Leica M lens on E-P1: can you use the zoom-in-to-focus feature?

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by jimsimmons, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. I've downloaded the E-P1 manual and read if thoroughly, but the answer to this question is vague. I want to know that if I use my 40mm Summicron on the E-P1 with the M adapter, will I be able to activate the zoom-in feature to make it easier to focus? I am only interested in answers from someone who has actually used a manual lens on the E-P1, not inferred that it can be done from the manual or read on the web somewhere.
    And if it can't be done, then how difficult have you found it to focus a manual lens on the E-P1 in moderate sunlight conditions?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. I've used my friend's E-P1 with her Summilux-M 50/1.4 fitted.
    Press the Info button until you get to the screen with the green box in the middle. Then press the OK button. Magnification will toggle between 5x and 7x (I think) with the control dial.
    I don't find it difficult to focus manually in sunlight. Of course, in some circumstances, you need to find a way to shade the LCD so you can see it clearly.
  3. Thanks, Godfrey. That helps me make more sense out of page 41 of the manual! It is implied that you might be able to customise it so that only the features you want available via the series of INFO button presses are shown, meaning you could perhaps cut out some of the modes you don't want and jump directly to Zoom Display mode. Then the sub dial (vertical dial) toggles between 7x and 10x.
    Has anyone done this cusomisation to make it easier to shoot with a manual lens?
    How many hands does it take to hold the camera, focus the lens manually, and shield the LCD sunlight? Let's see, I've this hand here and this hand here and...
  4. ..."How many hands...?..."
    I've only worked with Terry's camera a little bit. I hold camera and lens with left hand, fingers on the focusing ring, and work the focus magnification and exposure controls with the right hand. Just like I do with other cameras, really. To shade the LCD when needed, a wide-brimmed hat or even a baseball cap does the job nicely.
    Yes, if you customize the info screens and eliminate ones you don't use often, it makes for fewer presses to get to the focus assist. You can always turn them back on if you want to use them.
    The biggest issue I see that I hope Olympus addresses in future firmware updates is to allow the focus assist magnification to be defeated automatically by a half press of the shutter release. It can disturb the focus, particularly with a long lens, when you have to go back and hit the OK button to switch back to the normal, unmagnified view for framing. The G1 operates this way and works very nicely, imo.
  5. Thanks, Godfrey, that all sounds like it's more useable than I'd imagined. I've used the zoom-to-focus on a G1 at my photo shop, but it was more button presses and on buttons that felt unergonomic than I cared to mess with. Everything else about the E-P1 looks like a ergonomic winner to me. I'm coming from 30 years of wrapping my hands around a Leica CL, and nothing I've found in digital feels that "just right" size to me, with all the controls falling perfectly to hand and operating intuitively. Granted, designing a proper digital interface is more challenging than a simple film camera interface. I think a camera maker could really take the industry in a big leap forward by rethinking the interface paradigms for digital cameras.
  6. I found the G1's "left arrow, center ok" button press a little awkward at first but I've gotten quite used to it now, can do it without taking my eye from the viewfinder easily. It's the same as on my L1 body, but the L1 body and four-way/ok buttons are a bit larger in size.
    When I get the E-P1 body, I'll have to get used to its different control paradigm. Better or worse ... eh? My fingers and brain will adapt. As I said above, I do wish the Olympus would cancel magnification without having to hit the OK button again; the Panasonic G1 does this the right way, imo. Designing these things is a huge amount of work, for sure. So far, every manufacturer has their wins and losses. Seems inescapable.
    The E-P1 with wide-normal lens and a clip-on optical finder for eye level work does appeal to me in much the way the Leica CL appealed to me, for sure. The G1's dual LCD/EVF and articulated LCD mount makes it a somewhat more flexible camera in many ways, but it also makes it a bit bulkier and less of that "rangefinder feel".
  7. Well the zoom function is not too bad. I use my C.V. SWH 4,5/15mm, Elmarit 2,8/28mm, Summicron 2,0/50mm and Summarit 2,5/75mm with the Novoflex MFT-Leica-M adapter on the Olympus PEN E-P1 body. They all function pretty well.
    Best regards,

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