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dofwar

Olympus EM5 MkII Focus Questions/Issues

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Hi All,  new to the forum but familiar with underwater photography. I recently moved into a Olympus EM5 Mk II with a Olympus Housing PT-EP13 Housing. I've been using the standard flat port with the 9-18mm Olympus wide angle lens. I'm shooting natural light with no strobes. 

The issue I'm having is that i have issues focusing on my subject. I did a model shoot where several photos were just completely blurry. I chalked it up to backscatter because i was shooting towards the sun even though there really wasn't anything in focus that I could tell (picture posted). I just got back from a trip where I had the chance to photograph whales and I had the same issue. Focus point was on the subject, picture was taken but nothing was in focus. This time I had ideal lighting and was shooting away from the sun and the whales had enough contrast to pick up on the camera. I'm confused and slightly annoyed because that has never happened with my canon point and shoots underwater, the olympus focuses perfectly fine above water, and I can't figure out a way to make sure the camera focuses on my subject. I've tried different settings from P to M mode, AF-S, AF-C, Continuous Tracking. I'm at a loss and wanted to see if anybody has any tips for getting crisp shots every time. On my Nikon D850, pictures can't be taken unless the subject is focused or i hold the AF-L button down. 

Anybody else having this issue? 

 

Capture1.JPG

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There are many suspended particles in the water and your camera will have an issue understanding what to focus

Also with a flat port you are far away 

Invest in a dome port to get closer and strobes this will allow you to focus much better on the subject

 

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On Olympus cameras you can set in the menu whether to prioritize shoot (even if no focus is acquired) or focus (at the cost of no shoots until focus is acquired).

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I shoot the same set up. The lens requires a dome port as one other has said. The camera is trying to focus on a "virtual" image and the "nodel" point is critical for sharp focus. Once I changed, I get very sharp focus in all lighting situations. I bought the Zen.

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Thanks for the tips. I"ll look into a dome port. In the meantime I turned Release Priority to Off. It's what I'm used to and for me it the default I'm used to. I assumed incorrectly that the camera came with it OFF when in fact the default is ON. To me its more important to get the focus locked in before shooting than to have the false sense that the pictures are good because the shutter is releasing.  If I want blurry pictures I'll use AF-L and move the camera around 

 

Edited by dofwar

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I shot with an EM-5 II a few years back, the AF was not the greatest but you could get it to work.  Changing the release priority may or may not help- it will often grab a floaty rather than the subject and it is focused as far as the camera is concerned and will take a nice sharp shot of the floaty.    A coupl of things to look at,

  • first the camera should show a green frame around the focus point and beep when it acquires focus - set AF area pointer to on
  • AF-C is generally poor - use AF-S and program a button to back button AF, then you can keep trying again easily
  • Set the AF to centre point, don't use all the points - so you know where the camera will try to AF.
  • you can set the home AF point in the A menu set home.  You can then program a function  button to return to this, I suggest single centre point and try also the small option which limits the size of the AF target point,

Going to a dome port should also assist - the closer you are the better the AF will work.

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Are there mft or compact cs that have significantly better focus performance? I feel like i haven't had this issue on my g7xii. 

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Any of the E-M1's will have better C-AF performance the the M5II (or the g7).  As Chris said, S-AF is the way to go for your combo underwater.  I used the 9-18 behind a flat port for a few months, and I don't really remember a lot of issues with S-AF and missed focus.  It's not the fastest focusing lens out there, so I agree with others that getting the right release priority should help.  That said- the Zen dome port is cheap and really improves the usability of the lens. 

The port system of the Oly housing for the M5II is pretty limiting.  Great for macro, but  if you shoot rectilinear wide angle the M1 mk 1 with a bigger dome and better lenses (12-40, 7-14, 8-18) doesn't cost that much more in the scheme of things and will get you better results. Also, if you're ok with a fisheye you can shoot the Oly 8mm in your housing with a different port.

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