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17mm f/2.8 focusing speed on the E-PL5

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Darren Bonner, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I am after a small M4/3 camera with a flip up screen for candid photography. In the UK Certain stores are offering the E-PL5 and maybe other models with a free 17mm f/2.8 lens. I was wondering how is the focus speed of this lens on the E-PL5. Is it much quicker on this camera than on the earlier Pen cameras?
    I already have the P20mm lens and it's focusing speed on my GF1 is acceptable to me, it's a bit quicker on the newer G5. Also wondering the focusing speed and the banding issue on the E-PL5?
     
  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I can try on my here e-pM2 if you like?
     
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  3. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    453
    Jul 23, 2010
    In my experience the 17mm 2.8 on an e-pl5 focuses about the same speed as the original 20mm on the gf-1. I never experienced noticeable banding with the 20,14, or 17 on my (sadly sold because I needed cash,) e-pl5. If I could only rewind that sale...
     
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  4. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    Yes please, it should be very similar I guess.
     
  5. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    THat's good to know.
     
  6. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Nov 8, 2013
    Pl5 should be similar to E-M1 for that lens, and I don't notice any issues with it ie I use the lens with the E-M1.

    to my mind the real difference in AF between the early Pens (E-P1 in my case) and these later cameras is in the FD speed and effiency. Otherwise, if you tell the lens where to focus it does it - later cameras also incrementally improving the performance in lower light situations.

    for what it is (size and price) I rather like the lens and it's output
     
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  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Here's my first quick test, in bright autumnal sunlight : Sharp light, contrasty targets, apertures wide-open.
    Focus on a fence approx 2m away, hearing the beep, turn the camera to focus on trees approx 50m away, hear the beep, turn to fence ... ad infinitum.
    Actually only for 20 seconds each test, then re-did the first couple where I was getting the hang of it.

    With my original mZuiko 17mmF2.8 (sharp copy) the e-P1 & e-pM2 achieved approx 17 focuses, against the ancient GF1 (which has hidden unadvertised extra power inside) which focused approx 20 times. All are hindered by the movement this lens must do in order to focus.

    With my second-hand Lumix 20mmF1.7 (quiet copy) the e-P1 was slowest at approx 14 focuses, the e-pM2 & GF1 approx 19 focuses. The original Olympus seems a bit sluggish with this Panasonic lens.

    My original Lumix 14-45 at 14mmF3.5 both the e-P1 & GF1 seemed about at a brisk 18 focuses, while the e-pM2 made good use of this lens' naturally quick ability and ran away with a score of 26 focuses. Twenty six! That's like ... lots. Seems like this camera wants to make use of quick-focus lenses ... which the O.P's pancakes are not.

    In conclusion : in bright autumn light : both pancakes are fast to focus on all three tested bodies.
     
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  8. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    Wow, thanks for taking the time to do this test, much appreciated.
     
  9. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    In my dark dining room, lit by a small north window and one CFT bulb the numbers are lower, of course.
    Focusing on a biscuit tin at 1m, then a corner door at 3m. Wide-open aperture. S-AF normal centre area. Disabled focus lamp on e-pM2.

    The GF1 stomped both other bodies with around 15 focuses, either lens, the 20mm edging it. Great camera.
    The e-P1 was slowest with the 17mmF2.8 at ten focuses, but showed something with this lens : if it doesn't catch focus first time (biscuit tin, easy every time) it hunts in and out one time then gets it, which literally doubles the focus delay. The 20mm didn't have such an obvious hunt but one time failed to focus at all, so I redid the test.
    The e-pM2 was quicker on the easy focus with the 17mmF2.8 lens but the 'hunting' focus was the same as e-P1, giving 12 focuses total.
    The 20mm was just as slow, if a bit slower on the e-pM2 with only 10 focuses.

    My conclusion : for candids in decent light the e-pL5 & 17mmF2.8 should be good, just not as quick as with a really fast-focus lens, but in dim light you're as likely to get the 'hunt' movement ... although no worse than the 20mm.
     
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  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Conclusion of the conclusions : the new bodies cannot much improve focus speed of the old-design pancakes, which are great in daylight anyway (unless everybody's are worse than mine) the GF1 is a bargain, the e-P1 isn't as old as it looks, and the e-pM2 is very small. There.
     
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  11. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    I have the 17 2.8 and 17 1.8 and the F2.8 is very slow in comparison on both my E-P3 and GX1. Even my 14 2.5 buries it. Pretty sure it's the slowest focusing AF prime I've owned, and I've owned many between Canon, Nikon, Oly and Lumix. On the other hand, that 17 1.8 is very fast and sure-footed.
     
  12. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    Well on the way home from work, I went a different route than usual and ended up bringing home a black Olympus E-PL5. I've charged up the battery and put the P20mm lens on it. I don't have the brightest lights in my lounge and it seems to focus more than quick enough for what I want it to do. There was the odd bit of hunting, but now I need to learn how to use this camera and get it set up to how I want to use it.
    Thanks for all the replies, any tips would be greatly appreciated.
     
  13. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Tip : RAW + Jpeg, with art-filter-bracketing. Fun and security in one shot.
     
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  14. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    453
    Jul 23, 2010
    No doubt, the first two M.Zuiko lenses were pretty slow and required a lot of movement with their to and fro focusing action.