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Oly 45mm Focusing Issues

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Alanroseman, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi Folks,

    My 45mm arrived today, and I promptly stuck it on the nose of the G1 and headed outside.

    I noticed it was not only hunting for focus at close range, but simply not focusing at all on many occasions, even though it would signal that it had focused.

    I thought I might have finally hit the wall with my aging G1 body, and so put it on the GF1, better, but lots more of the same at close range.

    I'm not too close, or inside the limits, I can switch to manual focus and be right on the money. I'm wondering if I may have a bad copy, or just a problem with my Panasonic bodies being 1st gen.

    The images, when properly focused, are quite beautiful and just as expected after seeing others images taken with the 45.

    Nice bokeh, good crispness, even wide open, wonderful color rendition.

    But trying to focus on some nice bright red peppers in the garden was impossible, not difficult, impossible. It actually seems better inside in lower, less contrasty light.

    Objects more distant focus very quickly, no different than using the 14mm or the 20 give or take an instant or two.

    I might make a visit to Hunts and mount it on a newer body.

    Any ideas?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Hmm I'd say the hunts trip is a good first stop on your troubleshooting highway. I haven't noticed any complaints on it on older bodies spefically
  3. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Here are a few sample. If I reset by focusing on a more distant object, it will sometimes focus accurately on a closer object.

    The lens renders very nicely when in focus.

    The peppers are manually focused

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  4. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I was debating whether to post something like this myself, but I haven't had time to fully test. This is on an EPL2.

    Sometimes, when trying to shoot something far off (especially after shooting something close up) it is clearly not in focus. I mean, not even slightly off, but everything is completely blurry, yet my camera reports focus lock with a green dot and beep and everything.

    Another problem is that sometimes the pics don't seem as sharp as they could be. I've run some inconsistent tests with IS on and off. Sometimes it seems that the IS is causing issues, other times not. It's hard to tell when you are testing below the 1/focal length level -- it's hard to tell if it's really the IS or a bad job on my part in keeping the camera still. Overall, though, I seem to have fewer keepers with the 45 than with, say, the 20, but could that just be down to the longer FL?

    Would love to hear if folks other than Alan and I are having issues, and Alan, if the above are the types of issues you are seeing?

    Overall note, too -- I find 1.8 a little soft, really making it pretty much for portraits, but 2.0 reasonable and 2.8 and beyond are quite sharp. Is this other people's experiences?

    Thanks Alan for mentioning your focus issues!
  5. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi WT,

    Well, the Panny's don't have IBIS so that's ruled out on this end.

    Same thing here as far as the focus lock reporting all's well, green square, nice little beep. Not even close to being in focus, I mean a major blur.

    Interesting.. thank for chiming in.

  6. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Am I too late in reporting that this also happens (though infrequently) with my 20mm? :biggrin:

    E-PL1 signals the focus beep, but even looking at the LCD it's obvious that's it's not, and I manually focus it. However, I've noticed it happens usually when I'm pushing it (I think) on the nearest extent of its focus distance - the subject is close to me, but obviously not too close that the lens cannot focus anymore when doing it manually.
  7. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    That sounds similar Hyubie.

    We should meet up someplace, put the 45 on your Oly body, and your 20 on one of my Panny bodies.

    Then we'd have an accurate test..
  8. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    For me, it wasn't a case where an object was too close. I was walking with my family at our local picturesque college campus, and had just taken some head shots of my kids. Then I turned it to a lovely tower in the background, and it wouldn't focus. It would report focus, but everything was blurry. If I manually focused it, and then half-pressed, then it got the focus right. It's happened inconsistently, and I can't replicate it, so haven't been able to take a video or something, to show the behavior.

    Still curious if others are seeing this with the 45mm.

