Olympus E-M10 problems with Panasonic 45-150 @ 150 mm

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Hi everyone,

I've having some focusing problems with my new 45-150 mounted on my E-M10.
On approximately 80% of my 150 mm shots, the focus is not correct.
Here are some examples of what I get: these are 100% crops of an image with correct focus, and with missed focus.
example 1
example 2

With my GM1, the percentage of correct focus is the contrary (80% OK, 20% missed)... nothing I would find unacceptable.
Even when the focus is OK on my E-M10, the GM1 seems a little more accurate.

This happens in all possible situations, IS on / off, lens IS on / off, slow/fast shutter speed etc...

I already had focus issues with my 14-42 EZ but this one on both bodies and on 100% of the shots... so I blamed the lens.
On my other AF lenses (12-32, 45 f/1.8) I've been positively suprised by the AF accuracy with both bodies.
However this is a much different focal length here.

I'm having no problem with the same lens at 45 mm... at this end of the zoom, the focus even seems to be a little better with the E-M10 (and no miss).

So I'm wondering if it may be a lens issue, a body issue, an incompatibility between lens and body?
I'm going on a trip in a few days so I've go little time to decide what to do...
I don't think I'll keep the lens (or else I will use it only on my GM1), but I may try another model of the same lens, a different lens like the Oly 40-150, or forget about long focal lengths for now...

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
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I'm wondering if the problem is really focusing...
On my bad images, nothing seems in focus.

I tried in MF, several pictures without touching the focus ring. Some pictures are OK, some are not...
I don't think this is an IS problem... I tried with and without IS.

I wonder if the issue can be related with shutter shock or something like that...
Is it possible this sort of thing happen only with long focals?

I love my E-M10 but I like long focals too...
(maybe this topic should be moved to "Olympus Cameras" section.)
 

Jonathan F/2

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I'd try high shutter speeds and make sure you're focusing exactly on your target using the correct AF points. I'd do this to eliminate any IBIS/OIS issues first. I'd also try another telephoto lens just to make sure it isn't the body. Good luck!
 

T N Args

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It could be a bad lens.... but....

it is interesting that the GM is not so bad -- still not good though. Should be better than 80/20.

The samples you provided are in fairly low light -- and possibly at or under the minimum focusing distance of 900mm. I would have questioned those factors, but you say it happens in all possible situations.

So..... bad lens?
 
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It's not easy to test another telephoto lens... you have to buy to try...
I tried another 45-150, unortunately there's no sun and low light, so it's not easy to say...

I first think the second copy was OK but afterwards I got inconsistent results.

On one image I got this result.
On this 3200 ISO 100% crop you can clearly see that there is a double image.
So I fear it may be shutter shock...

As I never had any issues with other lenses, can it just be a bad body/lens combination?
Is else anybody using a Panasonic 45-150 on the E-M10?
 

Klorenzo

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What was the shutter speed for the last picture? If you were shooting at 3200 I expect it to be quite slow. Could be, in this specific case, just motion blur?
 
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It was taken at 1/100s with ibis. I'm not sure of anything as I could not make my last tests with sufficient light. I hope it will be easier tomorrow. With my first lens I had blurred images even at 1/1600s.
 

phigmov

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Try testing on a tripod or bench-top with self-timer.

Remember, as a general rule you can shoot stable handheld images with a shutter speed that is the reciprocal of the lens focal length - so at 150mm you shouldn't drop below 1/150th of a second on the shutter.

Usual caveats apply, many people can shoot at longer focal lengths at slow speeds - its just training/breathing technique, and this rule of thumb pre-dates fancy IS technologies which can buy an extra stop or two of light-gathering capability.
 

Klorenzo

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For 300mm equiv 1/100 is not much. I just tried a few shots at 150mm (with EM-10) and I could get just 4 perfectly steady shots out of 5 with careful shooting.

I also had a few shots at 1/1600 where I couldn't understand why they were all so blurry. I was shooting at f4 and I found out, looking at the focus point on the camera LCD, that it was a focus problem: in the "wrong" place the picture was sharp. But was not that obvious.

