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View Full Version : Autofocus - Out of focus


Trausti Hraunfjord
12th July 2009, 01:09 AM
So, I am trying to prepare myself to use the E-520 for my works, but have come to the conclusion that either the autofocus is simply bad from factory, or the camera is "broken" on the autofocus issue, since the results are often completely out of focus (not always, but in periods it is just bad beyond anything acceptable. The pictures are just a smudge... then it behaves "well" in periods, actually getting close to good autofocus). When it does it's autofocus routine, it passes over the piont where the scene is actually IN focus, then continues to a position where everything is completely smudged.

Most of the times it knows that it's "outoffocus", and doesn't want to make the shot. It doesn't seem to matter if the camera is mounted on a tripod, hand-held or in good or bad lighting situations.

I know that my old C8080 camera was not perfect on the autofocus, but in 98% of the cases it did it's job well (albeit slowly), but the 520 seems to be at a 20% success rate, and 80% failures - in periods... and reversed in other periods.

Is this a general problem in 520, or does it sound like a complete camera failure on my end? (I am most inclined to go for that option).

Archphoto
12th July 2009, 02:08 AM
I had some issues with the AF occasionaly.
Check your AF setting and the setting of your AF points.

When you accidentely touch the wrong button those settings can move it seems.
Check those settings after you have used a scene program.
Clean the contacts of the camera and the lens with a cotton swab with a little alcohol.

If, despite all the correct settings, you still get out-of-focus shots you have a problem with the camera.

Peter

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th July 2009, 04:49 AM
Thanks for the advice. I already used electronic contact spray (in a swab and cleaned the contacts) without any improvement. Guess the camera is simply shot there.... and then again... I have been doing some more testing, and it seems as if it starts to work, once I have adjusted the manual focus (when in S-AF-MF). When the manual focus has been put correctly, and I change to only S-AF, the autofocus will stay out of outoffocus, and behave well.

Since I bought the camera a few weeks back, I have had very limited time to test it out (except in the usual suspect places (toilet and at the computer desk)) so maybe I just need more time to get used to it... I just find it strange that it won't autofocus even close to the correct distance.

I can get very good shots from the camera... a massive improvement over the old C-8080 WZ camera I have had for the past 5 years. Comparing images of those two, is like comparing eggs and omelettes... (it's up to you to depict that one)

I was happy with the images from C-8080... but after comparing the very same shots with the very same settings on the E-520, I can't ever consider the C-8080 to be good enough again.... and that feels terrible, since it's done it's job well, and I have been pleased all the way with it (almost).

crimbo
12th July 2009, 06:44 AM
One of the reasons I am moving to legacy lenses...I have lost shots relying on autofocus... lose a shot now and its my fault:D

Makonde
12th July 2009, 02:40 PM
I've used a 520 for a year now and I haven't had autofocus problems except with:
-shots in dark or very low contrast situations
-shots of small moving objects
-very close macro shots with the 35mm (I sometimes use SF-MF then shoot a -clip as I rock slightly back and forth)

If you've just moved from a smaller, lighter, shorter focal length P&S camera then you can at times suffer from camera shake rather than poor focus. I say this because I went through a similar process when I moved from a P&S to my Oly DSLR even though in the past I'd had long experience with an OM film SLR. It took me about three months of shooting every day to get really used to the 520, and happy with its capabilities.

photo_owl
12th July 2009, 05:57 PM
Please post an example image illustrating the out of focus performance - together with a listing of all the camera settings.

overall, and as far as I can understand your issue, this is not normal and you certainly shouldn't rule out a possible fault that will need to be resolved by Olympus. However there is a lot of things that can be gone through before that stage.

photo_owl
12th July 2009, 06:00 PM
One of the reasons I am moving to legacy lenses...I have lost shots relying on autofocus... lose a shot now and its my fault:D

can't think of a worse reason.

the only time I have AF issues I can't see anything in the VF - let alone have enough to get even close focusing through it.

Nick Temple-Fry
12th July 2009, 07:55 PM
It sounds like the camera is not detecting focus - so it is cycling through the possible focus and when it is gone all the way stopping.

But it seems that on occaisions the camera can focus normally - which suggests the autofocus mechanism is working. Seems like a bit of a puzzler - but......

