I have no idea where I first heard this, but it’s extremely true: the main difference between painting and photography is that the painters needs to work hard to put things into their images, whereas photographers have to work hard to take things out of their images. This is probably the most important and fundamental skill you can develop as a photographer. Let me explain.
There’s nothing wrong with autofocus lenses, but I don’t own any. I used to have a few, but at a certain point I just stopped using them altogether, eventually sold them, and bought more rangefinder lenses. I’m not against autofocus or any other fancy technology — I spend most of my time in shutter priority, and I rely heavily on modern sensors with copious dynamic range to save poorly exposed images. But I just like to manual focus. It’s fun in the same way that shooting a gun is fun, or free-throws, darts, billiards, curling, horseshoes, lawn darts, or and any other aim game that takes a little coordination and finesse. It is a challenge and a skill that requires regular practice, and so I end up taking more pictures because I enjoy the process of getting better at it. That’s good enough a reason as far as I’m concerned, but after spending the past two years shooting exclusively with rangefinder lenses adapted to Sony mirrorless cameras, I’ve realized that there are also a number of practical reasons to go through the trouble.