Autofocus on the Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Switch, May 16, 2012.

  1. Switch

    Switch Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    May 3, 2012
    Hey Y'all, I'm not completely sure that this is the right forum for this (new to both this site and :43:), but since I've got your attention here goes it;

    Does anyone here own the Olympus 14-54 and if so, how is the autofocus speed and accuracy with your camera? My OM-D arrives Monday (I'm literally quivering in anticipation) and I'm having an internal debate between picking up primes to compliment the kit lens (12-50) or investing in this Zuiko.

    Also how sharp is it wide open?

    I mostly shoot street and documentary photography, with some portraits mixed in.
     
  2. sohcsleeper

    sohcsleeper Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Jan 4, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Very useable wide open and very sharp.

    I have this lens and the AF takes about 1 sec, sometimes a little faster or slower depending on the lighting. Its all relative to what you want to compare it to. Compared to most of the m4/3 lens its slow, but the E-M5 AF is insanely fast. Compared to my Ricoh GXR its about the same and a little faster than the Leica X1.

    As far as build quality its way better than most m4/3 lens, besides maybe the Oly 12mm. Output is razor sharp.

    Checkout some pictures I took last weekend:
    23mm f/9 1/100s iso200
    7205239310_c1d85940c2_b.

    Heres a link to my post:
    https://www.mu-43.com/f54/om-d-w-four-thirds-14-54mkii-ricketts-glen-state-park-26150/

    AF testings with many lenses.
    Not my video, credit due to youtube poster: go in about 1:00.


    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICfJNokJhMo"]OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 AF Test - YouTube[/ame]
     
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  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Do you need a zoom? I love the Zuiko 14-54mm, been using it in its original form for many many years. Yes it is sharp, particularly in the center. The Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4 SWD and the Zuiko 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5 are barely sharper in the corners but no sharper in the center. Some even say the 14-54mm is the sharpest in the center though I can't tell the difference.

    However, I don't see it as advantageous over prime lenses, which are faster, lighter, and every bit as sharp or sharper. The m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 and m.Zuiko 12mm f/2 for instance are wonderfully sharp lenses and will offer faster apertures while being much smaller and lighter with faster autofocus. A pair like that will eliminate the need for a slower zoom lens covering a similar range if you're at all comfortable with a fixed focal length.

    If you want to shoot street and portrait, I would suggest getting something like the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux for street, and the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 for portraits. Maybe get the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 instead of the Summilux if you want something with a lower profile, though this would be more appropriate for a smaller body like the Mini.

    I'd consider myself evenly comfortable with either. I'd also say I'm evenly comfortable with Autofocus or Manual focus. Just give me a lens that has a wide aperture and great photo quality, and I'll use it with familiarity. :)

    I'm a commercial photographer and don't have much need for autofocus. Manual focus is my best friend, even for sports photography. However, if I were a street photographer I think I would be a little more concerned about Autofocus. The Zuiko 14=54mm is the type of lens that you put up to your eye and carefully compose, not something that you shoot instinctively on the fly then put down to wait for the next opportunity.

    Now the Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD on the other hand... there's a lens that has incredible resolving power for a lens of its class and I haven't been able to find a similar lens that competes (with the notion that lenses like the Zuiko 35-100mm f/2 and 90-250mm f/2.8 are in a different league, not only in price but also size and weight).
     
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  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    What I've been telling people is that in practical situations, the AF speed of the 14-54 II is no different from the native Panasonic 20mm. It's not the same -- I believe the adapted lens is still a touch slower -- but it's not much of a difference and I find myself compensating for them similarly when AF performance could be an issue.

    There are plenty of AF tests on Youtube of the lens, like this one:
    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx4DX7Rj0zI]GF2+14-54 II AF Test - YouTube[/ame]
    As far as I can tell, there's no difference between late gen Panasonic (GF2+, GH2+, G3+) and late gen Oly (E-P3/E-PL3/E-PM1/E-M5) in AF on this lens. If you want a fast zoom, it's an absolutely excellent choice. I don't quite share the love of primes that everyone else seems to gush about. Yes the 20, 45, etc are wonderful lenses, but I find myself coming back to the 14-54 often. And as far as sharpness, it's perfectly sharp and you should shoot at any aperture you like. It is SHARPER from f/4 onwards, but I think you're obsessing too much about pixels if your aperture choice is dictated by sharpness on this lens.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Agreed. :biggrin:
     
  6. Declan97

    Declan97 Mu-43 Veteran

    379
    Feb 3, 2012
    Padang, Indonesia
    Im thinking to sell my 14-42 msc 2 and using 14-54mk2, but msc2 also delivered a good result infact it smooth on video, am I right?

