Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

Started Jun 9, 2013 | Discussions
highwave Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

Hi all,

I just wanted to verify this observation with my E-M5 with the 45mm Oly.

When I want to save battery power, I switch off the LCD and leave it on EVF where the EVF switches on only when I put it up to my eyes. I do this all the time with the 20mm and the battery practically lasts forever (700+ shots).

Last week I went hiking exclusively with the 45mm just for the fun of it. I did the usual trick of switching off the LCD to save battery life. But at the end of the 2 hour hike the battery was almost dead and I noticed that the aperture blades of the 45mm were constantly changing with lighting condition.

I went back and checked if my 20mm did this. It surely didn't. Only the 45mm would continuously move its aperture blades and drain the battery.

Anyone else observed this? any workaround?

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Alumna Gorp Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

Yes this is normal, try turning the camera off when not using or fit a lens cap.

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Chatokun
Chatokun Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

Odd that the 20mm didn't actually. My 25 and 75 do the same thing. I haven't really tested with slower lenses like the zooms, but I know all my fast lenses do it. I don't have my 20mm anymore, but I thought I remembered it doing the same thing.

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Detail Man
Detail Man Forum Pro • Posts: 17,171
Re: Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

highwave wrote:

Hi all,

I just wanted to verify this observation with my E-M5 with the 45mm Oly.

When I want to save battery power, I switch off the LCD and leave it on EVF where the EVF switches on only when I put it up to my eyes. I do this all the time with the 20mm and the battery practically lasts forever (700+ shots).

Last week I went hiking exclusively with the 45mm just for the fun of it. I did the usual trick of switching off the LCD to save battery life. But at the end of the 2 hour hike the battery was almost dead and I noticed that the aperture blades of the 45mm were constantly changing with lighting condition.

I went back and checked if my 20mm did this. It surely didn't. Only the 45mm would continuously move its aperture blades and drain the battery.

Anyone else observed this? any workaround?

I don't own/use an E-M5 - so I am speculating here.

Would this still occur if the shooting mode was in Aperture Priority or Manual shooting modes ?

Seems like it might not - unless the camera was always trying to auto-focus. Tried Manual Focus mode ?

Perhaps a lens-cap might obviate any need to switch to specific shooting and/or focus modes ?

Alumna Gorp Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

Yes that is a point, make sure your set for single autofocus and not continuous, this will also drain a battery.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 34,779
Any Oly?

Detail Man wrote:

I don't own/use an E-M5 - so I am speculating here.

Would this still occur if the shooting mode was in Aperture Priority or Manual shooting modes ?

Seems like it might not - unless the camera was always trying to auto-focus. Tried Manual Focus mode ?

Perhaps a lens-cap might obviate any need to switch to specific shooting and/or focus modes ?

DM, when this first came up ages ago I checked my E-PL1 and the kit lens - sure enough as the light varied in live view I could see the aperture changing. With some other lenses the aperture motor is very clattery hence the rattlesnaking sound.

No matter what mode the camera was in it still did it. The only time it stops is if DOF preview is assigned to button and that button held down all the time - or of course by turning off, which is the best way to stop aperture funnies and battery drain.

Regards..... Guy

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Detail Man
Detail Man Forum Pro • Posts: 17,171
Re: Any Oly?

Guy Parsons wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

I don't own/use an E-M5 - so I am speculating here.

Would this still occur if the shooting mode was in Aperture Priority or Manual shooting modes ?

Seems like it might not - unless the camera was always trying to auto-focus. Tried Manual Focus mode ?

Perhaps a lens-cap might obviate any need to switch to specific shooting and/or focus modes ?

DM, when this first came up ages ago I checked my E-PL1 and the kit lens - sure enough as the light varied in live view I could see the aperture changing. With some other lenses the aperture motor is very clattery hence the rattlesnaking sound.

No matter what mode the camera was in it still did it. The only time it stops is if DOF preview is assigned to button and that button held down all the time - or of course by turning off, which is the best way to stop aperture funnies and battery drain.

That sounds kind of weird to me. Oh well. Nothing that a lens-cap would not solve, right ? Probably not at all a bad idea when one is hiking around and slinging a camera about, anyway ?

OP highwave Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

Chatokun wrote:

Odd that the 20mm didn't actually. My 25 and 75 do the same thing. I haven't really tested with slower lenses like the zooms, but I know all my fast lenses do it. I don't have my 20mm anymore, but I thought I remembered it doing the same thing.

