Olympus OM-D E-M5 II - manual focusing and focus peaking - myths and realities

I got a comment about the above article (click on it to read) I wrote about manually focusing 3rd. party lenses on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II (and indeed all Olympus cameras) It contained misinformation and also a somewhat cavalier attitude to focusing accuracy, so I thought I'd respond to it. You won't find the comment anywhere, because I've deleted it, as I don't allow 'being creative with the truth' anywhere near my posts.

The jist of it was as follows. Basically I was talking rubbish, because this gentleman just allocated a function button for focus peaking and then was able to focus lenses manually, without magnifying the image. Oh, and he only had 7 failures out of 200, thus proving what a great method it was.   !!!!!!

Firstly, I guess the differences between him and me are clearly demonstrated. I'm not prepared to accept ANY failure to achieve correct and sharp focus in any of my shots. If I can't get 100% then I might as well give up and do something else. An attitude every professional photographer I know would subscribe to. Secondly, I dispute that non-magnified focus peaking alone is enough to achieve spot on focus. Again I guess, it depends what standards you have. For me, getting the exact point of focus sharp and well defined means just that, exact. I know what I want that to be in every image I take and set about making it happen. Now it may be that somebody is happy to accept 'sharpish' focus from non-magnified focus peaking, something along the lines of using the hyperfocal distance. But any suggestion that this is an accurate method for correctly focusing, particularly with fast lenses wide open, is just making a mockery of those of us trying to create decent images.

It is unfortunately the case that a lot of photographers, not me I hasten to say, like 'playing' with manual focus lenses. They like nothing more than buying some old piece of metal and glass on ebay, sticking it onto their camera via an adapter and fiddling around with it. And I guess anybody is perfectly entitled to do that. But if you are serious about using manual focus lenses as I am, then it's a given that I have to get 100% accurate and sharp focus every single time. And that's the reason I wrote the article I did. Because to achieve that with an Olympus camera, the two step process of turning on the focus peaking AND magnifying the image has to be undertaken. And anyone who tries to tell you that isn't the case is either a fool, needs an eye test or is too fond of both taking short cuts or with somewhat different standards to the rest of us.

I'm sure that the majority of the people who read this blog share the same values as I do. In that if there is any 'art' in photography it needs to be accompanied by our best efforts to get the technicalities right. Images exposed correctly for what we are trying to convey, eliminating camera shake and anything else that degrades our images and of course sharp, correct, precise focus on our subject matter. The art being in what and how we compose, not how and what we take the picture with. And I have to say my blood pressure does rise when I read anything that has a 'that'll do' attitude about it. Because if that is way people think, then there is little point in them reading what I write.