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Old 6th July 2016
Ricoh Ricoh is offline
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Zone focusing an AF camera system

The only way I can think is to use back button focus, pre-focus on something at a given distance and set the aperture appropriate to one's needs. Not the quickest way to do it c.f. a manual focus lens with an aperature ring and a DoF scale.

I'm not the only 'street photographer' on the forum, so what's you're technique?

AF is too slow in my opinion, by the time you see an 'event', eg a gesture or other human activity, it's over by the time you point, acquire focus lock and press the shutter release. A fully manual camera is by far the fastest tool for street photography, but I want to replicate this as much as possible in the most discrete form of camera, ie a U4/3 camera.
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Old 6th July 2016
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Re: Zone focusing an AF camera system

That's why I have a selection of manual focus primes.
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Old 6th July 2016
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Re: Zone focusing an AF camera system

Virtually all cameras have a Manual Focus setting, but less provide the capability of setting a specific focus distance. However much of my street photography is done with lenses with a focal length at or less than "standard", which provides for a large DoF at settings about f/8

A quick look at the hyperfocal distance chart and I can normally judge the distance and find a suitable object to focus on, such that my DoF covers ground in front of the focus point and out to the farthest place in the location.

My old C8080WZ had the feature of displaying the focus distance. I'm at a loss to know why this cannot be implemented for all cameras & lenses, as often the info is in the exif data.
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Old 6th July 2016
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Re: Zone focusing an AF camera system

@ David M: I've tried MF lenses, but focus peaking and magnification is painfully slow. The only way to use such lenses on a mirrorless for street work is to apply zone or hyper focal. The native MF lenses for u4/3 tend to be Voigtlander and they're far from discreet in use (big in other words).
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Old 6th July 2016
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Re: Zone focusing an AF camera system

Graham, it's not the place to be singing the praises of a fully manual range finder camera, but it's by far the fastest camera to use on the street. The downside, everyone knows a Leica from 100 yards away and that's the issue if I shoot in dodgy areas - I've been hassled more than once. On the other hand using something like a 3 year old EM5 is valued at say 250 so I wouldn't argue if it was me or the camera.

One of the shortfalls of mirrorless is the design concept that relies on AF - of course it's fine if a half second or so is acceptable.
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