Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    793
    Post Thanks / Like

    Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Of the newer crop of micro 4/3 cameras how easy or difficult is manual focusing, with kit lenses of adapted lenses? i was forced to sell an M9 and was hoping to use a micro 4/3 camera until i can get another M9. I am under the impression the manual focusing is somewhat complicated.

  2. #2
    Kewk
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Depends a lot on the lenses and it's depth of field. I'm an old Leica film guy (can't afford the digital stuff). My favorite focal length on an M was 35mm with a lot of scale focusing on the street. On my E-P1, I've found my newly purchased 15mm voigtlander works nicely using the same method.

    For adapted lenses that require fine focusing, like a 75mm f1.9, it's a lot more complicated. You must press a button to bring up the 10x focusing view, focus, then press the button again to see the entire scene, then press the shutter. Fine for landscapes, but my success rate with my 2 year old is about 1 out of 20 shots.

    With the kit lens I don't know why you'd bother with manual focus. It is a bit easier in that moving the focus ring brings up the 10x view.

    All I've written above refers to the E-P1. Not sure how Panasonic does it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    it also depends a lot on the camera ... as Kewk suggests the Panasonic is different. I love the ability to get right where I want with the EVF on the G1, its so good I seldom need to use the magnification.

    I think Hodad will be quick to agree with this if he spots this thread.

    I hand hold telephoto lenses and focus with confidence even in low light, for instance some with my 300mm





    50mm at f1.4



    even macro with extension tube:

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Carolina western foothills
    Posts
    1,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    I have a G1 and GF1. With the GF1 its a one button push (dial actually) for MF assist--and quite easy for MF focusing. I would only really do this, particularly for longer lenses, with the EVF. For the G1--I roll my thumb from the left button of the 4 way to the ok as I bring it to my eye--very quick and into MF assist without a lot of time. The wonderful EVF on the G1 is terrific for MF--and I easily shoot with my 135 f/2.8 (I don't have longer--and actually prefer less long). OFten I can MF without using MF assist since the EVF is so big and bright.

    Diane

  5. #5
    Kewk
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    One more note, from what I've read the E-P2 has the best EVF (also an option on the E-PL1). I won't get into all the pluses and minuses of the various MFT cameras, but screen resolution might be more important to you if you plan on a lot of manual focusing. I went with the E-P1 because it was cheap, but the LCD screen is pretty bad.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Carolina western foothills
    Posts
    1,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    If you want to stick with the smaller bodies, then the EP2 would be the better choice for the best EVF--though as I understand, the MF assist is not as easily used. Overall--the G1/GH1 would certainly qualify as equal to best for sure for their EVFs. They are terrific big, bright, great resolution EVFs. For all round, the G1/GH1 would be my choice with MF lenses both for ergonomics and EVF.

  7. #7
    Kewk
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Personally, I found the E-P2 just too bulky with the EVF attached. The GF1 has the same problem. They really aren't that compact once you add the finder.

    I bought the cheap E-P1 and I'm waiting for a MFT camera with the form factor of the L1 (EVF in the corner like a rangefinder).

  8. #8
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Kewk

    I've handled the E-P2 in the shop and found that the G1 / GH1 viewfinder is better. A quick look at the specs will also support that the Panasonic being better on paper. The Olympus has only 1.15x viewfinder magnification vs 1.4x on the G1 and as well the EP2 uses a chip made by Epson for the display which (unlike the G1) has individual points for R G and B (whereas the G1 has a single point which is cycled through R G and B 180 times a second). As I understand it the lower magnification is required so that it does not look like a magnifying glass put to a TV screen.

