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Focusing manually...

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by 6x6, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    ...via display, for me, turns out to be nigh on impossible with the E-P1 and very difficult with the E-P3.
    The focus doesnt suddenly "pop in" like with the SLRs of old, its more of a going-fore-and-back and fore-and-back trying to guess where it should be.
    Is it only the combination of slow lenses (f 3.5) and my old eyes or am I missing something. What are your experiences?
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    In my experience using my Hexanons, the f1.7 & f1.8 are easier on to focus on my GF1 than my f3.5.......but I do find it all a bit hit and miss still. I'm sure the experts will be along soon. I'll be following this for any tips. I guess don't give up and just keep practicing, seen many great pictures taken with legacy glass using small apetures.
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Manual focusing on m43 bodies can be a challenge. An EVF helps quite a lot but that's not available on the E-P1. MF assit helps in that it automatically zooms in the picture when you turn the focus ring on native lenses. You have to turn it on manually on legacy lenses. After two years of trying I gave up and bought a NEX for manual focus stuff and only use native lenses on my m43 bodies. There is a technique that sometimes works. On the various Olympus bodies I have I notice there is a slight shimmer when the image is in focus.

    I suppose you could always try zone focusing.
  4. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I tried and gave up using MF lenses with my E-P1. It was too frustrating. I switched over to NEX for MF. It went from frustration to joy.
  5. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    While many users in this forum claimed to have great success with MF without using magnification assist, I don't have as much success. I tried MF on both my E-P3 and my E-M5 using either the LCD display or the EVF without magnification, and I always find myself having to adjust back and forth like you and sort of guess whether it's in focus or not. Often time, I find myself missing focus by just a tiny bit... which is why as much as I love the build quality of the Voigtlander glasses, I couldn't pull the trigger because I am afraid they will be wasted in my hands...

    This is the very reason why I wish Olympus would introduce focus peaking to its cameras...
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Amen to that...NEX is far and away the best solution for manual focus lenses (which is good because NEX native lenses aren't all that awesome).
  7. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    The manual focussing experience is greatly enhanced by an electronic viewfinder IMHO, which sadly the E-P1 is lacking. I'm fine with manual focussing on my GH2 and G1, but I need the enlarged image to critically focus. If I do that, my images are focussed spot-on each and every time.
  8. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    What makes NEX better for MF.....and why haven't Panasonic and Olympus cottoned on to this.......oh yes it might affect sales of native glass. Moi, cynical? :rofl:
  9. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    Today I borowed a friend`s VF-2 and will try it with the E-P3
  10. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    EVF + x7 magnified view (I have set the 'record' button as my magnified assist switch) makes it mostly easy for me to focus. I still need to practise muuch more though.
  11. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I have an E-P1 and have not had any problems focusing with legacy lenses. I use the magnifier to set my focus, switch back to check composition and press the shutter. Peaking would be nice - but I can live without it. I also have an E-Pl2 and an E-P3 and never felt the need to buy an evf.

    For example:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  12. grantb

    grantb Mu-43 Veteran

    I tried a VF-2 and did not find any improvement in MF, and I certainly wasn't able to skip magnification. I use MF lenses often on E-P3. I just magnify, which takes more button pressing than it should but is the only way for me to get solid results.
  13. Declan97

    Declan97 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2012
    Padang, Indonesia
    For me, the epl1 and 2 had an unlimited focus spot as on the screen size (I believe the same thing on ep series) : with the magnifying 5/7/10/14, it provide the faster time to get focus on the screen or evf2. Does help a lot for using legacy manual lens for me
    • Like Like x 1
  14. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Reading the thread so far, it sounds like one cannot really get away with the magnifier if one is to nail focus successfully. I have never seen that "shimmer" some folks talk about when nailing focus manually without magnification, and using the magnifier function is too slow for me to focus and compose on moving objects (even if they are slow moving)...

    Olympus, please give us focus peaking!!!
    • Like Like x 1
  15. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Regarding the 'shimmer', I think it is most apparent when there is a shallow depth of field...

    Also in the last couple of days I did read somewhere that setting sharpness to +2 makes it more apparent, so it may be worthwhile playing with settings to see if anything helps.

    Obviously these settings may not be desirable for the jpeg, but you can always shot raw and then even process them to jpeg in the camera (in case your computer is so ancient it struggles with raw conversion like mine does).
  16. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    Great idea. :thumbup:

    I have begged for someone to speak about focusing with legacy telephotos from time to time on the boards but have gotten little input. I finally took the plunge and my Nikon 400mm f/3.5 AIS IF ED is waiting for me at the post office and my Voightlander adapter is on the UPS truck at this very moment :biggrin:

    Wouldn't you know it this thread popped up the day after I won the auction on ebay. :rolleyes:  Now I'm even more concerned about focusing. I will be reporting my trials and tribulations here shortly. Maybe I will get off easy. :tongue:
  17. chicks

    chicks Mu-43 All-Pro

    I use the VF-2 with MF lenses, usually the Minolta MD 50/1.4, almost always hand held.

    Here's my process, FWIW:

    1. Set aperture to 1.4, for ease of focusing
    2. Compose shot
    3. Zoom in with MF assist and focus, noting the exact focus spot
    4. Unzoom, set aperture to get correct exposure
    5. Zoom in again to same spot, critically focus, click!

    Obviously this only works for stationary subjects. That's why I've ordered the Oly 45 for people, puppies and cats. :) 

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Declan97

    Declan97 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2012
    Padang, Indonesia
    Wow, amazing result
  19. Gurin

    Gurin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2012
    This is an interesting thread. I bought in to m4/3 mainly to use old glass, specifically my Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135 f2.8.

    I now have two Epl1s and two Vf-2s. My take on this is that how hard it is to manually focus vary from lens to lens. With some like the OM 100 2.8 and Carl Zeiss Planar T 1.4 it is very easy without any magnification at all. With some, like the Konica Hexanon 50 1.7 it is a bit harder, but clearly doable.

    It takes practice. You need to recognize when a picture is in focus, it is not that apparent. That shimmer-thing, can quite easily be taken as out of focus, because you see a quite obvious lessening of picture quality or contrast or some other degrading of the image in the VF-2.

    But before you even start, remember that the Vf-2 has a diopter ring. You need to set this after your eye sight. If you don't you will rely on blind luck. This is important and easy to forget as it does not matter when you only use the VF for framing with autofocus lenses.
  20. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    A brutally honest but true statement....
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