E-M1 Focus problems

Started Mar 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
Michael J Davis
Michael J Davis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,502
Re: The words that dare not speak their name

lnikj wrote:

jalywol wrote:

lnikj wrote:

Following a "tip off" in a PM that pointed me to various relevant posts I am now starting to wonder if what I am seeing in some of my images is … wait for it … *shutter shock*.

There I said it. I know that I'm not allowed to say this about the E-M1 and will probably now be derided as a troll. I will certainly be attacked for being unscientific and having questionable shooting technique I am sure.

I have been going back through my E-M1 images with a fresh eye. This isn't that easy as I am a pretty ruthless with my images and throw most of them away for a variety of reasons, not least for failing to obtain critical sharpness at 1:1.

What my admittedly unscientific study has shown is that my softest E-M1 images are all to be found at about 1/80s - 1/320s, with a particular bias at 1/200s. I have beautifully sharp images handheld at 1/15s and plenty at 1/640s or above.

I generally shoot images in two ways. In the evening on a tripod with IBIS off and slow shutter speeds, or handheld out when walking with my other half in the middle of the day through to late afternoon/early evening. Unsurprisingly the latter leads to a lot of shots at f/7.1 (my self imposed 'diffraction limit') and at shutter speeds in the vicinity of 1/200s.

I was looking at these images suspecting diffraction of being the culprit but maybe it isn't. Maybe it is the words that dare not speak their name.

I know that doesn't explain the first image I posted (1/500s) so I guess that will add fuel to the fire.

Shutter shock occurred to me when you first posted, but I am honestly not sure if that is what is going on here.

In the first photo, the very topmost pine branches on the trees are in focus, but anything closer is not. In the second, the whitish rocks directly above the green moss appear to be in focus, or at least more in focus than the moss. In the third photo, I am seeing plain, ordinary motion blur/camera shake blur.

I hadn't spotted the topmost branches on the first one. I think you are right.

My guess is the camera focussed on the 'holes' in the trees rather than the nearside that you assumed you were focussing on. That would explain the top branches and the sharper branches in the 'holes'. Just the camera picking up the highest contrast.

I always focus at the base of trees to avoid precisely that.

The rest may be SS.

My twopence worth.


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Mike Davis
Photographing the public for over 50 years

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