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using preset manual focus on the OM-D cameras


  • the Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark II introduced a unique novel function called Preset Manual Focus which allows the user to dial in a set focus distance in metres and then when the focus mode is set to Preset MF, the lens will automatically be set to this distance
  • no other camera including older OM-D cameras have this feature.
  • most cameras do allow users to switch to manual focus and set a MF distance using the distance scale, but this is not always accurate enough, and worse, can be accidentally knocked, or changed when one uses AF or turns camera off, but this wonderful feature addresses all of these issues and it is so simple to use, once you know how!
  • this is an awesome new feature for shooting subjects where the camera to subject distance is constant and AF is likely to be difficult such as:
    • zone focusing in street photography with camera set to 1.2m for example and aperture to f/4
    • sports photography with a predicted zone of shooting eg. racing cars coming around a bend

how to use Preset MF

step 1: get to AF mode = Preset MF mode in settings

  • set focus mode to PreMF by either:
    • press OK to bring up Super Control Panel, move cursor to focus mode, press OK, then select PreMF
    • press top left button “AF”, then select PreMF

step 2: create a preset distance

  • while in settings mode in Step 1, press INFO button and then half-press shutter to AF on a desired distance (NOT the AFL/AEL button) and the camera will give a read out of that distance in meters and then press OK to set this distance
  • if AF lock will be difficult, you may need to lock preset focus using manual focus:
    • first ensure you have MF Assist turned ON for Magnify and Peaking (any assigned buttons will NOT work here)
    • press INFO button as above
    • adjust manual focus to your desired assessment of accurate focus
    • camera will read out the distance
    • press OK to lock this in as your preset MF
  • alternatively, one can manually dial in the distance by:
    • Menu:Cogs:A3:Preset MF Distance
  • then exit to take photos with camera set at that preset distance

optional step 3: allow toggling between AF lock and preset MF

  • ensure Menu:Cogs:A2:AEL/AFL is set to M3
  • ensure a button is allocated to Preset MF Menu:Cogs:B: Button Function (eg. REC button)
  • this enables you to lock in AF at any time by pressing AEL/AFL button and then rapidly switch back to your preset manual focus distance by pressing the allocated button for preset MF - VERY COOL indeed!
omd/presetmf.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/09 00:38 by gary1

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