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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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Thanks for the clarification James. Yes, if you are using the 4/3 35mm macro, you should have better focusing experience with a 4/3 dslr camera for your aquarium work. I recommend looking for a good used E-30 or E-620. The E-3 is a great camera, but big and heavy and weatherproofed, none of which you need for indoor work. However, the E-3 does have a larger viewfinder, which means easier manual focusing. But you probably would come out cheaper with an E-30.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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Geez, I looked at some of the prices on Ebay for the E30 and 620 and I really don't want to spend that much. I think for what those are going for I might be better off with a E-PL5 but I don't think is has phase detection focusing like the OMD M5 so my focus hunting problems would likely still be there. Oh what to do, what to do.
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Thanks for the clarification James. Yes, if you are using the 4/3 35mm macro, you should have better focusing experience with a 4/3 dslr camera for your aquarium work. I recommend looking for a good used E-30 or E-620. The E-3 is a great camera, but big and heavy and weatherproofed, none of which you need for indoor work. However, the E-3 does have a larger viewfinder, which means easier manual focusing. But you probably would come out cheaper with an E-30.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:23 AM   #13
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Good morning James,

For what it's worth, I use my 35mm Macro on my E-P2 exclusively for images of flowers. I do NOT depend on the cameras' focusing system, but rather,
set the camera to manual focus, engage live view, then press the ok button which should magnify the subject by a factor of 10. I then fine tune the focus and take the shot.

This may work for you or may not. From everything I've read, the AF system of the E-PL5 is a vast improvement over the one employed in your camera or mine. The caveat, here, is that the AF system was and continues to be designed for micro four thirds lenses. I have read nothing, to this point, about how well it focuses a four thirds lens.

My recollection of the performance of the 35mm macro on my E-30 was, that it too hunted a bit. But then, I was using it to shoot static subjects so, it wasn't really an issue.

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Old Dec 14, 2012, 10:27 AM   #14
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Thanks Zig. I have been using manual focus but forgot about the 10x mag so that might do it for me especially since I've got a new eye.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 11:02 AM   #15
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Hi again, James…

Why not just use manual focus? The E-PL2's manual focus works great with adapted 4/3 lenses and if you set up the camera properly it'll switch to magnified view as soon as you begin twisting the lens focus ring. I do it all the time with my 50-200 and once you develop the habit it's not at all inconvenient. After all, for product photography everything is dead still and you're probably using a tripod anyway, so MF should be very easy.

As far as using the 35mm macro on any m-4/3 body (including the E-PL5 and the OM-D), you're going to run into the same AF problem you have now using it on your E-PL2. The 35mm macro is a PDAF lens -- it's not optimized for CDAF and really it only works well with the full-4/3 Olympus bodies.

And further, if you try to use that non-CDAF lens on a full-4/3 body that is able to focus using the LCD, it won't be any better than it is on your E-PL2. In fact, it'll probably be worse because, once you click the shutter, the mirror has to pop back down so the optics can get the exposure, then pop back up to take the photo.

Either way, your best bet would seem to be manual focus with your E-PL2. Or, if you're thinking about spending $500 on an E-PL5, then spend the money on the mZD-60mm macro instead. From what you've been saying, I'd bet that would make you much happier than any of the other options.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 3:42 PM   #16
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Mmm, how do you properly set up the camera to do this. I don't recall reading this in the manual anywhere.
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Hi again, James…

Why not just use manual focus? The E-PL2's manual focus works great with adapted 4/3 lenses and if you set up the camera properly it'll switch to magnified view as soon as you begin twisting the lens focus ring. I do it all the time with my 50-200 and once you develop the habit it's not at all inconvenient. After all, for product photography everything is dead still and you're probably using a tripod anyway, so MF should be very easy.

As far as using the 35mm macro on any m-4/3 body (including the E-PL5 and the OM-D), you're going to run into the same AF problem you have now using it on your E-PL2. The 35mm macro is a PDAF lens -- it's not optimized for CDAF and really it only works well with the full-4/3 Olympus bodies.

And further, if you try to use that non-CDAF lens on a full-4/3 body that is able to focus using the LCD, it won't be any better than it is on your E-PL2. In fact, it'll probably be worse because, once you click the shutter, the mirror has to pop back down so the optics can get the exposure, then pop back up to take the photo.

Either way, your best bet would seem to be manual focus with your E-PL2. Or, if you're thinking about spending $500 on an E-PL5, then spend the money on the mZD-60mm macro instead. From what you've been saying, I'd bet that would make you much happier than any of the other options.
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Old Dec 14, 2012, 4:50 PM   #17
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It's in there, James, but because Olympus manuals are what they are (they suck big time), it ain't easy to piece it all together using the manual . So....

Here's the drill that will set up your E-PL2 the way I have mine set:

press the MENU button

select the Gears (cogs) menu

select AF/MF

select AF MODE

set STILL PICTURE to S-AF+MF

then back out of that selection to the AF/MF menu again

next, select AF AREA

set this to the single dot [ . ] (this selects the small area focus)

then back out of that selection to the AF/MF menu again

next, select MF ASSIST

set this to ON

then back out again to the AM/MF menu

scroll down to […] SET HOME (on the second page of the AF/MF menu)

set this to [ . ] the single dot

then press MENU repeatedly until you're back to the image display.



Now when you twist the MF ring on any m-4/3 or 4/3 lens with adapter, your image will automatically magnify on the LCD enabling you to fine-tune your manual focus. When you release the focus ring, it will jump back to standard magnification.



Give that a try and if you run into problems let me know (although that should do it)!
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 11:21 AM   #18
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Bob, thank you very much for taking the time to put this together for me/other forum members. I did see the term focus assist in the manual but it doesn't tell you too much about it at all. I think if camera manufacturers had a site just for updating manuals where user could chime in with their finds/recommendations would be great. Then they could rewrite the manual and make it available for downloading. I haven't tried this yet but I will in the very near future and let you know how it works out.

Thanks again!
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 6:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarefootPilgrim View Post
It's in there, James, but because Olympus manuals are what they are (they suck big time), it ain't easy to piece it all together using the manual . So....

Here's the drill that will set up your E-PL2 the way I have mine set:
Bob, have you posted that in the Oly µ43 forum? I would think folks there would find it helpful.

Ted
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 3:44 PM   #20
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I agree with you Zig after all I have read. Thanks.
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It's nice to get nostalgic once in a while and use one of the older cameras. BUT, then you look at the photos, compare them against what you're getting now and you'll quickly come back down to the reality of looking at photos not as good as the ones your getting now.

The E-PL5 has got ALMOST all of the features of the E-M5. It would be the wiser choice.
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