A quick one: Olympus 100-400 or PanLeica 50-200?

Olympus 100-400 or PanLeica 50-200?

  • New Olympus 100-400 - $1499

    Votes: 18 56.3%
  • New PanLeica 50-200 - On Sale $1497

    Votes: 7 21.9%
  • New Import PanLeica 50-200 - $1400

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Used PanLeica 50-200 - $1050 to $1200

    Votes: 7 21.9%

  • Total voters
    32

davidzvi

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Well I finally got the O100-400. It's going back, it's just to big to comfortably use for casual walks. I was able to get a couple nice shots.

But now it's the O75-300 or PL50-200 if I can find one for a reasonable price. I guess I could also consider the Oly 40-150 Pro + TC, but probably still too big and heavy.
 

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davidzvi

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You ever considered the
Panasonic 100-400?
Yes and no. Yes I have considered it in the past. But no it's not an option. One of the biggest reasons it's not an option is the same thing that won't let me spend full retail on the PL50-200, the PL100-400s have had some issues and Panasonic support for it's premium glass is at best laughable at times. I've only heard of a few issues with the PL50-200, but it's still a concern. And now if I'm thinking the 40-150 is still too big in reality than the PL100-400 would be as well.

If I could find a reasonably priced used PL50-200 I'd probably go for that. Otherwise I'll probably pick up a 75-300.
 
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L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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There is a post over in thread:

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/panasonic-leica-lenses-on-olympus-bodies.109822/

By @L0n3Gr3yW0lf about the 50-200 on Oly bodies, he's not a fan on Oly bodies.
Your honor, I would like to defend my statement by providing proof of circumstance :p

Even though I'm not a big fan of these 2 mixing I blame it on Olympus Corp. (now deceased) and Panasonic Corp.
Depending on each person's needs and wants the issued can be from non-existent to frustrating. The Chromatic aberrations are there enough to add extra work/time to fix them. The AF has improved on E-M1 III compared to Mark I with the lens it still feels like it's not reaching its potential, at times the Oly 12-40 Pro seems faster at 40mm then Panny at 50mm. The lack of Pro Capture Low support is pushing me to sell the lens and get the Oly 40-150 Pro (soon) despite my love for the size, weight and travelers friendly (that aspect I hope to get back with Oly 12-100 Pro next year). The IBIS is not as effective at 200mm and 280mm with the Panny lens while the Optical IS is that migh be okayu unless you start tracking or panning. I test and when IBIS is on and lens OIS is off the AF is quicker and there's no motion blur from panning, going the other way around the AF is slower and the camera does not sync between panning, AF and IS even with vertical correction only IS. Then there's the recent incddenf I had with water droplets getting right behind the front element after an typical English rain that I had the lens in before many times in a year and a half, though I never had water get pass the O ring on the lens mount. Again, all of these can be either minor issues if you don't feel bothered by them or issues you don't want to have to deal with all the time. Or take it this way, if you rarely pass the 50mm and only need the telly on rare occasions for travels the lens is great if not the best. If you live by long focal leght it can add up the frustration.
 

Brownie

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Interestingly, I've never experienced any of that, even those issued that can't be attributed to a mix of Oly/Panny.

Not sure about the 280mm statement unless you're referring to equivalence?
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Interestingly, I've never experienced any of that, even those issued that can't be attributed to a mix of Oly/Panny.

Not sure about the 280mm statement unless you're referring to equivalence?
I'm referring to Panasonic DMW-TC14 with Panasonic Leica DG-Vario Elmarit 50-200mm f 2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS when I mentioned 280mm.
From my experience with using Panasonic and Olympus lenses, I have noticed that Olympus relies on software correction more and Panasonic on Optical Design of the lenses. I have only the Sigma 60mm f 2.8 DN to test which body corrects the chromatic aberrations better but I have no Panasonic bodies to test it on.
 

