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birdboy
5th March 2012, 08:42 PM
OM-D focusing

I have read with interest all the hype about the ‘new’ OM-D and the claims about focusing speed. I have Olympus equipment now (E3) because I once had (still have) an OM1. What was fantastic about that camera was the split screen focusing. All you had to do was find something vertical and adjust the focusing ring until the two centre images were in line. Surely this could be implemented electronically?

What would temp me into buying a new camera would be some form of assist into manual focusing. AF has just too many limitations, lens compatibility, contrast and lighting to mentions just a few.

I got excited when I first saw the new Olympus OM-D name dreaming that it was like the OM1 with a slit screen focusing system. It seems that hype gave me the impression that manual focusing used magnifying the image to help improve focusing. Studying the manual it seems nothing more than what I already have with the E3 in live mode, which I have never found very much help. Why cannot this be implemented through the viewfinder?

Ian can you confirm if the manual focus implemented on the OM-D is any different to the E3?

I think that newer interchangeable lens cameras would benefit from the ability to manually focus rather than auto focus. At the end of the day the camera cannot know what it is the photographer wants to be in focus.

Does anyone think like me?

Zuiko
5th March 2012, 08:57 PM
Generally I find autofocus faster and more reliable than I can perform manually, whether by split screen or enlarged view. The one subject where I would like to employ manual focus is landscapes, but using the distance scale and DOF marks for each aperture rather than focusing on any specific object. Unfortunately these scales are out of fashion for prime lenses and would not be possible with any accuracy with zooms anyway. That's the one thing about a Nikon full frame camera I would find useful, nothing to do with sensor quality but the facility to use old manual focus Nikkor primes with accurate barrel markings. For the occasional macro shot, with the camera on a tripod, I do find magnified live view is excellent.

birdboy
5th March 2012, 09:45 PM
Generally I find autofocus faster and more reliable than I can perform manually, whether by split screen or enlarged view.

Thanks John
What DSLR camera do you have that uses split screen for manual focusing?

I agree that there is no doubt about the AF speed and accuracy for general use with lenses designed for that particular model of camera but AF does not always work well and you can be left with a lens focus ring a long way from where it should be. I am not looking to replace AF but asking for something more to be added to assist MF.

The demise of the scale distance scales on lenses is a pity but why cannot the electronics report these settings including DOF. I feel the camera manufactures are missing a trick or too here.I do not know how accurate the EXIF figures are but it seems to report some of these distances so why not make them available in the camera via the monitor/ viewfinder?

John

Zuiko
5th March 2012, 09:59 PM
Thanks John
What DSLR camera do you have that uses split screen for manual focusing?

I agree that there is no doubt about the AF speed and accuracy for general use with lenses designed for that particular model of camera but AF does not always work well and you can be left with a lens focus ring a long way from where it should be. I am not looking to replace AF but asking for something more to be added to assist MF.

The demise of the scale distance scales on lenses is a pity but why cannot the electronics report these settings including DOF. I feel the camera manufactures are missing a trick or too here.I do not know how accurate the EXIF figures are but it seems to report some of these distances so why not make them available in the camera via the monitor/ viewfinder?

John

Sorry, John, I don't have a split screen in a DSLR - what I meant to say was when I was using a 35mm film SLR. Mind you, I do believe an alternative screen with a microprism centre circle (FS-1 ?) can be fitted in the E-3 and possibly the E-5 by the Olympus service department - it's not replaceable by the user.

I agree entirely with what you say about manufacturers not making full use of the technology in this respect, I suspect it is seen as of interest to relatively few people and doesn't have quite the marketing power of ever-more megapixels.

David M
5th March 2012, 11:17 PM
All my OM bodies have had the screens changed for plain ones, either 1-4, 1-8 or 2-4 screens. I've also got an OM fit Beattie Intenscreen somewhere.

I much prefer to focus on ground glass to using split image or microprism. You can choose which part of the screen you want to use. Of course, also having shot medium and large format in the past you had to learn to focus with a ground glass screen.

jdal
6th March 2012, 10:45 AM
If you're feeling adventurous you could always try a Katzeye. I guess Luton Cameras would fix it.

http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/cat--Olympus-DSLRs--cat_olympus.html

I've got one on a 410, they work fine.

birdboy
6th March 2012, 08:09 PM
All my OM bodies have had the screens changed for plain ones, either 1-4, 1-8 or 2-4 screens. I've also got an OM fit Beattie Intenscreen somewhere.

I much prefer to focus on ground glass to using split image or microprism. You can choose which part of the screen you want to use. Of course, also having shot medium and large format in the past you had to learn to focus with a ground glass screen.

That's interesting that you switched screens David, I always thought the split screen was the bee's knees.

Never having had plain focus screens its difficult for me to understand how you learn to manually focus.

I would be interested to know how that helps with DSLR cameras. My eye sight is not what it use to be 30 years ago so I want all the help I can get to manually focus.

It does not seem to be as big an issue for most as I thought it would be.
John

birdboy
6th March 2012, 08:22 PM
If you're feeling adventurous you could always try a Katzeye. I guess Luton Cameras would fix it.

http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/cat--Olympus-DSLRs--cat_olympus.html

I've got one on a 410, they work fine.

