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helged

Manual focus, S1R + 90-280SL

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AF is generally fine on the S1/R, particularly AFS, but sometimes one would like to be in control also of the focus. When S1R is in the Manual focus mode, I may want to set - or fine-tune - the focus myself. The problem is that you need a certain torque in order to activate the focus mechanism (at least with my setup; I have tried both Linear and Non-Linear focus setting on the S1R; with the same result). This means that it is essentially impossible to manually fine-tune the focus when the 90-280 is set to e.g. 280mm. This in contrast to the SL, where manual fine-tuning of the focus works fine. 

Are there settings on the S1/R that I have missed? (more likely than not... :blink:). Can someone with the S1/R and the 90-280 test the issue - for instance by manually focusing the 90-280 at 280mm, with the focus magnifier on? Are you able to get the lens to respond to a gentle rotation of the focus ring? I am not...

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I have set up S1R for my SL 24-90 mm (don't know whether it would help for SL 90-280mm) as follows:

  • I use AF On for back button focussing. AF delinked from shutter button. AFS selected. This works like MF. 
  • I can fine tune focus by moving the focus ring, and the entire viewfinder shows the magnified view of the focus point, once I fine tune with the focus ring. 
  • Focus peaking is turned on (red colour selected). 

I will test this with Lumix S PRO 70-200m to see whether it works the same way.

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vor 2 Stunden schrieb helged:

The problem is that you need a certain torque in order to activate the focus mechanism

Always or only occasionally? 
I've tested it right now and it works fine but I can remember that I had the same impression a couple of days ago. 

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I have tried manual focusing on both the Lumix S Pro 70-200mm f4 and 50mm f1.4 and they both focus without much difficulty with the S1R. With the SL 24-90mm and SL 50mm f1.4 Summilux attached to S1R, due to focus by wire, manual focusing is not as easy as with the Lumix lenses. I found the EVF not reactive enough as I manually turn the focusing ring of the SL lenses.

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54 minutes ago, Ingo said:

Always or only occasionally? 
I've tested it right now and it works fine but I can remember that I had the same impression a couple of days ago. 

Always, based on my testing, at least...

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Posted (edited)

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From my playing with MF and the 90-280 this afternoon I can see what you mean ....... there appears to be only two speeds ..... hare and tortoise ...... at a certain rotation speed it reacts quickly for coarse focussing ..... but below this speed the focus increments are very small and it takes a substantial rotation to move in and out by a metre or so at 50m. There seems to be nothing in between ..... and if you rotate just a bit too fast whilst creeping up on focus slowly you overshoot by a large amount and have to refocus again. 

Not ideal ..... but once you realise how it works on the S1R I would have thought there would be no problem after a bit of practice. If your setup is behaving differently then something is amiss. The Focus ring adjustment only works with compatible Panasonic lenses as far as I'm aware. 

To be honest I've only ever used pinpoint AF on the S1R and tend to focus/lock/recompose when handheld. I have found the AF on the S1R so accurate that reverting to MF has never occurred to me ... ;) 

Edited by thighslapper

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, thighslapper said:

From my playing with MF and the 90-280 this afternoon I can see what you mean ....... there appears to be only two speeds ..... hare and tortoise ...... at a certain rotation speed it reacts quickly for coarse focussing ..... but below this speed the focus increments are very small and it takes a substantial rotation to move in and out by a metre or so at 50m. There seems to be nothing in between ..... and if you rotate just a bit too fast whilst creeping up on focus slowly you overshoot by a large amount and have to refocus again. 

Not ideal ..... but once you realise how it works on the S1R I would have thought there would be no problem after a bit of practice. If your setup is behaving differently then something is amiss. The Focus ring adjustment only works with compatible Panasonic lenses as far as I'm aware. 

To be honest I've only ever used pinpoint AF on the S1R and tend to focus/lock/recompose when handheld. I have found the AF on the S1R so accurate that reverting to MF has never occurred to me ... ;) 

Thanks! After playing with the the 3 zooms and 75SL, I realise that the zoom ring on the 90-280 appears to have two rotation modes, as you explain. I don't see this on the other SL lenses I have, although I will not exlude the possibility. Ok, not optimal, but not a problem either. 

Edited by helged

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21 hours ago, helged said:

Thanks! After playing with the the 3 zooms and 75SL, I realise that the zoom ring on the 90-280 appears to have two rotation modes, as you explain. I don't see this on the other SL lenses I have, although I will not exlude the possibility. Ok, not optimal, but not a problem either. 

Unfortunately, the two-step sensitivity of the SL 90-280 focus ring (on the S1R) means that focussing e.g. birds-in-flight (particularly towards or away from you, or on an erratic path) is somewhere between unpredictable and impossible: The AF isn't good enough, and manual focusing doesn't work with the precision needed.

The first post (AF) is ok-ish and nothing new; there is still a long way to match continuous AF from g.e. Nikon's top performers like D5. The latter point (hard-to-control manual focus) is harder to understand. Hopefully - and likely - things will improve with a long L-mount lens from Sigma or Panasonic...

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Posted (edited)

I've just returned from a week's safari in Northern Botswana with the S1R & 2 lenses- Leica SL 24-90mm & Leica SL 90-280mm.

While I'm very pleased with the images I captured and enjoyed getting to know the camera in the field, I must say that there were several times where I became quite frustrated with the inability of the camera to lock onto focus.  

To be more specific, the camera struggled in several instances to find focus, even with static subjects. The focus point seems to somehow move or jump around just slightly off where I was focussing. I tried each & every focus mode, and even Manual mode, which as Helged has mentioned above, was just about impossible to master. I also found trying to focus on birds in flight,  challenging with a few exceptions. 

I'm not a "machine gunner" and prefer to compose each image; focus was primarily set set on S & Single Shot mode. Old habits die hard, this comes from using M cameras for the past 45 years.

Eventually, for most of the time I settled on Pinpoint AF, focus lock & recompose, as Thighslapper says he does as well. 

Here's one I did manage to capture handheld from a moving boat @ 280mm. I suspect that in this instance it may have been easier for the camera to focus because there were several birds in the frame. I'll be posting more images from my safari over the next day or 2.

Best,

Mike

Edited by michali

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