Another Zoom dilemma

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ig7, May 15, 2017.

  1. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    383
    Aug 24, 2011
    I have been doing a lot of searching on this forum since i am trying to decide between 3 options for a long zoom: oly 40-150 with teleconverter, Pany 100-400 or Oly 75-300. I know Oly 75-300 is the cheapest, but taking the cost factor out of the consideration I was wondering if I will loose a lot of image quality going with The 75-300?
    Also, comparing the pany 100-400 to the 40-150? Is there a big difference at the same focal lengths?
    I don't do BIF, just want to have a long zoom option for when I travel
    Confused and can use advice
     
  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    It really comes down to how much reach you want, how fast of a lens you want, and how much weight you want to carry around. The Oly 40-150 is going to give you the best images, especially in situations where light is limited because of it's faster aperture...............but is the shortest focal length of lens you listed. I own the 75-300 and found it's images acceptable as long as you shoot within it's limitations and are very careful with your technique. Personally I think the 75-300 is the hardest lens of the 3 to shoot because it is so light. I have talked many times about this issue and while light weight is great for lugging your gear around...............it's a hindrance when trying to shoot extreme telephoto and requires good technique. I don't own or have ever shot or even seen the 100-400, personally I feel it is overpriced for a consumer grade lens. It will have the same problems the 75-300 has when it comes to shooting conditions, require higher ISO's especially when trying to keep a high shutter speed. I have played around with my 50-200 and EC-20 (which gives a 1/3 stop slower aperture at 400mm then the 100-400) and my recently acquired Sigma 50-500 (same aperture range as the 100-400) and find the slower apertures to be a problem for my shooting. Rarely am I able to shoot at base ISO with shutters speeds of 1/800+, keep in mind most of my shooting is in the swamp (although I used the Sigma at Jazz Fest and even during the day shooting the stage I was at ISO's I was not comfortable shooting at).

    If you are looking for a long lens for occasional use, get the 75-300. It is a good lens, not great but good and should work fine for occasional use.

    Oh, what body are you shooting? I honestly would not get lenses from the other manufacturer given the trend of both companies to limit features to only their lenses. If you shoot Panasonic I would look at the 100-300 over the 75-300 because it is weather sealed.
     
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  3. skellington

    skellington Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    277
    Mar 4, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Keith
    Since you're shooting E-M1's, and aren't looking for BIF, have you considered the 4/3 lenses?

    A used 50-200 with a 1.4x TC is a smoking deal, and weather proof. It's big, not much slower than the 40-150, and covers up to 280mm.
     
  4. AussiePhil

    AussiePhil Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2014
    Canberra, ACT, Aust
    Phil
    Coming from owning the following
    12-100 Pro
    40-150 Pr0 with TC
    50-200 SWD 4/3 that Phocal references but no EC20
    And the PL 100-400
    Despite the 100-400 being slowish I just can't call it consumer grade, it holds it head up with the best. Yeah the 40-150Pro is better for low light.
    I haven't used the 75-300 but I've heard it compares to the older and faster 70-300 4/3 lens for IQ and that lens I still own and the pl100-400 is just plain better all round and imo worth its money... even in Aussie pesos
    However if you want it purely for long reach travel standby buy the 75-300 and learn to shoot it well
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I personally would not consider the 50-200 a good lens for travel for most people, it's a bit to big to be considered a travel lens. That said, it's the perfect travel lens for me but most of my travel also involves telephoto shooting.............it's just the type of photography that I prefer. I recently played with the 40-150 at Jazz Fest and it really is significantly smaller then the 50-200 and while still a bit big it could be considered a good travel lens. As for IQ and price and lens speed, the 50-200 can't be beat by any other lens out there. I love mine and will never sell it.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    383
    Aug 24, 2011
    Thank you, I might rent the 40-150 tc combo to see how i handle it.
     
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I would agree with this. As a fast travel tele it (the 50-200) is pretty much the best option. A slower option is the 45-175X which I really like. It is super compact and does not extend, making it easy to make more weather resistant.
     
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  8. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    993
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Hard question to answer without details of what and where you are shooting. A general vacation in a city, for example, where a longer zoom is nice to have just in case would be completely different than a Safari.

