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Thread: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

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    Default EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    To start out I'll say I really should have listened to the others on the forum who told me to keep my old body rather than trying to get some quick cash.

    The past few months have been a learning curve with the EM1. The pros have been I like it's style, and it's relatively quick. S-AF is just fine. The cons have been the menu drives me crazy in that it's very difficult to get it to come up on the screen, but most of all I've had challenges with autofocusing. As 99.9% of what I photograph is birds, this is a problem.

    At first I was in denial, thinking it was just the operator of the camera. Most of the time it is that. But I noticed the camera was having a hard time tracking birds. I realize C-AF is machine gun mode, but it seemed I had much better success on my E5. Focusing in on a perched bird though was just fine.

    I drove down to a favorite winter eagle spot today and tried to get them going in and out of the water and flying around. I've learned C-AF mode on the EM1 with my setup is worthless. Using C-AF+TR I thought would be a bit better, as I had some success with that, but still much worse than the E5. Shooting about 100 shots, not hardly one was usable. As a bit of an impulsive person (who preordered the EM1 on Labor Day) I went to my car, starting looking at Ebay listings on my phone and finally called Adorama to see if they had a used one. They did have a used body in good shape at just slightly more than what I sold my body for, so here I am full circle. I'll be curious if it is in fact just me and my memory of the E5 autofocus is something I'm seeing through rose colored glasses or not.

    The bottom line is the EM1 is a very nice camera in some aspects. I'm not selling it and will carry 2 bodies with me when I'm out birding, or might just use it more often than not on brighter days. However, I have to say it is a major letdown in terms of it's autofocusing capabilities with a four-thirds lens. It could be that I have the converter, the teleconverter, and the Big Tuna all in use at the same time and that's just too much?

    Anyway to make a long story short, I'd love to hear from other birders who use the EM1 and a long lens on it. Are you getting much success with that? Are you fed and and rather irate like me and just going back to the E5 for birds in flight? My gut tells me that the E7 would have been just fine, and while they tried to make everyone happy needless to say some things fell through the cracks.

    I also had the firmware updated and hoped that would help and it has for autofocus, but not continuous autofocus unless they have done another update in the past month. Oh well. Buyer's remorse, but at least for my Florida trip I won't be racking up the venial sins while trying to shoot a kite and can just grab the E5 - a camera that knows how to autofocus. GRR.

    Father Paul

    Olympus EM1
    70-300, 9-18, 12-60, 50-200, Olympus Zuiko 300 f2.8, EC 14 & EC 20, shutter remote, FL 50

    www.fatherpaul.smugmug.com

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    To clarify - SAF is super, the same as on the E5 and I love being able to shoot at ISO 1000, 2000 with no issues. It's all about the C-AF. Is a sharp eagle too much to ask for?
    Father Paul

    Olympus EM1
    70-300, 9-18, 12-60, 50-200, Olympus Zuiko 300 f2.8, EC 14 & EC 20, shutter remote, FL 50

    www.fatherpaul.smugmug.com

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    I sold my e-5 to amazon for $800...I saw it listed there for $850 a couple days ago.

    EDIT:
    Amazon.com: Olympus E-5 12.3MP Digital SLR with 3-inch LCD [Body Only] (Black): Camera & Photo
    Clint
    Rockin' it Mirrorless Style
    Olympus EM-1, E-PM2, LX-7, S110
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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Just curious Father Paul. You do know that when using the high burst rate that the E-M1 quits focusing after the first shot in the series? It stops focusing between shots so as to allow the very highest burst rate per second. That is okay for a subject that stays the same distance away from the camera, but for birds in flight you should always drop down to the lower burst rates.

    On the lower setting the M1 will re-focus between each shot. I only mention this because at other forums I have seen some super sharp BIF shots taken with the M1, but they always use the low burst rate so as to allow the camera to re-focus for each shot. If I remember correctly, also the preferred setting was the 9 focus points box.
    Steven R
    Tampa, Florida

    E-330, E-520, E-3

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Thanks Steven. I did call tech support today as I could not figure out how to get just the 9 points in the center, but I did that and hopefully that helps. I'm not giving up but it has been very frustrating. I think I'll just carry 2 bodies from now on and change if needed in the field. The E5 was not perfect at birds in flight, but I could always count on some nice images even if that was 1 out of 10. I was also on low-burst rate as well. I noticed in another thread someone noted the C-AF isn't the greatest on the EM1 too so I guess I'm not alone. All in all it's a fine camera, but for birds in flight I really miss my E5. It will be good to have my old friend back.
    Father Paul

