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Old Dec 20, 2005, 9:27 PM   #11
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It appears from my unprofessional eye that you have a depth of field issue rather that a focus issue. In just about every picture there is a sharp area, but probably not the area you wanted to be sharp. Sounds to me like the camera may be set in macro or super macro mode. Also check the aperture you are shooting at. I'll bet it's a low number, large aperature and thus poor depth of field. I cannot explain what has happened since you were taking sharp pictures until now but I'll bet it is a setting that you made that you have forgotten about. Check all your camera settings.
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Old Dec 20, 2005, 10:48 PM   #12
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Ryan: You stated: " I prefer Spot focusing however, and I don't believe P-AF is an option in Spot mode."

In my experience the spot focus should be used rarely, the P=AF usually works much better. All your photos have a point of sharp focus, just not your center subject, and most appear to be slow shutter atwide aperture. Did you double check yourAF target markerbracket to make sure it rested exactly where you intended. I tend to usually avoid the spot focus. Thespot focus bracket [] jumps around a lot, and tends to land on the closest element in the viewscreen rather than what is in the middle. See page 78 of your camera manual on the CD's pdf file. It discusses the manual moving of the focus bracket, what it does not say is that the bracket jumps around on its own whenever that are closer elements nearby. I have to pay close attention when shooting in spot focus, as the bracketmay jump aroundas you press the shutter lever halfway.

Do an experiment. Using shots with different elements at different distances from the camera, shoot in P-AF, then shot the identical photo in spot photo. Let us know if all the shots are out of focus, or if the majority of the problem occurs under the spot focus mode.

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Old Dec 21, 2005, 11:38 AM   #13
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I agree w/ Steven's assessment - autofocus w/o P-AF is an iffy proposition, particularly indoors. I'd use iESP and P-AF full-tine indoors; save Spot for good outdoor lighting.
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 3:55 AM   #14
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Okay guys, just wanted to let you know I checked the thread and read all your replies. Thank you very much. You've already provided more help than Olympus phone line tech support, haha. I imagine I'm an isolated incident tho from the sound of things on this forum.

I'm going to go thru and check and double-check all my camera settings later today and take some more pictures in iESP vs. Spot mode and some other scenarios, hopefully things will work out.

Thanks again for taking time to help me out. I'll check back in later today!

- Ryan
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Old Dec 22, 2005, 6:06 PM   #15
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JKusmier:
For the next set of shots I take I'm going to list all of my settings. I'll take 4 pictures of the same object. 2 @ full telephoto--1 in SPOT MODE and 1 in iESP MODE--and 2 @ full wide angle--again 1 in SPOT MODE and 1 in iESP MODE.
Also, the camera isn't really focusing on anything in the picture. Just some things more-so than others. Upon close inspection they're actually still softly focused and blurry. Just not to the degree of the actual subject I'm centered on and attempting to shoot.
Firmware is up to date.
Thanks for sticking with this discussion.

HerbMoore:
I also see the DOF issue. The focusing issue is still there also, just less apparent. Even things in the picture that appear sharp are actually softly focused and blurry upon close inspection.
The camera has not been accidentally set to MACRO of SUPER MACRO. I made sure to double-check.
The aperture is, in fact, always near its most open. I'm going to post my camera settings to see if anything sticks out to anyone, or if I'm missing something. As far as I can tell tho, everything is fine. It's my belief that something is physically wrong with the camera. The settings have been reset twice by Olympus since the problems have begun. I can't make sense of these problems any other way yet.
Thanks for replying.

Steven R:
I will take your advice on picking and choosing my battles with spot focus. However, I used it regularly for the first 3 to 4 months I owned the camera with the results shown on my Photo Bucket page.
My AF TARGET stays exactly centered over what I'm shooting for every picture I've taken.
Like I told JKusmier and HerbMoore, the pictures only appear to have a point of sharp focus. The points in the pictures looking sharp are actually still softly focused and blurry upon close inspection. It's just not as apparent without the pictures being viewed full-size.
I also don't have access to my full manual. I don't currently have a working disc drive and I never received a printed manual with the camera. Doh!
And also, the points in the pictures that appear focused are actually in the background and farther away than the subjects I'm trying to shoot. That doesn't fit with the AF TARGET moving to a closer object in SPOT MODE.
It also appears that P-AF applies to SPOT MODE and iESP MODE both. After selecting P-AF you can then choose between SPOT and iESP, and also slect whether or not P-AF remains on/off (unless I'm misunderstanding).
Thanks for staying with this discussion. If I leave anything out of the menu settings I list, please let me know and I will fill you in or verify anything.

My menu's look like this:
CAMERA
* FLASH MODE: AUTO
* AF/MACRO/MF: AF
* ESP/METERING: ESP
* SHOOTING MODE: SINGLE-FRAME
* TIMER/REMOTE: OFF
* ISO: 80
* DIGITAL ZOOM: OFF
* NOISE REDUCTION: OFF
* FUNCTION: OFF
* FRAME ASSIST: OFF
* SOUND: OFF
* MY MODE: N/A
* HISTOGRAM: DIRECT

PICTURE
* WHITE BALANCE: AUTO
* IMAGE QUALITY: HQ
* SCENE MODES: N/A
* SHARPNESS: 0
* CONTRAST: 0
* HUE: 0
* SATURATION: 0

USER MENU
* ALL RESET: OFF
* RECORD VIEW: AUTO
* BEEP: N/A
* SHUTTER SOUND: N/A
* EV STEP: 1/3 EV
* CUSTOM BUTTON: N/A
* SHORT CUT: N/A
* MY MODE SETUP: N/A
* CONTROL PANEL: ON

SETUP
* LANGUAGE: ENGLISH
* DATE/TIME: 12/22/05
* BEEP: N/A
* SLEEP: 10 MINS
* FILE NAME: AUTO
* BATTERY SAVE: OFF
* PIXEL MAPPING: N/A
* LCD BRIGHTNESS: +1
* M/FT: FT
* VIDEO OUT: NTSC
* AF ILLUMINATOR: ON
* USB: PC

P-AF:
* FOCUS MODE: AF
* AF MODE: iESP
* FULLTIME AF: OFF
* P-AF: ON
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