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alternative to Panasonic 45-200mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by manju69, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Hi

    i have been using the Panasonic 45-200mm for a few days and whilst it is quite good (though still a bit hit and miss) before 150mm, the image quality seems significantly worse after 150mm. So I am thinking what is the point of a 200mm lens that I will only use up to 150mm??

    I am using this on a E-PL1 and for stills not video... Landscape, architecture details, people.

    I tried the m.zuiko 40-150mm but was not that impressed, maybe I needed to be more patient, so might swap it but was also wondering...

    Has anyone used the Olympus four thirds 40-150mm and an MMF adapter - is the IQ any better than the 45-200 or the M43 40 -150mm? I am happy with a slower AF if the quality is better.

    Are there any other alternatives? (other than manual lenses)

    still searching for that perfect lens!! Thanks for your advice..
     
  2. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    I had both the 4/3 and m43 versions of the 40-150mm and, to be truthful, the differences between them are pretty slight. That's borne out by the SLRgear.com reviews as well. I detected a bit more contrast in the 4/3 version--which could be 'fixed' in PP--and no noticeable difference in resolution.

    To be honest, given the cost of the m43 version, I can't see any reason to buy the slower, heavier, longer (with adapter) and more expensive (with adapter) 4/3 version. The difference in IQ just isn't enough to justify it.
     
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Well what about the Panny 100-300? Or the Oly 75-300?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    They look great but it's the cost that keeps me away from those...!
     
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Unfortunately you gotta pay to play. That's why the 45-200 is so much cheaper, I suppose.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Be sure the lens is actually to blame. At 300+ equiv focal length, you need to be REALLY steady, or you're gonna see some blur.

    That said, the reports of the 100-300 look significantly better than the 45-200 (but it's bigger and more expensive too)
     
  7. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    I've never been unhappy with the long end of the 45-200. a touch soft, but not blurry. And only noticeable if you're pixel peeping. For what it costs there is no lens even close to it. If you want sharper at 200mm, then you need to spend nearly triple and get the 100-300 (but then you'll be unhappy with the 300 end). All zoom lenses are compromises of end or the other unless you want huge and expensive.
     
  8. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    I agree - the 45-200 is impossible to beat for the price, and it does a great job. Here is a shot I took at 200mm with the 45-200 on a G3 and absolutely no post processing other than resizing it for upload to mu-43. I took this hand held, the guy was way away from me, and you can make out the stitching on his sport jacket and the straw in his hat. The color is also great.

    45-200_at_200.
     
  9. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    FWIW, I found that Oly IBIS kind of sucks at 200mm on this lens. If you're getting blurry IBIS shots, try OIS instead.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    The 45-200 requires some care and feeding. While it isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer, it's better than pretty darn good for the price.

    It does require some PP...

    Lineup_White.


    USA_Flag_200mm.


    Tenders_93mm.


    Tie_Off_132mm.


    Gate_Stone_72mm.


    Gate_Stone_190mm.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  11. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Great shots Alan. What more could anyone want?

    Peter
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Thanks Peter,

    Look like you took pretty good advantage of the 45-200 on the Alaska trip yourself!
     
  13. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Thanks Alan for those great shots. and others comments too. I agree, it seems very good for the price. I'll try the OIS at the long end and learn to appreciate it more!

    BTW I am not used to PP and am currently shooting only JPEGS. Can you give a few pointers about PP? Thanks
     
  14. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Also... I have been looking at my shots and see that whilst shooting at 200mm, i get some nice shots with subjects nearer than say... 50m away, whilst at near to infinity focus they are subject to a distinct lack of sharpness. Kind of obvious I guess. It's about knowing what a lens will and won't do and using its strengths.
     
  15. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Often at the far end, the issue is haze in the environment.

    I'll post two images here, one OOC RAW, the other with only an Aperture preset applied. I'll not enter the RAW vs. JPEG arguendo ad nauseum.


    RAW, G1 / 45-200 / imported to Aperture / exported for the Board

    Weston_Original.


    Aperture preset applied. 1. straighten 2. Apply Preset 3. Export to Mu-43

    Weston_My_45-200_Preset.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Alan - you are a wizzard! What an excellent result. I love playing around with those sorts of adjustments in Photoshop, but I'm sure my approach is more archaic and takes longer. Still, it is always fun.

    This does bring up for me the issue of whether or not you really need the absolute best, heaviest, most expensive glass in the world, when you can make it look like you have all that after you get done with the image. Why lug all that equipment, when you can get the same results with a liittle work in your favorite program?
     
  17. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi Peter,

    I don't feel it's much different than our "old days" of print processing.

    1. I consider the import my "contact sheet"

    2. I tag the images I think have potential

    3. I apply a pretty generic preset profile to those I like (all at once)

    4. I review those I've selected for final culling. (like a light table / is a light table)

    5. If I like the image, but NOT the preset. I remove the preset and give that image individual attention..

    Otherwise.... Done.

    So for the correction shown above.

    1. Import
    2. Straighten
    3. Apply Preset (I named it 45-200 haze cutter)
    4. Export for use, or post directly to Flickr, Facebook etc. from Aperture 3

    Really. That's it.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    FWIW, a UV filter will also help to "cut through the haze", but I also agree that post production can do more to make a shot look good than knowing how to work your camera.

    Now before anyone starts throwing things at me, it still has to be a well composed shot and properly exposed and all that other stuff, but once you've learned your way around ANY of the processing programs, your shots can all look WAY better. I'm not saying that you don't have to try to get everything right "in camera". But there are plenty of ways of "saving" a bad shot.....or making a good shot into a great one.
     
  19. Alan, if not a secret will you share your 45-200mm haze cutter preset?
    Thanks again for your suggestion about the NIK ProContrast preset.
     
  20. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Thanks for explaining this process. I'll take a look at aperture and play with some RAW pics. Manju