Brownie

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I'm referring to Panasonic DMW-TC14 with Panasonic Leica DG-Vario Elmarit 50-200mm f 2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS when I mentioned 280mm.
From my experience with using Panasonic and Olympus lenses, I have noticed that Olympus relies on software correction more and Panasonic on Optical Design of the lenses. I have only the Sigma 60mm f 2.8 DN to test which body corrects the chromatic aberrations better but I have no Panasonic bodies to test it on.
Oh got it. There was an awful lot of discussion a while back where Panasonic was providing different responses to the 50-200 and the TC. In some cases users were told they are a match, and in other they were told the TC was for the 200 f/4 only. My experience is that it can be cropped to 280 with very nice results anyway, so why spend the $?
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Oh got it. There was an awful lot of discussion a while back where Panasonic was providing different responses to the 50-200 and the TC. In some cases users were told they are a match, and in other they were told the TC was for the 200 f/4 only. My experience is that it can be cropped to 280 with very nice results anyway, so why spend the $?
I got into wildlife and the more I was shooting from distance the more reach I was wanting, especially for small subjects like birds. Foxes have a dependable habit of running away from me as fast as possible if I am to close, after finding a few times baby foxes I felt the want the reach even more. I haven't found any functionality loss with the TC, the sharpness is acceptable (though no one should expect to the level of Olympus 300mm f 4 Pro), the chromatic aberrations, coma, and astigmatism are well controlled, the OIS loses about 1/2 stop of effectiveness but still handles well up to 1/20 sec, the only thing I have noticed to be reduced is the AF speed in low light. Unless its bright or direct light the AF speed can come down to hunting from infinity and MFD for more then a second, even if the contrast is there (ex: I had a Robin with a pretty strong orange chest sitting on a branch with no leaves anywhere near it with a distinct green background from the chest and the lens would hunt through the entire range 3 times until it settled about 2 inches in front of the bird. The bird was about 60% of the entire frame, the AF was in AF-S with Single Centre Box (not the smallest one because then it uses only PD-AF instead of the CD-AF as well) and the light level was 1/25 sec. at ISO 6.400 and f 5.6. The failure was repetitive every time I tried for about 3 minutes before giving up.

Alternative options were :
*Panasonic 100-300mm f 4.5-5.6 Mark II - Not worth it on the overlap of FL,
*Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f 4-6.3 - Very specialized lens but the existence of Olympus 150-400mm f 4.5 Pro kept me from getting committed (plus the scraping mount with E-M1s),
*Olympus 100-400mm f 5-6.3 - It was not launched yet or had most of the specifications detailed,
*Olympus 75-300mm f 4.5-5.7 Mark II - Not weather sealed (a very important requirement given the UK weather) and I still have a bad taste left from the last time I used Olympus 14-150mm f 4-5.6 Mark II.

The Panasonic DMW-TC14 is not that much of an expensive try, it keeps the versatility of the 50-200mm f 2.8-4 lens, and best of all the price of the Teleconverter seems to hold up better than most Micro Four Thrids lenses.
 

davidzvi

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Your honor, I would like to defend my statement by providing proof of circumstance :p.....
Still reading, but wanted to say not need defend. I asked because I know there are some differences, if there weren't than DFD, Sync/Dual IS, and Pro Capture to name just 3 areas where there are aren't interchangeable.

I have a line one (3rd hand) for a darn good price. But 3rd hand, is it enough reach, and ........ All make me hesitate.

On to reading the rest of the posts.
 

RAH

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Well I finally got the O100-400. It's going back, it's just to big to comfortably use for casual walks. I was able to get a couple nice shots.

But now it's the O75-300 or PL50-200 if I can find one for a reasonable price. I guess I could also consider the Oly 40-150 Pro + TC, but probably still too big and heavy.
I haven't read too much of this thread after this posting, because it just seems to me that the pretty obvious choice for you is the 75-300. I mean, it kind of screams that to me, considering that the 100-400 is too big for casual walks, the 50-200 doesn't have enough reach, etc.

It's too bad they don't make a similarly sized PRO level 75-300 to give you better IQ, but life's like that. I say get the 75-300! It's a very popular lens for the very thing you want it for - casual walks. Myself, I don't take casual walks when it's raining, so the lack of weather sealing isn't an issue.
 

Brownie

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I've said it before, I'll say it again. I can crop the PL 50-200 to 300mm equivalence and still have as good or better IQ.

Anyone who isn't sure about the lens should review the showcase thread and check out Mike Peters' work. He uses it extensively. If it's good enough for him...
 

RAH

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I've said it before, I'll say it again. I can crop the PL 50-200 to 300mm equivalence and still have as good or better IQ.

Anyone who isn't sure about the lens should review the showcase thread and check out Mike Peters' work. He uses it extensively. If it's good enough for him...
I just want to know what you mean here. What I think you mean is that you can crop the results from the 50-200 so that the subject (e.g. that robin on the lawn) fills the frame the same as it would with a 300 lens. And that the IQ is as good or better than it would be from say a 75-300. If that is what you mean, I don't doubt it, since the 50-200 is a premium lens, so it would no doubt produce somewhat better results than a lens like the 75-300.

However, when you do this you are throwing away pixels. I guess you are then meaning that you could interpolate the results up to restore those pixels (or just not bother and have a somewhat lower res image). That's true, but everything is a tradeoff, I think. I think I'd rather just use a 75-300. Different strokes, obviously.

