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View Full Version : AF - EM1 Mark ii and 300 pro lens


Hemlockwood
26th July 2017, 05:46 PM
I have read numerous post/threads on setting up the EM1 Mark ii and they have been really helpful. Today I was experimenting using the new camera with the 300 pro lens and was surprised at the high failure rate I was getting taking images of a butterfly about 3 metres away.:( I did get some sharp images but would have expected better. I tried single, 5 and 9 focusing points (S-AF) and the number of keepers was not significantly different - single was best. I am wondering whether my settings are a problem. Yesterday. I took some images of a Stonechat which was flitting around some ferns and brambles I had real problems with focus and the keeper rate was again low. I have read so many positive threads about the lightening fast focusing of the Mark ii so I think settings/operator error could be the problem. I would be really grateful for any advice.*chr

Miketoll
26th July 2017, 06:17 PM
On my sample the ring to allow manual focus is easily moved accidentally which catches me out occasionally. Also worth checking what focus range you have set ie 1.4m-infinity, 1.4m-4m or 4m-infinity. Oh and if hand holding make sure you have the IS switched on on the lens or you will have no image stabilisation at all resulting in blurred shots at shots under about 1/600 sec.
As long as I have the above correct then I find the focus is both quick and accurate and the results pin sharp.

Hemlockwood
26th July 2017, 06:47 PM
Thanks for responding Mike. I checked the MF clutch and the focus range on the lens and they were all set correctly. IS was also switched on (lens). I am perplexed at the variable image sharpness. As you mention in your last sentence .. "both quick and accurate and the results pin sharp". I do not think the lens is the problem I am wondering about my settings on the camera. When I press the shutter button half way to focus everything appears sharp and press to complete. However, when I examine the image afterwards it is not pin sharp.:(

Miketoll
26th July 2017, 07:10 PM
Puzzling. I assume that you make sure you squeeze off the shot rather than jab the button. Sounds basic but I have caught myself doing the wrong thing many times in the excitement of the shot!
You could always test the lens by shooting from a tripod, IS off, and either using the selftimer or a remote. If results are sharp then it is either you or the settings! An example to look at would be good.

Ian

Ian
26th July 2017, 07:23 PM
Do you think it's out of focus or there is motion blur? Hand holding a 300 requires really fast shutter speeds, even with IS - I'd say 1000th even with IS and steady hand and on top of that the subject in this case doesn't stand still for long.

Ian

Miketoll
26th July 2017, 07:32 PM
Do you think it's out of focus or there is motion blur? Hand holding a 300 requires really fast shutter speeds, even with IS - I'd say 1000th even with IS and steady hand and on top of that the subject in this case doesn't stand still for long.

Ian
Good point, long lens shooting is not easy.
By the way Ian, in my last post I did not post that last sentence about an example would be good or indeed sign off as Ian!!! Something strange going on there!?!

GyRob
26th July 2017, 07:41 PM
The focus point is quite a bit larger than the square seen in the VF so it could be grabbing something just outside it.
Just a thought as I find this combo to be excellent .


Rob.

wornish
26th July 2017, 08:24 PM
The 300 mm works great with the EM1mk2 in my experience.
What focus mode and shutter mode are you using.

I use single focus point with C-AF using back button focussing and electronic shutter low speed for most shots.
On still objects low shutter speeds are fine. on moving objects then yes go for 1/1000 sec or higher. Hope you can find the issue.

Gwyver
26th July 2017, 08:27 PM
Thanks for responding Mike. I checked the MF clutch and the focus range on the lens and they were all set correctly. IS was also switched on (lens). I am perplexed at the variable image sharpness. As you mention in your last sentence .. "both quick and accurate and the results pin sharp". I do not think the lens is the problem I am wondering about my settings on the camera. When I press the shutter button half way to focus everything appears sharp and press to complete. However, when I examine the image afterwards it is not pin sharp.:(

Have you checked the Release Priority settings (Menu Cog C1)
& - in the case of Sequential Shooting - The Image Stabilization setting (Menu Cog C2) ?
These may be affecting your image sharpness.

pdk42
27th July 2017, 06:40 AM
I'd suggest a methodical test process. Download a focus test chart, put the camera on a tripod and do some controlled tests.

Gwyver
27th July 2017, 09:17 AM
Not sure what has happened to this thread. I got 2 notifications last night for it - the later one having fewer items than the first - but when I click on the links in the 2nd thread it jumps to an entirely different thread.

Anyway, in response to Hemlockwood's post - if you have Image Stabilisation (Cog C2) set to FPS Priority the camera will maintain the sequential speed at the expense of Image Stabilisation.
When set to IS priority each frame in a sequence is (very briefly) delayed until the IS has settled - so I suggest you try changing this setting to: IS Priority to see if this helps.

mack100
27th July 2017, 09:19 AM
The very first time I used the 300mm F4 I was not not happy with the IQ/sharpness so I put the shutter onto anti-shock. The images changed for the better immediately.

