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Continuous Autofocus; Oly 75mm f/1.8 versus the Sigma 60mm f/2.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Wab, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    I tend to find myself at a lot of running races (my OH is a fairly serious amateur runner) and I've discovered continuous autofocus - tracking. Prior to this I'd zone focus, but I do like the tracking when it works. Maybe one-in-ten shots are spot on, which is acceptable due to the volume of runners passing by. I just get a lot of shots to bin. And I like prime lenses; I generally use my Sigma 60mm for these runners. Example attached.

    But I've read somewhere that lenses native to the camera have better continuous autofocus tracking than non native lenses.

    So my question is, would the Oly 75mm have noticeably superior autofocus tracking over the Sigma 60mm? I understand that most M43 cameras (all except the E-M1?) have contrast detect, rather than phase detection, which isn't as good for sports photography.

    A secondary question is that instead of purchasing an Oly 75mm, if the autofocus tracking is superior, might I be better off purchasing an E-M1 (I'm sure I could get one second hand for the price of an Oly 75mm) and would this phase detect autofocus camera be better for capturing runners?

    Or maybe would I be better off getting an entry level DSLR? (Please don't burn me).

    Suggestions, recommendations, and opinions welcome. I'm fairly new to photography.

    Wab

    P4090228.
     
  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Not sure what camera you are currently using, going to assume an Olympus something. I would seriously consider getting an EM1, it will outperform any other Olympus camera at C-AF.

    I do not own either lens but have not heard of any problems with them in C-AF. I have never heard anything about native vs non-native in regards to C-AF performance, not sure where you heard that and there are very few non-native autofocus lens. Technically they are native lenses, they have the m4/3 mount (non-native would be say my 50-200 SWD lens for the 4/3 mount). The only lens I have heard of issues with C-AF is the Panny 100-300 but that is because of the older design of the aperture and focusing mechanism. Now, there are probably others but I have not heard people complain. That is probably because most people are using longer lens for sport/wildlife and that tends to be where C-AF is used.
     
  3. palombasso

    palombasso Mu-43 Regular

    61
    Jan 31, 2014
    I don't have much experience with action shots, but one thing that I think it's important in these discussions is to differentiate "continuous auto focus (C-Af)" from "tracking".

    In simple terms C-Af is when you keep the focus point fixed (for example in the middle of the frame) and the camera adjusts the focus distance when the subject under the focus point gets closer or farther.

    Tracking is when the subject that was under the initial selected focus point moves out of it, and the camera tries to follow the subject around the frame.

    Two different functions with various usage cases and I think different cameras might be better/worse on each separately.

    I have a gx7 and a gm1 but as I've said haven't shot action that much.

    Would be interesting to hear about experiences from those who tried it with various cameras/lenses.

    [] `s
    http://Www.Flickr.com/photos/palombasso

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk
     
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  4. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The 75/1.8 has MUCH faster AF than the 60/2.8, regardless of AF mode, with any Olympus body.

    (Not that anyone around here cares about 1st person experience, but I have both lenses ans several Olympus & Panasonic bodies.)
     
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  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    You are correct to a point, tracking also uses continuous autofocus. When it comes to Olympus cameras (have no experience with Panny camera) the EM1 has the best continuous autofocus because of the PDAF focusing. As far as tracking goes they are pretty much the same as far as following a subject around the frame, which is highly dependent on subject/background but when the subject changes distance to camera the EM1 is better because of the hybrid focusing system. I find that on some subject/backgrounds that tracking works good and on others it is terrible. I will try tracking first and if it is giving me problems I'll just switch to continuous autofocus. Like a bird on blue sky it works well, throw in trees in the background and it has issues.

    I find the continuous autofocus of the EM1 to be on par with my old 7D mk1. Where Olympus really falls behind is in tracking. When most people say that the EM1 can't do continuous autofocus as well as say the 7D I believe they are confusing it with tracking. This just means you have to be really good at keeping the focus point on target and rely on the tracking like you can with a dslr.
     
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  6. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    How is when using C-AF?
     
  7. Wab

    Wab Mu-43 Regular

    126
    May 27, 2015
    I'm using a E-M10. I'm marshalling a running race next Sunday, so I'll try C-AF and C-AF (T) on a variety of backgrounds and see how I get on.

    And from what I've read, if I got the Oly 75mm (instead of my Sigma 60mm), that would help due to the quicker autofocus, and the E-M1, due to it having both contrast detect and phase detect autofocus.

    Being on a budget, I can't have both right now; so what - in my position - would you purchase first? E-M1 or the 75mm?

    I hope it's the 75mm; that looks like a lovely lens.

    Shiny!

    Thank you all for your input.
     
  8. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    That I can't answer, not have any experience with either lens. The 75 is a nice lens and I'm looking for something in that general focal length for shooting rodeo in dark local arenas. But think I'm going get the 4/3 35-100 f/2.0, I already have the EM1 tho. I would probably get the lens, can't go wrong with good glass.
     
  9. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Get the 75. I got a good percentage of in focus shots using an E-M5 & the 75 for photographing racing cars in AF-S mode.

    The differences between AF-C and AF tracking is the complexity of the algorithms, which is a property of the body. That's why the ALL AF MODES ARE FASTER WITH THE 75 THAN THE 60!!!!!
     
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  10. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    A Panasonic body with DFD and a DFD capable lens will be your fastest m43 option. From what I've read, that will perform as well as an entry level DSLR (but not as well as a high end DSLR)
     
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  11. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Actually it's not any better then the EM1 with one of the Pro lenses or one of the top end 4/3 lenses like my 50-200 SWD or 150mm f/2.0. Maybe before firmware 3.0 on the EM1, which all the videos are from before 3.0 that people pull up when debating this. After firmware 3.0, it's a different story.
     
