Using the 50-200 SWD on both E-5 and E-M1

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boggis the cat
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Using the 50-200 SWD on both E-5 and E-M1
10 months ago

Today I did what I had intended to do in order to assess the performance of the 50-200 SWD on the E-M1 compared to the E-5.

First I shot in my usual manner with this lens mounted on the E-5.  I typically have few AF issues that aren't attributable to human error.  With the E-5 I never use C-AF as I have found it to be less successful than sticking to S-AF, even for 'action'.

Then I swapped out the E-5 for the E-M1 (using my el cheapo Chinese MMF clone).  Initially I was a little concerned about the mounting, with some obvious slight rotational play present -- probably due to the cheap MMF clone -- and also whether operating the zoom would be more difficult given the smaller grip on the E-M1.

After shooting for an hour with each combination my estimation is that the 50-200 SWD performs roughly the same on each body.  Focus speed seems no worse on the E-M1, and hunting seemed if anything slightly better.  There were no nasty noises emitted or micro-hunting going on (which seemed to be an E-M5 thing) and the results are just as good.

I also tried out the 'straight' and 'tracking' C-AF options.  Straight C-AF seemed as hit and miss as on the E-5 (I should note that I use release priority) although it may have been a bit better -- I really don't have enough experience trying to persevere with this mode on the E-5 to make a good judgement.  Tracking C-AF does what it claims, to a good extent.  There are several settings for it, which I have not figured out yet, and it is not perfect: but it does reliably pick up on the moving object in frame and locks on fairly well.  I am fairly impressed.  The 'acid test' would be children or similar erratic critters, which I will not have opportunity to test on until near Christmas.

So my preliminary conclusion is that there is little if any performance difference, and some of the C-AF capabilities could be useful.

See if you can pick which photo was taken with which body, before checking the EXIF:

AF through a busy foreground (1).

AF through a busy foreground (2).

Straight S-AF shot (1).

Straight S-AF shot (2).

 boggis the cat's gear list:boggis the cat's gear list
Olympus E-5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 +10 more
Olympus E-5 Olympus E-M1
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