This is on page 47 of the PDF of the camera manual:

To prevent camera shake caused by the small vibrations that occur during shutter
operations, shooting is performed using an electronic front-curtain shutter.
This is used when shooting with a microscope or a super telephoto lens

DavyG
27th July 2017, 09:19 AM
Could you post a couple of examples with details of your basic settings, iso, shutter speed, aperture, AF setting and focus point used?

I believe you look at my Flickr page, most of the recent images posted have been taken using an E-M1 II, 300mm Pro and MC-14.

I also get a few soft images however, these are due to my errors not the equipment.

The setup is wonderful to use however, it does take a bit of getting used to, getting good results hand holding the 300mm is a learning curve. Whenever possible, I use a Manfrotto Befree tripod fitted with a Jobu Jr. Deluxe 3 gimbal head, this is a lightweight setup and works well with m4/3 kit.

Dave

TonyR
27th July 2017, 09:36 AM
I have read numerous post/threads on setting up the EM1 Mark ii and they have been really helpful. Today I was experimenting using the new camera with the 300 pro lens and was surprised at the high failure rate I was getting taking images of a butterfly about 3 metres away.:( I did get some sharp images but would have expected better. I tried single, 5 and 9 focusing points (S-AF) and the number of keepers was not significantly different - single was best. I am wondering whether my settings are a problem. Yesterday. I took some images of a Stonechat which was flitting around some ferns and brambles I had real problems with focus and the keeper rate was again low. I have read so many positive threads about the lightening fast focusing of the Mark ii so I think settings/operator error could be the problem. I would be really grateful for any advice.*chr

If you are shooting a butterfly at 3m, you need to use a small AF point to get the part of the butterfly that you want to be in focus. I always try to make sure that the eye is in focus. If you are using 5 or 9 points, the camera could easily focus on something other than the butterfly; say a flower petal. The depth of field is extremely small at this distance. If you want the whole butterfly to be in focus, you need to be precisely perpendicular to it.

I use the Zoom AF function to make sure the focus is on the eye because I find even the single focus point to be too large. In addition, Zoom AF seems to use pure CDAF focusing which will give you a very accurate result in these circumstances.

Here is one from a couple of days ago. I had to make sure that the camera did not focus on the flower petals so I used Zoom AF with 10x zoom.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2034636_s.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/94601)

Growltiger
27th July 2017, 04:26 PM
I posted a reply but it vanished.
You said you were using S-AF, and this could explain it. Between the half-press when it focusses and the full press when it takes the photo, the butterfly may have moved.
Try C-AF, this is what you need for things that move.

Hemlockwood
29th July 2017, 07:17 PM
Update.

Thanks to all for the posts*chr

I am still experiencing focusing issues however, these problems are arising when I am taking images e.g. butterfly at 3-4m. The lens/camera combination is heavy so there is a strong possibility of camera shake although I thought the IS on the lens would take care of that. There is also the close proximity and dof etc. I have also turned anti shock ON.

I have updated the lens to the latest firmware (1.2) which is specifically for issues around AF - EM1 Mark ii.

I took some images of a lamb today to test 300m + MC1.4 SA-F (9 Points)and the quality of the images were very good eye/hair on head when magnified showed focusing was very good.

I clearly still have a lot to learn about this combination:)

Walti
29th July 2017, 08:33 PM
Just to show that the combination can do fairly close-up photos, 1.4m is the closest focusing point...

Here's a couple of photos I posted the other day...

Both using the 300+MC14 1/1000s and f7.1 from memory!

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/2056/20170719-P7191371.jpg

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/2056/20170719-P7191374.jpg

Joop
29th July 2017, 08:34 PM
You shot the picture with f5.6, that's way too wide open for this distance with this kind of lens. Yes it is 300mm, but that's 600mm for 36mm full frame. You need at least f8.0 and may be even one higher. You can compensate to set down your ISO and/or set speed higher. Your problem is DOF which is very thin due to the lens and the chosen opening. Look at the flower leaves and you can see how thin it really is. Just my two cents so to speak.

Hemlockwood
29th July 2017, 09:37 PM
Thanks Walti. The 300 lens is clearly very capable of capturing butterflies with excellent image quality.

Joop. I think you have made a very good point aperture at this range is going to be a very significant factor. I really do need f8 or above.

TonyR
30th July 2017, 10:50 AM
Thanks Walti. The 300 lens is clearly very capable of capturing butterflies with excellent image quality.

Joop. I think you have made a very good point aperture at this range is going to be a very significant factor. I really do need f8 or above.

I never use f/8 for butterflies, even with the 300m + MC-14. Of course you won't get all of the butterfly in focus but neither will you at f/8. When I can, I try to shoot from an angle such that, when I focus on the eye, The rear wing is in focus.

Here is an example. The camera view is pretty much perpendicular to the far wing and the angle is such that the wing is at the same distance from the camera as the head. So when focused on the eye, the far wing is in focus too.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2032059_s.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/94644)

Hemlockwood
30th July 2017, 11:46 AM
Thanks Tony. Most helpful. Will have a try at butterfly images this afternoon. Testing the lens again this morning on stationary birds I have found that focus is very much improved if I remove the Hoya polarising filter. This has been mentioned on another Forum*chr

wornish
30th July 2017, 12:11 PM
Thanks Tony. Most helpful. Will have a try at butterfly images this afternoon. Testing the lens again this morning on stationary birds I have found that focus is very much improved if I remove the Hoya polarising filter. This has been mentioned on another Forum*chr

The polarising filter will certainly reduce the light getting in and if you are in A mode will cause the camera to use either longer shutter speeds or increase ISO.

PeterBirder
30th July 2017, 12:23 PM
Why would you want to use a polarizing filter on a long FL lens for wildlife photography?

Regards *chr

Hemlockwood
30th July 2017, 12:28 PM
I do not intend using this lens just for wildlife. However, I always put a filter on the front of my lenses to protect the glass. I do not think this was a good idea in this instance*chr

PeterBirder
30th July 2017, 12:42 PM
I do not intend using this lens just for wildlife. However, I always put a filter on the front of my lenses to protect the glass. I do not think this was a good idea in this instance*chr

Ah I see, the old "should I/shouldn't I use a protctive filter" debate. :)

Unfortunately for a long FL lens a polarizer is probably, IMHO the least apropriate choice of filter for protection.

Regards.*chr

Miketoll
30th July 2017, 01:41 PM
I use a protective filter on mine too but it is a completely clear multi coated one, the one made by Olympus actually because I got a free one with the lens. My other lenses are all protected by clear high quality ones by Hoya but I would have thought any of the high quality makes would be fine.
A polariser will reduce the light reaching the sensor by up to two stops so I would only ever use one for specific purposes.
As said there is a vast debate about whether you should use any filter at all but I am more in the camp of use one to give some additional protection.

Alwin
31st July 2017, 05:49 PM
I have the same combination of cam and lens and have read a lot of infos / proposals to find out what I should use for a starts.
There are a lot of settings possible which means also there is more to set wrong than correct I would say.

For me I tried a few and have different settings under lever 1 and lever 2 as well.

I was happy with the pictures I made.
Attached a pictire of a peregrine falcon which is even a heavy crop.
ISo 250 - 1/1600s - f7.1

BR
Alwin

Hemlockwood
31st July 2017, 07:27 PM
Thanks Alwin. I have been practicing with the Em1 Mark ii and the 300 pro + MC14 lens for the last few days and I am getting the hang of the combination. I still have focusing problems but I think operator error is playing a part. When I get it right images are tack sharp. I really like the image of the Peregrine I presume you were using C-AF (tracking?). How many FPS?*chr

Alwin
1st August 2017, 06:40 AM
Yes C-AF and sequentiel High (16fps).

TonyR
1st August 2017, 08:07 AM
Yes C-AF and sequentiel High (16fps).

I haven't found any setting where I can set the camera to 16 fps, H or L. Are you sure that is right? Also, some say that sequential H can do C-AF between frames in a burst but I don't believe it does that. Can you give your opinion on it?

Alwin
1st August 2017, 08:17 AM
Sorry, should have been 15 fps.
Settings are under C1 and than option for L and H sequential settings


Alwin

TonyR
1st August 2017, 08:22 AM
Sorry, should have been 15 fps.
Settings are under C1 and than option for L and H sequential settings


Alwin

Thanks for clearing that up. I have seen (and use) 15 fps. Any thoughts on C-AF and sequential H? My understanding is that C-AF works up until the first shot in sequential H but the focus is then locked for all other shots in the burst. However, others disagree.

Alwin
1st August 2017, 08:30 AM
Hmmm, haven't checked for that effect on my series of the peregrine falcon.
Can't confirm yet.
Also I think that I have too little experience yet to give more details, just have my gear about 3 weeks and been in teh field with it really only last sunday. Rest was trying things and reading papers and do internet reasearch on settings and what they mean.
The manual is no a real help here unfortunately.

Alwin

Alwin
1st August 2017, 08:38 AM
Here is another one of the series.
Its a crop of course and than reduced to fit here.

Thinking about it, why wouldn't C-AF and H work together?
You could try easily I would guess.
I have the AF on the back button, but press AF and move the camera to the right or left and see if the AF moves as well. If it does, why wouldn't it when a bird in flight is focused?

Alwin

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=4261&d=1501576648

TonyR
1st August 2017, 09:16 AM
Here is another one of the series.
Its a crop of course and than reduced to fit here.

Thinking about it, why wouldn't C-AF and H work together?
You could try easily I would guess.
I have the AF on the back button, but press AF and move the camera to the right or left and see if the AF moves as well. If it does, why wouldn't it when a bird in flight is focused?

Alwin

...

Well, my guess is that C-AF has to work between frames to get the focus and as the frame rate increases there is less and less time to do this. Although the fastest frame rates with sequential L overlap with the slowest frame rates with sequential H, I think Olympus just tried to keep it easy to understand by making H only do C-AF up to the first shot, even if the frame rate was slow enough to theoretically allow it.