    Also what is the tradeoff of quality vs. size/weight for you? For example, love my old ZD 50-200mm lens but it is too big and heavy for general travel, so for that I carry a super lightweight 40-150mm R for general occational use. But if I was going on a trip that features a lot of long focal length once in a lifetime shots, then I would bring the 50-200mm despite its size.
     
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  9. Mike Wingate

    Mike Wingate Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Feb 21, 2017
    Altrincham
    Mike Wingate
    Are you taking other lenses? I generally carry the P7-14 and P14-140 on my trips.
     
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  10. Ig7

    Ig7 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    383
    Aug 24, 2011
    I have both e-m1's, oly 12-100 and oly 25 1.2 right now. I owned Pant 100-400 for a brief moment, used it with my e-m1.2 and found it hard to handle due to weight and size. I did get a couple if great shot of the foxes in my back yard but the keeper rate was low. Being impalsive by nature, rushed to sell without giving it more time and going thru learning pains, but now stuck deciding what to replace it with and having seconds thoughts. I had Oly 75-300 way back but never used it with e-m1.2 so not sure if the improved IS helps. A little apprehensive about 50-200 as I sm trying to keep the weight down. I am looking to cover the long end of the zoom to compliment 12-100.
     
  11. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    50-200 - 995g
    40-150 - 880g
    40-150 + TC - 1050g
    75-300 - 423g
    100-400 - 985g

    Just for kicks

    50-200 + EC-14 + EC-20 - 1390

    The 50-200 while a bit bigger then the 40-150 is close in weight and actually less when you add in the TC (which gives them similar reach and fstop). The 50-200 is also lighter then the 100-400 and also gives the option of adding the TC's to increase reach if you really need it, but does have a small amount of extra weight associated with it. For me, the 50-200 with both TC's is the perfect travel telephoto lens. With the EC-14 it is close in reach to the 75-300 (but 2x the weight), has better IQ and faster apertures. That said, I can't seem to bring myself to sell my 75-300 because it is so small and light and keep thinking maybe someday I will need it (even tho I have never used it since getting the 50-200).
     
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  12. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    948
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    Telephoto for travel means striking a person balance between weight/size and reach and speed, so it is very important to specify what you are looking for in a telephoto lens. Yes, sharpness is one consideration, but it shouldn't be your only only one -- and if it were me I wouldn't even make it my primary one. More importantly, What sort of scenarios do you envision? This might help determine your focal and aperture range requirements. How much weight (and pack space) are you willing to put up with before you don't think it's worth bringing the lens? What body are you using? Some cameras have features that only work with lenses of the same brand, so that ought to be a big factor.

    I own all three of the lenses you are looking at.

    75-300: I agree with the earlier post about this lens. It's decent in good light, but tails off quickly as light starts to fall. It's soda can size and weight make it feel like any other lens, which leads to the user not utilizing the extra careful form such a long lens needs. It can still produce nice images and is generally underrated. All that said, of the three it is definitively the slowest and least sharp. If you are concerned about sharpness and did a comparison, you would notice it. It isn't bad, but the other two are just very, very good. I wouldn't recommend this lens for birding because of its slow aperture and focusing speed, but its possible it could work well for you as a travel lens because of its considerable weight savings.

    PL 100-400: This is definitely not a consumer grade lens. It has a good focal range and is very sharp. I don't know that it is sharper than the 40-150 between 100 and 150, but that's a debate for pixel peepers. Really, it's only drawback is its slow aperture - which may not be a problem for you. However, such a long range might be overkill for you unless you have something specific in mind.

    40-150: Its brilliant... fast and sharp. On the downside it is heavy for its far shorter focal range. That might be fine for you, depending on what you want to shoot. For zoos, I think this lens is great. I am not a fan of the teleconverter, but that's because it slows down the lens' speed and focusing, which matters a lot for wildlife. It might not matter so much for you. I would be surprised if the 40-150 plus tc is sharper than the PL 100-400, though without the tc I'd think it is.

    Panasonic put out a new version of its 100-300 telephoto you might want to consider, though I can't speak to it. Also, if medium telephoto is more the range you need, travel is the primary purpose, and sharpness is your main concern, I would consider the Oly 12-100. It's simply amazing, especially with a higher-end Oly OM-D body.
     
