e-p3 and Panasonic lenses

Started May 5, 2012 | Discussions
Chuck A
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e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
May 5, 2012

With the release of the OM-D, e-p3 prices have gone down. The Olympus color gas been drawing me in for a while. So with the e-p3 more affordable I thought I would try one out. I have used mostly Panasonic mft cameras and they focus well. How does the e-p3 focusing compare with the Panasonic lenses? I have read that the e-p3 can have some hiccups when using Panasonic lenses.

I would appreciate info From those who have extensive experience with the e-p3.
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'The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.' -Edward Weston

'If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.' -Robert Doisneau

'You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.' -Eliot Porter

Character is who you are when nobody else is looking.

Olympus PEN E-P3
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rrr_hhh
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to Chuck A, May 5, 2012

Chuck A wrote:

With the release of the OM-D, e-p3 prices have gone down. The Olympus color gas been drawing me in for a while. So with the e-p3 more affordable I thought I would try one out. I have used mostly Panasonic mft cameras and they focus well. How does the e-p3 focusing compare with the Panasonic lenses? I have read that the e-p3 can have some hiccups when using Panasonic lenses.

I would appreciate info From those who have extensive experience with the e-p3.

There is absolutely no problem using Panasonic lenses on the E-P3 the focus is extremely fast, faster than on the G3 (I own both).

Some pretends that the 20mm is slower on the Pens than on Panasonic bodies, but while it was true for older Pens, there is no noticeable difference on the E-P3.

The 25mm "rattles". The aperture blades open and close a lot and you hear it. It does it if you aim at differently lighted scene. Things slow down if you put the AF on SAF rather than in CAF, but you will still hear it.

The 100-300mm needs contrast to focus (the lens has the lowest contrast I have ever seen on a lens) and at 300mm it will hunt a little on the G3, but more on the E-P3. It is the only problem I have ever had with Panasonic lenses, but it struggle on the G3 too.

No problem at all with the 14-45mm. But I do also have the 14-42mm II R and I prefer to use it on the E-P3.

Now concerning lens correction : distortion will be corrected, but not the chromatic aberration. This however is easy to correct in post, especially of you have LR4.1

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Chuck A
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to rrr_hhh, May 5, 2012

Thanks for the detailed reply. This article concerned me a bit. What do you think of it.
http://www.londonstreetphoto.org/olympus-ep3-review/
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Chuck
http://www.pbase.com/candrask

'The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.' -Edward Weston

'If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.' -Robert Doisneau

'You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.' -Eliot Porter

Character is who you are when nobody else is looking.

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jazzbass62
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to Chuck A, May 5, 2012

Chuck A wrote:

Thanks for the detailed reply. This article concerned me a bit. What do you think of it.
http://www.londonstreetphoto.org/olympus-ep3-review/
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Chuck
http://www.pbase.com/candrask

Chuck, did you read the first two comments right after Peter's review of the EP3? They are telling. Jake, in the first comment refutes each of Peter's 7 reasons why he will never buy an EP3. Then the second comment, posted by Steve, asks which he should buy, GX1 or EP3... Peter gives a totally wishy washy answer - buy whichever one suits you... After his long diatribe against the EP3 - I found this answer a bit weak. I think the upshot is that most EP3 users would tell you to go ahead and not worry about how Panasonic lenses work on EP3. I own EP2 and have used several Panny lenses on it. 1 - the worries about the 20mm are overblown. 2 - the 14-45 kit works just fine on the Oly.
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Chuck A
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Thanks, another question?
In reply to jazzbass62, May 5, 2012

I see what you mean. I will try out the e-p3. The Oly color really is attractive to me.

I have the 14-42 power zoom. The Panny cameras alloy a step zoom function and I love it. Do you folks know if the Oly firmware in the e-p3 does that also?

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'The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.' -Edward Weston

'If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.' -Robert Doisneau

'You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.' -Eliot Porter

Character is who you are when nobody else is looking.

