Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

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  #1  
Old 30th December 2008
tlove
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A Day Well Spent?

Decided to pay Keyhaven/Hurst Castle a visit (again) yesterday - get some fresh air, and all that (a balmy 4 degrees ) and do a bit of bird spotting/photography etc. with my two.

After an hour or so of battling with the Bigma in pretty awful lighting conditions (and I'm still not sure the problem is sorted, even though it's a replacement lens ), and my 50-200 which chose to jump out of focus nearly every time I pressed the shutter (I came so close to uttering the dreaded words 'that's it, I'm going over to canikon' ), I finally managed to get a few shots like this one:



I'm sure you'll let me know what you think . The castle is a great place for photographic opportunities (just ask KeithBD!).

By the way - Keyhaven is great at the moment for all sorts of wildfowl and waders (saw loads I couldn't identify ), it also seems to be Kingfisher central at the moment - we saw loads, and the water taxi skipper actually stopped the craft so we could watch one hovering and fishing at the water's edge ....

Sorry, stop waffling Love - over to you guys to comment on the picture !
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Old 30th December 2008
Makonde
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Re: A Day Well Spent?

Well-seen shot.

Tell us more about this problem with the 50-200, Thea. In the six weeks I've had one, I've only had problems with the focusing of the 50-200 in very low contrast-situations especially where it starts a long way off the desired spot. I usually use S-AF-MF for those situations.

I like C-AF with that lens for moving targets (single AF-point) , even for birds rustling on a branch, and I find that once it's on target it responds fast and reliably even in dim daylight.
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Old 30th December 2008
tlove
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Re: A Day Well Spent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makonde View Post
Well-seen shot.

Tell us more about this problem with the 50-200, Thea. In the six weeks I've had one, I've only had problems with the focusing of the 50-200 in very low contrast-situations especially where it starts a long way off the desired spot. I usually use S-AF-MF for those situations.

I like C-AF with that lens for moving targets (single AF-point) , even for birds rustling on a branch, and I find that once it's on target it responds fast and reliably even in dim daylight.
Thanks Keith - the lighting was pretty awful yesterday, however, I did get some shots that were pretty well spot on focus-wise, but a lot that were not. I usually keep it on C-AF unless I'm forced to focus manually (it can be slow, and does 'hunt' a lot in bad light conditions). What normally happens is that, shutter half pressed it will focus without any problem, then as I continue to press the shutter it will suddenly de-focus just at the point of the picture being taken. It doesn't do every time, and when performing well there's nothing to beat it for image quality - it's a superb piece of glass. It's possible it may need checking out, but as (I think) it's two years or so old I can't afford to do that at the present time.
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Old 30th December 2008
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Re: A Day Well Spent?

Looking at the image, I can see why the autofocus might have struggled, especially if the light was poor. Basically, thereis not a great deal for the AF system to lock onto, and the steel hand rail could confuse things. It is also well outside of the AF illuminator range, so that wouldn't have helped.

For what its worth, I would say that focusing of my 50 ~ 200 is probably as good as, if not better than my other Zuiko lenses; but is is a long lens, so the restrictions above come into play.

I would almost certainly plump for manual focus, or manual override (S) under the same conditions.
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Old 30th December 2008
Makonde
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Re: A Day Well Spent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tlove View Post
.......I continue to press the shutter it will suddenly de-focus just at the point of the picture being taken. It doesn't do every time, and when performing well there's nothing to beat it for image quality - it's a superb piece of glass. It's possible it may need checking out, but as (I think) it's two years or so old I can't afford to do that at the present time.
I've had that happen just a couple of times with the 50-200 (SWD) when at full stretch and I'd guessed that at that range camera-shake had taken it off its focus target and it started hunting for another. That final press of the shutter might just have accentuated it drifting off at that point? I don't think there's anything wrong.

Are you using single-point focus? What happens if we use three-point autofocus? (I haven't played with that at all systematically, yet).
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Old 30th December 2008
tlove
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Re: A Day Well Spent?

Ooh - sorry guys, I may have slightly 'misled' you . The image above wasn't taken with the 50-200, it was taken with the 14-54mm (I don't have a problem with that one).

These two were taken with the 50-200mm (same day, place etc.):

A Stonechat - lots of contrast etc. and fairly good light, taken in the morning:


A view along the Spit from the Castle - pretty murky by now (approx 2.00pm), showing what it does when it 'jumps' out of focus just as I take the photo:


I think you may be right - it's just the lens struggling valiantly against the conditions (coupled with operator error - my signature says it all )

I tend to use single point focus - but one of my 'resolutions' for next year is to definitely get to know my E-3 a lot better - in my defence, I haven't had it in my posession much in 2008 for one reason or other .
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Old 30th December 2008
Ellie Ellie is offline
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Re: A Day Well Spent?

I don't know anything about the lens, but I'm wondering if it was just hunting for something or other to focus on because there isn't much contrast anywhere on or near the horizon. Were you using the central focusing point?

Lovely shot of the stairway by the way, it's a wonderful place for pictures. Must get down there, if only to try to see a kingfisher for more than a fraction of a second! I think they said they congregate on the coast during the winter, because there's more food available.
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