Camera and/or lens that can "lock" on infinity focu

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Jock Elliott, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott Mu-43 Veteran

    213
    Dec 13, 2015
    Troy, NY
    Jock Elliott
    My old Olympus D550 has a button you can push to lock it on infinity focus. My G12 does the same if you manual focus on infinity and store it in a preset.

    I'm looking for something more modern that can do the same thing . . . MUST have a viewfinder.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    The only camera in m43 that I know of that can do this is the Olympus EM1.2. It has the "preMF" mode, where you can set the camera to a specific focus distance, then when you activate PreMF focusing mode, it goes to that distance, locks and that is it. I believe that it's main goal was to satisfy those looking for a way to jump directly into a hyperfocal distance. It should however satisfy what you are looking for.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  3. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    473
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    All of the Panasonic cameras can kind of do this if you set it up for "back button autofocus". In the menus find the AF/AE button, select it, and you see a few choices. The one to select is AF Lock. Along with this look for AF/AE Lock Hold and set this to ON. MF Assist (magnified view) I set to either the focusing ring (you get the magnified view as soon as you start turning the focusing ring) or to the AF Mode button (no magnification until I press this).

    Find and set MF Guide to ON.

    Now, here's how it works. A single press on the AF/AE lock button does two things: A single autofocus operation and switches the camera over to Manual focus, also brings up the usual MF scale with mountain icon at the left and flower icon at the right with a moving pointer that follows how you set the focusing ring. Set it at the mountain icon (infinity) or focus on the horizon, then don't touch the focusing ring until you're done with that location. The camera remains in MF mode until you do one of the following: Press the AF/AE button again (switches camera back to default shutter button AF), change modes with the dial on top, or power down the camera.

    I have all my Panasonic bodies (GX85, G85, GH4, and GH5) set up this way. Allows me to switch to MF or go back to default at the press of one button without taking the camera down from the eye. I feel like I have the best of both AF and MF functions with one button.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  4. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    Any of the Olympus Pro lenses effectively do this by using the MF clutch. Pre-set the manual focus to infinity (the scale on the barrel is visible when pulled back), and that’s where your focus will jump to when you pull the clutch back. Push the clutch forward to go back to autofocus.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. algold

    algold Mu-43 Regular

    92
    Apr 8, 2016
    Alex
    Oly 12/2 and 17/1.8 also have a clutch and do exactly the same.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Can I just say that getting the camera to automatically select focus like that using open-loop control isn't very accurate, all modern electronic lenses can actually focus beyond infinity. Unless you're quite tolerant or are using a deep DoF, magnified MF or AF will be more accurate.

    On all Olympus cameras there's the option to reset lens focus on power up, I think this goes to approximately infinity.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  7. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    doesn't this then "reset" when you power cycle the camera (or even when it goes to sleep)?

    Have you tested this with something other than wide angle lenses and using shallow DoF such as f2?
     
  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    I thought that this happened all the time anyway. Especially with IBIS and fully floating lens elements I'm not sure how it can actually do this without "self calibrating" on infinity (so you'd need to be pointing it at something at infinity {without the lens cap on} to achieve this)? No? (meaning I agree with your statement: "that getting the camera to automatically select focus like that using open-loop control isn't very accurate")
     
  9. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    Yes, and it works quite well.
    However, it's only an approximation.
    I tried (and failed) to find a way to get the focus distance memorized in a custom setting on my gm5... to get the lens to MF with a fixed focus approximately to infinity.
     
  10. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    771
    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    The trouble is that temperature can affect where Infinity focus is in a lens, so a single setting will only be an approximation as mentioned already.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
  11. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    473
    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    It does, I stated that, just didn't number the three conditions under which it does "reset". And I think it does "reset" when the camera goes into sleep mode.