    Also I found the EVF on the EP2 a wee bit 'jumpier' than that of the G1 (which is very smooth) when moving around and chasing moving targets ... especially with that on screen histogram (which btw is much better than Panasonic's pathetic live historgram)

    However all can be solved by trying both together ... I think you'll see what I mean

    lastly, I'm not trying to be contrary, just reporting what I see and what I have read. I hold no religious preference for Panasonic and would jump ship to Oly if they made a camera that was as good to use as the Panasonic is ... (especially since they have IBIS and better access to 4/3 Oly lenses:-)

    PS:


    Quote Originally Posted by Kewk View Post
    ... I'm waiting for a MFT camera with the form factor of the L1 (EVF in the corner like a rangefinder).
    you mean like the old L1



    that would be nice

  9. #9
    Kewk
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    I compared the E-P2 to the GF1 with finders in the store and found the E-P2 much more to my liking. I don't care for the G1 type bodies. I have Canon DSLRs when I want SLR form factor. Just my preference.

    Yes, I was referring to the old Panasonic L1.

  10. #10
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    I have not used other cameras extensively, but have to say that even with my weak eyes, MF on the GF1 is a breeze! Here is a shot of Guy at breakfast during our Salton Sea workshop. I was using the GF1 with a Konica 40mm f1.8 lens wide open. To focus manually, you simply push in the rear command wheel and the screen magnifies, focus to taste, shoot. I have to wear cheaters to read the restaurant menu, but wasn't bothering with them here -- the LCD is good enough even with my eyes. (FWIW, I borrowed the EVF a few mornings later, and it is even better for this type of shooting -- I now have one in the bag .)

    Oh, one last thing -- the little Konica 40 is NOT a laser wide open, in fact it more resembles an old Summarit. I use it for portraits because I LOVE the spherical aberrations, slight veiling flare and bokeh. Interestingly, the aberrations and flare go away by f4 and the lens becomes a relative laser -- best of both worlds in one, el-cheapo lens!

    GF1, ISO 400, hand-held at 1/60th, Konica 40 at f1.8 in Chinese adapter, raw processed in C1, converted to B&W in CS. Here's the full frame:



    Here's the crop. I focused on his glasses frame thinking that would be "close enough to his eye --- WRONG!:

    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  11. #11
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by Kewk View Post
    I compared the E-P2 to the GF1 with finders in the store
    sorry mate, thought you were meaning that the E-P2 had the best EVF ... pardon me, I'll read better next time I promise :-)

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    North Carolina western foothills
    Posts
    1,860
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Straying OT here--but I like that 40 f/1.8 myself. I like that shot of Guy also.

    I'm older than Jack but can use the LCD on the GF1 okay--but I'm a VF kind of person LOL--and I DO have to use the EVF for outside shooting most of the time, so I just leave it on all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I have not used other cameras extensively, but have to say that even with my weak eyes, MF on the GF1 is a breeze! Here is a shot of Guy at breakfast during our Salton Sea workshop. I was using the GF1 with a Konica 40mm f1.8 lens wide open. To focus manually, you simply push in the rear command wheel and the screen magnifies, focus to taste, shoot. I have to wear cheaters to read the restaurant menu, but wasn't bothering with them here -- the LCD is good enough even with my eyes. (FWIW, I borrowed the EVF a few mornings later, and it is even better for this type of shooting -- I now have one in the bag .)

    Oh, one last thing -- the little Konica 40 is NOT a laser wide open, in fact it more resembles an old Summarit. I use it for portraits because I LOVE the spherical aberrations, slight veiling flare and bokeh. Interestingly, these all go away by f4 and the lens becomes a relative laser -- best of both worlds in one, el-cheapo lens!

    GF1, ISO 400, hand-held at 1/60th, Konica 40 at f1.8 in Chinese adapter, raw processed in C1, converted to B&W in CS. Here's the full frame:



    Here's the crop. I focused on his glasses frame thinking that would be "close enough to his eye --- WRONG!:


  13. #13
    Kewk
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    No need to apologize Pellicle. I should have been more clear.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Manual focusing with EP2 is a joy, thanks to its excellent EVF. With this combo, I never use the mf assist. EP2 with Leica Macro Elmar 90, focusing on the letters "N an L" on the lens barrel.
    Last edited by retow; 19th June 2010 at 02:58.

  15. #15
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    cute camera there (with the Fujinon lens)

    what is it pray tell?

