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Thread: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

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    I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    namely, that it would actually focus my Olympus 7-14 zoom in light that was so dim the exposure length at f5.6 / ISO 100 was in the 15-second range (i.e., EV1) and I was just barely able to see wisps of the subject on the LCD! Yes, the camera was on a tripod and Yes, it hunted around for a bit, but it eventually did lock in focus ... needless to say, I was rather surprised by this and also favorably impressed.

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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    Yes, I can focus down to EV1 with my Panasonic 20mm and Olympus 14-42 at the wide end but not zoomed in. I can sort of focus with my Panasonic 45-200 at the wide end too.

    I think you will find that when focusing, although you have the metering set to f/5.6, the lens is autofocusing at f/4 and doesn't stop down until the shutter is pressed all the way so the sensor is actually seeing EV2 for focusing. That also explains why I cannot autofocus at the long end of the 2 zooms I have.

  3. #3
    Abbazz
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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    I have the same experience with my E-P1 and the three M4/3 lenses that I own: 20/1.7, 14-42/3.5-5.6 and 45-200/4-5.6.

    So much for the ubiquitous "poor focusing in low light" that every photographer who has never touched an E-P1 feels obliged to report on his/her blog!

    Cheers!

    Abbazz

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    The only time the Pen has a problem is on very low light with Low Contrast.
    But then, your probably working with a slow speed and wide aperture so it really isn't a problem. You have to work and think slow anyway.
    It's not as bad as many say it is.

    I did a shoot with flash last weekend and the camera hunted but did focus after I found contrast.
    The G1 was there also and never hunted even in the lowest light.
    I prefer the Pen over the G1 for it's form but you have to get used to it.
    I wish it had a RF.....
    The 17mm focused very fast in low light.
    I will try the 20mm today after it comes home.
    Shooter

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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    It's not as bad as many say it is.
    That was exactly my point. Based upon what I've read, I had expected something absolutely dreadful and was pleasantly surprised when this proved not to be the case. (That said, it does take longer to lock focus than either my G1 or GF1...)

    The G1 was there also and never hunted even in the lowest light.
    My experience with the G1 is that it will reliabily acquire focus at light levels down to LV-1 with minimal hunting ... it either works or it doesn't. The GF1 seems to perform about the same except that it will hunt around a bit.

    I prefer the Pen over the G1 for it's form but you have to get used to it.
    And I prefer the GF1 to both the G1 and E-P1. It just feels more like a camera to me (a 50-year old who came of age, photographically speaking, during the golden age of compact 35mm rangefinders in the '70s) and its LCD is significantly better for my purposes.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    I think I read Terry struggled with twilight landscape shooting - to get focus, but I don't know what lens/firmware revision was being used... I've never had a problem focusing the E-P1 in any light I wanted to shoot. Noise became a bigger problem way before I couldn't get focus.

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    Trust me on the old E-P1 firmware, the camera would not have locked. I could show people completely repeatable tests where you could take the G1 and the E-P1 side by side with the same exact lens and the G1 would lock focus where the E-P1 just couldn't find anything. The firmware upgrade made the Pen better and it could then find focus in places that it previously couldn't.

    in addition, the Pen is one of those cameras that seem to do better when the contrasting area is not a horizontal but a vertical. Again in my living room I have a media cabinet with chrome handles. There was definitely light hitting the chrome making it a clear contrast from the dark walnut wood behind it. I the horizontal orientation the Pen had more problems locking focus than flipping it to the portrait orientation. Before firmware it would not lock in the horizontal position at all.

    I actually did a video of this that I posted before....now I just need to figure out where it is.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    So are you saying you struggled with the old firmware, the new firmware is better but not as good as your G1?

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    So are you saying you struggled with the old firmware, the new firmware is better but not as good as your G1?
    The G series will always be better in low light at reasonable distances. They all have AF assist lights.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    I'll take your word for it... mine is switched off - I don't do much low light shooting (didn't you have a D700 at one time Terry?)

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    The firmware upgrade made the Pen better and it could then find focus in places that it previously couldn't.
    As a point of reference, my E-P1 is using firmware version 1.1 ... is this the most recent one? I haven't bothered to check on this yet.

    Oh, and wrt to Terry's comments, I was photographing a grafitti-covered fence in an alley, so there were plenty of vertically oriented high-contrast areas for the camera to key on.

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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    I'll take your word for it... mine is switched off - I don't do much low light shooting (didn't you have a D700 at one time Terry?)
    Yes, I did have a D700 switched to a Sony A900 when I was going to Iceland.

    The A900 gave me high resolution for landscape, love the feel of the camera and ergonomics of it. The Zeiss lenses (with special kudos for the 135 f1.8) are just really nice. While the Sony is noisier in low light when you reduce the shot to the size I would need in those situations I wasn't missing too much in the ISO department. I also found that in most situations, I could do fine with the G1 and 25 lux in low light (social settings) and I then had a lot less bulk. When I made the switch I also sold my M8. Now running on two systems:

    A900 12-24, 24-70, 70-300, 135
    GF1/GH1 7-14, 14-140, 20, 45 (my carry everywhere lenses)

    extra lenses available for m4/3's
    14-45 (Panny), 14-42 (Oly), 45-200 (Panny), 17 (oly), 25 f1.4 (Leica 4/3), 40 f1.8 (Konica) 50 f1.4 (Leica M) 75 f2.0 (Leica M)

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: I noticed some very strange autofocusing behavior from my new E-P1...

    I had a very quick look at an A900 at the last Focus on Imaging show here in the UK - the OVF was absolutely wonderful... the camera is a bit of an anvil though, great exercise!

    How does the dynamic range compare with the A900 vs your old D700?

    Cheers

    Brian

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