Zone Focus Trial – Paris

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

Yesterday I set up the M9 for a day of zone focusing. My setup was the Leica M9 and 50mm Summicron. I initially set the camera up in aperture priority with the aperture set to f/8 and the ISO to 160. There were two problems with this approach. First – the depth of field at f/8 was too shallow for me on this lens.  At some point with more practice I might be able to ‘see’ the zone of focus at this aperture, but not yet. Second – In the shade I was getting shutter speed values of 1/30th or 1/45th of a second. That’s a little too slow for handholding this lens.

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

My second attempt was little more successful. I stopped down the aperture to f/11 to widen the sweet spot for grabbing in-focus photos and pushed up the ISO to 640. I also tried to stick to well lit areas to keep up the shutter speed. This setup yielded better results for this novice zone shooter.  I found that after editing the keeper rate was decent as long as there was decent light and the subject wasn’t moving too fast.

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

Next steps – I would like to try setting the aperture to f/11, fix the shutter speed to 1/125th and use the benefit of auto ISO; I think this a more traditional approach to zone focusing.  Shooting with a 35mm or shorter lens will also greatly increase the depth of field, but 50mm is all I have for the M9 at the moment.

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV - Paris, France

Leica M9 Zone Focus Trial with 50mm Summicron Type IV – Paris, France

One thought on “Zone Focus Trial – Paris

  1. Thanks Steve for the update. I’m in Seattle for the day and think I’ll give the Zone Focusing a try as well. I’ll be shooting the X100s set @f8, 1/125s and Auto ISO. I’ll let you know how that works for me.

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