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Thread: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

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    Default Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    I came across this in the 'other' Forum. A pro who uses his E-1 by preference for action shooting, using C-AF with other in-camera settings.
    Ray, I wonder if you could spare a few minutes next weekend to try it out?
    Cheers,
    Don
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=24020384

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    I don't have the opportunity to try it out with any sports subjects at the moment, but it's quite windy here, so I tried it out using some pencil willows as subject matter. These were actually more difficult a subject than my regular ones, with their lack of contrast and the fact that they were blowing about wildly; however, the camera seemed to keep track quite well. The subjects came out in focus and the frame rate stayed at 3fps (which is great).

    This setup seems to work, so I'll do some real testing this weekend, as I have more football on Saturday and it looks like horse racing on Sunday. If nothing else, I like the fact that the frame rate doesn't drop like with the other settings.

    Thanks for pointing out the article.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Hi Don,

    for AF, he is using the same settings as I have been using and in good light on contrasty subjects (like motorbikes in sunlight), I have not had any problems with the C-AF. However, in my experience it only takes a drab day and shooting contrastless subjects, like horses, for the C-AF to suffer with those settings.

    Cheers, Jens.
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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Jens

    It'll be interesting to see how things work in the field, as it's a very drab day here now (verging on dusk) and the subjects lacked any contrast (dark green against a grey sky).

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Hi Ray,

    in my experience, the critical point with C-AF on the E-1 is that the E-1 needs contrasty features quite a bit smaller than the AF-marks in order to work. Therefore, I almost always do not go for composition when shooting action but instead concentrate on keeping the AF point(s) on a contrasty and important part of the subject. The obvious disadvantage is that one usually have to zoom out to frame the subjects and then crop to get a nice composition. (For horses, using all three AF-marks, if the horse is close enough to cover them all, helps a lot as well.)

    Looking forward to read about your experience.

    Cheers, Jens.
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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    You think he figured that out by himself, or used the "Tips" at the top of page 52 of the E-1 manual as his guide?

    He is right about the E-1 not being a bad sports/action camera...could be better, but could be worse.

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    That posting was written by our very own Rob Bye here in Winnipeg. Its a setup that seems to be working for him.

    http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=15287

    Kelly

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    My E-1's are already set up this way. I think Basic Wedge's success is more attributable to shooting at f/5.6, which gives the camera some slop to work with. And shooting with the slow reacting 50-200, the camera needs all the slop it can get.

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    I tried this setup, on both the E-1 and E-330, using my 150mm F2, shooting a running dog. Quite honestly, I could define no noticeable advantage over using my normal settings, and S-AF. Across the frame I could pan and nail most shots and get a nice sharp image.
    When the dog ran at me, over maybe a hundred metres, I would be lucky to get a 'beep' more than once, or maybe 2 shots, usually both out of focus. Maybe 1 keeper in 10. This would be the most difficult situation for the camera to latch on I would imagine, and neither really coped. Here is the only acceptable image, and the animal was really flying as you can see. This using the E-1. The light was good. I just wish I had the EC-14 in place.
    So I doubt there is a magic bullet to help the speed of the early E cameras. It comes back to practice and lot's of it in my opinion.
    Cheers,
    Don
    Last edited by Don Baldwinson; 04-11-2011 at 10:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    When I was using the 150mm f2 I noticed its back focusing speed was the worst out of all the lenses I have used. Have you tried it on the E510 by chance?

    I love that lens and I need to figure out how to get it in my bag!

    But lots more to buy before that happens.

    Kelly

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Greetings,

    I have a theory as to why some photographers find C-AF more usable than others. In the link in the original post, Rob is photographing a motorcycle race. The motion of the motorcycles around the track is smooth and easily predicted by the camera.

    When I've used C-AF, I'm usually photographing people running (such as at an American football game) and the motion of the subject is less predictable. The players seldom hold the same line for very long as they run. They bob and weave around each other, etc. C-AF seems to be less able to nail the focus.

    This leads me to believe that comparisons of one photographer's experience with C-AF can seldom be compared directly to another photographer's experience.

    What I'd like to see is some kind of C-AF test track devised that would test all aspects of C-AF in a prefectly repeatable fashion so that the performance of different cameras can be directly compared and the subjectivity reduced.

    I'd also like to know if image stabilization can improve C-AF performance for less predictable motion.
    Best regards, FL

    Pursuing excellence...

