Not entirely happy with the 12-32

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by manypix, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. manypix

    manypix Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 21, 2013
    Portland, OR, USA
    Hi folks,

    I have a Panasonic 12-32 that I've been occasionally using with my E-M5.

    The good: It's amazingly tiny and light, it has good resolution, it focuses quickly and has good color reproduction, and the distortion isn't too bad.

    My issue with it: I like to use wide apertures to achieve low DOF and get the feeling of depth via OOF. The biggest problem I have is related to low DOF, specifically with focus. I find that the E-M5 AF system frequently focuses on a different subject than I want. With all of my other lenses, I fix this issue by using MF to tune focus. But this lens has no focus ring, so I'm stuck.

    Does anyone have any clever ideas of what I can do, other than shelving this otherwise fine lens?

  2. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Touch focus ?
  3. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I think you have two problems.

    Number 1, this isn't a fast lens nor is it long. Because of this you will have a hard time getting low DOF. This lens is best stopped down for sharp photos front to back. I think you're using it for the wrong purpose.
    The number 2 problem is that you are having difficulty focusing on what you want. That is a quirk of the camera and getting to know it, not the lens. So you cannot manually focus with it, the camera has a touch screen to help you out.

    I think it's a case of the wrong lens for the wrong type of shooting, so maybe try the 25 1.8 or 45 1.8 ? you will get better background blur with these for sure.
  4. Nawty

    Nawty Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2015
    How do you have the AF set up, are you using the small points?
  5. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    The focus problem can be solved by switching to Single AF and choosing the appropriate focus point. I'm not sure about the E-M5's ability to choose via touch screen, but it allows you to move the focus point with the D-pad if you set it up that way (caveat: I'm working from an E-M10 menu here, but it should be more or less consistent):
    • If you haven't yet done so, activate the "expert" (i.e. full) menu (the cog wheels) in the Settings (spanner) menu.
    • You'll find the relevant settings in the "A" (AF/MF) and "B" (Button/Dial) tabs
    • In the "A" menu, go to "AF Mode" and choose "S-AF+MF" - you can change that later, but it's the best ground base for test driving your setup.
    • Still in "A", go to "[...] Set Home" and choose "[.]" (or, for even more precision, but slower action "[.]s" - I'm not sure if the E-M5 provides that setting). Now you're able to choose the AF point.
    • In the "B" menu, go to "Button Function", then set the D-pad (four arrows) to "[...]" for the purpose of the test; you can always reset it to whatever you like later (e.g. you can customise one of the arrow keys to call the focus point selector - I think that's even one of the presets).
    This way, your D-pad works as a focus point selector; you've got 49 points to choose from. It pays to set up another button as "[...] Home" - but of course, that depends on your preferences ...