Equivalence -- No, not that kind!!!

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by meyerweb, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I recently decided to order a Panasonic 100-300 to satisfy my long tele needs in a more compact package than my Canon APS-C gear. I was a bit hesitant, because in photos this lens look really big, and since the main reason I started using m43 was to save weight (not size, particularly), I wasn't sure I was going to like this lens.

    Well, when I opened the package, I did indeed react to the size and weight. In a very positive manner! I'm amazed at just how small this is for a 600mm f/5.6 equivalent lens. (And don't start talking to me about DOF, etc. DOF is plenty shallow for my needs.)

    So what do I mean be equivalence? See the image below. The Canon is a mid-sized 50D with a 70-200 f/2.8 + 2x TC. At the long end, that's 200x2x1.6 or 640mm f/5.6. (If this were a Nikon, it would be 200x2x1.5 or 600mm f/5.6.)

    The Panasonic is a GH3 with a 100-300, so that's equivalent to a 600mm f/5.6. Pretty much the same FOV and f-stop. Who says the GH3 and 100-300 is "too big"?

    The one thing I still need to test is AF. For C-AF, the 100-300 clearly isn't as fast as the 70-200 itself, but when you add the TC the system slows AF for better accuracy. And the GH3 AFs better than any other currently available m43, so I'm curious to see how they compare. Maybe this weekend I'll have some time to test. If this will keep up for auto racing, my Canon gear will rarely see any use.

    Attached Files:

  2. byron2112

    byron2112 Mu-43 Regular

    May 22, 2011
    I'm no expert, but whenever I see these comparisons makes me think our system of choice is amazing.... and I have a hard time seeing how M4/3 has anything but a bright and expanding future(continuing advance of it's capabilities being a given).

    Do you mind if I ask how much the giant white lens is worth? :biggrin:
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Mine is the old version, not the latest 'II' model. Used, they're going for around $1500, I think. The TC, used, is probably about $200 - $250.

    New, the current 70-200 is $2500, the TC $540, at B&H.

    But don't think for a moment the lenses are equivalent. The 70-200 II is a simply brilliant lens. Sharp and contrasty throughout the zoom range, lightning fast AF, and f/2.8 speed. With the TC it's not as sharp or as fast, but even the 35-100 doesn't match the overall performance of the Canon lens by itself.

    If you don't care about size, and are shooting sports, the Canon setup is definitely a better bet. The 100-300 is, in most respects, "good enough." But it's not equal.
  4. byron2112

    byron2112 Mu-43 Regular

    May 22, 2011
    Understood.... thanks.
  5. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I wish I would have made the time to take a few quality photos of my comparable SLR gear before I sold it off.

    To me and for my use, comparing the P35-100 and P12-35 f/2.8 lenses mounted on GX1s to the Canon f/2.8 70-200L and 24-70L (1st versions) mounted on a 5D & 5D2 was telling. The size and weight differences were/are dramatic!

    I LOVE the smaller factor of m4/3.
  6. MarylandUSA

    MarylandUSA Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 3, 2013
    Poolesville, Maryland
    Real Name:
    Paul Franklin Stregevsky
    I couldn't agree more

    As I posted at DPReview:

    It's not how much it weighs, but how much it saves (Was: Re: Before that, y'all need a 200 / 2.8...)

    The faster the M43 prime, the greater its advantage over its full-frame counterpart. A dim prime (f/3.5 of f/4) weighs about 50% less; a moderately fast prime (f/2.5 or f/2.8), about 70% less; and a seriously fast prime (f/2 or faster), perhaps 80% less.

    When I bought my Minolta 100/2.5 "plain MD" (non-Rokkor; 49mm filter), I felt great because it weighs just 311 grams; add a 79g RainbowImaging adapter, and you're at 390g. By contrast, the Pentax SMC 135/2.5K (58mm filter) weighs 950g, or 0.56 kilogram more. Put another way, the Minolta with adapter weighs 59% less.

    But the weight saving would have been even more impressive if I had gone with a faster 100, like the Canon FD 100/2 (445g) or the Minolta Auto Tele Rokkor-PF 100/2 from 1961 (425g), or Soligor C/D 100/2 (375g). With an M43 adapter, these choices would weigh about 0.5 kilogram. By contrast, a Canon EF 200/2 L IS USM would tip the scale at 2.6 kilograms; a Nikkor AF-S 200mm f/2 G ED VR (FX) or VR II, 2.9 kg.

    In other words, by choosing a lens that weighed 0.1kg more, I could have "saved" 2.1 or 2.4 kg instead of 0.56 kg.