    I use this all the time. If in a big hurry I do use the default half shutter press to get focus, but most of the time I use the AF/AE button and leave it in manual focus usually until done with that subject. I have the MF-ASSIST assigned to the AF Mode button (left cursor on the back) and a half press on the shutter clears that magnified view but leaves me in MF. I use it with Zooms (9-18, 12-60, 45-150, 14-42II, 14-45, 45-200) and the Lumix 20mm, Pan/Leica 25mm f1.4, Lumix 42.5, and the Oly 75mm f1.8.

    It may take a bit of getting used to, but once I did I really like the way it works. I rarely have to "set" it to infinity unless shooting clouds or something like that which can be hard to "see" focus on. That's when I use MF on the horizon and leave it set there.
     
  12. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    I wonder if this works better on panasonic cameras (my GH1 and GF1 seem not to fit with your method though)
     
  13. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    Would a manual focus lens work for your intended purpose?
    And what focal length are you interested in or are you just simply enquiring as a generic feature for any of your existing lenses?
     
  14. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott Mu-43 Veteran

    213
    Dec 13, 2015
    Troy, NY
    Jock Elliott
    The intended purpose is for taking photographs of transient phenomena in the daytime sky.

    This shot was taken at a Stop sign two days ago:

    g12-god-blowing-smoke-rings-001--.
    Unretouched SOOC jpeg taken with the Canon G12 at about 140mm (e). The G12 deploys in about 1-2 seconds after you press the POWER button.

    My old Oly D550 had a focus mode button: Macro, regular, and Infinity. With the optical viewfinders of the G12 and the D550, you see less than you actually capture.

    If you are photographing daytime sky phenomena -- usually clouds -- you want to be focused approximately on infinity if you don't want to wait for autofocus. I was just wondering what my other options are.

    Cheers, Jock
     
  15. Joe Smith

    Joe Smith Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Mar 6, 2016
    On the e-m1.1, firmware 4.3:
    go to menu gearwheel –> A –> AEL/AFL
    set manual focus to mode 3
    leave the menu
    set the camera to manual focus mode

    Now you can autofocus with the AEL/AFL button, and the focus stays unchanged until you refocus. You will still change the focus when you turn the focus ring, though. Maybe there's a way to disable this, too, but I didn't find it.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. gnarlydog australia

    gnarlydog australia Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 23, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Damiano Visocnik
    OK, so if I understand this correctly you just want to grab the camera and shoot at infinity, no futzing with auto-focus lenses hunting on clouds that aren't contrasty enough to lock in?
    Well, I would go for a manual lens where the infinity is actual infinity.
    And while some say that temperature variances will make that hard stop at infinity be out at times I have not experienced it so far. Then again, the sky could be taken with the aperture closed down a bit and any slight differences in infinity focus will be covered by depth of field. Unless of course you want a very long lens to take just some details of the sky/clouds...
     
  17. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    459
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    autofocus to infinity would work well for astroshots too. Panasonic has a star focus function that I wish oly had. Snap focus to hyperfocal would be awesome. This is what the ricoh g4 can do too.

    On a somewhat related issue, I wonder why oly doesn't have ND filters built into the camera? Won't that just be a firmware feature?
     
  18. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    771
    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    I think it more depends on what you're shooting. I have the 'reset lens to infinity' option set in my OMD, and for practical terrestrial photography I've never noticed infinity being off. However when I try to take astrophotography images, despite the camera moving to 'infinty' the lens require slight adjustment to achieve perfect focus on the stars. Not sure why but it always seems to be the case.

    I suppose in reality stars are infinitely distant, while anything on earth really can't be further than 100km (or so).
     
  19. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    459
    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Walter
    How do you focus stars? Magnify and try to get the smallest image of a bright star?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    France
    That's what I do.
    When it's correctly done, it's a little more precise than reseting my Oly to infinity when powering on.
    (but it's nice to have the ability to have focus to infinity anyway... when it's very difficult to do in manually you know you can have a "not so bad" focus automatically)