  13. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    The upcoming Panasonic 50-200 will be an interesting option. We'll see if there is any TC compatibility, if there is it may well be the best longer travel option.
     
  14. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Not a lens that I'm even remotely interested in, as an Olympus shooter I would never buy a Panasonic lens.
     
  15. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Personally I don't see the reasoning, and you miss out on a lot of options. (pro capture and sync IS aside both of which have limited use IMO).
     
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  16. Alex Aina

    Alex Aina Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 23, 2016
    France
    The same for me: for light travel I only take Z9-18, Z14-150, 7.5FE and a 17 or 25:1.8 prime.
    14-150 range is often more than sufficient, even if aperture is only f:5.6 ... Considering IQ: it's not so good passed 100 mm but still nice for a so light all-in-one.
    I own ZD50-200 with 1.4 and 2X but only use it for specifics telephoto needs.
     
  17. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I can't think of any option I am missing out on. When it comes to zooms, I will not buy anything slower then f2.8 that is 200mm or less. Beyond 200mm I will buy anything slower then f4.0. So as far as Panasonic lenses go, they really have nothing I want that Olympus doesn't already provide. The high ISO ability of m4/3 is not that great and for me and what I shoot anything slower then f4 at long focal lengths or f2.8 at other focal lengths is going to put me into higher ISO's then I find acceptable. Before people get all crazy about my comments.....................these are my personal limits and the IQ that I need from my photographs.

    As for sync IS, I personally find it a gimmick and of little use for my shooting. Pro Capture is super useful and over the last few months have been in a number of situations where it would have been nice (especially shooting bands at Jazz Fest). But.............it is something that is only nice to have and I can get around it as I have for the last 20 years. But...........................................................there are going to be more and more features that are limited to the manufactures lenses and we have no idea what that next big thing is going to be. For that reason I will not buy anything but Olympus lenses, unless it is something very specific like the Canon 400/2.8 that I really want (which Pro Capture would probably be super useful for).
     
  18. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    948
    Jun 4, 2014
    Maryland
    Loren
    Hmmm... that answers a few of my questions. I still wonder what are you going to shoot with it? It's not about other people's criteria, it's about yours.

    If you already have the 12-100, half the focal range of the 40-150 is redundant. Also, if the 100-400 (which would have been my pairing of choice with the 12-100) was too unwieldy, you might have similar issues with any big lens.

    75-300 might be the way to go, but I'm not sure there is an optimal choice in Oly for the two criteria you've mentioned - a lightweight and sharp telephoto. Again, maybe consider the new Panny 100-300...
     
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  19. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Playing devil's advocate, none of these features will be available for 4/3 lenses, which is exactly the same situation.
     
  20. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    True and if Panasonic ever released a f2.0 zoom with the IQ of the SHG lenses I would probably buy it, even with limitations of features. Since they never will it's not something I have to be concerned with.

    I do want all the SHG lenses, but they also fall under that special situation lenses and are not something I would use on a regular basis and what they bring to the table outweighs the limitations. Actually I only want the f2.0 zooms and the 300/2.8, no real need or desire for the 90-250................those three lenses along with my 150/2 provide capabilities that nothing else in the m4/3 world can.............lower ISO with fast shutter speeds in poor lighting, which is the one limitation to m4/3 that bothers me. Sure I could pick up a 2nd system to cover the times I need it, but I don't want a 2nd system and with 4 lenses I can get acceptable results in those situations.

    I know this will get me a lot of shit.................

    I honestly look at Panasonic as a more consumer oriented brand when it comes to lenses and Olympus as a more professional oriented brand. Maybe on a full frame camera f4.0 zooms are worth using, but the high ISO ability of m4/3 is not up to that. Before people start saying I have lots of images that are good at this ISO or that ISO............It is not easy getting images accepted to Alamy or Getty from a m4/3 camera when you get above ISO 800 and even at ISO 800 it can be hard. That is the main reason I have no desire for anything slower then f2.8 when it comes to focal lengths below 200mm and one of the main reasons I want the 300/2.8 because even f4.0 in early light is hard to stay at or below ISO 800. NO................................I don't want to change systems because I prefer the smaller size and weight of my Olympus gear, even with the faster lenses I am still better off then a full frame camera and much bigger lenses.