Jump to content

Radical feature improvement - subject tracking with manual focus (Nikon Z f state of the art)


Guest

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Just saw this YouTube video (below) about Nikon's implementation of subject tracking with manual lenses (sorry, in German, but you can probably get the gist of it regardless).

This is the modern version of the DSLR color-coded focus point confirmation, but precision guided by mirrorless subject recognition code.

Leica, please, if you are listening: It would be amazing if you could please lift & shift the subject recognition parts of the SL2 code to the M11. Follow Nikon's implementation to enable it with MF. This would make the EVF experience a million times better. As we all buy Leica M cameras for a superior focusing experience, this would play to your strengths and upgrade the EVF experience to best in class (within physical limitations). You already have 95% of the code on the same Maestro SOC platform. Please add the 'manual focus tracking' as a hero feature to all current generation cameras - M11, SL2, Q3. Please?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Err… How are you going to implement this in a rangefinder without electronic contacts?  Which is pretty good at subject tracking in its own right anyway. 
Actually this is nothing new The Olympus OM 40 had something similar using a green LED in the optical viewfinder. Of course this is more refined on an EVF camera. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

The subject recognition is all in software - SL2 also does not have phase detect pixels ...

The nuisance with EVF use on the M11 is positioning the crosshairs before zooming in, relying on the focus highlight helper pixels, then the subject moves, you have to zoom out, reposition, zoom back in -- all the while fiddling with the MF adjustments.

Yes, this is the selfish ask of a Noctilux and 21/75/90/135mm shooter - where the EVF is often necessary (for me).

Nikon's innovation is to apply the power of their best AF algorithm (in case of Leica that's what is in the SL2), turning it on in MF mode. Without electronically driving the focus motors - which the M obviously doesn't have to begin with.

How the 'Nikon z f subject tracking with manual lenses' helps in use:

  • The focus point is likely positioned on the area of interest
  • There is a visual indicator to confirm focus on the area of interest (as per subject tracking choice, analogous to what the SL2 offers) - even if outside of the central rangefinder patch
  • When I zoom in, it's also faster, as I don't have first to select the target
  • Also improves spot metering
Edited by mzbe
Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL. So you want Leica to steal/develop a competitors proprietary focus implementation, shoehorn it into what is seemingly already under specced hardware (or underdeveloped software, you choose) in the M11, and leave Leica with nothing for the M12 (or potential EVM) for people to upgrade to? Dream on....

Also note that in order for this to work, the lenses have to be chipped (like the Voigtlander in the video), or used with the chipped FTZ adapter. Leica M lenses are very basic coded for identification purposes, but not electronically chipped for focus purposes. It would mean a huge amount of code in camera I suspect to implement something like this in an M, let alone an already existing model where code would have to be shifted around, potentially making new problems (see thread on latest M11 firmware). 

FWIW, the M already has one of the fastest, most accurate focusing implementations made, and it's been around for about 70 years. One just has to practice, and then practice some more, and realize it's not perfect in all situations and adapt. Or until an EVM model comes out, shoot with an SL or other camera brands mirrorless or DSLR. 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, charlesphoto99 said:

LOL. So you want Leica to steal/develop a competitors proprietary focus implementation, shoehorn it into what is seemingly already under specced hardware (or underdeveloped software, you choose) in the M11, and leave Leica with nothing for the M12 (or potential EVM) for people to upgrade to? Dream on....

Also note that in order for this to work, the lenses have to be chipped (like the Voigtlander in the video), or used with the chipped FTZ adapter. Leica M lenses are very basic coded for identification purposes, but not electronically chipped for focus purposes. It would mean a huge amount of code in camera I suspect to implement something like this in an M, let alone an already existing model where code would have to be shifted around, potentially making new problems (see thread on latest M11 firmware). 

FWIW, the M already has one of the fastest, most accurate focusing implementations made, and it's been around for about 70 years. One just has to practice, and then practice some more, and realize it's not perfect in all situations and adapt. Or until an EVM model comes out, shoot with an SL or other camera brands mirrorless or DSLR. 

 

No, Leica uses their focus code. As exists in SL2. Copy & paste that over to M11.

Nothing needs to be chipped.

All lenses work.

The video I shared shows a manual Voigtlander lens on the Nikon. With a $30 manual adapter any M lens would work on the Z f with this feature as well.

There are no hardware prerequisites.

It's all in code.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree, nice gimmick but not for M cameras. Just use the rangefinder which does not pose any problems from Noctilux to 135 for the experienced user as witnessed by the many sharp images on this forum. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

5 minutes ago, charlesphoto99 said:

LOL. So you want Leica to steal/develop a competitors proprietary focus implementation, shoehorn it into what is seemingly already under specced hardware (or underdeveloped software, you choose) in the M11, and leave Leica with nothing for the M12 (or potential EVM) for people to upgrade to? Dream on....

Also note that in order for this to work, the lenses have to be chipped (like the Voigtlander in the video), or used with the chipped FTZ adapter. Leica M lenses are very basic coded for identification purposes, but not electronically chipped for focus purposes. It would mean a huge amount of code in camera I suspect to implement something like this in an M, let alone an already existing model where code would have to be shifted around, potentially making new problems (see thread on latest M11 firmware). 

FWIW, the M already has one of the fastest, most accurate focusing implementations made, and it's been around for about 70 years. One just has to practice, and then practice some more, and realize it's not perfect in all situations and adapt. Or until an EVM model comes out, shoot with an SL or other camera brands mirrorless or DSLR. 

