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Robin Wong post test of 4/3 lenses

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Clint, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Robin has tested several 4/3 lenses, with and without SWD, and posted his results in a video. Doens't leave much doubt about the focusing ability of the E-M1.
     
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  2. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Nov 28, 2012
    Toronto
    Did you read his conclusion though? Sure it focuses faster than u43 before but he says it's not as fast as the E-5. Also he talks about the double cross AF point vs the no sensor system and yes I think it's true that we would expect too much of the new system if we were to call it fast enough for serious action shooting.

    Robin should take the e-m1 out and do a series of comparison between newest canikon sports DSLR and the e-m1. I want to know the AF performance delta between them.
     
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  3. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    While he said the 4/3 lenses do not focus on the E-M1 as fast as they are on the E-5, it seems plenty fast for me in the video.

    After seeing his reviews, and some other reviews on the C-AF ability of the camera, I am super excited now! Can't wait for its delivery so that I can take the camera and my 50-200 SWD for the bird season this Winter!
     
  4. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Very good with 14-35. Noticeably worse with other lenses, especially 50/2 macro and 50-200 non-SWD. It seems those lenses are doing the usual dancing movements, only faster than before. It's certainly not up to speed with something like Canon 7D or Pentax K5-II.
     
  5. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    While I agree that they do not focus as fast as on an E-5, they do seem to be pretty near the same. I went and got my E-30 and lenses and compared them with the video and Robin's test showed speeds are nearly the same. Considering the focus speed were very nearly the same as my E-30 with 50-200mm, that is quick enough to get shots of jets climbing at 660 mph without C-AF! BTW-this image was resized by Smugmug and not as it should have been - so it would be better if properly done. But is does make a point.

    A034986-X3.
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Nov 28, 2012
    Toronto
    Not to say your photo's not great. But distanced objects are typically easy to track.

    People love talk about how this or that camera can keep up with a jet, a race car or what have you. But those are actually relatively easy. They move predictably and they are big objects.

    The skill of the photographer also plays into it a significant bit as well.

    The other thing about cars and jet is that you don't take the photos from feet away. Assuming your photo was at 200mm f3.5 and the jet is say 100 meters (that would be scary in real life) you have 25 meter of DOF. The wing span of a F/A 18 is roughly 14m. Go to a more realistic 500 meters away and you are looking at a DOF of more than 1000 meters. So it is hard to get a shot like that in focus? Maybe not as hard as it would appear.

    One of the most difficult sport to track I have found is martial arts up close. And even the 7D fail for me to be 100% satisfactory. Anyhow I will wait to see if the E-M1 C-AF works well enough with closer range wide open lens to make it a workable camera for my soon to be zooming around baby. That is for me the criteria for whether I'll end up getting it or waiting on the E-M5 refresh.
     
  7. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    IMHO, you've made a good argument about shooting action/sport, until your comment about seeing if the E-M1 C-AF works well enough to catch your soon to be zooming around baby. Any of the current generation m4/3 camera with the latest lenses (except the 20/1.7) could get the job done with S-AF! S-AF on my E-M5 with the 12-35 almost never fails to capture sharp images of my 5-year-old running around!
     
  8. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    This thread was about the focus speed of the 4/3 lenses, not C-AF. Robin's video showed me that the 50-200mm lens on the E-M1 focused very closely to the same speed as my E-30 with the lens.

    My intent was to demonstrate that the 50-200mm lens can focus quick enough, not about the C-AF of the E-30. There was no way the C-AF on the E-30 could track this plane when making readical moves, it would have lost focus on this aircraft a micro second into the climb. I only had to try this twice earlier in the day for similar situations to learn that C-AF could not handle such quick and rapid changes in direction of movement. The shot I wanted was with the plane going from horizontal movement to verticle step climb in a matter of feet.

    The planes were on course from my right to left, passing about 750 feet (228m) in front of me and maybe 80 feet (24.4m) off the deck cruising at around 450 mph (201 ms), when the lead plane hits the after burners making nearly an immediate 80 degree turn upwards. The plane had just hit 660 mph (295 ms)when I snapped the shutter. The plane was moving toward me or away from me from 660 ft/sec (201 ms) to 880 ft/sec (295 ms).

    I could have used manual focusing, pre-focused on an area and depended on depth of field, if I knew closely to where he would launch his climb, and if there were something there to pre-focus on. But I had no idea where he would hit the afterburners so I was using S-AF. And the only thing to focus on was the plane and lots of sky.

    To me that is a lens that focuses quick enough! The shot is not as easy to get as some think.
     
  9. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    826
    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    One thing worth noting about Mr. Wong's impressions is that it does not seem he actually directly compared the E-M1 to the E-5. At least, I saw no place where he mentions doing a side-by-side test. Although I think the focus speeds he demonstrated are quite fine (and again, we're just talking about S-AF here, not tracking), there's a possibility that he is making the same mistake the folks from DPReview did with assuming the E-5 focused more quickly than it actually did. Because those videos look very much in line with my brief experience with an E-5.

    Still, obviously, m4/3 lenses will be the fastest.
     
