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Trouble using a polarizer w/ 14-42mm kit lens

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by sparklehorse, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. sparklehorse

    sparklehorse Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Apr 4, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    Hi all,
    Is anyone using a polarizer on their 14-42mm? If so, are you having any problems using it? I haven't used this lens much yet, but this morning I thought I'd do some test shots with it. I put a polarizer on it, but quicky found the polarizer was very fussy to use. When I rotate the filter, the front lens element jigggles and "buzzes". The lens seems to sort of "fight back", for lack of a better description. The "Check the status of a lens" message would occasionally flash across the LED as well. I tried putting the camera in MF mode, and turned off IS, but this odd behavior continued. I also found it very difficult to judge the effect of the polarizer as I rotated it. That's to be expected I suppose, since I'm just using the LED, but the two problems combined seem to make using a polarizer impractical with this lens. Hopefully someone's had more luck than I. Camera is an E-P1, polarizer is a B+W F-PRO circular polarizer. Apologies if this has been discussed already, a quick search didn't turn up any threads though.

    Thanks for the help!

    Gordon
     
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  2. blackSP

    blackSP Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Apr 9, 2010
    Amsterdam
    No problems here, maybe yours is mechanical?

    Edit: I was referring to a polarizing filter which, like a UV or protective filter causes no issues here.
     
  3. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    the lens is very sensitive to weight , a delicate flower , the panny kit zoom will hold half a pound or more by contrast
     
  4. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I have one on my zoom, too, and have to agree that it's not the easiest but I keep hoping that as I use it a bit more that I'll get the knack of turning it without its effecting the barrel of the lens. I don't have all the same issues that you're having, but I do find that it's not the way my polarizer felt on my old film camera.

    Cosnia's point is a good one about the sensitivity of this particular lens. Perhaps we need a more delicate touch?
     
  5. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Peter
    A polariser on the Olympus 14-42 is an exercise in frustrastion.

    If you rotate the polariser, you alter the focus of the lens - even when set to MF.

    If you focus the lens, you rotate the polariser.

    The lens lens groans and complains with the weight. While I have a small polariser (49mm) which I can mount using a stepping ring, it is still a bit too heavy for the lens.

    My preferred option of a Cokin P series holder and polariser is simply a no-go zone.

    Optically, the little 14-42 lens is fine, but from a serious photographers point of view, the lens designers really stuffed up. If only they put as much thought into the 14-42 as they did into the 9-18mm M.Zuiko, it would have been an absolute joy.

    Cheers

    PeterB666
     
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  6. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks Peter. I think that sparklehorse and I feel better after reading your post. Live and learn, eh?
     
  7. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I too picked up a nice little 40.5mm B+W CP for this lens. Only to find indeed it trips up the focus system all too easily. And honestly I can NOT see the typical polarizer effect I would normally on a typical lens. Very disappointing. I also have a 2 stop ND filter but thus far really haven't found it necessary to use it. I might just opt for a Panny 14-45 at some point and call it a day. I have a good number of 52mm filters so it would make more sense, and at least they would work normally.
     
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  8. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks for your input, too. It helps to know one is not alone.

    The upside for me is that mine is just a Hoya, so it wasn't too expensive and it still seems to be handy for very bright days...or perhaps that is just an illusion.:wink: I find if I have a very light touch and am not in a hurry it does work, but let's face it that is not ideal at all.
     
  9. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    This may seem like an obvious question but are you using circular polarizing filters?
     
  10. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Mine is the kind you turn so I believe that would be a "Yes". I really am not familiar with the iinear style, though I know we had some detailed discussions earlier...I believe in this thread: https://www.mu-43.com/f67/filters-639/ .
     
  11. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    The Linear and the Circular look and are adjusted in the very same way but the Polar has an extra element that adjust the scattering of the light once it has been polarized. If you use a linear Polarizer on most modern cameras it will do two things. First it will make focusing very difficult and second it will throw your light meter reading off.

    There are other problems with that might occur with the lens at 14 mm but that will happen with any polar filter.
     
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  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Thank you Grant! Glad to know that my circular one, at least, is not throwing off the camera... I think it is just a bit difficult to turn without also turning the end of this particular lens's barrel.
     
  13. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    In my case I turned it ad nauseum and saw NO real polarizing differences I'm used to with my DSLR's. I should be able to note differences for example in cloud contrast and structures as well as water and such. I see NOTHING like this with the circular polarizer on the end and being adjusted. I've also read that a linear polarizer would work fine on a mirrorless system. I haven't tried one nor do I care to at this point. I've since purchased step rings to adapt another ND or CP filter (52mm) to the Olympus 17mm f2.8 or Panasonic 20mm f1.7 if needed, and of course it would work fine with the Panasonic 45-200OIS I have as well. The kit lens is very limiting. I await the release of the new 14-150mm MZuiko in July. It figures it is once again another size altogether (58mm) so I'll have to get either a 58mm-72mm or 58mm -77mm step ring for other CP's I have.
     
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  14. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    More nauseum

    Polar filters are not exclusive to dSLR but depend on the choice of autofocusing or metering the camera is designed to use. Linear polar filter works well for any system that doesn't use a splitter system for focusing and/or light metering. The use of a circular polar filter is almost a given with dSLR and many autofocusing SLR. Before you use a linear polarizing filter on a "point and shoot" it is best to check with the manufacturer. Two warning signs that you have a miss match in polarizing filters is underexposed images and difficulty with focusing.

    Two problems can occur with using a polar filter on wide angle lens and a 14 mm could constitute wide angle. First because they are thicker than most filters you may see slight vignetting on your image. Secondly polar filters work best at 90˚ from the sun and if you angle of view is very wide, and you are shooting close than 90˚ then some of your image can be polarized while the rest is not and you may have some unusual effects.
     
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  15. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    "more nauseum":rofl: Not really, but I do know what you mean.:wink:
     
  16. sparklehorse

    sparklehorse Mu-43 Regular

    67
    Apr 4, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    Well, interesting. We have one person who is using a polarizer on the 14-42 without issues. May I ask which brand polarizer you're using? And is it circular or linear? My circular B+W is sort of "damped", and takes some effort to turn. Perhaps that's part of the problem. I know I've had polarizers in the past that rotated very easily. But even if I could rotate this one easily there'd still be the issue of detecting its effect. Is that really not a problem with yours BlackSP? Maybe this just comes down to brand and/or circular vs. linear.

    Gordon
     
  17. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    520
    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    I had these same problems, with a circular polarizing filter, and now when I was just trying to take it off, it brought the whole front element with it and I cannot figure how to screw it back in :-(

    annoyed and hope I will not have to get a new lens because of this, though if I do I will definitely get a MkII or MkIII with the non-rotating element
     
  18. kanasgowatom

    kanasgowatom Mu-43 Regular

    73
    Nov 11, 2011
    14-42 construction

    I, perhaps naively, purchased to Olympus Macro Adaptor, thinking, that a manufacturer, with Olympus's reputation, would only sell equipment that enhanced the entire photographic experience. I have taken many images, and so far, the weight of this set-up has not been a problem. I have used a Cokin "a" series ND filter and not had a problem, weight wise, however, after reading some postings here, I think I will return the circular polarizer I bought, since I am certain, rotating it, would only lead to the demise of this lens.

    kanasgowatom
     
  19. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    520
    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    if it is the MkI lens with the rotating front element, I would certainly be hesitant to use any filters after this experience... if it is a later model with a non rotating front, it may not be as much of an issue
     
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