The Manual Focus Journey

Christmas came early for me (or more accurately, I just couldn’t wait for my upcoming bonus). I recently got myself a Samyang 85mm f/1.4 lens. It’s probably the most affordable 85mm lens out there. It’s a fully manual lens, however, so it has no electrical connection to the camera. This means no autofocus and no in-camera aperture control (there’s an aperture ring on the barrel, much like the old days).

Shooting with a fully manual lens provides an interesting photography experience. It forces the shooter to take time in composing and focusing each shot, especially with the aperture wide open.

It has me thinking though: is this how my grandfather used to shoot? He died long ago, probably around the time autofocus systems were still new. I assume he went manual for most of his, if not his entire, career.

Anyway, below are some of the test shots I’ve taken with the lens. They were all shot at f/1.4 and it was a struggle. More practice (and probably a split focusing screen) needed for me.

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