A Good and Bad night for the 14-35mm f2

Started Jul 26, 2008 | Discussions
Hawaii-geek
Hawaii-geek Veteran Member • Posts: 8,066
A Good and Bad night for the 14-35mm f2

Shot the first concert gig with the 14-35 f2.

  • The Good:

The FL imho is perfect for this shoot. Both in the pit and in the VIP rooms.

Have not downloaded yet ... but shot at f2.8 (did not feel the need to go down to f2 on the stage stuff) Stage lighting was very good.

On stage shooting ... the 14-35 maybe could not lock 6 times, out of 100s of shots.

  • The Bad:

If I did not know the low light problems before hand ... I would be "really" disappointed.

In "every" VIP area ... back room or outside under a tent (with lights) or open air ... there where shots the 14-35 refused to lock focus.

I stood next to my second shooter (with a Nikon) both 5 feet away ... He locked focus, I did not, and could not.
The problem is, it will happen in low light you "think" is ok.

Example, I shot in a VIP tent area that have shot in "many" times before (with the 11-22 and 50 f2 ... as well as Canon) and have not had as much problems as I did tonight.

In fact there was two "imbarassing" moments. When a local celeberty posed for me for a shot , for a uncomfortably long time. I had to move and have him pose again. (mean while a P&S got off a shot lol).

Then in the same VIP area two big well known local celebertys was hugging and talking to each other , smiling an laughing ... and I could not get off a single shot.

After that I just let the second shooter , do everything in that area ... and I got something to eat.

IF, I did not "know" before hand about this issue ... I would be "mad", real mad.

I knew there is an issue .. but you "think" , your copy of the lens is better , or you are better. ... But Nooooooo

If the pressure is on, you have one shot .. the light is low , your FL50 AF light does not go on. "you" will lose confidence.

The problem with this issue ... is you question what you can and cannot do in low light.

Honestly, I probably could have gotten more shots off in that VIP area, with my Fuji F11 P&S.

I am just lucky I read these forums.
HG

and that's my story for today.

p.s. I am still going to use the 14-35 tomorrow. I am just not going to be seen in the VIP tent area , where I might be asked to take a picture of them.
I might even hide my camera when I eat there.
HG

-- hide signature --

Please feel free to criticize, make suggestions, and edit any of my photos & re-post, to help show me 'the way'. * I am trying to Elevate the Level of my 'Snap Shots'

Love f2 Oly lens wide open ... 14-35mm f2, & a 50mm f2+1.4TC is my fav. combo on two 'IS' oly bodys.

 Hawaii-geek's gear list:Hawaii-geek's gear list
Sony RX1 Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a7R +20 more
clknight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,107
All of that seems odd.

First, I don't know why you would want to shoot a concert with such a wide lens.

Second, I shot two concerts with my 50-200mm SWD (E-510) in very poor lighting. Out of a few hundred shots, I only missed focus a few times. That is not an exaggeration. Even shooting into the moving/dancing crowd the low light focus was awesome.

I have no idea why you were having trouble.
--
Colin

Hawaii-geek
OP Hawaii-geek Veteran Member • Posts: 8,066
clknight, have shot with the 11-22, 14-54, 50 f2 with not issues at the same event

clknight wrote:

First, I don't know why you would want to shoot a concert with such a
wide lens.

* I am not in the crowd ... Because I am shooting in the Pit , right in front of the stage for the promoter.
and 14-35 is all I need. (I am practically ON the stage)

And the VIP areas in the back are crowded ... and you need to get in front of people to get the shot.

Second, I shot two concerts with my 50-200mm SWD (E-510) in very poor
lighting. Out of a few hundred shots, I only missed focus a few
times. That is not an exaggeration. Even shooting into the
moving/dancing crowd the low light focus was awesome.

Have done that too. 11-22, 14-54, 50 f2 ... no issues.
but, this 14-35 f2 has an issue in low light. Not talking stage lighting.

  • It is NOT a question IF it is a issue ... Olympus Service UK has done the same things with there copys of the e3, 14-35, racking (vs the 12-60)

  • Trust me ... I am not the only one.

I just though I could work around it ... I could not.

Unless I dail in the distance ... but what is crazy is a Nikon locked focus right next to me! and some P&S.
A few threads for you to look at:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=28578354

  • Take a look at this thread on a Olympus Support call ... where they know of the issue:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1022&message=28735414

  • It's "just" something that needs to be fixed.

This "is" a Very Good night Event lens (in theory) ... if the Low Light focus issue is solved.
HG

I have no idea why you were having trouble.
--
Colin

-- hide signature --

Please feel free to criticize, make suggestions, and edit any of my photos & re-post, to help show me 'the way'. * I am trying to Elevate the Level of my 'Snap Shots'

Love f2 Oly lens wide open ... 14-35mm f2, & a 50mm f2+1.4TC is my fav. combo on two 'IS' oly bodys.

 Hawaii-geek's gear list:Hawaii-geek's gear list
Sony RX1 Nikon D700 Nikon D800 Sony Alpha a99 Sony a7R +20 more
Clarkey Senior Member • Posts: 1,013
Try mf lol...

I feel your pain... shooting receptions I tend to bite the bullet and just manually focus... miind you I have a 410 and kit lenses mostly. This seems odd that the E3 + 14-35 is having an issue focusing in low light, when oly touts on and on about the sensitivity of the focusing sensors.... I realy don't get why this is such an issue, why they can't just implement an af assist lamp in camera or something.
--
W.L. Clark Swimm
http://www.clarkswimm.com

 Clarkey's gear list:Clarkey's gear list
Olympus E-410 Nikon D610 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron SP 70-300mm F4-5.6 Di VC USD +3 more
eyespy Senior Member • Posts: 1,797
One question.

I'm not trying to belittle the focusing issue you have with the lens but why, when you knew it had missed focus did you not 'catch' the focus manually?

-- hide signature --

http://www.pbase.com/eyespy

If it moves shoot it
eyespy.

 eyespy's gear list:eyespy's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro
clknight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,107
My thoughts exactly...

Just didn't want to say it.
--
Colin

HornOUBet
HornOUBet Senior Member • Posts: 2,217
Re: One question.

eyespy wrote:

I'm not trying to belittle the focusing issue you have with the lens
but why, when you knew it had missed focus did you not 'catch' the
focus manually?

With that much money spent he shouldn't have to manual focus (IMHO).... thats the main point here I think...

-- hide signature --

http://www.pbase.com/eyespy

If it moves shoot it
eyespy.

-- hide signature --

Dwight
take at peek at the world I see at
http://dwightparker.photoshop.com

 HornOUBet's gear list:HornOUBet's gear list
Canon G3 X Olympus TG-5 Canon EOS 550D Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 +18 more
archeogeolab Contributing Member • Posts: 552
Re: One question.

That's my point too,.......for that money the 14-35 should autofocus the same or better than the other ZD-lenses!!!

I have exactly the same and I think almost all people with the 14-35 experience the same in these conditions (low light and/or low contrast).

So according to the reactions of Olympus Europe I shall wait for a firmware upgrade. Otherwise I will return this fantastic lens (in good light and/or contrast conditions this is a really superb lens).
Greetings, Erik Meijs

HornOUBet wrote:

eyespy wrote:

I'm not trying to belittle the focusing issue you have with the lens
but why, when you knew it had missed focus did you not 'catch' the
focus manually?

With that much money spent he shouldn't have to manual focus
(IMHO).... thats the main point here I think...

Gary Papilsky Senior Member • Posts: 1,805
Experience

Let me share some of my experiences in similar conditions. I have shot next to friends using their 30D and 5D and watch as they got focus lock without issue while I struggled. At one point with each of the other shooters I borrowed their cameras; I wanted to see what their camera could do when I was struggling so much. I found out rather quickly they were using multiple focus points. Yes they were getting consistent focus lock in the same low light conditions I was in, but not one of the pictures focus locked on the right place. We sat down later and reviewed our work. Out of the 30 or so pictures taken not one of theirs was focused correctly. Whereas the 10 that I struggled with were spot on. Point is never compare yourself with the person next to you.

I always use SAF+MF although I may not get the focus lock confirmation beep that does not mean it is out of focus. Next I am old school, I learned to focus without AF, AF is tool within the camera and lens, and often I make a fine adjustment in manual. This is part of being a photographer and knowing how to use a camera. I never walk away, I take the shot.

There are times where equipment fails or settings are wrong. I always check the settings first. Being a photographer takes knowledge and thinking on your feet for work arounds if something is not doing what you want, think it through.

Often when in low light my subjects are wearing dark cloths and I have to find an area of contrast. This is often forgotten in the “heat of the moment” when you are hoping for a quick focus lock due to someone or something special you are trying to shoot. I do not know if this applies to what you were doing, but is food for thought.

It is very easy to blame equipment for short comings, I have spent years shooting events and I am still learning new ways to do things. This is my point, stop blaming the equipment and try a different approach.

Equipment does fail, this happened to me two weeks ago, my FL 50 would just turn off, no reason I could think of, went through all the menus. Very frustrating, I use the SHV-1 battery pack, switched to batteries in the flash and no problem. Need to change my shooting style, but I did and went on. Turns out the head cord from the flash to the battery pack failed. Do you have a bad lens, maybe and this is part of learning curve as well. Have backup.

E-3, FL-50 no focus lock confirmation.

-- hide signature --
Geoff_R Veteran Member • Posts: 4,735
Ross if I had the 14-35 and in fact...

any lens of a similar quality that wouldnt focus....it would go back. I need/demand lenses and cameras that work in all/any conditions.....given the cost of the 14-35 and the time to market this is bad news for Oly and their customers.....sometimes fate has a way of helping you make the right decisions....it seems I did.
best
--
Geoff_R

'Always look on the bright side of life...'
http://www.fightwireimages.com

clknight Veteran Member • Posts: 3,107
He shouldn't have to...BUT

Make the best of that particular situation. If it wasn't going to focus in that lighting, then use MF. Then send it back the next day since it's obviously not up to standards. But don't spend the night missing shots and looking incompetent using an AF mode that you know isn't going to work.
--
Colin

Razor503 Regular Member • Posts: 349
Re: He shouldn't have to...BUT

Spot metering works wonders for "low light" shooting, in particular when you focus on a high contrast item.

Bryan T Regular Member • Posts: 247
Re: He shouldn't have to...BUT

yeah it sure is. but this is the 14-35 we're talking about. that's what i use 99% of the time 1 point & trying to focus on high contrast

Razor503 Regular Member • Posts: 349
Re: Ross if I had the 14-35 and in fact...

Geoff_R wrote:

any lens of a similar quality that wouldnt focus....it would go back.
I need/demand lenses and cameras that work in all/any
conditions.....given the cost of the 14-35 and the time to market
this is bad news for Oly and their customers.....

What, one possibly bad, perhaps only malfunctioning lens and its "bad news" for Olympus and their customers?

If that were the case, CaNikon would be out of business, since both are and have been plagued with "L" type lenses being returned for "tweaking" or replacement.

Snowbird_UT Contributing Member • Posts: 946
Read HG's links. There is an issue with this $2K lens.

I own the 14-35 and don't plan to give it up but I don't shoot indoor, low light events. Oly needs to fix this fast!!!
--
Cheers,
Snowbird_UT

Geoff_R Veteran Member • Posts: 4,735
Given your handle you are...

hardly sharp and if you took the time to read all threads concerning the 14-35 you would be able to make an informed statement...which you havnt....
best
--
Geoff_R

'Always look on the bright side of life...'
http://www.fightwireimages.com

bobinsandyeggo
bobinsandyeggo Contributing Member • Posts: 987
Gary, very helpful post.

you have to be able to make adjustments on the fly.
Interesting point about MF/AF, too.
--
bob naegele
san diego, ca
http://www.rjndesign.com/

 bobinsandyeggo's gear list:bobinsandyeggo's gear list
Olympus E-3 Olympus E-510 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II +1 more
Gary Papilsky Senior Member • Posts: 1,805
Thank you Bob

I will have to list some of the things I have found along the way. One is having my E-3 set to LOOP for the AF, while using a single AF point. For some reason this setting works best for low light. At one event I decided to try all of the AF setting and found this works best. After posting this months ago, others have confirmed this as well. This is what I am talking about, when I say figure it out. I knew the AF was not performing as well as it could, now it does.
--
Gary S P

http://www.garysworld.net

archeogeolab Contributing Member • Posts: 552
Re: Ross if I had the 14-35 and in fact...

This is not only "one possibly bad, perhaps only malfuctioning lens",.........but nearly all 14-35 owners have this low light issue!!!

So Olympus has to react on this otherwise it's indeed "bad news" for Olympus and its customers.

Regards, Erik

Razor503 wrote:

Geoff_R wrote:

any lens of a similar quality that wouldnt focus....it would go back.
I need/demand lenses and cameras that work in all/any
conditions.....given the cost of the 14-35 and the time to market
this is bad news for Oly and their customers.....

What, one possibly bad, perhaps only malfunctioning lens and its "bad
news" for Olympus and their customers?

If that were the case, CaNikon would be out of business, since both
are and have been plagued with "L" type lenses being returned for
"tweaking" or replacement.

dab1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,227
Re: Ross if I had the 14-35 and in fact...

HG Hope you can work around.

The 14-35 accelerates very quickly to the point of focus, but then starts to make minor adjustments around the point, especially in low light.

I called Olympus Pro support in Europe and to be fair they were excellent - I explained the issue and the guy said he had an E3 and a 12-60 plus 14-35 in the office and would try it out to see if he could repeat the issue...he called back within about 15 mins and confirmed the problems I was having with the 14-35 in comparison to the speed of the 12-60.

He was not 100 % sure but thought the issue was a firmware problem. He said when they also confirm a technical issue like this their procedure is to send a report to Hamburg..I guess from there to Japan. He said he would issue a report to Hamburg on this, and that hopefully there will be a firmware fix. He said to call back in a few weeks and see if there was any progress. I really must say the technical support was very good.

For recent events I have had release priority set and in some cases just hit the shutter when it comes into focus in the viewfinder, without focus confirmation or used manual focus. Hopefully a fix will come through soon!

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads