50-200 SWD to 40-150 Pro ....

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jeffryscott, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    For those of you that have gone from the 50-200 SWD to the 40-150 Pro, any regrets? Do you miss the extra range at all? And was it worth the price differential to you?
  2. Jonnieb

    Jonnieb Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2014
    Ontario, Canada
    Jon Barnett
    I have made the switch, but due to the lousy weather and time of year, have not had a chance to use the 40-150 extensively enough to be dogmatic about any IQ comparisons.

    (The 50-200 was one of my favourite lenses, and I still wonder if I should have kept it, even though I no longer own my E-5. It worked pretty well on my E-M1.)

    However, I can give you my impressions of the new lens. It is very sharp, focuses very fast, and somehow does not feel nearly as large as the 50-200, although it is about the same length or longer with the 1.4 TC attached. I think the internal zoom makes a big difference in how the lens feels in use. I am still getting used to the hood, but this is one of the best features of the new lens. I never carried the 50-200 in a bag with the hood extended, so it is really nice to have the retractable design (ie it's quicker). It suits the E-M1 very well, and in the hand has a similar feel (ie barrel size, controls) to the 12-40. Although just a little smaller in diameter then the 50-200, I can carry the 40-150 with TC attached vertically in my Domke 803 (in the single compartment), along with the E-M1 with 12-40 attached. The entire package looks no bigger than my prime set-up (E-M1 with 17, 45, 75, and 12, charger, etc) in my other Domke 803. It's a little heavier, but the bags look the same packed!

    No way I could have done that with the E-5, 12-60, and 50-200, which usually occupied a Domke F-3x.

    Gut feel is that the image IQ is "at least" equal to the 50-200, with perhaps slightly better bokeh. Contrast, colours, detail are all excellent. Of course, the E-M1 was a step up from the E-5 IQ-wise, so this should be factored in. I have a feeling that the lighter weight and smaller size will have me carrying this lens around more than the 50-200, which was more of a special circumstances tele lens for me. The 2.8 constant aperture means good background separation, of course.

    As far as focal length, as I indicated, I have left the TC on for now, so it matches the 50-200. Just as the 12-40 doesn't quite match my 12-60 Z lens, this one is a little shorter by itself. However, the range equates to a smaller lens, as does the 12-40, which really suits the OMD camera. I plan to get the 300 F4, which will mitigate losing the 560 range of my 50-200 with the 1.4 EC.

    Price, worth every penny to me for the constant aperture and slightly lighter, smaller package.
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  3. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I started with the EM5 and was looking forward to the 40-150mm Pro coming out, but when I got the EM-1 (just before the release of the Pro) I went thru this exact thing. I feel that the IQ may be a bit better with the new Pro lens, but in real life use is probably not noticeable. It may focus a bit faster and it does allow the use of all the CDAF points if that is something you find useful. Size and weight wise they are almost identical, the Pro being about 100g lighter.

    In the end I went with the SWD. I am primarily a wildlife photographer and really wanted something with autofocus that had great image quality to replace using the Oly 75-300mm. I have and still use manual focus lenses adapted to my EM1, but when I want and need autofocus it's nice to have the SWD. I fully intend to pick up the Pro sometime later maybe next year, when I can get a used copy for around $1,000 or so. In the meantime I needed the extra reach the SWD provides until the 300mm ƒ4.0 is released. Without the TC you have a 100mm difference and with the TC you have 140mm difference in reach. That is a huge difference in my opinion and was enough to sway me toward the SWD.

    For the small difference between the two I do not feel the extra price for the Pro is worth it, to me. You ask about missing the difference in reach, I think that is only something you can answer. If you have the SWD already go thru your photos and see what focal range most of your shots are from. That will tell you if you would miss that extra 100-140mm of reach, don't forget you add the EC-20 to get even a bit more reach if you need it. For me, most (95%) of my photos fall within that extra reach and until the 300mm ƒ4.0 is available I can not part with losing that extra reach.

  4. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    To me biggest problem is price, in my region 50-200 is selling for 250-300€, 12-60 same 250-300€, ec-14 around 100-150€, Sigma 150 Macro same 250-300€ - so i need to sell all of this and get around cca 900€ and get 500€ more to buy just 40-150 PRO without ec or 700€ more with tc and that is too much..

    Next problem is that I shoot mostly with my 50-200 in 200mm or 150-180mm, for better and more sharp photos and if i want to get close I use Sigma 150 Macro f/2.8 or even closer 210mm f/4 with ec-14 ( iq from Sigma 150 macro is better or at least on pair with 40-150Pro on 150mm and is macro lens also )..

    So i decided that i will stay with all of my 4/3 and not to buy 40-150PRO, i will rather buy 300 f/4 when it come to sale - I hope it will not be more expensive than 40-150PRO
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2015
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  5. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'm in a similar position & decided to buy the 50-200 SWD lens at about (a little more than) half the price of the Pro 40-150 & MC14. A very good condition lens (almost new looking) came up for sale in Japan from a highly rated (100%) seller for US$603 posted (cost me AU$801 though because our $ was low), although a cheaper one showed up in Sydney after I bought this one (but much more worn & I suspected possible mould damage). Since I already owned the EC14 I also use it with the 50-200 lens & the Sigma 150mm macro lens as well. The EX25 is useful on both lenses too.
  6. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    Ross, has the firmware upgrade to 3.0 made a difference to focusing with the 50-200 on the em1?
  7. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    I have the 50-200 nonSWM, and haven't really considered changing. I just got the TC1.4, although I haven't used it yet.

