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Old May 26, 2013, 7:46 PM   #1
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Default E3+Grip+ 35-100F2 CAF Tracking fast oncoming/moving away subjects

Hi Guys/Gals

This is a follow up from the London Marathon thread and a test to try and work out why there was too few critically sharp images from the race when using CAF tracking of runners head on. Was it the EC14, the E3's notorious AF system and its lack of tracking ability, users lack of experience, battery power or a combination of all causing the a 50% OOF and just 10% of critically sharp images ?

This time the subjects are (1) water cable skiers who I was hoping would have made a dash for the two days of summer that we're having for the year this weekend. Luckily they were out in force today and I got a chance to shoot.. I'm still not 100% back wise so took a we risk . (2) Runners at the Bupa 10k run inc. several TeamGB Olympic runners.

E3 + 35-100f2 + the HDL4 battery grip (2 x BML1's).
Camera setting - ISO100 to ISO400 (towards the later part of the day)
Aperture - F2.0 to 3.2 max
Shutter speed - 1/1600s - 2500s
Focal length - 100mm (200mm equiv 35mm)
AF setting - CAF with diamond pattern
Focus area sensitivity- small area
Format - RAW + small low res jpegs
Burst mode - 3 fps

1) Water cable skiers:
A total of 730 shots taken.
No of pics in critical focus - 503
No of OOF images - 227
So 70% of images are in focus and critically sharp.

Thats a fairly rough calculation with approx 40/40/20 split of images headon/moving away/side on.

2) Bupa 10K runners
Total 1150 shots taken
no of pics in critical focus - TBC
no of OOF pics - TBC

I'm going to sort out a gallery soon with for both sets of images. I updated the post to include the running shots as that's more of a direct comparison with the London Marathon shots

Last edited by HarjTT; May 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM.
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Old May 28, 2013, 7:14 AM   #2
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So you're saying the battery grip really does help?

I've never seen water cable skiing. How does one pick up the cable? In the US the only people I know of that can grab on to a fast moving tow rope are Navy Seals, who can get picked up that way by fast moving boats or choppers. If that's what cable skiers do in Britain I'm very impressed.

Ted

Last edited by tkurkowski; May 28, 2013 at 7:19 AM.
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Old May 28, 2013, 8:33 AM   #3
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Hi Ted

The cable skiers .. id never seen anything like it till a few months back.. must have been knocked up by the SBS for kicks ! Here's a wee vid..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_-oO9Fdn6U

From the two sets of tests .. yeah it does seem to help. I hate the added bulk and awkwardness of the combo but it does seem to attempt to focus quicker and there was hardly any of that slow down that I experienced at the LM with just the single battery and esp when the single battery hit the 1/3 battery level. With the BG even at that stage where it just started to flash red I think there was at least another 100+ exposures. With grip your able to fire off a burst of 3 sets of 3 and only slow down when writing the last 3 shots whether theyre in focus is another question !

One thing for certain is that tracking and getting critical focus is a lot easier with the cable skiers than runners. First look at the runners - 2/3 of the pics are OOF where as for the skiers its the opposite. You have time to track and follow the skiers whereas with runners you don;t get a lot of time to follow a single runner.

Another thing that I noticed at the Marathon and again at the Bupa10k with the runners is the excessive level of noise in the files even at ISO100 when the focus is not spot on. Its pretty bad and makes a pic that initially looks in focus and ok not acceptable. I wasn't getting those kinds of files with the cable skiers.

Last edited by HarjTT; May 28, 2013 at 12:49 PM.
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Old May 28, 2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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Interesting results Harj. It tends to confirm what I had read in other forums that focus was faster and more accurate with the extra battery power of the HDL4 grip.

