Best telephoto lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by htc, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Can you tell me your opinion of the best long telephoto lens in m43 world. I have Panasonic 14-140 but I'm not totally satisfied of its long end. What about 100-300, is it better? What about that new 45-175 X? Is it going to be better? Crystal ball anyone? :smile:
  2. chuckgoolsbee

    chuckgoolsbee Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 6, 2010
    Bend, Oregon
    I have the Panny 45-200. I would not really consider it a "telephoto" despite its focal length. It is a great medium-distance lens though, especially for shooting people. The best shots I've produced with it have all been people/portraits.

    I've heard great things about the Panny 100-300 though.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    OM Zuiko 200mm f/4. One of the most compact super-telephoto primes you'll find, and as with all Zuiko lenses produces excellent color. I have one for sale, by the way... ;)


    (Yes, this is manual focus only... I do love the Zuiko style of aperture ring on the nose of the lens instead of the base, though. It never gets moved accidentally.)
  4. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Yes the 100-300 is better than the 14-140 sharpness wise. But they're completely different focal lengths! They're more complementary than competitive. I ended up with a 4/3 Oly 70-300. Not so quick AF but sharpness and rendering... Yummy. :)

  5. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    the 45-200 and the 100-300 are both a touch soft on the long end, but it will only bother pixel peepers. the 45-200 is a steal and should be in everyone's kit. I picked up a used 100-300 for a good price when I saw one, but don't use it as often as I'd like.
  6. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    The 40-150mm is a great lens, especially for the value. Many people like it better than the 45-200mm for weight, IQ and is cheap to boot. Might be a bit short for your purposes though if you're looking at the 300mm options..
  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Any dedicated telephoto lens is going to be better-performing than a superzoom like the 14-140mm. As I just wrote earlier today, in a post about the 40-150mm:

    You sacrifice image quality with the superzoom; no matter how well-designed and expensive Olympus or Panasonic make the lens, the engineers still have to contend with those pesky laws of physics. Just because the two lenses cover the same focal length doesn't mean that one is a replacement for the other. From what I've seen online, and what I've experienced with the Nikon 18-200 vs 55-200, the superzoom is going to sacrifice performance in favor of convenience.

    If you're shooting in the long range of your lens, then I recommend getting yourself a dedicated lens. Choose what focal length you want. If you zoom your lens only between 40-150mm, is that a decent range for you? Overall, the Olympus 40-150 performs better than the Panasonic 45-200. The 100-300mm performs well, but again, just because a lens overlaps in focal length doesn't mean that it's designed for the same thing. the 40-150 and 45-175X are short telephoto lenses, while the 100-300 is for major reach. I'd say that you'll be happy if you pick yourself up a 45-175X and a 100-300mm, assuming that they improved the optics of the 45-175 over the 45-200.

    Plus, "best" is a very subjective term; I think I'm going to make this my forum signature, since it seems that I have to say this so often:
    There is no "right" answer. If there were, then the other options wouldn't exist.
    For me, the 40-150mm is "better" than other offerings because it was cheap, has decent performance (definitely not the worst, when you look at our options), and is tiny.

    Ned has a point: if you're willing to use an adapter, you can get so many good lenses. What focal length do you want? I'd rather have a great lens like a Nikon 400mm f/2.8 that I have to manually focus, than a mediocre lens that focuses automatically.
  8. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Thank you for your opinions. I appreciate those.

    I shoot mainly handheld, so I think 150 at the long end would be enough. Then again if I find even longer good performer (e.g. 100-300), that would be nice too. I have had manual focus lenses and the are not "my cup of tee", even though e.g. Ned's Zuiko 200 would be top performer and even though sharpness is what I'm looking for. So I think zoom for me, because I like to take tiny part from the landscape, portraits from distant, group pictures from distant and so on.

    I have had Canon EF 70-200/2.8 IS so I'm looking similar IQ. Not necessarily so wide aperture, if I can't have it.

    I think if that new 45-175 is sharp, it would be ideal for me and having OIS in the lens would be big extra also. I have found out that IBIS isn't as effective at the long end.

    I have to say that it's so nice to read others opinions and perspectives, thank you for those.

    EDIT: I'm in the m43 world for reason and the reason is just those "400/2.8" lenses and the fact I don't like to carry them anymore. I'm looking adequat IQ, not the best you can buy ;-)
  9. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I'm in the same boat. I am used to the IQ of the Canon L zooms (70-200 f/2.8IS, 100-400 f/4-5.6IS), and would like to know how these low-cost m.zuiko and lumix lenses compare. I've used the Canon consumer tele-zooms, and was very unhappy with the IQ, particularly on the long end.

    I would be willing to pay more for quality, which is why I'm intrigued by the forthcoming 45-175 X Vario, and the 35-100 constant aperture Panny. Either lens matched with the fast, constant aperture 14-35 Panny may be the kit that I'm dreaming of. But at what size and weight sacrifice?
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That's why prime lenses match the micro four-thirds ideology best. They provide fast lens speed and the highest image quality without sacrificing with size and weight.

    What we need most is some longer primes, like 100mm, 150mm, 200mm, and 300mm... And the 100mm or 150mm should be a macro. ;)
  11. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    I agree but on the other hand with 12, 20 and 45 you can use your legs to get the best and optimal coverage. Both extreme ends zoom would give you the best possibilities. Maybe not the best IQ. I figured that right now while writing so feel free to disagree :biggrin:
  12. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    And YES, I would LOVE fixed 100/2.8 lens!!! With OIS it would be just about dream come true for my style of photography.
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