Focus Peaking needed?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by bigboysdad, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    I can see how it may possibly be handy for the wide Oly 17 for example. But for the 25/45/75 is it really necessary?
  2. Dramaturg

    Dramaturg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Focus peaking is mostly needed for manual focus glass. Why would you need a focus peaking for an autofocus lens?
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  3. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Agreed. AF in MFT is very, very accurate, and you'll be hard pressed to outdo it using manual focus with native lenses. If it's too dark to autofocus, it's almost certainly too dark to focus accurately manually.
  4. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    I don't follow the logic, wides are typically much easier to focus than telephotos due the the wider DOF being more forgiving for manual focus.
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  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    AF lenses and m4/3 especially don't focus very well close up{macro lenses excluded}. Every AF lens I have either has trouble at times or won't AF at all when used super close{closest focus distance}. At those times it is best to switch to manual. Using a magnified view is hard when the lens is close to the subject. Thus focus peaking is an alternative manual focus assist that is just as easy to use close up as far away.

    However I want it mainly for my using my manual focus only lenses, adapted and otherwise.
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  6. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I have an 85mm that is manual focus. It's a great lens but focus peaking would help me be more precise when using it. I've been doing pretty well without focus peaking, but I would use it if I had it.
  7. LowTEC

    LowTEC Mu-43 Regular

    Like others have said. Peaking is only useful for manual focusing tele lenses
  8. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    Focus peaking is a great feature. Like others have said, it is mainly for MF lenses but I have from time to time found I needed it on my native lenses. Just last week, I was taking bird photos on the feeder with a light snow coming down. The 75mm was missing focus. I was only 12 feet away and using a low f-stop. Depth of field was shallow. Anyway, it seemed to be missing on too many of the shots. I switched to MF and used the peaking to get some great shots. You could have done this without the peaking but the focus peaking allowed me to make sure I had the bird itself at peak focus and not the front or back of the feeder or the rails.

    Focus peaking is a great feature that I have assigned to my red record button on the E-P5 so it is ready to go quickly. It has made my use of manual focus lenses fun again and not a frustrating chore for my old eyes.
  9. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    AF IMO works very well on shorter focal lengths, but not that well on longer focal lengths. Most really sharp photos I've taken with my Panasonic 100-300 at the long end are made with manual focus, for some reason it seems very hard to get an accurate focus lock at 300 mm. Then the focus ring on that lens sucks. Narrow and stiff and stiffens up even more in cold weather.
  10. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    With respect, I think you guys are mixing up two different concepts here. First is the question of needing manual focus. Second is focus peaking, which is a tool for improving manual focus.

    Here's an example (posted here previously/apologies to those who have seen it before) of where I found manual focus to be important:


    Note the twigs between me and the lady. The autofocus on my G1 locked onto those twigs. Not wanting to take the time to diddle in the menus to persuade the autofocus to do what I wanted, I just switched to manual and got the shot.

    Re focus peaking, manual focus with the G1, particularly here with a 100-300mmn at full zoom, was really tough. No peaking and the magnified "focus assist" was like hand-holding a 2000mm lens. Hence, I am very grateful for the focus peaking on my new GX7. With that camera, the shot would have been much easier.

    So ... peaking for me is "necessary" when I am using manual focus to select what I want to be sharp. It may well not be what the autofocus has selected and it is much faster than arguing with the AF about what is important.
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  11. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Owning both the EM5 and the EM1, I wouldn't be too excited about peaking coming to the EM5. Personally I am disappointed with the peaking on the EM1, first off, the framerate drops significantly which to me is very disruptive when shooting, secondly the only color choices are white and black (a neon green or pink would be really helpful) and thirdly there is no way to adjust the sensitivity of the peaking. Overall I think its poorly implemented and I wouldn't count on it for accurate focus. But I can see how it would be better than nothing for legacy glass.
  12. RayB

    RayB Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2010
    My 20/1.7 has problems with focusing close up. When background is visible through the close up subject it chooses to lock in on the background. The 60/2.8 is fine, however.
    If focus peaking is as good or better than manual focusing it is a very desirable feature even if you don't use legacy lenses.
    For me, focus peaking is one of the major reasons for replacing my E-P2
  13. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    As a previous poster stated focus peaking and manual focusing are two different issues. Focus peaking is not as good or better than manual focusing, it is an aid which can help manual focusing. Some people seem to be very good at manual focusing without the focus peaking assist. I do much better with focus peaking. I have never tried to do moving targets. For fixed subjects, I find the implementation on the E-P5 very good. The white peaks have always worked out well for me. I have never tried to focus on a polar bear in the snow. For that, the black peaks would do well.
  14. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hopefully Olympus will add red or some other hi-viz color to their peaking{they are behind the curve on this right now}. I have only used peaking for video on the Panasonic AF100 but it is great! That camera has white or red and the red is much better most of the time than white. The new Fuji X-T1 has several colors to choose from and I think Sony also gives color choices.
  15. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    From the rumours, there seems to be another firmware coming form the EM1 that will make the focus peaking less laggy. Hopefully the same deal will appear for EM5.
  16. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Thats good to hear, honestly that is the big problem for me, because low framerates on EVFs make me feel a little nauseous.
  17. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name:
    Hi Chris!

    Ain't that difficult, see my avatar...:thumbup:. (It looks better in a full sized print).

    Snow is white, bear is a dirty shade of white, their fur tends to take on the color of the water or some such and has a greenish yellow tint in spots - but his (her???) eyes and nose are coal black. The trick is to get him (her???) to look at you when you press the shutter, focus on the eyes...and be far enough away to escape :biggrin:.

    Now, a black cat in a coal cellar at midnight...that can be tough...


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  18. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Real Name:
    I rarely use AF with any of my lenses (AF lenses included). Focus peaking is a great focus aid. Using allows very fast and accurate MF. Without focus peaking, magnification doesn't help a lot. It could be my eyesight - I don't leave home without it. :smile:
  19. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    Real Name:
    I am using the EM5 with 2 manual lenses and I use the pseudo focus peaking when shooting. Its really helpful. More useful than just magnifying in my opinion.

    If using AF lenses, I have not experience a time when the lens cant stick the focus, in fact I find m43 terrific at sticking focus. So focus peaking would not be so important here in my opinion.

    Sent from my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  20. BobbyTan

    BobbyTan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 26, 2013
    Long Beach, CA