Jun 132020

By default cameras tend to focus when you half-press the shutter button; what is less widely known is that many cameras allow the focus function to be moved to a different button – so-called “back-button focus” (although I have my Fuji GFX50R configured to use a button on the front).


My Fuji camera also has a dial to select between manual focus, single focus, and continuous focus; my dial is nailed to manual focus because I can do all three variations with just the back button – leave it alone for manual focus, press it once to focus once, or keep it held down to continually focus.

For me, that alone is sufficient reason to use back-button focus – simplicity in determining “focus modes” by eliminating those modes and replacing them with a “focus whilst this button is depressed” command.

I also used the same thing on my old Canon. There (and on the Fuji), separating the focus function from the shutter release made it far easier to focus and recompose as an alternative to selecting a specific focus point.

It won’t suit everyone, and some of the ‘features’ of back button focus are less useful if you make use of other focusing features. But it is worth trying out some time to see if it suits you.

No Fun At The Fair
Mar 202019

(This is definitely a work in progress; I’ve still got more lens adaptors to buy and more lenses to test)

So I have a new Fujifilm GFX50R with one native lens (63mm) and my fortunes don’t extend to buying more lenses any time soon. Yet I hear that some 35mm lenses will work even though they’re designed to cover the smaller sensor of 35mm (or in many of the cases below 35mm film).

As someone who has been sticking third-party lenses (and I don’t mean Sigma lenses with an EF mount) on my Canon cameras for years the obvious thing to do is buy some adaptors to test the lenses I have.

And on the grounds that I would find this information useful if someone else had posted it (and I’d found it), I decided to put this out there. No guarantees on the accuracy though!

Caveats :-

  1. No, the images aren’t meant to look good; most of this testing was done inside after a long day staring at a computer screen. The subject is boring, the focus may be off, and if you think these images represent what I’m capable of I’ll just roll about the floor laughing (and I’m not that good). When of course I add the images to this posting.
  2. If you have to have a “smart” lens adaptor for Canon EF lenses, choose a good one. The first one I bought was rubbish; I’ve since gone with a Kipon branded one.
  3. The column for “soft vignetting’ is particularly dubious; I’m not great at spotting it in the first place and until I move the images onto a computer screen and take a closer look I wouldn’t guarantee anything.
Lens Photo? Soft Vignetting Hard Vignetting Sample (links)
Zeiss Makro-Planar 2/100mm ZE No No 1
Zeiss Distagon 21/2.8 ZE No Yes 1
MC Zenitar 16/2.8 Yes
Sigma 12-24 @ 12mm No No
Sigma 12-24 @ 24mm Yes Yes
Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 L Yes Yes
Canon 200-400mm mk1 @ 200 No No
Canon 200-400mm mk1 @ 400 Yes
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/19mm (1977) Yes
Leica Summilux-R 1.4/50mm (1971) Below f/11 No
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/35mm (1984) Yes No
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/180mm (1975) No No
Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/90mm (1966) No No 1
Leica Macro-Elmerit-R 2.8/60mm (1977) Below f/4.0 No
Leica Summicron-R 2/50mm (1965) TODO TODO TODO
Olympus OM 18mm f/3.5 Yes
Olympus OM 85mm f/2.0 Yes No
Olympus OM 35mm f/2.8 Yes No
Carl Zeiss Jena 3.5/135mm No No 1

Nov 092010

All I can say is that it is about time it came out … indeed it is long overdue given the old Ds is now nearly 4 years old. The old Canon 1DS III is looking a little long in the tooth now in comparison to Nikon and other full-frame cameras – 21megapixels as compared to 24.5megapixels in the Nikon DX3. Of course high pixel counts are overrated, but for instance the DX3 is capable of recording relatively low-noise images at far higher ISO ratings than the 1DS3.

So where is it ? Of course there is a great deal of resistance to jumping ship and moving to Nikon from Canon because of the large investment in lenses that many of us have made. But sooner or later people are going to ditch Canon in favour of Nikon, so Canon needs to bring out the 1DS IV pretty sharpish.

Of course I am only interested because the new camera will cause the prices of second hand 1Ds IIIs to drop through the floor and I’ll be able to pick one up for a reasonable price to replace my 1Ds I 🙂

Jul 272009

Sometime you look at a product when trying to find something on Amazon (or elsewhere), and think what were they thinking of ? And a set of “camera armour” for a Canon 1DS (probably mkI and mkII) certainly fits the bill. It smacks of corporate stupidity – we make camera armour for Canon cameras, so we’ll make armour for all Canon cameras whether they need it or not.

If you have never encountered a 1Ds, you make well be wondering what I am on about, and that camera armour in certain situations is a good idea. Well, the Canon 1Ds is a tank. If you need to drive nails, and there is no hammer handy, the 1DS will do quite nicely. If you drop it, the pavement will break before it does (the lens attached might suffer though).

Seeing as so many people are reading this, I’d better point out that it is intended as humorous!

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