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    cute camera there (with the Fujinon lens)

    what is it pray tell?
    What is it pray?
    It's dreaming of being reborn as a digital camera, with a large sensor, maybe a Foveon one, or an improved mft, but otherwise exactly as it is.
    It would be a serious contender to Leica's X1.

  17. #17
    vlatko
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Manual focusing on Pens is a bit fiddly with the screen. Press OK, focus, press OK again to see the complete picture, press shutter. It works, though.

    But with the EVF on E-P2, it's much much less problematic because the EVF gives the same image as the optical viewfinder on E-3. Has a very nice resolution. Mostly you don't need to use the magnification at all. Except with the extremely shallow DoF cause my eyes are really not what they were. But with magnification I can focus with the LCD, too.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Chonburi Thailand
    Posts
    581
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by felix5616 View Post
    Of the newer crop of micro 4/3 cameras how easy or difficult is manual focusing, with kit lenses of adapted lenses? i was forced to sell an M9 and was hoping to use a micro 4/3 camera until i can get another M9. I am under the impression the manual focusing is somewhat complicated.


    Manual focusing is a breeze even for a little action - GF1, RJ adapter, Contax G 90mm @ f.5.6

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    944
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    Manual focusing with EP2 is a joy, thanks to its excellent EVF.
    I'm going to jump in here. I think something that has not been mentioned is the IBIS that goes along with the E-P2. Maybe it's just me, but my longer MF lenses are problematic on my GF-1 in low light. If I don't keep in mind the old rule....length=speed, then I get lots of motion blur.

    So, it's not an issue of the focus.......it's an issue with shake.

    On my E-P2, I am getting shots (again on longer lenses >50mm) that I was not able to get on my GF-1. Does that mean the E-P2 is a "better" camera? No....I just shoot more of my legacy lenses on it.

    R

  20. #20
    alc217
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Back to the original question... I posted a response to a similar question on another forum:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...=653195&page=2

    I hope this helps with the MF question.

    Cheers!
    Andrew.

  21. #21
    zivk
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    [QUOTE=Jack Flesher;190984]... I was using the GF1 with a Konica 40mm f1.8 lens wide open. To focus manually, you simply push in the rear command wheel and the screen magnifies, focus to taste, shoot.

    But with GF1 the only way I know to activate manual focus assist (magnification) is to first press the button to the left of the menu/set button and then the menu/set button. Only then, if you turn the command wheel it will change the MF assist magnification (only two settings for magnification though). Pushing in the rear command wheel activates overexposing or underexposing only. Maybe I got something wrong? I wish I could bring in the MF assist by only one push, not two.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    944
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    16

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by zivk View Post
    But with GF1 the only way I know to activate manual focus assist (magnification) is to first press the button to the left of the menu/set button and then the menu/set button. Only then, if you turn the command wheel it will change the MF assist magnification (only two settings for magnification though). Pushing in the rear command wheel activates overexposing or underexposing only. Maybe I got something wrong? I wish I could bring in the MF assist by only one push, not two.
    Check the firmware on your GF-1 (Menu.....Tools....screen #4....version disp).

    Firmware 1.1 enabled the single push on the rear thumbwheel that Jack alludes too.

    R

  23. #23
    zivk
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    Check the firmware on your GF-1 (Menu.....Tools....screen #4....version disp).

    Firmware 1.1 enabled the single push on the rear thumbwheel that Jack alludes too.

    R
    Wow! Thanks, I updated the firmware and it works like a charm.

    Marko

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich M View Post
    I'm going to jump in here. I think something that has not been mentioned is the IBIS that goes along with the E-P2. Maybe it's just me, but my longer MF lenses are problematic on my GF-1 in low light. If I don't keep in mind the old rule....length=speed, then I get lots of motion blur.

    So, it's not an issue of the focus.......it's an issue with shake.

    On my E-P2, I am getting shots (again on longer lenses >50mm) that I was not able to get on my GF-1. Does that mean the E-P2 is a "better" camera? No....I just shoot more of my legacy lenses on it.