Also, the 50-200 weighs 1.5 lb, .5 more than the 75-300, so that could be a factor, I think. It would be for me.
 

Brownie

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I just want to know what you mean here. What I think you mean is that you can crop the results from the 50-200 so that the subject (e.g. that robin on the lawn) fills the frame the same as it would with a 300 lens. And that the IQ is as good or better than it would be from say a 75-300. If that is what you mean, I don't doubt it, since the 50-200 is a premium lens, so it would no doubt produce somewhat better results than a lens like the 75-300.

However, when you do this you are throwing away pixels. I guess you are then meaning that you could interpolate the results up to restore those pixels (or just not bother and have a somewhat lower res image). That's true, but everything is a tradeoff, I think. I think I'd rather just use a 75-300. Different strokes, obviously.

Also, the 50-200 weighs 1.5 lb, .5 more than the 75-300, so that could be a factor, I think. It would be for me.
All true. If you're going to do large prints it may be a factor, other than that it's kind of irrelevant. The OP clearly states his intended use about halfway down the first page. Based on that the tossed pixels don't mean much. I would guess that with the exception of the purists amongst us, most people crop for composition or to remove some offending branch or other distraction to some degree anyway.

The only time I can see the focal length difference being at issue is if the 300 wouldn't be enough either. At that point your crop on the 200 would be significant. If I can remember I'll try to find an original and crop from the lens and post both.

Having said all of that, David also has a concern about the Panny lens not playing nice with the Oly body. If that is the case then none of this matters.
 

Brownie

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I made this in 2019 on a nature walk. This was as close as I could get and he was in no mood to be cooperative and come to me. This was at 200mm, so full extension. I am always surprised how well this lens does zoomed all the way.

50704198792_7aeefdde72_b.jpgFull by telecast, on Flickr

About a 33% crop, or the same difference between 200 and 300.

50704113041_3d85687679_b.jpg33% by telecast, on Flickr

And a 50% crop, or a 400mm equivalence.

50704112531_76395f936a_b.jpg50% by telecast, on Flickr

Understand I'm not saying that other lenses won't fare as well, but if your need is 300 and down, this is capable.

Oddly, as I extol the virtues of this lens, I'm thinking about a used O75-300 as something I can leave in my vehicle without worrying about it too much. I couldn't do that with the 50-200. Still, if I could choose only one...
 

davidzvi

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All true. If you're going to do large prints it may be a factor, other than that it's kind of irrelevant. The OP clearly states his intended use about halfway down the first page. Based on that the tossed pixels don't mean much. I would guess that with the exception of the purists amongst us, most people crop for composition or to remove some offending branch or other distraction to some degree anyway.

The only time I can see the focal length difference being at issue is if the 300 wouldn't be enough either. At that point your crop on the 200 would be significant. If I can remember I'll try to find an original and crop from the lens and post both.

Having said all of that, David also has a concern about the Panny lens not playing nice with the Oly body. If that is the case then none of this matters.
I'm not really too concerned about cropping down to 12-16mp, though I also mainly only crop for composition. I will admit I did crop a bit more when I was shooting ends, but I was also shooting a 36mp D800 so......

To be clear, if I had gone with a G9 over the E-M1.2 I'm pretty sure I'd have the PL12-60 & PL50-200 to go with my PL8-18. Yes I am concerned with compatibility, serviceability, and price. I really don't like Panasonic's "send it to Japan" or "we'll give you a little discount on a refurb one". Price has been a big one, especially since I figured I might need the WAY over priced TC, though with @Brownie's examples maybe I wouldn't. Spec wise it's the type of lens I REALLY prefer, f/4 Pro Optical/Featured lens.

The other thing that has deterred me from the PL50-200 is the expectation of the 2 pro lenses on the Olympus roadmap. This isn't a lens I really NEED, it's one I kind of need and want, its really just about the only whole in my collection. The uncertainty is a large part of what had me trying the O100-400, it's really more reach than I could probably ever need and the reviews have been pretty positive.

Then there is the one for sale over on FM. They want $850, looks great, but I'd be the third owner.
 

Brownie

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Then there is the one for sale over on FM. They want $850, looks great, but I'd be the third owner.
That's a tough one. On the one hand it's a helluva deal and would make me want to push that button before someone else does. On the other, I can't imagine why 2 people would've gotten rid of such a fantastic lens, unless that one isn't so great. I know people's needs come and go, and even though right now I can't imagine getting rid of mine, all opinions are subject to change. I bought mine used and have had no issues. It has been used in thousands of shots, literally. If I knew the one you were looking at was as good as mine I would not hesitate. Without knowing, I may be tempted to pass as well.

BTW, the used lenses don't think too much about their previous owners, they're just happy to have found their forever home!
 
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