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Best Wildlife lens options?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RobertS, May 16, 2013.

  1. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    What lens(es) might you recommend for good wildlife/nature shooting with a E-PL2. Being new to m4/3rds, I'm not yet familiar with available lenses for this purpose. I currently have a 14-42 II and a 40-150mm lens. Thanks.
     
  2. Y-V-E-S

    Y-V-E-S Mu-43 Veteran

    207
    May 20, 2011
    San Jose, CA
    Yves Gajardo
    Either the Panasonic 100-300 or Oly's 75-300 are quite good. I haven't had a chance to use either but from some of the posts here the image quality with those lenses are pretty good.
     
  3. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What kind of wildlife? At what time of the day? How much do you want to spend?

    Generally speaking you want telephoto lenses for wild animals. First they often won't let you get close and sometimes it is dangerous to get close. Both Olympus and Panasonic have long telephoto zooms but they are not great for low light work.

    Telephoto lenses that have large apertures are very expensive. Also there are not any available yet for m4/3. If you need AF and want a long fast lens you will have to get a 4/3 lens and a converter. AF is slow with this option.

    It is possible to use an adapted manual focus lens but it can be tricky nailing focus. I have several long manual lenses and have gotten some shoots with them. However, for every good shot I have a dozen of ones where the focus is just off.
     
  4. dwrk

    dwrk Mu-43 Regular

    69
    Aug 10, 2012
    the oly 75-300 is sharper...the pany 100-300 is cheaper...

    if you're forever staying with oly then get the oly...otherwise the pany is more flexible

    depending on the wildlife...sometimes even at 300mm is not long enough...also the AF is not fast enough

    since you're probably testing the water with wildlife...new i'd pick any of the af lenses above to try...manual focus with adapted lenses is tricky...especially if you're going to use the lcd...a vf2 will help...

    fyi...longer cheap options are mirror lenses if you don't mind the doughnuts bokeh or slr magic's spotting scope...but these are specialty lenses
     
  5. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    I use an EPL2 and the Olympus 75-300. It's difficult-to-impossible to catch a moving target, but it's great for things that are standing still.
     
  6. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    For better IQ?

    Would the Oly 75-300mm lens give me better IQ results (mainly considering sharpness) at the long end than maybe a XX-200mm lens? Currently my longest reaching lenses are....for m4/3rds, the Oly 40-150. this would give me a 35mm equiv. of 300mm. My longest DSLR lens is 70-200....giving me a 35mm equiv. of 320mm. So even a m4/3rds native lens reaching 200mm (equiv. of 400mm)m would reach further than either existing lens. My DSLR 70-200 is a f4 "L" lens; while the Oly 40-150mm is basically a "kit" lens...though fairily well regarded.
    That said, would a native XX-200mm or 75-300mm offer the best IQ (regardless of the zoom length), at the long end?
    Thanks
     
  7. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    Not really. They're pretty much identical optically. You'll find greater variation in samples of one model than between the two models as an average. They're a match for the better consumer grade zooms available for MFT (Oly/Pan14-42II, 14-42PZ, 14-45, 9-18, 40-150, 45-175, etc). Which is to say, it's a step below primes and the Panasonic constant-aperture pro zooms (7-14, 12-35, 35-100). Which is also to say, it doesn't really matter. Go with the one that is cheaper or matches your brand of camera. Either/or.

    This is a crop of a photo I took yesterday while hand holding the Panasonic 100-300 @300mm f/8.
    P10009552.
     
  8. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    So would the Panny 100-300mm or the Oly 75-300mm lens be a better physical match on my E-PL2(in your opinion)?
     
  9. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    I meant to mention that I am pleased with the results of my Oly 40-150mm. I just need something longer. So you now know that my level of satisfaction is servied by the 40-150mm. If considered a "kit" lens, then that's the quality of lens that I am looking for....only longer.
     
  10. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    The E-PL2 would be a glorified rear lens cap on these monsters. Heh. I don't have experience with the E-PL2, but I believe the consensus is that its IBIS is a step behind current tech (OMD is markedly better), so I'd go with the Panasonic and use the lens OIS while shooting with it. However, I'd defer to someone with experience with those particular combinations. However, you really would probably be fine with either.
     
  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The oly is slightly smaller and lighter. For what that's worth. I really like the Panasonic, which has better OIS than the older in camera IS (about equal to e-m5 ibis, I find OIS slightly better for this lens actually)
     
  12. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    I don't have any experience with the Panasonic, but the Olympus feels pretty good on an EPL2. You hold the lens, of course, but it doesn't feel out of whack.
     
  13. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    668
    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Mike
    If you like your IQ with the 40-150mm either the Oly 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300 will be fine. I'd go with the Panasonic for the built-in stabilization and 1/2 stop aperture advantage at the long end. OTW, look at cheaper old prime lenses i.e 300mm f5.6's that have just as good of IQ if you don't mind manual focus.
     
  14. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    Any suggestions for specific MF tele primes? And then, wouldn't this option pretty much rob me of the major advantage of m4/3rds....smaller, lighter gear?
    Also, what about balancing the small camera and large lens on a tripod? Or am I just being a bit unjustly overprotective?
     
  15. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The 100-300 is not so large or heavy that it absolutely needs a tripod mount. Heavier MF primes will, though. Canon's FD 300 f4.0 L is well regarded, although yes, you're then lugging around a heavy hunk of steel and glass.