1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

definitive info: Manual focusing the 12mm f/2

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by James Pilcher, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. James Pilcher

    James Pilcher Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 6, 2011
    Colorful Colorado
    There has been some discussion as to whether or not the manual focusing with the Zuiko 12mm f/2 is stepless or stepped. Well, it's both.

    I spent some time experimenting tonight on my E-PL3. I pulled the manual focus ring and observed the focusing action on a 10x magnified screen. My focus target, a table lamp, was about five feet away. It did not matter which of the five focus modes I chose (SAF, CAF, MF, SAF+MF, CAF+TR), focusing is very definitely STEPPED (!)

    Then I pushed the manual focus ring back so the distance scale was not showing (AF mode) and I placed the camera body in MF mode. Focusing was very definitely STEPLESS (!). There was no hint of stepping.

    So there you go folks. Olympus gave us two-fers on focusing. Choose stepped or stepless with the 12mm f/2. Me? I don't think there's much difference between the two, but I prefer stepless.

    Jim Pilcher
    Summit County, Colorado, USA
     
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Thanks for the info, Jim! That is good to know...
     
  3. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    This addresses at least some of the issues raised by Ctein in his review of this lens for The Online Photographer. Good to know. Thanks, Jim.
     
  4. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    Dennis
    Wow, verified. To add, STEPLESS works in both SAF+MF mode (which is what I use) and MF. Thank you Jim.
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I can't find any stepped manual focus action on mine. After seeing this, I just stuck mine on the camera, zoomed in on a guitar about 8-10 feet away and used the manual focus ring in both positions (and in both S-AF and MF modes), with the DOF scale showing and without. While the throw may have been longer with the ring pushed forward (no DOF scale), in both cases the lens very gradually moved the guitar strings into focus as I approached the right distance and out of focus as I moved beyond it, with no herky jerky movements or jumps. If there were any steps involved, they were way too fine for me to detect.

    So, I'm sticking to my assertion that its a stepless manual focus mechanism or stepped in increments too fine for me to detect in use. Which amounts to the same thing, no? This doesn't address how accurate the markings are relative to infinity or any other distance, but I can't find any steps in the mechanism in any mode....

    -Ray
     
  6. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    110
    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    Dennis
    Ray, did you move the focus ring very, VERY slowly? I zoomed in on the lettering "SONY" on a tv about 10 feet away and verified that the focus steps. (But only when the lens is showing the distance scale.)
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    OK, you're right. I just did it again in better light, and it does step, but those are REALLY tiny steps and you have to be moving the ring VERY slowly to see them. And no, it doesn't do it with the focus ring covering the distance scale. So I concede the technical point, but at such tiny increments, I guess the question is still whether its a practical difference and whether it matters? To me, nope, not if I have to try THAT hard to even find it! To others, I guess its pretty important....

    -Ray
     
  8. James Pilcher

    James Pilcher Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 6, 2011
    Colorful Colorado
    stepped or stepless

    Hi Ray,

    I don't doubt your findings. Different body models might speak to the lens differently. Panasonic and Olympus might speak to the lens differently. Maybe firmware variations can come into play. My E-PL3 and my Zuiko 12mm f/2 act the way I described. I submit the old disclaimer: YMMV :smile:

    I think it's important to note that I don't think it makes a big difference because the steps are relatively small. It's just "interesting" that as I focus very slowly with the MF ring pulled the plane of focus jumps rather than fades in and fades out. It makes even less difference to me because I use AF with that lens about 99.5% of the time. Virtually all of my MF work has been merely to see how well it does MF.
     
  9. rramesh

    rramesh Mu-43 Regular

    25
    May 27, 2011
    Ctein's comments

    Don't understand his rant on step focus.

    The whole idea of pulling back the ring and using step focus is that its stepped for approximate subject distance. Exactly what a street photographer will want.

    If you need accurate distances in a manual mode then set the camera to manual, push the ring back, look through viewfinder or screen and focus manually and accurately.
     
  10. James Pilcher

    James Pilcher Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 6, 2011
    Colorful Colorado
    pointless hyperbole

    Rant? Hmmm...I noticed that some were discussing the topic, so I tested and reported what I found. If you actually read the words I wrote you'll also see that I said I don't think it matters much one way or the other. Hardly a rant. Get over it.
     
  11. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    The "rant" was not you Jim, people are referring to Ctein's review of the lens over at the blog The Online Photographer, which was also discussed here in this thread.