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To SWD or not to SWD?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Phocal, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    After giving it a lot of thought (and the addition of an E-M1) I have decided to hold off on the new 40-150 Pro and get a 4/3 50-200. The new Pro lens is really a little to short to replace my 75-300 until the 300mm ƒ4.0 comes out. I plan on eventually getting the 40-150 Pro but will wait for now. Winter is approaching and I need a weatherproof lens. The 50-200 with the 1.4x will be close enough in reach that it can replace my 75-300 and if needed I can put the 2x on it and get acceptable results.

    Now it comes down to which model to pick up. I have read reports that the non-SWD actually focuses faster on the E-M1. Anyone have experience with using both on the E-M1 and can let me know what they think. If they are really close I would take take the cheaper option. How much of a difference is there in manual focusing between the two? The non-SWD concerns because the focus by wire requires power, just something else to drain batteries faster, and how much of difference in actual use is there? The last thing is the size, anyone have a photo of the two of them side by side? Would like to see this size difference in hood.

    Thanks in advance,

    Ronnie
     
  2. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    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.
     
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  3. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks for your input and that is something that plays into my consideration between the two. If I had the ZD300 I would just wait until used 40-150's started showing up and buy one of those, that is the lens I have started a special savings account for.
     
  4. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    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.
     
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  5. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    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.
     
  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    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.
     
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  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Can you explain what you mean by this statement?
     
  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    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.
     
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  9. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks
     
  10. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    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.
     
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  11. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    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.
     
  12. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    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.
     
  13. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Everything I've read says this only applies to bodies without PDAF; the E-M1 has PDAF.

    Barry
     
  14. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    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."
     
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    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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