    For me, it's grandkid sports, so I never carry it very far.
  8. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I believe definitely yes, but then I got my lens after the update. In fact it was part of the motivation to go for the lens. Check this forum thread for confirmation in this regard.
  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    There is a possibility with that combination you might need to make some adjustment to the Fine AF Adjust on the E-M1 since it is using PD-AF. Of course, on other models using CD-AF that doesn't apply.
  10. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    As much as I love the 50-200, it is packed and ready to ship out as the allure of the 40-150 is too great. The smaller package and slightly better performance is important enough to spend the extra cash.
  11. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I have a feeling you will enjoy it Jeffrey. It's also great with the TC. I used mine with the TC at the dog park this weekend and came away with some pretty decent shots - will post them tonight.
  12. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    It is really not that much smaller and I am still not sure the IQ is any better, but if you don't need the extra 100mm of reach then go for it.
  13. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 1.58.14 PM.
    Looks noticeably bulkier to me, and the native lens doesn't extend.

    I don't expect image quality to be better, and if it is, only marginally so. I just kept going back to wanting this lens even though the 50-200 is absolutely fantastic. It is the few little advantages of the native m43 over the 43 lens that kept drawing me to it. Is it worth the extra money? From an image quality standpoint probably not, and I do lose range. I have the opportunity to do this now, and if I don't appreciate all my perceived advantages, I can always go back to a 50-200 and have some money for the 75 1.8 I still desire.
  14. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    you are compering wrong 50-200 :) mk1 is better ;)

    20141219_091951_resized. 20141219_092001_resized.
  15. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The 40-150 has a larger filter size than the 50-200 (SWD) but does not extend as it is internal zooming (as well as focus), so there is that advantage, I guess. I couldn't justify the expense of the 40-150 & went for the 50-200 SWD lens instead at half the price. It doesn't focus as fast as the 40-150 would though.
  16. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    So I ordered a 40-150 today, just not the PRO. Lingering regret about letting the 50-200 go, the reduced range and the increased price (and the fact I need to save for one more paycheck before I jump in) gave me pause. Because of that, I decided to get the 40-150 4-5.6 to test the waters on the range.

    If I find the range suitable for my needs, I still suspect I will go with the pro in two weeks. But if I find I miss the range the bare 50-200 provides, I will likely just go back to the SWD.

    I figure this will help me decide, and give me a small, quality optic to use while I make my "final" decision.
  17. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    You should have a look at the Panasonic 45-175 if speed is not an issue.
    It has a bit more range than the Oly 40-150 and a big plus in my book is internal zoom and focus.
    Compared to the 50-200 or the Oly Pro, you won't even notice it's in your bag...
  18. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I have the 40-150 f4-5.6 and although it's cheap and a bit slow, it gives good results and is so light and compact that it makes a great travel telephoto zoom. I'd been alternating between it and a Pana Lumix 45-200 to shoot my son's soccer games. My 40-150 has much better IQ wide open at 150mm than my Pana does at 200mm (YMMV), so although I wanted the extra reach of the Pana, the little Oly trumped it. I plan to pick up the 50-200 SWD w/MMF-3 because that combo gives me more reach than the 40-150 and I can get it for less than half the cost of the 40-150 Pro w/TC. For me, it's a niche lens, so paying double or nearly triple for the Pro probably isn't worth it. The SWD would work well on my EM1. If I had only the EM5 or EM5 II, then the Pro would be a better match.
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  19. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014

    I also have the 40-150 f4-5.6 and believe for what it is, it is highly underrated. I only use it as my take when out on my daily bike ride. I typically do a 30-50 mile bike ride every weekday (longer on the weekends) and take along my cheap and light 12-50 (this gives me sorta macro if I need it) and the 40-150 (really wish it was weather proofed) and my EM5. Makes for a wonderful and light take anywhere package. The lenses also go with me all the time along with my EM1, really prefer the EM1 over the EM5 and don't really notice the extra weight in my go everywhere backpack like I would while cycling.

    But for my real wildlife photography the 40-150 is just to slow and not up to the IQ standards of the SWD or the Pro. I picked the SWD over the Pro because 150mm is just not enough reach (either is 200mm, so really looking forward to the 300 Pro) and in my honest opinion the IQ of the new Pro lenses is around the old HG lenses of the 4/3 line. They do not seem to be up to the IQ of the SHG lenses in my opinion. One of the reason I cannot wait until next week when my ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 should arrive. Even with the EC-20 this lens outperformed the SWD with EC-14. So, going to use it to replace my SWD as my main wildlife lens. Will give me more reach (600mm compared to 567) and be about 3/4 stop faster at the long end.

    My only dilemma now is do I sell the SWD and get the 40-150 Pro to use on my EM5 or get a used EM1 for the SWD. Personally I get confused when I use the EM5 and have to think about where stuff is, while on the EM1 it is all instinct and no thinking when I need to change something. Decisions decisions decisions................
  20. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    So the cheap 40-150 arrived, but I'm at work. Meanwhile, a 50-200 SWD I'd been watching on eBay popped up with a discount, and I caved. I do really want the PRO lens, but in the end, I waffled and have come full circle back to where I started before I made the impulsive sell decision.

    Although, in a few weeks I may still take the plunge ...