OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 II - The bad news - manual focusing 3rd. party lenses

It had to come I guess. The thing the OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 II is really bad at. Indeed all Olympus cameras are bad at. Manual focusing. It's like they don't want you to do it with 3rd. party lenses. Here's the difference between Olympus and Sony.

With Sony, you make sure focus peaking is turned on in the menu. When you want to focus say a Nikon lens, you select MF, press the function button selected to magnify the image, focus, press the shutter button to return to the normal sized screen to take the shot. To take another shot you just do it again.

With Olympus, you make sure focus peaking is turned on. You then have to allocate peaking and magnify to separate function buttons. So if you want to focus that same Nikon lens you have to press the focus peaking button, then press the magnify button, focus, then press the magnify button again to get back to the normal sized screen, then press the shutter button to take the picture. If you want to take another shot, you have to do the whole thing again. Including pressing the focus peaking button again because after you've taken the shot the camera turns peaking off!! Oh and you also have to save your button configuration as a My Set because when the camera goes into power save and switches off, when you switch it on again it goes back to the default setting and you have to select your My Set that includes your custom button configuration, because otherwise you have to re select the button functions.

Now if there is a way round this, please let me know because it frustrates the hell out of me. It's slow, it's unnecessarily fiddly and if I'm looking for a quick shot, Elvis has definitely left the building by the time I've got the lens focused. Which is a shame since the peaking is sharp and clear.

All of this isn't so bad if I'm shooting video, but for stills it's a pain. It seems that Olympus make this relatively easy to manually focus their native AF lenses, but for 3rd. party lenses it's a total pain. So yesterday, when I used my Voigtlander 20mm and 58mm lenses, this will have been the first and last time I use the 58mm lens. The 20mm is OK because I use the hyperfocal distance and don't even have to focus it in good light, as I select f/11 and that gives me loads of depth of field.

But for other lenses, apart from anything else, if I'm using a lens with a wide aperture, all that fiddling about and looking to check I'm pressing the right button means the camera + lens actually moves about if I'm hand holding, which of course can make it go out of focus.

So, if there is a way round this and to keep the peaking function 'live' and not have to press the magnify button to get back to the normal sized screen, then please do share it. Because I can't see how to make the process more user friendly. For me, Olympus cameras are by far the worst for manual focusing of 3rd. party lenses. Both Panasonic and Fuji have pretty much the same operation as Sony. My Leica T has a one button press into the magnified screen and pressing the shutter button gets me back to normal view. And Nikon have the best system of all which is a white dot confirmation of spot on focus in the viewfinder, with no messy peaking lines and no function button setting.

So come on Olympus, make your excellent cameras more MF user friendly, because when I do get it done, as in the shots above, I get really high quality images. But then I guess I'm not using Olympus lenses am I? Is this your way of punishing me for that?