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Thread: Olympus 17/2.8

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    Olympus 17/2.8

    Finally, a sample reached me. After a few snaps with it, I knew that I would keep it. So, I got it all beautified.



    The lens is prone to flare.

    A sample at its closest focus distance.



    I have no idea why Olympus would claim that it has 5 bladed diaphram, "rounded aperture". I can only see pentagons (not shocking). The CA was not too disturbing though.

    It has distortions but is sharp.



    Sharpness isn't everything, the lens covers a hole in this FL.



    Manual focus works for me though this one without any focus scale or manual aperture, would need a lot of practice for me to get used to.



    One needs a real life example to understand why AF sucks. Never again will this lens be in AF mode!



    Overall, the size and weight works in its favor.




    The filter thread on the lens is too short. I am not too sure how long this flimsy lens will last for me. I am going to have to buy a spare as a back up!

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Does the lens have a focusing scale and/or a
    DOF markings....?
    Don

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    No it doesn't.

    Vivek, how many Sharpies did it take to turn it black?

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Man...that's is absolutely amazing that any manufacturer could forget that kinda thing....I just don't get it...but I got it anyway....

    When I get the lens, I'll make my own hyperfocal marks...easy enough...
    don

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    Subscriber Member tashley's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    Man...that's is absolutely amazing that any manufacturer could forget that kinda thing....I just don't get it...but I got it anyway....

    When I get the lens, I'll make my own hyperfocal marks...easy enough...
    don
    Nope - my understanding is that it rotates forever, no end stop at infinity: so there's no constant place to make the marks.

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    I put a B+W filter on with no problem.

    I like this lens a lot - to me just the right size for the body. That said I'm considering picking up the 14-42 (or Panny 14-45 if I could find one) just so I have something longer. I wish they made a "fast 50" (100mm equivalent) in u4/3.

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Tim is correct. You need power to make the "manual focus" ring to have any traction. Mark it all you want but it will be useless. All m4/3rds lenses function this way. If you want a true (manual focus) lens, adapter and a real lens is the way to go.

    Nostatic, I have a 14-42 (the Oly lens). Drop me a line.

    BTW, a 37mm "wide angle" hood ("heavystar" on ebay) makes a beautiful fit for the 17/2.8 (shown in the pic).

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Vivek, how many Sharpies did it take to turn it black?
    Regular, garden variety, permanent marker did it, Robert.

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    I really don't want to use my Leica glass but it seems I might have to....

    There's gotta be a way and I'll figure it out....
    Don

    Well, that didn't take to long...ain't gonna happen!

    anyway....WWE's on..later

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Jesus, I really hope Oly releases a firmware update soon. The auto focus issue is a serious bug that needs urgent killing.

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    Subscriber Member Streetshooter's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Rafa,
    What issues do you have with the AF?
    My copy seems very responsive even in lower light.
    My issue is a focus scale but I don't see that
    coming in a firmware due to the interchangable lens
    mount.
    My friend has a copy that focuses faster than mine.
    I tested both side by side and there is a difference.
    Very odd since there has been no update yet.
    I'm curious as to the AF issues across the web.
    Don

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    The issue that I have is that I've been getting more than my share of out of focus pics (if AF) EVEN with perfect lit conditions. I've owned A LOT of cameras and this is not normal.

  13. #13
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Jesus, I really hope Oly releases a firmware update soon. The auto focus issue is a serious bug that needs urgent killing.
    Rawfa,

    I not sure what "Jesus" has to do with this - but likely nothing. My guess is the AF can be slightly tweaked but I wouldn't expect a major change in the this camera perhaps the in E-P2 or 3 (or whatever it becomes).

    In the case of my E-P1 I have no problem locking focus (even in some relatively low and flat light) and other than the speed of the AF which I have managed to work around - the AF is what it is. That said I am not sure what your problem is unless there is significant copy variations - which I doubt, and you got a bad one!

    Perhaps it is time for you to move on from the E-P1 - you have demonstrated you are a talented photographer but if you don't like the camera - why struggle? Just about every thread relating to the E-P1 has you struggling with one thing or another - I for one hear your pain and I would suggest simply moving on.

    Best regards, Terry
    Last edited by terryc; 31st July 2009 at 06:39.

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Rafa, to be clear, you're speaking of the Oly 14-42 kit zoom with regards to your focus issues, correct? Not the 17/2.8 which is the topic of this thread.

