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Choosing a telephoto zoom

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by lrlebron, Jun 16, 2016.

  1. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    I'm looking for a telephoto zoom for my EM5mk2. Due to budget constraints I have narrowed down my choices to the Panasonic 100-300 or the Olympus 75-300.
    From what I have read the Panasonic is a half step faster but it is also heavier and larger. Some reviewers think it is also a bit sharper than the Olympus. However, I have seen many images shot with the Oly and they seem sharp enough.

    Does anyone have experience with both and can give me some feedback on the IQ and other things I may need to consider?
     
  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have the Olympus and have never used the the Panasonic, but........ The Panasonic has problems when using continuous autofocus or continuous shooting because of the older and slower focusing/aperture mechanisms. So, if you plan on using either of those modes often I would only consider the Olympus.
     
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  3. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    855
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Here is an earlier thread on this topic with some of my thoughts are in post 2. I went through this same decision when I first moved into m43 and chose the O75-300II. I have been using it for shooting my son's lacrosse games these past few months and find that I quite like it. My technique for longer focal lengths has improved and I think that some of the issue with softness at 300mm may just be motion blur because the Oly is a little light for its reach.
     
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  4. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    Thanks. That helps. One of the uses of the lens will be bird photography and continous autofocus can be very useful.
     
  5. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    Thanks for the link. I'll look through the previous post.
     
  6. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    I have the Panasonic and have never used the Olympus :) I considered switching to try and get better continuous focus and shooting, but when did some research, everyone said that the Olympus is no better in those respects.
    Just to clarify, you can use the Panasonic for continuous focus and shooting - it works OK, but does slow things down considerably compared to the newer, faster, lenses.
     
  7. JensM

    JensM Mu-43 Regular

    188
    Mar 6, 2016
    Oslo(ish), Norway
    As screename
    I have and so far, like the Panasonic, never tried the Olympus. Could be that it is because I have not used it much, but IQ on the output so far has been all right to my eye.

    It is a bummer that Pana will not be upgrading the software for it, so that it will not be able to shoot with coupled stabilization on the newer Panasonic bodies.

    Is it heavy? Possibly if isolated in the M43 world, but not when viewed in the camera world, I will not shy away from bringing it with me while traveling, just because I may get some use for it.
     
  8. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    My review of the Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

    I've had it for a while. Older m43 cameras have focusing accuracy issues. Newer cameras like the EM5 Mk II and EM1 work geat with it. I've shot polo with it and all kinds of animals, even street photography. It is a good lens, you just need to learn how to use it to its potential. It needs really good light as it is a bit on the slow side. However, for the price and reach you get, I find it worth it.

    All the research I've done has shown that between it and the Panasonic sharpness comes down to sample variation. Both will be sharp enough. I recommend shooting it in shutter priority mode and keep the shutter as high as you can stand it against the ISO needed for a proper exposure.
     
  10. alex g

    alex g Mu-43 Top Veteran

    550
    Mar 30, 2016
    New York / Bath
    I can't speak for the 75-300, but I'll say this about the 100-300:
    • I think it's a really nice lens that strikes a good balance between performance and price.
    • I can only assume that there is significant sample variation between copies, because my experience in no way reflects the reputation it seems to have gained for softness. It isn't as sharp or contrasty as the 300mm f/4, naturally, but my copy was actually sharper than the 100-400 copy I tested earlier this year, so it looks like I was lucky and got a good one. Sounds like it would be worth trying a few copies if you can, and selecting the best one.
    • As has been mentioned before, perceived lens size is entirely relative. You will soon get used to the size of the 100-300 if you decide to get one. To me, it feels noticeably smaller and lighter than the 40-150 pro when mounted on an E-M5 mk II, and much smaller and lighter than the 300 f/4, which makes it seem like a standard zoom!
    • Personally, I'm more of an Oly guy, but I prefer the feel of the 100-300 over the 75-300 I played with in the store - I like the rubber zoom ring and the general build quality inspires confidence.
    • I always use the IBIS in the E-M5 mk II in preference to the OIS, I get good results with it, even at the long end.
    • The manual focus ring is extremely stiff on my copy, and really not that usable, but that's my only complaint, I think. The 75-300 focus ring may be better, I don't know.
    • Although the Oly is only a half stop slower than the Lumix, I wouldn't want to lose that half stop!
     
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  11. Spuriously Precise

    Spuriously Precise New to Mu-43

    7
    May 22, 2016
    I think the Panasonic 100-300 is a bit of a bargain. The copy I used didn't have any of the softness at the long end that others have attributed to it, although this is subject to sample variation. Yes, it is quite large and heavy, but then it's sharp and long! The only obvious defect it has the stiffness of the focus ring. MF with video would be unwatchable.
     
  12. Rambling Sam

    Rambling Sam Mu-43 Regular

    68
    May 27, 2016
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Sam
    I've got the 100-300mm Lumix, and do find it's a bit 'soft' and I'm using it on an E-M1; having seen photos taken at the same time by someone else with the Olly 75-300mm, (also using an E-M1) I'd say the Olly is the better of the two. Maybe if you are using the Lumix on a Panny body, the focusing system works better because you can then use the stabilisation system built inside the Lumix, which the Olly doesn't because their IBIS systems are slightly different.

    I think the only way you are going to get a definitive answer on this, is in a side-by-side comparison, (the kind of lighting conditions also need to be the same) using YOUR camera body. No doubt you would like a cut and dried answer, but as with most photographic equipment, things just aren't going to be that straightforward!
     
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  13. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Huh? I agree the focusing systems are different between Olympus and Panasonic. But, with his EM5mk2 (like on your EM1) you can use either the IBIS or the IS in the lens.
     
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  14. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Veteran

    358
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    Strongly agreed. I feel like I must have a "lucky" copy myself, as it's been great - even at 300mm wide open - for baseball shots.

    And I'm a pixel-peeping gearhound looking at everything on a 5k iMac, FWIW.
     
  15. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    Thanks for all the information. I think a personal comparison of the 2 may be what I need.
     
  16. Shaw

    Shaw New to Mu-43

    I have the Olympus, and my wife has the Panasonic, and images produced by both are fine. The only drawback on the Panasonic is that the manual focus ring is extremely stiff, but perhaps that may only apply to the copy that we have. Having used them both for quite a while, I prefer the Olympus.
     
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  17. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    Thanks for all the information. I've ordered the Olympus 75-300. I should have it by Thursday. I also ordered a ball head for my monopod. I think the old monopod is going to get a lot more use with this lens.
     
  18. catmurphy

    catmurphy Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Sep 1, 2013
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Cathy
    I think I have one of the soft Pany 100-300's. Using it on my EM5 Mk2. Maybe I will try using the lens stabilization instead of IBIS. Otherwise, I think I may trade it in for an OLY 75-300.
     
  19. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    660
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK
    OIS is reported to work better at longer focal lengths, so its worth a go. I'm using my P100-300 on my G5 and I'm very happy with it's optical performance. AF can struggle at times though.

    Have you got any sample shots?
     
  20. catmurphy

    catmurphy Mu-43 Regular

    37
    Sep 1, 2013
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Cathy
    Thanks! I think before I post any samples, I'll shoot some under better conditions than in my last session. I wasn't watching some of my settings last time I took it out.