E-M5 mk III released at US$1199

RAH

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Thanks for the info, Gary. Food for thought, for sure. I think you're right about not waiting for the body - i.e. buy it now! Yes, GAS rules supreme!! ;)

RS86, I think that you lose AF completely when you adapt a lens from another system (Canon, etc), but I could be wrong. I can look it up, but perhaps someone can chime in here? Not having AF would be deal breaker for me (and most others, I think).

As far as the Oly lens, if the past is any indication, their lens will be faster and heavier than the 100-400 PL. I mean, look at almost any lens area where they overlap, and Oly is bigger (I said almost, folks). For example, 12-40 lens is bigger and heavier (and faster, retaining 2.8 throughout) than the PL 12-60. The Oly 7-14 is larger and a lot heavier than the PL 8-18 (not sure about the fstop on the Oly). I'm not too knowledgable about their top-of-line lenses, but from what I've read, they are large and heavy.

I'm not saying my Canon 400 is lightweight, but it is lightweight for what it is (full-frame-ready prime 400). Most Oly high-grade lenses are NOT small for what they are, as far as I can see. The PL 100-400 is praised for its relatively light weight. Yeah, its f6.3 at the far end, but I'm more than willing to live with that, just as I am willing to live with the Canon's f5.6 (or even f8 with the tc). So, we shall see about the Oly. I think it will be a longish wait (another year, perhaps?). $2400, I'm guessing; f4 - 5.6? Enormous... :)
 

RS86

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Thanks for the info, Gary. Food for thought, for sure. I think you're right about not waiting for the body - i.e. buy it now! Yes, GAS rules supreme!! ;)

RS86, I think that you lose AF completely when you adapt a lens from another system (Canon, etc), but I could be wrong. I can look it up, but perhaps someone can chime in here? Not having AF would be deal breaker for me (and most others, I think).

As far as the Oly lens, if the past is any indication, their lens will be faster and heavier than the 100-400 PL. I mean, look at almost any lens area where they overlap, and Oly is bigger (I said almost, folks). For example, 12-40 lens is bigger and heavier (and faster, retaining 2.8 throughout) than the PL 12-60. The Oly 7-14 is larger and a lot heavier than the PL 8-18 (not sure about the fstop on the Oly). I'm not too knowledgable about their top-of-line lenses, but from what I've read, they are large and heavy.

I'm not saying my Canon 400 is lightweight, but it is lightweight for what it is (full-frame-ready prime 400). Most Oly high-grade lenses are NOT small for what they are, as far as I can see. The PL 100-400 is praised for its relatively light weight. Yeah, its f6.3 at the far end, but I'm more than willing to live with that, just as I am willing to live with the Canon's f5.6 (or even f8 with the tc). So, we shall see about the Oly. I think it will be a longish wait (another year, perhaps?). $2400, I'm guessing; f4 - 5.6? Enormous... :)
I think it will be 5.0-6.3 vs PL 4.0-6.3. This might make it smaller or sharper for same size, and long end is usually most important for people with these lenses.

Good point about Panasonic sometimes being smaller. But for example Oly 12-40mm vs PL 12-35mm it is 5mm longer and has closer minimum focus distance so magnification is 0.30 vs 0.17. For me it's important to make it better all-round lens to replace primes sometimes. Minor sharpness benefit too I think, both great lenses.
 

gary0319

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Well, RS86 and hoodlum, that sounds good, potentially. I hope it works out that way! I have my $1500 ready for it. Hey, you never know... :)
I suspect that the upcoming non-pro 100-400 will be substantially less than $1500. I don’t recall (could be wrong) of any non-pro Olympus lens being more than $1,000.
 

RAH

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I suspect that the upcoming non-pro 100-400 will be substantially less than $1500. I don’t recall (could be wrong) of any non-pro Olympus lens being more than $1,000.
Oh, damn! I haven't been doing my homework - I thought the new 100-400 was going to be a pro-level lens. This is bad news for me, seeing as how it will be standard level. Not that there's anything wrong with standard level (e.g. I LOVE the 9-18 - perfect ultra-wide travel lens!), but it seems that it probably will not even reach the abilities of the PL 100-400 (that's why I thought the Oly would be pro-level, since people are doing hypothetical comparisons).

