The Pros and Cons of Shooting With a Manual Focus Lens

The Pros and Cons of Shooting With a Manual Focus Lens

A manual focus lens is a type of lens you attach to your camera that allows you to physically focus the camera yourself instead of an auto focus lens doing the work. You may wonder how to decide which one to use. With many pros and cons of shooting with a manual focus lens, it can be challenging to determine when it’s suitable to use one. In this article, we give you a brief overview of the advantages and disadvantages so you can choose the best lens for your type of composition.

Pros and Advantages of Manual Focus Lenses

There are many advantages to using a manual focus lens to shoot photography. Take a look at our list of pros below.

More Control

Choosing to use a manual focus lens over an auto focus one allows the photographer more control over their image composition. While an auto focus lens will decide which subject to focus on, as the artist, you may have a different idea of what’s important to emphasize, and a manual focus will allow you the freedom to choose your focal point.

Works in Low Light

An auto focus lens may not be reliable in low-light settings. Therefore, a manual focus lens is needed to capture a suitable photo. When the depth of field is shallow, and you have little lighting, it’s difficult for auto lenses to keep the focus on the subject, but focusing manually will make it easier for narrow focal points.

Pull Focus or Rack Focus

In videography, a cinematographer might need their camera equipment to pull or rack focus from one subject of the frame to another. You cannot do this with an auto focus lens. You will need a manual lens in your kit to perfect this type of shot.

Cons and Disadvantages of Manual Focus Lenses

Now that you know the pros of a manual focus lens, let’s take a look at the cons that come with this accessory.

Accuracy in Focus

When you utilize a manual focus lens in your line of work, it can diminish your speed and the accuracy of your photos. You might miss a shot or take a blurry picture because you can’t focus the camera on time. When you use the Samyang auto focus lens, the device will decide which subject to focus on in the frame, and you’ll be less likely to lose your shot.

More Chimping

Chimping is when a photographer immediately checks their photo after they shoot an image. When you’re in manual mode, you might double-check your photos more often to ensure the subject is in focus within the frame. When you chimp more often, you could miss out on the perfect composition because you are too busy checking your camera.

Action Shots

Action shots are more difficult to take with a manual focus lens because you could be worrying about pre-focusing your camera and missing out on the ultimate action shot. In this case, the camera cannot do the work for you like with an auto-focus lens; therefore, your images can turn out blurry or unviable.  When photographing something in action, it might be best to use an auto focus lens to ensure your image has quality and composition.

In the end, it is up to the photographer to determine which lens is best for the images their capturing that day. Keep in mind what exactly you’re shooting, so you can choose the suitable lens. Visit Samyang’s website for your selection of our high-quality camera lenses.


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