Manual Focus Lens On Mirrorless Camera

By | 24/10/2022

While autofocusing applied science but keeps getting better and ameliorate, at that place are still scenarios where photographers yet require the control and precision afforded by manual focusing. Previously a challenge that required fourth dimension and lots of deep concentration, especially when shooting with the optical viewfinder on a DSLR photographic camera, information technology has been fabricated much easier with mirrorless camera technology. As well magnifying the Live View display, in that location are now ii in-photographic camera visual aid functions that assistance manual focusing: MF peaking and the Focus Guide. (Reported by: Kazuo Nakahara, Digital Camera Magazine)

Focus information in existent time

On Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, all pixels on the photographic camera’south prototype sensor can acquit phase detection. As these pixels search for subjects, they acquire tremendous amounts of data. This information helps to acquire subjects through autofocus, just tin also be used to assist transmission focusing.

On mirrorless camera systems like the EOS R and EOS Chiliad systems, having no mirror means that you are able to see the epitome captured by the prototype sensor in real fourth dimension together with information overlays—not merely when you are using the rear monitor, but besides when y’all are looking through the electronic viewfinder (EVF). This makes it even more than convenient to apply visual focusing aids such as MF peaking and the Focus Guide during your shoot.

On the EOS R, EOS R5 and EOS R6, you tin can notice the MF peaking and Focus Guide in AF Carte 2.

On cameras without the AF carte du jour tab, you lot can detect the MF peaking function in the SHOOT menu. On the EOS RP, it is on SHOOT Menu 8.

MF peaking: See which areas are in focus

When things are in focus, their edges are sharper (take a higher amount of contrast). MF peaking is works by analysing the Live View image in existent fourth dimension to discover edges with high contrasts. It tints these outlines in a given colour, allowing y’all to see which parts of the prototype are in-focus. It’due south a great time-saver!

EOS R/ RF28-70mm f/2L USM/ FL: 50mm/ Flexible-priority AE (f/two, ane/eighty sec, EV +0.iii)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto

A scene with lots of glass. MF peaking is useful for scenes like this, where you want more command over the aeroplane of focus but don’t require extreme precision.

MF peaking in action

Focus on drinking glass in the eye

Focus on the drinking glass in forepart

The areas with loftier dissimilarity (in-focus areas) are tinted in red. If you lot turn the focus ring, y’all volition see that the crimson areas will change.

Know this: You can change the peaking level and colour

Changing the level



The “Level” setting lets y’all adjust the edge detection sensitivity. ‘Low’ will ensure finer, more precise focus, just information technology is also harder to encounter the peaking.

Changing the peaking colour

There are iii peaking colours to choose from: scarlet, xanthous, and blue. Choose a colour that is visible against the subject.

See examples of scenes where MF peaking proved useful in:

6 Useful EOS R Features for Photographing Mountains with Clouds
Macro Photography Techniques: Flowers in Water Droplets

Focus Guide: Turning altitude information into a visual aid

When the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system conducts AF detection, it acquires information nigh the distance of subjects from the prototype sensor. The Focus Guide uses this information provide visual indicators of the manual focus position: whether it is in forepart of the subject, right on betoken, or behind the subject.

EOS R/ RF28-70mm f/2L USM/ FL: 60mm/ Aperture-priority AE (f/2, 1/320 sec, EV +0.3)/ ISO 200/ WB: Auto

MF peaking too works when the AF frame size is set to ‘Small’. Combine it with MF peaking to easily achieve precise focus in scenes like this i, where you demand to focus on a small-scale subject area and the depth of field is very shallow!

Try this the next time you utilize manual focus to take macro shots or capture flowers with intense bokeh!

Focus Guide in action

Front focused

On indicate

Back focused

Focus position is in front end of subject area:
White display. The middle pointer points inward; the outer arrows indicate outward.
Focus is accurately on subject:
Green brandish.
Focus position is behind field of study:
White brandish. The middle arrow points outward; the outer arrows point inward.

Tip: You can go out the Focus Guide perpetually on

The Focus Guide is turned off by default. Even when you lot switch it on in the menu settings, it starts up (shows the indicators) just in manual focus mode, so y’all tin only exit it set to ‘On’.
Note: It is a large source of ability consumption when in performance.

Know this: Focus Guide won’t piece of work in scenes where AF is not possible

As the Focus Guide uses distance information from the AF frame, it will not work in scenes where AF is non possible. These include:

– Scenes with no or very low contrast, such as clear blue skies.
– Extremely dark conditions beyond the photographic camera’s depression light AF capabilities

When the Focus Guide is non available, you will see the following grayness display.

The Focus Guide also won’t be displayed when you lot magnify the EVF/Live View brandish.

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