    [edit -- maybe it only happens up in New England :) ]
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    There are some issues using my 45 too. If I want to focus on something small and close with a more distant background (like a berry in a tree), it often focuses on the background unless I force it to focus close by focusing on my hand and then turn back to the berry. I've noticed this with other cameras and lenses though (including non-Micro 4/3 cameras).

    If the focusing on the hand trick works, there's probably nothing wrong with your copy of the lens. Sometimes these AF systems need help finding the range, then they can lock right in.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    But is that kind of behavior more like camera body issue? I have just the same "feature" in my copy of 45 and E-P3.
  11. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I don't consider it to be a defect, and yes I think it's more a camera issue than a lens issue. Just one of those things I work around.
  12. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I know I've had a lot of cases where my 20mm reported as being in-focus (green dot) when it clearly was not.

    So my guess it's one of these issues:
    - just the nature of contrast-based AF; the algorithms are good but not perfect
    - narrow DoF causing focusing issues? (Try f/10 and see if there are still focus problems)
    - IBIS
    - bad lens sample

    I think quality assurance has definitely gone down. I didn't want to make a big stink about it but I had to return my 45mm because there was a VERY obvious 2mm clump of resin or glue in the lens, sandwiched between the glass elements! It's very apparent with the naked eye; it's obvious no one looked at the lens.

    I Have no idea when I'll be getting my exchange back (sent it in 2 weeks ago). :frown:
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi Amin,

    I just wanted to note the issue and see what others had to say. I'll try your method tomorrow and see how that works out.

    I'm used to the 20 and the 14, the only lens I own that hunts a little is the 45-200. This isn't really hunting, it just reports as locked, and shows the green square.

    Makes no difference wether it's on center focus (a favorite) or not. Same either way.
  14. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 2, 2010

    If you do get the chance to try it on other bodies, try a G3. It has this pinpoint focus feature, which blows up the image in the viewfinder and enables focusing on very small areas.

    That would then give you an idea as to whether its the lens thats the problem.

    I have no problems with either an E-P3 or the G3. But then they are the latest versions, with the latest AF systems and therefore may not be the same.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Just to be clear on my issue (not sure if it's the same as Alans) -- I'm not pointing at a near object, and the background is coming into focus. That's just due to CDAF. It looks for the greatest point of contrast, and if your subject is small enough, it might catch the background. Happens all the time on my 14-150.

    My issue is -- I have pointed it a couple of times now at a flat plan subject (a landscape at inifinity for instance) and the camera does NOT correctly focus, but beeps that it's in focus. The entire frame is OOF, not the wrong subject, etc.

    Am I the only one?
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Have you tried cleaning the contacts?

    That said, this reminds me of the problems I had with the 14-35 SWD on the E-620 and the 12-60 on the E-5. In both cases, AF confirmed, and the entire image ended up OOF. This was also on flat (landscape) subjects.

    Still, given the difference between PDAF and CDAF I doubt it's the same issue.
  17. dabiddo

    dabiddo Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 12, 2010
    Hi guys, I just got my 45mm today and it is hunting big time!
    I was trying to do some portrait with my baby and the lens simply couldn't lock decisively. It would hunt for a sec or 2 before it lock on.

    Did I get a lemon?
  18. dabiddo

    dabiddo Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 12, 2010
    Some updates:
    Just did some more tests and everything seems fine now. Focussing is fast but still fall behind my 12mm, I feel..

    And of late, seems like my E-P3 hangs more often.

    Hopefully there will be a firmwAre update soon...
  19. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    This AM. 8:00

    I'm going to shoot the lens extensively today. Heading off to an orchard for some apple picking. I'll give it a good workout, though I'm slowly coming to terms with it's strange focusing habits.

    This from a drive to the groomer this morning.

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  20. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    This is just a guess, but I'm wondering if the background in some cases gets so blurred that there actually is enough contrast information to fool the camera. I've run into issues with the kit lens doing this on objects at close focus and the background is far away. The airy disk gets large enough to have definable contrast.
    • Like Like x 2
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