    Olympus EM1
    70-300, 9-18, 12-60, 50-200, Olympus Zuiko 300 f2.8, EC 14 & EC 20, shutter remote, FL 50

    www.fatherpaul.smugmug.com

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Paul, I'm curious why you are having trouble bringing up your menu. I have not seen anything like that.
    I think you will often find an improvement using the 9 focus points. I doubt whether your technique is the problem. I notice that even when I know the focus point is centered on a fastish subject, the focus action is just too slow to keep up. In Tr mode you can see it wandering about. The result is you will still get some very sharp images, but many in between which are not. Even my Canon 1D3 will do this, but infrequently.
    I have found my E-M1 about the same for BIF as my E-3 was, but certainly no worse.
    You may not like to hear this, but if BIF make up 99% of your interest, you should be looking at another camera. You will achieve what you want, and life will be so much easier.
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baldwinson View Post
    Paul, I'm curious why you are having trouble bringing up your menu. I have not seen anything like that.
    I think you will often find an improvement using the 9 focus points. I doubt whether your technique is the problem. I notice that even when I know the focus point is centered on a fastish subject, the focus action is just too slow to keep up. In Tr mode you can see it wandering about. The result is you will still get some very sharp images, but many in between which are not. Even my Canon 1D3 will do this, but infrequently.
    I have found my E-M1 about the same for BIF as my E-3 was, but certainly no worse.
    You may not like to hear this, but if BIF make up 99% of your interest, you should be looking at another camera. You will achieve what you want, and life will be so much easier.
    Cheers,
    Don
    Hi Don,
    I actually toyed with some numbers a year ago of selling all my gear and getting a Canon 7D with a 600; it's a little costly and I'd rather not rack up debt for a hobby. Any birds are my main interest, not just birds in flight. I love flight shots, but more often than not I'm photographing birds in trees or in the water. Bottom line is the E5 just seemed to handle it better though I'm sure nowhere near as good as a Canon or Nikon would, but nonetheless some nice images resulted. My frustration yesterday was absolutely nothing turning out in flight; constantly blurry and out of focus. I'm hopeful going to 9 points will rectify that along, but my guess is I'll have to rely mainly on the E5.
    Father Paul

    Olympus EM1
    70-300, 9-18, 12-60, 50-200, Olympus Zuiko 300 f2.8, EC 14 & EC 20, shutter remote, FL 50

    www.fatherpaul.smugmug.com

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    We'll Father Paul, you will just have to learn to love shooting things like "leaves on a sidewalk" rather than things that require the Big Tuna.
    At least that's what some of the EM1 fanboys around these parts seem to be suggesting

    Yeah, that's useful advice

    Embrace your E5 for now. When Olympus realizes mirrorless is also a profit deadzone maybe they will resurrect the idea of building a proper sports and birding dslr.

    Leigh
    Zippski

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by zippski View Post
    We'll Father Paul, you will just have to learn to love shooting things like "leaves on a sidewalk" rather than things that require the Big Tuna.
    At least that's what some of the EM1 fanboys around these parts seem to be suggesting

    Yeah, that's useful advice

    Embrace your E5 for now. When Olympus realizes mirrorless is also a profit deadzone maybe they will resurrect the idea of building a proper sports and birding dslr.

    Leigh
    Zippski
    Here's hoping. And again, EM1 is just fine and dandy for birds in trees and when they aren't moving much. In flight though not so much. But at least I have the E5 to fall back on for those.
    Father Paul

    Olympus EM1
    70-300, 9-18, 12-60, 50-200, Olympus Zuiko 300 f2.8, EC 14 & EC 20, shutter remote, FL 50

    www.fatherpaul.smugmug.com

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by zippski View Post
    We'll Father Paul, you will just have to learn to love shooting things like "leaves on a sidewalk" rather than things that require the Big Tuna.
    At least that's what some of the EM1 fanboys around these parts seem to be suggesting

    Yeah, that's useful advice

    Embrace your E5 for now. When Olympus realizes mirrorless is also a profit deadzone maybe they will resurrect the idea of building a proper sports and birding dslr.

