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View Full Version : ED 300mm f2.8 on E-M5


David Morison
10th September 2012, 12:10 PM
Trying to persevere with this lens on the E-M5 today with little success. The greatest worry is the loud internal clicking and sometimes rattle when the outfit is moved or when auto-focusing and shutter actuation. It doesn't happen when the camera is switched off or when manual focusing (but still with shutter actuation). Whether IS is on or off it still happens but not with any other E-System camera. Does anyone know if this is a lens fault or just an incompatibility problem? I am unhappy to use it now in case any damage may ensue.

In addition AF is not only desperately slow and rattly but even after confirmation at least 4 out of five shots are OoF. Shame really as the combination of the superb E-M5 sensor with this lens can render amazing IQ.

At the moment I can't see my way forward using m4/3 for telephoto wildlife photography. Please Olympus or Panasonic do something to remedy this!

Sorry if this sounds like another moan from me but this is so crucial to my hobby and passion.

David

StephenL
10th September 2012, 12:51 PM
I'm not totally surprised at the inability of the lens to focus as it wasn't designed for contrast-detection autofocus. The lens was, after all, designed pre-mirrorless.

However, I'm perplexed by the noises you describe. Can you tell if it's coming from the body or the lens? I'm wondering if it's just an example of the iris rattle that is more common when using Panasonic lenses on Olympus m4/3 bodies. Or whether it is indeed the autofocus making a (feeble) attempt to work on something the lens simply wasn't designed for.

I realise that manual focussing is something you want to avoid, but when you do focus manually, are the results sharp?

Sounds like you're stuck with incompatability until either Olympus comes up with an adaptor-based solution, or a 300mm f2.8 m4/3 lens is made.

Ross the fiddler
10th September 2012, 01:11 PM
I think the noises are the aperture blades operating as I've even had the 70-300 lens rattle on the odd occasion as I zoomed. I don't know if there is any less than perfect connection to the lens through the adapter that might be part of this or not. You could try different apertures to see if that uncovers any clues.

David Morison
10th September 2012, 01:26 PM
The noise comes from the lens and iris rattle is what occurred to me, but why does it happen when I just move the outfit around and IS is off? Must be due to AF as it only happens in MF when the shutter is pressed. I am not against MF but as most of my shooting is handheld in places where a tripod is unsuitable, and trying to focus a 300mm of that weight, possibly with EC14, is almost impossible even with IS and magnification - most subjects are fairly mobile. If I do manage to get accurate focus with MF or AF it is very sharp. If it is to do with the iris then I can't risk using it any more with the E-M5

David

smartwombat
10th September 2012, 05:21 PM
Sounds normal to me.
The lens is designed to focus using phase detect, where the camera knows where the focus point should be and goes there in one jump.
When you focus on a micro 4/3 camera then it uses successive approximation (educated guesses) and will shift focus many times quickly looking for the highest contrast.
Typically it goes past focus on the long side, past focus on the short side, about half way between, no back a bit, ah no right first time forward a bit ... sounding like a fast typist as it slowly works its way into focus.
There are really "clever" bits of the focus algorithm that take into account mechanical play in the lens and rack it into focus in the right direction. All of which is wasted as the 4/3 lens has that built in. So it may do some unnecessary fannying about in getting focus.

peak4
10th September 2012, 05:37 PM
David, I did post about something similar in another thread, though relating to a Bigma;
http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showpost.php?p=185252&postcount=7 (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showpost.php?p=185252&postcount=7)

I've just been out to the garden for a very quick play on your behalf.
300mm F2.8 + E-M5 was sharp when it did hit focus, though it was as slow as expected.
There wasn't any of the rattling you mention, whether fully open or stopped down, though you could hear and feel the AF motor & gear train doing their stuff.
The 90-250mm was about the same in both AF performance and noise.

In both cases AF was a mile off the majority of the time, even though Release Priority was set to off and the AF confirmation LED was lit in each case. Focus was visibly well out through the viewfinder.