  10. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I think you are onto something. Check this link out:
    http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com/om-d_e-m1/

    While there is no video to support his claim, the guy did perform a side-by-side comparison of the E-M1 against the E-5 with his buddy, and had this to say when using the 50-200 SWD:
     
  11. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    826
    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    Yeah, and dpreview's brief side-by-side tests support that it should be at least as fast(although they said it slowed down a bit more under certain conditions). I feel like in general, a lot of people have it in their heads that the olympus DSLRs were comparable in focus speed to their newer micro four thirds cameras, just by having used the latter for so long yet thinking "PDAF=Faster", both of which simply aren't the case.

    Then there are things to consider like calibration, brightness, the contrastiness of subjects, vertical patterns, etc. Overall point is it works, and we probably won't see a definitive, conclusive test on which is actually faster until the camera is released. From what I've seen, other videos show the E-M1 to be near instantaneous when focusing on further off objects, but obviously it slows down a bit more when focusing from a distance to very nearby. Could be the E-M1 focuses faster at regular focusing distances, but the E-5 was better at running through the entire focus range. Who knows. There are several other tests on youtube showing faster performance.

    Ultimately, it shouldn't really matter whether the E-M1 is faster than the E-5. I've only picked up an E-5 like, once! What matters is, is the focus speed demonstrated quick enough for you?
     
  12. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    And I don't think the E-5 was ever as fast/accurate on tracking as the latest gen Nikon's & Canon's. Anyone who thinks an E-5 (and by extension a E-M1) will equal the speed of a D800/D4 with a Nikkor 300/2.8, 70-200/2.8 VRII, etc is sadly mistaken. We need to have some reasonable expectations.
     
  13. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    185
    Nov 28, 2012
    Toronto
    We are all interested in knowing if they will be able to provide certain tools now that they decided to exit the DSLR market.

    For some of us we'd love to ditch the heavy APC-C or FF system for personal use but we still have occasional need for fast C-AF. For me it's when I shoot martial arts sparring matches where the 7D can barely keep up at times. However, with the much greater DOF at any aperture on m43 maybe a good enough C-AF would be good enough for me. It isn't some sort of unrealistic expectation.
     
  14. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    I understand, but there is a difference in being adequate for a given task and being equivalent to a specific body/lens. It is certainly possible that the additional f-stop worth of DOF may offset the lack of 7D focus speed, but that seems a bit of a hail mary pass to me. DOF on m43 @ f/4 is about the same as f/5.6 on APS-C. The DOF isn't hugely greater, unfortunately.

    I suspect (from what I have read so far) that your subject could be effectively photographed with an E-M1 and high end m43 glass such as the 35-100 or upcoming 40-150/2.8, but it might require some technique adjustment. I am not intimately familiar with the AF performance of current Canon stuff, but the olympus cannot match the raw performance of Nikon D700/D3/D800/D4 with f/2.8 AFS pro lenses (gear I own and use).

    However, photographers have been shooting indoor sports like martial arts, volleyball & basketball before AF even existed, so it can be done, just not in quite the same point & click fashion we have recently become used to.

    What I have come to grips with is that I shouldn't chase after something I don't really need to catch. For instance, my C-AF torture test is birds in flight (and used to be dog agility competition when I was shooting that). Since I already own the Nikon "big boy" gear that excels at that stuff, why obsess over replacing it with m43? Both of those subjects I shoot/shot as dedicated activities where I either rolled a gear case to the site or drive fairly close and shoot from the car typically. The weight and size of the gear is not a show stopper and there isn't anything that exists today that is going to equal or certainly surpass a D800 with a 300/2.8 VR-II in AF speed.

    Will the E-M1 be good enough to use C-AF for the types of scenarios I expect to run across during travel or extended photo-walks? - I think so. I expect it may also be fine for motorsports and field sports. Will it work for grabbing a shot of a border collie running at full speed by you 2 feet away in an agility match ? - might be a bridge too far.
     
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I don't think anybody is expecting the E-M1 to be able to keep up with the latest generation of DSLR in terms of tracking ability. In fact, some reviewers have already said that it is probably two generations behind. So, I don't think anyone is hyping the E-M1 up as the king of C-AF all of a sudden. Some of us are just excited that C-AF will be much improved compared to the E-M5...
     
  16. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    So am I - although improved over the E-M5 is a rather modest goal :smile:
     
  17. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Having said that, I would be quite disappointed if C-AF is only slightly improved over the E-M5. I expect it at least to be usable! :biggrin:
     
  18. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    659
    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    For me, it's more a question of "Should I get "big boy" gear or stay with m4/3? At least when it comes to birds. I often get to the locations by foot and not by car, so a DSLR will probably mean I can't bring as many lenses.

    For example, this summer, I walked about 10 km to shoot various animals at Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands. Apart from all the big animals, there was a hide, with lots of swallows darting around just outside at very close distance. A woman was snapping away with a 7D and a 70-300L and she got one tack sharp photo after another. The only way I could get decently sharp photos was to shoot when the birds were further away so the extra DOF would mask the misfocus. But even then, the best I could get was this:
    P7060165.
    Not much detail, lots of noise. And I actually used an old adapted manual lens, the AF lenses failed even more.

    Then, of course, I had to walk the same 10 km back to the hotel.
     
  19. woody112704

    woody112704 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    526
    Dec 13, 2012
    Iowa
    Jared
    Those shots he took with the 50mm f2 macro were stunning. Makes me kind of want to pick one up. haha And the AF didn't seem too terrible in the tests. But its one thing to test it in a controlled environment like that and another shooting in real life situations. But I would think for most situations it wouldn't be that bad, unless you were trying to do action shots.