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Oly EPL-2 Panny 20mm F1.7 Getting Out Of Focus Portrait

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by michael68, May 23, 2011.

  1. michael68

    michael68 Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    May 16, 2010
    Dear all,
    I have read the EPL-2 manual thoroughly particularly Pg 34 and 35 on the focussing(using S-AF and single focus target in centre of green grid). I was trying to get a portrait bokeh shots, setting it at F1.7. I used a single focus grid in the centre, pressed the shutter halfway to focus on the face, and while holding it down, recompose the picture.
    Problem is the face becomes out of focus, while the last point where the target focus grid rest on becomes sharp....
    Just wanted to check if I am missing something here...or I should set the aperture to F2.8 or more and try not to do the bokeh....
    Thanks in advance!

    Michael
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    You are likely too close to the subject, and the camera never focus locked, then when you moved to reframe, the camera focused on the back.

    Try stepping back a bit, and see what happens. On my EP1, the camera beeps twice when it focus locks and the green light on the LCD goes solid. It keeps flashing if it doesn't lock.
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, what WT21 says sounds most likely to me as well.

    A second thought is that you are possibly using too shallow a DOF and are putting the face out of focus by using focus-recompose. There is a very slight variance in distance when you focus higher up in your image than recompose lower down. To make your focus completely accurate, try using a higher focus point in the image (still using Single Point) that's closer to the face, so you can minimize the recomposing. Or better yet, try manual focus. ;)
     
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Why not just use face detect AF?
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Can you really trust AF to be completely accurate when the camera is choosing the focus point for you? In many situations it will probably be fine, but if you're particular about accurate focus then Single Point allows you to know for sure what's being focused on.
     
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    With face detect, yes. It is really good (at least on my GF1)

    For other modes/scenes I generally agree with you. It's too hard to tell exactly what in the green box it focused on, and many times I use center and recompose.
     
  7. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    May 3, 2011
    Scotland
    ....which brings me to a question - if using centre focus point only and face detect 'finds' a face at the edge of the frame, what does the camera actually do? Focus on the face and ignore the centre focus point, or somewhere between the two, or something else altogether?
     
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    You can't do both on my camera - either face detect OR single point (which is movable, doesn't HAVE to be in the center)

    Now, you CAN have face detect and spot exposure, which I would guess would have the face in focus, but probably not exposed properly.
     
  9. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    Michael, how close were you to the subject?
     
  10. michael68

    michael68 Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    May 16, 2010
    Hi guys, thanks for all your feedback...I was doing just a half body shot, filling the entire frame, and using the Panny 20mm. So following the instructions, I focus lock on the face, and slowly move the camera to recompose the picture....not sure if it could be due to a defective lens but i chose to believe the problem is with me, and perhaps F1.7 is a bit too much..but I was just trying to get a good bokeh shot...

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Generally in the photographic world the challenge is to get enough in focus, not to get more out of focus. ;)
     
  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    What do you mean by "slowly move the camera"? If you locked focus and then stepped toward or away from the subject, the subject will become out of focus. Focus lock locks the focus distance, it does not "lock onto" a subject and then allow you to move around. So, if the subject's face is 1 meter away, focus lock locks focus at 1 meter If you step back to 1.3m you'll be out of focus, even if the camera thinks it's still focus locked.
     
  13. michael68

    michael68 Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    May 16, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback, sorry I meant to say that the focus lock is on the subject's face, following which I recompose the picture by moving it down to include the subject's shoulders. The result is a sharp point midway between the face and shoulders.
    I have analysed the photos and probably my problem lies with a shallow depth of field, and probably, the panny 20mm (40mm by 35mm terms) may not be an ideal lens for portrait with bokeh. Probably an adapted lens at 80mm or more will yield better results...
     
  14. Covey22

    Covey22 Mu-43 Regular

    91
    May 3, 2011
    New England, USA
    The Panny does perfectly fine portraits. This one is wide open at f1.7 with face detect off. The key is to use the multi-point AF. None of them are any less sensitive than the others in the array since it's all contrast detect. If an AF point is having trouble locking on to a particular feature, find another one. You shouldn't have to lock-recompose unless the focus point is drastically out the AF array coverage, which is already covering a good portion of the FOV.
     

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  15. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Can you post a sample or two of what you are talking about? The only real way to diagnose an issue is looking at examples.
     
  16. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    The 1.7 should do this very well for you. I have it and the E-PL2.

    Try this.

    A mode, aperture to 1.7

    ISO to 200 or 400 (if you have enough light)

    Make the focus box (green box) smaller. (directions in manual, I forget how right now)

    Compose the picture as you want it.

    Move the focus box over/up to the subjects eye.

    Shoot.

    Should have focus on subject and the photo you want.