SP550UZ- Best Infinity Test....the Moon, of course!

Started Apr 2, 2007 | Discussions thread
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SP550UZ- Best Infinity Test....the Moon, of course!
Apr 2, 2007

For the first time in several days, this past weekend saw some clear evenings, so I thought I'd try to test the infinity focus of my SP550UZ on the best possible infinity subject possible....the moon. I set the focus to manual and moved the curser all the way to the top of the scale to, what I thought, would be infinity focus. Of course, by the way I put that last sentence you'll be able to guess the results....not in focus. This got me to thinking...in most long focus to tele and super telephoto lenses, the focus ring is designed to actually go past infinity somewhat, so you can't simply move the ring to a point where it stops. My 50-200 f2.8-3.5 Zuiko does the exact same thing. I wonder if this is how they've designed this lens? I'm gonna call some folks at Olympus and ask the question, as I see no way to automatically set infinity focus and with manual focus, it is just too easy to "miss" the right spot.

I reverted to auto focus and, of course, it worked perfectly. Here's the moon at 504mm:

and here it is at 504mm and with the Olympus 1.7 converter fitted...

Having several other images of the moon taken with my DSLR's, I can see some fine detail that the smaller sensor simply isn't, or cannot pick up when viewed at 100%, but to be honest, these are perfectly useable images that could be incorporated into some night scene where you want a well exposed moon, not a blob of white in the sky, and is more than good enough considering the trade-off in weight of this camera compared to my DSLR outfit.

By the way, these EVF's make getting an exposure of subjects like the moon perfect without too much work. The "old rules" were to pick a shutter speed the reciprocal of the film you used (ISO 400, you used 1/500 sec.) and an f-stop of around f11-16...the old "sunny 16 rule" that was used for years to shoot the moon. Of course, when your maximum aperture is f8 that makes it a little hard to go by those same rules, so what I did was to go to manual exposure mode, simply to set the aperture to fully open at f4.5 and play with the shutter speeds while looking through the finder until the moon looked good. Doing it that way had the effect of giving me the best possible chance of getting a sharp image since the festest possible shutter speed would be chosen wide open at f4.5 and with image stabilization on...in the case of the two images above, both captured at ISO 50, 1/640 sec. without the TC and 1/800 sec. with the 1.7 conversion lens.

 Gregm61's gear list:Gregm61's gear list
Leica M9 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro +17 more
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