Page 1 of 13 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 318

Thread: E-3 backfocus problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hokkaido, Japan
    Posts
    2,989
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    0

    Unhappy E-3 backfocus problem

    I'm having AF problems with my E-3. I've been disappointed with the results I've been getting with the camera, and a few weeks ago I started suspecting there was a focus problem, but I couldn't get it to show up consistently in tests. Tonight I tried the good old battery test, and there's definitely something fishy going on.

    First, here are two closeups I took with the 50mm macro at f/2. The batteries to the left are behind the center one; the ones to the right are in front of it. The top image was taken with the E-510, and the focus was on the "plus" sign in the center. On the E-3 image, the red arrow shows where the focus should be (it's a different battery, but the focus should definitely be on the "plus" sign). This was done on a tripod with mirror lockup and triggered by the IR remote, IS OFF, S-AF, center focus point only, release priority OFF, and "small" focus (results were sometimes better with "normal" focus, sometimes not).

    Since this was a close shot, when I was focusing the second image, I could already see in the viewfinder that it was backfocusing, even though I was getting the focus confirmation LED and beep with the center AF point on the "plus" sign. I tried other focus points, but the results were always the same:



    The second pair of images were both shot with the 50-200 wide open at 200mm and show how inconsistent the results are. The top one is good, but the bottom one is OOF and also looks slightly backfocused:



    Sometimes the focus gets better if I turn the camera off and take the lens and put it back on again. Sometimes it gets worse. Sometimes the focus accuracy changes even though I haven't touched the lens (like in the 50-200 shots above). I am not pushing the lens release button while putting the lens back on, and I've been very careful to turn it all the way until it clicks. I cleaned the contacts on all my lenses with a fresh eraser a few weeks ago when I started getting annoyed with the focus.

    I also tested the 40-150 at 150mm, but it looked okay. I didn't spend as much time with it as with the other lenses, though. I did shoot some horses in a field with it on the E-3 the other day, and I noticed some bad back focus. I just could not believe I missed such a big, stationary target. I've been questioning my ability as a photographer a lot these past few weeks, because I have missed so many easy shots. I didn't suspect the camera for a while, because at times it works perfectly, but now I'm sure it's not user error. I doubt it's a problem with the lenses or the contacts, because they work fine on the E-510. Then, what is it?

    Tomorrow I'm going to contact the camera shop (am headed to bed now), but I wanted to get some opinions first. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    London Ontario
    Posts
    494
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    What is "back focus", please?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hokkaido, Japan
    Posts
    2,989
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    0

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    The focus is behind where it should be. In the 50/2 shot, I focused on the "plus" sign on the middle battery, but you can see that the focus is to the left and right of center. Since the battery curves around to the back, you can tell that the camera is focusing behind where it should be.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bronx,New York
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    Yeah I am feeling the same thing didnt know what it was i am going to set up a tesrt as your to see if i get the same results i was feeling that objects in the foreground were coming up slightly soft and i couldnt figure out what was going on

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    2,379
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    oddmanout - "back focus error" is where the focus point is behind where you intended it to be.

    windsprite - there is a lot of detail in your test case on all sides of your intended focus point. As the focus sensor is actually quite broad, it's possible it's seeing so much contrasty stuff across a wide depth of focus that the camera has to guess about your intentions. It's obviously getting it wrong for whatever reason, but to exclude the possibility of failure to "guess" right, try downloading a focus chart like this one, which isolates the intended focus point in a detail free zone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hokkaido, Japan
    Posts
    2,989
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    0

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    acme, thanks I will download that test chart and try it in the morning.

    In the meantime (I really should go to bed, but this focus thing is bugging me!), I see what you are saying, but why would the E-3 have such a hard time with the detail while the 510 gets it right every time?

    The thing that prompted me to do the battery tests was that I was shooting my dogs who were lying on the couch, and I could not get the camera to focus on their eyes. The focus was always on their temples. This has been bugging me about the E-3 for at least a few weeks now, with both dog pics and people pics. I have owned the E-500, E-1, and E-510, and I've never had this problem with the other cameras.

