G80 focus issues

Wasabi Bob

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You mention you are using "spot" focus, by chance do you mean "pinpoint" mode? Try using other focus modes. I've run into situations using "spot" or "pinpoint" where its sampling such a small area that lacks detail. Also, compare manual AF to AF. It would also be helpful to post a photo with its meta data.
A few points to consider:
Are you by chance trying to shoot closer than the lens's minimum distance?
By chance, are these hand held shots that might be using a rather slow shutter speed, and what you are seeing is motion blur?
How about outdoor photos, of say, landscape - are they sharp?
Have you tried other lens?

I've used this camera and never had this specific problem.
 

Macroramphosis

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Hi Bob, the minimum focusing distance for the P30mm macro is about zero, so that is not a problem. My 'Spot" focus is One-Area (like many I find Pinpoint exceptionally erratic). I have been shooting both manual and auto, continuous and single, burst and tracking - everything. What seems to work best is back button focus, One-Area smallest yellow box, and auto single focus (manual and focus peaking do not focus on the centre of the shot, but slightly behind, it seems). I am indeed shooting hand-held, as I have always done, and in natural light. I do not use flash. My pictures still not thrill me as I thought they would with a new box of tricks.

Now, it may be that what worked so well for me for years on the G6 for macro may not work quite so well on the G80 - and I accept that I may have to change my shooting procedure to cater for a newer camera, but it still does not alter the fact that the camera does not seem to focus spot-on in even auto mode. I sometimes wonder whether the BIS is even working so out of focus are some of the images (I have the single "waving hand" icon on for my P30). I also cannot understand why I 'feel' the shutter is not instant (Shutter Delay is set to off) - but that may just be my critical alter-ego stirring the pot too far.

On another note, I tried last night to reset the camera to factory settings in case someone somewhere along the line had done something weird. I found to my annoyance that the procedure does nothing at all. All my settings remain in place, customised function buttons and all, despite a number of times of pushing the Reset button. Have I missed something out? I did try with the camera in P mode too, as some recommend.

Last but not least - if you ordered a NEW camera from a shop, would you expect it to be sealed? Mine was not, rather sellotaped shut, and I am wondering whether I have recourse to exchange it if that is the case. Advice needed there please if possible.

Apologies for being a grumpy old fart. I'm not normally, honest.
 

retiredfromlife

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Hi Bob, the minimum focusing distance for the P30mm macro is about zero, so that is not a problem. My 'Spot" focus is One-Area (like many I find Pinpoint exceptionally erratic). I have been shooting both manual and auto, continuous and single, burst and tracking - everything. What seems to work best is back button focus, One-Area smallest yellow box, and auto single focus (manual and focus peaking do not focus on the centre of the shot, but slightly behind, it seems). I am indeed shooting hand-held, as I have always done, and in natural light. I do not use flash. My pictures still not thrill me as I thought they would with a new box of tricks.

Now, it may be that what worked so well for me for years on the G6 for macro may not work quite so well on the G80 - and I accept that I may have to change my shooting procedure to cater for a newer camera, but it still does not alter the fact that the camera does not seem to focus spot-on in even auto mode. I sometimes wonder whether the BIS is even working so out of focus are some of the images (I have the single "waving hand" icon on for my P30). I also cannot understand why I 'feel' the shutter is not instant (Shutter Delay is set to off) - but that may just be my critical alter-ego stirring the pot too far.

On another note, I tried last night to reset the camera to factory settings in case someone somewhere along the line had done something weird. I found to my annoyance that the procedure does nothing at all. All my settings remain in place, customised function buttons and all, despite a number of times of pushing the Reset button. Have I missed something out? I did try with the camera in P mode too, as some recommend.

Last but not least - if you ordered a NEW camera from a shop, would you expect it to be sealed? Mine was not, rather sellotaped shut, and I am wondering whether I have recourse to exchange it if that is the case. Advice needed there please if possible.

