To SWD or not to SWD?

tradesmith45

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The mechanical focus of the SWD version also allows you to have MF in C-AF mode. That's really helpful when it starts to hunt & by all reports it will some especially w/ the EC. That is far more important than any differences in AF speed IF you use C-AF much.

I've been contemplating the same purchase but I own the ZD300 so am leaning toward the new lens w/ TC.
 

nstelemark

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I haven't used the 50-200 SWD but I can say in general the 50-200 non SWD does not hunt any more than any of the 4/3 lenses I have used (SWD or non SWD). One thing I really wish this lens had was a focus limiter, but it would not be the same price :wink: .

tradesmith is right that the SWD manual focus is useful in CAF mode but generally I use SAF+MF with the 50-200 and in this scenario the manually coupled AF is a non issue.

From a longevity point of view the SWD lenses are less robust than the focus by wire with a lot of back and forth adjustment. This seems to be most commonly reported by the 12-60 but I suspect this is due to the fact it is the most common SWD lens.

I'm pretty happy with my non SWD 50-200 and it is certainly smaller than the SWD model.
 

tradesmith45

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BTW, just got a reply from another 34 on EM1 shooter & have seen a few other reports. The adapter occasionally loses AF contact w/ the camera or lens. I've had this happen w/ my Oly MMF3 twice in last month. Have to wiggle camera to get contact back. Sent my 1st adapter, a Vello, back because it would not communicate w/ an EC14. Worked w/ the lens fine. Seems all the electrical contacts raises the risk of too much resistance.
 

nstelemark

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BTW, just got a reply from another 34 on EM1 shooter & have seen a few other reports. The adapter occasionally loses AF contact w/ the camera or lens. I've had this happen w/ my Oly MMF3 twice in last month. Have to wiggle camera to get contact back. Sent my 1st adapter, a Vello, back because it would not communicate w/ an EC14. Worked w/ the lens fine. Seems all the electrical contacts raises the risk of too much resistance.
Hmmm, I can't say I have seen this sort of behaviour. I have seen the contacts not seating correctly, or the lens not being recognized with a a hot swap but that is a general problem not a 4/3 to m43 adapter problem (ie I have seen it with m43 lenses too). I've used the 50-200 + TCs and 150 f2 + TCs a lot, but only with the Oly MMF-3.
 

nstelemark

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Can you explain what you mean by this statement?
Some users primarily of the 12-60 have reported failures of the SWD mechanism and it appears from an anecdotal perspective that using these lenses with CDAF seems to be contributing to these problems. The directly coupled SWD mechanism is designed to drive the lens very quickly to the focus point (a known distance with PDAF). They seem to be less robust with small back and forth motions.
 

Levster

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Some users primarily of the 12-60 have reported failures of the SWD mechanism and it appears from an anecdotal perspective that using these lenses with CDAF seems to be contributing to these problems. The directly coupled SWD mechanism is designed to drive the lens very quickly to the focus point (a known distance with PDAF). They seem to be less robust with small back and forth motions.
Is this still an issue with the EM-1 using PDAF sensors on chip?

I picked up the SWD version as I'd heard that the focussing was much quieter. In my Canon days I owned the well regarded non-IS Tamron 17-50mm but the noisy focussing drove me crazy! I find the SWD to be very quick to focus but on occasion it does hunt a bit.
 

tradesmith45

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Some users primarily of the 12-60 have reported failures of the SWD mechanism and it appears from an anecdotal perspective that using these lenses with CDAF seems to be contributing to these problems. The directly coupled SWD mechanism is designed to drive the lens very quickly to the focus point (a known distance with PDAF). They seem to be less robust with small back and forth motions.
This is very interesting. Oly M43 cameras do not have C-AF+MF but instead have pull back focus rings on pro oriented m43 lenses & mechanical focus on SWD lenses. But that means there has to be some way for the AF drive to disengage when the focus ring is used or the focus ring would fight w/ the AF system. Perhaps this is where failure occurs.

Good to hear others are having no problems w/ their adapters.
 

nstelemark

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Is this still an issue with the EM-1 using PDAF sensors on chip?

I picked up the SWD version as I'd heard that the focussing was much quieter. In my Canon days I owned the well regarded non-IS Tamron 17-50mm but the noisy focussing drove me crazy! I find the SWD to be very quick to focus but on occasion it does hunt a bit.
If you are using the lens in S-AF mode I don't think so. If you are using it in C-AF I wonder (combo CDAF and PDAF)

The non-SWD is very quite as well. I would not say there is any significant noise difference between my SWD lenses and non SWD.
 

barry13

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Some users primarily of the 12-60 have reported failures of the SWD mechanism and it appears from an anecdotal perspective that using these lenses with CDAF seems to be contributing to these problems. The directly coupled SWD mechanism is designed to drive the lens very quickly to the focus point (a known distance with PDAF). They seem to be less robust with small back and forth motions.
Is this still an issue with the EM-1 using PDAF sensors on chip?
Everything I've read says this only applies to bodies without PDAF; the E-M1 has PDAF.

Barry
 

nstelemark

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Everything I've read says this only applies to bodies without PDAF; the E-M1 has PDAF.

Barry
There have been SWD failures with the E series bodies as well, using them with CDAF seems to make it worse.

"Re: 50-200mm SWD Focus Motor Failure?
In reply to steve16823, Nov 17, 2009
I just purchased a factory refurbished 12-60mm f2.8 last week. Same problem. The autofocus seems to work briefly and then eventually, noise without the focus changing. Very disappointing. This was from B&H in a sealed box from Olympus with a refurbished date of 10/22/2009. This seems to be a widespread problem with Olympus SWD lenses. The serial number is much higher than the 12-60 recall lenses and the problem was not fixed or identified in the refurbishing process. I have to pay for return shipping and I am requesting a refund and not a replacement."
 

dhazeghi

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There have been SWD failures with the E series bodies as well, using them with CDAF seems to make it worse.
Exactly.

Although on the flip side, my brief experience with the E-M1 was that SWD did make for notably faster focusing, both on the 12-60 (vs. the 14-54) on the 50-200 (vs the non-SWD version). But that was before all of the firmware updates.
 
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