I got a much better AF hit rate with IS-1 set to on, presumably as the subject wasn't moving about as much in the viewfinder; I have IS set to operate on 1/2 shutter release.

Back to the Bigma, so I could try and describe the staccato rattling and try to work out if it was the AF motor of the iris.
Guess what, the lens was almost silent today, wide open, or stopped down.

That was the good news, the bad being that it visibly missed focus at least 19 times out of 20. Not just by a bit, but sometimes wildly out such that there was nothing at all in the viewfinder even remotely close to focus. Lots of nice green fuzzy abstracts though. :rolleyes:

In each case AF area was set to the smallest oblong possible.
I then tried setting up a small twig sticking out of the top of a privet hedge. I tried to use that as a target, knowing it was fairly low contrast. Even with it filling the green box, the body chose to focus elsewhere on the hedge.

David Morison
10th September 2012, 05:41 PM
Yes I understand the reasons for "fannying about" and was prepared to accept that, but why the AF confirm when the image is OOF? Sometimes this can be seen through the EVF but in many cases it cannot, resulting in loads of wasted shots and opportunities. And what about the clicking and rattling? Does anyone know if this could damage the lens which is worth about 5x the camera's cost?

David

David Morison
11th September 2012, 06:39 AM
David, I did post about something similar in another thread, though relating to a Bigma;
http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showpost.php?p=185252&postcount=7 (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showpost.php?p=185252&postcount=7)

I've just been out to the garden for a very quick play on your behalf.
300mm F2.8 + E-M5 was sharp when it did hit focus, though it was as slow as expected.
There wasn't any of the rattling you mention, whether fully open or stopped down, though you could hear and feel the AF motor & gear train doing their stuff.
The 90-250mm was about the same in both AF performance and noise.

In both cases AF was a mile off the majority of the time, even though Release Priority was set to off and the AF confirmation LED was lit in each case. Focus was visibly well out through the viewfinder.

I got a much better AF hit rate with IS-1 set to on, presumably as the subject wasn't moving about as much in the viewfinder; I have IS set to operate on 1/2 shutter release.

Back to the Bigma, so I could try and describe the staccato rattling and try to work out if it was the AF motor of the iris.
Guess what, the lens was almost silent today, wide open, or stopped down.

That was the good news, the bad being that it visibly missed focus at least 19 times out of 20. Not just by a bit, but sometimes wildly out such that there was nothing at all in the viewfinder even remotely close to focus. Lots of nice green fuzzy abstracts though. :rolleyes:

In each case AF area was set to the smallest oblong possible.
I then tried setting up a small twig sticking out of the top of a privet hedge. I tried to use that as a target, knowing it was fairly low contrast. Even with it filling the green box, the body chose to focus elsewhere on the hedge.

Thank you for that work Bill, I thought my technique was failing. I seems that MF may be the only reliable method to use with 4/3 telephoto lenses. As far as the clicking is concerned I have emailed Olympus Support to get their view on this, but it is interesting that the lens works perfectly on the E5. Unfortunately the AF issue happens on the 50-200mm SWD as well but not the clicking.

So I have a problem, do I carry on using the E5/300mm which is an excellent set up but doesn't quite have the IQ of the E-M5/300mm or use the latter on MF and carry a tripod wherever I go?

David

Chevvyf1
11th September 2012, 07:48 AM
Thank you for that work Bill, I thought my technique was failing. I seems that MF may be the only reliable method to use with 4/3 telephoto lenses. As far as the clicking is concerned I have emailed Olympus Support to get their view on this, but it is interesting that the lens works perfectly on the E5. Unfortunately the AF issue happens on the 50-200mm SWD as well but not the clicking.

So I have a problem, do I carry on using the E5/300mm which is an excellent set up but doesn't quite have the IQ of the E-M5/300mm or use the latter on MF and carry a tripod wherever I go?