Apologies for being a grumpy old fart. I'm not normally, honest.
I cant check on my G85 as it is in for repair but from memory there is two levels of reset and I was a bit coonfused the first time. From memory after you do the reset you are asked an odd question (at least to me) and one response did the complete reset.
 

Wasabi Bob

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"Macro", forgive me for not recognizing the lens you are using, but what is the "P30" lens? Every lens has a minimum focusing distance, so I don't think it's accurate to say it can focus to "zero" - especially in auto focus mode. Every lens I have can manually focus closer than it can auto focus to. Also, AF isn't going to work as good if any additional diopter lens is added, such as the Raynox. I'm just getting the feeling that you may just be too close for AF.

So after reading your response, a few other questions come to mind:
1. Are you perhaps confusing DOF as the perceived focus problem?
2. As a test, what happens when you double or triple the lens to subject distance?
3. Can you achieve good focus manually?
4. When you try MF, use focus peaking to give you a visual indication of what is and is not in focus factoring in DOF. Can you can achieve good focus on the desired part of the subject in MF?

For me personally, macro work is always done using MF. The reduced DOF can't be optimized to my satisfaction using any auto mode. I'm starting to prefer using extension tubes rather than a dedicated macro lens. I also have a Canon macro lens that I've used with an adapter - totally manual of course.

Regarding the open box, for me it's no big deal. When I buy from a local dealer, I'd prefer him to check his inventory before he sells it. Here in the US the carton box is not "sealed". It's like buying a new car and expecting the odometer to show "zero" ....
 

Macroramphosis

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Hi Bob,

The P30 is the Panasonic 30mm. It can get as close to an insect as you want, pretty much. I often touch my target with the UV filter or hood :D It also does not take a Raynox - achromats do nothing for it at all. I have to say too, though, that I have taken many photos with other lenses with achromats very successfully on auto-focus.

In answer to your points:

1. No
2. On the G80 focus is still sloppy. On my G6 is it fine, as normal. The lens is not at fault. The following image was taken today at lunch with the G6 and the P30mm. The fly was about 5mm long.

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3. On the G80, not really. Nothing focuses in the centre of the smallest One-Area box. It is weird.
4, Manual peaking on my G80 is very weak. It is terribly difficult to make out any coloured edges in typical MF mode. Change to back-button, and put it in manual, and then the focus peaking comes through very loud and clear (just not right in the centre of the frame- where it misses all the time).

I've always shot a mix of auto-focus and manual, both have always worked for me. Auto-focus for flying insects is almost a must. I do not think your analogy about a car with an odometer that reads 'zero" is apt in this case. All cars get driven down the road and back by prospective buyers. However, I was wondering whether my copy of the G80 had had a little drive too, hence my question. Stores normally have a demo model, and the rest are sealed.

Thanks for the info on the 'sealed box' routine. I must say that when I was in retail we never opened anything that was sealed - for this precise situation I'm going through.
 
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Wasabi Bob

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Hey Macro, thanks for posting a link to this discussion, from your other one. So just as BIF and others have commented, DOF is very shallow - something that goes hand-in-hand with macro photography. I honestly don't see any problem, not do I see much room for improvement unless you decide to use focus stacking. I suspect that the lack of a response from Panasonic you mention in the other discussion is due to the nature of macro photography. You have great shots, and "possibly" you may be expecting that a newer camera has found a way to get around an accepted existing condition - shallow DOF with macro photography.
 

Macroramphosis

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Hi Bob,

A quick reply - Panasonic have no clue what I shoot, whether it is macro, landscape or aliens. All they do is that they have an unhappy customer with what is supposed to be have been a new G80. One that arrived in a box that had been taped shut.

It's a holiday here in France, so I got out to play for an hour or so with the G80. I tried every setting under the sun, and I am not a happy bunny. I'll post some photos later. I still cannot understand why the part of my image in the centre of the smallest focus box is so often out of focus, even on back-button focus, and at a decent shutter speed of 800 or more.
 

