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Camera shake with 50mm lenses on GF1

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by rusticus, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. rusticus

    rusticus New to Mu-43

    Aug 26, 2011
    I recently got a GF1 for a great price on eBay and, as money was tight at the time, bought a Pentax K adapter so that I could use my Pentax-A SMC 50mm f/1.7, Pentax-M SMC 50mm f/2 and Tokina 80-200mm f/4.5. When I would look into buying a used lens on eBay depended on my experience of these lenses.

    - The Tokina was quite a bit of fun but not 160-400mm is not really a focal range that I use so this will be kept in the lens drawer gathering dust mostly.

    - The 50mm lenses both suffer from the same problem and I'd assume that this is true of most 50mm lenses on the GF1. I've been using the camera in aperture priority mode and shooting mostly between f/2 and f/8 using the 50mm f/1.7. I have the camera set to iISO. These settings have produced some really sharp images in bright light but the moment the light begins to fade, the camera begins selecting a shutter speed of 1/30 and trying to keep the ISO quite low (I haven't got a limit on the ISO). This means that almost all of my photographs suffer from pretty bad camera shake.

    I know that the GF1 doesn't perform too well at high ISO but is the only way I can resolve this problem to get out of iISO or auto ISO and set it somewhere between 800 and 1600?

    I had hoped that the 50mm f/1.7 would be a good low light lens but it seems that the 2x focal length multiplier and the GF1s poor noise handing at high ISO has slightly scuppered my plans.

    I'm now looking at buying a 20mm f/1.7 or, at a slightly lower price, a 14mm f/2.5.

    EDIT: First post. Hi all.
  2. nsd20463

    nsd20463 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 30, 2011
    Santa Cruz, CA
    manual mode

    Yup it is a annoyance to me as well. AFAICT A-mode on the GF1 acts like the non-native lens is around 15mm[1], and will let the speed fall to 1/30th before it starts raising the ISO. What Panny engineers were thinking here I don't know --- it would be better if we could *set* the minimum speed the camera could pick, just like we can set the maximum ISO it can pick.

    In these cases I use is manual mode. You still have the exposure meter (if you haven't disabled it) to guide you, and the guidance follows the exposure mode you select (spot, average, center-weighted). So manual mode isn't utter guesswork. And it's more fun (for me).

    [1] given the rule-of-thumb of keeping the speed higher than 1/<35mm focal length>
  3. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    What you perceive as shake may be a DOF, or motion blur issue. As you have provided no images, one can not make an intelligent / informed appraisal.

    Set your ISO to between 600 - 800. Forget auto ISO, Control your own exposure.

    There is no need to climb into the 1400-1600 ISO Range, unless one is planning to attempt action shots, with no flash, in low light..

    Remember the 50mm is a 100mm on your M43 camera.

    Shooting 100mm telephoto (portrait) lens in low light wide open isn't always going to provide optimum performance, not to mention, there aren't may lenses that will provide sharpness wide open at low shutter speeds.

    The 20mm is a great choice of weapons by the way.

  4. rusticus

    rusticus New to Mu-43

    Aug 26, 2011
    I read this a long time ago when I was first learning about exposure and have tried to use it as much as possible and, until now, had stayed away from auto ISO modes. With the GF1 I thought I'd give it a try but it seems you're right about it not raising ISO until 1/30.

    Apologies. Here are two photos, one brightly lit and one dimly lit. Each are followed by 100% crops.

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    1/500 ISO 500 (aperture unknown]

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    1/30 ISO 320 (aperture unknown)

    I'll be doing this from now on I think.

    I tend to use f/2 as the lower limit on this lens after reading this review.

    I've been convinced of that since reading most of the reviews I could find on the internet and not reading a bad word about it.
  5. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England

    Doesn't look like camera shake to me. They're just soft. Could be a little OOF, or just a large aperture.

    You might want to do a test for focus on a fixed subject at different apertures to get comfortable with the lens. All of the below had Post Processing, sharpening adjustments.

    Visit here while you're on the board:


    Cheers, Alan

    Canon FD 50 1.7

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    Rokkor MD 50 1.7

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  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    First, that rule that everyone is posting is a good metric, but it will need to be modified even higher, so that you probably don't want to go less than 1/200. If you're going to be shooting this lens when the light gets too low, I'd switch from aperture-priority to shutter-priority, with auto-ISO enabled. I disagree that your low-light picture doesn't look like camera shake. Look in the 100% crop, how ALL the letters have a faint outline of themselves to their left. This tells met that you were dragging your camera slightly when shooting the photo, which is completely understandable trying to handhold that lens at 1/30. Perhaps use a lightpost, street sign, parking meter, Post Office drop box, etc. to rest against, as support. This will allow you to "break the rules" and shoot with a lower shutter speed than you otherwise could handheld. The reason that I say that the 1/[35mm-equivalent shutter speed] rule needs to be broken is because you're using a GF1. That rule is for SLR users. When pressing the camera to one's face to look through a viewfinder, there is exponentially more stability when handholding the camera, compared to holding a camera out in front of you, composing through the viewfinder. Because of this, you're really going to have to use impeccable technique, especially near the borderline of adequate shutter speed.
    Do You Look Like an Amateur When You Hold Your SLR?
    How to Hold a Digital Camera
    There are a ton of websites about how to correctly take a picture, use a google search to read up on them. Things like not taking deep breaths while shooting the photo, making sure to press the shutter with only your finger instead of letting the whole hand drop down, etc.

    Second, dear god, please don't use Ken Rockwell's reviews as a basis for anything. He's the Howard Stern of photography information: his M.O. is to say something extravagant to drive readership to his website. It is true that NO lens is as good wide open as it is stopped down, but if you're at the edge of your camera's performance due to low light, and adjusting your aperture is the difference between a 1/90 and 1/125 shutter speed, then by all means open up that lens.
  7. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    I've never had any of the three µ43 cameras that have been in my possession at an ISO above 800.

    As I suggested. Find a fixed point. Practice practice practice.

    Other than ISO speed, I agree with a great of what is written in the above post. Learn to find stabilizing objects, chair, railing, camera pushed out to create tension on your neck strap, automobile (not moving) etc. etc.

    I almost never use a tripod, and almost always find something to brace against.

  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I may have been a little unclear in my post. I was discussing the rule that people mentioned of a minimum shutter speed, reciprocal of the 35mm-equivalent focal length. 1/200 refers to a shutter speed; in conversation it is pronounced "1 over 200th's of a second."
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