Use focus peaking for the perfect shot.

You don’t have to choose between using the right manual lens and perfect focus. Learn to use focus peaking to expand the range of lenses you can use on your shoots.

Focus peaking can allow you to use your favorite manual lens and help you capture perfectly focused shots quickly, even in less-than-ideal conditions.

When to use focus peaking

Focus peaking” is a feature that may be built into your still camera. It can help with speed and precision when it comes to manual focus. Focus peaking is especially useful when you want to use an older lens without an autofocus feature.

Focus peaking is most useful when you don’t have time to visually assess the quality of your focus using your camera’s display or viewfinder. It will highlight high-contrast edges, giving you a better idea of what is or isn’t in focus.

How to use focus peaking

To use focus peaking, place your camera in the manual focus mode and find the “focus peaking” (or just “peaking”) option in the menu system. Depending on the features of your camera, you may be able to select the peaking line color to provide maximum contrast against your scene’s background. You may also be able to adjust the contrast level to fine-tune the performance.

As you start to bring your subject into focus, you will see highlights begin to form on areas where an edge is detected. When the highlights peak — just before they begin to diminish — you have reached optimal focus.

Even when using an autofocus lens, you may find focus peaking useful with low-contrast subjects where autofocus may struggle to perform well. In situations where your LCD display is difficult to see, and the viewfinder is unclear, peak focus can also be a valuable aid.

Learn more about “focus peaking” and other photo editing tips and tricks.

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