Geese In Flight, EM-1 with 50-200 and Focus Tracking

Discussion in 'Nature' started by denniscloutier, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. denniscloutier

    denniscloutier Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2011
    Yesterday I went out to fool around with the continuous autofocus with tracking on my new EM-1. I was using the 50-200 mm lens. Generally I was pleasantly surprised. The focus tracking did a good job of locking onto what I wanted it to and tracking it. When the geese were close and heading straight for me the autofocus couldn't seem to keep up, but they do move awfully fast so I'm not terribly surprised. It worked best when the background was fairly uniform, like sky or trees. I have some shots against a background of houses and boats and it pretty consistently wanted to focus on the background, not on the geese.

    I started out using my 2x teleconverter, but that wasn't working. It was early morning in winter, so it wasn't all that bright. I'm hoping that I can get it to work in higher light conditions.

    The third image isn't sharp, but I think that was motion blur. I was only shooting at 1/200th. But, I think the blur gives a sense of speed which I kind of like.

    Overall I had more misses than hits, but given the subject matter, light level, and the fact that this would have been totally impossible on my EM-5, I am pretty pleased. I'm sure my results will improve with more practice.

    geese in flight-2.jpg geese in flight-3.jpg geese in flight-4.jpg geese in flight.jpg
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  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Dennis, did you get a chance to play around with the 2x teleconverter any more? I just got my E-M1 (yay!) and I've found a great deal on a 50-200 SWD (cousin is picking it up this weekend, it's local to him and they wouldn't ship), and I'd like to add at least a 1.4 teleconverter. However, found a pretty good deal on a second hand EC-20 2x telecon, and was wondering how that fares in combination with the E-M1's AF system.

    Keep in mind this level of reach would primarily be used on vacations to (mostly) sunny places with wildlife for me; I really loved having the 100-300 on my E-M5 (pre-theft of both) in terms of range, and the optical quality could really be quite excellent a lot of the time, but more reach is pretty much always a good thing. As long as it will autofocus.
  3. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I zlso have the 50-200 MKI and after much asking and reading the only logical choice is the M1. Can you confirm? I also have the 75-300 MK II but I think IQ is better on 50-200: am I right?
  4. denniscloutier

    denniscloutier Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2011
    Mattia: I haven't had a chance to try the 2x since I upgraded the firmware, but the 50-200 alone seems to work better with the new firmware so I'm hopeful.

    Elandel: I used to use the 50-200 on my EM-5, and on that body the autofocus wasn't very functional. I used it as a manual focus lens most of the time. On the EM-1 the autofocus is much better. It still hunts some, but I can use it with pretty good results. I own a copy of the 100-300 and I think the IQ is better on the 50-200. I haven't used the 75-300, but from what I've read it sounds like it is pretty close to the 100 - 300. I suspect that the 50-200 is better than either but I can't say that from personal experience.
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    You got some great shots, nicely done!
  6. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Thanks. I think the E-M1 is the way to go. Yes Zuiko Pro glass has awesome IQ and 50-200 is surely one of the best.
  7. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    What is your opinion on using the 100-300 on the EM-1? I took my EM-1 out fir the first time today to see how they would work together and was pretty underwhelmed. I tried both C-AF and C-AF+TR and most of the time the lens was just moving back and forth through the whole focus range, just like it used to do on the EM-5 and the E-P3 before that. Even when I pre-focussed so the bird was nearly in focus it would often start hunting and lose the bird completely. Zooming out to 150 mm improved the situation somewhat, and I believe I got more almost-keepers at noon than I did around 3pm when shadows were growing long.

    The lens usually works well on static subjects but I've never had much success on anything that moves. Would you say the 50-200 is better or worse on the EM-1? Have I missed some magic "make af work" button somewhere?

    Here's the best shot I managed today.

    With a bit of cropping I got this. Mostly noise, but one can still clearly see that it's a bird.
  8. denniscloutier

    denniscloutier Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2011
    I haven't tried it on the EM-1. I have one that I never use since I got the 50-200. My experience on the EM-5 was that the improvement in IQ was worth the sacrifice in focus speed. On the EM-1 the 50-200 focuses much better, so I really aught to sell the 100-300.
  9. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I have the 50-200 and the M1 but haven't tried it yet because the weather is awful. Can you tell me how it performs?