When we work with fully manual cameras that have no meters, no autofocusing mechanism and no zoom lenses we tend to work more quickly because we aren't slowed down by having to make choice after choice at the time of shooting.
When I shot with a Leica M4 and a 50mm lens I followed the same routine when I was outside. I would Scotch tape a Kodak exposure guide (small slip of paper with pictograms on it) to the bottom of the camera. I would walk outside and judge the light, then I would look at the guide to decide the right exposure setting. I would set it on the camera and it would stay set until I noticed that the light had changed.
I liked working at f5.6 or f8.0 apertures on the 50mm when I worked with Tri-X because in any light short of full sun I could use those apertures and work within the limitations of the camera's 1/1,000th of second top shutter speed. I would preset a hyperfocal distance that would cover the usual subject and if needed would fine tune depending on the distance from my camera to the subject.
With the camera set this way taking a good picture was as easy as seeing the subject, raising the camera to the eye and then pushing the shutter button. No thought. No second thoughts.
Once the moment is captured we might try to fine tune. It is usually futile as the clearest seeing of the image seems to be the moment of recognition.
Auto focus introduces conscious thinking. Everything from deciding on the focus points to confirming focus. None of it is instantaneous. None of it is reflexive. It's different. Ah well.
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