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Dang! Help needed on tele zoom choice

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WT21, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I am hoping folks can help clear my thinking on this.

    I am looking at three tele zooms -- I have them all in my possession currently. In the past, my travel kit was the 14-150 and the 20mm. Still a great combo, IMO, but now that I've got the prime trio, I decided to look into the other tele options, as I'm not sure I'll need the full range of the all-in-one. Additionally, I was thinking IQ might be higher on a dedicated tele than an all-in-one.

    Well, here's my impressions so far. I'm not looking for other lens suggestions, nor am I looking for debate on the merits of the lenses. Just some input on thinking through these three, based on what I've concluded:

    • The three have similar color and contrast output on my EPM1
    • The three have nearly equivalent focus speed (the P45-200 was slower when I got it, but after the FW upgrade, it's as fast as the other two)

    P45-200
    pros:
    • performing better at 150mm than my 40-150 or 14-150. Colors are kind of the same, but corners are noticeably better and sharpness is better at pixel peeping levels (at 150mm, where I've been testing all three. Maybe I need to test the P45-200 at 200mm)
    • I like the zoom ring better (nice rubber grip)
    • OIS for movies, though movies at tele length for me is VERY rare
    • Brighter at same FL throughout the range than the other two lenses
    • Ships with lens hood.
    • $200

    Cons:
    • MUCH bigger than the other two.
    • MUCH heavier
    • I'm using the EPM1 more and more. It handles fine on the EPM1, but doesn't travel as well (i.e. the EPM1 + Oly zoom fits in my jacket pocket fine. The P45-200, not as much)

    40-150
    Pros:
    • Small and lightweight, and travels very compactly on the EPM1.
    • $100 (it's in pro in terms of price, and also no paranoid fear of loss or damage)

    Cons:
    • Slower at similar FLs than the P45-200

    14-150
    Pros:
    • 18-40mm! If you need it, you have it right there
    • Small and lightweight, and travels very compactly on the EPM1.

    Cons:
    • $200-300 more than the other two
    • Smaller aperture at similar FLs than the other two

    Just thinking out loud, but appreciate the favor of any feedback/thoughts/points/questions, etc. around the above comparison.
     
  2. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I haven't tried Panny zoom as it is prohibitively big and heavy but I've used Oly 14-150 and 40-150 for a long time. They're both identical to me in terms of sharpness, colors and size. 14-150 is 3oz heavier but size is the same. 14-150 features metal mount, focuses closer and focuses faster on new Oly bodies (firmware v1.1). Oly 40-150 is still stuck on v1.0 which is slower especially in lower light (no difference on older bodies like E-PL2).
    Because I also have prime trio (14, 20 & 45) there was not much room for 14-150 in my kit anymore so I sold it but I kept 40-150 ($99 from amazon, come on) for macro (with achromat) and rare telephoto. It's a special purpose lens to me which is not in my bag.
    Those looking for ultimate quality in m43 should probably skip zooms and compramise on compactness somewhat: 12, 25 & 45 is the platinum no compramise IQ in m43 right now, IMO.
    I think another telephoto worth mentioning is Panny 100-300. I haven't tried it myself but it appears to have very good performance and the size is still much smaller than dslr equivalents, also the price is good.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Thanks. That has been a bit of my experience too.
     
  4. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    If you're wanting dedicated telephoto range, a superzoom doesn't compare. If you want a telephoto lens, I would be happy to give up that lens in a heartbeat compared to the other two. Its only usefulness is as a one-zoom solution, so you should decide how willing you are to carry another lens, or be ready to switch out in the field. If you aren't noticing any image quality issues with it though, this may be a point for it. As far as the other two lenses, if you're happy with the 40-150mm image quality, it sounds like the size is a serious issue for you, so maybe you should lean towards that one. The aperture difference isn't really that big, what's 1/3-1/2 a stop? I say keep the 40-150mm, sell the other two, and put that money either towards more photography equipment, or use it for a couple nice dates.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Thanks. I'm going through my LR library right now, and I only have about 130 shots with the 14-150 under 40mm, but then again, they are great group shots from our trip to the rockies. On horseback, at the continental divide, hiking in the national forest, etc.

    hmmmm....
     
