E-M1 Focus problems

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
lnikj
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Re: E-M1 Focus problems
In reply to lnikj, 5 months ago

I'm sure you're all bored with this but I'm afraid my Asperger's means that I am unable to leave these things alone.

I've been doubting both my sanity and my shooting technique over the last few days.

Something is going on here and I still can't put my finger on it.

The shots on the tripod are good, but the handheld shots are not.

What is causing this has, I think, to be some subtle interplay between IBIS, Anti-Shock settings, Shutter Shock, diffraction and handholding technique.

First, lets lay to rest the claim that this is simply diffraction.

Here are 100% crops, near the focus point, of two handheld shots at fast shutter speeds, one at f/4.0 and one at f/7.1:

f/4.0

f/7.1

Yes, the second is softer, but not soft like the images that I have posted above.

If it's not all caused by diffraction, is it simply bad technique? Well, I've been shooting a shedload of test shots over the last 48 hours, with my E-M1/12-40 and my D300/16-85.

The E-M1 combo is sharper than the Nikon combo, though not by much. However, it is not sharper at shutter speeds between 1/40s and 1/320s handheld. You'll have to trust me on this.

For some reason, when handholding the E-M1 IQ gets very much worse below 1/320s and does not recover again until 1/40s.

I could post a shedload of comparative images, from clifftops, gardens or inside the house (and I may do yet in a blog article), but this is perhaps the most telling one (sorry about the watermarks).

Here is the f/8.0 (should be diffracted) and 1/10s (should show poor handholding technique) one:

f/8, 1/10s, IBIS: SIS1, AS: 1/8

Here is the f/2.8 (should be sharp) and 1/80s (should have no camera shake) one:

f/2.8, 1/80s, IBIS: SIS1, AS: 1/8

You might be smiling at this point and thinking that this is just random; however, I shot this 10 times at each aperture. Half of the 1/10s were rejects with obvious camera shake. However, only one of the 1/80s showed obvious camera shake, the rest all look like the image posted here. So do the ones at 1/60s and 1/50s. The shots at 1/15s up to 1/30s are much like those at 1/10s.

This result is about as counterintuitive as it gets and believe me I'll be a happy man if you can prove that I am imagining all this.

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