Olympus lens calibration

Started 6 months ago | Questions
webstop1
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Olympus lens calibration
6 months ago

My new Olympus 45mm lens is not any sharper than 14-41 kit lens. I don't think this is normal.

Can someone in the know please answer: does Olympus calibrate lens under warranty?  (I tried  emailing Olympus with this question, but received generic meaningless answer.)

What other lens calibration option are available in California?

Thanks.

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Olympus lens calibration
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

webstop1 wrote:

My new Olympus 45mm lens is not any sharper than 14-41 kit lens. I don't think this is normal.

Can someone in the know please answer: does Olympus calibrate lens under warranty? (I tried emailing Olympus with this question, but received generic meaningless answer.)

What other lens calibration option are available in California?

Thanks.

What apertures and what focal lengths of the zoom are you comparing, and at what subject distances? The 45mm is best at f/4.0~f5.6 and the 14-42mm Mk2 seems best at f/5.6 for 14mm, f/8 for 25mm and f/8 for 42mm.

The 45mm is a portrait lens and I guess that can mean that absolute sharpness is not a high priority for portraits so wide open it falls off a bit. That's from examining the blur index graphs at http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showcat.php/cat/7

Regards..... Guy

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Dave Lively
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Re: Olympus lens calibration
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

Could it be the 14-42 is sharper than you expected?

If you stop them down a little and look in the central part of the image most kit lenses are very sharp these days. I think the softest kit lens I have owned in the digital age was the 18-55 that came with the NEX-5N I owned and when stopped down to f8 in the middle of it's zoom range even it was sharp enough to create moire. The advantage of premium lenses are things like better performance wide open, sharper corners, faster aperture, more contrast, less CA, better build quality, less flare, etc.

If you think there is something wrong with your 45mm I would send it back to Olympus if it is under warranty.  Sometimes lenses will come with a decentered element or some other defect.  But there is nothing to calibrate.  Since m43 cameras use contrast detection for autofocus they do not have the front or back focus issues SLR lenses sometimes have.

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berni29
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Re: Olympus lens calibration
In reply to Dave Lively, 6 months ago

Hi

There are some very simple tests you can do to check for decentering. Lensrentals has a good one. The 45mm should be sharp even wide open. Do some tests, but you must follow the rules closely in order to get meaningful results.

Berni

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Berni29
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Can you please post a full-sized example?
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

We can help diagnose your issue better, and make sure you keep the exif information intact please.

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webstop1
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Re: Olympus lens calibration
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

Thanks to all for some good information.

I did not do any specific tests and it was just general observation on my part.  When I purchased Olympus 45 mm lens I expected it to be generally sharper than the kit lens, something closer to Canon 50 mm 1.4 in pure sharpness.  Not even close. In reality overall results were not much different than 14-42 II lens.

I happen to leave close to Canon.  After purchase I brought them 50 mm lens for calibration.  They did it under warranty and it has been perfect ever since.

So I wonder, if I can do the same with Olympus.

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jalywol
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Re: Olympus lens calibration
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

webstop1 wrote:

Thanks to all for some good information.

I did not do any specific tests and it was just general observation on my part. When I purchased Olympus 45 mm lens I expected it to be generally sharper than the kit lens, something closer to Canon 50 mm 1.4 in pure sharpness. Not even close. In reality overall results were not much different than 14-42 II lens.

I happen to leave close to Canon. After purchase I brought them 50 mm lens for calibration. They did it under warranty and it has been perfect ever since.

So I wonder, if I can do the same with Olympus.

If you think your 45mm is less sharp than your kit lens at the same apertures, then your 45mm probably has a problem.  Occasionally this will happen.....I had the 45mm and it was blisteringly sharp pretty much throughout its aperture range, so I suspect that if your kit lens is sharper than your copy of the 45mm, you most likely have a bad one, and you should return it for exchange.

With CDAF, there is no front or back focus to calibrate for as the AF sensors are on the sensor itself, not off sensor in a different plane.  The motors moving the lenses for AF are also different, so there is nothing to calibrate there either (as there is in the large Canon lenses).

Essentially, if the lens has a focus issue, the thing to do is to swap it for another one.

-J

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Again, post a photo of the unsharp concern.
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

With exif intact.

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webstop1
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Re: Again, post a photo of the unsharp concern.
In reply to dpalugyay, 6 months ago

Here is one example.