I've had the same symptoms on the e-3 after changing lenses - very rarely - but just often enough to detect a pattern. The lens is pickedup OK by the camera (indicated by the display of focal length and details from any oof shot taken) - but the camera doesn't get focus and completes a focus cycle before stopping. The common factor is it only happens on-board boat or soon after I've come ashore. I wonder if the relative humidity (OK dampness) and possible variation in temperature between the lens and the body leads to a temporary very light misting on one of the internal surfaces.

My chosen solution is a few minutes vigorous cursing to generally warm up the atmosphere - seems to work very reliably.

Nick

Trausti Hraunfjord
12th July 2009, 08:51 PM
I think that I have detected the real problem...

... me and my "don't want to read manuals" attitude is the problem. I want to learn by doing... and that works, but takes a longer time to get to the core of the whole thing.

I have not been using the camera, and have only had limited time to test it properly... just had a friend of mine on a visit, and he is a person that reads every manual he can get his hands on. In 10 seconds he had the solution, that I had actually gotten to a few minutes earlier (after days). My auto focus problem was encountered when using the INFO button and go for 10 times magnification of a select area. It would simply not focus there, UNLESS (as i found out by trial and error) I would FIRST shoot a picture that was autofocussed BEFORE going for the 10 times magnification. After shooting a picture BEFORE, the autofocus works perfectly in the magnification area.

Maybe I should change my ways and read the darn manual, rather than making a complete fool of myself, and wasting the time of you good people.

There are still situations where the autofocus does not kick in properly, but my work can easily survive using manual focus, using fixed settings for the whole scene I have to shoot.

Thanks to everyone, and sincere apologies.

For those who are interested: The solution/explanation is found on page 41 in the owners manual (enlarged display operation).

Trausti

sammuel_chan
19th October 2009, 11:33 PM
Hey, i had the same problem too, only that I'm using E-510. It works perfectly with my kit lens and the 35mm macro lens, but once i use my 35-100mm with my E-510, 6 out of 10 times, it will be back focus. Worse still if i'm in a situation where light is dim/ indoor. But problem still persist, although not as worse, when i'm using it outdoor.

I had it tested by a few friends of mine, and most of them said it's fine, strange though, the lens still doesn't seem to focus at the point where i pointed the AF point to. It still back focused..

And despite the 35-100mm lens was suppose to be dust proof, when i flash my LED flashlight into the barrel, there seems to be alot of "super-tiny" dots though they are not visible in the pictures i took...

I'm not sure whether it's my lens problem or my E-510's fault.. but either way, this incident has really lowered down my expectations towards Olympus quality control... So much for the reputation of Super High Grade

photo_owl
20th October 2009, 08:58 AM
Hey, i had the same problem too, only that I'm using E-510. It works perfectly with my kit lens and the 35mm macro lens, but once i use my 35-100mm with my E-510, 6 out of 10 times, it will be back focus. Worse still if i'm in a situation where light is dim/ indoor. But problem still persist, although not as worse, when i'm using it outdoor.

I had it tested by a few friends of mine, and most of them said it's fine, strange though, the lens still doesn't seem to focus at the point where i pointed the AF point to. It still back focused..

And despite the 35-100mm lens was suppose to be dust proof, when i flash my LED flashlight into the barrel, there seems to be alot of "super-tiny" dots though they are not visible in the pictures i took...

I'm not sure whether it's my lens problem or my E-510's fault.. but either way, this incident has really lowered down my expectations towards Olympus quality control... So much for the reputation of Super High Grade

Given that Trausti's 'problem' was that he hadn't read the manual and was having AF issues when the camera wasn't in an AF mode I find it surprising that 'you have the same problem'?

As for 'So much for the reputation ....' - well reputations are earn't rather than given; so it's their for a reason. Clearly the lens is under warranty so I would return the lens to Olympus with an explanation of the AF failure and I am sure they will resolve any issues.

On the other hand it does seem strange that your friends (most) are of the view that it performs ok so, if you want to get some more views on possible issues I would suggest you start a new thread and add some example images complete with exif data so that people can add informed contributions.

sammuel_chan
20th October 2009, 05:46 PM
Opps, my apology, i skipped Trausti's last post.

Yeah, i does seem strange, since my friends was saying it's fine. I send it to Olympus service center in malaysia, and they say it's perfectly fine..

I tried it with another E-3, it seems to be ok though..

but thanks for the advise :)