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Nikon D800

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Focus Accuracy (Focus Assist with Green Dot)

Examples on this page were all taken handheld, with the goal of establishing how well the Nikon D800 focus assist feature (“green dot”) works for manual focus accuracy, e.g., with the Zeiss ZF.2 or other manual focus lenses.

I chose a variety of subjects with different lighting and details in order to get a sense of how well AF-assist works; this is very much a field test, which I consider more revealing and useful than a “scientific” lab test. A lab test of focusing constrains parameters (lighting, subject matter, contrast, etc) so much as to have little relevance to making images in the field.

The precision required for accurate manual focus means that many autofocus lenses are borderline unsuitable for reliable manual focus because of the twitchy and hyper responsive focusing rings (I have one AF lens that shifts focus simply by lifting my hand off the lens!). Good manual focus lenses (e.g. Zeiss) have focusing helicoids, an important consideration for manual focus operation.

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Diglloyd DAP is DSLR-oriented, but also contains workflow and other topics. Much of the focus is on Canon and Nikon but also Pentax and Pentax medium format.

Special emphasis is placed on lens evaluation, focusing on Canon and Nikon and Sigma lenses, but with a few others like Rokinon/Samyang.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly some of the new Sigma Art lenses vs Nikon and Canon.
  • Workflow discusses image organization, raw conversion and post processing. Many examples show processing parameters for direct insight into how the image was converted.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to full camera resolution, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

Want a preview? Click on any page below to see an excerpt as well as extensive blog coverage, for example on Nikon or on Canon or on Pentax.

f/2 @ 1/3200 sec handheld, ISO 100 + 0.66 push
Nikon D800 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar

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