How good is Live ND feature in E-M1 iii ?

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Jul 26, 2013
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Hello,

For E-M1 iii I am looking for a wide-angle lens for Astrophotography and Landscapes (including sea, river, sky, lightning, etc.).

I know that Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 will be a little better than Panasonic 8-18mm f/2.8-4, because of little more wide and constant aperture. But Oly will not take filters. If I choose to go with that, is Live ND filter enough good that I won't miss real filters?
Even if it is a minor difference, I won't bother. But if the statement is "Live ND feature is just bad and just a marketing tactic, then I think Panasonic should be my preference, along with the external filter.

What do you say?

Thanks
 

RichardC

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Try it out with a different lens first.

If you don't yet own an EM1 mk3, borrow one/rent one/test and wow one. A Mk3+7-14 lens is a lot of money if it won't live up to expectations.

There are adapters for the Olympus 7-14 such as the one made by Nisi.

It's not cheap, nor are 150mm filters, but as a landscape photographer you may need a polariser too (which will help mitigate the cost of the adapter), and as an MFT astrophotographer, the extra speed at 14mm will come in useful.
 

pdk42

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Except for the extra 1mm on the wide end, in what way do you think the Oly 7-14 is better than the 8-18? Optically, it's a wash and the constant aperture is really not an issue for most stills photography. The ability to take filters OTOH is massive - not just a 3 stop ND (best you'll get with the Live ND filter simulation), but 10 stop NDs which are essential for true long exposures in daylight.
 
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I understood that there would not be much difference between f/2.8 of 7-14mm vs 8-18mm, but it will affect when I go on tele end of these both lenses. Olympus will stay at 2.8 while Panasonic will be at 4.

How about astrophotography? I see different opinions. A lot of posters and YouTuber reviews praise a lot about the Starry AF feature of Olympus. On another side, many say that it will be far behind the big sensor of full-frame, even if it would be on F/4 vs f/2.8 on m43. Though this is not a decision-maker factor for me, because I will do astro occasionally, but want to understand how close or far I would be if I compare.
 

PhotoCal

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i saw a recent video where they compared using ND filters vs merging in post. I was not impressed with the PP version at all. But I've seen fine examples of Live ND, which is a similar concept.

I was very interested in Live ND until I saw that.
 
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i saw a recent video where they compared using ND filters vs merging in post. I was not impressed with the PP version at all. But I've seen fine examples of Live ND, which is a similar concept.

I was very interested in Live ND until I saw that.
Did you try or have some opinion on Astrophotography too, as I asked in my previous post?
 
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i saw a recent video where they compared using ND filters vs. merging in post. I was not impressed with the PP version at all. But I've seen fine examples of Live ND, which is a similar concept.

I was very interested in Live ND until I saw that.
Can you point me to the video? Which part bothered you? The output should be pretty close to what you get with ND filters, though fast-moving subjects with fast shutter speeds can cause issues as there is a slight pause between the shots.
Another advantage of Live ND is that it acts as an ND filter and reduces noise.
 
Last edited:

Mack

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There are "STC Clip Filters" in ND, IR, Underwater, and Astro varieties that sit behind the wide-angle lenses. They are not without some clip-in issues though, and seem to differ from camera-to-camera. My Pen-F is the easiest for them to snap into for some reason.

Astro one here: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/stc-clip-in-filter.107688/

Another about modifying them a bit here to install easier: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/stc-ir-nd64-6-stop-neutral-density-clip-filter.108025/#post-1379200

STC Clip Filters website: https://stcoptics.com/en/clip_filter/
 

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