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OMD EM1 Focus issue

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Ross, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    I was recently shooting landscapes with two cameras the Olympus EM 1 and a Pana GX 8 using the same lens a Pana 12-35 F2.8. The EM 1 had great difficulty focusing if the setting was overcast with fog. At first I had to use the focus aid in the EM1 and manually focus each picture. The GX 8 did not have this issue. Auto focus under the same conditions with the same lens workd perfectly with the GX 8. Has anyone else had this kind of issue with the EM1?
     
  2. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    G'day Paul. Did you have the E-M1 set on C-AF (Hi fps) by any chance? If so then it could have been using PD-AF (phase detect) instead of CD-AF which would likely give that result with focussing in those conditions. On the other hand, doesn't the GX8 use the Depth of Focus system (or whatever it is)?
     
  3. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    Yes the camera was on CAF, but not on multi exposures (Hi Fps). You make an interesting point here. Yes it could have been trying to use the PD-AF and failing becasue the lens has only CD-AF. However that would be an odd posture for this camera. It should recognize that the lens has CD-AF Only. I also have two lenses (not taken on this trip) that are 43 (not M43) and they work just fine with the OMD EM1 on PD _AF. For the most part I used the GX8 with the 100-400mm Pana lens and it produced great pictures and focused quickly regardless of the amount of overcast or haze/fog. The image attached is typical of what I was shooting on this trip. (Alaska Coast) and most of these needed to be focused manually using the focus aid function. This picture is a JPG with no post processing. _8020377.JPG
     
  4. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, my understanding is that the E-M1 will use PDAF when in C-AF mode.
    Afaik, all lenses work with PDAF, but not all (4/3) lenses work well with CDAF.

    PDAF has trouble with fog.
     
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  5. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    My thanks to both Ross the Fiddler and Barry 13 for bringing the PD-AF issue to my attention. Yes, I was set on C-AF and as both noted, the camera will use both PD-AF and CD-AF with the Pana m43 lenses. Amazing how complex these cameras are. Life back in the film world and before autofocus was so much simpler.
     
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  6. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    I know this is showing my age but I can remember the uproar when Minolta put AutoFocus in 35mm Film Cameras! :eek-31:
     
  7. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    Zensu, right on. You mention the Minolta camera with autofocus. Earlier there was Konica with auto exposure. What a wonder it was. I no longer needed to carry a meter with me. It used a "Trapped Needle" mechanism and did a very credible job of it. You still had to bring the split image together using the viewfinder, but all in all, it was a remarkable step forward. ....THE GOOD OLD DAYS.....
     
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  8. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    278
    Aug 19, 2016
    Burnaby, BC
    Just curious, what part of the image were you focusing upon? I've found cdaf can struggle if you were say to focus in the middle of the tree'd section in foggy conditions. However if the focus point was on the ridgeline-sky interface there should have been no problem....
     
  9. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    On most I was using the full area of focus spots but they could not focus the lens. I tried a single spot too, but that did no better. I do, in retrospect think that Ross the Fiddler and Barry13 are correct, that the problem is that the EM1 was set for C-AF and that triggered the PD-AF and could not focus well in the overcast/fog that I encountered. When I shifted to manual focus and used the Focus Peeking function, the results were excellent. One learns from each experience.
     
  10. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    How many needles did I match? I quit counting? I recall the uproar about Auto Exposure too! It was going to ruin photography. Maybe it's my old brain recalling all the fun manual cameras were to use but then I recall the nice features we have in these electronic marvels we call cameras. I think I keep my modern marvels and my fond manual camera memories. :cloud-9-039:
    Bobby
     
  11. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    That is why I kept several of my old film cameras. I use them to remind me of what it was really like back then. I still have my lovely Canon F1 and a set of canon lenses, a Hasselblad 503 with two lenses and two film backs, hopping that someday I will be able to afford a digital back for it, and a collection of Russian copies of the famed Contax 35mm rangefinder cameras. All are in full working condition but I do not do film any more. It was painful when the garbage truck took my Bessler 4x5 enlarger and crushed it. I tried to give it away but no one wanted such a primitive device. But all things considered, the new digital world works far better for me than did the old chemical photography that I spent much of my youth pursuing.
     
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  12. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    That is why I kept several of my old film cameras. I use them to remind me of what it was really like back then. I still have my lovely Canon F1 and a set of canon lenses, a Hasselblad 503 with two lenses and two film backs, hopping that someday I will be able to afford a digital back for it, and a collection of Russian copies of the famed Contax 35mm rangefinder cameras. All are in full working condition but I do not do film any more. It was painful when the garbage truck took my Bessler 4x5 enlarger and crushed it. I tried to give it away but no one wanted such a primitive device. But all things considered, the new digital world works far better for me than did the old chemical photography that I spent much of my youth pursuing.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    278
    Aug 19, 2016
    Burnaby, BC
    It is nice that the e-m1 has pdaf bit I cannot say it has amazed me. Next time in that sort of situation try s-af, the pdaf has troubles anytime you don't have nice sharp vertical features in the frame; s-af works amazingly well in almost all situations. I even prefer it with release priority 'on' for action shots (single frames of course). Not that I shoot anything most would consider action...
     
  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I think a better question is, why were you using C-AF to shoot landscapes? C-AF is typically reserved for moving subjects (i.e. dogs, kids, sports, cars, etc.). You should have been using S-AF or MF based on the subject and scene IMO.

    Personally, I'll use MF for a landscape when the situation permits. Being able to enlarge the focus area by 10x, and manually dial in the focus to ensure the subject of the image is sharp is definitely the way to go when possible. However when situations don't permit, I'll use S-AF. I've never used C-AF to shoot a landscape before, because nothing is moving.
     
  15. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
     
  16. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    Point well taken. I usually use that camera with a 50-200 Oly f2.8 lens and TC1.4 for wildlife. I recently got the Pana 100-400 and found it works better on the GX8 than on the EM1. I just forgot to re set the focus setting when using it for landscape and with the Pnan 12-35 lens.
     
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  17. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Ah, OK. Yes I too own a 50-200 SWD as well as 2 E-M1's. By manually having to go in to a menu to set the AF behavior, I can see how you forgot to turn it back. That is one feature I really like on my GH4 is the external S-AF/C-AF/MF switch.
     
  18. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    I dislike the menus in general and prefer to see physical control point on the camera. I know that the cameras today are so complex that there just is not enough real estate on the camera body to put all the physical controls. Never the less, like the GH4, some things should be quickly accessible like focus. I frankly find the controls on my nikon D810 much more logical than on any of the M43 cameras. My GX8 is a step in the right direction except that when I hold the camera in my right hand my palm hit the "DISP" button messing up my ability to take a fast shot. These cameras need some good ergonomic design.
     
  19. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I actually don't find the E-M1 to be too bad from a controls standpoint. It's far better than the majority of m43 cameras out there, although you have people who lament it for being "too large", lol. On freature I really like are the "dual buttons" on the E-M1 on the top plate to the left of the EVF (the ones that control AF & Metering, as well as Drive mode & Bracketing). I find it pretty similar to the "quad buttons" on the D810 located in the same place that control Qual, WB, ISO, and Metering.

    I've gone through and customized my E-M1's to the point where I don't have to do much digging in the menus. Also, given how thin mirrorless cameras are, I don't know how much more they can cram on the camera control-wise.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3