    Leigh
    Zippski
    LOL add the fact that it isnt just that easy to start over on another system, 600MM F4 for less than 3 grand with OLYand that same setup costs you 12 grand on Canikon..
    one of the reasons I went with 4/3rds for birds... anyway hopefully they do something about it with next body, just seems if they will not be making 4/3rds bodies its just a matter of time before they dont support 4/3rds lenses, or improve how they work on mirrorless either
    OMD EM-1, m12-50MM, OLY 12-60MM, OLY 50MM macro, EC-14, Nikon D7200 and D7100, Nikon 300MM F4 PF Nikon 1.4X II Nikon 80-400MM AF-S- G, Sigma 150-600MM C, Sigma 17-50MM
    Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimusny/

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Paul, I find that CAF works fairly well on BIF as long as nothing in background to confuse it, a plain blue sky seems to be OK, but even clouds in sky confuse the heck out of it, I didnt use CAF with the E5 much either as it also had trouble with a cluttered background, Lately I just went back to SAF/MF for BIF get close with AF then track the bird manually focusing between shots as I was doing with E5, at least I get a few keepers in focus.. I also slowed down FPS in the sequential modes, set LS to 4 FPS and HS to 6 FPS, it does help a bit, There are lost of settings on the EM! to mess around with, be careful using IS also when panning, the auto modes dont seem to work as well on BIF, better off using horizontal mode, still have lots of experimenting to do..
    I think there may be a setting to make sure CAF is always working in sequential also? so many options.. which isnt a problem, but remembering were to set the options are is for me

    for your focus points, here is what I do, I set AF home in saf menu to center single spot and use fn1 for AF home(default), then set the camera to the center points, makes it pretty easy switvching back and forth, just make sure you turn camera off with it in the multi point mode or it resets back to single or what ever you have AF point home set for. or you ave to set it up again next time

    its not hard to switch between AF points, just go to the super control menu select the focus point menu. and while it is up hit info, then a turn of the rear dial will cycle thru the modes, I turned off the arrow key functions so I dont accidentally move the focus point around, but really for birds you need to have an AF home setup so switching is fast.. that being said I still would like a full sized body with all these EM1 functions, even if it were mirrorless, I am getting used to the EVF at least and can live with it as long as the image review is turned off, and it really does help for exposure.
    OMD EM-1, m12-50MM, OLY 12-60MM, OLY 50MM macro, EC-14, Nikon D7200 and D7100, Nikon 300MM F4 PF Nikon 1.4X II Nikon 80-400MM AF-S- G, Sigma 150-600MM C, Sigma 17-50MM
    Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimusny/

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    IMO, it's not only the C-AF that is a problem, but lots of little things that stack up against it for BIF. But you guys already know how I feel about the subject :-|

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    You want to do specialist photography, use the right gear for the job. BIF with the longest available lenses is one of those tiny niche uses where SLRs might still have the edge. Of course, when the E-5 was the latest top of the line, I never heard much other than complaints about its AF capabilities compared to the Canons and Nikons anyway.

    The baseline rule for any new equipment is to be sure it does what you want before you sell equipment which already does.

    But how should I know? I don't bother with BIF photography, and I don't have any problems with using AF even with the ancient E-1. I shoot leaves on the sidewalk and detail my minions to assist when needed.

    They do a good job. :-)

    G

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Didn't expect it to be worse than the E-5, maybe the same but not worse. Maybe the lens will fit on the new Full Frame OMFF-1? :-D

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Just curious: have you experimented to see if the C-AF performance is the same without the 2x tele? Or if the performance is the same with a different lens?
    Steven R
    Tampa, Florida

    E-330, E-520, E-3

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by Ned View Post
    Didn't expect it to be worse than the E-5, maybe the same but not worse. Maybe the lens will fit on the new Full Frame OMFF-1? :-D
    I don't think it's "worse", I think it's different. It simply has a different set of strengths and flaws. Neither is perfect.

    G

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    I was a little disappointed with the image quality of the E-m1 compared to the E-5. To me, the images seem to be a little grainy, not they typical noise, but something different. The E-5 images just seemed to be smoother. As Godfrey says, maybe not worse but different.

    Having said that, I do see others E-M1 images that look great. I don't know if they come out of the camera like that or if they were post processed.
    Lawrence

    All of the images I post are open for critique. Feel free to modify one of my images if it helps the critique.