This goes a long way to explaining the slowish f5-6.3, which I thought would be pleasantly surprising in a pro-level lens (less weight, lower cost). I'm not all that crazy about the top zoom on my 75-300, so this is not good news for me.

I agree with you Gary, it will be less than $1500. The PL 100-400 has become more desirable again, and I'm now thinking that there's no point waiting to see what the Oly 100-400 will deliver. I think we can all guess - very good but not great IQ, just like the 75-300. You do get what you pay for and there are few miracles with cameras equipment, IMHO. :-(
 

RS86

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Oh, damn! I haven't been doing my homework - I thought the new 100-400 was going to be a pro-level lens. This is bad news for me, seeing as how it will be standard level. Not that there's anything wrong with standard level (e.g. I LOVE the 9-18 - perfect ultra-wide travel lens!), but it seems that it probably will not even reach the abilities of the PL 100-400 (that's why I thought the Oly would be pro-level, since people are doing hypothetical comparisons).

This goes a long way to explaining the slowish f5-6.3, which I thought would be pleasantly surprising in a pro-level lens (less weight, lower cost). I'm not all that crazy about the top zoom on my 75-300, so this is not good news for me.

I agree with you Gary, it will be less than $1500. The PL 100-400 has become more desirable again, and I'm now thinking that there's no point waiting to see what the Oly 100-400 will deliver. I think we can all guess - very good but not great IQ, just like the 75-300. You do get what you pay for and there are few miracles with cameras equipment, IMHO. :-(
I think it will be weather-sealed and surely has IS. Personally 1000 € will be about maximum I will pay for another long tele lens and it has to be max. PL size, rather a bit smaller.

400mm would be great to have, but I don't shoot birds etc. that often so it's not a current need for me.

Olympus 60mm and 75mm are not Pro and are astonishing lenses in my view.

Olympus 150-400 f/4.5 will be Pro so why have two Pro-lenses when other is clearly superior aimed at professionals and other for enthusiasts.
 
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RS86

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Also I'm not sure can they can call lens with aperture 5.0-6.3 a Pro lens.

Another thing that came to mind is that Panasonic had monopoly position on m43 400mm reach tele zoom lens.

So it's totally possible and even logical they have overpriced it. And so it is possible for Olympus to make it as good and cheaper.
 

RAH

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Also I'm not sure can they can call lens with aperture 5.0-6.3 a Pro lens.

Another thing that came to mind is that Panasonic had monopoly position on m43 400mm reach tele zoom lens.

So it's totally possible and even logical they have overpriced it. And so it is possible for Olympus to make it as good and cheaper.
Thanks for pointing out the 150-400 lens to me. I guess I'm going to have to carefully study that lens roadmap! It turns out that the 150-400 was the lens I was speculating on earlier, as probably costing $2400 and being very fast and enormous. I just thought it would be a 100-400. OK, now I am up-to-date.

So it seems that we are going to have 3 400-at-top zooms, a relatively inexpensive standard Oly, a semi-pro PL, and a high-end Oly. So I'm back to looking at the PL. Seems to hit the sweet spot, IMHO.

I agree that there are some lower focal length standard-grade lenses that are very good. But lower-priced long reach lenses usually are hard to make on the chaep and get superior results. I mean, we've been thru this for years - Sigma Bigmas, etc.
 

gary0319

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I’ll reserve judgement on whether the Olympus 100-400 can stand up to my PanLeica 100-400. I suspect not but Olympus needs to get a replacement for its current 75-300 (kind of long in the tooth by now) and recent advances in technology, along with weather sealing, light weight, and Sync IS might make this lens a nice travel add on lens to my 12-100 Pro.
 

RS86

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Personally I would wait for the Olympus non-pro lens if you will buy Olympus camera. I bet the Sync IS is very nice for long tele.

As I said it's possible for Olympus to make it as good and cheaper if Panasonic has overpriced it.

