IBIS works well but hardly legacy lens intuitive

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Tom Caldwell MOD Forum Pro • Posts: 29,731
IBIS works well but hardly legacy lens intuitive
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I use Pansonic and Olympus bodies.

Panasonic cameras with IBIS facility nag for a lens focal length to be confirmed every time the camera is switched on when a manual focus lens is mounted. Easily overcome by a soft press of the shutter if the lens focal length has not changed and a left click twirl of an accessible back wheel will quickly change the focal length if it is now incorrect.

If nag screens are an issue that drives one to distraction then this is an issue but perhaps a small one.  Olympus never nags and requires the user to know and remember that the lens focal length might be changed.

And so I happily used my Olympus E-M1 set to the default MF lens length for months convinced of the invincibility of the Olympus IBIS that auto adjusted to any challenge and quite unaware that the default set focal length for MF lenses was not the best setting for all MF lenses and quite unaware on how to adjust it.  How many do this (forever?) as I thought myself a reasonably camera-aware user.  Spoiled by the obvious nagging of other brand products?

Quickly summoning the grey cells once my stupidity was realised I have found that the normal Menu potion "C" is accessed (find Image Stabiliser section) - OK - right arrow at Still Picture then focal length can be seen on the bottom part of the screen and changed first by selecting by one front wheel movement then back wheel setting. Then by "10,000" menu clicks you can back your way out of it.  Handy if you can use the fairly recent firmware upgrade from Olympus where the last menu position is used and that this just happened to be the one that was actually used.

However there is a shortcut if you use the "Quickmenu" screen or whatever it is called in Olympus-language acronym.  Then you need to know to first switch it on and double touch quickly the current IBIS setting that you have set at the bottom left hand side of the screen.  This will then bring up "image stabilzer" in a top menu but don't muck about as you only get a second or so to go to the next stage before it cancels itself.  Press OK then you can see the set focal length for manual focus lenses (bottom rhs).  But front and back wheels then only wish to change the type of IBIS used.  So do the left-right arrow key combination.  I know that the focal length can be set this way and I have done so in the past.  But if I pause to ponder the camera will time out and go back to the "shortcut" screen.

Are Olympus camera body owners who dare to use manual focus lenses required to suffer so much? Especially when all other camera manufacturers (including Panasonic) have found a dead set simple way to ensure that manual focus lenses always have the correct focal length for their IBIS selected.  As a company that has made "good IBIS" a major part of their business startegy it seems that their actual human impementation is rather flawed.  It should be addressed as a matter of priority.

I have been advised on the quick-shortcut routine to set a new manual focus lens focal length by good Olympus experts before, but have forgotten the handshakes.  Please assist.

Ponder ... ponder ...

Ah - press the Info button then the rear wheel or front wheel (or left-right arrow keys) will adjust the  focal length - who would have thought?  Easy peasy

Oh and by the way the whole process on a GX7 can be done in a second or so by a quick fluid movement right thumb without changing ones grip or attention from the subject matter.

Not a knocking of Olympus but more a plea to ask Olympus to get this dark age interface some semblance of practical utility by placing its method of implementation up there with its undoubted mechanical brilliance.

Hardly surprising that many consider the Olympus menu system "dense".

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Tom Caldwell

Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
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