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Fastest focusing lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jcurious, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. jcurious

    jcurious Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    I recently upgraded from a G2 to the OM-D/EM-5. I'd love to experience the nearly instant focus I see some folks getting with their OM-Ds. Unfortunately, the lenses I tend to shoot with are slow to focus. Can anyone with a fast focus :43: camera comment on which lenses out there have the fastest focusing speeds?
  2. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Wider lenses work best with CDAF (in my experience). The Panasonic 14mm ƒ/2.5 is blazing fast. I imagine the Oly 12mm is fast too.

    The Oly 45mm is really fast and a PL25mm is also really fast.

    But I think the 14mm has some advantages: relatively bright, wide angle, small mass, modern focus motor. I doubt anything is quicker.
  3. jcurious

    jcurious Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    The focal slowness I get is from lenses either with slow focusing motors or excessive focus travel. The slowest focusing lens I have is probably the Panasonic 45mm macro (when I have it on full mode). The lens has a switch for full mode (full focus range) and limited (non-macro range). Unfortunately, when doing macro photography the lens often has to travel the full focal length at least twice (out, then back in). This makes the lens a very slow focusing lens.
  4. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2011
    +1 for the Panny 14mm f2/5. I have never seen the rear screen out of focus with that lens on.
  5. jonh918

    jonh918 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2012
    San francisco,ca
    +1 on the panny 14 f2.5 i just got my oly 45 f1.8 today can't wait to take some pics...
  6. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    The Panasonic 14mm focuses faster than I can think.
  7. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    The Oly 45mm is fun for this, because you can get really shallow DOF, and it has quite a nice focusing motor (fast and almost silent). It's probably no quicker than the Panny 20mm with its cheaper setup (noisy motor which moves the entire lens assembly), because wideangle have an easier time of it, but it seems more impressive.
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I disagree. The 20/1.7 takes at least twice as long on my E-PM1 to lock as the 45/1.8 does under normal circumstances. Both are acceptable, but the 20/1.7 certainly feels more hesitant.

  9. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    The 12 on my E P3 is my fastest set up.
    The 45 is also right there.
    The 20 and 17 are a bit slower, especially in lower light.
  10. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 22, 2010
    I've been intrigued by this, so I sat down tonight and focused alternatively on a nearby chair (high contrast edge) and a patterned bag (high contrast) across the room. I alternated between my 45 and 20mm lens. This was far from a scientific test, but I was pleasantly surprised by the 20. I could not detect the difference in focus speed.

    So I tried the same focusing between the floor (white parquet - low contrast) and the back of a couch (dark and low contrast). Again, no discernible difference.

    So I tried focusing on a speck of dust on a black leather chair. Both lenses hunted like a truffle pig, and occasionally found focus, but again, I was not convinced of noticeably different performance.

    So folks, although I want to believe that the 20 is slow to focus, I cannot prove it! My observations suggest that it is similar to the 45, which is highly regarded. I am beginning to think that it is just my prejudice from the noise that the 20 makes, which can make a few instants so agonizing that they seem like minutes! Perhaps I should repeat the test in a loud room or with earplugs...
  11. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Amongst the native lenses I've used (see sig.) the Lumix 14/f2.5 is definitely the fastest to focus... Not surprising, considering how little mass there is to move :smile:
  12. Jonspanki

    Jonspanki New to Mu-43

    Apr 25, 2012
    +1 for the 14mm 2.5 - fantastic AF speed and an underrated lens in general.
    From my usage, my Olympus 12mm is on par AF-wise (maybe slightly faster, but not a material difference) with the 14mm on an EP3.

    Both feel significantly faster than the Panasonic 20mm, which has frustrated me many a time with the slow focus and hunting. The IQ and relatively small size keeps me from ditching it though :) 
  13. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Larry Anderson
    The OLY 12mm is buy far the fastest focusing lens I have used on a M4/3
  14. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The 7-14 and the 8 FE are the fastest focusing I have tried, probably partly due to the large DOF on each. The 45-200 is no slouch, though.

    The 20/1.7 is much slower than those above.

    The 14-50 f/2.8-3.5 four thirds lens is painfully slow.
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