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Olympus E-3 E-3 specific discussion.

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  #31  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

With respect to all those who have posted here already can I say I am yet to be convinced of the problem.

Whilst admitting that proving a negative is difficult (and maybe only helps to refine the parameters of the problem) can I share a test I did tonight.

Test was done with E-3 + 50-200, tripod mounted with 3-sec anti-shake, IS was off. Focus through viewfinder. Single point S-AF.

Target was a saw blade mounted first in front of a bookcase of CDs, and then projecting from it. Probably some of the worst targets for this kind of AF.

Processed in master, uncropped images resized in irfanview, crop'd images are from original and are at 100%

This shows the saw blade in front of cds, focus just near the base of the teeth (bladeside).



This is a crop of the same photo



Camera moved slightly to focus on FA of faces



Crop of same photo



All the above required the focus sentitivity to be set to small, as any impingement of the boundary between blade and CD (within the centre circle) resulted in focus on the more contrasty CD cover (which is what we would expect).

This next shot is aimed at the tip of the 2'nd from last tooth not obscured by the CD covers



And this is the crop, you can see a slight yellow marking on the tooth and it is marginally bending upwards.



In the last image we can see both the preceding and following tooth going out of focus. (the last image was shot with sensitivity normal)

If we do have a problem then I suspect it is a subtle one and its perception may be influenced by the learning curve on a much more complicated AF system
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  #32  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

I can't help feeling that there are three (maybe more) separate issues here, and that certainly the long thread over at four-thirds is over-muddled.

Anyhow...

[0] It would be good for Olympus to tell us in more detail how the autofocus software is actually supposed to work (I'm quite sure that the software developers worked from something more detailed than we find in the E-3 user manual).

[1] Perhaps there is a generic problem which is coming to light as more cameras in the hands of more people take more pictures than there were in the E-3 development cycle.

[2] Perhaps there is sample variation, which means that some of the cameras out there have faulty AF. Having had one E-3 with a faulty LCD, and another that locks up in sequential shooting (and has shown dubious white balance) - I'm not convinced that Olympus has quality consistency under control at this time.
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  #33  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

Hey Dick

You mentioned you had two faulty E-3's - did you manage to get these changed at the store you purchased them from? Or did you have to send them back to Oly each time? Am curious...
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  #34  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Bowman View Post
I can't help feeling that there are three (maybe more) separate issues here, and that certainly the long thread over at four-thirds is over-muddled.

Anyhow...

[0] It would be good for Olympus to tell us in more detail how the autofocus software is actually supposed to work (I'm quite sure that the software developers worked from something more detailed than we find in the E-3 user manual).

[1] Perhaps there is a generic problem which is coming to light as more cameras in the hands of more people take more pictures than there were in the E-3 development cycle.

[2] Perhaps there is sample variation, which means that some of the cameras out there have faulty AF. Having had one E-3 with a faulty LCD, and another that locks up in sequential shooting (and has shown dubious white balance) - I'm not convinced that Olympus has quality consistency under control at this time.
A good clear summary from Dick. I agree we have a number of different factors at play and that it is difficult to prove an intermittent 'problem'. All I maintain is for every picture I have posted on here that people have said is 'great' I have the same picture taken a few seconds before or after that is out of focus (gasps of unbelief.). My camera and I take good pictures and poor pictures. (I am part of the equation.)

Nick - a good test but - I could get it to take pictures of a saw in front of a slightly different collection of CDs. But what does it prove when I know that it has struggled to take pictures of people and animals and teasels and leaves and berries....etc (that is all that matters to me at the moment sad though I am )

I personally believe we have a 'pure perfect sound for ever from Philips' moment (the invention of the compact disc - for younger viewers) going on.
In short, the expectations and claims don't match the reality. I am aware that my expectations of the camera have not been met, sad but true. I was swept along by the hype.

In time three things will happen.

1. My usage of the camera will change to reduce the ratio of bad to good pictures. (I have already switched off a number of features and will look to others). Plus someone might explain how the focus should work.
2. The designers will change their product (because they do lose control as it moves into volume production) so that all of the early failures are engineered out.
3. I will swap out a poor version if it turns out to be variability.

In the meantime I hope Olympus will help tell me which it is.

'nuff said, I think

Peter
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  #35  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

Quote:
Originally Posted by art frames View Post
A good clear summary from Dick. I agree we have a number of different factors at play and that it is difficult to prove an intermittent 'problem'. All I maintain is for every picture I have posted on here that people have said is 'great' I have the same picture taken a few seconds before or after that is out of focus (gasps of unbelief.). My camera and I take good pictures and poor pictures. (I am part of the equation.)

Nick - a good test but - I could get it to take pictures of a saw in front of a slightly different collection of CDs. But what does it prove when I know that it has struggled to take pictures of people and animals and teasels and leaves and berries....etc (that is all that matters to me at the moment sad though I am )

I personally believe we have a 'pure perfect sound for ever from Philips' moment (the invention of the compact disc - for younger viewers) going on.
In short, the expectations and claims don't match the reality. I am aware that my expectations of the camera have not been met, sad but true. I was swept along by the hype.

In time three things will happen.

1. My usage of the camera will change to reduce the ratio of bad to good pictures. (I have already switched off a number of features and will look to others). Plus someone might explain how the focus should work.
2. The designers will change their product (because they do lose control as it moves into volume production) so that all of the early failures are engineered out.
3. I will swap out a poor version if it turns out to be variability.

In the meantime I hope Olympus will help tell me which it is.

'nuff said, I think

Peter
I have had a feeling that mechanical hysteresis is playing a major factor here which would account for variable (lets keep it that loose) focus.

What is absolutely clear is that Oly cannot let this run on for much longer as a simple to fix issue (and I think this to be the case) gets legs and causes a great deal of damage to a very good marketing strategy and basically superb camera.

PeterD
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  #36  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

Well said Peter/PeterD

Will also be very interested what John Foster thinks when he does his review on Biofos.He seems to be registered here but does not post so assumes he monitors this site.
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Last edited by andym; 3rd January 2008 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Comment added
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  #37  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

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Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
Hey Dick

You mentioned you had two faulty E-3's - did you manage to get these changed at the store you purchased them from? Or did you have to send them back to Oly each time? Am curious...
The first was swapped out by the shop (they got one from another branch that had one in stock).

I'm still trying to get the other sorted out - it's been impacted by the Christmas/New Year holiday situation. I'm trying to get it done via the shop - partly because that's the "right" thing to do, partly because reaching somebody inside Olympus to have a conversation with is so difficult. Feeling that as this is a fault that's emerged within the first couple of weeks (and it's intermittent) there has to be a better solution than posting it off for repair and hoping.
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  #38  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Bowman View Post
.... Feeling that as this is a fault that's emerged within the first couple of weeks (and it's intermittent) there has to be a better solution than posting it off for repair and hoping.
I think if I were in your shoes I'd be asking for my money back. I don't think you're legally entitled, but it's worth a shot. You could then either (a) buy another elsewhere now or (b) buy another elswhere when this focus issue and maybe even that intermittent lockup problem(which I've seen people mention elsewhere) are fixed.
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  #39  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

After a few more tests I have had a very long conversation with the chaps on the technical help-desk. I have lots more to test out now as a result. They want me to test the same lens set-up with the E1 and E500 and try to eliminate as much as possible.

They were wanting me to try as many old lenses as possible to try and eliminate lens issues and lens-camera comms issues. I may have read between the lines but they seemed happiest for me to try primes and seemed to doubt the new 12-60 or my 50-200 (they seemed happier when I assured them it was the old version) but said a 14-54 would be good (don't have one).

They said if I get into a situation where the lens isn't communicating with the body and holding focus quickly check the firmware menu and see what it says for the lens. If it cannot give you a version then that is important to the diagnosis.

Thinking about primes got me thinking as I have mostly macro lenses in fixed focal lengths. So I have had a fun few minutes with a macro and my cat (who hates cameras)

As a result I am posting a nice sharp picture (I accept that it could have been more focussed on the eye but it is still pretty fair).



It is with my 25 year old Tamron 90mm macro one of the finest lenses I have ever bought. Neatly also bypassing AF and showing I can take OK shots. Manual focus is a bit of a fiddle but it stopped me thinking bad thoughts about the camera.

best wishes to all. I'll report on any findings as I go.

Peter
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  #40  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Smile Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

Peter,

Thanks for moving this on with Oly. Thanks to your cat too. I do not know why he hates cameras as he seems quite photogenic.

What has Tech support said regarding actions that they are taking? Whilst you are carrying out tests to report back, I would have thought that they too could have mirrored these tests and also enlisted the support of the software/hardware designers. Or am I misreading you posting?

Kind regards

PeterD
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  #41  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

D'ya know what...? Not sure if this is in fact a possibility but I am thinking it might be a good idea if we [us here] could all do the very same test with our E-3's, using the same lenses, on the same subject - and post the results on the site here to compare...??

Is this a possibility and thus achievable? Is it worth considering? Could we prove/disprove anything by so doing?

Thoughts...
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  #42  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

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Originally Posted by theMusicMan View Post
D'ya know what...? Not sure if this is in fact a possibility but I am thinking it might be a good idea if we [us here] could all do the very same test with our E-3's, using the same lenses, on the same subject - and post the results on the site here to compare...??

Is this a possibility and thus achievable? Is it worth considering? Could we prove/disprove anything by so doing?

Thoughts...
I would be happy to try and help as I am a bit puzzled as to the actual problem being described.

Is this an issue using All target AF mode or Single target AF mode? I.e. in the All target AF mode is the focus in the picture on a different AF target to that displayed in the view finder or is the Single target AF mode not focusing correctly or something else entirely?

If somebody can explian the test to use I will try it out and post the result from my E-3.
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  #43  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

Well, if we are to do a consistent test, then we all need to take a shot of the same thing. Anyone have a camera focus test sheet perhaps in PDF format that we could all print out and shoot the with focus on exactly the same point...?

OK, it might be printed at different quality on different printers, but at least we'd have the same thing to photograph and as it seems to be focus that's the concern here, printing and other inconsistencies would not necessarily matter.
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  #44  
Old 3rd January 2008
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

You could try this one - it was used by the US forum people

http://focustestchart.com/focus21.pdf
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Re: Focussing Issues with the E3

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Originally Posted by DerekW View Post
You could try this one - it was used by the US forum people

http://focustestchart.com/focus21.pdf
Followed the instructions as above:

E-3 + SWD 12-60mm
Firmware: body 1.0 lens 1.0

No obvious signs of front or back focus issues. Worst case was at extreme wide of 12 mm F2.8:


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