Did you use a very small dof and "focus and recompose" or something that could make the difference? At 150mm, f5.6, the dof is smaller than I had expected (less then 1 meter at 10 meter focus distance and 0.7 centimeter! at 1 meter), and I have a few pictures with half subject cut out.

I'm just wondering if there could be different reasons for different situations.
 

bikerhiker

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I'm wondering if the problem is really focusing...
On my bad images, nothing seems in focus.

I tried in MF, several pictures without touching the focus ring. Some pictures are OK, some are not...
I don't think this is an IS problem... I tried with and without IS.

I wonder if the issue can be related with shutter shock or something like that...
Is it possible this sort of thing happen only with long focals?

I love my E-M10 but I like long focals too...
(maybe this topic should be moved to "Olympus Cameras" section.)
This looks to be more of a user issue rather than focus. If it's a focus issue, then some parts of the image should be sharp. But 2 samples of yours are not really all that sharp. In fact in close examination, they are both showing a certain amount of motion blur either from shutter shock or from camera movement while the exposure is taken. CDAF focuses on the image plane so there's rarely any back or front focusing issues like you need to deal with in a typical mirror DSLR. Plus even if you are tilting and suffering from the Schiempflug principle where DOF can change due to not being parallel to the image plane, the MFT has 2 stops advantage over full frame so any decrease in DOF should not make for blurry images anyhow.
LIke another poster suggested, use a beefy tripod and test against a flat subject matter. A beefy tripod is a tripod that provides a rock solid stable image on your viewfinder or display screen as you tap one of the 3 legs. If you tap on the leg and the image on the screen shimmers, GET a beefier tripod. You will get shutter shock if your tripod is weak or add a 2 to 3 sec anti-shock delay to dampen that vibration before the photo is taken.

Also on newer Olympus bodies, you need to set the body (E-M10, E-P5 and E-M1) to S.IS Auto if you have a lens capable of OIS or image stabilizing. Set lens VR to priority. S.IS Auto will switch into S.IS 1 when lens VR is used. The body might do the IBIS whirl, but the camera is letting the lens OIS to compensate for all movement, while the IBIS on the body is not active. I have found that it allowed me better keepers with the assistance of Lens IS with body assist but only this configuration plus anti-shock and short release priority with my Lumix 35-100.
 
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It's definitely not a focus issue. It's blur.
It's exactly the same on my 2 lenses (45-150) so it's either a body issue, or a bad body/lens combination or bad user/lens combination ;)

There's no OIS switch on the 45-150 so I don't know if there's a problem with that, but I tried today (with no sun...) at : 1/1600 - 1/800 - 1/400 - 1/200 - 1/100s.
I tried 1/800 with and without IBIS, and with and without antishock.

I shoot without any recomposing.

With all shutter speeds & configurations I got mixed results.
Sometimes it's OK, sometimes it's catastrophic, most times it's just a small blur... that makes the image very soft and with a strange look.

At the same shutter speeds, I got 100% correct images with my 40D + 70-300 IS @185 mm, with sharper results than the better shots with E-M10 with 45-150 (there's more details even if it's a 10 Mpix only).

I'll return both lenses and try the Oly 40-150... which I don't find very attractive (it seems soft at 150 mm) but I don't have much other alternatives.
 

bikerhiker

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It's definitely not a focus issue. It's blur.
It's exactly the same on my 2 lenses (45-150) so it's either a body issue, or a bad body/lens combination or bad user/lens combination ;)

There's no OIS switch on the 45-150 so I don't know if there's a problem with that, but I tried today (with no sun...) at : 1/1600 - 1/800 - 1/400 - 1/200 - 1/100s.
I tried 1/800 with and without IBIS, and with and without antishock.

I shoot without any recomposing.

With all shutter speeds & configurations I got mixed results.
Sometimes it's OK, sometimes it's catastrophic, most times it's just a small blur... that makes the image very soft and with a strange look.

At the same shutter speeds, I got 100% correct images with my 40D + 70-300 IS @185 mm, with sharper results than the better shots with E-M10 with 45-150 (there's more details even if it's a 10 Mpix only).

I'll return both lenses and try the Oly 40-150... which I don't find very attractive (it seems soft at 150 mm) but I don't have much other alternatives.
150mm is a very high magnification coupled with a 16mp with a smaller pixel pitch compared to your 40D means more chances of blur. You need to identify the direction of blur first. Pixel peep say 200% and look at the edges of blur. If your blur is predominantly downward, it meant that as you release the shutter, there is a downward motion as the shutter opens and the motion is enough to spill over from one pixel to the next, forming the soft edges and thus blur. Your Canon 10Mp sensor with fatter pixels; the spill over rate is much less. Actually, a lower megapixel sensor will give you better sharp edges and better visual acuity of sharpness due to lesser magnification! A 10mp sensor won't necessarily give you more details than a 16mp. The problem is, our human eye is more responsive to visual acuity from seeing the hard edges than more detail captured with a higher megapixel sensor.
 
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You are changing lenses instead of returning a faulty one for replacement?
I don't think the lens is faulty. I tried two different ones from two different stores and they work exactly the same.
On my GM1 both lenses seem to work...
I'll chàge one for the 40-150 so I can compare it to the 45-150 this week end and make my choice...
 
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A 10mp sensor won't necessarily give you more details than a 16mp.
Not necessarily... From the comparisons I made, it all depends on the lenses.
For example, the center resolution I get from my 12-32 gives me an impressive amount of details I can't get on my 40D.
(the lens is not excellent, though, as the borders are very soft).
 
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I tested an Olympus 14-150, and it's exactly the same problem...
I think my E-M10 will go back to Olympus.
I will not be easy as the problem is not obvious and does not appear on every picture.
But I can't just rely on it to take a long focal picture.

I'll keep to short focal length for now before I can afford not to have my E-M10 for a while.


Or maybe it's just me who can't take a correct telephoto picture with a m43 body...
 

hazwing

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Not necessarily... From the comparisons I made, it all depends on the lenses.
For example, the center resolution I get from my 12-32 gives me an impressive amount of details I can't get on my 40D.
(the lens is not excellent, though, as the borders are very soft).
To make a fair comparison between a 16mp and 10mp camera, you need to downsize the 16mp to 10mp. As bikerhiker said, if you view the 16mp at 100%, you have more magnification and are more likely to pick up motion blur.

Did it make a difference shooting on a sturdy tripod with a self timer/cable release + antishock?

If it makes you feel any better... I also find my keeper rates of handheld telephoto shots are lower and often suffer from motion blur when viewed at 100%. If I don't pixel peep, it's harder to tell it's soft. I've always assumed it's due to my shutter speed, hand holding technique or possibly shutter shock. I've found bumping up my shutter speed helps a lot.
 

bikerhiker

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Not necessarily... From the comparisons I made, it all depends on the lenses.
For example, the center resolution I get from my 12-32 gives me an impressive amount of details I can't get on my 40D.
(the lens is not excellent, though, as the borders are very soft).
Detail is basically the lens and sensor's resolving power. That's why a lot of test sites provide MTF charts and the lines per inch per height number wise a higher megapixel sensor will always be higher than a lesser megapixel sensor.
Now, acuity with hard edges can make you think you have more detail or a sensor devoid of OLPF (optical low pass filter or Anti-Alias filter) can give the appearance of higher rez especially on a computer monitor.

You need to remember that the Retina display or the highest digital computer monitor can display up to 4 MP (4 megapixels). Very few can do higher but they are like $20,000 each!! Which is why, I always judge things by printing. When you print, you can see a bigger difference between 10 Mp vs 16Mp if you've done things right. Which is why I don't pixel peep; there's no point other than ensure I have no dust spots, flare or aberrations that I need to correct or re-shoot before I send it off to my professional print lab to get the custom enlargements done.
 
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