Wasabi Bob

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I hear ya... As far as I know (here in the US) new carton boxes are not sealed; none of mine ever were. But, I've never seen any that were taped either. Smaller dealers will often open the carton box to check that all is, as it should be, prior to shipping or when a perspective customer want to check out the camera. I'd never complain having a camera checked before taking delivery. In any case, I personally feel that it is the buyers responsibility to accept the quality at the time of delivery, or immediately notify the dealer. When a camera has an inherent reputation of acting strange it's a fairly sure bet you will find others complaining on forums like this one. If you have a valid proof of purchase than having it checked, under warranty should not be a problem. For focusing problems I'd also check it by taking other types of photos, portraits or landscapes. If you don't have the same issue than its likely related to how you are using it. With macro photography the center area is often the closest portion of the photo. You might be close to, or at the minimum focusing distance, and the camera may be focusing slightly off this point. DOF plays a big part of this overall process. Keep us posted - interesting discussion.
 

Macroramphosis

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@Wasabi Bob

Okay Bob, here's a few frames that might illustrate what I'm talking about.These three were shot in a medium speed burst, back focus, single spot small box (not pinpoint), AFC and M mode. Touch Screen was off, and the focus box was centred before doing so (this camera does not like my nose, shadow, hair or something - whatever it is I cannot use the touchscreen for moving the focus box around when shooting). Think these were all taken withe the mechanical shutter, and shutter speed, F stop and ISO all as typically used by me. Nothing different from normal. I was sat on a chair, arms on knees with camera very steady, about 24" away from the target.

I have resized the photos just enough to fill my laptop screen so I could do the "crosshairs" to show how close I was to the exact centre of the frame. No PP of any sort, these are all SOOC.

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Thoughts would be most appreciated. I am not sure if I have expectations above my station for the G80, but I did not think I would be struggling like this. I'm very happy with my Panasonic 30, and know it's limitations, but being this out of focus is nothing to do with the lens.

One more thing - I have shot maybe 3000 images now with this camera, at my typical settings. I normally get plenty of insects in flight in focus, but I have had just one (ONE) in all that time with this outfit. I just cannot explain that at all. Of those 3000 or so images, I have about a dozen 'keepers' (most of which have been posted on the insects thread recently. There's been another 100 or so that I have tagged as usable, the rest have gone in the bin. My G6 ratio would have been four or five times that amount, perhaps more. It's bizarre.....
 
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Macroramphosis

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20 minutes this morning in a field on the way home with some bread. Shot some images with both the G80 and the G6. Target were small bee species on yellow flowers, easy peasy for a contrast detect system.

These three are typical of the G80 output. Handheld, decent shutter speed, small focus box, back focus, AFS, medium burst. SOOC bar a small downsize to fit screen.

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These three are typical of the G6 output, which were taken exactly the same, but with no back focus as I have the AE button assigned to another function. The colour profile is different for the G6 as I had the Picture Style set to Standard with no adjustments.

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The fault that I infer is present on the G80 may be down to me, and I fully accept that, but if that is the case what am I doing wrong? I have shot a year's worth of macro with the G6 since my wife gave it to me, and apart from lamenting the short focal length of the P30mm sometimes I have never really blamed the camera for poor shots. The G80, however, seems to be a different case. It does not seem to focus in the centre of the sensor - indeed, it focuses fine to the left and up a little, but not where I want it to be.

The funny thing is that AFC on the G6 is lousy compared to AFS, but I thought I'd match the processes between the cameras as best as I could. If I'd shot like I normally do, in AFS, tje bottom photos would probably have been even better. And in case you're wondering, AFS in M on the G80 is worse for focus than back focusing. I am really convinced the sensor is at fault on its wobbly axis thingy.

Can anyone else see this, or do I have blinkers on? :D
 

archaeopteryx

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Can anyone else see this, or do I have blinkers on?
Among the four manufacturers I've used since autofocus became a regular thing, I've never had a body which was for sure about focusing exactly at the centre of an autofocus point---AF points necessarily have nonzero size and there always seems some latitude for the camera to choose where exactly within the point the plane of focus falls. My experience of DFD is it's probably the best behaved in this regard of any system I've used and the limiting factor with pinpoint is most always photographer ability to position the point precisely.