    Several days ago I was trying to shoot some birds in a tree with the E-3 and 50-200. They were total sitting ducks, so to speak, should have been very easy targets. I even had a fence to rest the lens on. I was sure I was getting very precise focus, and when I looked at the images on my PC, out of maybe 15, only one was remotely in focus. That has really been my experience with the E-3 a lot of the time; especially with action, when I'm shooting I feel like, "Wow this AF is killer!" and then when I look at the images on the computer I want to cry. They are ever so slightly out of focus ... or badly out of focus. And then sometimes they are very good.

    So back to the original point, I really do think it is a problem with the camera, or maybe I am missing some important setting or other detail. I didn't say anything on the board for a while, because I wanted to be very sure about it.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,566
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 129 Times in 89 Posts
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    Julie, what happens when you do your test focussing manually?
    Don

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    896
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    The guy at EPhotoZine had a focusing issue too. Might want to read about it here (1/4 way down the page -- E-3 Performance section) and try what he did...?

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Olympus-E-3

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bronx,New York
    Posts
    122
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    I just did the focus test with my sigma 18-50 and everything seems spot on i guess i was just looking to hard at my pictures just looking for a problem

    I was looking hard to see how the e-3 handled the sigma lens which my e500 had no problem with but my partner had focusing issues with his canon 20d and sigma lens. the guy at sigma said canons manufacturing spec were pretty loose and the lens would have to calibrated to the way his mount was shimmed anyway i was looking to see if i was going to have same problem with e3 guess not.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    334
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    I posted a thread the other day about an "infinity" focus problem on my E-3. It really is the same problem that you're experiencing. The focus is inconsistent. Two presses of the shutter will yield two different focus points, even if the target is exactly the same, tripod mounted, etc.

    Regular AF point, small AF point, single AF point, or dynamic point, doesn't matter either (assuming the same "point" is on the target of course). The problem is "in the system" somewhere and not with any particular AF mode choice.

    Very disconcerting. Sometimes razor sharp, sometimes "just off a bit." Really a problem when shooting quickly in mediocre light.

    Bright light, decent shutter and aperture and it doesn't show up on most "general photos" as the dof covers it.

    OLY, we have a problem here!!!!! Get on it please!!!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    334
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    J and others....

    I've emailed Olympus about this problem, and sent them a link to this thread. As others of you do your tests, please post results / examples here to add to the credibility of the issue as "real" -- in hopes that Oly will jump on the problem right away.

    As J has cited, this is especially apparent with longer lenses. I first discovered it trying to focus on a pelican's eye, about 30' away with my 35-100 f/2 zoom on my E-3. The focus lock kept "jumping around" from half/press to half/press of the shutter. Never did get a razor sharp lock for that image. After that, I discovered the problem with other longer lenses, and then started "looking for it" with the other lenses.

    As I mentioned in my post above, it is often masked by sufficient DOF, but the problem exists with all my lenses.

    If this problem is pandemic to all E-3's and not just "some examples" Oly will get a bloody nose very quickly from the exact people they're trying to court with their faster AF -- long lens action shooters, birders, etc.

    Very frustrating.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Peak District, Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    1,872
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Feedback Score
    0

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    If this problem is pandemic to all E-3's and not just "some examples" Oly will get a bloody nose very quickly from the exact people they're trying to court with their faster AF
    Only if people run around waving their arms in the air panicking and taking it as a personal insult from Olympus, you know......., like Canon users. Some people may never notice it, some will obsess about it, some may never have the problem, who knows! Something needs to be proved by reproducing the experiment with as many users with the same equipment in similar circumstances. Otherwise its one guy and one body. You see the problem in the experiment so far?

    As one user who does use the E3 for semi close up photo's for work, using the 14-54mm at its closest focus distance, generally on AF, I haven't noticed a problem.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Seattle, Washington, USA
    Posts
    759
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    0

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    As someone who is trying to decide between an E-510 and an E3, this is a problem and tends to tip me toward the E-510. Since its being reported by more than one person, it's not just a case of individual panic. If it is a problem that can be isolated and fixed in firmware, well and good. If it is a problem of quality control, i.e., different iterations of the camera behaving differently, it is a bigger problem.

    I'm glad this thread got started.

    Dale

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    46
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    0

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    I had not noticed a problem with my E3, other than EC20 problems, but decided to do the test anyway. Mine focused perfectly with the test sheet and using the 14-54 lens. I'm sure it isn't an E3-wide thing.
    Dave W
    ___________________________
    E1/E3/E5/ZD14-54/ZD50-200/ZD150mm/ZD300mm/EC14/EC20/FL36/SHLD-2/Sigma50-500

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    334
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    I'm a professional photographer with over 40 years in the biz. So the semi-snotty replies are not appreciated, nor are they helpful.

    I'm a dedicated Olympus user, and waving my arms in the air isn't generally my style.

    For those of you who are interested in this problem, let me re-state it. It doesn't seem to show up as prevalent at close focusing distances, or with shorter lenses. Tests with 14-54's etc., won't be probative. Test focusing out at 20' to 35' with 50-200, 35-100, and other lenses in that range will be helpful to test whether this is pandemic to the E-3, or merely a problem with a few samples.

    I own two E-3's bought from separate sources a couple of weeks apart, and they both exhibit this inconsistent focus problem under the circumstances stated. It is "real" enough to cause me not to use the E-3 bodies with the longer lenses.

    I'll be gentle when it is time for "I told you so."

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,206
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    22 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    I'm not a pro but am willing to do the test with the E3 and 35-100. I'm assuming I print the chart and then what? Hang it on a wall and get 20 feet away? I thought the chart was supposed to fill up the viewfinder and it won't at that distance. Do I take the photo zoomed in or wide open? If Do I then crop the photo to check my results? I'm assuming a tripod is needed as well.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    334
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    7 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    It is easier than that. Take your 35-100 slap it on the E-3, go out and shoot some subjects that are at least 15' away, and further until you're "infinity" focusing with the lens. Shoot wide open at f2 for a more pronounced effect in the files.

    If you have the problem, you'll notice that you can leave your selected AF target on a specific "point" and several half presses of the shutter will cause it to jump focus a bit. It will beep and "focus lock" each time, but not in exactly the same plane of focus. Sometimes right on, sometimes not. When you look at the series of images on your monitor you'll see it very clearly if you're experiencing the same problem.

    Thanks for being willing to test with the 35-100. That is the lens that I notice the problem with "most"...

    If I close focus w/ the 35-100, say at 10' or less, I don't seem to experience this problem. I know this sounds weird, and if I were reading my own posts w/o having experienced this I'd think it was operator error. I was quiet about it until reading Julie's post, which confirmed to me that I wasn't nuts. Her photos are so superb, and generally sharp as a tack, so, if she was experiencing the same thing, well...

    Again, thanks for the willingness to test.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Northeast USA
    Posts
    8,642
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    6 (100%)

    Post Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    Has the E-3 been design to be a performer with only the new SWD line of lens and some old OLY's medium zooms and primes ? Whats that word " Propatory" ... Acme ? Could it be a power problem? No I'm not loving this just kicking in some thoughts.
    Available on iPad and iPhone devices in the Ibook store app
    My Book
    Funny things birds do!
    By Peter Agostini

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Hongkong, China
    Posts
    5,062
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    13 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    So far I did not encounter back focus problem, but.... with the 12-60mm at 60mm, sometimes it will not focus at all, if I zoom it back a little bit it will work again, I am also quiet before Julie made this post, because I am still testing and learning the E-3......

    IMHO, we are not doing anything to bash Olympus, but do it as a feedback to them, and let other members/owners to try out their gear to see if it is only some individual cases.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,566
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 129 Times in 89 Posts
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    In general use, I have not noticed any back focus with the 150mm, long or short. Not the same as setup tests, but I'm sure I would have noticed it.
    Don

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    St. Peters, Missouri USA
    Posts
    1,111
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    14 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    been shooting my grandson at his basketball games with the 12-60 and using about every focal length depending where they are on the court,, I am very critical of my shots and like them to be tack sharp,, so far out of the several hundred photos taken I have not been noticing anything out of focus,, always try to have his head near the center and use the diamond focus pattern,,

    only other lens I have at present is the 35mm macro and it has been perfoming great,, will hunt a tad when going from a close item (6 inches)to a distant item (20 feet),,