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using EP-L 2
     
  7. charleychen

    charleychen Mu-43 Regular

    30
    May 13, 2012
    New York
    Does anyone have a side by side picture of the 12-50 and the 14-54 (preferably with the adapter). I've been debating between these two. I purchased a 14-42X (hope I have no blurring issues) as my standard zoom to carry around. For the 12-50/14-54, I'm looking for a weatherproof zoom. I think I can live with the AF, since if the weather is bad, the kids aren't running around that fast. But I'm afraid it may be a bit big. From the first video, the length looks about the same, but the 14-54 looks clearly wider.
     
  8. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    If size is an issue, don't get the 14-54. It's not HUGE by any measure, but it's noticeably thicker than the 12-50, and fully extended (with hood) it's quite long. It's also a bit heavy (again, in comparison to the very light native m43 lenses).

    However image quality is really good. Focus time is a non-issue for me. Focusing takes about 1 second or less.
     
  9. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    • Like Like x 1
  10. charleychen

    charleychen Mu-43 Regular

    30
    May 13, 2012
    New York
    Cool site. The E-M5 14-54ii combo seems a bit large. I wish there was a place to try this. I guess I can always buy and sell.

     
  11. Switch

    Switch Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    May 3, 2012
    Thanks everybody!

    I'm not too concerned about size for most of my work, I am switching from a dslr after all.* ;) The last big project I undertook was on drag queens. Have you ever tried to take pictures of drag queens performing in a dark bar? It's damn near impossible! I had to shoot wide open at ISO 1600, on a body just old enough that high iso's weren't very good. I was actually bothered more by the truncated DR than the noise, noise you can clean up. And the shallow depth of field, which I cursed many many times.

    Autofocus was a life saver in this project, but might not be as important if I'm looking through an EVF with magnification instead of an OVF.

    *I'm already planning on either the Panny 25 or 20 as my walk around street shooting lens, because of both size and general awesomeness. The 20 especially. Pop the rear screen out and enable touch to capture and walk around all day without anyone realizing I'm taking pictures!

    Here are some examples of said drag queens:
    6480692949_6c27dc449a_z.

    5559814638_cf54b20bb2_z.

    4575091186_04ffa16dc5_z.

    5094487313_5d7660d3da_z.
     
  12. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    If you're happy with the 20, I promise you AF on the 15-54 II is not a concern. The only drawback in that case is size, which you've already discounted. Go buy one now :biggrin:
     
  13. denniscloutier

    denniscloutier Mu-43 Veteran

    204
    Dec 24, 2011
    Looks pretty good to me. This is a 100% crop at f 3.5 and 54mm.

     
  14. goodgoings

    goodgoings New to Mu-43

    2
    Sep 12, 2012
    I recently tested the Oly 14-54mm vII against the Pany 14-140mm. These were my subjective results.

    Oly wins:
    1. Faster for lower light
    2. Better bokeh
    3. Better built

    Pany wins:
    1. Sharper and more even
    2. Faster AF

    But I had noticed a difference on the focal depth of both lenses.
    The Oly tended to focus closer from the point of focus than the Pany. I wonder if anyone has some experience on this. Maybe this is the way the Oly lenses mechanics are?
     
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I love the built quality as well as image quality of my 14-54 MkII, and I have no problem with the AF speed in most situations. The one major issue I have with this lens when coupled with my m4/3 cameras (whether it was my E-P3 or my E-M5), is that it often misses focus in low light conditions. It would signal a AF lock, but the focus will be off ever so slightly that you won't notice it on the camera display, but when you download all you photos onto your home computer, you will notice some missed focuses. This is a pretty annoying quirk which I haven't found a way to solve. Otherwise, I would recommend this lens to everyone!