Live view aperture on the E-P2

Now that my E-P2 has finally found a jacket-pocketable lens, the 20mm f/1.7 pancake from Panasonic (purchase from Amazon or Roberts Imaging), I’ve been carrying it a lot more often.

E-P2 w/ 20mm f/1.7

E-P2 w/ 20mm f/1.7
San Francisco, California, USA

Nikon D3, 50mm f/1.4G
1/50 sec @ ƒ/2.2, iso 2500, 50mm

A 20mm f/1.7 lens and a Hirano case make the E-P2 an effective kit. If you want to pocket it, just unscrew the case and pop out the EVF.

One curious behavior I noticed while shooting is that the aperture is electronically controlled to make the CCD’s life easier in the camera live view—since this is an EVIL camera, it always has live view. When it’s quiet, you can hear the aperture click as you move it around to different lighting conditions. Furthermore, it never seems to set the aperture wider than about ƒ/2.8 unless you are autofocusing. This means when night shooting in the dark with this lens, it’s brighter than your eyes, but not as bright as the lens is actually capable of. Not only that, but the depth-of-field you see in the live view is independent of the final output.

I decided to take a video of the behavior with Marie’s D5000. Since I accidentally hit the shutter button while focusing, here is a still:

20/1.7 aperture

20/1.7 aperture
San Francisco, California, USA

Nikon D5000, 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DX VR
1/30 sec @ ƒ/7.1, iso 560, 55mm (78mm)

To get this photo, I jury rigged my D200 RRS L-bracket onto the D5000 so I could tripod mount it.

and here is the movie:

I’m just waving my hand in front of the lens a few times. And then I turn the camera off.

The overexposure was the camera’s decision. I didn’t have time to figure out how to keep the Auto ISO from overcompensating my setting.

Do any of you notice this behavior on the Panasonic GF-1?

4 thoughts on “Live view aperture on the E-P2

    1. No, The 17/2.8 seems smaller. The 1.7 has a larger aperture and doubles as a normal lens. I think it also distorts a bit less but I can’t tell because all modern RAW converters (Apple and Adobe) detect the camera/lens combination and apply distortion and vignette correction. Olympus Master 2 doesn’t, but I removed it from my hard drive.

      Olympus makes a case of their own in a similar style. I bet it’s available in the U.S. by now. Also eBay probably has a number of reasonably priced Chinese models. Personally, I like shooting my camera out of it’s case because I can fit it in my coat pocket.

  1. The 20mm f/1.7 is a significantly sharper lens than the Olympus 17mm f/2.8, and even better at f/1.7 than the Leica Elmarit 24mm f/2.8 on the X1. Glad to see you finally scored one. The GF1 stays at f/1.7 pretty much all the time if you leave it in P mode. Of the 169 frames I shot this year (well, the keepers anyway), 157 were taken at f/1.7. In combination with the E-P2's superior sensor and in-body stabilization, it must be quite a combo, even if you have to sacrifice AF speed.
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