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EXTREMELY cool hyperfocal setup on LX5 - a revelation to me...

Discussion in 'Panasonic/Leica Forum' started by Ray Sachs, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    After all the stuff I've been reading about the LX5 and with a mini-trip coming up this weekend that I really don't want to take a multi-lens camera along on, I stopped in at my almost local camera shop this morning to take a look at the LX-5. After playing with the store model long enough to assure myself that it is, indeed, waaaaaaay more responsive than my S90 (which is wonderful in many respects) and maybe even more responsive than my EP2, which was a bit of a shock, I had to bring one of them home with me. I've shot bupkis with it so far, but have been playing around with it and figuring out how to best set it up for various types of shooting. When I got to setting it up for street shooting and thinking about how to best set it for hyperfocal shooting, keeping Don's advice in a separate thread in mind, I had my head turned around on a spindle.

    I was impressed with the S90 because you could put it in manual focus, focus on a reasonably specific distance, and consult a hyperfocal table or calculator to figure out the in-focus range for any given aperture at any given focal length. Well, the LX-5 puts that to SHAME. When you switch the LX5 to manual focus mode, and then set the lens to the focal distance you want to use and the aperture to the aperture you want to use, the manual focus setting (done with a press of the dial/switch and then using the right and left buttons next to the menu/set button) doesn't show you a focal distance - it shows you the focal RANGE for those settings. Takes needing hyperfocal tables (or knowledge) right out of the equation. At 28 or 35mm settings on the step zoom, its very easy to adjust the focus so that you get the camera to focus just exactly to infinity with the greatest focus range possible. This is just the coolest thing in the known world and got my 51 year old brain a-spinnin'!

    Don, you had talked about using the ael/afl lock to focus on a pre-determined distance in AF mode. I submit to you sir that this is an even more better solution. Go to MF mode and play with it. It might just blow your mind - it did mine. But I'm susceptible to that sort of thing. I find the MF controls a bit clunky to try to focus by eye manually, but when you're going for maximum DOF for hyperfocal shooting, this is just the coolest thing I've yet seen. I can now forget everything I knew about calculating hyperfocal distances and just let the camera's little brain do it for me.

    I can't hardly wait to go spend some time shooting with this little guy.

    -Ray
     
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  2. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    :yahoo: You're hooked! Let's see what Don has to say - I think he might know about this...but maybe he was afraid to blow your mind and influence you too much?:tongue:

    Seriously, Ray - thank you for this - it is going to be a great reference thread!
     
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Maybe this is something that other cameras have been able to do for a while, but I've never seen it. It beats the S90 for setting up hyperfocal shooting (and the S90 just isn't responsive enough for the kind of shooting you need these settings for anyway) and there's NO WAY to set up any of the m43 cameras that I know of, other than just calculate the hyperfocal distance yourself, find something the right distance away to focus on (measuring by eye, I guess) and then locking focus so you don't knock it out of whack. But I've been looking for something like this and had NO IDEA the LX-5 could do this until I stumbled onto it. Hopefully I can play with a good bit over the next few days and the weekend in particular.

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Ray, This proves one is never to old to learn, just too old.
    Thank you kind sir.... For me at my age this is plum sexi!
    I just adore this camera.
    Ray, thanks soooo much for this....
    Don
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Remko

    Remko SC Rookie

    15
    Aug 8, 2010
    Netherlands
    Ricoh has something alike with their snap focus setting (distance is configurable on the newer models). But with that you still would need a ballpark figure for hyperfocal focus.

    Thanks for posting this insight it looks like a cool feature.

    I've noticed that only a few compacts show actual focus distance in manual mode.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    Oh my, oh my.... I'm stunned.....
    Ray etal.... Check this out...
    In MF mode, if you need AF instantly for a quick shot...
    Press the MF button on the 4 way controller... It instantly goes to AF......
    Unreal little camera....!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Both of these revelations really are amazingly great to realize! Thank you both so much - do you think we'd have known this if we'd put that Panasonic LX5 CD with the full manual in our computers????
     