But as you say it could still be a year long wait. It has taken that long for the Pro lens to come out this far after announcement. Although it is clearly much more complex lens and we cannot know how long into development the other one is.
 

RS86

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They had the factory move so maybe they have designed some lenses in the mean time. That could make the wait shorter.

It would make very much sense for Olympus to make a competitor for the PL, not an inferior product. Or at least smaller good one with weather-seal.
 
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JDS

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Hi Gary. I've been reading your impressions of the new E-M5III. I have an E-M10II and am considering upgrading to the 5III very soon, so your findings are interesting to me. Since the 5III seems to be a good upgrade from the 10II, I'm almost definitely going to do it, probably in a few months.

I'm actually kind of waiting till they shake out some of the bugs - e.g when will the first button fall off, I wonder! ;) Do you think this is foolish? I mean, maybe I should just buy right now, if a few months won't matter as far as them actually fixing problems. Since you already bought one, maybe I have my answer!

I am also considering getting a PL 100-400, which I see you have and have been testing with the 5III. My situation is that for wildlife I have a Canon 80D and the famously great 400mm f5.6. I even have a matched Canon 1.4 converter to get me more magnification, although I haven't used it much. So, of course, the question is - can the 5III plus PL 100-400 come close to matching such a setup?

I doubt if the m43 setup of 5III plus PL100-400 could match the fast focusing of the Canon setup I have, or even the image quality, but if it were CLOSE ENOUGH, I might consider taking the plunge and then getting rid of my Canon stuff. I am tired of lugging around that big camera and bigger lens.

So, is the PL 100-400 say very good at 400? I have read that it gets kind of soft after about 300, which is NOT good enough for me. I mean, I don't want to take a big downgrade on the IQ at high mag.

Also, I do worry about all the talk about the stiff zoom ring. What's up with that?? I suppose it's for weather-sealing, but can't they fix it after being out for several years now? I also hear that it's VERY tight to mount on some cameras, but this seems to vary by individual cameras and lenses, so maybe your experience wouldn't match.

Also, of course, there is talk about Oly bringing a similar lens out soon. I can imagine that it would be larger, since they seem to have a fixation about making their high-grade lenses very fast too, which results in monstrosities, which annoys me GREATLY. The concept of high-grade, but not super fast (like my wonderful Canon 400 f5.6) seems to be beyond Oly's thinking. Also, it will probably cost a fortune (agian, unlike my Canon 400 - only about $1200).

Anyway, any words of wisdom you can send my way would be greatly appreciated. :)

(I tried to send this as a private message, but it's too long. Jeeezzz. So everyone has to read it. Well, maybe others will be interested too...)
I don't know my Canon models, but the body is APS-C right? If so, the comparison would be to a ~300mm focal length in M4/3. Even if the PL 100-400 is soft at the limit, that limit is much more reach than the Canon lens you mention. If you want sharp with equally long reach, I would recommend the Oly 300 f4. That's the real competitor, and its absolutely amazing.
 

gary0319

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I had a chance to have some discussions with our regional Olympus rep yesterday and quizzed him on availability of both the 12-45 Pro and the 100-400 non Pro. As expected he was closed mouthed on dates for both, but did allow that I had "some months" to save up for either.
 

RAH

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I don't know my Canon models, but the body is APS-C right? If so, the comparison would be to a ~300mm focal length in M4/3. Even if the PL 100-400 is soft at the limit, that limit is much more reach than the Canon lens you mention. If you want sharp with equally long reach, I would recommend the Oly 300 f4. That's the real competitor, and its absolutely amazing.
Yes, a Canon 80D is APS-C. Canon has a 1.6 crop factor, so a 400mm lens gives 640 equiv. Yes, on a m43, 300 gives 600, so they seem comparable.

But, the 80D is 24MP, whereas the an E-M10 is 16, so the extra MP on the 80D more than makes up the difference, so a 300mm lens on an E-M10 does NOT have as much reach as a 400mm on a Canon 24MP camera.

But the E-M5III has 20MP. But even there, the 640 equiv on the Canon beats the 600 equiv on the m43. So, a 300mm lens on a m43 20MP camera would not have the reach of a 400 on a Canon 24MP camera.

So a 400mm lens on m43 is much more desireable, because it probably gives more reach than the higher-res Canon camera.

(Of course, with a Canon 90D (32MP), again the 400mm would give MUCH greater reach than a 300mm on Oly. But I have no plans to get a 90D).
 
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RS86

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Yes, a Canon 80D is APS-C. Canon has a 1.6 crop factor, so a 400mm lens gives 640 equiv. Yes, on a m43, 300 gives 600, so they seem comparable.

But, the 80D is 24MP, whereas the an E-M10 is 16, so the extra MP on the 80D more than makes up the difference, so a 300mm lens on an E-M10 does NOT have as much reach as a 400mm on a Canon 24MP camera.

But the E-M5III has 20MP. But even there, the 640 equiv on the Canon beats the 600 equiv on the m43. So, a 300mm lens on a m43 20MP camera would not have the reach of a 400 on a Canon 24MP camera.

So a 400mm lens on m43 is much more desireable, because it probably gives more reach than the higher-res Canon camera.

(Of course, with a Canon 90D (32MP), again the 400mm would give MUCH greater reach than a 300mm on Oly. But I have no plans to get a 90D).
With any of these Olympus lenses you could factor in the weight for handling and 6.5 stops stabilization, which I think won't be as good with such a long lens but very good thing nevertheless.
 

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With any of these Olympus lenses you could factor in the weight for handling and 6.5 stops stabilization, which I think won't be as good with such a long lens but very good thing nevertheless.
I know that IS is a popular thing, and I love it for regular photography, but with long-lens wildlife photgraphy, I usually use a tripod. It is just very difficult to get precise aim when handholding. I mean, for example, it makes a difference if you focus on a bird's eye or its chest. Usually you don't get the bird full enough in the frame to easily pick one or the other. So you need to kind of shift the aim around, firing away meanwhile and hoping one of them nails it. I cannot imagine doing this handheld. It's hard enough with a tripod.

I suppose if you go to Yellowstone and photograph bison, then you can handhold a long lens, becuase they are BIG, but otherwise, I prefer a tripod (even though they are a big PITA).
 

RS86

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I know that IS is a popular thing, and I love it for regular photography, but with long-lens wildlife photgraphy, I usually use a tripod. It is just very difficult to get precise aim when handholding. I mean, for example, it makes a difference if you focus on a bird's eye or its chest. Usually you don't get the bird full enough in the frame to easily pick one or the other. So you need to kind of shift the aim around, firing away meanwhile and hoping one of them nails it. I cannot imagine doing this handheld. It's hard enough with a tripod.

I suppose if you go to Yellowstone and photograph bison, then you can handhold a long lens, becuase they are BIG, but otherwise, I prefer a tripod (even though they are a big PITA).
Yeah. I usually balance my 75-300mm against a tree, bag or something else. And tripod when I have it ready.

(Totally hand-held it is very difficult with my combo and needs good light and fast shutterspeed, but I have found my lens pretty sharp.)

But even in these situations I think it is very helpful for small fast moving birds for example. There is not much time to balance the lens totally so I think it helps with the little movement.
 

Dave Black

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I suspect that the upcoming non-pro 100-400 will be substantially less than $1500. I don’t recall (could be wrong) of any non-pro Olympus lens being more than $1,000.
I am guessing the upcoming 100-400/5.0-6.3 will be a rebrand Sigma, which cost around $800.
 

Dave Black

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I had a chance to have some discussions with our regional Olympus rep yesterday and quizzed him on availability of both the 12-45 Pro and the 100-400 non Pro. As expected he was closed mouthed on dates for both, but did allow that I had "some months" to save up for either.
My regional Olympus rep was even tighter lipped. He did mention that the size if the 150-400/4.5 is basically the same as the 300/4.0 with the hood extended. I am assuming he is only talking about length of the lenses and not diameter. He also mention that a prime lens is coming next year.
 
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