Laowa 10mm f/2 Firmware Fault

Mike Wingate

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Is the camera lens data cache, not cleared when the camera is turned off? I have the habit of turning off the camera when changing lenses. I have shot with the Laowa 7.5mm lens on my GX80. No problems so far, plus I have the P14-140. As well as non electrical contact lenses on adapters. I am intrigued by all these problems. If my equipment works for me, I generally do not update the firmware. Having had duff updates which incapacitated equipment ( mainly computers) in the past.
 

PakkyT

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Is the camera lens data cache, not cleared when the camera is turned off?

I wonder if the two cameras mentioned in the email he received are special cases with how they handle lens data. Meaning, perhaps they are the only two models who attempt to somehow speed up or optimize operation of caching that lens data in the camera body. I say that because I wonder why you would need to cache it at all? Seems like you can simply take the photo and apply the lens correction data as read directly from the lens each and every time. I can not imagine that the read time to get the data from the lens each time is all that much slower than the read time from some internal location, at least not on a human noticeable scale.

Of course I have no idea how any of them do it, so pure never-to-be-proven-one-way-or-the-other contemplation/speculation.
 

Paolo Damiani

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I just ordered this lens (and I'm a bit nervous), and I have a GX85, GX8, GX9 and a G9. I will test the lens with all four bodies and report back.

For the record, none of my Lumix bodies have had an issue with severe distortions after lens changes. However, I always turn the body off for a lens swap.
 

bargainguy

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Here's a thought: Does the "shoot without lens" setting automatically clear the cache? I haven't played with my GX85 in awhile...
 

Florian2

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Hi, the explanation that a distortion correction measured off a previous lens is incorrectly loaded into the Laowa lens, is correct in my opinion. Sort of prove is: The problem is there only when I have a Panasonic lens on my GX9 body first. It disappears when I put a Sigma (60mm, 2,8) lens on the body between the Panasonic and the Laowa lens. Seems like the Sigma empties the cash. (I do not know for Olympus lenses as I do not own one.) Unfortunately, turning the camera off and on or even taking the battery out does not help. The incorrect correction is not present in the RAW files. However, the information of the correction is somehow stored with the RAW files and is automatically applied in Light room. It is not applied in other RAW converters - I use DXO pure now first and it works. Laowa service told me: You can send the lens in on our cost or you can wait until a firmware update will be available. Right now, they do not have the technology of firmeware update through SD card, they said, but they are developing it. I am waiting. Greetings to you all.
 

Florian2

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Following this thread, since this lens is exactly what I've been considering on a GX85.

1.) Could this be outside of firmware - an actual physical issue, electronic connection or otherwise - that cannot be corrected?
2.) If this is "the extent of the fault depends on the cached lens profile value" can one at least temporarily jury-rig a solution by attaching/using a known "low correction" lens/FL, and then switch over to the Laowa?
2.)b) Can you attach/shoot with a completely non-electrical connected lens, like an old adapted lens (or perhaps menu option "shoot without lens,") and then try the 10mm?

Just spitballing, since I can't test this myself. Might help pinpoint the problem, and/or give a wonky temporary workaround
Yes, a work around 2)c) works for me: attaching my Sigma 60mm f2.8 and taking a picture takes the false correction away. Afterwards jpegs from the Laowa are perfect. The worse work around is to put a piece of paper between the contacts of the lens and the body. There will be no false correction, but as well no EXIF data, no focus peaking and the only available aperture f 2.0.
 

Variable

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@Florian2, thank you for contributing helpful experience to this thread. It expands the impacted body pool to the GX9, from the Laowa’s GX85 and G9 list.

Very interesting that attaching a third party lens with electronic contacts before the Laowa clears the lens profile (the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 is AE and AF). It’s as though the firmware of the Sigma negotiates in the proper way with the body.

Also it’s new information that Laowa is developing a user-side firmware update. That would be a big win for all owners of this lens to know their unit will perform properly on any Panasonic body after applying the update.
 
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Florian2

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@Florian2, thank you for contributing helpful experience to this thread. It expands the impacted body pool to the GX9, from the Laowa’s GX85 and G9 list.

Very interesting that attaching a third party lens with electronic contacts before the Laowa clears the lens profile (the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 is AF). It’s as though the firmware of the Sigma negotiates in the proper way with the body.

Also it’s new information that Laowa is developing a user-side firmware update. That would be a big win for all owners of this lens to know their unit will perform properly on any Panasonic body after applying the update.
Thank you! As for the explanation my guess is: The Sigma has no correction profile. But as you say it has AF and a chip that communicates with the body. Now the program on that chip includes a part that nullifies (erases) the correction profile of the previously attached lens that was loaded to the camera. The problem with the Laowa would be that when writing the program for the lens they just forgot that part. I am not a programmer but to me that sounds plausible. And for the bodies that show the problem - I have noticed it also on my DC-GX800 and on my old Olympus E-PM1.

I am adding the pieces about the possible firmware upgrade from
Screenshot_2.png
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Screenshot_3.png
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my Facebook conversation with Laowa support
 
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Variable

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Fascinating that you found the issue on 2 more bodies, and one is an Olympus.

I wonder : Are GH-series immune? In other words are the photo-centric bodies only impacted?
 

speedy

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Hi, the explanation that a distortion correction measured off a previous lens is incorrectly loaded into the Laowa lens, is correct in my opinion. Sort of prove is: The problem is there only when I have a Panasonic lens on my GX9 body first. It disappears when I put a Sigma (60mm, 2,8) lens on the body between the Panasonic and the Laowa lens. Seems like the Sigma empties the cash. (I do not know for Olympus lenses as I do not own one.) Unfortunately, turning the camera off and on or even taking the battery out does not help. The incorrect correction is not present in the RAW files. However, the information of the correction is somehow stored with the RAW files and is automatically applied in Light room. It is not applied in other RAW converters - I use DXO pure now first and it works. Laowa service told me: You can send the lens in on our cost or you can wait until a firmware update will be available. Right now, they do not have the technology of firmeware update through SD card, they said, but they are developing it. I am waiting. Greetings to you all.
Righty oh then. It is a raw converter issue, as I guessed in a previous post. That's why I've never struck it with my G9, I use SilkyPix.
 

Variable

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@speedy If you only care about the RAW output, and your convertor of choice ignores the exif field that includes the bunk lens profile data, then you can workaround the issue.

But I never took video with the lens.

Can someone with an affected body take a few videos, using the various video settings, and see if the distortion is present? It would be very interesting to know if the issue only affects stills, or is present in video. My bet is that the camera corrects the lens with the wrong profile, as it does with jpegs.
 

Paolo Damiani

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Got my lens today. I'll do more extensive tests tomorrow, but for each body (GX85. GX9, GX8 and G9), quick shots with RAW files and viewed in PL4, the correction does not look abnormal. I'm on firmware version .0.4. (Does my RAW developer eliminate the issue? I never shoot OOC jpg.)

I'll find a brick wall tomorrow (when the light and weather is better) and do a more controlled test.
 

speedy

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Got my lens today. I'll do more extensive tests tomorrow, but for each body (GX85. GX9, GX8 and G9), quick shots with RAW files and viewed in PL4, the correction does not look abnormal. I'm on firmware version .0.4. (Does my RAW developer eliminate the issue? I never shoot OOC jpg.)

I'll find a brick wall tomorrow (when the light and weather is better) and do a more controlled test.
I'm not sure what's going on -as I wrote earlier, I bought mine online right at release from Laowa themselves (not through a local distributor/shop) I shoot raw+jpeg on my G9 and tried it on my GX8 as well, & I've not seen that issue. Not sure how to create it either, as it looks like it's a raw converter problem. I power off, or swap lenses in sleep mode also, not sure if that helps. I've swapped back and forwards between my PL8-18 & the Laowa quite a bit, when shooting comparison shots for field of view, and image quality, and not seen anything like it.
 

speedy

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@speedy If you only care about the RAW output, and your convertor of choice ignores the exif field that includes the bunk lens profile data, then you can workaround the issue.

But I never took video with the lens.

Can someone with an affected body take a few videos, using the various video settings, and see if the distortion is present? It would be very interesting to know if the issue only affects stills, or is present in video. My bet is that the camera corrects the lens with the wrong profile, as it does with jpegs.
Which previously mounted lens is causing you the issues by the way? If I have it, I'll try that and see what happens. Are you turning off/ letting the camera go into sleep mode before changing lenses?
 

Florian2

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@speedy If you only care about the RAW output, and your convertor of choice ignores the exif field that includes the bunk lens profile data, then you can workaround the issue.

But I never took video with the lens.

Can someone with an affected body take a few videos, using the various video settings, and see if the distortion is present? It would be very interesting to know if the issue only affects stills, or is present in video. My bet is that the camera corrects the lens with the wrong profile, as it does with jpegs

That was a good idea. I tried it - it is the same. Here after the Panasonic pancake 1.7/20. See for yourself - https://flic.kr/p/2m3JLPP
 

Variable

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@Florian2 I think I misunderstand your posts. I don’t see photo or video for the Panasonic 20mm/1.7

Can you clarify- which previously-mounted lens gives the video with pincushion distortion?
 

Variable

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@speedy The previously-mounted lens I had was the Panasonic 14-140mm II.

I powered off between lens swaps, and did not reset the focal length for shoot without lens.
 

speedy

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@speedy The previously-mounted lens I had was the Panasonic 14-140mm II.

I powered off between lens swaps, and did not reset the focal length for shoot without lens.
Right. That makes sense, as I'd imagine there would be LOTS of distortion correction going on with a superzoom with its huge focal range for the size.. In saying that, I would have thought I would have seen it swapping back and forwards between my PL8-18. Maybe it's there, it's just subtle enough that I've never noticed it. To be honest, I have a hard time seeing it in those video samples shown above. And I'm not in the habit of doing brick wall tests
 

speedy

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And just for the record, this is my typical usage scenario
chilled.jpg
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T light.jpg
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proud.jpg
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Nash.jpg
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harbour.jpg
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