  6. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    If I only had one m43 body I'd keep 14-150mm. I remember when I only had E-PL2 and was on vacation in Hawaii with two lenses Panny 20 and Oly 40-150mm, I was switching between them no less than 10 times a day while I could have mounted Oly 14-150 for the day and use Panny 20 at night...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm going to go with the 45-200 OIS. I got it to replace my 45 1.8 because I found myself using it mainly for daytime shooting anyways. from 45 to 100mm it's just as sharp as the 45mm 1.8. Plus OIS really helps when shooting with the VF2. I had the PZ 45-175 X and with the E-PM1 and I prefer to go with an OIS lens in the telephoto range due to the spotty IBIS. It's really not that big or heavy (compared to DSLR options) in my opinion and I'm now using it on the E-PL3. I didn't like the lens at all on a Pany body, but for some reason it works so much better on an Olympus! My PL 25 now takes over for candid portraiture and low light work which I prefer more so over the 45 1.8. If money was no issue, I'd just get them all! :wink:
     
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  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Argh! My pain is I have a cash buyer who will buy it tonight at my price, and I thought it was a slam-dunk to let it go.

    I analyzed more pictures, and I've only shot a total of 21 shots in 2011 under 30mm FL with this lens (out of 112 shots total with the 14-150 in 2011). That would mean to me that I don't need this lens, and dropping from the 14-150 to the 40-150 frees up $300, which isn't insignificant (given that I recently purchased the PL25 and PL45!).

    Or, I could get a GRD iii with that $300 :)
     
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I seem to only use my 45-200 at 45 and 200, rarely in between. Most of the time I'm at 200, I wish I had more reach. I don't think I could handle being limited to 150.

    Also, with the 45-200, you have OIS for video and when the IBIS acts up on the EPM1
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I'm going to say something controversial, and maybe I'll get hammered, but it's what I'm seeing.

    I've been testing all 3 of these lenses for IQ. I take 3 shots without IS (either IBIS or OIS) and 3 shots with, to select the best, then compare -- IS to non-IS, and across lenses. As long as my shutter speeds have been at least the focal length (i.e. 1/150 for 150mm), my Non-IS shots are coming out as good or far better than my IS shots -- on any of my bodies (EPL2 and EPM1) and any 3 of the lenses. This is all handheld shooting. Let me restate that -- whether IBIS or OIS, EPL2 or EPM1, 14-150, 40-150 or 45-200, the IS is not helping in anyway at shutter speeds even 1/2 the focal length, and is sometimes making the picture worse.

    I'm beginning to believe I will simply leave IS off most of the time. I've been asking myself, when do I really need to shoot something at 1/6 second, and the answer is almost never, as when I'm indoors I'm using bright primes. It's been a very eye-opening round of tests for me.

    The one difference, though, is OIS in movie mode would be different and quite useful.
     
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  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    It's fustrating, though -- this lens. It's so good at 150 -- better than the Oly's, but then softens up at 200. But it does stay brighter than the other two throughout the range, so 150 on the 45-200 is better and brighter aperture than 150 on the Olys. 100mm on the 45-200 was also better than both Olys (I didn't test anything under 100mm).
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Interesting tests there. I know how well IS works for lower shutter speeds (ie, like 1/4s, 1/8s, 1/16s, etc.) but I've never bothered to see what kind of affect it has on images when you're shooting at shutter speeds where you don't need IS...
     
  13. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    It's the EPM1 IBIS issues that got me testing and looking more closely at this. Turns out I'm finding it more common than I would have thought.
     
  14. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Welcome to the great secret :smile: We get a convert here and there, that have seen the light rather than blindly touting a feature as an end-all necessity. Image stabilization hurts your images, unless the shot would otherwise have excessive camera shake.
    https://www.mu-43.com/f38/there-any-sharp-14-42x-lenses-18815/
     
  15. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Any idea why the lens hood for Oly 40-150mm (LH-61D) is so much bigger than for 14-150mm? Can smaller hood (LH-61C) be used with 40-150mm?
     
  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I am sure it's because the hood for the 14-150 has to be smaller, rather than the need for a longer 40-150 hood.

    The bayonets look exactly the same, so I should think you can swap them.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
     
  17. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    So the EPM1 might be getting an undeserved bad rap...

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
     
  18. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Well, I sold the 14-150. I hope I don't regret it. Keeping the 40-150, just because I am not using telephoto that much. Thanks all for helpful thoughts/feedback.
     
  19. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I did the same thing and don't regret it at all. In fact, my photos improved quite a bit cause I shoot a lot more with primes now. And for $99 it's definately worth keeping 40-150 for that rare telephoto.