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    46
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    0

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    Well, I kicked in an input on a short range test as suggested above, but maybe I need to kick in on a long range test also. Most of my shooting is of birds, and that requires long range. I have not been happy with the EC20/50-200 results so far, and have gone back to using my Bigma instead. Maybe part of the problem is in the E3 focusing itself. I will try some shots in the next couple of days with my 50-200, with and without EC's, and also my Bigma. Most of my Bigma shots have appeared sharp to me, but at times I have had a few out-of-focus shots. I always chalked this up to just missing the target on focus, as I have not been using a tripod. Maybe it wasn't me at all......it will be interesting to find out for sure.
    Dave W
    ___________________________
    E1/E3/E5/ZD14-54/ZD50-200/ZD150mm/ZD300mm/EC14/EC20/FL36/SHLD-2/Sigma50-500

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,206
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    22 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    My unscientific results using a tape measure and no tripod are posted here. Photos removed because I did them the wrong way.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    896
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    Quote Originally Posted by finemom View Post
    I'm not a pro but am willing to do the test with the E3 and 35-100. I'm assuming I print the chart and then what? Hang it on a wall and get 20 feet away? I thought the chart was supposed to fill up the viewfinder and it won't at that distance. Do I take the photo zoomed in or wide open? If Do I then crop the photo to check my results? I'm assuming a tripod is needed as well.
    If you are talking about the chart from the PDF link posted earlier, you have to tilt the chart on a 45 degree angle to the camera plane.

    It doesn't have to fill the frame. You could only see half of it and it will still work okay. You just have to focus on that black line in the center and see what text is in focus...

    I would try a series of maybe 4 apertures across the range (like wide to f/11) and I'd use a tripod for sure and never touch anything except the aperture and shutter...

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    BC, Canada
    Posts
    2,379
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Feedback Score
    2 (100%)

    Default Re: E-3 backfocus problem

    Quote Originally Posted by 4/3_Pickles View Post
    If you are talking about the chart from the PDF link posted earlier, you have to tilt the chart on a 45 degree angle to the camera plane.

    It doesn't have to fill the frame. You could only see half of it and it will still work okay. You just have to focus on that black line in the center and see what text is in focus...
    Thanks for fleshing out the advice! I had to scamper so my post was fairly terse. There is yet more useful info within the pdf.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4/3_Pickles View Post
    I would try a series of maybe 4 apertures across the range (like wide to f/11) and I'd use a tripod for sure and never touch anything except the aperture and shutter...
    Using multiple apertures can be interesting with some lense designs. It's uncommon (but not impossible) for a higher f-stop to actually cause something that was in focus to move out of focus, but common for the gains to not be centred around the point of focus while wide open. Usually as aperture shrinks you gain more behind the original point of focus than ahead of it. For examining a back/front camera autofocus issue, one would generally keep it simple and shoot wide open only.

    You absolutely want to use a tripod when running these tests, to avoid the possibility of even a millimetre of camera movement between focus lock and shutter opening.

    It's also quite desirable to use the focus chart, rather than a ruler or some other ad hoc test, to avoid the possibility of the camera locking onto some bit of detail other than what you expected it to. For testing at low magnifications, it'd be desirable to print the test chart out very large. Say, on a sheet of plywood, ideally... I believe generally a back/front focus issue, if present, will show up at both high and low magnification.

    PS,
    Pete - Proprietary? Probably not germane!

Similar Threads

  1. E-3 Problem?
    By BILL3075 in forum Site Archive
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 03-08-2008, 01:41 PM
  2. Problem with my E-330
    By Blu-by-u in forum Site Archive
    Replies: 82
    Last Post: 02-11-2008, 11:56 PM
  3. I have a different problem with my E3
    By finemom in forum Site Archive
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 02-03-2008, 12:32 AM
  4. E-510 and 12-60: problem...
    By SALAM in forum Site Archive
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 01-15-2008, 01:37 PM
  5. Has Anyone Had This Problem?
    By johnblue3 in forum Site Archive
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-14-2007, 08:25 PM

Posting Permissions

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