined MF-AF

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Roger Joel and Richard,

This target is about 3" square from 66 ft away at 50mm x 20 x 1.6.
1/125, f/5.6, ISO 400, AV Mode.

My understanding from Clay as well was that AF isn't supposed to make that huge a correction, but as you can see, here AF-ing on the eyepiece image did, though it's still not great. Thing is, I can't fine-focus the scope much better without hawk eyes at this distance.

I may be asking a lot, but I bought the scope to reach where my 100-400 and 1.4x definitely can't. 'Not quite there yet.

I found today that the jarring in my 50mm was actually the lens front butting the eyepiece rim in AF with the adapter off.

I also bit the bullet on a 7D and Hoodman, so I'll see whether technology has made Richard's life that much easier.

- Chris
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