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Need help with verifying focusing issue with EM1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by shg2, May 26, 2014.

  1. shg2

    shg2 Mu-43 Regular

    28
    May 14, 2014
    NY
    I have EM1, 75/1.8 and 12-40/2.8 sine 3 weeks and I have been having CAF problems since the beginning and then SAF problems in addition to the lock ups.

    CAF using EM1 with 75/1.8
    I am new to it so I am mostly blaming myself however, I always notice that the camera can't maintain focus while panning.
    I have release priority off, use smallest focus frame, sometimes regular and sometimes 3x3 and I take candid photos for people walking in the street and for runners. My keep rate is less than 15%.
    I change the aperture to smaller numbers f4-f8, 6fps and I still could not improve the results.


    SAF using EM1 with 75/1.8
    Since I spent the first week with the camera on CAF so I started using the SAF last week I noticed some of the photos are out of focus (release priority off, A priority wide open, all in camera image enhancement settings on default.

    At this point I am disappointed and upset as I can't figure out what's wrong, is it the camera, lens or myself? The out of focus with SAF is around 10-20% maybe and I am not changing any settings and is being used for portrait mainly from 8' distance or around that. I did get some incredible pictures and that is what driving me insane.

    What do you suggest that I do to make sure whether it is a camera, lens, both or myself is at fault? What kind of tests should easily provide the answer?

    Below you will find 3 still images with SAF. For the portraits, the first one was at f2.2 and smallest focus frame on the eye. Second one f1.8 and focus on the eye. Third, Focus at the widest area of the triangle of the upper water stream

    P5240162.

    P5240156.

    P5240191.
     
  2. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    697
    Feb 2, 2012
    The camera is focusing on the center of the picture in the first two frames. In addition there could be motion blur. I find touch focus and manual focus to be helpful. I think most cameras seek straight still lines even if you have the green box somewhere else. I have this problem with all cameras,and small focal box helps but does not cure problem. I don't use CAF. I would be interested in any solutions myself.
     
  3. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    My quick humble opinion:

    Picture1: camera shake, see the writing on the jacket
    Picture2: slight motion blur of the person's head
    Picture3: Focus OK, but of course the water is 'living'
     
  4. shg2

    shg2 Mu-43 Regular

    28
    May 14, 2014
    NY
    Should not the IBIS fix the camera shake? The shutter is at 1/2000 for first two pictures and 1/8000 for the third one so chances of motion blur along with the help of IBIS should be eliminated.
     
  5. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    Don't use IBIS when it's not necessary... IBIS and shutter 1/2000 is counter-productive...
     
  6. shg2

    shg2 Mu-43 Regular

    28
    May 14, 2014
    NY
    So I need to keep turning the IBIS on and off as needed?
     
  7. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    Yes, unfortunately, there's no intelligent automatism in Olympus Bodies to switch on/off depending on shutter speed
     
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I have excellent results with AF on my E-M5 - certainly significantly better than the Canon 5dii I used to have. However, all AF systems have quirks and limitations. IMHO, the 3 images you posted show:

    - #1 - The focus is on the flag behind the soldier's face. I've noticed that the Oly AF seems to prefer Vertical lines to lock onto. I'm guessing that the focus square was over both the face and the flag (or maybe close to the edge of the face).

    - #2 - The body, t-shirt and arms are sharp, as is the hair, so DOF is covering the whole area of interest, so it must be subject motion.

    -#3 - The water spout is sharp. The water is moving fast enough to blur even at a high shutter speed.

    So, I think it's a technique issue. Here's a few ideas:

    - Try back button focus -it makes focus/recompose very easy and avoids the camera refocussing as you press the shutter
    - Use face-detect for people - it's a stunning feature!
    - Try using the rear-screen touch to focus
    - Slow down and check where the camera's focussed, at least until you understand its quirks.

    Oh, and I never turn off IBIS. I'm yet to see any evidence that it's a disadvantage at higher shutter speeds.
     
  9. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    697
    Feb 2, 2012
    Why is this true? What is the mechanism of this ? Is this like the old saw about not using IS with a tripod ,which is not stressed as much now?
     
  10. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    82
    May 4, 2014
    Germany
    I don't know why it's true... I tested it in reality and found out that in fact it's true... unfortunately... would be more happy if I could activate IS all day long...
     
  11. shg2

    shg2 Mu-43 Regular

    28
    May 14, 2014
    NY
    Thanks for the notes and tips. I will be more careful from now on until I learn the camera better.

    You suggested to use "back button focus", is this when assigning AFL/AEL to focus and let the shutter button only for taking pictures, mode 4 I think? Are you suggesting this to eliminate the chances of during the recompose I may get another focus lock for not keeping the half shutter firmly or for another reason? I tired it by the way and it needs some practice to get used to it.

    I will try the face detect feature when I have one person in the frame otherwise it will pick the closest person which may not be the one I want to photograph.

    Again, thanks for the tips
     
  12. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I haven't tested this with every camera and every lens I own, but I have tested with several of each and had the same results. I generally do not turn on IBIS/OIS unless the light is grim and the shutter speed is in "should be on a tripod" territory.
     
  13. LowTEC

    LowTEC Mu-43 Regular

    I shoot events day in day out with my EM5, never have a problem with IBIS stays on 100%, including shooting birds. I even shoot the moon on tripod with ibis on and I have never experience a blurry image