Correct use of AF limiter

As the adjustment spindle could be quite long in lenses with long focal length, focusing speed is slower than with shorter focal length lenses. Therefore those lenses do habe often the possibility to limit the area in which the lens should focus on. In most cases you can choose between total range, close distance and far distance. This limits the adjustment spindle and makes focusing faster. Are you shooting for example wildlife, which you are not able to approach close, you can choose only the far distance setting. The lens is then able to focus faster. This possibility is, as already mentioned, only available for long focal length lenses and is limited to three settings.
OM-D cameras have the possibility to set the AF limit via software, which can be used for any lens. You are able to save three different settings, which you can use at any time. How to use this function I would like to show you as follows.

1 The settings for AF limiter is located in the Menü A (in case of E-M1X it is A3, in case of E-M1 Mark II/III it is A1) Here you can make your basic settings.

2 To make the basic settings press the arrow keys three time right. Then select one of the three settings and press the arrow key right again.

3 Use the arrow keys to adjust close and far limit. As soon as you have finished press “OK” to confirm the settings.

* Please keep in mind those values are not exact values. Therefore you can ignore the value behind the comma.

Here you also can change your settings while you are shooting. However this is quite complicated and is not fast enough. Therefore it makes more sense to program a function key. Then you have direct access to the limiter. I personally use the L-Fn button of the Pro lenses. In case you don’t have Pro lenses or the F-Ln button is already used for something else you also can use another function button.

4 The fastest way to reach the button settings is the Super Control Panel. Just press “OK” and choose gear wheel.

5 Here you can directly program the function keys. Choose your favourite function key and select there AF limiter.

6 Pressing the selected function key allows you to switch AF limiter on/off. To switch between your three basic settings just press and hold the function key. The selection Menü opens and you can select one of your basic settings.

I hope this tip helps you to make better images. I’m happy when you leave a comment.

Adjust image picture modes

There are many picture modes in Olympus cameras, which influence how sharpness, contrast, gradation and saturation looks like in JPEG files. Saturation for example is in the picture mode “Vivid” stronger than in the picture mode “Normal”. For my personal taste I like the picture mode “Normal” very much, but this is a matter of taste and therefore the photographer could change the settings up to a certain degree. This could be done in the Menu. I prefer the Super Control Panel, as you can reach the settings there faster und adjustments could be done directly.

1 You reach the Super Control Panel by pressing the “OK” button.

2 In the upper right corner picture modes can be selected. Directly below you can adjust settings like sharpness, contrast, gradation and saturation for each picture mode.

3 To change a Value just select a value by touch screen or use the arrow keys. Use the forefinger wheel to change a value.

In case you selected a Art Filter instead of a “normal” picture mode, you are able to adjust extra Art Filer functions instead of sharpness, contrast, saturation or gradation. in some of the Art Filters you could change a frame for example. Important to know is that those settings influence only the JPEG files. RAW files are not affected at all.

My first experiences with the Olympus 150-400mm F4.5 Objektiv

With the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO Olympus released a unique lens, which is not available from other manufacturers. It’s focal length area covers the equivalent field of view of a 35mm lens with 300-800mm and weights only a bit more than 1800g. Therefore the lens is very mobil and you can shoot handheld without a tripod. With 35mm lenses is this for sure not possible, as those are much bigger and heavier. As you don’t need a tripod you save also the weight of this in case you are on location.
In addition the lens has the best image stabilisation on the market, which works in conjunction with the image stabilisation of the camera. This ensures that you can shoot also with long focal length with our blurring the image.

I’m lucky and had already the opportunity to test the lens and would like to share my experience with you. My very first impression at the moment I touched the lens the first time was, wow that lens is light. Sure it is heavier as lenses with shorter focal length. It is the biggest lens in the Micro Four Thirds family. In case you take it into hands the first time you will be surprised how light the lens despite its size is. To achieve this Olympus decided to use Aluminum Alloy only on the parts, which are responsible for stability. All other areas are made out of carbon reinforces polycarbonate. Anyhow the lens feels very solid. In addition the lens hoof is also made out of carbon, this ensures a very good balance between lens and camera body (in my case the E-M1X) also when the lens hood is used.

Handling

As already written above is the balance between lens and camera body excellent. Regarding the handling there is a lot more. The lens offers a bunch of switches to adjust focusing area, image stabilisation, focus method and the behaviour of the L-Fn buttons. Those switches are very good to reach and you find them also when you are looking through the viewfinder. The switch to activate the built-in 1.25x teleconverter is placed on the perfect location an can be easily reached in portrait as well landscape shooting. Focusing and zooming is easy and very precise and without big efforts usable. Very useful are the L-Fn buttons which can be used to focus to a predefined distance or you can activate a predefined function. The predefined focusing distance can be set with a small button close to the switch for the built-in teleconverter. This is a very helpful function, in case you would like to come back to a certain focusing distance, when disturbing objects are between you and the subject you would like to focus on. An example would be in case you would like to shot animals behind tries and the branches are in the way.
In opposite to 35mm lenses Micro Four Third lenses do have a very short closest focusing distance. In case of the M.Zuiko Digital ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO it is 1.3m, also when you are using the built-in or external teleconverter. This makes the lens also to a mark lens, which is very usable to shoot butterflies or dragonflies. The long focal length enable you not only to keep the needed distance to shy animals but also gives you a nice unsharp background.