Like @Mike Wingate, I'm curious if this would reproduce on a tripod. Also with IBIS off. I haven't experienced this particular problem with OIS stabilized handheld macro using the Panasonic-Leica 45mm and Panasonic G7 (which lacks IBIS) that I've noticed but it is my experience maintaining the desired accuracy across a range of photographer positions is not a simple thing. So there's some possibility of ergonomic differences between the G6 and G80 influencing the handling. Both OIS and IBIS create some ambiguity as to where a focus point is and, if there's any circumstance where fine distinctions in camera positioning between focusing and image capture become apparent, it's handheld macro.

It also does not take a Raynox - achromats do nothing for it at all.
As an aside, there's some technical difficulty with this statement. One quibble is Raynox doesn't indicate the DCR-150 and DCR-250 are achromats, which seems consistent with the test results I've seen of them. Another is both DCRs use 3/2 optical formulas rather than the 2/1 of the achromatic doublets commonly used as a close up lenses. A third is there's no trouble stepping down the Panasonic 30mm's 46mm filter thread to the 43mm rear thread of the DCR-150 and 250. More significant to this discussion, though, is coupling any regular endocentric lens---be it an achromat doublet, Raynox, reversed 50mm, microscope objective, or whatever---to a macro compresses the focus range of the macro and moves it closer to the subject (see thin lens approximations as a starting point). This decreases the precision demanded of the autofocus system as a given change in focus distance requires a larger movement of the focus group (or, increasingly, groups). Coupled lenses are also less endocentric than a macro lens alone, meaning there is less variation in magnification with focus distance and the image of an AF target cast to the sensor therefore remains more stable. It's difficult to see how this would result in degradation of AF performance.

As such, it seems to me unsurprising my experience of performing autofocus brackets through coupled lenses on the G7 does not support @Wasabi Bob's claim of reduced AF performance and is consistent with your experience that autofocus works fine through 2/1 close up lenses. The limiting factor on the brackets is the rear lens's autofocus speed, though both the Panasonic 45-175 and 100-300 II are pretty quick. In regards to this thread I wouldn't, however, expect any noticeable benefit from coupling lenses.

From a magnification standpoint, yes, coupling long lenses like DCRs (the DCR-150 is a 208mm f/5.6 and the DCR-250 a 125mm f/3.4) doesn't do a whole lot. Peak magnification increases to 1.3-1.5x but is unlikely to be useable due to the short working distance and a 30mm rear lens's already short working distance means the magnification increase when the rear lens's probably isn't worth the focus range compression. Raynox indicates both the DCR-150 and 250 for a 75+mm rear lens, presumably for these reasons, though I would suggest most of the time a longer rear lens is preferred. Among native mount m43 lenses that precludes the macros and pretty much indicates a telezoom.
 

Macroramphosis

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The greater the zoom, the better the Raynox DCR 250 responds. At least with my P14-140.
Ah, I find my Raynox and 14-140 mki do not do a lot together. I struggle to get an image of any decent quality out of that combo, yet with my old Canon SX40 I could make it sing....

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Macroramphosis

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Hi archaeopteryx, I have replied to each of your points in the quote below - sorry if it is a bit confusing...

Among the four manufacturers I've used since autofocus became a regular thing, I've never had a body which was for sure about focusing exactly at the centre of an autofocus point---AF points necessarily have nonzero size and there always seems some latitude for the camera to choose where exactly within the point the plane of focus falls. My experience of DFD is it's probably the best behaved in this regard of any system I've used and the limiting factor with pinpoint is most always photographer ability to position the point precisely.
I'm sixty years old and have shot almost all of the major brands, including Nikon semi-professionally back in the 80's, I must say that I have never noticed anything untoward aboiut centre-point focus in any lens I have ever used, apart from this one. BUT, that may be just me - I suspect I am not perhaps as intensive about my gear as you, archaeopteryx :)

