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E-PL1 camera settings for manual focus ?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Minniesmum, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    My first post so please be gentle with me...I've had my camera for 2 weeks now and so far very happy. Main interest is using my old lenses from film days. Have tried OM's and now the Pentax 110's with adapters. I set the camera in Aperture priority or Manual. Then select MF shooting with legacy lenses - I have the Fn button set to that. I shoot away happily..... perfect exposure every shot. I've not attemted to change any other settings regards metering or shutter speed.
    My question is- with legacy lenses just how much control do you have over what the camera does aside from no AF of course....
    Any tips for using the EPLI with legacy glass/mf would be much appreciated !

    yes I'm on Flickr: Flickr: Minnie's Mum (catching up; still missing her)'s Photostream
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    With a manual lens, Manual Mode stays as Manual but Program Mode becomes Aperture Priority. There is no more Shutter Priority (that works the same), since the camera can't control the aperture. Besides lack of Shutter Priority and Autofocus, you have all the same control otherwise.

    Why are you using the MF Shooting in the Fn button though? Your manual lenses can't turn off MF, and they have no AF to override. That's a waste of your Fn button. :)  (on another note, I think it's a waste of a Fn button even on AF lenses, as it's better to leave MF on and use back-button AF)

    Your E-PL1 has the smallest, lowest resolution screen of the PEN series, so make good use of the Close-Up Magnifier to fine tune your focus. Better yet though, would be to pick up a VF-2 electronic viewfinder (or VF-3 if that's all you can afford - but VF-2's can be found used if budget is the concern).
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    Thank you. I bought the VF-2 last week and find it indispensable for MF. Will find another use for the Fn button ;) 
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    May I suggest checking out back-button AF? This is the setup I've used on every digital Olympus camera I've had from DSLR to PEN.It will eliminate the need for the MF button ever again, if you just leave MF on. You don't require the MF button to switch to MF on or off because there is no point in turning it off in the first place (ie, use S-AF + MF or C-AF + MF). The purpose of the MF button is not to turn on MF but rather to override and turn off AF, so it doesn't interfere. With back-button AF it will never interfere with your MF again, plus AF will be much more useful allowing you to pre-focus and keep focus using AF and not just MF.

    Rather than me explaining the advantages of back-button focus I'll link you to a handy Canon article on the matter (Canon actually made the first camera which was capable of this): Canon DLC: Article: Back-Button Auto Focus Explained
    The key points are that it allows you to pre-focus without the camera re-focusing on shutter release (which many cameras have a tendency to do even if you use the half-press of the shutter) giving you faster and less frustrating AF, and it separates AutoFocus, AutoExposure, and Shutter Release into 3 separate functions so you have full control over each. This way you don't have to meter off the same subject you focus on.

    So if you decide that's for you, then here are the steps to set it up:

    Go to Menu => Sprocket => Button/Dial => AEL/AFL. There you can set Single AF, C-AF, and MF modes. Mode 3 is the one that assigns any of those AF types to the back-button. If you set MF to Mode 3, then that will still give you MF capabilities with the focus ring, but will add S-AF capabilities to the back-button. If you set C-AF to Mode 3, that will give you continuous AF as long as you hold down the back-button. You can also set S-AF to Mode 3, but in my opinion this is redundant if you have MF set to to Mode 3. You get S-AF + MF by using MF Mode 3 anyways. I just leave S-AF to the default Mode 1 just in case I ever for whatever crazy reason want to go back to shutter-focus. But I never do. ;) 

    Next, after you have your AF modes set, all you need to do is assign your AFL button, which will be your back focus button. On the PEN cameras this is in Menu => Sprocket => Button/Dial => Button Function, but this is the one part that can vary between models. For instance, on my old E-System cameras there was only one AFL button but it could be swapped to the Fn button so you had two choices instead (if I remember, I think the E-P1 was the same). With the newer PEN cameras your possibilities are much more expandable! The E-P3 has the most customizable buttons yet. On my PEN cameras I set the big red Direct-to-Video button to AFL as my back-button.

    Of course, you then need to go through your regular control panel to set your camera to use one of the AF types that you have set to Mode 3, or use Menu => Sprocket => AF/MF => AF Mode to do that.
    • Like Like x 9
  5. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    Brilliant info thanks ! I want to get the best out of this camera and this is just what I need....
  6. Jakob F.

    Jakob F. Mu-43 Regular

    May 18, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Ned, this is hands down THE most useful piece of info I've yet come across regarding the Pen cameras. I've never heard about this before, and I've always wondered what the AEL/AFL button was for. Just set this up on my E-P2, and it's a breeze shooting like this. Really really nice! Thank you very much for sharing :smile:

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Minniesmum

    Minniesmum Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    My thanks to Ned again for this info. I finally set up my E-PL1 to af using the Fn button and it mf's now without changing any camera settings but does the back-focus thing too. Effortless shooting now between af and mf !
  8. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Brilliant, Ned. Your post has transformed the way I shoot!
  9. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Daniele Frizzi
    Ned needs a statue now! Like the liberty statue but with an olympus manual in one hand and a zuiko super-tele in the other :) 
  10. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Interesting, I never considered this method. I'm going to try this for a while. Thank's Ned!
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    No problema. ;) 
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