G9 + 100-400mm lens: Autofocus Locks on Background

Mack

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Does the G9 have an "Auto Focus Limit" setting where you can set an operating distance range in the menu and not have the shutter fire unless focus is achieved?

I use it in two Olympus bodies. Example: One is set for Near=25' and Distance=45' to keep it from drifting off onto some distant background with birds. I believe Olympus has the default Distant/Far set at 9,999.9 feet which slows the focus down and causes me to go behind the bird at times.

With the hummingbirds and their feeder, if I don't use the AF Limiter it will focus on the wall behind the feeder as they dart about. I setup so the wall will focus initially, and then keep backing it nearer in the AF Limit menu maybe a foot (You can limit it to tenths of a foot.) so it will not achieve a focus lock on the wall in operation, but the birds will be within the AF limit range.
 
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Ajay1

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How much crop is on this photo?
Here's a couple of shots taken just last night of a juvenile Eastern Bluebird showing how large the subject appears. It would not unlock from the background. I had to move my focus to the ground to obtain close-focus, then recompose the shot. Luckily, I had a patient subject waiting to eat mealworms from a tray while his siblings ate first!
 

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Ajay1

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Does the G9 have an "Auto Focus Limit" setting where you can set an operating distance range in the menu and not have the shutter fire unless focus is achieved?

I use it in two Olympus bodies. Example: One is set for Near=25' and Distance=45' to keep it from drifting off onto some distant background with birds. I believe Olympus has the default Distant/Far set at 9,999.9 feet which slows the focus down and causes me to go behind the bird at times.

With the hummingbirds and their feeder, if I don't use the AF Limiter it will focus on the wall behind the feeder as they dart about. I setup so the wall will focus initially, and then keep backing it nearer in the AF Limit menu maybe a foot (You can limit it to tenths of a foot.) so it will not achieve a focus lock on the wall in operation.
That's a good point but the G9 does not offer that feature and focus limiter on the 100-400mm lens is either Full or 5 meters to infinity. In either switch setting, the lens is allowed to go to infinity. If the lens had a third setting that allowed close focus to maybe 15 meters, that would solve this problem or allow users to manually over-ride the switch settings.
 
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Mack

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That's a good point but the focus limiter on the 100-400mm lens is either Full or 5 meters to infinity. In either switch setting, the lens is allowed to go to infinity. If the lens had a third setting that allowed close focus to maybe 15 meters, that would solve this problem.
The AF Limiter I was referring to is in the body and not on the lens itself. In my Olympus camera menu, I can set any AF lens to a tenth of a foot in both the Near and Far distances. Some lenses have a limit on the lens itself, but in the body menu itself is where I usually set mine to fine tune it and not on the lens itself. That's why I asked if your G9 body has that capability in its menu as does the Oly. E-M1 Mark II and E-M1X. It might be in the G9 owner's manual someplace if it is capable of doing that.
 

Ajay1

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Which is used for CAF, still uses CDAF for SAF. I’ve also never had this problem on my EM1 or EM5 (both original versions)
Ok. Thanks. Then it must be Panasonic's software/firmware that for whatever reason seems to overlook this situation. It's interesting that the problem has ported over to their FF cameras.
 

Ajay1

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It might be in the G9 owner's manual someplace if it is capable of doing that.
There's no option for that. Good to know Oly has that. Maybe I might try an EM1 II, but will it work with the Panny 100-400mm?
 

Mack

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There's no option for that. Good to know Oly has that. Maybe I might try an EM1 II, but will it work with the Panny 100-400mm?
Well, that's a bummer the G9 doesn't have it! :(

This is what it looks like in the E-M1X menu which is set for 25.0 to 50.0 feet which is one of my bird range settings. It keeps the Olympus 300mm f/4 focus from going off to who knows where. Fwiw, that lens has three settings on it: 1.4-4m, 1.4 to Infinity, and 4m to Infinity, but I use the camera's limiter range menu as the 4m is often a sticking point given my preferred shooting range.