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rrr_hhh
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to Chuck A, May 6, 2012

Chuck A wrote:

Thanks for the detailed reply. This article concerned me a bit. What do you think of it.
http://www.londonstreetphoto.org/olympus-ep3-review/

shooting Blanks

It succeeded me one or two times, but usually I notice it pretty early and redo. I think that there is an option to prevent that (or may be it is on the G3 ? Sometimes I'm confusing)

image quality

This is true : not even the G3 was a great improvement over the G1 or the first Pens. However the big upgrade of the E-P3, or third generation Pens, is the AF speed and burst rate, plus the touch screen. You have to decide if that matters to you or not. The GH2 or E-M5 offer a better IQ, mostly at high ISO, less so at lower ISO. This is especially true if you are shooting raw.

focus speed

Frankly I don't see any perceptible difference between the 20mm on the G3 or on the E-P3. The 20mm focus somewhat differently, you see the top of the lens moving forward and backward, while the focusing mecanism is internal on other lenses, but that is all : I never missed a picture because of it, neither on the G3 nor on the E-P3. I thought that the 14mm was behaving differently than the 20mm ? It is a newer lens. This, if true, escaped me, but anyway I don't have problems with the 20mm either.

built quality

I don't really agree. The E-P3 is very nice to handle, but the E-P1 felt just a tad better. I don't have problems with tacky buttons, neither with the shutter. The mode dial went a little loose but I rewinded it and it is now OK. Some wrote theirs went off. Not a real and frequent problem either.

menu settings

I'm never using Auto ISO, so never cared abou that. From what I have read in the manual you can set the max ISO and also the lower ISO (this is set through the slow synch speed limit). It is the first time I'm reading about it not sticking. May be you have to set it for all the different PASM modes ? He is right about the art filters behavior. But I don't use them either.

buttons

I don't have any problems with the back dial which I use a lot, even the often decried rotational ability, which can be set to off.

battery

Just looks at the contacts and adjust the inside contacts with the battery contacts. Now I know that the contacts have to stand up at the left of the battery and I just check their position before insertion. It is just nitpicking.

concerning his conclusion

The third generation Pens were the snappiest cameras before the issuing of the E-M5. The E-Pl3 may offer the best value for money. I went for the E-P3 because I like the second thumbwheel and feared to loose it. He is right concerning IQ. Unless you want the touch screen and need the very improved AF speed and burst rate, you won't get much with that upgrade. I got it mainly because my E-P1 didn't have the accessory plug for the VF2/3. This was my main reason for the upgrade, but I was pleasantly surprised by the reactivity of the camera. If you shoot jpegs you may appreciate the out of camera results more than the Panasonics out of cameras colors, Olympus is known for tha*t.

If you have a little money for photo gear, adding a good lens like the 20, 25, 45 mm may improve your photos more than a change of bodies. Those changes are always incremental and it is a good idea to pass on several generations before going for an update. But well if you prefer Olympus colors over Panasonics colors you may be happier with an Olympus body.

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rrr_hhh
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Re: Thanks, another question?
In reply to Chuck A, May 6, 2012

Not sure what you mean by "step zoom" function. Olympus allows you digital zoom, you can enable it or not. The Olympus kit zoom has focal length marking on the zoom ring, like the Panasonic kit zoom.

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RedDogSunset
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to rrr_hhh, May 6, 2012

I have a e-p3 and my wife has a G3. I have used both the 20mm and 25mm panasonic lenses on my pen and not had any AF issues. The AF on this camera is fast and reliable for me with panny lenses. If you like Olympus colour then shooting with the 25mm panasonic will put you in heaven, the colour rendition of that lens always makes me smile. There will always be people who dislike a camera, even a popular one, that is their choice. I would, however, not be put off by a single online reviewer. From what I remember if you want to balance that review with a very positive one go and read Steve Huff, he loves the e-p3. If you can go to a camera store and test a panny lens on the camera you can put your concerns aside.