Milla

In my opinion area in focus (front eye and hair next to it) lacks that crispness that I usually get from Canon 50 mm.

EXIF information should be included since I never removed it. In case it is somehow lost here it is:  45 mm lens, ISO: 200, f/1.8, exposure 1/200, camera: E-M5, Metz flash.

Thanks.

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jalywol
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Re: Again, post a photo of the unsharp concern.
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

The only thing in focus in this photo is the hair in front of her face.  Everything behind that is out of focus...could you have moved in between focusing and shooting?

Try the same shot using face detect and see what you get....

-J

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Guy Parsons
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Re: Again, post a photo of the unsharp concern.
In reply to jalywol, 6 months ago

jalywol wrote:

The only thing in focus in this photo is the hair in front of her face. Everything behind that is out of focus...could you have moved in between focusing and shooting?

Try the same shot using face detect and see what you get....

Yup. In my opinion way to wide an aperture for a human face so close at that focal length. As noted only a few strands of hair are in focus, the rest is behind the acceptable depth of field at f/1.8.

Regards...... Guy

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Her hair above her left brow
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

..is very sharp.  I think you should try face detect as the previous poster stated.  I really hope your 45mm is fine.  It's one of my best lenses and very very good for portraits!

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berni29
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Re: Her hair above her left brow
In reply to dpalugyay, 6 months ago

Hi

Apart from being OOF that is a lovely image. Reminds me of the shots I used to take when mine were that age.

I agree with the previous posters, but strongly suggest you test the lens for decentering. It is an easy test.

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Berni29
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webstop1
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Re: Her hair above her left brow
In reply to berni29, 6 months ago

berni29 wrote:

Hi

Apart from being OOF that is a lovely image. Reminds me of the shots I used to take when mine were that age.

I agree with the previous posters, but strongly suggest you test the lens for decentering. It is an easy test.

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Berni29
EM-5, GM1 + Pana 12-32mm, 35-100mm f2.8, 20mm, 14-45mm Oly 45mm, 50mm F2 macro, (prev GH1, E30, E510, E1, E300, LX3)

How do I do such test?  You previously mentioned Lensrentals: I looked briefly at their website but did not find any instructions.

Thanks.

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s_grins
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Re: Olympus lens calibration
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

webstop1 wrote:

My new Olympus 45mm lens is not any sharper than 14-41 kit lens. I don't think this is normal.

Can someone in the know please answer: does Olympus calibrate lens under warranty? (I tried emailing Olympus with this question, but received generic meaningless answer.)

What other lens calibration option are available in California?

Thanks.

CDAF do not need lens calibration. You have asked fussy question, you have got fussy answer.

If your NEW lens does not satisfy your needs, there are several reasons for that, except of lens calibration

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Camera in bag tends to stay in bag...

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tt321
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Re: Her hair above her left brow
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

webstop1 wrote:

berni29 wrote:

Hi

Apart from being OOF that is a lovely image. Reminds me of the shots I used to take when mine were that age.

I agree with the previous posters, but strongly suggest you test the lens for decentering. It is an easy test.

-- hide signature --

Berni29
EM-5, GM1 + Pana 12-32mm, 35-100mm f2.8, 20mm, 14-45mm Oly 45mm, 50mm F2 macro, (prev GH1, E30, E510, E1, E300, LX3)

How do I do such test? You previously mentioned Lensrentals: I looked briefly at their website but did not find any instructions.

Thanks.

You can do the upside down test.

At close focus this is somewhat easy - you can use a computer screen with a lot of text, at longer focusing distances you need to find appropriate large targets.

With a computer screen, set the camera close enough so that it's entire view is filled with text. Now try to set the lens as perpendicular to the screen as possible so that the text does not converge/diverge from left to right or from top to bottom - parallel text should run parallel. Focus at the centre spot. Shoot a picture. Note down five control characters (letters, numerals, punctuation, etc.), one at each corner of the frame and the last one at the dead centre that was used to focus the shot. Depending on the size of the text you may need to use groups of characters for these five reference points. Turn the camera upside down. Let's assume these characters are A, B, C, D for the corners from upper left in a clock-wise direction, and O for the centre. Maintain the same (as same as you can) relative position of camera vs. screen with being upside down being the only difference. Shoot with the exact same framing, i.e. the same characters in the four corners, and position O in the centre to focus at.

