Best lens for focusing in low light with an OMD

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Blotzphoto, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    Lou Doench
    I just took my OMD out to my little brother's CD release show. The light was very inconsistent and low and my 14-45 kit lens had a complete bear of a time focusing on anything. It was a late show and I walked out with just the camera and forgot to grab my 20/1.7 (which does tend to hunt a bit on the OMD).

    Any suggestions? I ended up doing a lot of manual focusing ;(
  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Any of the Oly wide primes are pretty good in low light. I can vouch for the 17, 45 and 75 for sure. If you prefer a zoom, the 12-35 is pretty good too.
  3. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    Lou Doench
    I figured that the 45 would be recommend. I'll post a link here when I finish processing and you can get a good idea of the issues.
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I like the Pan 25/1.4 as well as the fast Oly options. Better yet might be a fast MF 50mm. MF can be the key to getting good low light shots.
  5. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    Lou Doench
    It certainly didn't help that they were hopping about like bunnies on meth.
  6. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    So I have been told,but how do you see to focus manually in low light? I do think that any of the fast lenses do a good job of auto-focus. They are even better than my poor dim eyes especially on a tripod.
  7. damnnit

    damnnit New to Mu-43

    Jul 30, 2013
    El Monte, CA
    i have the 45mm 1.8 and even it hunts a bit in low light on the OMD. With that body you may have to MF with the magnify/manual focus assist feature.
  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I use an E-P3 but the 25mm f1.4 does very well in low light. I would anticipate that it works even better on the EM-5.
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    If you aren't averse to using a flash, then even though our cameras can't use the AF assist lamp (only the older DSLRs can take advantage of it), my father has the FL-600R on his G5, and it has an LED lamp that you can use to help focus and also give more light to your photos. This solution will only work within reasonable distances to your subjects; otherwise fast lenses are in order (both large aperture, as an f/1.4 lens is letting in 8 times more light than an f/4 lens, and fast focusing, which your 20mm is not). Decent options are the 17mm f/1.8 and 25mm f/1.4, as long as the focal lengths work for you.

    If you don't mind taking your K-7 and a flash, the newly revamped 360 II flash has gained swivel capability, or any 540. Both of those flashes have AF assist lamps, and the K-5/540 Mk I combo I used seem to work pretty well.
  10. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    Lou Doench
    I have a Metz 48 for the K7 which I have used in these kind of shoots before. Mostly didn't want to drag the big thing around. Plus it's autofocus is awful.
  11. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    "Bunnies on Meth" is a good name for a band.
  12. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    The 17mm/1.8 does a damn good job in low light, managed really well at a friend's wedding last week - great disco shots, used with the fl300r.

    As I discovered outside in the pitch black, when it won't AF you can just switch to the snap ring! Though you can't read it when it's that dark :0
  13. mpresley

    mpresley Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 13, 2012
    Wolfe City, TX
    I had a recent experience at a wedding reception held at night, outside, with not a lot of light available. I was able to shoot with strobes creating cross lighting on tall stands that made for pretty decent pictures. But before the strobes fired it was pretty dark ( as in like careful where you walked lest you step in a hole). I tried the 12-35 and it had a hard time focusing. I ended up using the 25/1.4 and it did much better. I didn't try any comparisons to any other lens since the other focal lengths I had with me were to long for what I needed.
  14. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    When I put a focus-by-wire native lens on my camera these days I'm unhappy with the less-than-smooth MF. MF is absolutely necessary for certain situations and I wish I could disengage the focusing motor on them. Blades of grass, for example. Or low light. Or when you want the focus in the corner and want it to meter properly and don't want to deal with the burden of changing the position of the little green box. I don't know if MF will help you with your eyes, but if you can, it's a joy to use and very useful! :)
  15. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    My Olympus 17mm f/1.8 Just Arrived

    I bought it to take the place of the 20mm Panasonic when speed of focus capture was important.

    Have to report focus lock is just about instantaneous with the 17. It's a huge improvement over what I've experienced with the 20mm. I tested it on an E-PL5. Have to see how it performs on my GH2, but I suspect it will be just as good or better, since in my experience the GH2 had quicker focus acquisition over all.

    Image quality looks excellent - I don't feel I wasted my money.

    This lens is a keeper!


  16. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    45mm gets my vote. I shot in darkness and got something. Not great, but it pulled an image out of the dark.

    First try:


    Second try:
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