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by padrepaul77 View Post
    Hi Don,
    I actually toyed with some numbers a year ago of selling all my gear and getting a Canon 7D with a 600; it's a little costly and I'd rather not rack up debt for a hobby. Any birds are my main interest, not just birds in flight. I love flight shots, but more often than not I'm photographing birds in trees or in the water. Bottom line is the E5 just seemed to handle it better though I'm sure nowhere near as good as a Canon or Nikon would, but nonetheless some nice images resulted. My frustration yesterday was absolutely nothing turning out in flight; constantly blurry and out of focus. I'm hopeful going to 9 points will rectify that along, but my guess is I'll have to rely mainly on the E5.
    Mind you Paul, 1200mm equivalent is a huge ask for any system for action subjects. That is really putting any camera to an extreme test. Have you tried BIF using the EC-14? I always got significantly more in focus shots compared with the EC-20.
    And the lesser reach will not be such a disadvantage, because the E-M1 images will stand bigger crops than the E-5. Certainly better than my E-3.
    Good luck,
    Don

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by lkeeney View Post
    I was a little disappointed with the image quality of the E-m1 compared to the E-5. To me, the images seem to be a little grainy, not they typical noise, but something different. The E-5 images just seemed to be smoother. As Godfrey says, maybe not worse but different.

    Having said that, I do see others E-M1 images that look great. I don't know if they come out of the camera like that or if they were post processed.
    How are you processing them? I find that E-M1 .ORF files processed at the LR 5.3 defaults for sharpening do indeed look a little rough. LR's default is a sharpen setting of 25 on a 1 pixel radius. I went to 10 on a radius of .7 pixels, that looks much smoother without losing any sharpness.

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    My set-up is with the 2x tele, and I know that is asking a lot. But on the E5 for BIF, I've used that set-up for a couple of years, and gotten some very nice results; a lot of throw aways, but some very good ones too. Just seemed sharper on CAF on the E5, but hope to keep trying and for the best, though I'm thinking the E5 will be more frequently used for BIF.
    Father Paul

    Olympus EM1
    70-300, 9-18, 12-60, 50-200, Olympus Zuiko 300 f2.8, EC 14 & EC 20, shutter remote, FL 50

    www.fatherpaul.smugmug.com

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by padrepaul77 View Post
    To start out I'll say I really should have listened to the others on the forum who told me to keep my old body rather than trying to get some quick cash.

    The past few months have been a learning curve with the EM1. The pros have been I like it's style, and it's relatively quick. S-AF is just fine. The cons have been the menu drives me crazy in that it's very difficult to get it to come up on the screen, but most of all I've had challenges with autofocusing. As 99.9% of what I photograph is birds, this is a problem.

    At first I was in denial, thinking it was just the operator of the camera. Most of the time it is that. But I noticed the camera was having a hard time tracking birds. I realize C-AF is machine gun mode, but it seemed I had much better success on my E5. Focusing in on a perched bird though was just fine.

    I drove down to a favorite winter eagle spot today and tried to get them going in and out of the water and flying around. I've learned C-AF mode on the EM1 with my setup is worthless. Using C-AF+TR I thought would be a bit better, as I had some success with that, but still much worse than the E5. Shooting about 100 shots, not hardly one was usable. As a bit of an impulsive person (who preordered the EM1 on Labor Day) I went to my car, starting looking at Ebay listings on my phone and finally called Adorama to see if they had a used one. They did have a used body in good shape at just slightly more than what I sold my body for, so here I am full circle. I'll be curious if it is in fact just me and my memory of the E5 autofocus is something I'm seeing through rose colored glasses or not.

    The bottom line is the EM1 is a very nice camera in some aspects. I'm not selling it and will carry 2 bodies with me when I'm out birding, or might just use it more often than not on brighter days. However, I have to say it is a major letdown in terms of it's autofocusing capabilities with a four-thirds lens. It could be that I have the converter, the teleconverter, and the Big Tuna all in use at the same time and that's just too much?

    Anyway to make a long story short, I'd love to hear from other birders who use the EM1 and a long lens on it. Are you getting much success with that? Are you fed and and rather irate like me and just going back to the E5 for birds in flight? My gut tells me that the E7 would have been just fine, and while they tried to make everyone happy needless to say some things fell through the cracks.