I do not own a HDL4, and based on the type of shooting that I do, it is not high of my wish list of future equipment purchases. But for you, it seems a necessity for when you are out doing the sports shooting.
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Old May 28, 2013, 12:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarjTT View Post
Hi Ted

The cable skiers .. id never seen anything like it till a few months back.. must have been knocked up by the SBS for kicks ! Here's a wee vid..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_-oO9Fdn6U
So it's one person at a time, not like a ski lift. That makes more sense to me.
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Old May 30, 2013, 7:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven R View Post
Interesting results Harj. It tends to confirm what I had read in other forums that focus was faster and more accurate with the extra battery power of the HDL4 grip.
If Harj could have seen the old American TV series "Home Improvement" he would have figured that out a long time ago, following Tim Allen's advice that all devices need More Power.

Harj, this comes from a culture where folks look at a riding lawn mower and decide to increase its power and race it. (In fairness, the Lotus and McLaren folks on your side of the pond understand this.)

Ted
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Old May 30, 2013, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkurkowski View Post
If Harj could have seen the old American TV series "Home Improvement" he would have figured that out a long time ago, following Tim Allen's advice that all devices need More Power.

Harj, this comes from a culture where folks look at a riding lawn mower and decide to increase its power and race it. (In fairness, the Lotus and McLaren folks on your side of the pond understand this.)

Ted
Hah! My neighbor has a large zero turn mower and I'd swear he is cutting grass at 15mph. He has this thing that the less time it takes him to do something, the more he likes it...he even brags about it. Crazy.
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Old Jun 1, 2013, 1:01 PM   #8
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Here's the gallery with some sample images (all OOF cam jpegs):

http://harjtt.smugmug.com/Photograph...9669447_3bszH2

6 sets of images and includes all pics in and out of focus:

1. Cable skier1 - pics 1-14

2. Cable Skier1 - pics 15-18

3. Runner 1 - Pics 19 - 31

4. Runner 2 - Pics 32 - 37

5. Runner 3 - Pics 38-43

6. Cable skier 2 - Pics 44-51


A couple of things that came out of getting some CC from John was, I was too far away from the skiers and thus 200m for the cable skiers really isn;t enough to for this kind of test and that using the 3fps instead of 5pfs was the wrong choice.

Initial thoughts so far:

1. BG - does seem to improve the performance of the cam with the bigger/heavier SHG lens
2. AF accuracy and consistently reliable capture improves depending on the kind of action your attempting to capture. The cable skier, sharp and infocus images were 66% while with the road runners that drops to 30% or less. Tracking a single runner in a group coming towards you rapidly the AF doesn;t seem to be able to lock onto and track the person you have the AF point on. Infact with those sample pics its back focused and locked onto one of the other runners. Now that could be down to the diamond AF pattern but I'm not sure.
3. Critically sharp images with CAF - the number of critically sharp images with the BG did improve. I've not worked out what the actually improvement in terms of % is but its a definite improvement. It may not be as good as say what you can get with one of the Nikon/Canon but compared to what I got before its a real improvement,
4. Camera slow down - now I noticed this a lot during the Marathon, when at 1/3 battery the E3 would just slow down from 3fps to 1fps and AF was also impacted. This doesn't happen with the BG as long as your able to track from a distance and pan/follow through.
5. Burst mode - 3fps for these kind of subjects is too slow and 5fps is the next test.
6. Memory Buffer for shooting RAW bursts - at 5fps, your looking at 9 RAW shots continuously and then pauses to write them to the CF card before allowing you to take the next sequence. If you attempt to immediately shoot while its writing the files, you may get 2-3 shots but it will then basically stop while it finishes writing the files.
7. E3+ BG - camera balance and weight, for me personally the combo feels like a real lump but I'm getting slightly used to the awkwardness.
8. Need to repeat the test with the EC14 or hire the 150F2 and see whether the results are the same when you have more reach.
9. BG on a full charge gives approx 1400 exposures, so you actually get more power than when using each BML-1 separately. I think I've only ever managed 500+ from one of the single batteries.

Last edited by HarjTT; Jun 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM.
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