New EM5 and 12-40 PRO user: Is my 12-40 soft???

ca22

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Hi Everyone,

thanks in advance for your advice - is my copy of the 12-40 soft?? I have been paranoid about this since switching over from Canon APS-C and dealing with all sorts of softness and back and front focus issues using Sigma lenses on that format. Now I realize that front and back focus are almost never an issue with Olympus m43 contrast detect AF, so I wonder if the softness I'm seeing is normal or not. I've seen some impressively sharp examples on the web... The following was taken at 40mm, f 3.5, ISO 100, 1/500s.
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ca22

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apologies, smallest focus box was on the eyes/head of the bird. Here is a more or less 1:1 crop. I am relatively new to photography so your helpful advice is appreciated! Is the minor softness just due to the fact that I was a bit far away from the subject?
 

ca22

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I guess my question is: how sharp would it be realistic for me to expect the eye and head of the bird to be when zoomed in to 1:1, since that is what the focus box was on?
 

ca22

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this is a jpeg, but viewing the raw in lightroom looks about the same to me.

p.s. just joined this forum and amazed at the quick feedback. Thanks!!
 

Reflector

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Try processing the RAW through Lightroom with 20-40 sharpening and see if you're happy with the results.
 

Replytoken

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Try manual focusing next time. As small as the focus boxes are, they do not always pick up on a small subject. And, is it possible that either you and/or the bird moved after you obtained focus?

--Ken
 

ca22

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focus point was on or near the eye, using the smallest focus box - but it seems that no part of the head or beak is sharp. I will have to try manual focus the next time - but maybe i should amend my question to what can be expected from auto focus?
 

bhima

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You can do better than that with the AF. Chalk it up to a bad take by the camera. Do some more test shots and see if the lens is AFing properly.
 

nstelemark

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focus point was on or near the eye, using the smallest focus box - but it seems that no part of the head or beak is sharp. I will have to try manual focus the next time - but maybe i should amend my question to what can be expected from auto focus?
Is this what you saw in the viewfinder or what was reported by the editing software?


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ca22

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That's what I remember seeing - how can I check through the software?
 

nstelemark

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Is there a software that can show where the AF frame was pointed?
If your body is recording focus point EXIF data, some image processing software will read that data and display it. LR needs a plugin - "Metadata Viewer", and Aperture will do it directly. I strongly suspect based on what I have seen the outcome for moving targets is umm not always accurate but stationary targets seems to match up pretty well.

This is Aperture's version of focus point display (this is a resized screen grab and it is not longer sharp at all :eek: ):

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If I have an image that looks off I often check this as a data point in determining what happened. m43 misses focus very rarely but all focus systems can get confused sometimes.
 

dhazeghi

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apologies, smallest focus box was on the eyes/head of the bird. Here is a more or less 1:1 crop. I am relatively new to photography so your helpful advice is appreciated! Is the minor softness just due to the fact that I was a bit far away from the subject?
Looks like an AF cockup. You should examine the image though to figure out where the focal plane actually is. I'd guess it's a bit in front of the bird, but it's hard to tell without a full-sized image to look at.

Note: if you pull back the focus ring (so that the focus scale is visible) on the 12-40/2.8, AF will be disabled, and the camera will still take a picture when you depress the shutter, whether or not anything is in focus.
 

DL Photo

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I think looking at one picture and trying to figure out if there is a hardware problem is a little unfair to the hardware. We all have misses no matter what equipment we are using.

I recommend taking about 10 pictures in a similar setting and compare the sharpness/quality of those pictures. If all have missed the focus, then you have an issue. If only a few have missed the focus, then perhaps it is technique that has given these misses.
 

MajorMagee

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The lower wing and leg appear to just be more in focus than the cheek and eye. Perhaps you leaned back slightly after locking in the focus or the autofocus was fooled by the bolder textures (higher contrast) in those areas?
 
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