Olympus 24mm f2.8 for Street work

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Ricoh, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    I'm considering the OM 24mm for street work using zone focusing. Anyone have any experience using the lens in this mode, for the application in mind?

    I'm getting a little tired with auto focus either slowing the capture, or missing focus.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    I really like the quality of my OM28 f2.8 ... much more plentiful = prices are lower. Depending on how things go you may find that its got better contrast than the 24mm (my experience is that at least in the OM lenses you lose a little as you go wider). Personally I couldn't tell much difference between the OM28mm and the native Sigma 30mm for contrast and clarity. I prefered the OM for focus however so the Sigma went.

    So should be a fine idea
     
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  3. sfmurph

    sfmurph Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Jul 4, 2013
    San Francisco
    What native lens are you using now? And what body? You should consider setting up the autofocus onto a button other than the shutter half-press (aka "back button focus").
     
  4. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    That's a great idea, I've been looking on eBay and as you indicated there are many more to choose from and pricing is more competitive.
     
  5. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    I picked up a Oly Pen F 25mm F4 for a similar reason.

    With the focal length and aperture its easy to set and forget with zone-focusing.

    The old coatings and design don't give the kind of images you'd be used to with a modern lens but the I like the retro character.
     
  6. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    I have far too many lenses to choose from (see below) but the 15/f1.7 and the 25/f1.4 are mainly used for street work.
    Response time is the thing that drives me nuts, or auto focus homing in on something other than what I'd intended. I've tried using the screen to move the focus point, manual zone focusing (not brilliant given the lack of dof scale, or reference marks). Hence my thought pattern of an OM24 or now an OM28, both of which have focus end stops and DoF scales.

    How would back button focus help in terms of response time compared to half press?
     
  7. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Ah, someone else who thinks like me. :)
    'Set and forget', it's what Eric Kim bangs on about, and he's right. Waiting for auto focus to do its thing, waiting for the bleep, it all seems like a lifetime, and the instant, the facial expression or whatever can disappear in the period of focusing uncertainty.

    I've recently been trying my OM 50mm, and the results aren't half bad (a sample shot of some fawns is posted on Flickr, link below). I can hardly believe after acquiring all the expensive glass I own and I'm now looking at legacy lenses to do the job!
     
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  8. Having started out with MF lenses in the 24-50mm range, then with slow focusing AF lenses (17/2.8, 20/1.7) using mostly pre-focusing methods, and then finally fast AF lenses (25/1.4, 17/1.8, 12-40) with touchscreen focus and shutter release, I'd choose the last method any day of the week.

    The OMs were probably my favourite of the old SLR lenses but I never did have a 24mm.
     
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  9. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    I've had a 'play' with touchscreen focus and shutter release, however at the coal face I ended up taking shots I hadn't intended. With zone focusing there's nothing more to do than raise the camera to the eye and hit the button, that way 99% of the brain's processing is dedicated to composition. We humans are not good at multi tasking, especially men (women are slightly better: mysteriously they can boil an egg and brown the toast :)).
     
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
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  11. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Thanks for the link on KEH. Only thing is I'm in the UK and import tax and postage normally kill off any benefit.
     
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  12. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Yeah, I lived in Finland so I know what you mean. Avoid eBay UK and take a gamble on German or other EU places. UK was dear as poison when I bid there ...:)
     
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  13. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Steve - zone focusing is obviously about using a fixed focus setting. You can easily emulate this by using either back button focus or MF on a subject at a known distance. It's more cumbersome than spinning the focus ring on a legacy lens for sure, but it achieves exactly the same thing. You'll also be shooting with a fairly narrow aperture to get the DOF you need (lest all be OOF!), so the exact setting shouldn't be too critical.

    However, I agree 100% with Nic (Luckypenguin) - I would go for a modern, fast AF lens any day. Standards of what we consider sharp are so much higher these days than in the past, and subject isolation through narrow DOF is a nice feature, even in street photography. I'd just get practising some more on using AF rapidly. The IQ you'll get off the PL25 or 15 will definitely be a step up from a legacy lens because lens technology and our expectations from it are so much higher today.

    Finally, you could also try a modern Oly Lens with a focus clutch like the 17 or 12-40. I keep thinking about the latter in fact since it's very sharp and the manual focus mode works at all FLs. That would be very useful for street since zooming can be very helpful as the situation changes - it's a big lens though...
     
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  14. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    Hi


    It depends. I don't see chalk and cheese here

    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2014/12/portrait-lenses-native-vs-legacy.html

    Nor here

    http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2013/12/sigma-30mm-f28-ex-dn-review-and-thoughts.html

    Chances are you will have to squint to see the differences at 100% pixel peepin and you may not know at all in a large print either

    It just might be the differences depend in the lenses you compare
     
  15. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Paul,
    What I find problematic with the MF mode of an AF lens (such as the Pan 15mm) is it's all to easy to move the focus ring whilst handling the camera (one's eye is on the developing scene, or should be, and not on the camera), and the focus rings seem to be easier to move than with legacy glass.
    At the moment my favoured lens is the15mm/f1.7, so by necessity I have to get in close to fill the frame. Generally I limit aperture to f8 (diffraction kicks in beyond - certainly at f16) consequently depth of field is limited. All these conflicting factors makes it both interesting and infuriating! Perhaps I need FF and old school glass enabling 'set and forget' at f16.
    I've considered the 12-40 too, but concluded it's too large for street. One of the reasons for the GM5 is it's size, it's discrete, but the 12-40 would destroy the stealthy look, that's for certain.
    As you say our standards have become more discerning c.f. film; in film days my average was 7"x5", now I pixel peep and view using screens much larger than the average print of the past.
    OK, I'll give the back button focus another go to see if I can speed things up, however up to now I've found it slows my response time which isn't best for the type of photography I enjoy.
     
  16. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Steve - have you ever used the Oly 17/1.8? The focus ring gets a lot stiffer when it's pulled back for MF - that may fix your problem with finding the focus ring too easy to move.
     
  17. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Paul,
    I had a 17/f1.8 but sold it on acquiring the 15/1.7. The aperture control was the clincher at the time.
    Anyway, having set up back button focus on my GX7, I think I'm ready to go, certainly for a trial run at least.
    Thanks for your assistance.
    Cheers.