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antigallican

what slow focus?

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Ive had the SL for some months but only bought the 24-90 about ten days ago. The internet is covered in complaints about slow autofocus on the pair. I don't get it. Mine is as fast as anything - I use a d810 too. The Leica in use is similar or maybe even quicker.

 

 

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There were some low light level issues (but still faster than most cameras) which are markedly improved on firmware v3.

 

I've never had any issues with the focus speed ..... which is as near instant as you would require unless trying to catch fast moving objects.

 

The 90-280 is even quicker ..... 

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The comments I have seen have been that AF tracking is not as good as, say, a top end Nikon (I find it usable). I have seen some critical comments about AFc as well (I don't use it much). I don't recall any complaints about AFs being slow - I use it most of the time and find it very quick.

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My only issues with the AF have nout to do with the 24-90

 

Contrast detection AF makes back lit, low contrast and low light scenes difficult to gain focus.

 

50mm 1.4 SL glass is physically slower to move than the zoom's, so can be slower to AF.

 

but my 90-280mm focusses fast in good light, at 280mm it becomes F4 and starts struggling in low light because of it.

 

Continuous Autofocus is 'ok' is good light, in poor light it just exacerbates the above issues.

Edited by dancook

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Compared to e.g. Nikon D5/D500, the SL's autofocus lags in speed, accuracy, customisation and - therefore - versatility. So for erratic motion/small(er) birds in flight - I typically pick D5/D500. But otherwise, the SL does the job for me. No problem. In addition and immportantly, the SL feels more like a camera and less like a computer (compered to the Nikons I happen to know).

Edited by helged

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Compared to e.g. Nikon D5/D500, the SL's autofocus lags in speed, accuracy, customisation and - therefore - versatility. So for erratic motion/small(er) birds in flight - I typically pick D5/D500. But otherwise, the SL does the job for me. No problem. In addition and immportantly, the SL feels more like a camera and less like a computer (compered to the Nikons I happen to know).

In comparison with the Nikon, does the SL lack speed in AFs mode? I assume for BIF you would use AFc and/or tracking.

I'm not trying to defend the SL's speed - I don't have anything else to compare it with apart from my own needs - which don't include BIF.

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In comparison with the Nikon, does the SL lack speed in AFs mode? I assume for BIF you would use AFc and/or tracking.

I'm not trying to defend the SL's speed - I don't have anything else to compare it with apart from my own needs - which don't include BIF.

 

 

Good point - and sorry that I wasn't clear on this up-front: I use AFc 90 % of the time when I use the Nikons.

 

Regarding AFs - the two systems are comparable. But since there is a myriad of options available for the Nikons, the Nikons can be tuned into settings that are faster and/or giving higher hit rate than the SL. The opposite is also true; it's very easy to get lost in the many options offered by Nikon...

 

And to be clear: My first choice is the SL. I simply love the control of composition, focus and exposure that the SL's EVF offer. And I like the SLs colours a lot. And the two SL zooms are great. But for 'demanding' wild life photography, like where erratic motions are expected or in very low-light situations or when image stabilisation is important using long lenses, I bring D5 and/or D500 with me. For static wild life photography - typically on tripod - I prefer the SL over the Nikons.

 

I have no experience with the top-end Canons, but I assume these share many of the strengths/weaknesses of the Nikons.

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here are canon 5D-SR options for AF tracking..work quite well

 

 

 

 

 

Regarding AFs - the two systems are comparable. But since there is a myriad of options available for the Nikons, the Nikons can be tuned into settings that are faster and/or giving higher hit rate than the SL. The opposite is also true; it's very easy to get lost in the many options offered by Nikon....

 

I have no experience with the top-end Canons, but I assume these share many of the strengths/weaknesses of the Nikons.

 

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Contrast detection AF makes back lit, low contrast and low light scenes difficult to gain focus.

...

Yes I agree that point.  But difficult lighting scenarios can be tricky on any digital camera. Even with a Nikon I'd always look for something a bit contrasty to focus on, if available.  Meanwhile, I love the ability to focus the SL manually in near darkness.

