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E-PM2 focusing issues

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Ellsass, May 27, 2014.

  1. Ellsass

    Ellsass Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2014
    I recently got an E-PM2 and am evaluating whether to keep that or my GF5. With the Panny 20mm/1.7 (my most-used lens) I've noticed a few issues with the EPM2 related to focusing.

    1. It uses the focus assist beam a lot (even in a well-sunlit room)
    2. It's often slow to focus or doesn't lock on at all
    3. If I tap on the screen, away from the center, it still tries to focus the center of the frame instead of where the green box is. (This may only be when it uses the assist lamp, but that's basically any time I'm not directly under the sun.)

    Is this normal? Is there something I can adjust to make the EPM2 not so sluggish and clumsy? After over 3,000 shots on the GF5 with this lens I've never had so much trouble.
  2. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Mine does OK on my PM2 but it is not as fast as it was on my G5. What happens if you turn the assist light off?
  3. wilson

    wilson Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2014
    I don't have the Panny 20mm f/1.7, but I use a Panny 14mm f/2.5 on my PM2, and have none of the issues that you've described.

    Do you have any of these issues with other lenses on the PM2? Does the EXiF information on the photos taken on the PM2 show the correct f-stop, focal length, etc?

    If you do have issues with other lenses on the PM2, but not the GF5 the only thing that I can think of are poor electrical mating between lenses and the body on the Pm2. Ensure that all the spring-loaded electrical contact pins on the camera side are nice and clean and they all stick out the same amount with no lens connected. If the pins are uneven, that may result in some communications issue with your lenses. :-(
  4. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee Subscribing Member

    May 3, 2013
    I haven't used the 20mm on my EPM2, so I can't speak to that. But I haven't noticed the EPM2 using the focus assist beam any more frequently than my other cameras.

    As for the autofocus focusing on the center when you tap: Are you tapping and holding, or just quick tapping? Not sure if this is unique to Olympus, but both of my cameras don't "finish" autofocusing unless I tap and hold down on the screen. It's basically the same function as half-pressing the shutter button -- if I half-press and release before it focuses, it doesn't finish the autofocus function. Same behavior with the tap-to-focus.
  5. Ellsass

    Ellsass Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2014
    To be clear, the EPM2 is focusing, it just takes a while.

    It seems to focus just fine. I'm going to leave it off for now and see if it really makes a difference (a few test shots suggest it doesn't, except in very low light.)

    I haven't tried any other lenses because I'm comparing the two bodies and figured sticking with the same lens that I have a lot of experience with would eliminate a lof of variables. The exit is correct.

    I'm in tap-to-focus mode, and I am tapping on the screen (but not holding) to position the green square. Then I am holding the shutter all the way down while it focuses and then takes the shot. I have a feeling the problem is that the focus was on a subject in the foreground, to the left edge of the frame, but the assist beam points to the center of the frame. The beam was hitting the floor behind the subject and the camera was trying to use the orange light to focus the green boxed area, which of course was never going to happen (the depth of field was too shallow for both to be in focus).

    I'll try keeping the beam off for a while and see if that helps. Thanks everyone.
  6. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    It may be the combination of the E-PM2 with the 20. Others have complained about the focus speed of the 20 on Oly bodies before. I'm currently in a room with low light, and the PM2 with the O45 seems to lock on really quickly. I also agree that turning the AF light off might help.
  7. Evan614

    Evan614 Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2014
    do you have the most current firmware? (for body)
    try resetting camera to default and see if the problem still persists.
  8. popiT

    popiT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 20, 2014
    BayArea, CA
    I don't have a 20 so I'm not sure. One thing I could think of perhaps try to turn off face-detect see it's the issue? Just a wild guess :confused: 
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    No, none of this sounds normal. The focus assist beam should rarely go on, though that part is not a big deal because you can just turn it right off if it bothers you or you think it might be interfering with your focus speed. Wherever you set the green box though, is where the camera should always be focusing, unless you have multiple focus points set (ie, letting the camera pick its own focus point out of the entire frame), in which case the green box doesn't do anything but choose where to zoom in for magnification.

    First check if you actually have your camera set to a single focus point and not camera-driven focus. If you don't, then here's another theory... maybe there's something wrong with your lens and the camera is not able to find a focus point and therefore is choosing the center instead? That's the only theory I can come up with to explain why it would bypass the selected green box, although that theory relies on you being in "all points" mode rather than a single focus point.

    Obviously, if you're getting weird focus behavior as exhibited by point #3, then that explains the problem with point #2... so we don't need to address that point separately.

    At any rate, it could very well be that you have something funky going on with your settings. Maybe first of all try a full reset of your camera settings?

    Is this camera brand new, or used? Is it still under warranty?
  10. Ellsass

    Ellsass Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2014
    The firmware's up to date. The camera's new. The lens works fine on my GF5. The EPM2 works ok-ish with the beam off. And I just got the 25mm 1.8 which works fine on both cameras.

    Conclusion: I'm pretty sure I'm just spoiled by my Panasonic :smile: And I think that people have talked up the EPM2/EPL5/EM5 sensor so much I forgot that perhaps the rest of the $199 body isn't going to perform miracles like I dreamed it would. I'm nearly certain the camera is working as designed.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions, everyone.
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