[2018-07-17] More Zone Focusing

July 17th, 2018

Flushed with my success of my first outing using zone-focusing with classic a Minolta Rokkor 28mm f/2.8 and a Sony A7, I thought I'd try zone-focussing with one of my other cameras that I use mainly for street photography, that is, my Olympus Pen-f. I also decided to try a session with a 35mm equivalent lens rather than a 28mm lens, pricincpally because I don't have a 28mm equivalent for my Pen-f and also to see how I got with this focal length.

I chose the my Pen-f because flipping the camera into manual focusing mode is really easy when using the 17mm f/1.8. All you need to do is pull back on the len's focusing ring and manual focusing is enabled. Sadly, there's no depth-of-field gauge on this lens but I was confident that DoF would be quite deep thanks to the camera's smaller micro four-thirds sensor - which was another factor that influenced my choice of camera, I thought that extra DoF would make things a little easier.

This time, rather that using manual mode, as I did on my first experiment into zone-focusing, I had set the camera to aperture priority mode and selected an aperture of f/8. ISO was set to auto and focus-peaking was enabled to help ensure that what I wanted was, indeed, in focus. If I recall correctly, I think I set focusing distance on the lens was set to about 2m.

As with my first experiment, I found that zone-focusing was easier and quicker than relying on a fast auto-focus and then re-framing. I find it does seem to make street photography feel "easier". In fact, I think I can now safely say that I'm a convert to the zone-focusing technique. Looking through the street photos I've taken since this second exercise, they've all been taken using zone-focusing and a 35mm lens. This series of photos, below, was also the last time I decided to use my Pen-f (or X-T20, for that matter), my "weapon of choice" these days is my A7 and the Rokkor 35mm f/2.8.

Here are the "keepers" from my second zone-focusing session.

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