    I also had the firmware updated and hoped that would help and it has for autofocus, but not continuous autofocus unless they have done another update in the past month. Oh well. Buyer's remorse, but at least for my Florida trip I won't be racking up the venial sins while trying to shoot a kite and can just grab the E5 - a camera that knows how to autofocus. GRR.

    A friend on the Oly e 4m UK posted this and suggested you need a bit of info

    Birds in Flight NO PROBS - Best captures are using contrast +2 and Vivid filter - the camera uses these settings to improve definition of the moving object, using format raw does not save +contrast or Vivid filter but jpeg does

    Most of us use S-AF and fn 1 or ?2 or nn is set to Magnify - so you can enlarge the green focus rectangle onto objects in the distance - this also helps the CDAF improve the image captured.
    using the 75-300 Mk11 lens


    Although Bryce Bradfield (on Flickr) with the OM-D EM-5 got these and posted his settings using C-AF - lots of info in his posts
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Continuous AF w/ 3D Tracking | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I have to say, its NOT THE CAMERA !

    Here are a few Bif using the ONE my first week - so not perfecto mundi as I had not in anyway got the "hang of it"

    Image612 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Image410 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


    Here is a farssst dog

    PC290008 sm | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    PC290019 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    PC290020 (2) (2) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!


    BTW whats a Big Tuna ?


    We hope this helps you all get the best out of your ONE You really do have to change the way you used an E-5 or EM-5 to get the best out the ONE

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    [QUOTE=Chevvyf1;629055]A friend on the Oly e 4m UK posted this and suggested you need a bit of info

    Birds in Flight NO PROBS - Best captures are using contrast +2 and Vivid filter - the camera uses these settings to improve definition of the moving object, using format raw does not save +contrast or Vivid filter but jpeg does

    Most of us use S-AF and fn 1 or ?2 or nn is set to Magnify - so you can enlarge the green focus rectangle onto objects in the distance - this also helps the CDAF improve the image captured.
    using the 75-300 Mk11 lens


    Thanks - going to try this now. Only question is what is fn 1 and what is nn? Thanks!
    Father Paul

    Olympus EM1
    70-300, 9-18, 12-60, 50-200, Olympus Zuiko 300 f2.8, EC 14 & EC 20, shutter remote, FL 50

    www.fatherpaul.smugmug.com

  23. #23
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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Birds in Flight NO PROBS - Best captures are using contrast +2 and Vivid filter - the camera uses these settings to improve definition of the moving object, using format raw does not save +contrast or Vivid filter but jpeg does

    Most of us use S-AF and fn 1 or ?2 or nn is set to Magnify - so you can enlarge the green focus rectangle onto objects in the distance - this also helps the CDAF improve the image captured.
    using the 75-300 Mk11 lens
    Indeed. I read a lot of complaints/griping from people using the E-M1 and trying to do BIF and other high speed action tracking with C-AF and C-AF+tracking. Perhaps the assumption is wrong ... these modes are not really intended for this use, they're designed for other uses, and S-AF/S-AF+MF are better choices, even with the ZD 300/2.8 and EC-20.

    I'll be interested to read what PadrePaul's experience changing to a different methodology nets.

    I think what the " fn 1 or ?2 or nn is set to Magnify - so you can enlarge the green focus rectangle onto objects in the distance" means is toassign magnification to a convenient function button so that you can swap into magnified mode fluidly while letting S-AF doing its thing. I have magnification set to the upper button on the camera front as I find that the easiest to tap-tap into magnified mode for critical focusing quickly using S-AF+MF. (When using MF, I have the AFL/AEL button mapped to do S-AF rather than AE-L too, which speeds up MF quite a lot when I'm in a hurry.)

    fun fun fun ...

    G

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Call me old fashioned, but I'm just trying to imagine holding a speeding bird, small center spot, 300mm lensx2 (1200mm), with viewer magnification on top of that.
    Good luck Jim!
    Cheers,
    Don

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    Default Re: EM1 + Big Tuna&2x tele& autofocus = meltdown and an order of an E5

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baldwinson View Post
    Call me old fashioned, but I'm just trying to imagine holding a speeding bird, small center spot, 300mm lensx2 (1200mm), with viewer magnification on top of that.
    Good luck Jim!
    :-)

    I'd just use manual focus like I do with racing motorcycles, boats, or cars. AF has its limits...

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