Like @Mike Wingate, I'm curious if this would reproduce on a tripod. Also with IBIS off. I haven't experienced this particular problem with OIS stabilized handheld macro using the Panasonic-Leica 45mm and Panasonic G7 (which lacks IBIS) that I've noticed but it is my experience maintaining the desired accuracy across a range of photographer positions is not a simple thing. So there's some possibility of ergonomic differences between the G6 and G80 influencing the handling. Both OIS and IBIS create some ambiguity as to where a focus point is and, if there's any circumstance where fine distinctions in camera positioning between focusing and image capture become apparent, it's handheld macro.

As you can see from the three tripod shots above, it does not seem to do the same thing when on a steady base. I did try some handheld last night with both Ibis on and off, and saw no difference either.

As an aside, there's some technical difficulty with this statement. One quibble is Raynox doesn't indicate the DCR-150 and DCR-250 are achromats, which seems consistent with the test results I've seen of them. Another is both DCRs use 3/2 optical formulas rather than the 2/1 of the achromatic doublets commonly used as a close up lenses. A third is there's no trouble stepping down the Panasonic 30mm's 46mm filter thread to the 43mm rear thread of the DCR-150 and 250. More significant to this discussion, though, is coupling any regular endocentric lens---be it an achromat doublet, Raynox, reversed 50mm, microscope objective, or whatever---to a macro compresses the focus range of the macro and moves it closer to the subject (see thin lens approximations as a starting point). This decreases the precision demanded of the autofocus system as a given change in focus distance requires a larger movement of the focus group (or, increasingly, groups). Coupled lenses are also less endocentric than a macro lens alone, meaning there is less variation in magnification with focus distance and the image of an AF target cast to the sensor therefore remains more stable. It's difficult to see how this would result in degradation of AF performance.

You may have misunderstood me - the Raynox has never been part of this equation with the new G80. I haven't tried the P30mm with one for ages - whether you fit it with the clip-on or a step-down ring it seems to do so little for magnification, and so much for narrowing the focal plane, that I do not use it all with this lens.

As such, it seems to me unsurprising my experience of performing autofocus brackets through coupled lenses on the G7 does not support @Wasabi Bob's claim of reduced AF performance and is consistent with your experience that autofocus works fine through 2/1 close up lenses. The limiting factor on the brackets is the rear lens's autofocus speed, though both the Panasonic 45-175 and 100-300 II are pretty quick. In regards to this thread I wouldn't, however, expect any noticeable benefit from coupling lenses.

Correct. :)

From a magnification standpoint, yes, coupling long lenses like DCRs (the DCR-150 is a 208mm f/5.6 and the DCR-250 a 125mm f/3.4) doesn't do a whole lot. Peak magnification increases to 1.3-1.5x but is unlikely to be useable due to the short working distance and a 30mm rear lens's already short working distance means the magnification increase when the rear lens's probably isn't worth the focus range compression. Raynox indicates both the DCR-150 and 250 for a 75+mm rear lens, presumably for these reasons, though I would suggest most of the time a longer rear lens is preferred. Among native mount m43 lenses that precludes the macros and pretty much indicates a telezoom.
Yes, I have always had better success with a longer lens, as seen above.

Thanks for the comment, they are much appreciated.
 
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Bushboy

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Have you tried a larger sized auto focus box?
My M5ii works better or at least as good with a decent sized selection box. Indeed, I think it works better. It has a very simple touch screen slider that I use at the largest setting, 3X.
 

Macroramphosis

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Have you tried a larger sized auto focus box?
My M5ii works better or at least as good with a decent sized selection box. Indeed, I think it works better. It has a very simple touch screen slider that I use at the largest setting, 3X.
No - not yet. I've just stuck with the small one, and tried the PinPoint a couple of times. I'll do that and see what happens, thanks Charlie! I'm not sure how it will work with the DOF's one encounters in a typical small macro scene, but worth a go, for sure.
 

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