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Thread: Focus setup on EM-1

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    Focus setup on EM-1

    Hi All,
    I have been having a spot of trouble with focus on the EM1. Yesterday whist trying to get shots of a Lyrebird most of the shots were out of focus. The setup was 50-200 ED (non SWD) with 1.4X and the 4/3 to M4/3 converter and as such not much light getting through to the sensor. ISO 1600 and so lots of noise. When trying to focus it was hunting for focus and was shooting f4 at 1/10. If I push the iso up anymore the noise is just too great to be of any use. I need help in trying to find out if I need to change focus from centre spot to a broader pattern. I was also thinking that maybe using the FL50r to assist to see if this helps but as these birds are too far away (10m) will it work.

    See photo.




    Thanks in advance.

    Wayne
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    Wayne
    "We are not actually lost,....... just temporarily misplaced."
    DSLR - Olympus OMD EM1, E5, E3, E1, E30 Digital lens 12-40m pro, 14-54 f2.8-3.5 II, 40-150 f3.5-4.5, 70-300 F4-5.6 ED, 9-18 ED, Olympus C-750 + TCON-17,
    Filters, Circular Polariser, Neutral Density, 2 X Battery Grip, Photoshop CS6, Focus Magic, Nik Plugin
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    My photos - http://www.pbase.com/cherryw

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I don't have any experience with your set up, but looking at your photo there are so many things for the camera to focus on that are roughly in the same plane as the lyrebird, it would be difficult for you to line up the centre spot. I found using all my focus points made it even worse, but anything is worth experimenting with.

    Having had similar problems taking animals, I definitely have better luck with the single centre spot focus. If what I want to focus on is not where I want the centre to be, on my Canon 50D I can hold focus by half pressing the shutter button. This means I focus on the bird, and whilst holding the shutter half down to hold that particular focus, move the camera to compose the photo how I want it to look. Some people assign the hold focus onto one of the other buttons on their camera, but I like it on the shutter because I use it for many photos. Your camera probably has something similar if you are not already using it. With quickly moving animals, it is still not easy.

    I notice you are also using f4 which makes it even more difficult because of the shallow dof. Guess there is nothing to stop you trying the flash to see if it helps. I also have a video LED continuous light which can help add light to a scene, but 10m would probably be beyond it's reach.

    I'm sure there are people here with much more experience than me who can provide more help

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    Yes at that shutter speed I think that it is more movement than focus that is the problem. Will be going out on Wednesday morning armed with a lot more artillery. Hope that this works, fingers crossed.
    Wayne

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    If it's a choice between spot and a grid FOR THIS sort of stuff, then spot for sure. I know that with spot you have a good chance
    of getting it nailed sometimes - like a bird ducking in and out of foliage - and as Fmax said, an array of points guarantees you miss
    most of the time.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I have an E-M1 and I only use the one focus point. I am a Manual shooter my cameras are always on Spot metering which I feel is best for the Genres I shoot Birds and Macro.

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cherryw View Post
    Yes at that shutter speed I think that it is more movement than focus that is the problem......
    Hi Wayne.
    I reckon this is probably the answer to this particular situation too.

    1/10s and 200mm +1.4x tc ... I reckon probably pushing it a bit much even with image stabilisation.
    What you can find tho is that if you shoot at the camera's fastest fps setting, and shoot say 10 frames, you may find one image in that group of 10 exposures sharp enough to be happy with.
    Remembering that you are pushing limits here in those conditions .. so just for the sake of getting the shot it pays to insure yourself with the spray and pray technique.
    When I use my 500mm mirror lens(which is f/8) I generally tend to do just that, as there really is no other way to ensure getting at least one good exposure.
    Of course this being a manual focus lens too makes it doubly hard.
    And while that's always true when handholding, even on a tripod in dubious conditions I still have to use that technique to get a shot too.

    Also even tho you may not be happy with the ISO performance above ISO1600, I bet this is because you view the images zoomed in a fair bit too.
    If so, try to forget that level of perfection, and concentrate more so on what's OK for a reasonable final output size.
    Unless you crop heavily or display/print images in gargantuan sizes, for most output intents higher ISO should still be ok .. once again .. just to get the shot.
    Even then, at high ISO levels(that you're not too comfortable with)if you expose just above over exposure in raw mode, you can still usually get some pretty decent ISO noise recovery using a good raw file converter/processing software.
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Thanks Arthur,
    Will keep all that in mind on my next outing on Wednesday. I will be using my E5 with the 50-200 and FL50R and the EM-1 with the 12-40 and the FL36R. I also have a portable hand held LED light that I will try and use as well to get focus on.
    Wayne

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    Hi All
    I only use spot but being very low light I think that most of the problems relate to motion blur. Will be going back this week and using an LCD lamp and flash.
    Wish me luck.
    Wayne

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Wayne, I moved your thread to the appropriate section, as you are asking for shooting help.

    I had a look at an enlarged size of your image using Photoshop - they appeared too small on my AP screen.

    You seem fairly satisfied that movement blur is contributing to the softness of the images you had been taking, yet the one you
    posted shows none to my eyes - under higher magnification. It appears a little and rather uniformly soft due to - I suspect - the
    result of reducing the image size for posting, but nothing else particularly untoward.

    So what's the evidence for the conclusion? Where's the conclusion to the full discussion, which included spot and matrix focusing?

    Am.

    Am.

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