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Regular, garden variety, permanent marker did it, Robert.
    I can't believe you did that LOL. I'd really like mine better in black--but not sure I want to take a Sharpie to it--but maybe *smile*.

    You also blocked out the Lumix too, I see. Guess I never thought of that since all my Canons shout out that way also.

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Looks better this way to me, Diane.

    Rafa, Here is one of my favorites from Barcelona Metro (last year):


    Nikon D300, 50mm f/1.8 AF Nikkor. Fabulous auto focus from D300.

    The lens (17mm f/2.8) is a keeper for sure.

    One from today.



    G1, 17/2.8 @ f/3.2.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by terryc View Post
    Rawfa,

    I not sure what "Jesus" has to do with this - but likely nothing. My guess is the AF can be slightly tweaked but I wouldn't expect a major change in the this camera perhaps the in E-P2 or 3 (or whatever it becomes).

    In the case of my E-P1 I have no problem locking focus (even in some relatively low and flat light) and other than the speed of the AF which I have managed to work around - the AF is what it is. That said I am not sure what your problem is unless there is significant copy variations - which I doubt, and you got a bad one!

    Perhaps it is time for you to move on from the E-P1 - you have demonstrated you are a talented photographer but if you don't like the camera - why struggle? Just about every thread relating to the E-P1 has you struggling with one thing or another - I for one hear your pain and I would suggest simply moving on.

    Best regards, Terry
    Like many I've waited a long long LONG time for a camera like the E-P1 and even though I've bumped into problems that have made me change the workflow I used for years, it's a small price to pay for all the benefits and flexibility this camera has to offer. Presently my only issue with it is the AF, and here I don't understand what the surprise is since it seems to be one of the biggest complains on all reviews I read. I think this could easily be fixed with a firmware update and until then this is not what is going to be what will stop me from using this camera.

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Rafa, to be clear, you're speaking of the Oly 14-42 kit zoom with regards to your focus issues, correct? Not the 17/2.8 which is the topic of this thread.
    You are absolutely right. My apologies. I forgot Viv was shooting with a G1.

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Rafa,
    Have you set the AF to the AEL button.
    This gives the camera just the focus funtion.
    I noticed an improvement by doing this but really
    anticipating the image is most important.
    Don

  20. #20
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Rawfa View Post
    Presently my only issue with it is the AF
    Rawfa,

    What is the specific issue(s) with the AF. I agree it is slow by recent standards, or is it the E-P1 AF in low light or flat light that is causing you problems or is it both?

    I am less convinced than most that firmware can make a significant difference in either the speed of the AF or it's abilities in low light. I have to admit that I have not had any significant challenges with the E-P1 AF lock in relatively low light.

    Good to hear you have decided to continue to use this camera, your talent and it's abilities will bring the forum many fine pictures, of that I am sure.

    Best regards, Terry.

  21. #21
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    I find AF with the 17/2.8 on the EP1 to be great. Seriously great. Today I was shooting in very low light indoors and it never faltered. I was shooting back to back with EP1 and K20d (switching between 15/4 and 43/1.9 lenses) and while the EP1 shots were noisier (iso 1600) they were crisp and in-focus.

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    That's great to hear, since I'm waiting for a 17mm my self.

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Auto focus sucks. I do not use it unless the subject is static.

    Like Olympus said, there is no other prime lens for the m4/3rds like this.

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    Senior Member kweide's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Auto focus sucks. I do not use it unless the subject is static.

    Like Olympus said, there is no other prime lens for the m4/3rds like this.
    Its easy to work around:
    Sens LENS RESET to NO
    switch to MF
    Prefocus to whatever distance you need and start shooting blazing fast
    The distance seeting is not deleted when E-P1 goes off !
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    "blazing and fast" Very enthusiastic characterizations.

    Seriously, where is the lens "reset" possibility in G1 (I only have v1.2 firmware)?

    Even when in manual focus mode, the lens resets the distance when the camera goes to sleep after a few seconds. It needs constant refocusing, all the time, draining power in that process.

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    Senior Member kweide's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Ups, you use G1..... did not see that.
    On E-P1 it works like described...
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    I will see if the latest firmware (v1.3) would cure this menace.

    Although I was not too keen on the Panasonic's purported 20/1.7, after the 17/2.8 Olympus lens, I have become more interested in it. I am sure Panasonic will do a better job.

