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Low light images

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by kanasgowatom, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. kanasgowatom

    kanasgowatom Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 11, 2011
    Some of the factors that were included in my decision to jump to the Pen PL3 were Olympus's claim to fast focus in low light. Not believing in the ads totally, I was very impressed with the candid, low light, night shots, I saw posted here about one month ago. Since these were candid (for the most part), I assume a tripod was not used. So far, my attempts to focus with the 17mm 2.8, have been very frustrating. I don't think the one stop advantage the 45mm 1.8 lens affords would make much difference. The auto focus illuminator, lighting up the upper left portion of the scene, doesn't do much good either.
    Any suggestions, at all, are welcome.

    Thank you,
  2. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Could you post one or more of your images that you have taken in low light?
  3. kanasgowatom

    kanasgowatom Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 11, 2011
    Low Light

    Thank you for your reply. The sad truth is I don't have any, right now.
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'm with RnR, a few images would be helpful.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    It makes a difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    f/1.8 to f/2.8 is a stop and a half. It definitely makes a difference.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Yes. I agree. I have found both the 45mm f1.8 and the 25mm 1.4 to be very good low light performers... (and the 20mm f1.7) And it depends on how low is low. Beyond a certain point you will always need a tripod or support to save huge ISO settings or blurry handshake images, it's about knowing the limits of your set up.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    Another observation: The 17/2.8 focuses a little bit slower than the 45/1.8 even in good light. I'm not sure why, but some guesses might include that the optical group is heavier (probably not), the focusing motor is less powerful (maybe), or that the gearing is more fine (maybe).

    In this respect, the Panasonic 20/1.7 may gather more light, but may still be slower to focus than the 17/2.8. Similarly, the Panasonic 14/2.5 may not gather much more light, but it will probably focus quicker.

    The point is that some lenses focus mechanically quicker despite their aperture. The 45 focuses rapidly, the 17 less so, even in good light.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. zerotiu

    zerotiu Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 13, 2011
    I can say that if you can see the object/subject through the LCD it can be shot. I haven't taken a lot of low light photo but you can see one here : my blog. I took that with only the macbook lcd as light source. I use pana 14mm f2.5 with ISO 500 with a tripod of course.

    If you can't see anything or the object has a flat texture, it's harder to focus in low light. That's my experience. Oh yea, it's faster in low light focusing if I compare it with my 550d.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    Trying to understand just how low the light is you are trying to shoot in, and at what iso settings... I am able to take shots with the 17/2.8 on my E-P1 without problem in rather dimly lit streets, though occasionally I have to hike the iOS up and then do a little de-noising later when processing

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    x3 - remember a full stop equates to a DOUBLING of either open aperture area, shutter speed, or ISO. So, if the problem is motion blur because you were at 1/50 shutter speed, with one stop more aperture, you would be at 1/100. Bump the ISO one stop (from 200 to 400, say) and now your shutter speed is 1/200.

    In low light, having aperture available is HUGE in keeping your ISO reasonable and shutter speed fast. With our 2x crop sensor, you can take advantage of the brighter aperture and still have reasonable DOF to keep the whole subject in focus.
  12. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Actually, as far as I know Olympus made no such claims.

    In good light it's certainly fast. Low light is hit or miss, depending on your lens and how much contrast is available in the scene.
  13. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    The final (hopefully) point I have on this matter is:

    Out of the box, my GF2 did not have "fast AF" enabled. Once enabled—lo—it focused faster.

    I think fast AF is the double sampling rate option. Maybe your camera has a similar option (though I haven't used your camera model).
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