You lose a bit and gain a bit.

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The comments I have seen have been that AF tracking is not as good as, say, a top end Nikon (I find it usable). I have seen some critical comments about AFc as well (I don't use it much). I don't recall any complaints about AFs being slow - I use it most of the time and find it very quick.

Oh right 'tracking.' I don't use this. I've always confined myself to focussing on one point, then recompose. So I only use manual autofocus, if you see what I mean. Luckily I'm not a sports shooter - I'd spend my life with my nose buried in the manual.

 

Actually on reflection I wouldn't. I'd just use 'f11 and be there.'

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I long ago came to the realization that all this autofocus stuff amounts to "a fine convenience when it works." It doesn't upset me at all when it doesn't... 

Edited by ramarren

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My only issues with the AF have nout to do with the 24-90

 

Contrast detection AF makes back lit, low contrast and low light scenes difficult to gain focus.

 

50mm 1.4 SL glass is physically slower to move than the zoom's, so can be slower to AF.

 

but my 90-280mm focusses fast in good light, at 280mm it becomes F4 and starts struggling in low light because of it.

 

Continuous Autofocus is 'ok' is good light, in poor light it just exacerbates the above issues.

got the 50mm sl. it is damn slow. a bit dissapointed. but the quality is insane. whats your setting on moving subjects? say a person walking, or even running?

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"quality is insane" sounds about right. Regarding AF speed, it's not just the heavy glass elements to move but also the algorithm is tuned to optimise accuracy. I think Leica should provide a speed-optimised AF mode for users when they want that. For example the accuracy-optimised is assigned to the AF/AE lock button while the speed-optimised is assigned to half press of the shutter release.

Edited by cpclee

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It upsets me when I'm relying on it working and it doesn't work!

I simply never rely upon conveniences.

 

Seriously, I can focus manually as fast as, and more accurately than, nearly any AF system I've ever used.

Edited by ramarren

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I think people fail to appreciate that at 1.4 and for the kind of resolution that the 50 SL is to capture, the motor will be moving at microscoping amounts in the final steps before achieving focus. It implies longer AF time and possibility a very different kind of motor design than what's in the 24-90. It won't surprise me that technically it's a very big challenge and other manufacturers would not have done better. Clearly, the AF speeds of the two vario zooms rival the best of what's out there so it's not like Leica hasn't proven itself in this arena.

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Steve Huff has a video (I know) of the lens, including AF speed in daylight. It doesn't seem that slow to me, mind you I have. Very low expectations of AF.

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Steve Huff has a video (I know) of the lens, including AF speed in daylight. It doesn't seem that slow to me, mind you I have. Very low expectations of AF.

 

As he points out it is almost impossible to make an AF lens of this quality and wide aperture that focusses fast due to the size and weight of the elements and accuracy required wide open. 

 

In use AF is fast and reliable enough to just use and forget. I'm not sure you need any more than that. 

 

Not as good at low light as the zooms ..... which must be a product of the AF algorithm favouring accuracy. 

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As he points out it is almost impossible to make an AF lens of this quality and wide aperture that focusses fast due to the size and weight of the elements and accuracy required wide open. 

 

In use AF is fast and reliable enough to just use and forget. I'm not sure you need any more than that. 

 

Not as good at low light as the zooms ..... which must be a product of the AF algorithm favouring accuracy. 

read reports that it's not that leica couldnt make a fast af, but for them, the focal point was on quality. i have to say that nothing beats the quality and user experience that the sl and 50mm lens can produce.  i was coming from a7rii with 50 1.4.  heavy and big lens as well, but very useable on the street and low light condition and fast. paying this much for the system, i was just disappointed and wished it had the ability that the a7rii had. even at f8 and beyond, i found it hunting and looking for something to clamp onto before it focuses..and by then the gesture on the street is gone. again, not that i need anymore, it's just that comparing to previous experience, and paying for this, id at least see some resemblance. thx for your input.

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