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Is this sharpness considered normal for the 50-200mm SWD?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by hkpzee, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    The following shot is taken with an Olympus Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD with the EC-14 on my E-M5, handheld with IBIS on. The settings are: f/5 | 1/800 sec | ISO-320 | @ 283mm. Somehow, the shot doesn't appear as sharp as I'd expect it to be, but this is the typical sharpness I get with this lens when fully extended. Is there motion blur, or is this as good as I'll get from this lens? :confused:

    P6240492_02.

    100% Crop:
    P6240492_03.
     
  2. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    It is hard to tell with all the JPEG compression artifacts. I would go out and take more than one picture to evaluate a lens, especially if I were shooting under really flat lighting--resolving power of the camera/lens and object contrast are directly related.
     
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Definitely. Also I'd start with a subject that isn't moving. Misfocus with adapted 4/3 lenses is common.

    DH
     
  4. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    I've seen much better results from that lens and converter combo. As Hikari said it's hard to tell with the heavy compression but it looks like it missed focus. It looks like the plane of focus is a few feet beyond the boat.

    Fred
     
  5. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    Even allowing for the compression I'd expect to see much better from that lens and converter, I'm sure it must be a focus issue.
     
  6. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Thanks, guys. Maybe that's what it is. I do find the lens miss focus quite a bit at the far end, and perhaps my own movement resulted in missed focus. I guess it's time to get back to working on my shooting techniques with this lens!
     
  7. phdezra

    phdezra Mu-43 Stalker

    115
    Dec 6, 2011
    New York, NY
    Long answer from Olympus

    I'm curious about the sharpness, and tagging along in this thread, because I almost bought (and still might) a 50-200 SWD. In fact, I found a good used one but before I bought it I called Olympus tech support for digital cameras 1-888-553-4448. I asked this exact question: "I have an E-M5 and an E-P3, and I want to buy the 50-200 SWD. Will the auto-focus work if I buy the MMF-2 or -3 adapter?"

    Paraphrasing the answer:
    The technician on the phone said he had tested this lens a few times with the adapter, and the answer was NO. Technically, he said, it auto-focuses with adapter but suffers very badly from correct auto-focus lock (he used another term, but I dont recall :rolleyes:). When I pressed him further he said that the MMF-2 or -3 (and other adapters) need an "AF CONTRAST" compatible lens, and the 50-200 is not. A firmware fix could technically help this he said, but it's not nbeing done for this lens. He mentioned that, for instance, the firmware had been upgraded on the 70-300 (four-thirds) and that works.

    SO, since I am looking for a loooooong telephoto zoom, I asked him what he thought about that 70-300 as a choice? He said the 75-300, specifically for m/43 would be better and "sharper." (His exact word.) But, I retorted, I had heard and seen mediocre results from the 75-300. He replied that the 75-300 is near high-grade lens. End.​

    Soooooo, now that I see your shots, I totally understand what he meant. Honestly, I think the word "sharp" doesnt even come into my mind when I see these results. Clearly it's not the glass elements themselves but something else funky going on with focus lock. On the other hand, based on what he implied, the glass on the 75-300 is better than four-thirds.

    All in all, I am disappointed that I might have to wait for the Pana 35-100 because a) that is more expensive and b) reach is not quite long enough for what I wanted. (Anyone know if a Teleconverter would help push that higher and yet retain AF?)

    Ezra
     
  8. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I could get good results with tripod and manual focus, but the AF does seem to miss by a fraction, which becomes magnified when the lens is fully extended. I am still trying to figure out if this is due to my own movement (it is a heavy lens on a light body afterall), resulting in missed focus, or issue with the AF system itself.
     
  9. phdezra

    phdezra Mu-43 Stalker

    115
    Dec 6, 2011
    New York, NY
    Well, if you werent getting good rsults using MF and tripod, then the issue would be the optics not the AF... so that is good to hear. (Can you please post soe images with this setup using MF?)

    However, the AF is troubling to me - because what's the point of it then? Just get some good legacy glass...?

    I'm going to try out an old Olympus Auto-T 300/4.5 OM lens I have laying around. I finally got the OM-MFT adapter for it. Interesting to note that the Auto-T 300 and the 50-200 both weigh the same (1000g and 995g, respectively), except one is a modern day zoom. I wonder...
     
  10. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Since I don't have access to my photos at the moment, I'll try to dig something out from my files and post it here when I have a chance.

    I am also disappointed that the AF isn't working as well as I had hoped, which is why I am still hoping they'd come up with a PDAF-enabling adaptor. Otherwise, I'll seriously consider switching to a native superzoom, except that none of them with the same reach has nearly as fast an aperture... What a dilemma!
     
  11. phdezra

    phdezra Mu-43 Stalker

    115
    Dec 6, 2011
    New York, NY
    I took another look at this boat/fisherman photo of yours - it is actually not terrible. Not great, but not terrible. The actual image, before 100% crop, has the numbers on side of boat in focus and so on. Upon 100% crop, there are some artifacts or softness or call-it-what-you-like, but if you coudl post some MF images would be good to compare and contrast.

    Thanks.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I have played around with the lens and got some better results if I reduce the focus box to the smallest size, in better contrast situation. I would post some results if my computer would oblige. Unfortunately, it has refused to start up...
     
  13. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Took me a while, but finally got around to redoing and posting some test shots with the lens extended to 200mm on tripod (These were SOOC JPEGs without any PP):
    1.
    P7080057_AF.

    100% Crop:
    P7080057_AF_100.

    2.
    P7080058_MF.

    100% Crop:
    P7080058_MF_100.

    Took both at f/8.0, 1/30 sec, ISO-1000, on 2 seconds timer (Wasn't bright enough to allow for higher shutter speed, but since it is on tripod, the slower speed is fine). Can you tell which one is done by AF and which one by MF?

    I don't think there is any discernible difference between the 2.

    Finally, here's a handheld shot at f/10, 1/1000 sec, ISO 640 (I was so busy trying to capture this shot of my friends passing by my house that I accidentally left the ISO at 640):
    3.
    P7080030_02.

    100% Crop:
    P7080030_02_100.

    Based on more trial-and-errors over the past couple weeks, I can draw the following conclusions:
    1) There is nothing wrong with my lens (what a relief!);
    2) The 50-200mm SWD is sharp, but difficult to handle on a m4/3 body;
    3) The DOF when fully extended is really shallow, even when stopped down, so in order to get good handheld results, one should:
    (i) use faster shutter speed (1/500 or above should be safe);
    (ii) stopping down will help;
    (iii) use the smallest focus box possible (14x) even when in AF mode, rather than the default focus box;
    (iv) move the focus box into the area of the frame you want to focus, because far-away subject will get out of focus if you move the camera ever so slightly (hence, one cannot focus and recompose);
    (v) set into vivid mode if there is no enough contrast

    I find that with the E-M5, the 50-200SWD focuses fast enough to capture slow moving objects, like sail boats, but can absolutely not focus and recompose. Next time, I am going to try C-AF as someone on this forum has suggested that the C-AF on the E-M5 works well enough to allow capturing moving objects with the above AF method...

    Hope the above findings are helpful to those contemplating on using or already is using the 50-200SWD on m4/3... :wink:

    Any comment, anyone?