Advice on the three choices of 300mm zoom

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Phocal, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I just switched over to m4/3 and picked up a used E-M5 for a really good price. From what I understand Olympus will be coming out with two additional pro lenses. A 40-150 ƒ2.8 and something not announced yet but assumed to be a xx-300mm zoom. I am looking for something to tie me over until the release of those two lenses. I intend on picking up a E-M1 later this year (waiting on my income tax return) and I am mostly a wildlife/macro photographer. Currently I am using a Canon FD 400mm ƒ4.5 for wildlife photography but would like to get something with autofocus that goes out to 300mm. I also intend on keeping my E-M5 as a second body to use with a macro lens while I have to big zoom on the E-M1 and as a smaller take everywhere camera.

    Because I intend to buy the yet to be announced long telephoto pro lens I am not wanting to spend a lot of money. For this reason I am seriously considering the 4/3 70-300. What I really like about the lens is it is cheapest of the 3 (even getting the adapter) and the close focus / 1:2 magnification is a huge draw for me. Figure it would be pretty useful (even after getting the new lenses) for macro shots of things like dragonflies and butterflies with the much longer distance over a macro lens. Can anyone comment on how well this focuses with the E-M5/1? I am use to manual focus (given my Canon FD experiences over the last year), so if it has problems in certain conditions I have no problem switch over to manual focus with it. Or, will I be so frustrated with it in AF that it is not worth it?

    The other two choices are the Oly and Panny zooms. They seem pretty even from what I found on the internet. They Panny is a 1/2 stop faster but also heavier (the weight does not really bother me). How do both of these compare in AF speed on the E-M5/1. Which does everyone seem to think is better? I believe the Oly has a bit closer minimum focus distance a little more magnification, or I have it backwards. Can't remember now.

    Either way, I would probably end up selling the Oly and Panny after the new lens is released. If the new lens does not focus close or have 1:2 magnification like the old 4/3 lens I would probably keep that one if I got for those special times I wanted something that could perform in that way.

    Guess that is about it. Look forward to hearing what everyone has to say.

    Ronnie
     
  2. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Frank
    the 4/3 70-300 is real slow to focus on the EM5. it does work but there is lag time and in dim light it will hunt.
     
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  3. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. geoawelch

    geoawelch Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Nov 18, 2011
    NH
    The Panny is well balanced on the E-M1. It will also hunt some in less light, but for the most part focuses very well.
     
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  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    You know, if I was doing a lot of wildlife, I'd get a 7d and the 400/5.6.
     
  6. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    Funny, out of all the 43 lenses I had the 70-300 was the fastest to focus but I guess I really only used it in good light. With that said I would still cough up a bit more for the M43 version
     
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  7. beameup

    beameup Mu-43 Regular

    104
    Oct 23, 2013
    I held out going from 4/3 to m4/3 until the release of the E-M1 due to its phase detect focus, which works very well on 4/3 lenses.
    Now I am able to consider many various telephoto lenses including manual focus legacy lenses from film cameras as well as the Olympus ED 70-300.
     
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  8. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    I have the 70-300 I got for about $90 used- whoo! It totally needs good light out doors to not AF hunt constantly. It's basically a rebaged Sigma lens. It does have going for it an almost macro ability. I do wonder if it would be better on the E-M1 though. Note: The lens is pretty noisy, with focus and zooming.
     
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  9. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks for all the replies. It is much appreciated.
     
  10. rpringle

    rpringle Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jan 9, 2014
    I have been looking at the Oly 70-300 and the Panny 100-300 myself. I have always used my D7000 and 70-300mm VR lens for wildlife but lately the camera has been having focusing problems and missing the mark. From what I head the Olympus lens focuses faster on Olympus bodies. I have seen plenty of awesome sharp images from both, and the panny has the advantage of optical stabilizer which "might" be better for panning subjects of animals on the move. I should think if you want to wait for the 40-150mm 2.8 later this year perhaps you should save the money and pick up the 40-150mm R kit lens for $100 or less. It's supposed to be sharp and quicker focusing than the 4/3 lenses on the em5. It doesn't have the same reach but it will also force you to get closer to the subject in turn getting better photos. Personally I haven't bought into very many M43 gear because I'm still looking for the right camera for my style, I didn't want to invest in a bunch of glass before I was certain.

    I have been using legacy lenses almost exclusively on my Em5 such as the Minolta Celtic 135mm f2.8 $40 on ebay, and a 450mm Tele Lentar $70 on ebay. The celtic has a slight green CA and the Lentar is a very dark lens at minimum f6.3 so its a bright light only lens. However it has both stepped and steppless aperture rings and a smooth as butter focus so it's great for video which is mostly what I use it for. I use a set of cheap macro rings that cost a whole $5 on ebay. Below I have some examples the leaf was with my Russian Industar 61 53mm f2.8 with one macro tube and the penny was taken with my Pentax 50mm f2 with 3 macro rings. So you could also get a few legacy lenses for your Em5 and they will give you more than enough to mess with until the Em1 drops in price and the 40-150mm f2.8 is released. :smile:

    P1150040.
    penny.
     
  11. rpringle

    rpringle Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jan 9, 2014
    mispost
     
  12. Stan Doubt

    Stan Doubt New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 6, 2012
    I've used the 43 70-300 quite a bit on the E-PL1 and generally agree with the other comments about noisy, slow focus and hunting in low light. All that said, I think it makes sense for your temporary situation given how good the images can come out under the right conditions (or with some manual focusing). At $200 or so used it is pretty much the best, cheapest, longest autofocus-capable lens for m43. I'd also note that I'm using a $50 eBay adapter rather than the Olympus one that cost $100 or more, I have had no problems with it.

    Stan
     
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  13. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Thanks. Will have to into the eBay adapter.
     
  14. Stan Doubt

    Stan Doubt New to Mu-43

    6
    Sep 6, 2012
    Mine says Viltrox JY-43F if that helps. Searching on this forum or Steves-digicams Olympus forum will probably turn up lots of info. Personally I wouldn't shy away from the Chinese ones as long as they advertise AF they'll have the contacts.

    -Stan
     
  15. JimUSNY

    JimUSNY Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Nov 5, 2013
    Mid Hudson Valley NY
    Jim
    here another choice, 4/3rds 150MM and EC20, for 300MM F4 with focus limiter, although it doesn't work too well on the EM5 its very good on stationary Wildlife on EM1
     
  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    That is an option but an expensive one.
     
  17. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have no problem with the Chinese stuff, most of it works pretty well.
     
  18. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    I use a 3rd party adapter as well- it works fine as the genuine item. I used have the MMF-2, and they preform identically.
     
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  19. JimUSNY

    JimUSNY Mu-43 Regular

    122
    Nov 5, 2013
    Mid Hudson Valley NY
    Jim
    a bit, if you bought new it would be about 2900.00.. used you might get away with 2 grand

    however comparably to other brands for 600MM equivalent F4

    Nikon DX a 200-400 F4 is 6,000
    Nikon Full frame 600MM F4 is 10,000

    Canon APS-C 400MM F4 is is 6500.00
    Full Frame 600MM F4 is not even possible, best you can do is 600MM F5.6 with a TC, for near 7,000
     
  20. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sam
    My advice would be to just buy a used 100-300mm or 75-300mm m43 zoom in the buy and sell forums here. You wont have any problems selling it later for the same price.
     
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