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    I don't have a 410/510 to compare.
    I agree with FL about track photography being a far easier form of speed photography to nail because of it's predictability. I have had little trouble focusing on fast motorcycles. In fact it's so predictable you often don't bother with AF at all, just prefocus on the track where you want the action. Animals and people are entirely unpredictable.
    I have not noticed back focus problems with the 150 Kelly. The camera just could not keep pace, either not focusing at all, or too late, or only when the subject was far away like my heavily cropped example.
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    The problem I've always had with the E1 AF is that as soon as you half press the shutter, the lens shoots off to infinity and then comes back to find something in focus. By that time the subject has moved on.

    I simply cannot understand why the AF wasn't designed such that it would look for a subject at the last focus setting, before moving off anywhere else. Clearly Olympus designers and testers never tried/considered the camera with fast moving sports such as football.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    I will be very interested to hear if you give the settings a go Ray,
    Don

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Quote Originally Posted by First Light
    I have a theory as to why some photographers find C-AF more usable than others. In the link in the original post, Rob is photographing a motorcycle race. The motion of the motorcycles around the track is smooth and easily predicted by the camera.

    When I've used C-AF, I'm usually photographing people running (such as at an American football game) and the motion of the subject is less predictable. The players seldom hold the same line for very long as they run. They bob and weave around each other, etc. C-AF seems to be less able to nail the focus.

    This leads me to believe that comparisons of one photographer's experience with C-AF can seldom be compared directly to another photographer's experience.
    I had the same thoughts. The OP in the DPR thread is trying to shoot a dog that is similar to my two, only larger and probably a bit faster. Also, the dog is black, which complicates the C-AF problem a bit. Obviously dogs are slower than race cars, but sighthounds can reach 35-40 mph, they dart back and forth, they are much smaller than a car or even a motorcycle, and the shooting distance is closer, around 5-30 meters. Speed itself is not so much a problem with C-AF--think of shooting a jet plane flying far overhead; not too hard. It's relative speed that matters. Also size and contrast.

    When I still had my E-1, it was set basically the same as Rob's suggestions, but I just could not get it to capture my dogs with any consistency. Side-to-side with S-AF was fine, but head-on was impossible if the dogs were running at full speed. The E-500 also struggled, but it gave me enough keepers that I could enjoy shooting action with it.

    The 510 is a totally different animal. Not only does it easily lock on to a dog running head-on at full speed, it does it almost instantly and stays locked.



    I hate to tell you how many times I attempted this kind of sequence with the E-1/E-500 and 50-200. Probably close to 10,000 actuations. I never managed more than one in-focus shot. Maybe two, if the dog was going very slowly. This group was taken with the 510 and kit lens, in low light at ISO 1600 (no NF or Neat Image). I took several similar sequences in the same session. I won't be using the E-500 again to shoot dog action! (It does good sequences with horses running straight on a track, though.)

    I am having trouble viewing the DPR site, so I haven't posted in the thread yet, but I would like to tell the OP that he should consider a different camera for shooting his dog. I guess it's possible that the E-1 could take head-on shots like this in the hands of a skilled user, but for a novice, it is just plain no fun.


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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Quote Originally Posted by windsprite View Post

    I am having trouble viewing the DPR site, so I haven't posted in the thread yet, but I would like to tell the OP that he should consider a different camera for shooting his dog. I guess it's possible that the E-1 could take head-on shots like this in the hands of a skilled user, but for a novice, it is just plain no fun.
    Hi Julie. Actually I am the OP with my black dog, on this site. The OP/OP on dpr was a pro shooting motorcycles, but I think you and I have shown it's unlikely to make an appreciable difference with his settings using an E-1 on our subjects. The setup just will not cope, and my experience was exactly the same as yours.
    I'm impressed with your multiple images posted in this thread. If your dog was really moving, this is a stellar improvement over the E-1, and very encouraging for when the E-P1 comes along!
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Try mounted shooting.... the CAF on the 300 is useless. I look forward to trying the 510.
    Lara P
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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Hi Julie. Actually I am the OP with my black dog, on this site.
    Don, if you read the original DPR post:

    hello to everyone here,this is my first post and i need your help and advice.

    i am using the e-1 with the SHLD-2 and the 14-54 f2.8-3.5 lens.i have had some great photo's from this camera much better than my canon eos10d i had before but maybe its my technique but when i try and take photo's of my pet lurcher dog running straight at me most of them are out of focus i know he is a very fast dog to capture the settings that i used last time were f4.5 @ 1/1250 iso 100 and autofocus on "c".
    to give you an example of his speed i can only manage to get off 2 shots when he is a good size in the view finder before he has gone past me,you can feel the wind he gets that close to me! also can someone here explain how i can post a photo so i can give you an example to go with this thread.
    at times this makes me want to sell the lot and go back and buy my two favourite cameras i have ever owned "nikon F3" and "canon EOS1nHS".
    and look at the OP's website:

    http://www.acfotographics.co.uk/id2.html

    he does have a black dog, a lurcher, which is a sighthound cross. It looks to have some greyhound in it.

    My dog was really moving the day I took those shots. I couldn't believe I was using an Olympus camera! I am thinking the kit lens (40-150) is much faster than the 50-200 as well. The other day I was unable reproduce these results with the 50-200 on the 510. It would be interesting to try the 40-150 on the E-500, but we are in the middle of a typhoon right now.


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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Looking back at the original post, I see he was using the 14-54. I tried shooting with that lens a few times, because it's generally accepted that the AF is faster, but it only made matters worse. The subject was too small in the viewfinder, and the camera (E-500) has a hard time locking on to small objects. Putting the EC-14 on it didn't help.

    Which brings up another area where the 510 (or 40-150?) excels: I shot the above sequence at 50mm. As you can see in the first shot, the camera locked onto the dog straight away, even though he was still very tiny in the viewfinder (these images have been cropped). So you are able to get off more shots, and even if the camera does lose focus for some reason, you are still almost guaranteed of having at least one close-by shot that is in focus.

    Edit: and anyway, I wouldn't normally shoot a dog with less than 100mm, because it makes their noses look big. I used the short end in this sequence because it was dark and I needed all the aperture I could get.


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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Quote Originally Posted by windsprite View Post
    Don, if you read the original DPR post:
    he does have a black dog, a lurcher, which is a sighthound cross. It looks to have some greyhound in it.

    My dog was really moving the day I took those shots. I couldn't believe I was using an Olympus camera! I am thinking the kit lens (40-150) is much faster than the 50-200 as well. The other day I was unable reproduce these results with the 50-200 on the 510. It would be interesting to try the 40-150 on the E-500, but we are in the middle of a typhoon right now.
    Sorry Julie, I forgot the Guy who posted the original was not the one who posted the settings.
    Well, you won't have any trouble capturing the typhoon with your new outfit! Good luck,
    Don

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    No problem, Don.

    I just now read this post on DPR about AF with the 50-200 on the E-510, or with the new kit lenses on the old bodies:
    The 50-200mm is a good performer for me and others. However I have noted with the E-510 that the focus is not rapid with this lens. It may be the lack of an ultrasonic motor, which is being addressed.
    It may also be a mismatch with this sensor. For example, Oly says the new kit lenses can be used on the E-300 after a firmware upgrade to that body. It may be the 50-200mm lens needs an upgrade too, in order to work well with the newer body.
    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=24227116

    I have not heard such a thing, and a quick check of the Oly site didn't show anything. I wonder if any of it is true?


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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Well, I just got back from today's games and I have to say the settings are not in any way better than the others. I've reset everything back the way they were, as at least now I can use the AEL button for focus/focus lock, rather than holding on to the shutter release.

    I also tried the E410 again and I really didn't want to go back to the E1. Mind you, the E410 sounds like a 20D when firing away, but I can forgive it that because of how fast it focusses and especially processes RAW files.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Ray, are you now using the 410 with your big zoom for footy action instead of the E-1? I guess you are hanging out for the pro model, but how viable do you think the neat 410 would be for a part timer doing action shots? Have you found it latches on as Julie's 510 does?
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Quote Originally Posted by Don B View Post
    Ray, are you now using the 410 with your big zoom for footy action instead of the E-1? I guess you are hanging out for the pro model, but how viable do you think the neat 410 would be for a part timer doing action shots? Have you found it latches on as Julie's 510 does?
    Cheers,
    Don
    No, I'm still using the E1s, but I gave the E410 another go yesterday. The problem with the E410 is the lack of a vertical grip, it's just too awkward using the camera without. I called my usual supplier last week and asked if there was any way to pre-order or get in early for the E1 replacement. I hope to hear from them next week.

    The E410 does latch on much faster than the E1; though it can still miss. What I absolutely like is the speed at which is processes RAW files, it simply doesn't stop shooting. I don't see any reason why you can't confidently take out the E410/E510 for any sort of action photography.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: Tweaking the E-1 for action shots, Ray?

    Quote Originally Posted by OzRay View Post
    No, I'm still using the E1s, but I gave the E410 another go yesterday. The problem with the E410 is the lack of a vertical grip, it's just too awkward using the camera without. I called my usual supplier last week and asked if there was any way to pre-order or get in early for the E1 replacement. I hope to hear from them next week.

    The E410 does latch on much faster than the E1; though it can still miss. What I absolutely like is the speed at which is processes RAW files, it simply doesn't stop shooting. I don't see any reason why you can't confidently take out the E410/E510 for any sort of action photography.

    Cheers

    Ray
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