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PARIS-14

Focus difficulties with SL and 24-90mm

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Hello, I want to share with you my last experience with the SL.

It was the first studio session on location I had, mixing strobes and ambient light, since I purchased the SL. During this session I have had a really hard times trying to focus on some faces during this group & portrait session yesterday!

I was in a white walls area and the ambient light was rather normal (sunny day). I was shooting with a moderate natural and clear back-light coming from 2 windows. I used 2 strobes on the persons. Most of the time, I was more or less able to focus easily, but on one face it was almost impossible, wherever I set the focus point on the sensor, to focus! I had to add a side continuous light to be able to focus. And even so it was not obvious to achieve it right all the time.😳

To be honest, I am a little disappointed by the "lack of power" of the AF response. Even my previous DSLR (Nikon D800 & Pentax K1....) were better in low or contrasted lights than the SL. 🤔

On a more positive side the image quality (especially skin tons) is far better than everything I had in hands before. 🤩

Has anyone gone through such difficulties and is there a better camera setting to insure better results? Many thanks in advance for your educated advice.  😁

Edited by PARIS-14

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Were you using M exposure and working out which settings suited best?
Here are some suggestions that may assist .
Make sure you have the latest firmware
Turn off Exposure preview for M (where you are using strobe as well as ambient) So you can actually see what you want to point the focus field at with strong backlighting from ambient
Turning that preview off, you can then test shot and look at the LCD preview and histogram of course.
It's essential if you are using strobes only too depending on modelling lights/room lighting
Try Field instead of Spot or Zone to cover the area of the near eye (where I assume you aim to focus)
AF Mode Static
Direct exposure control On
For my SL (as with the S)  I work in MF mode with the AE/AF Lock button set for AFc

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I had the 24-90 lens for a little more than 2 weeks. My AF experience was disappointing. I returned it during the seller's 30 day no hassle return policy. I much prefer the manual focus of my R lenses. I don't think the SL lens has any IQ advantage, though one would presume there should be considering 15 years is a long time for technological advancements.

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The 24-90 is the only lens I have for my SL. I just checked and I have shot about 10 000 images with them so far/ largely studio lighting with some natural light/available light.
I think the combination is excellent and its well worth learning to use to get the best from them. I just realised that I have almost never taken that lens off and I have never needed to clean the sensor. That's remarkable, must be clean in there and a great air seal!

.

 


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Hello Hoppyman and thank you so much for your advice 🤙. I was hopping there was such a solution!!!! And apart from the exposure preview setting, the rest was already set as you recommended.

And by the way, I did not know that there was an "exposure preview" setting mode (did not read the entire manual and did not have this on my previous mirror cameras). I am still trying to find this setting in my French language display... I will have to explore the menus.

OK, I just found it (real time writing...😁). Working in M mode, I have to set it to PAS and not PASM. This setting is not intuitive at all... but, after a quick try, Hoppyman you have made my day (or night here in Paris!!!) Thanks again.

Manual focus is not possible when I have CEO's to take in picture, as they never have enough time for "such" activities... I have to shoot fast and a lot to cover different pictures needs they have (portraits, live...). 

PS.: I really appreciate your second picture!

Brian I am rather satisfied by the 24-90mm lens on my SL. Gives me great results so far! I have 2 old Leica manual C lenses: a 40mm and a 90mm coming from my very old CL camera. With the Leica ring adapter they work PERFECTLY well and I love the 90mm! But I keep these lenses for my personal work not the business part.

Edited by PARIS-14

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Thanks for letting us know that was helpful. I don’t know if the instruction manual shows everything that has been added by later firmware. You might try downloading a copy from Leica.  That change for exposure preview was one thing I hoped for since I first got the camera too.

I don’t use manual focus for my style of photography. What I do is have the camera in manual focus mode but use the back button only to operate AFs. That way I can set the focus and it does not move unless I touch that back button again. That works really well since  I can move the focus field within the shot and even set that focus while the camera is at my eye

Edited by hoppyman

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On 12/14/2018 at 5:13 AM, PARIS-14 said:

<...>

Has anyone gone through such difficulties and is there a better camera setting to insure better results? Many thanks in advance for your educated advice.  😁

Do you have the AF assist lamp on?

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On 12/14/2018 at 6:13 PM, PARIS-14 said:

Hello, I want to share with you my last experience with the SL.

It was the first studio session on location I had, mixing strobes and ambient light, since I purchased the SL. During this session I have had a really hard times trying to focus on some faces during this group & portrait session yesterday!

I was in a white walls area and the ambient light was rather normal (sunny day). I was shooting with a moderate natural and clear back-light coming from 2 windows. I used 2 strobes on the persons. Most of the time, I was more or less able to focus easily, but on one face it was almost impossible, wherever I set the focus point on the sensor, to focus! I had to add a side continuous light to be able to focus. And even so it was not obvious to achieve it right all the time.😳

To be honest, I am a little disappointed by the "lack of power" of the AF response. Even my previous DSLR (Nikon D800 & Pentax K1....) were better in low or contrasted lights than the SL. 🤔

On a more positive side the image quality (especially skin tons) is far better than everything I had in hands before. 🤩

Has anyone gone through such difficulties and is there a better camera setting to insure better results? Many thanks in advance for your educated advice.  😁

I have to say that  I have found it difficult to focus on my SL 90mm lens. It hunts way more than I would like and simply can't keep up with anything moving. May be I spent too long manually focusing M lenses but I am hoping the suggested settings may help...I have almost given up trying to ficus on anything with little contrast.

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On 12/15/2018 at 7:46 PM, hoppyman said:

The 24-90 is the only lens I have for my SL. I just checked and I have shot about 10 000 images with them so far/ largely studio lighting with some natural light/available light.
I think the combination is excellent and its well worth learning to use to get the best from them. I just realised that I have almost never taken that lens off and I have never needed to clean the sensor. That's remarkable, must be clean in there and a great air seal!

.

 


She bites her nails!

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On 12/30/2018 at 4:55 AM, roofus said:

She bites her nails!

I posted the images in the thread just to illustrate that I have had good experience with the lens operation. Please don’t make remarks about a model’s appearance that might not be welcomed if face to face.

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On 12/30/2018 at 3:38 PM, hoppyman said:

I posted the images in the thread just to illustrate that I have had good experience with the lens operation. Please don’t make remarks about a model’s appearance that might not be welcomed if face to face.

Please excuse my micro-aggression!!! I am a victim of not only male privilege, but white privilege! I hope you are not a millennial, but judging by your photo, you are not; you may have been a millennial many millennia ago however!

 I promise never to view, or comment on one of your posts again! 

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Maybe a little over the top roofus? But yes I am old, white and male. I don't know about this micro-aggression, isn't that a millennial thing? sorry that you were offended though by my attempt to defend the model though. I am maybe sensitive about that as an admin elsewhere who tries to support a lot of models.  Nails are an extremely minor thing of course.
All the best to you.

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