Thanks John I keep looking at the katzeye optics but am put off off by the caution that under some conditions the metering has to be compensated. I do remember that sometimes the centre blacked out under poor light with the OM1.

I am more interested to know if the OM-D is better for manual focusing that say the E3?

John

snaarman
6th March 2012, 08:34 PM
I consider myself a manual focusser gone bad. I don't have the eyesight for it these days. AF is great, but it's really annoying to find it didn't nail the part of the image you wanted to be in focus.

I tried a Katzeye in my E400 and it wasn't for me. Sure, the split screen tried it's best but I didn't have confidence in it. They come with a shim to adjust the relationship between the screen and the sensor, if you find your pictures are a bit out... and that is worrying.

Assuming the OM-D is like my EPL-3 + VF2 combo but on steroids, then you should be able to invoke focus assist. Fit your 12-60, set the camera to AF+MF or just MF and any touch of the focus ring will expand the image in the EVF so you can nail the focus perfectly. As soon as you leave the focus ring, it goes back to normal magnification.

I didn't like this at all when I was using the rear screen, but I can see how it could be an answer if you are using the EVF..

Pete

Oh, and yes, modern AF zooms are a load darker that the old 50mm f1.8, so the split image screen will black out rather easily...

birdboy
6th March 2012, 10:40 PM
Assuming the OM-D is like my EPL-3 + VF2 combo but on steroids, then you should be able to invoke focus assist. Fit your 12-60, set the camera to AF+MF or just MF and any touch of the focus ring will expand the image in the EVF so you can nail the focus perfectly. As soon as you leave the focus ring, it goes back to normal magnification.

I didn't like this at all when I was using the rear screen, but I can see how it could be an answer if you are using the EVF..

Pete


I am a little confused:confused:. Does your EPL-3 +VF2 give you a magnified view in the EVF? The EPL-3 (p38) manual states "Zoom is visible only in the monitor".

The OM-D (E-M5) Manual p 25 seems to indicate zoom available in VF and yet p 45 states "Zoom is visible only in the monitor"

The question is does the OM-D allow zoom and manual focus throught the VF or not?

John

So

jdal
7th March 2012, 07:55 AM
Re the Katzeye, my 410 had also had some work done to brighten the viewfinder. It works ok, but I must admit I tend to use the 410 as a P&S on autofocus.

Ulfric M Douglas
7th March 2012, 08:21 AM
Hello birdboy, I see you've had a few responses about screens in DSLRs ... distracting you from the simple answer.

The e-M5 (you call it OM-D ), like ALL micro-4/3rds cameras is superb for using manual focus, far better than a DSLR (in my opinion) due to the optical nature of the EVF which can often give a kind of clarity jump when proper focus is achieved ... or use the proper method designed into the system : magnification of the image. Don't be fooled by the crappo manuals, all the EVF magnify simply and easily for very precise focusing.

( You can find out what that's all about by trying a Lumix G1 or G2 or G3 in a shop, the commonest m4/3rds with EVF.)

David M
7th March 2012, 11:20 AM
That's interesting that you switched screens David, I always thought the split screen was the bee's knees.

Never having had plain focus screens its difficult for me to understand how you learn to manually focus.

I would be interested to know how that helps with DSLR cameras. My eye sight is not what it use to be 30 years ago so I want all the help I can get to manually focus.

It does not seem to be as big an issue for most as I thought it would be.
John

One problem with split image/microprism focusing aids is they black out with telephotos. As I shot from ultra wide to super telephoto a plain screen was usable with all my lenses.

I've not had a problem manually focusing with either my E-410 or E-3 using the standard screen but I do have 30+ years practice focusing manually. I'm currently putting together a set of manual focus primes as an alternative to my HG and SHG zooms.

snaarman
7th March 2012, 12:06 PM
I am a little confused:confused:. Does your EPL-3 +VF2 give you a magnified view in the EVF? The EPL-3 (p38) manual states "Zoom is visible only in the monitor".
John

So

Yes, the EPL-3 does do magnified manual focus on demand in the VF2 EVF :)

Can't speak for the OM-D but I am willing to bet that does it as well..

Pete

birdboy
7th March 2012, 12:33 PM
Hello birdboy, I see you've had a few responses about screens in DSLRs ... distracting you from the simple answer.

The e-M5 (you call it OM-D ), like ALL micro-4/3rds cameras is superb for using manual focus, far better than a DSLR (in my opinion) due to the optical nature of the EVF which can often give a kind of clarity jump when proper focus is achieved ... or use the proper method designed into the system : magnification of the image. Don't be fooled by the crappo manuals, all the EVF magnify simply and easily for very precise focusing.

( You can find out what that's all about by trying a Lumix G1 or G2 or G3 in a shop, the commonest m4/3rds with EVF.)

Thanks Ulfric that's what I wanted to know but I did find the other comments very interesting. Now I'm interested in the new camera but I think I shall wait to see what others think of it and how they get on with the FT SWD lenses. I am somewhat apprehensive to invest in Olympus until they and other lens manufactures (I have Sigma in mind) increase their product range on lenses >300mm with useable apertures.

I call it the OM-D because the pictures I've seen of it have OM-D stamped on the body. It looks like an OM at first glance.

Thanks for all your comments.
John