Venus in Transit E-M5 Panasonic 100-300mm

Started Jun 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Moonlight Knight
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Venus in Transit E-M5 Panasonic 100-300mm
Jun 6, 2012

This is a Venus in Transit shot with OM-D E-M5 using a (borrowed) Panasonic 100-300mm @ 300mm and a sheet of BAADER AstroSolar ND 5 attached to the lens using a cardboard + scotch tape + rubber band, M mode, IBIS and OIS Off, S-AF, Vivid (for hopefully improved AF only), anti-shock, tripod.

What I've learned:

  • The Panasonic 100-300mm, although a really great lens at a reasonable price, is slightly inconvenient without a zoom lock (like the Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM) because when I shot it vertically (at noon), the zoom will move by itself. I have a bunch of photos at 22x mm or 28x mm instead of 300mm. Basically after every shot I need to move the zoom back to 300m and hope it does not drop before I press the shutter. Note that this is a brand new lens purchased by a coworker especially for this shoot, not one that has worn out.

  • Luckily AF worked perfectly. I had tremendous difficulties with MF for shooting the sun. This is perhaps a limitation of my technique, but I found the live view (or EVF) seems to always overexpose too much in this setup for shooting the sun, blurring out the edges and the sunspots so I couldn't really adjust MF accurately, regardless of the Liveview boost settings, and/or using a custom DOF preview button.

  • Before I borrowed the 100-300mm, I tried to use my own Panasonic 14-45mm which misfocused 100% of the time - perhaps the sun was too small at 45mm. Although at 100% I could still see Venus, the sun spots cannot be seen and so at 45mm it is pretty hopeless for me.

  • The metering (set to spot) is way off. I had to use M mode and try different shutter speeds to get a reasonable exposure. I think my coworker using D7000 experienced something similar.

  • Originally I thought a tripod would not be necessary since the sun is so bright even with the filter. I was wrong. Even if I assume I don't have camera shake, without a tripod it would have become much more tiring.

  • My coworkers use 5D3 + EF 100-400 L IS USM and D7000 + Tamron 70-300mm A005 NII, with the 5D3 @ 400mm giving a clearer picture than others, although shooting the sun is not a good way to compare lenses or systems. The D7000 guy went through six (!) copies of Tamron A005 NII from two stores as all of them have dust inside.

Raw processed in LR4.1 with +0.36 EV and +21 clarity. This is a 100% crop.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Nikon D7000 Olympus OM-D E-M5
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