    The lens (CAUTION! May break the flimsy lens!) works reasonably well with my wide converters. Here is a shot with a 0.75x converter. This isn't the distance (infinity) I would use this combo. So, the corner mush would not be too bothersome.



    f/7.1, on G1

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    Member slosync's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Well I finally received my 17/2.8 from Amazon.... I was suprised because I got it for their originally advertised price of $229 shipping included.

    A few pictures follows:

    Looks good on the G1 - this is the none marking pen version.



    Most of you know the 17/2.8 has a the capability for close-up work. Note: This picture was taken with G1 45-200mm with a hoya +4 close-up just to show the 17/2.8 lens info.



    G1, 17/2.8, 1/5sec, f/5.6, ISO400, on monopod (Just can't hold em still enought at that shutter speed without help)



    G1, 17/2.8, 1/8sec, f/5.6, ISO400, on monopod.



    G1, 17/2.8, 1/25sec, f/5.6, ISO800, some noise reduction, on monopod.


    Cheers,
    Don

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    The prices of this lens are all over the place. $229 sounds fair, Don.

    A couple of shots using the AF under suitable conditions.




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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Vivek, I really dig the second pic.

  31. #31
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    What is this talk I've been hearing about $229?!

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Rafa, I paid the recommended USD $299. I bought it in a bricks and mortar store where I tried out the Pen---and also probably paid regular recommended price because it had just come out to buy separately.

    I'm glad others are enjoying the lens also. I've found the AF quite good in most all situations with the G1.

    Diane

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Hi Rafa,

    Back around June 18th Amazon listed the 17/2.8 for $229.99 with free shipping. They only had it listed for that price a few days. Seems that they mistakenly posted the incorrect price, but they honored my order. I don't know if they honored all that ordered the lens at that price. Here's a partial listing from my order:

    Shipping Method: FREE Super Saver Shipping
    Shipping Preference: Group my items into as few shipments as possible
    Subtotal of Items: $229.99
    Shipping & Handling: $9.12
    Super Saver Discount: -$9.12
    ------
    Total for this Order: $229.99


    Delivery estimate: We'll notify you via e-mail when we have an estimated delivery date for this item. It will ship separately. You can cancel at any time. 1 "Olympus 17mm f/2.8mm Lens"
    Electronics; $229.99

    Sold by: Amazon.com, LLC


    Cheers,
    Don

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    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Thanks, Don. I thought that was going to be a price drop or something (which would be very weird considering the lens has just been released).

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    A couple of shots from Barcelona.




  36. #36
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Vivek, nice shots of Plaza Catalunya and Portal del Angel. If you moved the camera to your to your left you would eventually see where I work ;-)

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    I have snaps in that direction as well, Rafa. Will try to give you a call today.

    BTW those 2 shots were using the Ricoh GW-1 (0.75X converter) on the 17/2.8. This (GW-1) makes the Oly a better lens (sharper, less CA, etc) in addition to making it wider (12.75mm).

  38. #38
    Senior Member Rawfa's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    That's a good idea (you wnd up with a 25.5mm!) but it probably turns the 17mm pancake into a very bulky "cake".

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    I have snaps in that direction as well, Rafa. Will try to give you a call today.

    BTW those 2 shots were using the Ricoh GW-1 (0.75X converter) on the 17/2.8. This (GW-1) makes the Oly a better lens (sharper, less CA, etc) in addition to making it wider (12.75mm).
    Vivek, does the Ricoh converter fit without adapters?

    Keith

  40. #40
    cabo
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Keith,

    I just tried the Ricoh converter on my 17/2.8. The diameter of the thread fits, but its slope (I hope this is the correct term) is different, so you only screw it in for half a turn or so and will probably ruin the threads in the long run.

    Carsten

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Keith, Although it should be a direct fit (37mm threads), it does not. It needs an "extension ring". This is simply a 37mm filter without any glass in it. Works fabulously this way. So far, it seems to be holding up and even AF works fine (as good as the AF is).

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by kweide View Post
    Its easy to work around:
    Sens LENS RESET to NO
    switch to MF
    Prefocus to whatever distance you need and start shooting blazing fast
    The distance seeting is not deleted when E-P1 goes off !
    Good (E-P1 specific) tip, thanks!

