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Pen-F + 20mm f1.7 - banding problem fixed?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by aphasiac, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Oct 18, 2015
    Taiwan
    Has anyone tested the Pen-F with the 20/1.7 or 20/1.7II? Has the banding issue at high ISOs finally been fixed??

    I'm assuming it has, as it uses the same sensor as the GX8 (and panasonic likely wouldn't allow banding on their flagship camera), but need confirmation.

    I think this lens and camera combination would work well together btw, for utra small profile street shooting.
     
  2. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    I don't have a Pen-F to test, but I do have an E-P5 and an E-M5ii. I've been curious if the E-M5ii suffers the same banding issues that I've seen in some shots on my E-P5. On the E-P5, I've even seen it as low ISOs, but only with ~1-second exposures. The banding is more reliable at ISO 800, but still not apparent in every shot.

    I just set up an ugly test scene and shot the cameras back to back with my Panasonic 20/1.7 (ii); ISO 800, f/1.7, 1/60s shutter speed. I pushed both images +1 EV in ACR and banding is clearly apparent in the E-P5 shot, but not in the E-M5ii. If I push the shadows significantly, I can see indications of banding in the E-M5ii shot in the shadows, but at this point it could just be standard noise -- ISO 800 + 1EV + 50% shadow push is going to look ugly in the blacks no matter the lens.

    Just a quick test, but I'm definitely happier to use the 20/1.7 on the E-M5ii in low light.
     
  3. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Oct 18, 2015
    Taiwan
    For me the banding shows up at slightly high ISOs (800, 1600 or 3200) when combined with a slower shutter speeds (1/40 or slower).

    Here's an example of banding I got on the EM10II at ISO800 1/20, look at the sky and grass area ( i did push the shadows quite heavily though):
    Showcase - Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

    As far as I know, this is an issue with the 16mpx Sony sensor that Olympus has used in every m43 camera since the original EM-5. So the problem should pop up intermittently on all cameras except the EM1 (panasonic sensor) and hopefully now the Pen-f.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2016
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I'm not sure if anyone ever found the cause of the problem, but it exclusively affected the Sony 16MP sensor, and supposedly even affected the GH3 as a result (enough so that Panasonic included a disclaimer page in that camera's manual). It's a really bizarre problem, and not one that I would expect could be caused by an optical issue, so there's got to be something else happening.

    I would say that since the 20MP sensor is a new design, and no one has made any complaints about GX8 banding as far as I know, the PEN F should be fine.
     
  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    (I've read) It's vibration or oscillation of the aperture blades when stopping down.

    I assume it's worse on cameras with less lag between pressing the button and the shutter firing.

    Barry
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    since its electrical noise, is it some sort of "back EMF" from the coils driving the aperture blades?

    Does it not appear in Panasonic cameras because they have better (electrical) shielding on some lines?
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
  7. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    I'm not sure what this means, but banding can happen even when shot at f/1.7.
     
  8. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hmm... maybe what I read before was wrong.

    Barry
     
  9. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    The aperture is controlled by a stepper motor, even with the aperture wide open one set of coils is still energized to hold the aperture from moving. The motor is likely pulsed at a very high rate rather than continuously under power to lower the amount of heat generated. There is very little shielding between it and the sensor (just the lens bayonet) and as I understand it this stepper motor is likely the cause of the banding.
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    the shielding could be on the CPU side, perhaps just better "grounding" ... either way it seems that its an Oly problem not Pana problem so that implies to me that something is different? Maybe they just rout their ribbon cables further away
     
  11. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Olympus would have poorer grounding no matter what due to the floating IBIS block that the sensor sits on. With only a ribbon cable for grounding it can't be great.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    162
    Oct 18, 2015
    Taiwan
    The lenses focusing motor causes the banding. Its clear because when the lens goes in and out seeking focus, the screen becomes covered with lines (that look exactly like the banding).
     
  13. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    When focusing the aperture also opens up and locks open (wide open focusing), and closes down to lower the light hitting the sensor (to lower heat generation). The focusing motor is not normally in operation when the camera is taking a picture (it's also deeper inside the lens and shielded, the aperture motor is not).
     
  14. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That doesn't necessarily mean it's the motor but noise that is generated from the lens. In other words, I saw somewhere that fluro lighting may have contributed &/or induced noise from the mains power, which comes back to a shielding problem within the lens & in turn induced into the camera. :hmmm:
     
  15. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That makes me wonder if there is some decay of back EMF noise with the aperture motor then.
     
  16. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    pellicle
    however I understood it also happens on manual focus ... so the focus motor would not be active ... certainly not more than the aperture motors...
     
  17. MarkRyan

    MarkRyan Instagram: @MRSallee

    772
    May 3, 2013
    California
    I've definitely read what you said before too, I don't know what to believe :(
     
  18. mount_evans

    mount_evans New to Mu-43

    8
    Feb 25, 2013
    I gave up the Panny 20mm f/1.7 for the Oly 17mm f/1.8. Faster autofocus, no banding, and a skosh wider, it seems the right FOV for street and indoor photography.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Neil
    I've gotten it on my EM10 before: I'm pretty sure it means you need to put more aluminum foil on the antenna.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  20. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Antenna?