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Ian Morison
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Pany 20mm on Oly body
In reply to rrr_hhh, May 6, 2012

Hi,

I have just bought an Olympus body to go with my Panasonic outfit (14-42, 45-200 and 20mm f1.7). JPEG colour is nice and I suspect that I will no use it more than the Panasonic.

It enables image stabilisation on my legacy lenses as well. (I have only just discovered that in the image stabilisation menu one needs to set the focal length!)

I see no problems focussing the 20mm f1.7 so I do not believe that should worry you.

BUT it does show strong purple fringing in high contrast areas near the corners. As has been posted, the latest version of Lightroom has a special tool to correct for this.

In photoshop, roughly select the affected areas with the lasso tool, enter image adjust - hue/saturation. Select "Blues" rather than "Master" and then click on the left "eyedropper" and select the purple colour in the image. Finally use the saturation slider to remove the colour and the lightness slider to balance out the brightness.

Cheers,

Ian Morison
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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to rrr_hhh, May 6, 2012

rrr_hhh wrote:

Chuck A wrote:

With the release of the OM-D, e-p3 prices have gone down. The Olympus color gas been drawing me in for a while. So with the e-p3 more affordable I thought I would try one out. I have used mostly Panasonic mft cameras and they focus well. How does the e-p3 focusing compare with the Panasonic lenses? I have read that the e-p3 can have some hiccups when using Panasonic lenses.

I would appreciate info From those who have extensive experience with the e-p3.

There is absolutely no problem using Panasonic lenses on the E-P3 the focus is extremely fast, faster than on the G3 (I own both).

Yes the latest Olympus are fast, but .., with what lens you noticed that ? With the 20mm ?

I am asking because besides the 20mm all others are really fast, at least the ones I use

AF is great but I still like to MF sometimes with landscapes

Some pretends that the 20mm is slower on the Pens than on Panasonic bodies, but while it was true for older Pens, there is no noticeable difference on the E-P3.

The 25mm "rattles". The aperture blades open and close a lot and you hear it. It does it if you aim at differently lighted scene. Things slow down if you put the AF on SAF rather than in CAF, but you will still hear it.

The 100-300mm needs contrast to focus (the lens has the lowest contrast I have ever seen on a lens) and at 300mm it will hunt a little on the G3, but more on the E-P3. It is the only problem I have ever had with Panasonic lenses, but it struggle on the G3 too.

How the 100-300mm compare on this with the 45-200mm, it is a lens that is on my list for the quality I have seen on good images

No problem at all with the 14-45mm. But I do also have the 14-42mm II R and I prefer to use it on the E-P3.

Now concerning lens correction : distortion will be corrected, but not the chromatic aberration. This however is easy to correct in post, especially of you have LR4.1

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papillon_65
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No problems for me....
In reply to Chuck A, May 6, 2012

I've used my EP-3 pretty extensively and it works well with all the Panasonic lenses I own, including the 14mm, 20mm and 7-14mm. The 14-45mm does exhibit some pretty heavy blue CA at F3.5 for backlit subjects but it disappears when stopping down. The EP-3 is a great camera which is very easy to use once you are familiar with it. The IQ is excellent as long as you steer clear of too much underexposure.
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papillon_65
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to Chuck A, May 6, 2012

Chuck A wrote:

Thanks for the detailed reply. This article concerned me a bit. What do you think of it.
http://www.londonstreetphoto.org/olympus-ep3-review/
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He was disgruntled because he didn't get the IQ upgrade he was expecting. I totally disagree about his comment on ergonomics because the EP-3 is very easy to operate once you know the camera and it's certainly more user friendly than the EPL-1 etc.

The battery is easy enough to insert correctly and I have no idea how he had a problem shooting without the memory card inside because the camera warns you if it isn't. Getting those things wrong is just user error and not a problem with the camera.

He's entitled to his opinion but like any camera you need to spend time with it to understand its quirks.