David


David, I am sooo sorry to hear the 300 is not working well with the OM-D ... :rolleyes: if your going to give up the E-5 and the 300 I think I know a buyer for you ? :cool:

Daveart
11th September 2012, 07:51 AM
Hi David, I think perhaps its a case of the battery in EM5s lack the power to drive the bigger 4/3rds lens the larger ones anyway. That's my guess, Maybe Olympus will confirm this when they reply, Hope things get sortted, maybe the next body maybe able to cope by then. Incedently it maybe the reason for hit and miss with focus also.

Dave

paulthomas
11th September 2012, 07:55 PM
Thank you for that work Bill, I thought my technique was failing. I seems that MF may be the only reliable method to use with 4/3 telephoto lenses. As far as the clicking is concerned I have emailed Olympus Support to get their view on this, but it is interesting that the lens works perfectly on the E5. Unfortunately the AF issue happens on the 50-200mm SWD as well but not the clicking.

So I have a problem, do I carry on using the E5/300mm which is an excellent set up but doesn't quite have the IQ of the E-M5/300mm or use the latter on MF and carry a tripod wherever I go?

David

Just keep using the E5. At least you won't damage the 300 that way and your photos will be in focus. Alternatively wear sandals and then you can claim all of your OOF shots as art ;)

David Morison
13th September 2012, 02:18 PM
Just had a reply from Olympus Technical in Prague who basically say that although the 300mm is compatible with the E-M5 AF will not give accurate focusing. Strange what they call compatible! So I am sticking with the E5 for the mean time until some solution is found, although I can accept having to sell and go elsewhere. Long telephoto photography of birds is a crucial element in choice of gear for me and I feel in this respect Olympus face the prospect of being left behind. I will continue to use my
E-M5 for macro and landscape etc.

David

Old John
28th September 2012, 04:55 PM
Panasonic have a compatibility table for the Lumix DMC-GF1 which I also own. This covers accessories such as flash as well as lenses. Most importantly, the lens table is comprehensive and regularly updated. Current version is dated 10 September 2012. I see that the Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-f/3.5 won't autofocus but the 14-54mm f/2.8-f/3.5 II will. Interesting. The Lumix has contrast AF and the table is probably valid for any other camera with it that can take the lenses, such as the E-M5. I'm afraid the rules don't allow me to post the link!!!. So try Googling for Compatibilities of DMC-GF1 or any other Micro 4/3 from Panasonic. The 300mm f/2.8 is marked as manual focus only (Surprised?).

I hope this is useful.

Who's_E
28th September 2012, 11:56 PM
...Unfortunately the AF issue happens on the 50-200mm SWD as well but not the clicking...

That's interesting and a shame to hear the problems you are having.

I had a go with the 300/2.8 on the E-P1 and it worked fine but the 50-200 SWD went through the symptoms you describe with your 300/2.8 - it sounded truly awful, almost as though there was sand stuck in the mechanism.

I haven't even bothered using the 50-200 for this reason and agree that it is a shame to leave such great glass off the camera. (I don't own the 300/2.8 I borrowed so don't have that option but I would leave it be).

Nick

Ulfric M Douglas
29th September 2012, 05:28 AM
Panasonic have a compatibility table for the Lumix DMC-GF1 which I also own. This covers accessories such as flash as well as lenses. Most importantly, the lens table is comprehensive and regularly updated. Current version is dated 10 September 2012. I see that the Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-f/3.5 won't autofocus but the 14-54mm f/2.8-f/3.5 II will. Interesting. The Lumix has contrast AF and the table is probably valid for any other camera with it that can take the lenses, such as the E-M5.

Absolutely not.
Autofocus of 4/3rds lenses is dependent on the body and lens combination, i.e. a table for each bofy.

For example my 40-150MkI has AF on a G2 but not on a G1.
The early Lumix models just don't have the capability with certain non-CDAF-optimised lenses.

Old John
29th September 2012, 06:58 AM
Ah, well. Nevertheless it ought to be some sort of a guide. Try before you buy? With this sort of a situation Olympus should provide a table.