Best value small Pro sports kit for M43? (40-150Pro, 50-200SWD, PL50-200)

zanydroid

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I'm continuing my research into building out a sports kit for M43. Previously, I got a lot of great advice here on wildlife kit. Eventually, I decided to go with a FF kit, but it was really informative to read up / rent the M43 super tele lenses.

Goals:
- More portable setup than FF (let's say I'm happy with 1 stop smaller), for well lit conditions only.
- Leverage high burst rate and video quality of M43 bodies

Already owned:
GH5
12-100 F/4 (chosen in favor of 35-100 after renting both)
Sony 200-600 (listing this to indicate that I have this range covered and no need to replicate in M43)

The 12-100 has been OK so far for some casual sports, and AFAIK does not have the top notch autofocus motor (though it's no slouch).

Under consideration:
40-150 F/2.8 + 2x TC - $1200 used/grey market. 760 + 100 g
50-200 F/2.8-4 + 1.4x TC - $1700 used/grey market. 655 + 100 g
50-200 f/2.8-3.5 SWD + EC14. $600 used. 995 + 42 + 170g
G9/EM1mkII (to take full advantage of glass for sports; I am well informed on the relative merits of these cameras)

Would love to hear what people think about the relative value/utility of these kits. Pros/cons I can think of are:
- Olympus kit is cheaper, synergizes better with 12-100 due to compatibility with Pro Capture L. However, it is larger.
- Panasonic kit supports DFD which would help with hit rate, smaller, more reach. However it is way more expensive. I could even add the 1.4x TC for Olympus on a whim since there are so many samples in the wild, and that kit would still be cheaper.

How well does the 40-150 with a 2xTC perform, from an IQ and autofocus perspective?

If I go with the EM1mkII, I could potentially get the 50-200 SWD+ EC14. Based on the reported performance on the threads for that lens, it could replace my existing Sigma 100-400, which has great image quality but has only adequate focusing (in fact the main reason I didn't get PL100-400 was that it had a more restrictive focal range while not improving image quality enough for my taste). The light gathering performance is close enough to not matter. The 50-200 SWD + EC14 + MMF-3 is also weather sealed (if i'm not mistaken) and lighter.
I believe the main downsides are:
- I have to add a body up front to get something usable.
- I shoot a lot of video, and this lens won't AF-C on any video body (IIRC the EM1mkII does not support AF-C on 43 glass). I'll feel this limitation immediately.
- Limited flexibility with bodies. Not super usable with CDAF bodies, so can't just bring GH5 when I want great video and OK sports.
- Probably need to buy a new SWD every 3 years as they break down.
 

gwydionjhr

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G9 owner here.... I haven't used any of the Oly PDAF bodies. I shoot a bunch of moving stuff, dogs, kayakers, kiteboarders, drift cars.

Not really sure why you'd add a G9 on top of a GH5, as the G9 strikes me as the same camera with some of the video centric capabilities stripped out to lower the price.

I'm learning that I'd really like a zoom in the 50-250 range. I've got the 35-100 and the 100-400. The 35-100 doesn't quite get there, and at the long end the 100-400 gives up too much for sports in all but the brightest conditions. I'd also prefer a constant aperture zoom so I could manually fix my exposure and be able to zoom in/out and track the subject into more/less sky and not have my exposure jumping all over the place.

I'm very tempted by the Pany 50-200, but as it's not a constant aperture I'm going to wait and see what Oly brings out in the next year, there appears to be a 50-200 and a 70-240 Pro level glass on their roadmap.
 

barry13

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Hi, what kind of sports?
Outdoor? Day or night?
Indoor?
High school or college or pro? Huge lighting differences there.

If you have 200mm+ covered on the Sony, do you need the MC-20 or even MC-14? Is f/5.6 fast enough?

Aside from focus speed, what are you missing on the 12-100? Aperture? Reach?
Possible it might focus faster on an Olympus body, btw.

The 50-200SWD is a very good lens, but the 40-150Pro focuses faster and is lighter.

@Phocal uses C-AF on 4/3 lenses, at least for stills.

Note you should do a focus tune for C-AF on any PDAF body and lens, including the 40-150, and again with any TCs.

The G9 might pair better with the PL 50-200.
 

zanydroid

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Hi, what kind of sports?
Outdoor? Day or night?
Indoor?
High school or college or pro? Huge lighting differences there.
* Lighting conditions: All outdoor daytime. If I need night or daytime sports, I'll just get the appropriate lenses on FF.
* Types of sports: Dog agility to start with, may branch out into kids sports.
* Level: Just for my family, so simpler than high school sports. No professional pressure, it's all down to my enjoyment.

If you have 200mm+ covered on the Sony, do you need the MC-20 or even MC-14? Is f/5.6 fast enough?
Aside from focus speed, what are you missing on the 12-100? Aperture? Reach?
Possible it might focus faster on an Olympus body, btw.
I think the MC-20 or MC-14 would extend the usability of whatever main lens I get. I think the MC-14 is a clear value win b/c it's pretty cheap nowadays.

I'm not sure if f/5.6 is fast enough, I haven't shot enough with that on M43. Also kind of worried that a 2x TC and f/5.6 will interact poorly with AF-C, so I would need to test personally before sinking money on an MC-20.

As for what I'm missing on 12-100, I know it's definitely Reach. I'm happy with 12-100 at the long end b/c it has a wide range, so it would be nice for situations where I want both wide and some zoom. But for a dedicated telephoto it's too short IMO, need at least 150.

I need to do more shooting with my 12-100 before I figure out what I need on aperture. I've already hit some situations where the subject isolation wasn't quite good enough on the 12-100, and the longer / faster lens would help with that. Not that there's much options anyway on M43.

Right now there are more Olympus lenses that I'm interested in using for this use case (12-100 and 40-150), so the EM1mkII makes a bit more sense.
 

zanydroid

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G9 owner here.... I haven't used any of the Oly PDAF bodies. I shoot a bunch of moving stuff, dogs, kayakers, kiteboarders, drift cars.

Not really sure why you'd add a G9 on top of a GH5, as the G9 strikes me as the same camera with some of the video centric capabilities stripped out to lower the price.
Thanks for the input. Agreed that the 100-400 is pretty awkward for sports.

VS the GH5, the G9 has:
- "pre-burst" [capture frames before release; I think it is 4K video / JPEG instead of RAW like on EM1mkII. Not sure if it uses the stills or video AF-C]
- 20 FPS with AFC+Raw (GH5 tops out at 10)
- 60 FPS with Locked AFS+RAW (GH5 tops out at ~12)
- Better EVF (lower latency, brighter)

The G9 is also live view (display live frame, not previous capture) at higher framerates than the GH5. I believe the EM1mkII is live at higher framerates than the G9 (need to do more research)

(https://blogs.panasonic.com.au/consumer/flagship-mirrorless-camera-trinity-compare-gh5s-vs-gh5-vs-g9/)
I believe the G9 can also do more AF-C updates per second, so it should have slightly better hit rate.
 
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