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Restoring the joy of taking pictures
#1
Recently I have been ditching my automatic and zoom lenses and buying cheap prime film era manual lenses from E-bay. In my opinion automation has jacked up the cost of buying lenses and taken away much of the feel of taking pictures. I found a new joy in going out with my Vivitar fitted on my D40 to give me stop down imaging. I also just bought a manual 2x teleconverter for my Nikkor 135 f3.5. I am fortunate to have a Nikon D40 camera on which almost every Nikon mount lens fits.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#2
I would tend to agree about automation removing a lot of the joy and serendipity of the photographic process. Price is an additional benefit, but isn't really related to joy - just to accessibility.
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#3
I love receiving little photographic toys in the mail. That's part of the joy.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#4
I recently was asked to pick seven favourite photos that show my photographic interests. I was quite surprised to discover that every single one was taken with manual focus lenses, including the one from a digital camera.

Not that I'm about to give up AF, mind you, but automation certainly isn't the most important thing about a camera.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#5
Very ineresting, Matt
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#6
I see what you mean but, Matthew, does your manual-lens use pertain to a focal length?(ie, is the fact that it was manual purely coincidental?)
Do you know, Don, I'd quite forgotten that nice "Christmas come early" feeling of getting something hobby-related in the post; nice to see the word "joy" next to "pictures" again too!
All my stuff is here: www.doverow.com
(Just click on the TOP RIGHT buttons to take you to my Image Galleries or Music Rooms!)
My band TRASHVILLE, in which I'm lead guitarist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6mU6qaNx08
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#7
There must be something coincidental about the dominance of manual focus, but there's nothing else common to all of the photos that I picked. Five different cameras, six different lenses - two different focal lengths, more or less - in small format, medium format, and digital. Now, there's a certain truth that my best lenses are all manual, but one of the photos is from my Olympus XA, which is one of the cheapest that I own.

But I do like autofocus - it just doesn't help create a good photo for me.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#8
Using manual lenses does make us think more about the photo. I frequently use manual exposure adjustments too and have to take several shots to get it right.
Nikon D3100 with Tokina 28-70mm f3.5, (I like to use a Vivitar .43x aux on the 28-70mm Tokina), Nikkor 10.5 mm fisheye, Quanteray 70-300mm f4.5, ProOptic 500 mm f6.3 mirror lens. http://donschaefferphoto.blogspot.com/
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#9
Tongue 
I have a neat little switch on my fancy AF-S lens that allows me to focus manually... Does that count ? Tongue
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#10
Brett Wrote:I have a neat little switch on my fancy AF-S lens that allows me to focus manually... Does that count ? Tongue

Only if you tape the zoom ring on your lens so that it becomes a fixed focal length... Big Grin
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#11
Welcome to Shuttertalk.

Taping your lens is to a fixed focal length is a time-honoured tradition. But I was taught at an early age to never use a hand tool if there's a somewhat-suitable power tool available, so I would never advocate disabling autofocus if it's an option.

Except for macro photography, at least.

Or for pre-focusing on a spot where the subject's going to be… that's good too.
matthewpiers.com • @matthewpiers | robertsonphoto.blogspot.com | @thewsreviews • thewsreviews.com
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#12
(Feb 21, 2012, 20:46)matthew Wrote: Welcome to Shuttertalk.

...I would never advocate disabling autofocus if it's an option.

Except for macro photography, at least.

Or for pre-focusing on a spot where the subject's going to be… that's good too.

That's absolutly true but if your favourite photographer is a old school one ( http://bit.ly/thurstonHopk ) or if you get inspirated by pic like this one ( http://on.fb.me/1tS2q3m ), you will do a lot more manual focus and manual modes than usual. Old school photography is great to make you unsderstand the evolution of photography, and will for sure improve your skills even with the newer models!
Off course its great to use auto-focus buts its so much fun having the true FULL control of the camera by shutting down all the auto's.

Regards
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#13
Not realising that Don had posted this thread in 2012, I started another similar thread this year...

http://www.shuttertalk.com/forums/Thread...Old-Lenses

...although it is about using old lenses generally - not just old primes but old zooms also. As Don has written, there are some great bargains to be found - eBay is a good source, but there are other web sites and shops that sell old used items, often at bargain prices. If you can get one to fit your camera, it would be worth trying it - the results can be surprisingly good.

Cheers.
Philip
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#14
(Feb 21, 2012, 10:57)matthew Wrote: There must be something coincidental about the dominance of manual focus, but there's nothing else common to all of the photos that I picked. Five different cameras, six different lenses - two different focal lengths, more or less - in small format, medium format, and digital. Now, there's a certain truth that my best lenses are all manual, but one of the photos is from my Olympus XA, which is one of the cheapest that I own.

But I do like autofocus - it just doesn't help create a good photo for me.

I like AF in some situations, but for the most part I am a fan of the hyperfocal point to get the most depth of field I can. So I need to manually focus a lot even with my Canon nifty 50 which has the worst manual focus ring imaginable. I also like shooting at night and in the dark where AF doesn't really work anyway. The joy I get...is getting anything out of a scene that I can't really appreciate fully in the dark. For me having instant feed back really helps...though my eyes don't see well enough anymore to fully trust the image on the back of the camera.
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