I'm pretty sure the 20mm doesn't do it. When I went back home I stuck both the 20mm and the 45mm and pointed them at the lamp, then a dark part of the room iteratively. Sure enough, the blades of the 45mm were moving while the 20mm never changed from wide open.

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OP highwave Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

Detail Man wrote:

highwave wrote:

Hi all,

I don't own/use an E-M5 - so I am speculating here.

Would this still occur if the shooting mode was in Aperture Priority or Manual shooting modes ?

I was using aperture mode as I always do. Didn't try Manual mode.

Seems like it might not - unless the camera was always trying to auto-focus. Tried Manual Focus mode ?

no I set it on single autofocus+ manual override.

Perhaps a lens-cap might obviate any need to switch to specific shooting and/or focus modes ?

well, the whole point in using the EVF and switching off the LCD is to have the camera pretty much up and ready for a quick shot when needed. If it sleeps I squeeze the autofocus before lifting to my eye.

I could turn it on/off all the time, but that's an annoyance (especially with the weird place the on/off switch is placed on the E-M5)

Lens cap will even be more annoying than the on/off switch

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OP highwave Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: Any Oly?

Guy Parsons wrote:

Detail Man wrote:

DM, when this first came up ages ago I checked my E-PL1 and the kit lens - sure enough as the light varied in live view I could see the aperture changing. With some other lenses the aperture motor is very clattery hence the rattlesnaking sound.

Regards..... Guy

Guy,

are you talking about the E-PL1 with the LCD? or attached EVF?

because I know that if the LCD is on, it will drain the battery quick. But I'm talking about switching off the LCD and just using the EVF in which case I've come to be used to the E-M5 saving battery life in an excellent way. It seems switching exclusively to EVF puts it into power saving mode or so I thought. The EVF only turns on when you put it up to your eye.

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Chatokun
Chatokun Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: Oly 45mm+EM-5 constantly changing aperture

highwave wrote:

Chatokun wrote:

Odd that the 20mm didn't actually. My 25 and 75 do the same thing. I haven't really tested with slower lenses like the zooms, but I know all my fast lenses do it. I don't have my 20mm anymore, but I thought I remembered it doing the same thing.

I'm pretty sure the 20mm doesn't do it. When I went back home I stuck both the 20mm and the 45mm and pointed them at the lamp, then a dark part of the room iteratively. Sure enough, the blades of the 45mm were moving while the 20mm never changed from wide open.

It's possible the 20mm wasn't doing it if you were doing it from the same distance. The wide angle puts enough extra space in there that the camera may not compensate. Of course, I could just be remembering wrong. Try it in sunlight (quickly, not suggesting keep leaving it pointed at the sun) or closer to a light source to see for sure. I honestly think it's a function of the camera more than the lens, but I could be wrong.

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Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 34,779
Re: Any Oly?

highwave wrote

Guy,

are you talking about the E-PL1 with the LCD? or attached EVF?

With the E-PL1 I seemed to find that the VF-2 alone did kill the battery faster than the LCD alone, but never really tested that to be certain. Hardly ever use the VF-2 now so it's not an issue any more.

because I know that if the LCD is on, it will drain the battery quick. But I'm talking about switching off the LCD and just using the EVF in which case I've come to be used to the E-M5 saving battery life in an excellent way. It seems switching exclusively to EVF puts it into power saving mode or so I thought. The EVF only turns on when you put it up to your eye.

Much easier to turn off/on the Pens so I always turn off if not going to use for a minute or more, easy to turn on while lifting it (I use wrist straps) and if carrying it is by my side, if not used for a few minutes then it's in the bag, cap always off, hood always on so is ready to use and by the time I'm looking at the LCD then it is ready to shoot as I turn it on while lifting it.

Regards....... Guy

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drj3 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,429
Re: Any Oly? Sleep Mode

I do not have any MFT camera, but was ready to purchase an Pen EP5 to replace my wife's aging E510 until I read this.  My wife and I (E5) both leave the cameras on so that they is ready to use instantly.  With both our cameras, touching any button wakes up the camera so that it is ready to use, but this has little effect on the battery.  Either camera can be left on all day (even with IBIS on) and still give over 2000 photos with the BLM 5 batteries.  I realize the MFT batteries will give far fewer photos since the battery is smaller, but this is the first thing that I have seen that implies they will still modify aperture and or focus and discharge their batteries unless turned off.  Is the sleep mode on the MFT cameras different from that of the Olympus DSLR?  If it is not possible to leave the MFT camera on in sleep mode, then I will wait to see if there is an E7 before purchasing any new camera.

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drj3

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OP highwave Senior Member • Posts: 1,277
Re: Any Oly? Sleep Mode

drj3 wrote:

I do not have any MFT camera, but was ready to purchase an Pen EP5 to replace my wife's aging E510 until I read this.  My wife and I (E5) both leave the cameras on so that they is ready to use instantly.  With both our cameras, touching any button wakes up the camera so that it is ready to use, but this has little effect on the battery.  Either camera can be left on all day (even with IBIS on) and still give over 2000 photos with the BLM 5 batteries.  I realize the MFT batteries will give far fewer photos since the battery is smaller, but this is the first thing that I have seen that implies they will still modify aperture and or focus and discharge their batteries unless turned off.  Is the sleep mode on the MFT cameras different from that of the Olympus DSLR?  If it is not possible to leave the MFT camera on in sleep mode, then I will wait to see if there is an E7 before purchasing any new camera.

I woudn't let the battery drain hold me back from purchasing a camera I like.

Base your purchase on other criteria. Don't worry about this and let it hold you back from what might turn out to be a game changing experience.

For this problem, really, if I wanted to solve it I would have bought third party batteries which are really really cheap. And you can practically use the camera all day long then.

I did use an SLR (Nikon D5100) on a hike and it was always up and ready compared to mirrorless and did not drain the battery. But in the end, would I have chosen it over a mirroreless? nope. The lighter, smaller package of mirrorless is still a better experience. You can hike all day long with the 14-150mm and never complain of the weight. Try that with an SLR.

I really do recommend you at least test out a mirroreless before passing judgment. Reading forum posts won't do it justice. By the way, the D5100 was my friends camera who now has an Olympus E-PM2 because he also thinks a lighter package is better for hiking.

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Pedagydusz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,610
No issues like that with the G-3

I use a Panasonic G-3, not an Olympus camera. I notice none of these issues with my camera.

Just now, I tried to emulate any of these withe the G-3 and Lumix 20-1.7 and the Pana-Leica 45-2.8.

First, in mode "Aperture". Obviously there can be no constant opening and closing of the lens, and I don't believe that it can happen (in "A") with any camera in this world, be it Olympus, Panasonic, or other, MFT, FF, credit-card size, or Medium Format. For obvious reasons.

In Manual, it can´t happen for the same reason: after all, you (like in "A") determined what the aperture would be; it stays there. With any camera.

In "S". In principle it could happen, but I see, with the above lenses, any sign that it was doing so. No noise, no visible indication of any type. In fact, the metering values in the EVF or LCD switch off after a moment of no use. Metering is restarted when I half-press the shutter (or whatever button is set to that). But no sign of lens activity, with these two.

AF - continually focusing? No! It only starts when the shutter is half pressed. This is AFS. In principle, I would expect it to focus continuously. Does it? Only when I keep the shutter half pressed. In Movie mode it does when in the Menu it is set that way. In SAF it only focusses when the shutter is half pressed.

In other words, it behaves like any DSLR I have used (presently I also use a Canon 7D).

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Chatokun
Chatokun Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: No issues like that with the G-3

Pedagydusz wrote:

I use a Panasonic G-3, not an Olympus camera. I notice none of these issues with my camera.

Just now, I tried to emulate any of these withe the G-3 and Lumix 20-1.7 and the Pana-Leica 45-2.8.

First, in mode "Aperture". Obviously there can be no constant opening and closing of the lens, and I don't believe that it can happen (in "A") with any camera in this world, be it Olympus, Panasonic, or other, MFT, FF, credit-card size, or Medium Format. For obvious reasons.

Actually, you're incorrect, and I believe you're mistaking why it opens and closes. It is not adjusting the aperture based on the light and trying to automatically adjust exposure as measured. It is protecting the sensor and/or allowing it to still show a picture in live view without being completely blown out. I just tested it now with the sun, and it closed the aperture on my 45mm in both A mode (which I'm in about 90% of the time) as well as M mode.

In Manual, it can´t happen for the same reason: after all, you (like in "A") determined what the aperture would be; it stays there. With any camera.

This isn't true either, unless you hit the preview button to see the DoF. Cameras nowadays keep the aperture wide open in order to be able to focus better, as more light means easier focus. Hence, the camera keeps the aperture wide open until it either: takes the shot, has the preview button pressed, or has too strong a light source pointed at it.

