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Nicool

Electronic control of focus range in Olympus cameras

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Hope i am not creasting false hopes, but what i put in the title is something i would loooove that Olympus puts in place.

 

What this is about?

It's about the great ability of the Oly 60 mm 2.8 macro lens to restrict the focusing range within a limited distance, in order to optimise the autofocus speed.

Capability to access this setting underwater would be maravellous for obvious reasons, and would reduce the gap in Autofocus speed versus DSLR cameras (i often miss my trusty Nikon D300 in that area).

Actually, this would be useful in about any lens i think, even on a fisheye, if you know you're shooting CFWA why wouldn't you like to limit the focusing range from lens glass till, say 10cm.

From a product positioning standpoint, Olympus are very concious about underwater photography (they manufacture housing), so this would be in line.

I would personally be ready to upgrade to a newer camera for that single reason (well, increasing battery life wouldn't hurt either...).

 

Feasibility?

I am not an Olympus engineer, but with the number of things that can be electronically controlled in Micro 4/3 system, i am pretty confident this would be doable. Take the example of the 12-50mm zoom lens, i think there's some ability to get to the "macro position" electronically.

 

So how do we get it done?

Two years ago i dropped a hopeful email to Olympus but didn't get any answer.

Any other idea on how to get their attention?

 

I guess the first step would be to see whether you guys would also like that capability.

And if there's a few of us, discuss what's the best mean to convey that suggestion to them (photo show, some ideabox...).

 

Thanks in advance for your comments!

 

cheers

Nicolas

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This post and my recent comments about autofocus issues are obviously related, as this control of the focusing range could only help improving AF performance.

But it seems i am the only one interested?

Could at least someone advise why the idea isn't relevant?

Do some of you manually limit the focusing range on the lens prior to going diving?

 

 

Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

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The lens has this feature already. You need to set it up between 0.19 and 0.40. This still does not resolve the issue of the camera focussing on the wrong thing.

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Hi Nicolas,

 

When I use the 60mm macro I either use it for real close-up on (semi) stationary objects. In that case focus speed isn't that important as the subject isn't going anywhere. I also often focus on something with good contrast and then recompose on the subject. Combined with a focus light I've never felt autofocus speed was an issue. The other common subjects are small mobile damsels, wrasse etc. For these I would be beyond the 40cm limit. Since I encounter both types of subject a lot I would have to switch so often between <40cm and >40cm settings that I wouldn't even bother. When shooting in the >40cm range focus-lens travel distance is much less than in the macro-zone, so again I have not found auto-focus speed to be an issue. Perhaps in low-vis or darker environments the story is different but I've just not seen this to be an issue for my type of photography.

 

Bart

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I was taking a picture of a spider in the garden with the 60mm. As it was suspended on the web and similar color to the wood behind it the camera would not focus I had to focus in manual. This even with focus area to the smallest size and the spider right on the centre. I think I will be getting the focus gear now. I thought it was not needed prior to this experience

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I agree the camera and lens usually focus decently, but i have been finding myself multiple times in those difficult subjects situations where AF was struggling underwater, and i believe my above suggestion would be a good cure.

Even for those who are happy with current AF on their Omd-em5 + 60mm, don't you want even improved performances?

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I always use the lens on the closet to infinity so I can take fish portraits as well as macro. Any focus light helps a lot to focus and cuts down on hunting.

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I think a useful setting is to work with manual focus and quick AF instead of auto focus at the trigger. When you press the AF-on the camera focuses and then it keeps the focus when you press the shutter. You can use peaking and move the camera back and forth to achieve focus

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yes these are good ways to have more pics in focus, thanks mates :-)

Otherwise or in complement, there could also be quicker AF straight out of the box by being able to "tell" the lens to limit its focusing range to whatever the user decides :-O

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