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  12. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    If you have links of tests that support that, please link them. It's news to me. My understanding is that DFD speeds up Panasonic and dealing with sensor shift slows Olympus, but I'd be interested in seeing any tests that show those results. All the tests I've seen show that DFD Panasonics are the fastest C-AF mirrorless system and one that rivals entry or mid range DSLRs.
     
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  13. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    All of those test you speak of are before firmware 3.0 for the EM1 which greatly improved the performance of C-AF. I have not seen any real test done since firmware 3.0, which I wish someone would do but it's kinda moot with the mk2 soon to be released. If you go back and read my previous post I specifically stated that all the test (all that I have ever seen) are before firmware 3.0. No one has really gone back and updated their reviews or test of the EM1 since its update. Which is a shame because the EM1 is 400% the camera it was on release. I do know that with firmware 3.0 my EM1 performs better then my old 7D (mk1 not the mk2 which I have no experience with) in regards to C-AF.

    Actually it's either the Nikon 1 or one of Sony's mirrorless (not their A7 line) that are the best performers in C-AF. I don't remember which but I'm sure someone will come in and answer that question.
     
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  14. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Ok, that's fine. So if there are no tests or evidence that show the EM-1 is as fast as a DFD Panasonic, on what basis are you making the claim that it is? Are you sure you want to give a shopper advice based on assumptions or wishful thinking?
     
  15. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    1. I know how well the EM1 performs and would put its C-AF up against anything but Canons or Nikons top of the line cameras (top of the line includes their top end apsc cameras like the 7D and D500).

    2. A number of people on this board who have experience with both (people who's opinions I have come to trust) have stated that the EM1 outperforms or performs as well as Panny in C-AF.

    So yes, I am more then confident in my recommendation. I shot sports for many years using Canon cameras before switching to Olympus several years ago. The EM1 is more then capable, it's weak point is in tracking and the only real reason mid level DLSRs outperform it. You have to be good at keeping the focus point on target and can't rely on the tracking ability like you can with Canon/Nikon.

    The biggest problem with Panny DFD is really a lack of sport/action type lenses. At least with an EM1 you can tap into the amazing 4/3 lenses.
     
  16. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Ok, thank you for clarifying that your assessment is based on hearsay and anecdotal opinions. I've seen these threads digress into brand loyalty pissing contests, which I'm sure we both agree are pretty useless. I'm glad you are enjoying your EM1 and finding its performance pleasing.
     
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  17. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    @Wab@Wab sorry your post got derailed by someone pushing their fanboyism hearsay. I hope you come back after your decision and report the outcome because I am curious how the 75 performs. It could be a good solution for me when in dark arenas to keep ISO down.
     
  18. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Heres the link to a head to head shoot out that is the basis of my saying DFD is the fastest. If anybody has actual comparison data that shows that this is no longer valid, please post it. I would hate to keep giving bad advice.

    In the meantime, if you love your camera and it meets your needs, enjoy it... life is good!

    (And Phocal, no offense was intended... Its the internet, and its hard to parse whats true from what people want to be true. Since I don't know you, I hoped for empirical stuff you could point me towards).

     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  19. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    That video was shot with older olympus firmware. Not sure how valid the comparison is now with the latest olympus firmware upgrades. Apparently CAF has improved significantly with more recent updates
     
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  20. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I actually watched the video again, first time I have watched it since it's release and I really did not remember all the conclusions from it. So, let me get a few things out of the way...........

    1 - He starts off by saying that this is not any kind of scientific test, just him (who works at a camera store) seeing how different cameras perform.

    2 - It is no more authoritive then someone on this forum shooting with both cameras and making their own observation and posting here.

    3 - This is before Firmware 3.0 on the EM1 which greatly improves the cameras continuous autofocus ability as well as its frames per second while shooting in continuous autofocus.

    4 - They used a Fuji lens on the Fuji, a Sony lens on the Sony, a Nikon lens on the Nikon, a Panasonic lens on the Panasonic and finally a Panasonic lens on the Olympus. They really should have used the 40-150 Pro on the EM1.

    That all being said, I believe @GFFPhoto@GFFPhoto needs to go back and watch the video. This entire discussion has been about C-AF shooting and in this video he states that the EM1 beats the GH4 in this area, fast forward to the 7 minute mark if you don't believe me. Not only because of it's continuous autofocus ability, but also because of it's large buffer. This was all before firmware 3.0, so now that gap is even larger because firmware 3.0 did greatly improve the C-AF ability as well as a boost in fps when using C-AF. The only area that the GH4 beat the EM1 was that test where he focused on dirt then on the riders while useing S-AF. Now I only have a few µ4/3 lenses and don't use them that often, but I do know when I point my 60mm or 17mm at something and press the focus button it focuses almost instantaneously. Sometimes my 4/3 lenses may take a fraction of second longer but that has more to do with the PDAF focus points not being cross type. But when using S-AF and a µ4/3 lens the EM1 will use CDAF and from my experience this happens so fast that I can't see how a human can really precieve any difference between .1 and .3 seconds. If anything, that test is more about the focus speed of the lens combined with the camera going from close to far and would have been more valid if he had used the 40-150 on the EM1. But that is moot because this entire discussion and the OP's original question had to do with C-AF and even the video used as proof that the Panasonic DFD is better stated the EM1 beats the GH4 in C-AF.

    One other difference that I feel is the bigger issue is DFD only works with Panasonic lenses. Olympus's EM1's PDAF focusing works with all µ4/3 autofocus lenses as well as all the Olympus 4/3 lenses.

    With that said........I am done with this discussion and going to follow forum rule #4
     
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