Image quality

As you expect from such kind of lens the lens is in each area top. Sharpness full-fills all professional needs. Even when the built-in teleconverter is used there are no complaints, which also is the case when using MC-14 or MC-20. In case you are using the MC-20 the lens reaches an unbelievable focal length of 1000mm, which is equivalent with 2000mm in 35mm cameras. As the image stabilisation is so good also in this configuration shooting handheld is not issue at all. The tripod you can leave at home. This makes not only your travel luggage lighter but you could also shoot more agile as you can react on changes much faster.
Autofocus is working in all configuration fast and precise, which is also very helpful when you are shooting fast moving objects. Issues like distortion, vignetting or chromatic aberration are not present.

Comparison with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 100-400mm F5-6.3 IS

I know this comparison is unfair as the 100-400mm is far less expensive as the 150-400mm lens. The 150-400mm lens is bigger, but delivered als much more speed and is in all optical areas at least one class better. In addition usage is more flexible as it as a built-in 1.25x teleconverter, which can be switch on / off with out releasing the lens. Therefore you can react much faster in case you need a bit more focal length, which is a real benefit especially, when you are shooting wildlife or sports. In addition AF speed is much faster and more precise. Don’t misunderstand me, the 100-400mm lens is, having the price in mind, a brillant lens, but the 150-400mm in comparison is much better.

Results

Enough written. It is better to show you images taken with this lens. In case you have questions write an comment I’m more than happy to answer.

Adjust grid colour

Why useful?

Grid line are very helpful to compose images. Therefore OM-D cameras have the option to use different grid lines. In the standard settings the grid lines are grey. They can be adjusted as in some situations grey grid line are hard to see. Therefore OM-D cameras do have the possibility to adjust the grid line colour.

Standard grid line are hardly visible.
Red grid lines are better visibile.

1 Go to „Custom Menu“ „D3“ and choose
„Grid Settings“ and press “OK”.

2 Choose „Display Color“ and press „Arrow Key Right“. Press again „Arrow Key Right“ and choose „Preset 1“. Press once again „Arrow Key Right“. 

3 Mix your color with the three values „R“ (red), „G“ (green) and „B“ (blue) and set transparence with α. Press „OK“ to confirm settings. Press „MENU“ to cancel settings.

Tip:
In case you would like to have a second grid colour you could program it on preset 2.

Short cut to switch on / off the automatic eye sensor

Why useful

OM-D camera do have a eye sensor, which detects when you are looking through the viewfinder and switching on the viewfinder. This is very useful, as you don’t have to think about switching LC display and viewfinder when you would like to use the viewfinder. In some cases this function is unwanted. Switching of the automatic sensor with the menu is time consuming and might be the reason why you are missing a shot. Therefore there is a short cut to change the behaviour of the eye sensor quite fast.

1 Press end hold the „Monitor“ (LV) button.

2 The „EVF Auto Switch“ menu opens and you could change the eye sensor to on or off.

3 When eye sensor is switched off use the „Monitor“ button to switch between back monitor and electronic viewfinder

In camera fisheye correction

Why useful

Fisheye lenses are very special lenses, which are suitable for taken 360° panoramas for example. However as they have a very large distortion and field of view those lenses are not suitable for many other applications. With software such distortion can be corrected. The OM-D E-M1 series has this correction already built-in to the camera firmware. The advantage is that you can already see the effect before you take the image, which helps you to compose your image. This technology makes the 8mm F1.8 a very wide angle lens which is unique in the market.

1 Press „Menu“ and browse to menu J1 Camera Utility.

2 Select „Fisheye Compensation“ and press „OK“. Select „OK“ and press right arrow key.

3 Choose „Angle“ and press „Arrow Key right“

4 to select angle of view and press 3x  „OK“

1 = 5.5mm / 123° / 2=7 mm / 114° / 9 mm / 100°

5 In camera fisheye compenstation is indicated in the screen with shown symbol. The number beside the symbol indicates the angle of view you have choosen

Note: As soon fisheye compensation is activated the camera shows the corrected image, however when shooting in RAW format recorded image is not affected.

6 You could program a FN button to have direct access to this function and switch between the different focal length / field of view. It works in the same way as for Live ND filter, please have a look into „Program functional button for Live ND filter switch“