    R
    You are absolutely right. Had the G1 before, but because of IBIS & best in class EVF the EP2 it is the better tool for mf.

  25. #25
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    You are absolutely right. Had the G1 before, but because of IBIS & best in class EVF the EP2 it is the better tool for mf.
    I'd agree about the IBIS, but wonder what this class you speak of is? It would be hard to argue that the E-P2 EVF is better than the G1 so, do you mean out of the GF1 and the EP-2, as there is no EVF for the E-P1 as I understood it .. ??

  26. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    804
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    [QUOTE=pellicle;191656]Hi



    I'd agree about the IBIS, but wonder what this class you speak of is? It would be hard to argue that the E-P2 EVF is better than the G1 so, do you mean out of the GF1 and the EP-2, as there is no EVF for the E-P1 as I understood it .. ??[/QUOTE

    It refers to the EVFs of G1, GF1 and EP2. There is nothing to complain about the G1's EVF, but the EP2's is a tad better.

  27. #27
    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Southport, Australia
    Posts
    1,429
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by retow View Post
    It refers to the EVFs of G1, GF1 and EP2. There is nothing to complain about the G1's EVF, but the EP2's is a tad better.
    that's interesting that you say a tad better, as a quick hunt up will reveal that Olympus VF-2 has 1.15x magnification while the G1 has 1.4x magnification.

    Firstly, this makes the G1 view bigger to your eye than the VF-2. However there is a reason for the lower magnification, that is that it is actually a lower resolution. So if it was viewed at the same apparent size then pixels would be more apparent than they are.

    I see pixels in the VF-2 when I look into it.

    The chip that the Panasonic uses for its EVF alternates each pixel, to quote from a well known reference "uses a field sequential system that mixes red, green and blue images shown sequentially at 60fps, giving an effective viewfinder resolution of 1.4 million dots at 180 fps."

    The Olympus as I have read does not do this and uses the more common pixel divided into 3 bars that other screens use. So Technically it has the same number of pixels (1.44Mp), but that's the total count of R, G, and B pixels

    I guess that its like wine, everyone has different tastes. I'm certainly not going to suggest that you don't prefer one over the other, but there just isn't any technical reason to suggest that the E-P2's VF-2 could be superior to the G1's.

    Having said that I do know another person who has a GH1 and a E-P2 who says he prefers the EP-2's finder ... so its not only down to spec

    I like my wine in red, preferably dry ...

    PS:

    from

    Seiko Epson Corporation (“Epson”, TSE:6724) today announced that it has begun volume production of a new high-temperature polysilicon (HTPS) TFT color panel for electronic viewfinders. Measuring just 0.47 of an inch (1.2 cm) diagonally, the new panels offer SVGA (800 x RGB x 600) resolution in red, green and blue for a total of 1.44 megapixels.
    800x600 display is 480,000 actual colour dots, if you multiply that by 3 you get 1.44 "pixels"
    Last edited by pellicle; 10th March 2010 at 05:46.

  28. #28
    ktraphagen
    Guest

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by zivk View Post
    Wow! Thanks, I updated the firmware and it works like a charm.

    Marko
    I've updated my firmware, but I'm still new to the camera and need to reference the manual. Is there a list online of the updated features and how to access them? Thx.

    Oh, and for what it's worth, I love my GF1 EVF.

    Karyn

  29. #29
    Super Duper
    Senior Member
    Vivek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    13,606
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    21

    Re: Micro 4/3 manual focusing

    Quote Originally Posted by pellicle View Post
    The chip that the Panasonic uses for its EVF alternates each pixel, to quote from a well known reference "uses a field sequential system that mixes red, green and blue images shown sequentially at 60fps, giving an effective viewfinder resolution of 1.4 million dots at 180 fps."
    The best in the business, without any question. They (Pana) do know how to make an useful EVF. Even now, I can't believe that the G1 was priced the way it was. The EVF and the swivel TFT screen alone was worth the price tag.

    The NX10's EVF is very, very sharp. So sharp that you can see the pixels which are more prominent than the information you see.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •