focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
kohinoor Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

In this thread  Danny Young ("nzmacro") mentions that the peaking on his EM10 was no good (compared to NEX7) for his bird photography with the 500mm lens.
And in another thread Nick ("gardenersassistant") expresses his dislike of the peaking on his G9 (as compared to his A7ii) albeit for his macro work which might not be comparable to birding.

As I happen to have a fd500mm (for birding) in the mail but no camera yet to put it on ... I would like to know if peaking ability should be a deciding factor for my cam choice. -Is it useable for critical, precise focus in any of the m43 cams? (I won't put it on a Sony for several other reasons)

Thanks
K.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
hindesite Veteran Member • Posts: 4,486
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

I use peaking on my G7 with lenses as long as an 800/5.6 Nikkor, and it works well enough generally.

However, for more static subjects magnified view is more reliable, so I wouldn't get hung up too much on peaking alone.

-- hide signature --
OP kohinoor Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

hindesite wrote:

I use peaking on my G7 with lenses as long as an 800/5.6 Nikkor, and it works well enough generally.

However, for more static subjects magnified view is more reliable, so I wouldn't get hung up too much on peaking alone.

I see. And is the magnified view stable enough for focus evaluation when the cam isn't on a tripod but just on a monopod?

Donald B
Donald B Forum Pro • Posts: 13,681
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

kohinoor wrote:

hindesite wrote:

I use peaking on my G7 with lenses as long as an 800/5.6 Nikkor, and it works well enough generally.

However, for more static subjects magnified view is more reliable, so I wouldn't get hung up too much on peaking alone.

I see. And is the magnified view stable enough for focus evaluation when the cam isn't on a tripod but just on a monopod?

of coarse it is, how do you think your images look at 100% on your computer isnt that how you see if you hit focus ? mag veiw is no different.

Don

-- hide signature --

Olympus EM5mk2 ,EM1mk2
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/9412035244
past toys. k100d, k10d,k7,fz5,fz150,500uz,canon G9, Olympus xz1 em5mk1

nzmacro
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 16,592
It's not bad
3

It's good ........ unless you have used Sony focus peaking, then it's not quite so good after all. Even the FP on the E-M1 MKII is not up to the Sony standard.

Don't forget though, I'm talking from a manual focus tele point of view and how Oly's version of FP switches off on a half press which is useless for BIF's. A waste of time even having it on in my case. I'm a huge BIF shooter which is why. Sony's version stays on full time so you can focus and track a bird in flight with high and slow frame rates.

In short, Sony has FP nailed in both colours, contrasts and staying on full time.

Don't forget at the time I said that, Oly only had black and white FP with the E-M10. They now of course have colours to pick from.

All the best and for most, FP would be fine on m4/3.

Danny. .

OP kohinoor Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

Donald B wrote:

kohinoor wrote:

hindesite wrote:

I use peaking on my G7 with lenses as long as an 800/5.6 Nikkor, and it works well enough generally.

However, for more static subjects magnified view is more reliable, so I wouldn't get hung up too much on peaking alone.

I see. And is the magnified view stable enough for focus evaluation when the cam isn't on a tripod but just on a monopod?

of coarse it is, how do you think your images look at 100% on your computer isnt that how you see if you hit focus ? mag veiw is no different.

Well, my computer doesn't shake the least bit when I look at pics at 100%! But as I'm no native English speaker my wording may have been the wrong.
May be I should better have asked: Is the IBIS good enough to provide a sufficiently steady viewing for critical evaluation.

OP kohinoor Senior Member • Posts: 1,057
Re: It's not bad

nzmacro wrote:

It's good ........ unless you have used Sony focus peaking, then it's not quite so good after all. Even the FP on the E-M1 MKII is not up to the Sony standard.

Don't forget though, I'm talking from a manual focus tele point of view and how Oly's version of FP switches off on a half press which is useless for BIF's. A waste of time even having it on in my case. I'm a huge BIF shooter which is why. Sony's version stays on full time so you can focus and track a bird in flight with high and slow frame rates.

I wonder if that's different with Pana. But I know that's a question not for you.
I wish the EM1ii was cheaper here. I've put too much of my budget towards a mint fd500 to afford it right now...

In short, Sony has FP nailed in both colours, contrasts and staying on full time.

A shame the  mirrorless pioneers (pana, Oly) have less than perfect implementations!

Don't forget at the time I said that, Oly only had black and white FP with the E-M10. They now of course have colours to pick from.

I can imagine b&w being useless. The problem I see on my current Pana FZ300 is that there's very little signal (colour points) showing in the plane of focus.

All the best and for most, FP would be fine on m4/3.

Sounds good! Seems there isn't many here shooting that lens. Looking forward to contrasting your art work with some blurry shots of mine. 

Thank You!

K.

farmer35 Contributing Member • Posts: 832
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

I have an E-M10 and E-M1 that I use often with manual only lenses (nothing as long as 500mm).  The focus peaking is much improved on the E-M1 over E-M10 - multiple colors, multiple intensity, and easy to switch settings simply by pushing the info button.  Don't know about newer models or Panasonic cameras.  I sometimes use magnification, sometimes focus peaking depending on the scene.  For critical focus on one point (not moving) I prefer magnification but focus peaking gets pretty close too.

-- hide signature --

Bruce Regier

hindesite Veteran Member • Posts: 4,486
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

kohinoor wrote:

hindesite wrote:

I use peaking on my G7 with lenses as long as an 800/5.6 Nikkor, and it works well enough generally.

However, for more static subjects magnified view is more reliable, so I wouldn't get hung up too much on peaking alone.

I see. And is the magnified view stable enough for focus evaluation when the cam isn't on a tripod but just on a monopod?

It depends on the lens I am using.

For example, if you were familiar with the 800/5.6 you'd probably realise it is not well suited to monopod use, and requires a very serious tripod.

Incidentally, I see in another thread somebody is worrying about how effective IBIS is with long lenses. From my experience, you are not going to be handholding (or generally even using a monopod with) 800mm lenses.

500mm and shorter are OK to with mag view on a monopod - though of course, you also have control over just how enlarged the mag view is, and might not use the highest magnification.

-- hide signature --
Barry Twycross Senior Member • Posts: 1,738
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

Variable.

When I first looked for it, I couldn't see any peaking at all. I wasn't sure if I was even doing it right. Now it seems really obvious whenever I have to manual focus. Setting PeakL makes it a lot more obvious. PeakL seems to be accurate enough to get sharp pictures.

 Barry Twycross's gear list:Barry Twycross's gear list
Panasonic GX850 Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Panasonic 20mm F1.7 II +3 more
gary0319
gary0319 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,761
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

kohinoor wrote:

Donald B wrote:

kohinoor wrote:

hindesite wrote:

I use peaking on my G7 with lenses as long as an 800/5.6 Nikkor, and it works well enough generally.

However, for more static subjects magnified view is more reliable, so I wouldn't get hung up too much on peaking alone.

I see. And is the magnified view stable enough for focus evaluation when the cam isn't on a tripod but just on a monopod?

of coarse it is, how do you think your images look at 100% on your computer isnt that how you see if you hit focus ? mag veiw is no different.

Well, my computer doesn't shake the least bit when I look at pics at 100%! But as I'm no native English speaker my wording may have been the wrong.
May be I should better have asked: Is the IBIS good enough to provide a sufficiently steady viewing for critical evaluation.

The answer is yes, maybe. I shoot a PanLeica 100-400 on my E-M 1 II and employ both peaking and magnification with good results. I use the lens OIS rather than the IBIS of the E-M1 II because the lens OIS is on full time which gives me a stable view, even before I initiate focus as is necessary if using the Olympus IBIS.

That said, the focus peaking can become overbearing if used in tight, bushy areas, or long wide landscapes.

 gary0319's gear list:gary0319's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Olympus E-M5 III +9 more
Adrian Harris
Adrian Harris Veteran Member • Posts: 5,468
Re: It's not bad

kohinoor wrote:

nzmacro wrote:

It's good ........ unless you have used Sony focus peaking, then it's not quite so good after all. Even the FP on the E-M1 MKII is not up to the Sony standard.

Don't forget though, I'm talking from a manual focus tele point of view and how Oly's version of FP switches off on a half press which is useless for BIF's. A waste of time even having it on in my case. I'm a huge BIF shooter which is why. Sony's version stays on full time so you can focus and track a bird in flight with high and slow frame rates.

