An open request to E-M1 owners with the 50-200 SWD

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by ijm5012, May 4, 2015.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    To anyone who owns an E-M1 running firmware 3.0 who owns a 50-200 SWD, I have a question for you: Is the 50-200 SWD capable of delivering 6.5 fps when shooting in "L" burst mode (where Live View is maintained)?

    I'm interested in picking up an E-M1/50-200 SWD to shoot motorsports with, but I want to be certain that the SWD can keep up with the E-M1 in terms of FPS during burst shooting. I currently have a GH4 & GH3, and while the 35-100 f/2.8 can keep up with both regarding FPS, the 45-175 I have definitely slows down in comparison.

    If anyone has the combo, and can verify that can indeed keep up with 6.5 FPS when stopped down, it would be greatly appreciated. If you could take a video (quality doesn't matter, a cell phone will do) it would be an even bigger bonus.


    Thank you!
     
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    My E-M1 is away for the rear wheel fix (grrr), but from memory I've not noticed any slowing down of the camera using the 50-200. I'm fairly sure it can handle 6.5fps in H mode. With the latest firmware, you still get a viewfinder image in H mode.
     
  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I thought that in H mode, you maintain AF & AE, but you lose live view (the mode that shoots at 9 FPS).

    Honestly, the 6.5 FPS that L mode delivers is more than adequate for me, and Live View is very important (being able to track the subject inbetween images). But I thought I remember reading that unless the lens is wide open, the FPS drops due to the slower aperture mechanism (to auto focus, the lens open the aperture fully to acquire focus before closing back to the set f stop prior to taking the image). With the slower aperture mechanism, it can't sustain the higher FPS if the lens is stopped down compared to being shot wide open.

    When shooting motorsports, I'm regularly at f/8-13 in order to get shutter speeds low enough to get some good panning motion (which is why the FPS performance when stopped down is so important to me). The Panasonic 100-300 suffered greatly from the "slow FPS when stopped down" syndrome due to an older aperture mechanism, which is why I'm curious about the performance from the 50-200 SWD.


    I would appreciate it greatly if once you received your E-M1 back from repair, you could just make a short video showing the burst performance in L mode with the 50-200 SWD wide open, and then with the aperture stopped down to f/8 or so.
     
  4. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    490
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    I have said combo. I did a brief unscientific test with my dog a few weeks back. I think it can keep up. It's fairly decent. Definitely not as fast as the native µ4/3, but fast enough. Head on shots might prove difficult but that scenario poses difficulty for even native lenses. From the side, it should be ok. No video, but sample output below.

    http://photos.sesser.me/Olympus-ZD-50-200-SWD-AF/n-hcMJ8L/

    These were all taken at ISO 200 1/1000s in shutter priority running 6.5 fps (which means the lens also refocuses between shots). Some were clearly misses but you can easily see the focus point in the blades of grass.
     
  5. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I just got my 50-200 and haven't tested the type of situation you're asking about. If you want the fastest performance, you may be better off with the 40-150 Pro because it is a native M43 lens. If you need to get to 200mm, you'd need the TC-14. I'll be shooting some sports with mine, but the kids don't run as fast as your cars. :)
     
  6. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I'm not very interested in the 40-150 PRO + TC. All of the samples I've seen at 150mm + the TC have very ugly and busy bokeh that is very distracting. Plus, I could buy an E-M1, MMF-3, 50-200 SWD, and 1.4x TC for less than I could the 40-150 PRO + TC (I'll want to get a E-M1 so that I have some form of image stabilization, something I wouldn't get with the 40-150 PRO on either of my GH cams).

    Like I said, all I'm really looking for is whether or not the lens can keep up @ 6.5 FPS. I haven't checked @sesser@sesser post yet to see what aperture was used, but like I said earlier, my main concern is FPS performance when stopped down (can the iris mechanism keep up).
     
  7. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    I'm curious why the iris mechanism would be a bottleneck. Isn't a burst likely to remain at the same aperture? Focus speed be the concern?

    I don't have quantifiable data but I didn't sense any slow down in H mode on my e-m1 with the 50-200 SWD at a recent LAX game. I didn't have any trouble tracking subjects. Wether focus can keep up with a car speeding towards me, I don't know. I'm still new, but was pleasantly surprised at how well the lens performed given all of the criticism of c-AF on these cameras.

    You can always buy a 50-200 and sell it for ~break even. Might be the only way to be sure it meets your needs.
     
  8. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    311
    Jan 15, 2014
    I did a quick informal test with 35-100/2.8, 45/1.8 and 50-200 SWD. First I set continuous speed to 6.5 (did FW 3.0 add that?). The 35-100 sounded possibly a little slower than the other two, but the 45 and 50-200 sounded the same. Sorry, I have no idea how to test more accurately, but if there is a difference, it's very small.

