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Gear & Apps

LensTAAB | Making Manual Focusing Simpler & More Precise

By Kishore Sawh on May 9th 2015

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The advent of autofocus changed how pictures were taken. Modern AF systems are so quick and generally so accurate that I know for many the mere suggestion of manually focusing induces curious far-off stares. Understandable, but manual focusing still has a place.

For one, certain lenses are still made without autofocus abilities, ranging from the elite to the bargain, and sometimes using certain lenses with adapters may render the AF useless. Also, many of us still use old glass that we have either had for ages, inherited or simply enjoy. It’s a shame that so many shooters avoid old glass often due to a lack of AF, because there are some fantastic lenses to be had out there for little cost.

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Anyway, extolling the virtues of manual focusing isn’t particularly what this is about. Assuming you already know what they are and use manual focusing either out of choice of necessity, you’ll know that some lenses aren’t the easiest to focus manually for a myriad of reasons; from size, overall ergonomics, etcetera. LensTAAB is aiming to be a friend and solution to these woes.

LensTAAB is simply a tough neoprene ring with ‘teeth’ on the inside, that goes on over the focusing ring and grips it without any other assembly or adhesive required. True to the name, each has a finger tab reminiscent of some old Leica and M lenses, which makes the task of manually focusing that much more comfortable, easy, and precise.

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There are three different sizes to ensure that essentially all lenses are within the scope of help. There’s the Mini, seemingly for smaller mirrorless and rangefinder lenses; the Standard, for more typical sized lenses; and a Hefty for the more monstrous variety. You can measure the diameter of your lens to figure out the best one for you; however, if you want one now they’re not yet in stores, as the company seeks distributorship. So for the time being you can place a pre-order through their site.

[REWIND: Rokinon 50mm f/1.4 Lens Review | Best Budget 50mm Manual Focus Lens?]

Thoughts

I think for many, myself included, this looks promising, and I certainly wouldn’t mind throwing a few of these in my bag since they’re small, and I do manually focus my lenses often. My only concern is just how secure and tight they will grip the focus rings, because if they have a tendency to bend or slip, it could be the most frustrating thing, at which point I’ll chuck them after a minute. But the company seems positive this won’t be an issue. Time will tell and, hopefully, we can get a review unit and give you a verdict.

Source: The Phoblographer, LensTab

Terms: #Manual Focus
About

A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Nashaine Johnson

    Not sure if I will use it but I think that it is a great concept that many will find useful

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  2. Marlon Fortune

    I am sure this too will soon lose its novelty. Its a good idea though.

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  3. Thomas Horton

    The price is the key.

    For $20.00 per copy? Not interested
    For $5.00 per copy? Could be a handy gadget to keep in the bag.

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  4. David Blanchard

    I checked out the pre-order link. No price$. I can imagine that for a manual focus person this could add up. I am not that person, but the rubber band trick from John sounds like it could be of use.

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  5. John Cavan

    Basically this is about improved grip on the focus ring, something you might achieve with appropriately sized rubber bands really. I appreciate that the tab divot may make things a little easier, I’m just not sure it’s really that big of a deal.

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    • John Cavan

      Despite that, I think I would like to try it compare the advantages. I wonder if it might help with lenses that have very short rotations where precision is that much harder?

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  6. Hannes Nitzsche

    My immediate thought was canons “nifty fifty”! :) but I’m not sure the Taab will grip on front focus rings like those… I agree with Lauchlan, this would be great for mirror less

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    • Eric Mazzone

      I hope this will fit on my nifty fifty. Canon really screwed that one up in the design dept, at least for the focus ring.

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    • Eric Mazzone

      Update, I heard back from the company. This will work on the nifty fifty.

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  7. Lauchlan Toal

    It feels very mirrorless-oriented, for cameras with small lenses that you can’t really support by the lens, unlike your typical DSLR lens. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s actually useful for larger lenses, but either way it looks like a cool option for smaller set-ups.

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