I wonder if that's different with Pana. But I know that's a question not for you.
I wish the EM1ii was cheaper here. I've put too much of my budget towards a mint fd500 to afford it right now...

In short, Sony has FP nailed in both colours, contrasts and staying on full time.

A shame the mirrorless pioneers (pana, Oly) have less than perfect implementations!

As Danny says he prefers FP to stay on for manual adapted lenses for BiF, but I really disliked that feature on my Sony as it prevented me from clearly seeing the subject when composing, so I generally prefer FP on for focus then to go off. However for birds in flight I use m43 lenses and use autofocus. So it really depends on how you would like to use FP and when.

Don't forget at the time I said that, Oly only had black and white FP with the E-M10. They now of course have colours to pick from.

I can imagine b&w being useless. The problem I see on my current Pana FZ300 is that there's very little signal (colour points) showing in the plane of focus.

All the best and for most, FP would be fine on m4/3.

Sounds good! Seems there isn't many here shooting that lens. Looking forward to contrasting your art work with some blurry shots of mine.

Thank You!

K.

-- hide signature --
 Adrian Harris's gear list:Adrian Harris's gear list
Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Sony SLT-A77 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 +1 more
kcdogger Senior Member • Posts: 2,494
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?
1

I think magnified view works better than focus peaking.  YMMV

Peace.

John

 kcdogger's gear list:kcdogger's gear list
Olympus XZ-2 iHS Panasonic FZ1000 Nikon Coolpix P610 Olympus Tough TG-4 Panasonic ZS100 +26 more
drj3 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,305
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

Focus peaking works okay on the E-M1.2.  However, I find using the DTC as a 2X multiply or magnification set to 3X is preferable with long telephoto lenses.

I sometimes use SAF+MF to manually correct focus with the 300mm f4 or the MC14+300mm (420mm), but never with the MC20+300mm (600mm).  Manually correcting focus with 1200mm FF equivalent FOV is more difficult while handholding the lens even with the excellent dual stabilization.  I find it much easier just to use CAF with magnification to check focus and small movements of the focus point can be used force the lens to refocus if there is a problem.

If you are shooting off a tripod, the ability to magnify up to 14X makes peaking unnecessary.

-- hide signature --

drj3

 drj3's gear list:drj3's gear list
Olympus E-510 Olympus E-5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus E-M1 II +7 more
Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 3,809
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

Focus peaking works great on the EM-1 I with the 12-40, 35-100, 8mm FE, and 60 macro for landscape and wildflowers. It takes a while to get used to, as when the signal is weak, parts of the image may not be in focus; but when the signal is strong you will get good focus.

In landscape I trust focus peaking a lot more than I do any other method of DOF concerned focus and it is quick. I routinely shoot several different compositions and FL's in landscape images and it is as quick to use focus peaking as it is to compose using a zoom and framing. It becomes limited in low light situations or in situations where there is no contrast in an image - then you have to be careful. But S-AF also doesn't really work in those low light situations. It is likely Magnify is more accurate, but is also much slower and kind of confusing to use as you need to understand what part of the image you are focusing on. I do use Magnify to double check on playback an image.

In wildflower and moss images I use Focus Peaking and Focus Stacking, but this can be more difficult more because it is hard to know exactly how the Focus Stack will turn out. Best here to Focus Bracket.

I used it on birds with the 75-300 at first without much success. But you have to realize that at 300mm or so, DOF is very shallow. It works here with care to get the strongest signal on the subject.

 Gary from Seattle's gear list:Gary from Seattle's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro +1 more
KLH475 Senior Member • Posts: 1,112
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

kohinoor wrote:

In this thread Danny Young ("nzmacro") mentions that the peaking on his EM10 was no good (compared to NEX7) for his bird photography with the 500mm lens.
And in another thread Nick ("gardenersassistant") expresses his dislike of the peaking on his G9 (as compared to his A7ii) albeit for his macro work which might not be comparable to birding.

As I happen to have a fd500mm (for birding) in the mail but no camera yet to put it on ... I would like to know if peaking ability should be a deciding factor for my cam choice. -Is it useable for critical, precise focus in any of the m43 cams? (I won't put it on a Sony for several other reasons)

Thanks
K.