 

The code in the AF system of the M I presume ? 

  • Haha 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, mzbe said:

 

The video I shared shows a manual Voigtlander lens on the Nikon. With a $30 manual adapter any M lens would work on the Z f with this feature as well.

 

It's chipped. 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just now, jaapv said:

The code in the AF system of the M I presume ? 

Aaaarg.

The digital sensor feeds a microprocessor.

That microprocessor analyzes the data.

E.g. to determine automatic exposure.

In case of the Leica SL, additional code analyzes the data to determine an autofocus area.

With the SL, this can then drive the autofocus motor in the lens, which the M doesn't have.

The analysis can still happen with an M. With the same code.

???

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, charlesphoto99 said:

It's chipped. 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

But doesn't have to be if implemented by Leica in the way I suggested.

Point in case: Techart adapters for M lenses on Sony and Nikon.

The M lens is completely passive in that scenario. Yet, all autofocus modes work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, pgk said:

What's wrong with the rangefinder?

I love the rangefinder. But not all of the time:

  • 21, 28mm - I wear glasses, framing is tricky
  • 75-135mm - small patch
  • Noctilux 0.95, 1.25, Summilux 90, APO 135 - depth of field is a few mm, in case of the 135 Leica allegedly has stated that it can't be focused reliably with the unaided RF (not within tolerances)
  • Focusing on subjects outside of center - fast lens, wide open, focus & recompose doesn't work
  • M Monochrom - EVF gives visual confirmation of (over)exposure, critical with the monochrome sensor (no highlight recovery possible)
Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, mzbe said:

But doesn't have to be if implemented by Leica in the way I suggested.

Point in case: Techart adapters for M lenses on Sony and Nikon.

The M lens is completely passive in that scenario. Yet, all autofocus modes work.

Now you are just working yourself down rabbit holes. Those adapters are all chipped. Having an AF motor is not a deciding factor. Chipping is.  It's why focus tracking/confirmation works on an AF lens when in MF mode on those types of bodies. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just now, charlesphoto99 said:

Now you are just working yourself down rabbit holes. Those adapters are all chipped. Having an AF motor is not a deciding factor. Chipping is.  It's why focus tracking/confirmation works on an AF lens when in MF mode on those types of bodies. 

No, Leica M already gives you focus preview - just based on sharpness only - the red/green/yellow/blue dots ...
The only step missing is to put in parts of the SL code and move from a 'disconnected collection of sharp pixels' to 'clusters of pixels that match subject recognition parameters'.

This is the same thing Photoshop does - software only!

Leica M already has the notion of a focus point - but only used for selective magnification and spot metering. I'm asking to add the code to make that work better?

Link to post
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, mzbe said:

Aaaarg.

The digital sensor feeds a microprocessor.

That microprocessor analyzes the data.

E.g. to determine automatic exposure.

In case of the Leica SL, additional code analyzes the data to determine an autofocus area.

With the SL, this can then drive the autofocus motor in the lens, which the M doesn't have.

The analysis can still happen with an M. With the same code.

???

Yes by input into the AF system of the AF-enabled  pixels on the sensor. Which are sadly lacking on an M.

Link to post
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, mzbe said:

I love the rangefinder. But not all of the time:

  • 21, 28mm - I wear glasses, framing is tricky
  • 75-135mm - small patch
  • Noctilux 0.95, 1.25, Summilux 90, APO 135 - depth of field is a few mm, in case of the 135 Leica allegedly has stated that it can't be focused reliably with the unaided RF (not within tolerances)
  • Focusing on subjects outside of center - fast lens, wide open, focus & recompose doesn't work
  • M Monochrom - EVF gives visual confirmation of (over)exposure, critical with the monochrome sensor (no highlight recovery possible)

The look at the plethora of other cameras which do work better for you. The M Rangefinder is what it is and no amount of tinkering with it can effectively modify it into being something it is not. At best it would be a hobbled version of whatever electronic camera it would try to mimick. At worst such software intrusions would be an unweildy mess. Leave well alone and use it as designed.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, mzbe said:

No, Leica M already gives you focus preview - just based on sharpness only - the red/green/yellow/blue dots ...
The only step missing is to put in parts of the SL code and move from a 'disconnected collection of sharp pixels' to 'clusters of pixels that match subject recognition parameters'.

This is the same thing Photoshop does - software only!

Leica M already has the notion of a focus point - but only used for selective magnification and spot metering. I'm asking to add the code to make that work better?

Photoshop sharpens through microcontrast enhancement. Nothing to do with focusing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, jaapv said:

Yes by input into the AF system of the AF-enabled  pixels on the sensor. Which are sadly lacking on an M.

The SL2 also does not have AF pixels. This is why the AF is so much worse than Sony etc. .... Something L-mount Panasonic addresses in the S5 II.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just now, jaapv said:

Photoshop sharpens through microcontrast enhancement. Nothing to do with focusing.

'Select Subject'. Has been there for a couple of years ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, mzbe said:

I love the rangefinder. But not all of the time:

  • in case of the 135 Leica allegedly has stated that it can't be focused reliably with the unaided RF (not within tolerances)
  • Focusing on subjects outside of center - fast lens, wide open, focus & recompose doesn't work

Leica 135mm with an M9, full frame. It's possible. 

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...