  9. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 12, 2010
    Philly, Pa
    There is a similar setup on the LX3. I never really needed MF on this camera cause I didn't know I needed it. No, Ray's revelation makes me a real happy shooter. The AF working in MF mode makes it even better.
    The main manual on the CD does describe this setup but who needs the stupid manual when the discoveries brought forth by shooters makes it more tangible and interesting.

    Tis a fine time to sip a Rock!
     
  10. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I used to live on Rolling Rock when I was in college - Old Latrobe!!! Right, who needs those stinkin' manuals when we have you all/:thumbup:

    P.S. I should amend this to say that I actually didn't live on Rolling Rock, but I did enjoy it quite a bit.:blush:
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Wait Don, I thought you already had this sussed out? Isn't this what you were referring to when you said "Ray, there is no distance scale. You can lock in a focus distance and also a preset focal length. The camera will stay there until you change it. The camera shows the DOF at any given focal length"? I thought it must be and that I was reporting on something you'd long since figured out. But if not, glad to be of service. :cool:

    In regard to your second point, I don't see a 'mf' button on the four way controller? Am I missing something? Oh wait, you must mean the 'focus' button at the top... Jeez, that's great. In fact, that button is so much more accessible than the AF/AE lock button that I may just stay in manual focus mode and use that button to AF all the time! The only time I'd have to go into AF mode is when I start the camera up so I can get the little focus square minimized, then switch into MF mode and just leave it there. Great find!

    -Ray
     
  12. BillN

    BillN SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 25, 2010
    S W France
    Bill
    after all you "big boys" have been "singing the praises" of the LX5 - I felt so sorry for the S95 that I picked one up, (an S95, that is), at London Gatwick this afternoon - under £300 from Dixons which is about as cheap as you can buy on "the net"

    Battery is on charge now that I'm back in Bordeaux

    Great size - "fits in all and any pocket" mmmmm mmmm
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. ajramirez

    ajramirez SC All-Pro

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    Antonio
    I used to live on Rolling Rock when I was in college. That, and the occasional cheesesteak. :)

    Antonio
     
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  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The S90/S95 has a distance scale, but its REALLY rough. I think it shows something like 5 ft, 10 ft, and infinity, and you're left to guess at the stops between those - and its not all that clear exactly when you're ON those. The LX5 shows you each end of the focal range very precisely. VERY cool.

    -Ray
     
  15. gsaronni

    gsaronni SC Regular

    51
    Oct 12, 2010
    Thanks for the tip.
    I am waiting to receive the LX5, and I am reading the manual downloaded in spanish, it is really poor and compared to the manual of the Ricoh GX200 it is very uncomplete

    Is it there any reference in the PDF manual?
     
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  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    After a bit more playing, this works, but there's a bit of a drawback - although the camera returns to MF after you take a shot, it doesn't readjust the focus to where you had it, so you'd have to go back into the MF setting procedure (not that this is a HUGE deal) and reset for max focal range. The same thing happens if you switch to AF mode on the front lens switch. So, bottom line, still a great tip for auto focussing, but you just have to remember to reset your manual focus every time you go back to AF, no matter how you get there. I haven't explored the custom setting option yet. With the S90 I could set that up for MF and have the focus and aperture and step zoom all set where I wanted it for most street shooting situations in decent light. Unfortunately, the camera didn't want to take the picture right away when you push the shutter button so quickly stopped using it for that kind of shooting. If the LX-5 can do that, it would be wonderful, although I have my doubts, since it goes into MF mode with a hard switch, not a software setting.

    -Ray
     
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    :cool:
    Oh, right, the manual. I'm gonna have to remember to look at that someday...
     
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  18. deirdre

    deirdre SC Top Veteran

    652
    Sep 26, 2010
    I never actually played with hyperfocal until yesterday. I found it hard to break my typical habits to do it, but I did manage to get out there and do it some.
     
  19. javier

    javier SC Veteran

    355
    Oct 5, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Ray, Thank you so very much. I will give this a try. I use hyperfocal all the time in both my film and dslr's. I could see this being great with the step zoom.
     
  20. olli

    olli Super Moderator Emeritus

    Sep 28, 2010
    Metro Manila
    olli
    If I'm following this thread correctly LX3 owners will be pleased to know that this camera also displays the DOF at any given focal length and aperture while in MF mode. It only lacks the focal length steps.
     
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