I have an Olympus E-M10 II and I pretty much only shoot static subjects, aperture priority, S-AF + manual and I really like focus peaking a lot. It's bright and clear and I can change the color and intensity. I occasionally also use magnify along with focus peaking as well. I find them both very helpful - especially focus peaking.

Ken

 KLH475's gear list:KLH475's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8 +2 more
Max Iso
Max Iso Senior Member • Posts: 7,984
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

kohinoor wrote:

In this thread Danny Young ("nzmacro") mentions that the peaking on his EM10 was no good (compared to NEX7) for his bird photography with the 500mm lens.
And in another thread Nick ("gardenersassistant") expresses his dislike of the peaking on his G9 (as compared to his A7ii) albeit for his macro work which might not be comparable to birding.

As I happen to have a fd500mm (for birding) in the mail but no camera yet to put it on ... I would like to know if peaking ability should be a deciding factor for my cam choice. -Is it useable for critical, precise focus in any of the m43 cams? (I won't put it on a Sony for several other reasons)

Thanks
K.

I have an EM1 and G9. The issue i had with my EM1, not sure if it's on all Olympus bodies, is when i half pressed to get IBIS to stabilize the view, peaking disables. This is not good as the shimmer vanishes if there is too much motion blur in the VF readout since smearing pixels won't shimmer well (and all EVFs smear a bit as their pixel refresh speed isn't 0).

On my G9 however IBIS and peaking work together. I have an adapted MF 135mm f/2.8 that i like to use now and then, and the peaking works great with it, especially with the EVF since it's so high rez and HUGE. I don't know if Sony allows this but many MFT bodies let you view peaking on a B&W display so the peaking shimmer stands out more.

Your answer? I think it's a case by case basis, every body could be completely different. What i can say for sure is the G9 does it well, i have no complaints and it's actually fun to use in that massive EVF.

-- hide signature --

"Some by force and some by choice
In time you all shall leave me
I do not fear to be alone
Solitary, I will atone...." -

 Max Iso's gear list:Max Iso's gear list
Nikon D300 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Canon EOS M50 Canon EF 100mm f/2.0 USM +7 more
Alan_W1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,534
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

I keep peaking active all the time with my G80's, as a general ball-park reference, but tend to use magnification for critical focusing with telephotos.

My telephotos are 300mm and 400mm, plus I occasionally use my Nikon tc-16a with them....so 640mm max.

I do have a custom mode set up for manual focus bif-video, with the VF in monochrome, which does make peaking more visible, but as I only shoot video now, I am unable to increase the peaking visibility further, by boosting sharpness/contrast etc in-camera {which can be done if shooting 'raw' stills}….as I can't remove the excessive sharpening/contrast in post....with video.

 Alan_W1's gear list:Alan_W1's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS +11 more
RedDog Steve
RedDog Steve Senior Member • Posts: 1,805
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

farmer35 wrote:

I have an E-M10 and E-M1 that I use often with manual only lenses (nothing as long as 500mm). The focus peaking is much improved on the E-M1 over E-M10 - multiple colors, multiple intensity, and easy to switch settings simply by pushing the info button. Don't know about newer models or Panasonic cameras. I sometimes use magnification, sometimes focus peaking depending on the scene. For critical focus on one point (not moving) I prefer magnification but focus peaking gets pretty close too.

Additional settings on the E-M10 mkII allow for more tweaking adjustment for peaking.
Maybe not the ultimate for the critical manual focus user but certainly adequate for my occasional MF use.
I have it set pretty close to what the original E-M10 provides though, so YMMV.

-- hide signature --

I'm not a perfectionist, I'm a precisionist.
rd

 RedDog Steve's gear list:RedDog Steve's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8 II +15 more
glassoholic
glassoholic Senior Member • Posts: 4,455
Re: focus peaking on m43 ... how good is it?

I never took to FP... I prefer enlarged (magnified) view with a custom button and use a wheel to vary the magnification to suit... 2x DTC via a custom button works well too. FP always always gives me a "mushy" range of where focus is... it never feels precise to me and the peaking outline often hides the detail I am trying to see for critical focus... FP does do a quick job of getting close to precise focus but then it falls over for me. YMMV.

-- hide signature --

Addicted To Glass
M43 equivalence: "Twice the fun with half the weight"
"You are a long time dead" -
Credit to whoever said that first and my wife for saying it to me... Make the best you can of every day!

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads