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Birders, what do you use?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RenaudVL, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011

    OM-D fever got to me.

    I use a Canon 7D with 300mm L IS with 1.4x extender for my birds shot.

    What do you M4/3 user use for your bird shot?


  2. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    I don't consider myself a really serious birder but I have used the Panasonic 100-300mm. If you look at the lens thread, you'll find it's quite heavily populated with bird shots.
  3. hypervel

    hypervel Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 30, 2011
    I was using 50D with 100-400. I am in the midst of doubt as to my willingness to go m43 for moving things. Was near going after the P100-300, but still leaves me with a teeny tiny buffer and other nits with my GH2.
    To this end, it is entirely likely that I will get into a Nikon V1 and adaptor for AF-s lens use.
    Otherwise, it seems we're basically stuck with the 100-300 if we want reach and autofocus. I'll give time until Photokina to see what m43 manufacturers are going to do lens - wise.
  4. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    The 100-300mm is the only option for m4/3 lenses, if you can live with the aperture range and the optical shortcomings compared to your L lens. Even zoomed in all the way to 300mm, however, your 7D with teleconverter still has more reach than the micro 4/3 setup. Do you have the 300mm f/2.8 or f/4? Are you looking to just equal your Canon's capability, or are you looking to beat it? Really, for serious telephoto, you're going to want to consider adapting lenses.

    You can get *nearly* the same reach with your OM-D using an older manual focus 300mm f/4 lens without a teleconverter. To calculate the effective focal length that you need to match what your Canon gave you, multiply the focal length by .75, so for example let's use the 300mm lens with teleconverter. On your Canon without a teleconverter, to match the 300mm lens, you would need a 300mm * 0.75 = 225mm lens. With the teleconverter on your 7D and 300mm lens, you would need a 420 * 0.75 = 315mm lens to equal the reach.

    So, find yourself a decent 300mm f/4 (or even 300mm f/2.8, if you want the exposure advantage. Some good options are:
    -contax tele-tessar t*
    -Olympus OM
    -Konica Hexanon
    -Minolta Rokkor
    -Canon FD
    Those will give you slightly less reach than your current setup, but will allow you to shoot at f/4 instead of your current setup at f/5.6. A 400mm f/4 or 400mm f/5.6 will give you some more reach with similar exposure options of your Canon. If you're willing to drop some serious money and want some reach, consider buying yourself a manual focus 500mm or 600mm lens. Nikon, for example, has a 500mm and 600mm f/4 lens, although expect to pay $2,000-$3,000. Plus, those Nikon lenses will work with an adapter on your 7D as well.
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would just get the EOS to Micro Four-Thirds mount adapter and use your same glass. The most fully functional EOS to m4/3 adapter which can electronically power the aperture on your EOS lenses (rather than adding an external aperture) will run you about $400-$450 from Redrock or Berger, but I doubt you'll find a replacement lens to perform as well for that price... plus I'm sure you have other L lenses you would like to use on your new OM-D as well.

    Using the same lens on your OM-D would give you a little extra reach using the exact same setup, or it would let you shoot a little faster and not reduce the reach too much if you remove the teleconverter.

    Be aware though, that the the crop factor may not give you as much reach as you think. There is no direct comparison between the crop of an APS-C frame and a Four-Thirds frame. Calling the Four-Thirds frame a "2x crop" does not tell the whole story as the FOV is measured diagonally but the aspect ratios of these two formats are widely different.

    Here's a quick comparison on the differences in FOV between Full Frame, Canon APS-C, and Four-Thirds...

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    This is what the Canon APS-C crop would look like:
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    And this is what the Four-Thirds crop would look like:
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    As you can tell, the big difference is that the width is chopped off, in this case cutting off at the bee's knees instead of showing more leg.

    When you add a 1.4x teleconverter it gives you "40% more reach". Going from a Canon APS-C (1.6x crop) to a Four-Thirds sensor (2x crop) does not give you that same "40% reach" that many people think. The APS-C sensor just adds extra width (which for those of us who print our images on paper, is often cut off anyways).
  6. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    I use the 5D Mark II and EF 400mm f5.6 L for both static shots and birds in flight. I use the Gf1 and Zeiss 80-200mm f4 mainly just for static shots. With the OM-D coming out, I'm hoping we'll see some long native primes not far behind.
  7. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    The same, I also have the 400/5.6, Sigma 50-500 & 120-300/2.8 +2x.

    I use my GH2 & 100-300 mostly for video, but I also take some shots if the subject is relatively static.
  8. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    +1 .. I like it..
  9. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    Thanks every one for your comments, I it very instructive...

    I knew about the adapter for the EF lens, but prefer to have autofocus, for some reason I am never satisfy of shot I took manually...

    I did own in the past a Pany 100-300mm, love the size and wait on a GH2.
    I did find it a bit soft, when I compare to my actual setup... I must admit that I am a bit of a pixel peeper, I know it serve me no purpose, but I just can't resist...:frown:

    I went back to my files and dug up that one...

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    Looks pretty good, it is up close that I was disappointed... Do I need to look at it that close...:confused: 

    I was not to fond of the focusing on the GH2, the OM-D looks promising.

    I started with a big Canon setup, fell in love with the size of :43:, sold every thing, whent :43:, focus spread annoyed me especially on my E-P2, the GH2as better...Sold every thing went back to Canon, now the size is buggging me... The announcement of the OM-D makes me reconsider....AGAIN... Maybe what I need is a Psychologist...

    So, from your answer their is not a lot of choice, maybe Olympus, Panasonic or Sigma will surprise us in 2012..

    Thanks again, any additional coment are welcome...

  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Aside from C-AF, I don't think you'll see better results on the OM-D than on the GH2 with that lens. The IQ isn't going to improve, so if you weren't happy before, you won't be happy now.

  11. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Did you forget about the Olympus 75-300?Maybe a better option with the OMD as you can take advantage of the updated IBIS. I have not used either, and have only used 45-200 and utilized the digital teleconverter for some extra reach, albeit at the cost of sharpness, but did work when in a pinch.
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    The EF lens adapter creates as many problems as it solves. You lose autofocus, and more importantly, you are forced to use your lens only wide open, as there is no way to control the aperture, unless you buy a $500+ one. You can buy an adapter with its own aperture blades, but then you introduce vignetting.

    The OM-D, besides weather-sealing, will not give you any results that are realistically any different from the GH2. The focusing is still contrast detect, and AF-C will not work significantly better than you've seen with micro 4/3. I really don't think that there's anything for you in m4/3 land, especially if you want the image quality afforded by great telephoto prime lenses like the Canon 300mm f/4L or Canon 400mm f/5.6L. I also don't recommend that people jump from system to system with every new camera body release, as it's a colossal waste of money. Either live with the size and weight penalties of the Canon system, or the image and focus penalties of the micro 4/3 system. If anything, you seem to be a prime candidate for the Nikon V1 with Nikon FT-1 adapter, and a 300mm f/4 AF-S, which will at least give you a reach bonus, plus the smaller size of the camera compared to your 7D. Plus, the optical quality bonus of not having to use a teleconverter, and being at f/4-f/5.6 for your shots. But, really make sure that you're willing to give up the capabilities of your 7D before considering it.

    Doesn't solve any of the OP's problems. Still a consumer zoom lens with a variable aperture, which at the end of the day doesn't give anywhere near the quality of a Canon L prime with a 1.4x teleconverter, and only gives the same final reach as the Panasonic lens.
  13. leendertv

    leendertv Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 22, 2011
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    I use the Panasonic G3 + Panasonic 100-300mm and I like it!

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    • Like Like x 3
  14. Harmonica

    Harmonica Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2012
    Just as I get my OM-D (my first micro 4/3 camera) I'm planning to test following telephotolenses with it (using adapters). So hopefully it just was ok to write here despite of fact...none of them are ''native'' lenses of micro 4/3 system. Based on my experience...all of them are very good, but 2.) and 3.) are something even more. Well who knows, maybe the real longer telelenses just need to be ''white colour'' :smile:

    1.) Tamron 180mm
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    2.) Konica Minolta 200mm
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    3.) Pentax 300mm
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    4.) Pentax 400mm
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    5.) 3. and/or 4. with 1.4x tc
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  15. Declan97

    Declan97 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2012
    Padang, Indonesia
    Wow, I did like with the lens body color:) 

    I used to using zeiss jena 75-300, now using zuiko 65-200, and plan to look after sigma/takumar 300mm/4

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using EP-L1
  16. Harmonica

    Harmonica Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2012
    Well, I have pre-ordered OM-D on silver colour, as it remains me more from old days.

    What comes to silver colour lenses....I actually have some of them too. But they are little bit too big & heavy for OM-D (on the left side of my Pentax gear photo)...and I'm planning to buy native prime lenses between 12mm and 75mm. Already have first two...12mm & 45mm.

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  17. Declan97

    Declan97 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2012
    Padang, Indonesia
    Wow, you did a birders freak, what an amazing tele lens you've had

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using EP-L1
  18. hodad66

    hodad66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 27, 2010
    Indialantic, Florida
    I use the Canon FD 500mm 4.5 on one body and the Pany 100-300
    on the other.....
  19. Harmonica

    Harmonica Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2012
    I have always dreamed about longer lens than 400mm. With Pentax's K-bajonet those options are still very limited...either the lenses are very/too expensive or optically just too bad. My own favorit shooting style is also ''lightway''....just handhold (walking in the forest), more than carrying always tripod etc.. That was the main reason I sold earlier my Tamron 300mm f2.8 (2,5kg) and bought that Pentax 400mm f5.6 (1,14kg). But now with micro 4/3 camera...who knows....I could also try one of those old long monster Canon FD lens as they are cleary cheaper than similar newier ones. So how about your results (Pany vs Canon)? Is manual focus easy with that lens?
  20. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
    Harmonica: You certainly can use legacy glass on a :43: body for birding as long as you accept some limitations. You've already got a great collection of good glass, so by all means make use of it. While not impossible to use on birds in flight, the lack of autofocus with these lenses will reduce your keeper rate. For static or slower moving birds however, i.e. perched birds, birds just taking off, waterfowl landing, etc. you can do well with them. I've gotten some great shots of hummingbirds hovering around the feeder with my Gf1 and Zeiss 80-200mm.

    The small, lightweight :43: bodies can also make hand holding large, heavy legacy lenses awkward and uncomfortable. If using a tripod, make sure the lens either has a tripod collar or you use some other support system to take the weight off of the camera's lens mount. This one has gotten good reviews:

    Telephoto Lens Support 293 - Supports | Manfrotto

    Happy birding. Be sure to post some of your shots when you get them.

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