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Ajay1

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Well, that's a bummer the G9 doesn't have it! :(

This is what it looks like in the E-M1X menu which is set for 25.0 to 50.0 feet which is one of my bird range settings. It keeps the Olympus 300mm f/4 focus from going off to who knows where. Fwiw, that lens has three settings on it: 1.4-4m, 1.4 to Infinity, and 4m to Infinity, but I use the camera's limiter range menu as the 4m is often a sticking point given my preferred shooting range.
That is really nice to know on both accounts. I really like the ergonomics of the G9 but this has me thinking. Thanks.
 

flamingfish

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I've had this problem with the E-M5 II and the 100-400. I thought it was just user error (inexperience with the lens), but now I'm wondering. When it happened to me, I had to move the camera away from the subject, find something at the same distance that was nice and contrasty, and then carefully move back to the subject, assuming the subject was still there.
 

jbruce

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I've had this problem with the E-M5 II and the 100-400. I thought it was just user error (inexperience with the lens), but now I'm wondering. When it happened to me, I had to move the camera away from the subject, find something at the same distance that was nice and contrasty, and then carefully move back to the subject, assuming the subject was still there.
Identical experience for me also, with the identical setup, and it is very frustrating--but I persevere. John
 

Daniel J. Cox

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I've had the combination of the G9 and 100-400 lens for over a year now. Currently at the latest firmware update as far as I know (v 1.2). I still run into a problem when photographing birds at close range...If the G9 grabs focus on the background, it is nearly impossible to refocus on the foreground bird. The only thing I can do at this point is point the camera at another nearby object that nearly fills up the framed image, then it will refocus on the foreground and I can then focus on the foreground bird -- if it's still there.

I have tried every focus point setting known to this camera. I have tried every autofocus setting known to man. No matter what setting, if you lose close focus and it grabs the background, good luck in re-establishing foreground focus on subjects that fill up about 40% of the frame or less.

The strange thing is, is that the G9 appears to recognize that a foreground object exists, but never switches focus. I use back button focus and keep pumping it, hoping it will grab the foreground subject.

It's always been a frustration with this camera and the 100-400mm lens. (I wish the lens had a close focus switch so that it would prevent the lens from trying to focus to infinity.)

I'm curious to know if others have this same problem and if there is any setting I am missing (although I think I have tried everything).

Because of this problem I primarily use this camera and lens for wildlife video work only.
I've also seen this issue with all my Lumix cameras. But to be fair it also happened now and again with my Nikons. Do you have the most current firmware for both lens and camera? I saw a noticeable improvement after the most current firmware for the G9. Here's a video I created to show a relatively quick workaround
.
 

ac12

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I have had a kinda similar loss of focus lock shooting a hurdler "head on," where it was relatively easy to hold the AF point on the hurdler, yet the AF would switch from the hurdler to the background and sometimes back to the hurdler. This was with a 75-300 on an EM1-mk1.

My experience with Nikon has been, if the AF point is on something with low contrast, like a one-color jersey/shirt, it looses AF lock and goes into hunt mode.
 

Ajay1

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I've also seen this issue with all my Lumix cameras. But to be fair it also happened now and again with my Nikons. Do you have the most current firmware for both lens and camera? I saw a noticeable improvement after the most current firmware for the G9. Here's a video I created to show a relatively quick workaround
Both G9 and the 100-400 are at Vers. 1.2. I believe this is the most current version. I have also seen a similar problem with Canon DSLR's but typically a second pump of the focus, it will snap in to focus. Thanks.
 

D7k1

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So after playing around today, for me the following is the best and quickest work-a-round. I have AF+MF assigned to the button next to the grip. As I hold the camera remembering manual focus is direction short movement turn the focus counter clock wise, far distance turn the lens clockwise, if it won't lock in AF I press the button and manually focus to where I am close and then hit back button again. Works a high percentage for me. Once you do it a few times it is easy to do.
 

grcolts

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I'm not talking about BIF settings. I am talking about initial focus of close subjects. They do not need to be in-flight.

For example, a bird perched on a thin, metal fence post 30' away. Behind the fence post, there is a tree line. The camera is focused on the trees. Attempting to refocus on the bird or the thin metal fence post in the foreground is a lesson in futility. The only way to get close focus is to focus on the base of the fence post in which the ground fills the frame, then pan up and hopefully the bird is still there.

BTW, the focal planes of the bird in foreground and trees in background are very far apart. In other words, when the bird is in focus, the background is completely blurred with no definition.

Here's an example:
View attachment 746287
My G9 does this too with the 100-300 ii G lens.
A couple of things that help is to focus first on something in the foreground of the subject you are shooting. Then focus on your subject. Many times this trick will then focus correctly on the bird or whatever you are trying to shoot. Second, try using the joy stick to move the AF point to where you want it to focus. I have read that the focus problem is due to the contrast AF system of the camera. Check to make sure too you have the newest firmware update as it is supposed to have helped the situation. Good luck.
GR
 
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