In "S". In principle it could happen, but I see, with the above lenses, any sign that it was doing so. No noise, no visible indication of any type. In fact, the metering values in the EVF or LCD switch off after a moment of no use. Metering is restarted when I half-press the shutter (or whatever button is set to that). But no sign of lens activity, with these two.

AF - continually focusing? No! It only starts when the shutter is half pressed. This is AFS. In principle, I would expect it to focus continuously. Does it? Only when I keep the shutter half pressed. In Movie mode it does when in the Menu it is set that way. In SAF it only focusses when the shutter is half pressed.

This depends on the camera and a setting on the camera. My OMD has a setting that has it attempt to prefocus, doing so will allow it to achieve focus when you really want it with minimal hunting. I have it turned off to preserve battery life. My GX1 did it also, but I wasn't aware if there was a setting at the time, so it always did it.

Edit: In OMD (and probably EP5, EPL5, and EPM2) Gear wheel A has this option as Full Time AF. The info description is: If On is selected, auto focus will work before pressing the shutter button.

In other words, it behaves like any DSLR I have used (presently I also use a Canon 7D).

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I'm not sure how you performed your test, but the light source has to be significant enough for the camera to either read everything as blown highlights or possibly damaging to the sensor.

When I tested it just now, I pointed it outside at the sun (behind very thin clouds). Despite the brightness outside, I had to point it pretty much directly at the sun to activate the aperture adjustments. However, I can definitely confirm it does it in all modes, and it is independent of whatever setting of aperture you have set in the camera.

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drj3 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,429
Re: No issues like that with the G-3

While this explanation does seem logical, why would you need to worry about an image being blown out on the viewer when in sleep mode with viewers turned off?  What then protects the sensor when the camera is turned off?  If this is something to protect the sensor, it would be more logical to have some type of curtain that blocked the sensor when either turned off or in sleep mode.  That would offer the benefit of also protecting the sensor when changing lenses.  I will ask my wife if she is willing to use a camera which must be turn off unless actually being used to take photographs.  I think her answer will be no.  I am certain she will not use the lens cover.  Personally I think this would be a great disadvantage to anyone interested in wildlife photography where having the turn on a camera before using it would mean missing many photographic opportunities.  You need one hand under the telephoto lens(support and pre focus) and the other on the grip so that you can quickly vary the shutter speed and exposure with the front and back wheels, while half pressing the shutter release for focus.   How do you turn on the camera?

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drj3

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Pedagydusz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,610
Re: No issues like that with the G-3

If your explanation is entirely correct, then the aperture stays put until you point it at the Sun, or some very strong source of illumination. It does not go on adjusting all the time, causing a rattle, which was the OP original complaint. I did not point the camera to the Sun, it is very overcast today, but took the G-3 outside and inside, pointed it at the window and to dark places, keeping it just near my ear, it did not rattle once. I only hear something when I half-press the shutter. That, of course is the G-3, and (I suspect without proof) the G-5 and possibly the G-6. I don't know about the Olympus bodies, but I doubt that it rattles for that reason, it seems too silly!

[Edit] I tried just now to point the camera at a lit bulb and YES, it does a sound, aperture closing as you said to protect the sensor. When I point it elsewhere, there is a sound again. So, indeed you are right about aperture behavior. But it is not a rattle, it is a one time events, unless you move it rhythmically to the strong light and then the shadow. However, it is metering all the time, which can drain the battery, but that is not different from a DSLR (also meters all the time if switched on).

The AF behaviour is exactly how I described, in the Panasonic G-3. If there is a full-time AF I did not find it, may be in Movie mode. I once had a Sony camcorder that behaved like that. Anyway, if that is the problem, it is easily solved: don't keep the camera in Full-time AF. Interestingly enough, none of the Oly owners came up with that answer!

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Chatokun
Chatokun Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: No issues like that with the G-3

drj3 wrote:

While this explanation does seem logical, why would you need to worry about an image being blown out on the viewer when in sleep mode with viewers turned off?  What then protects the sensor when the camera is turned off?  If this is something to protect the sensor, it would be more logical to have some type of curtain that blocked the sensor when either turned off or in sleep mode.  That would offer the benefit of also protecting the sensor when changing lenses.

If I'm reading the OP correctly, his issue wasn't during sleep mode. With the OMD, you can turn off the LCD completely by turning off the auto switch from LCD to EVF. Instead, the EVF is always on or the LCD is always on, depending on the button on the side of the EVF(switch to pick). I do this to save battery life and because it stops the delay in switching, allowing me to target rapid moving wildlife like birds.

