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Anyone Here Using a Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 on a EM1?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dcisive, Jan 3, 2014.

  1. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I have a question for ya. The brown truck got here later then expected and I've yet had the opportunity to try the newly arrived Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 lens. I got this on the premise not only of it's ideal focal range but all the high praise it's been getting for its sharpness. So all I've had the chance to do is shoot in the house with the typical home lighting, which ain't perfect. With that said I noted immediately that more often than not it's focus behavior reminds me of my old PL1. It will often, depending on the level of light and the contrast in the subject, hunt out-in-out before it locks. Kind of annoying as the 12-40 f2.8 Oly Pro and even to some degree a newly acquired 75-300 series II lens lock focus in the blink of an eye without any hunting. Is this unique to this lens either because it's not a native Olympus lens? Or is it just because of the light and contrast levels not being ideal. As I mentioned at least half the time if the subject is decently well lit or has good contrast it won't hunt, but the other Oly f2.8 is INSTANT to lock focus with NO hunting. Anyone have experience with this lens to say what's going on? Or is that going to just be a foible I'd have to live with (which I would not for this kind of money). I use center point only, single focus and with the continuous focus OFF.
     
  2. sdsyver

    sdsyver Mu-43 Regular

    161
    Mar 14, 2012
    Northern Alberta
    Shawn
    I will try mine out in the next couple days. I have not had much chance to get out and use it since it showed up so a good excuse to play.
     
  3. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I hope you don't mind some lengthy rambling and stating the obvious here and there:

    I do not own the E-M1, but being an owner of the Lumix 35-100 and some Olympus "MSC" marked zooms (14-150, 12-50) - but not the 12-40, I always found the Olympus lenses to be blazing fast to focus on the E-M5 and even on the E-P2. The 35-100 is just fast, not super fast, just fast - for the lack of a more quantifiable value. That said, it does hunt a little, but that in general is how CDAF works. I'd say (based on the E-M5) that Oly lenses also hunt, but they do it so quickly that you practically don't feel it. There is a tiny bit of a tangible "thump" when the 35-100 focuses, but that may be purely the momentum / inertia because of more glass to move.

    Now the E-M1 employs a CDAF + PDAF combo, but as far as I remember it only does it for continuous AF / tracking (I may be wrong). If it does it in single AF mode as well, then maybe it works better with Olympus lenses.

    I have owned the 35-100 for nearly a year and shot a few thousand frames with it - mostly moving action shots. It even broke on me once (Iris closed down to f/22 and wouldn't open). I have used it mostly on well lit scenes, and some concerts where there was still plenty of contrast to chew on, and never felt it hunting to an extent I would call problematic. If your signature lists all mft lenses you own, then all three are of the super fast category. I don't think the 35-100 will ever match that, but give it a go outside in daylight and compare. Maybe you just got spoiled by Olympus :)

    Finally, the mft standard, as standards do, defines a communication protocol for controlling the lens motors, but does not dictate how to implement focus control. I think that it may be just that Oly lenses will do better on Oly bodies, period.
     
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    The 35-100mm works great in decent light, but it does slow down in dark, low-contrast conditions in my experience, and can hunt sometimes. Note: I'm using a GH3, so this isn't specific to the EM-1. Other lenses do seem to work better under similar conditions, but I've also experienced the same behavior at times with the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 too, despite it having over a stop advantage to work with in low light.

    I wouldn't call the 35-100 a poor performing lens in the focus department, but it does have its limitations if it's both dimly lit *and* lacking in contrast. I just tested again and if I pick areas with clear contrast it still locks on quickly and reliably. It only got lost when I pointed it to large areas of similar tonality & color.
     
  5. gr8Shot

    gr8Shot Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Nov 13, 2013
  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    "infamous" plastic core? Really? That's the knock on Olympus zoom lenses? Wow. How many lenses have you opened up to see what the core is constructed with?

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/12/assumptions-expectations-and-plastic-mounts

    The E-M1 should autofocus in tracking mode better than any other m4/3 bodies released since it's incorporated phase detection. The lens manufacturer doesn't matter, each lens is going to be different. Just because Panasonic doesn't have a "MSC" designation, doesn't mean their lenses focus slower than Olympus counterparts.

    Try some different lighting and contrast conditions with the 35-100, and also try AF-C. Phase detection is only on when E-M1 pairing with a MFT lens in AF-C mode. It is more difficult to achieve focus lock at higher focal lengths so it's pointless comparing 35-100 and 12-40.
     
  7. gr8Shot

    gr8Shot Mu-43 Regular

    99
    Nov 13, 2013
  8. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    696
    Feb 2, 2012
    Just a few observations.I have had a lot of cameras and a lot of lenses and let's just say, focus is complicated. First, speed of focus obsession is lunacy. It is about accuracy. I never cease to be amazed concerning speed of focus obsession. I am interested if it will focus at all. Do people hold stopwatches in one hand while timing the speeds of each lens and camera?
    The real problem is making the camera focus on the subject rather than some sharply linear item in the foreground or background.

    As a practical matter this is handled by taking a lot of pictures and throwing out the duds. Factors that operate in your favor are fast lens, good lighting and space around your subject. Nothing beats a fast telephoto. The Panny 35-100 is great in this regard but the OLY 75 is a truly awesome pixel grabber. You see, the big lens wide open harvests light while the fact that it is narrow field cuts out distractions. You are at the mercy of the focusing mechanism which works immaculately on all Panny and OLY micro 43 cameras if you use a tripod. With micro 43 you don't rely on high ISO but with a Canon full frame you push the ISO with much better results.
    I just got an EM-1 and used it with a 50-200 2.8 OLY non micro lens. It does focus fast enough for me,since I didn't have a stop watch. Good results so far . Way faster than the EM-5 with this lens. I did find as with the Panny LX7 you don't rely slavishly on focus peaking. To me focus peaking with a big fast lens will give bad results because of "fake peaking" of sharp edged objects. Better to use your eyeballs.
     
  9. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    This isn't about being spoiled. The lens simply did NOT render a crisp image wide open at infinity or it's longest focal range (100mm). This is NOT acceptable. I believe I got a defective lens to be sure because NOBODY has the right to market a lens that in perfectly good daylight pumps out-in-out like my original PL1 and kit lens did in what is now considered the "Old" days of mft body technology. My EM1 locks focus in all but near darkness in the blink of an eye and is dead on accurate each and every time with the not only the 45mm f1.8 I have but as to be expected the 12-40 f2.8. Surprisingly it is just as fast to lock accurate focus with the 75-300 MkII so NO excuses. I have a replacement coming tomorrow and if it does the same thing I'm DONE with Panasonic lenses. I'd rather wait for the no doubt more competent planned model 40-150 f2.8 PRO lens Oly is set to premier later this year. I'll let you know how this shakes out when I get some hands on the replacement tomorrow afternoon after work. I would love to find that it was just a defective lens....sure hope that's the case.
     
  10. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I haven't observed any focus problem/slowness/hunting using the EM1 and the P 35-100. Some shots from a play I recently shot:

    #1
    _GA10758-XL.
    EM1 w/ 35-100 @100mm, 1/200, f/3.5, ISO 25600

    #2
    _GA10505-X2.
    EM1 w/ 35-100 @100mm, 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 4000

    #3
    _GA10609-XL.
    EM1 w/ 35-100 @100mm, 1/160, f/2.8, ISO 4000

    #4
    _GA10231-L.
    EM1 w/ 35-100 @68mm, 1/200, f/2.8, ISO 1600

    Gary
     
  11. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I'm happy to report that the replacement lens has NONE of the issues of the first one. NO hunting in half way decent light and contrast. Pretty much locks focus in the blink of an eye as the others do. It only pumps if I place it in very poor light indoors with no real light source and no contrast. But that's not an issue. The sharpness in the center is scary good wide open and by f4 it's sharp across the entire frame that way. I'm going to enjoy this guy for sure. Contrast is very high as well which reminds me of a 70-200 f2.8L IS I had years ago ;-)
     
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  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Awesome! Glad to hear it was just a defective lens, your current experience much more like what I'd expect :smile:

    Sorry you had to go through two lenses to get a good one though!
     
  13. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal