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Foucs hunting, 100-300 vs 75-300mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by EarthQuake, May 15, 2014.

  1. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    834
    Sep 30, 2013
    So I have the 100-300mm, and in general I like the lens, but it tends to hunt for focus quite a bit, even in decent light. I'm wondering if anyone has used both the Pana 100-300mm and the Oly 75-300mm can comment on whether the Oly hunts and more/less when focusing?

    I originally got the 100-300mm because its a bit faster on the long end, but I wouldn't mind the size/weight savings of the Oly if the focus is a little better. Using an EM1 and EM5 btw.
     
  2. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    Jean-Paul
    I haven't got both. I have got the 75-300 mark II. It most definitely doesn't hunt. Focus is instant and super fast.

    I'm using an E-P5


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    150
    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    I used the Pana 100-300 on a friends GX7 and I have the 75-300 II on E-M5. The 75-300 on my Olympus body feels faster, and like dejongj I have not encountered any hunting even in poor light at ISO 6400. It just works, and its fast.
     
  4. YZYgold

    YZYgold Mu-43 Regular

    27
    Apr 19, 2013
    Australia
    I find panasonic tele lenses hunt a little on my ep5 on AF-C. of AF-s its fine
     
  5. DennisC

    DennisC Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Jan 24, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    I normally use the Panasonic Lens on AF-s even for action shots with a pumping shutter action..
    Can't say I'd noticed excessive hunting on my G3 or EM10
     
  6. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I've used the 100-300mm on several different Panasonic and Olympus bodies. I've never experienced focus hunting. In fact, the lens is fast enough focusing that I haven't missed CAF for shooting crew (rowing) photos.
     
  7. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    834
    Sep 30, 2013
    Thanks for the comments.

    I will clarify a little and say that the hunting is usually with small or distant objects. A distant bird on a blue sky for instance, the 100-300mm has a tough time focusing on it, it shoots back and forth, back and forth instead. Or a bird in a tree, it will sometimes hunt back and forth a couple times before getting a lock. With large objects or high contrast objects it doesn't have much trouble, and is generally very snappy to focus.
     
  8. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    * Use smaller focus points
    * Set EVF to sample rate to high. (it also improves AF)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    834
    Sep 30, 2013
    Already do both, but thanks for the suggestion.
     
  10. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    BIF is challenging even for pro lenses, and neither of the long m4/3 zooms are in that category, unfortunately. You probably know far more about BIF than I ever will, but would using the auto-select AF grid instead of a single AF point work better (or maybe you're already doing that)?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    This I had never heard of.
    Thanks for the tip. I don't have my camera here beside me , but does it make a significant difference?? Also do you know why it makes such a difference? I would have thought such a setting was specific to the EVF and not the AF mechanism. But if it works I'm happy to give it a shot :)

     
  12. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    Ahh, I see the problem, you have been attempting to use Auto Focus (known as AF). In this situation you need to use Magic Focus (or MF).

    MF engages a much more powerful processing unit, which is connected to the camera using a massive array of optical sensors and takes control of the lens using a system of (almost nano technology) myofibrils and nerves. All under control of a massively parallel neural net (which like all neural nets of course requires training). Best yet, this system is entirely silent is has its own independent power supply.

    Once upon a time all cameras came equipped with this system.

    I began training my Photographer MF system with pre-focusing on something which was at about the same distance as I knew the bird was and then in conjunction with an aperture of say f5.6 would usually be pretty bang on.

    Standardising on MF lenses which rotate in consistent manners for focus distant <> focus closer greatly improves the MF Ai neural net system to train, and in almost no time you will begin to see that this system does full time focus tuning and follow focus. My MF system has been quite consistent in results under situations which would fool all AF systems

    4329814670_bcc613ce19.

    even under difficult low light conditions
    4748592956_ed1cbb709e.

    Give it a go ... you never know, you may like MF and find that it has a place in your repertoire

    :-D
     
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  13. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi,

    "The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it." – Ansel Adams
    :tongue:

    Are there some lenses which should be avoided because they don't have consistent focus methods?

    I'm planning to get the Oly 12-40mm 2.8 and the 17mm 1.8... right now have 2 kit lenses (14-42 II, 40-150 R), and several ZD 4/3 lenses.

    Considering the following for later:
    Pana 35-100mm F2.8
    OR
    Oly 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II

    7-14mm F2.8 m43 Pro

    Maybe a good fisheye (If I sell my 4/3 ZD 8mm)

    25mm F1.8 Oly
    60mm F2.8 1:1 Macro
    45mm F1.8 Oly
    75mm F1.8 Oly
    85mm F1.4 Samyang

    40-150mm F2.8 Pro
    OR
    50-200mm F/2.8-3.5 std or SWD ZD 4/3


    Thanks
    Barry
     
  14. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    great quote :-D


    well avoided seems strong, but its just that different brands focus in different directions. If you mix n match brands it can do your head in.

    For instance my FD series operate both focus and aperture in different directions to my OM lenses. I had intended to standardise on OM lenses as they work on my EOS system (and the FD do not), but my FD300mm f4 is just so much nicer to use than my OM 300 is I sold it and now try not to use the OM stuff on the micro4/3 and only use my OM lenses on EOS.
     
  15. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    834
    Sep 30, 2013
    Yes, I am aware of the concept of MF, and use it from time to time, often when AF fails. However, it doesn't help me with the issue at hand, what I would like to know is if the 75-300mm has any advantage with focus speed/accuracy/hunting over the 100-300, using the same technique, in the same conditions, etc.
     
  16. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi


    I assumed you were aware of MF but I guess my tongue in cheek point calling it Magic Focus was that you were pehaps expecting too much of it. With so little data to clutch onto, any AF system is going to be totally stumped as to what its looking for and where. I don't think your problem is "hunting" but the inability of any system (phase or contrast based) to actually know what you're seeing and what you want it to focus on.

    I agree with the ideas of making the AF point smaller (as small as possible) and then picking a single AF point. I would expect that since Pany seem to have a better mechanism for sensing AF than Oly that the 100-300 may have the edge (but I've never used either).
     
  17. dejongj

    dejongj Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Jun 3, 2013
    Whipsnade, UK
    Jean-Paul
    Why would you expect Panasonic to have a better AF mechanism than Oly? Man, the Oly is lightning quick in getting autofocus without hunting....And dare I say rather consistent in that approach with all their lenses opposed to the Panasonic equivalents where you have to pick out the gems....Very odd...

    Several reviews have remarked on the hunting of the 100-300.....Some of my old Nikon format lenses were like that as well.....
     
  18. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    834
    Sep 30, 2013
    Well, lets take two lenses I have used as an example, the Pana 20/1.7 and the Oly 17/1.8. In the same shooting situations, (eg, low light) the Oly hunts way, way less and is much faster to get a lock, while the 20/1.7 will often fails to get a lock at all. So again, what I'm wondering is if there is a similar issue with the 100-300 vs the 75-300. I think the easy assumption to make is the 100-300mm is half a stop faster, so it should hunt less, but the 20/1.7 is faster than the 17/1.8 as well.

    For what its worth, the small-AF point does help with the 100-300, and the EM1 is significantly better than the EM5 with that lens before the small AF point update on the EM5 (EM5 is better now but still not as good as the EM1).

    I get the MF joke, its cute and all, but a bit like asking someone which car is faster, A or B, and they tell you "Well I don't drive but my feet get the best gas mileage". Sorry if my response seemed rude, I don't tend to have a good sense of humor in the morning.

    Thanks for the input, that sounds promising for the 75-300mm. Maybe I will just have to pick one of and see for myself. I am going on a trip to Japan this fall and the lighter weight would be a big advantage to me, I just don't want to lose any AF speed with the slower aperture of the 75-300.
     
  19. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi

    not at all. ASCII frequently fails to convey nuance.

    Wrt the lenses you mentioned, I never found any hunting on Panasonic bodies with Panasonic lenses. I expect its possible. My EOS 300mm only ever hunted when it was given a task that was impossible for it. So I regard 'hunting' as a signal to the user that they don't get the way the AF system works. I developed an attitude that AF was like an assistant. It pulled focus but wasn't real smart. So if I pointed the focus point at a white wall or blue sky it would (expectably) fail.
    I had to make its job easier by giving it something with strong vertical (and later horizontal) lines.

    The exact nature of CDAF is different to Phase Detect but the underlying ideas are similar.

    When the focus point is jumping all around the screen (as when using a telephoto and a bird) I consider it a miracle if it got anything as it wouldn't know which pixels to give weight to at any given time.

    Hth
     
  20. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi
    try reading this recent thread for instance:
    https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=64316

    and look for DFD

    also
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/panasonic-gh4/panasonic-gh4A.HTM#DFD

    I am not sure when Panasonic actually started putting it on cameras (although I know when they announced it). It would make sence for them to have some things in development in the field without letting people know about it till they were clear it worked. For my vision my GH1 snaps focus much faster with my 14-45 than the same vintage Oly cameras did. I also noticed that compared to my friends E-M5 last weekend my GH1 focused the 14-45 lens faster than his focused it.

    I admit don't know and I'm just conjecturing. Have you done side by side tests similarly?

    Personally I take many reviews with a grain of salt. For instance I read dpreview mainly because they standardise many things in their reviews. Their opinions are often barefaced marketing.