When the system actually sleeps, it doesn't constantly move the aperture blades, the system will act like it's off until a button is pressed. Nothing moves. As for protecting the sensor, the sensor is protected from dust and the like by a glass filter (I believe it's the AA filter?) so no worries there. As for light, I believe the sensor is in more danger when it has actual power going through it, but of course something like sunlight would be a danger either way.

However, how often would a camera be pointed directly at the sun when you aren't holding it? I'm not sure how the OP was using it, but he/she did specifically say lighting was the condition messing with the blades. Perhaps the sun was lower, near sunset, or a few hours before.

I will ask my wife if she is willing to use a camera which must be turn off unless actually being used to take photographs.  I think her answer will be no.  I am certain she will not use the lens cover.  Personally I think this would be a great disadvantage to anyone interested in wildlife photography where having the turn on a camera before using it would mean missing many photographic opportunities.  You need one hand under the telephoto lens(support and pre focus) and the other on the grip so that you can quickly vary the shutter speed and exposure with the front and back wheels, while half pressing the shutter release for focus.   How do you turn on the camera?

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drj3

I don't see a problem with not using a lens cover. Leaving it on sleep also shouldn't be that much of an issue either, unless you're going to keep it pointed at the sun for long durations. Remember, technology tends to err on the side of caution. Just because a camera protects itself doesn't mean it's damaged the instant something doesn't happen. It's simply adjusting itself correctly when on. I often take shots with the sun in it (sunsets, skies, etc) so I appreciate the feature, especially when composing. If I composed those shots wide open with something like the 75 1.8 or the 25 1.4, I'd probably have ruined my camera by now.

Pedagydusz wrote:

If your explanation is entirely correct, then the aperture stays put until you point it at the Sun, or some very strong source of illumination. It does not go on adjusting all the time, causing a rattle, which was the OP original complaint.

Actually, he didn't say rattle, he said it changed based on changing lighting conditions. Since the 45 has a tighter view angle, it's possible it magnified the effects of the lighting when pointed to it whereas the 20mm with it's wider view decided it wasn't necessary to stop down. I'm not 100% certain, since I can't test with the 20mm anymore. I know my fast lenses all do it, 25, 45, 75.

I did not point the camera to the Sun, it is very overcast today, but took the G-3 outside and inside, pointed it at the window and to dark places, keeping it just near my ear, it did not rattle once. I only hear something when I half-press the shutter. That, of course is the G-3, and (I suspect without proof) the G-5 and possibly the G-6. I don't know about the Olympus bodies, but I doubt that it rattles for that reason, it seems too silly!

The AF behaviour is exactly how I described, in the Panasonic G-3. If there is a full-time AF I did not find it, may be in Movie mode. I once had a Sony camcorder that behaved like that. Anyway, if that is the problem, it is easily solved: don't keep the camera in Full-time AF. Interestingly enough, none of the Oly owners came up with that answer!

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[Edit: I wrote this before I saw your edit]

I did come up with that answer, I keep mine off for that very reason. I didn't mention it until your post because I didn't see anything in the OP mentioning constant auto-focus, and I was concentrating on the aperture part. If someone mentioned it and I missed it, my apologies.

The rattlesnaking itself is a known issue with the OMD, but it happens on multiple lenses, so it's definitely a camera setting. I've never had a G series to see if it did it (I'm pretty tempted by the G6's video features and screen to make it my backup though), and I can't recall for sure if my GX1 did it either. I guess I could test with my GF3... ...and it does. I just tested it bringing it very close to my 45w florescent bulb, and it closed down the aperture automatically on my 25mm. I repeated the test with my 75mm and it too did the same thing on the GF3. I don't see a reason for Panasonic to remove the feature in later cameras.

It's possible some cameras are more sensitive to it, and thus get known for the issue.

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drj3 Forum Pro • Posts: 10,429
Re: No issues like that with the G-3

I am still confused.  Before I spend over $2000 for a camera (with lenses) for my wife, I would like to know what the OMD and thus likely the Pen E-P5 do when in sleep mode.  I assumed that the original poster's camera was in sleep mode, since the manual indicates the camera goes into sleep mode after one minute.  Does it continue to monitor exposure and change the aperture (not particularly good for the lens) or does it shut down like Olympus DSLR's?

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