'The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.' -Edward Weston

'If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.' -Robert Doisneau

'You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.' -Eliot Porter

Character is who you are when nobody else is looking.

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It's a known fact that where there's tea there's hope.
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Chuck A
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Re: Thanks, another question?
In reply to rrr_hhh, May 6, 2012

Using the step zoom allows each press on the zoom lever to advance the zoom in increments used by primes on 35mm film cameras. Ex: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm, etc.

Panasonic cameras from the GF2 up allow this function with this lens. If anybody has this lens and an e-p3. Can you see if you can enable this function.

rrr_hhh wrote:

Not sure what you mean by "step zoom" function. Olympus allows you digital zoom, you can enable it or not. The Olympus kit zoom has focal length marking on the zoom ring, like the Panasonic kit zoom.

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Thanks & God Bless,
Chuck
http://www.pbase.com/candrask

'The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.' -Edward Weston

'If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.' -Robert Doisneau

'You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.' -Eliot Porter

Character is who you are when nobody else is looking.

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Chuck A
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Re: Pany 20mm on Oly body
In reply to Ian Morison, May 6, 2012

I have always had Panny bodies and like them. I feel like I am missing out on something though by not trying the Olympus. People i respect like Steve Huff really love them and the colors are wonderful. We will see if I like the ergonomics

I currently have a GF2, GF3, GH1, 14mm, 20mm, 17mm, X14-42mm, 14-45mm, 45-200mm.

Ian Morison wrote:

Hi,

I have just bought an Olympus body to go with my Panasonic outfit (14-42, 45-200 and 20mm f1.7). JPEG colour is nice and I suspect that I will no use it more than the Panasonic.

It enables image stabilisation on my legacy lenses as well. (I have only just discovered that in the image stabilisation menu one needs to set the focal length!)

I see no problems focussing the 20mm f1.7 so I do not believe that should worry you.

BUT it does show strong purple fringing in high contrast areas near the corners. As has been posted, the latest version of Lightroom has a special tool to correct for this.

In photoshop, roughly select the affected areas with the lasso tool, enter image adjust - hue/saturation. Select "Blues" rather than "Master" and then click on the left "eyedropper" and select the purple colour in the image. Finally use the saturation slider to remove the colour and the lightness slider to balance out the brightness.

Cheers,

Ian Morison
--
Ian Morison

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Thanks & God Bless,
Chuck
http://www.pbase.com/candrask

'The photograph isolates and perpetuates a moment of time: an important and revealing moment, or an unimportant and meaningless one, depending upon the photographer's understanding of his subject and mastery of his process.' -Edward Weston

'If I knew how to take a good photograph, I'd do it every time.' -Robert Doisneau

'You learn to see by practice. It's just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.' -Eliot Porter

Character is who you are when nobody else is looking.

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SLOtographer
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Re: e-p3 and Panasonic lenses
In reply to Chuck A, May 6, 2012

I've had both O and P bodies and lenses. They all work fine. Some lenses like the 20/1.7 are slow to AF in all bodies.

EP3 vs GH2. Overall they are about the same. The EP3 is a bit faster with an MSC lens in all but dark conditions. The GH2 is an AFS monster in dim/dark conditions. The AF is just more sure and accurate in my experience in conditions like ISO 3200+, f1.7, 1/30. That's not a typical for me, but there you go.

I find GH2 better in the ISO 800+ range for noise, and has better DR. It's also a bigger camera. EP3 colors at base ISO and a sharp lens is wonderful. Compared to the Oly E5 (4/3 DSLR), I find the EP3 was actually a step back in IQ. Details in jpeg were smugged more -- it could have a stronger AA filter or it could be the faster readouts(for FAST AF system) created compromises.

My recommendation is to go for the GX1,G3,GH2 or save up for the EM5. The newer sensors will be more satisfying for many photographic styles, especially if you shoot raw, which is so easy these days.

Good luck!
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