    Brian

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by kweide View Post
    Its easy to work around:
    Sens LENS RESET to NO
    switch to MF
    Prefocus to whatever distance you need and start shooting blazing fast
    The distance seeting is not deleted when E-P1 goes off !
    What I have found is this...very similar but less steps and faster....

    Lens Reset......no
    Fn button to Screen off
    Focus at AEL button....
    17mm with Finder....

    I focus the camera at a predetermined distance with the AEL button....the camera will stay there.....

    I hit the Fn button to turn off the screen, (conserves power also)

    The camera is now ready to work very fast and responsive....I also have the camera set to not Sleep...

    If I need AF, I just hit the AEL button and it's right there in 1 step....
    If I need screen info, I hit the Fn button and shes back on...

    The camera will stay at the focused distance until you refocus with the AEL button...even days later....

    Remember, we're on the 17mm thread. This will work with the zoomie but if you zoom, you have to refocus...the lens has focus shift...

    I'm lovin the 17 w/finder....as fast as you hit the release...it's there.....and the battery last a long time....

    We doin need no dang MF around here......
    shooter

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Vivek View Post
    Keith, Although it should be a direct fit (37mm threads), it does not. It needs an "extension ring". This is simply a 37mm filter without any glass in it. Works fabulously this way. So far, it seems to be holding up and even AF works fine (as good as the AF is).
    Thanks Vivek and Carsten - I'm going to give it a try

    Keith

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    The GW-1 has become a permanent fixture on this lens, a couple of shots (12.75mm), pretty much straight out of the cam.

  46. #46
    elf
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by tashley View Post
    Nope - my understanding is that it rotates forever, no end stop at infinity: so there's no constant place to make the marks.
    Once you've rotated the focus ring past infinity (or the close focus distance) you're at a known focus point. Keep rotating the ring in the same direction until you have the previously marked hyperfocal scale infinity position lined up with some registration mark. Now you can set the focus distance fairly accurately. Try it with the hyperfocal scale printed on a piece of paper taped to the lens.

  47. #47
    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by elf View Post
    Once you've rotated the focus ring past infinity (or the close focus distance) you're at a known focus point. Keep rotating the ring in the same direction until you have the previously marked hyperfocal scale infinity position lined up with some registration mark. Now you can set the focus distance fairly accurately. Try it with the hyperfocal scale printed on a piece of paper taped to the lens.
    Sounds like a great practical workaround... I'll give it a go, but doesn't the change in focus distance relate to the speed at which you rotate the fly-by-wire focus ring? in other words, rotate quickly and the change in focus will be greater over the same rotation than if you'd rotated slowly?

    That's just the theory though, it will be easy to check.

    Thanks for the great suggestion

    Kind Regards

    Brian

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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Streetshooter View Post
    What I have found is this...very similar but less steps and faster....

    Lens Reset......no
    Fn button to Screen off
    Focus at AEL button....
    17mm with Finder....

    I focus the camera at a predetermined distance with the AEL button....the camera will stay there.....

    I hit the Fn button to turn off the screen, (conserves power also)

    The camera is now ready to work very fast and responsive....I also have the camera set to not Sleep...

    If I need AF, I just hit the AEL button and it's right there in 1 step....
    If I need screen info, I hit the Fn button and shes back on...

    The camera will stay at the focused distance until you refocus with the AEL button...even days later....

    Remember, we're on the 17mm thread. This will work with the zoomie but if you zoom, you have to refocus...the lens has focus shift...

    I'm lovin the 17 w/finder....as fast as you hit the release...it's there.....and the battery last a long time....

    We doin need no dang MF around here......
    shooter
    Great tip, thank you. Works like a superior Ricoh GRDIII snap mode, because of the AF distance being freely adjustable.

  49. #49
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    I am enjoying this little lens. Downtown Rochester, MN
    G1 (IR) and 17mm

    E-P1 and 17mm


  50. #50
    elf
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    Re: Olympus 17/2.8

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Mosley View Post
    Sounds like a great practical workaround... I'll give it a go, but doesn't the change in focus distance relate to the speed at which you rotate the fly-by-wire focus ring? in other words, rotate quickly and the change in focus will be greater over the same rotation than if you'd rotated slowly?

    That's just the theory though, it will be easy to check.

    Thanks for the great suggestion

    Kind Regards

    Brian
    You're right. It would take a bit of practice to be able to reliably focus on a particular spot. For a wide angle lens, I think it's doable because of the wide DOF. A telephoto would probably be harder to do.

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