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roverover

T Users, primarily Autofocus or Manual mode?

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I am contemplating a TL model once released. I would certainly opt to purchase a T Lens to try out too.

Those using T Lenses, do you find yourselves using the Auto-focus or do you prefer the Manual mode, I assume many T users are likely M users too.

 

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I use the auto-focus mostly but I often do both at the same time. If, when you’re autofocusing, you keep the shutter release half pressed, you can fine tune the focusing manually. It’s a useful feature of the excellent T lenses.

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I use AF only. MF only rarely when I use my R macro lens.

 

Gesendet von meinem Nexus 5X mit Tapatalk

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I use auto focus with my T zooms, and manual with my M mount Zeiss lenses . However, I am going to use manual focus on my 55-135 Tele zoom more often in the future because of the critical focus needed at longer focal lengths. I am sure auto focus can get spot on focus most of the time, but I have missed on more than one occasion in the past with the Tele so I am going to try manual when possible.

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I mostly use autofocus using the two T lenses I have, for the original purpose I got into this system as more of a point and shoot, which afterwards morphed into more serious work occasionally. I often use M lenses which I prefer their IQ on the T, but of course I use them on my M too. An older and tattered 35mm M Summilux lens is mounted always on my 2nd infrared converted T. It's heavy but appears perfectly matched for IQ. On my regular T, almost always the 23mm T lens for convenience and lightweight. But if I want to take my T along for better photos, I put a 28mm or 35mm Summicron M from my M kit.

 

But wanted to add, I wouldn't recommend going out and buying M lenses just for the T. At least, not new.

Edited by billinghambaglady

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I have two T lenses, a 18-56 and an 11-23 and because of my eyesight I use it predominately in AF and use the lock focus (Half press of the shutter) probably 50% of the time. I do have a few Nikon lenses including a 105 Macro that I use in manual.

 

I so infrequently use a Macro that I can't justify a Leica 60mm Macro lens.

 

I would like a fast prime Leica lens, but can't really justify it for now.

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Thanks all for your time and replies, great to hear opinions and reviews. Being an M user as well, I now need a fast and nimble camera to use in my daily "work" (i am not a photog) and breaking out the M and such isn't convenient and i don't relish carrying it and my lenses around when i am out working.

Since i haven't held a T camera yet but have been reading and watching on-line reviews, i understand there isn't any Focus Peaking as on the M, but some sort of Focus Aid where the image is magnified.

Since so many are preferring auto-focus, i was wondering if the T's Focus Aid is at all helpful?

I'd be happy to use Auto-focus for work, however, my concern is that i often work in a dark warehouse environment and have read that Auto-focus is slower in low light and sometimes Not able to function well in darker environments, so thought I'd ask if the Focus Aid feature is at all useful?

 

I am planning on a acquiring a Prime, Faster T lens as my usage is often in low-light.

Can any users comment about the Auto-focus functionality in Low light situations?  Thanks.

 

 

Here is a FLASH (needed) photo using my cheap Point and Shoot Nikon to illustrate what it looks like.

There is only weak florescent lighting above, without the Flash firing in this pic, it is a very dark place.

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As an M user, I find manually focusing the T with M lenses to be very easy and fast using the EVF. With my T lenses using auto focusing is slow. I can probably focus as fast manually with M lens on. You might also consider the Q. It's speed is incredible and IQ is really nice. I have both T and Q. The Q is my preference for speed and low light conditions. I should use it more, but for some reason I enjoy shooting with the T more. Probably because not that comfortable with 28mm.

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As an M user, I find manually focusing the T with M lenses to be very easy and fast using the EVF. With my T lenses using auto focusing is slow. I can probably focus as fast manually with M lens on. You might also consider the Q. It's speed is incredible and IQ is really nice. I have both T and Q. The Q is my preference for speed and low light conditions. I should use it more, but for some reason I enjoy shooting with the T more. Probably because not that comfortable with 28mm.

 

Thank you for the thoughts. The Q certainly seems amazing and I have contemplated that model, but i am looking for a nimble, fast, ez to use camera to replace an aging, low end Nikon point and shoot. When a Flash is needed in the low-light environment i work in, having to carry, bring out and attach a flash would make the Q too clumsy to use. I really need a camera with a built in flash as it is often needed. I keep my work camera in a tool duffle for ez access and don't want to worry about the fragility of a hot shoe flash sitting on it.

The T caught my eye for this purpose. I want something to carry around with me daily, my M and also a Q's cost would cause me too much concern due to the way i use a daily "work" camera.

I realize there might be alternatives to a T, but i have to say, i find myself enamored with it given my intended usage.

 

I am curious about it's ability to "Auto Focus" in Low Light situations as previously stated, if anyone with this kind of T experience can chine in, I would appreciate hearing about it. Thank You all.

Edited by roverover

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Isn't the T overkill for your intended use? I may be wrong as you haven't explained it, but your requirement appears to be to take photographic records of the containers etc.

 

I would buy an inexpensive P&S camera which will cost a tiny fraction of the cost of the Leica and be perfectly adequate for the job!

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Isn't the T overkill for your intended use? I may be wrong as you haven't explained it, but your requirement appears to be to take photographic records of the containers etc.

 

I would buy an inexpensive P&S camera which will cost a tiny fraction of the cost of the Leica and be perfectly adequate for the job!

 

Thank You for sharing your perspective, however this doesn't answer my question to any degree. What i photograph is IN the containers. I merely provided a photo to illustrate how "dark" the environment is.

It will be helpful to hear from someone that has T experience with Auto Focus in Low Light conditions. Thanks in advance.

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Thank You for sharing your perspective, however this doesn't answer my question to any degree. What i photograph is IN the containers. I merely provided a photo to illustrate how "dark" the environment is.

It will be helpful to hear from someone that has T experience with Auto Focus in Low Light conditions. Thanks in advance.

 

I still don't understand why you think you would need a Leica T/TL for this but of course it's your decision. 

 

I'm sure someone out there uses a Porsche to deliver pizza. 

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You'd likely struggle with the T or any other camera taking photos in very low light (and without flash) of whatever is in the containers - unless the camera has a very usable high ISO setting. But would depend on the required image definition. I use a T and an X2 in total darkness and with red filtered flash to take photos of astronomers using their telescopes but rely on the AF beam reflecting off e.g. a white astro tripod or white telescope to ensure reasonable focus - and use the 23mm lens at full aperture (35mm FF equiv) from a distance of e.g. 3 or 4 meters - which enables a reasonable depth of field with the semi-WA lens. But photographing container interiors is a very different kettle of fish and the DOF, so close to the subject, and at full aperture, might not be sufficient.  You need AF because both composition and MF in semi-darkness would be difficult - even with the image magnification facility.  I get results but they're hit and miss - and invariably have to recompose e.g. 'up a bit', or, 'to the left a bit' after chimping the image … to e.g. avoid chopping off astronomers' heads or parts of their 'scopes. But practice improves composition. 

 

dunk 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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You'd likely struggle with the T or any other camera taking photos in very low light (and without flash) of whatever is in the containers - unless the camera has a very usable high ISO setting. But would depend on the required image definition. I use a T and an X2 in total darkness and with red filtered flash to take photos of astronomers using their telescopes but rely on the AF beam reflecting off e.g. a white astro tripod or white telescope to ensure reasonable focus - and use the 23mm lens at full aperture (35mm FF equiv) from a distance of e.g. 3 or 4 meters - which enables a reasonable depth of field with the semi-WA lens. But photographing container interiors is a very different kettle of fish and the DOF, so close to the subject, and at full aperture, might not be sufficient.  You need AF because both composition and MF in semi-darkness would be difficult - even with the image magnification facility.  I get results but they're hit and miss - and invariably have to recompose e.g. 'up a bit', or, 'to the left a bit' after chimping the image … to e.g. avoid chopping off astronomers' heads or parts of their 'scopes. But practice improves composition. 

 

dunk 

 

Thank You, this is very helpful. In your experience then, it sounds as if the T will Auto-Focus fairly well in dark conditions as you describe? I understand the need for a Flash for my usage too, i was mainly trying to gauge how well the T will Auto Focus, and if i understand your answer, then it seems the T auto-focus system works well in low light, Thanks once again.

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Thank You, this is very helpful. In your experience then, it sounds as if the T will Auto-Focus fairly well in dark conditions as you describe? I understand the need for a Flash for my usage too, i was mainly trying to gauge how well the T will Auto Focus, and if i understand your answer, then it seems the T auto-focus system works well in low light, Thanks once again.

Autofocus seems to work well enough if you allow the T to use the red light AF assist lamp. Without that, I find autofocus often frustrating in low light.

 

Autofocus capability in low light also seems to vary greatly between the lenses. Without the AF assist lamp, AF is noticeably worse with the 11-23mm than the 23mm, for example.

 

 

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Thank You, this is very helpful. In your experience then, it sounds as if the T will Auto-Focus fairly well in dark conditions as you describe? I understand the need for a Flash for my usage too, i was mainly trying to gauge how well the T will Auto Focus, and if i understand your answer, then it seems the T auto-focus system works well in low light, Thanks once again.

 

 

… only if it has something e.g. 'white' or 'silver' to reflect from. But I would not recommend buying a T (or any other camera) unless you'd tried it first in the ambient light conditions you work in - especially when peering into containers which would not be well illuminated by the low ambient light. Sounds as if you could use a Sony A7S with a 35mm FE lens … a camera specifically designed for low light video and stills photography and which produces results up to ISO 409600 … in theory a 5 stop advantage over the T for low light imaging … but in practice only usable images up to ISO 50000 which is a two stop advantage over the T's max. ISO 12500. But ISO 50000 with the A7S would likely give better quality than ISO 12500 on the T.  And I've only autofocused my T with the AF 23mm TL lens; when I tried using a manual focus 35mm R lens on the T in total darkness, manual focusing was impossible - so had to guesstimate using hyperfocal distance method which itself was difficult as required a torch to set the focus ring. I also use a recently acquired Sony A7S with Leica R lenses for nocturnal street photography e.g. in London's West End - but even with its high ISO capability, manual focusing in low light is difficult; AF with Sony lenses at night is easy - but I'm obliged to use Leica lenses for Leica Society imaging.  

 

Sounds as if your project is similar to taking a photo of a black cat in a coal cellar. Please consider hiring or borrowing a camera for such a task before buying … or ask your dealer if you can try it in a dark back room or cellar if he has one. 

 

I experimented with my T in a darkened room i.e. total darkness and with flash to ascertain optimum settings using B&W mode - before using the camera on location. My settings would be different to those you might use - because I used red filtered flash with camera in B&W mode to avoid compromising astronomers' night vision. However, the experiments proved the T's AF capability in darkness. The mistake i made when first using the T in darkness was to set the camera to Auto ISO without limiting the max. ISO - when discovered that ISO 12500 is far too grainy for image publication. 

 

dunk 

Edited by dkCambridgeshire

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… only if it has something e.g. 'white' or 'silver' to reflect from. But I would not recommend buying a T (or any other camera) unless you'd tried it first in the ambient light conditions you work in - especially when peering into containers which would not be well illuminated by the low ambient light. Sounds as if you could use a Sony A7S with a 35mm FE lens … a camera specifically designed for low light video and stills photography and which produces results up to ISO 409600 … in theory a 5 stop advantage over the T for low light imaging … but in practice only usable images up to ISO 50000 which is a two stop advantage over the T's max. ISO 12500. But ISO 50000 with the A7S would likely give better quality than ISO 12500 on the T.  And I've only autofocused my T with the AF 23mm TL lens; when I tried using a manual focus 35mm R lens on the T in total darkness, manual focusing was impossible - so had to guesstimate using hyperfocal distance method which itself was difficult as required a torch to set the focus ring. I also use a recently acquired Sony A7S with Leica R lenses for nocturnal street photography e.g. in London's West End - but even with its high ISO capability, manual focusing in low light is difficult; AF with Sony lenses at night is easy - but I'm obliged to use Leica lenses for Leica Society imaging.  

 

Sounds as if your project is similar to taking a photo of a black cat in a coal cellar. Please consider hiring or borrowing a camera for such a task before buying … or ask your dealer if you can try it in a dark back room or cellar if he has one. 

 

I experimented with my T in a darkened room i.e. total darkness and with flash to ascertain optimum settings using B&W mode - before using the camera on location. My settings would be different to those you might use - because I used red filtered flash with camera in B&W mode to avoid compromising astronomers' night vision. However, the experiments proved the T's AF capability in darkness. The mistake i made when first using the T in darkness was to set the camera to Auto ISO without limiting the max. ISO - when discovered that ISO 12500 is far too grainy for image publication. 

 

dunk 

 

Thanks for the thoughts and info, it helps. I have other uses for a simpler, easy to use camera as well, but i do work in that darker location often.

Since i am generally enamored with Leica, i may opt to buy the TL and a Prime lens and simply go try it out. My only Leica experience is with my M and Lenses and i wanted to hear about the auto-focus functionality as the T is intriguing to me.

I am somewhat new to the Leica community and do appreciate the replies to the topic question.

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