Now look at these two pictures at 100% pixel detail. First check the centre focus character to make sure that both pictures are focused correctly. Then examine the corners. If the lens is not centred properly, you will see inconsistent corner sharpness at different corners, e.g. A sharp and C unsharp in one shot and C sharp and A unsharp in the other.

Or you can make sure that you position the sensor parallel to the target with a small mirror fixed to the centre of the target - better with a large poster rather than a computer screen. Right-on aiming should show the camera (ideally the centre of the lens at the centre) in the mirror when you are aiming. If a shot is taken and one side or one corner is not sharp whilst others are, there is a problem with the lens.

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zuikowesty
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DOF too shallow - f/2.8 or smaller needed
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

At 45mm, a head & shoulders shot needs f/2.8 to keep both eyes sharp, sometimes f/4 depending on angle. As others have said, there is some sharp hair, so it is a missed focus issue imho. Your lens may still have issues, but this photos shows that it is sharp at the in-focus plane.

Here are some shots with the OM 50/1.8 taken at f/2.8 - even here, both eyes are not evenly sharp, but there is more DOF.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/zuikowesty/12866290493/in/set-72157612863246970/

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Paul De Bra
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The bits that are in focus are very sharp.
In reply to webstop1, 6 months ago

You may have wanted more to be in focus but that's not going to happen at 45mm f/1.8. What is in focus (especially hair) is very sharp. Should anything be wrong with the lens it is most likely in the areas that are out of focus here (corners).

I agree with others that if you were expecting something else to be in focus the issue is most likely that either you moved or the subject moved between acquiring focus and taking the shot.

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Guy Parsons
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Re: DOF too shallow - agree.
In reply to zuikowesty, 6 months ago

Using http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html and guessing that Milla was photographed from maybe 4 feet then this results at f/1.8 for 45mm (in inches and M4/3 sensor size chosen)....

So DOF is 1.49 inches and of course if viewed at 100% then that viewing size is above the 8x10 inch print standard that DOF is based on so the DOF shrinks even further.

Even at 5 feet distant the depth of field is still a poor 2.34 inches when viewed at 8x10 inch size.

So f/4.0 would probably be a better aperture for a face so close and slanted away from the camera, also the lens is sharper at f/4.0 if sharpness is what you are after.

Use face detect and set for nearest eye and a tripod so there's no shooter to and fro movement to cause problems.

Regards.... Guy

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mchnz
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Re: upside down test, broadsheet newspaper page target
In reply to tt321, 6 months ago

Last time I had a problem with a lens, Olympus suggested this test with a broadsheet newspaper page for a target.

I also found a row of distant houses is also a good target for testing for decentering when focused at infinity.

tt321 wrote:

...

You can do the upside down test.

At close focus this is somewhat easy - you can use a computer screen with a lot of text, at longer focusing distances you need to find appropriate large targets.

With a computer screen, set the camera close enough so that it's entire view is filled with text. Now try to set the lens as perpendicular to the screen as possible so that the text does not converge/diverge from left to right or from top to bottom - parallel text should run parallel. Focus at the centre spot. Shoot a picture. Note down five control characters (letters, numerals, punctuation, etc.), one at each corner of the frame and the last one at the dead centre that was used to focus the shot. Depending on the size of the text you may need to use groups of characters for these five reference points. Turn the camera upside down. Let's assume these characters are A, B, C, D for the corners from upper left in a clock-wise direction, and O for the centre. Maintain the same (as same as you can) relative position of camera vs. screen with being upside down being the only difference. Shoot with the exact same framing, i.e. the same characters in the four corners, and position O in the centre to focus at.

Now look at these two pictures at 100% pixel detail. First check the centre focus character to make sure that both pictures are focused correctly. Then examine the corners. If the lens is not centred properly, you will see inconsistent corner sharpness at different corners, e.g. A sharp and C unsharp in one shot and C sharp and A unsharp in the other.

Or you can make sure that you position the sensor parallel to the target with a small mirror fixed to the centre of the target - better with a large poster rather than a computer screen. Right-on aiming should show the camera (ideally the centre of the lens at the centre) in the mirror when you are aiming. If a shot is taken and one side or one corner is not sharp whilst others are, there is a problem with the lens.

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