E3 - £275 - no bids

Started Jan 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
Timskis6 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,562
Re: It depends which lenses you use

Big Ga wrote:

Timskis6 wrote:

The E-3 is extremely accurate and reliable with certain lenses, barring some lighting conditions. With other lenses it's less accurate and also less reliable.

Let me just check here .... so some lenses on the E3 in easy shooting conditions are accurate and reliable, then in less than ideal scenarios (which for some shooters could be most of the time), they are inaccurate and unreliable.

Not exactly... I'm thinking specifically of the 12-60mm with the former statement, and the 35-100mm in the latter statement.  I loved both those lenses, and also developed a love-love relationship (12-60mm) and love-hate relationship (35-100mm) with both.

Your summary is pretty far off what I wrote...

While other lenses are just inaccurate and unreliable in MOST lighting conditions.

Be careful, this isn't anywhere near what I said.

Hmmm. Yea ... ok ... sounds about right.

The E-3 is extremely accurate and reliable using the 12-60mm. In fact, it's one of the fastest focusing combinations I've used (across Olympus and Nikon), and I'd highly recommend that combination if speed and accuracy is what you're after. However, there are some lighting conditions (specifically strongly back-lit subjects) where the above combination will refuse to focus. It's a problem with the combination, and something you learn to live with. When you have such a situation, you simply don't use AF in those lighting conditions, so it never becomes a problem again.

Did you really write that???

In this day and age, should one have to make that choice?????

Let's break this down, and I'll be specific, since I rarely post here and maybe things don't get conveyed properly.  It's worth my ten minutes I think, though.

The E-3 focusing excellently with the 12-60mm except in a few rare instances, such as strongly back-lit high contrast subjects.  In my photography, this accounts for ​maybe​ 1 in 500 shots.  Maybe.  The solution is as simple as choosing a different AF point, one that is not square on the edge of a high contrast, back-lit subject.  For example, move to the other outer AF point.  This is a typical photographic technique, and something you learn as you use the body.  It takes two seconds for reliable results.

This is no different than choosing an AF point on any other system.  Let's look at Nikon 35mmFF.  On a D700, the AF point is critical.  If you choose an AF point on the person's chest, the eye will likely be out of focus.  On 4/3, you have the option of choosing either the AF point on the chest or the AF point on the eye, and in either scenario the eye can be in focus (given DOF, of course).  You learn the system and you learn the body, and you learn to change AF points given the situation.  Just as you learn to naturally choose the correct AF point on the D700 (and purposefully choosing the incorrect one will result in a missed shot) for DOF purposes, you naturally learn to choose the correct AF point on the E-3 in the rare circumstances you think it may not focus perfectly.

Now, if you're shooting a close up of a side portrait of someone's eye against a sunset, well, the E-3/12-60mm is never gonna cut it.  But if that's what you find to complain about in the E-3, well, I'd say the E-3 is doing a pretty darn good job.  I'd expect to take those types of photos in, perhaps, 1 in 10,000 photos.

Now let's examine a head to head focus comparison between the E-3/12-60mm and the D700/24-70/2.8, in a very low light scenario (from experience - f/5.6, ISO1600, 1/2").  For focusing in these conditions under a single incandescent bulb, the E-3 and 12-60mm (f/2.8 - f/4.0) is better - faster and more accurate than the D700.  Does it make it better?  Nope.

And you certainly learn to cope with these types of conditions using a D700 and 24-70/2.8.  First, you don't shoot under those conditions - you open up the aperture, you dial down and move back your umbrellas (if possible), and you give the scene a focus light (if available).  Does that make it a worse camera?  Nope.  You learn to cope with the body and lenses you're using, you make the mistake once, and you don't make it again.  That's what mastering the camera body is all about.

The idea is to understand how your camera behaves so you can do everything above on the first try - because, of course, your client isn't paying you to figure this out on the fly.

I think it's entirely inaccurate to label the E-3 as "unpredictable" because it's simply not - it's very predictable with most ZD lenses (at least every one I've tried). With experience you realize what these scenarios are - you make the mistake once, and you don't make it again. It's a function of experience, as it is with any other body.

Ok, lets re-write it:

With the E3, once you become experienced with it, its very predictable in how unreliable and inaccurate the focusing will be.

What you wrote is absolutely true - and can be applied to any other camera body (including D700, 1DmkIII, D300, E-410, etc.).  Once you can predict the scenarios it will be unreliable and/or inaccurate in, you'll understand how to avoid those routine mistakes.

Gareth - I believe you shoot weddings so clearly this is nothing new to you.  You ​must​ know of scenarios where your gear performs poorly, and you've learned to avoid it.  That's what I'm trying to pinpoint here.


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