    ...adding: I did that so fast, I didn't even check what the aperture was. But I looked just now. It was f5.6 for all three lenses.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  9. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Speedliner,

    The iris mechanism is a potential bottleneck based on how 4/3 & m43 lenses auto-focus. Each time the lens needs to focus, it opens the aperture as wide as possible for the given focal length, grabs focus, and then closes back down before releasing the shutter (this way the lens is allowing in the most light possible, speeding up the focus acquisition). If you're shooting wide open, this isn't an issue because the iris never needs to close back down prior to shooting (you're shooting at the same aperture it's obtaining focus with). However if you're shooting stopped down from max aperture (say f/8 @ 200mm on the 50-200), it can pose an issue where the lens will open to f/3.5 (widest aperture @ 200mm), grab focus, and then it has to close back down to f/8 before releasing the shutter.

    The 100-300 from Panasonic suffers from this, where because it uses an older and slower iris mechanism, it can't open & close the aperture blades fast enough to deliver the requested FPS, which is why you'll only be able to achieve ~ 2.5 FPS with the 100-300 when shooting with C-AF at anything less than max aperture. It's well documented on the internet, and Panasonic has even stated that it's because of an older iris mechanism.
     
  10. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Hmm... f/5.6 would be stopped down for the 50-200 SWD, and if it performed as well as you said it does, then it may prove useful for my needs.

    I'm still thinking about possibly renting an E-M1/MMF-3/50-200 SWD one weekend when I'm headed to the track to see how it performs. The benefit of selling my GH3 and getting an E-M1 would be that I gain stabilization for the 50-200, as well as my 15mm & 25mm primes.
     
  11. Gary5

    Gary5 Mu-43 Veteran

    311
    Jan 15, 2014
    I tried again with 35-100 at 100mm/f8 and 50-200 at 200mm/f8. This time I thought the 35-100 was possibly a hair faster, but they were probably the same. Both were definitely faster than what I'm used to at the 6 fps setting.
     
  12. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Thanks for testing this for me Gary, I appreciate it. 6 FPS is definitely fast enough for my needs, and with a 200mm f/3.5 (or 280mm f/5) lens, it sounds like it should suit my needs very well.
     
  13. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Looking at the prices, maybe I won't look at renting. Using borrowlenses.com (since lensrentals.com doesn't carry any 4/3 gear), including shipping it's going to cost me about $160 for a 3 day rental (that's for an E-M1, MMF-3, and 50-200 SWD). That's quite a bit more than I'd be looking to spend just to sample the camera/lens for basically a day and a half.

    While testimonials are nice, having indisputable video evidence would put me a bit more at ease before spending some serious money to buy all of this.
     
  14. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    490
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    Most of the shots I posted are probably in the 3.5 - 5.6 range with most being closer to 3.5. I was more concerned with keeping the shutter speed up high enough. Your needs are almost exactly opposite. My pictures probably won't help you much.
     
  15. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Yeah, I noticed that when I took a look at the dog photos you posted. Nearly all of them were @ f/3.5, with one or two of them @ f/4.

    Like I said, for panning I'm looking at shots around 1/100-1/250 which in bright sunlight, stops your aperture WAAAY down. Still, from the photos your posted it's clear that the lens is very sharp, and the improved AF algorithm of the E-M1 is no slouch!
     
  16. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    490
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    BTW, for $150, I'd more than happy to spend a few hours creating a video for you... cheaper than renting! :)
     
  17. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Thanks for the offer Sesser. All I'd be looking for is basically the following:
    • "L" burst mode, CAF, wide open
    • "L" burst mode, CAF, stopped down (say f/8)
    • "H" burst mode, CAF, wide open
    • "H" burst mode, CAF, stopped down (f/8 again)
    All I'm really looking for is to see (and hear) if the camera can maintain the camera-drive FPS when stopped down compared to wide open. If it does, then I'm in business. If it doesn't, well then it looks like the search continues lol.

    If you'd be willing to help me out and create a short video (quality isn't of concern, a cell phone will do so long as I can hear the shutter), I would be extremely grateful for your help.
     
  18. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    490
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
    I just made a quick vid... will post shortly. In a nutshell, shutter sounds the same between 2.8 and 11 at 1/250s. Granted, that's on a static subject. But, unless your subjects frequently move from near to far should be ok. Sometimes, focus locks on something you're not intending, but the beauty of the SWD is full-time manual focus so you can get back pretty quickly. Once locked on, it does a pretty good job keeping it on the subject.

    This work?
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
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  19. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    @sesser@sesser, yes that's perfect! Thank you very much, I greatly appreciate it!
     
  20. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    490
    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    randy
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