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Old 2nd May 2012
reggie reggie is offline
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50mm lens issues

Recently I decided to have a crack at the 50mm macro, given a desire to start doing a bit of portraiture, and having always had a bit of an interest in entering the macro world.

As a macro lens, I am already having a lot of fun playing with depth of field and all that. Its taking some getting used to, and it really is a totally different style of photography. So I'm really enjoying that aspect.

However, I went out with a nephew and niece recently to have a bit of a play around with the portraiture aspect, and found that a very large number of my images were out of focus. I was shooting almost exclusively at f2, so depth of field wouldn't have been great. However, I was shooting from a range of a couple of metres or more. We're talking full body length portraits, or half body with plenty of space above them. Basically everything out of that subject distance was out slightly.

I've had a play around with it at home, and it appears to be a front-focussing issue. When I stop down to f5.6, its sharp. However, I attribute this more to the f11-like depth of field than anything else. Exact same setup and at f2 or 2.8, its soft, and f4 shows a hint of softening.

My thoughts are that the AF on the camera (E-520) is out, and I've just never noticed because I've only used kit lenses previously. Their depth of field is (relatively) extensive. That would explain why it's sharp enough at kit lens aperture/focal length combos. But then everything is pin sharp at close range (i.e. under 1m with the 50mm) anyway.

Olympus Au has recommended I send them the camera and lens. However I don't really want to be without either for the next few weeks, so just wanted to get some input on if anyone's had similar issues, and how it was resolved? I'm also open to any opinions on what people suspect might be the issue? If it's a camera issue, I may be able to get it sorted out by a repairer...

I'm pretty disappointed with the issues - the lens is otherwise an absolute cracker! Highlight bokeh is stunning, and focus is no slower than the kit lens at portrait distance. If only it hit focus!
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Old 3rd May 2012
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Howi Howi is offline
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Re: 50mm lens issues

You could really do with trying the lens on another body, so that you can determine whether it is the lens or body at fault.
What type of focusing are you using?
Try centre focus spot only, focus on the eye and see what happens.
At F2 at the distances you quote, DOF is VERY narrow, multi point focus is no good in that situation.
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Old 13th June 2012
reggie reggie is offline
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Re: 50mm lens issues

Thanks for your feeback Howie - I ended up packing the whole kit up and sending it to Olympus Australia. They recalibrated the autofocus system - it now achieves correct lock around 90% of the time at all focal lengths and distances, and to be fair, the other 10% are generally low contrast environments where most systems would struggle. Very satisfied with the outcome, and am now achieving the pictures I expected from the outset! A very big kudos to Oly AU - I purchased the lens from B&H, and the body is 3 1/2 years old, and whatever they did, they did within two weeks and without billing me. That was unexpected, and very much appreciated!
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Old 13th June 2012
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Re: 50mm lens issues

Yes, I have always found Oly AU excellent. I once made the mistake of leaving a UV filter on when it was being calibrated then found the AF was slightly off when shooting without the filter.
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