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Experiences with Zuiko 50-200 f2.8?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by jumbotron, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    Does anyone have any experience with this lens? I'm thinking of getting one, but hear that the EP2 and GF2 might be too slow, but not sure if my DMC-L10 has enough jam or not to get the focusing up to speed with an E3+. Would a EP3 work?

    Looks like a massive lens - maybe too big for fast sports like hockey?
     
  2. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    223
    Apr 22, 2010
    Probably the right lens for hockey, but probably too slow to focus on a M4/3 body. I suspect that your L10 with Viewfinder Phase Detect AF would greatly outperform an EP3 in AF. It's substantially smaller than the Canon 70-200/2.8, which is what I use for hockey; I suspect that with the E-3 or E-5, it would be a great combo.

    I thought that Vancouver gave up hockey ;-)
     
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  3. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    Us Vancouverites are a hopeful bunch, maybe not a realistic bunch - but hopeful. It's a new season and we're optimistic. I haven't used my L10 much - I bought it with the PL 14-150 for a great deal for the lens, but the PL is too slow for hockey for sure - I tried shooting with it last night at Rogers Arena at a minor hockey event and it was painful trying to get it to focus. Not sure if my setting are off, but you think the AF on the L10 is respectable enough for good results?
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Not too big, lol. For fast sports you need a fast lens. Fast lenses are big. This one is one of the more compact of its class...

    Your L10 will be a decent match for this lens. It won't be as fast as on an E-3, E-30, or E-5, but will be faster than an E-P2, GF-2, or E-P3. This lens is built for PDAF and as such will work a little faster on a DSLR than a mirrorless (which uses CDAF). The E-P3 has very fast autofocus, but it's not as fast with a lens made for PDAF. The L10 will do better than a mirrorless, but will not be as fast as a pro-grade DSLR such as an E-3 or E-5.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The 14-150mm is a superzoom and is not very fast. It has a small aperture, which means slow lens speed and generally slow focus. The Zuiko 50-200mm SWD is a much faster focusing lens, particularly with bodies which can power the SWD motor the way it was meant to be used (ie, the E-3, E-30, and E-5 can provide that power). It won't be as fast on an L10, but it will be fast enough. Don't worry so much about what body you're using. If you have a capable lens first, then you can worry about upgrading your body.
     
  6. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    It looks like my kid is going to be playing hockey for sometime and want to start sorting out a set-up that will maximize my efforts. The m43 is great for everything else I shoot except for hockey and keep thinking of going full frame sensor Nikon or something more budget like a Canon 40D with a fast lens.

    On my PL 14-150 - I was quite pleased at the non action shots I got from it on my GF2 last night. Shots were bright, clear and sharp. The Olympus 45 1.8 worked out surprisingly quite well for some of the action stuff.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Generally Full Frame is the last thing you want for sports... the Nikon D700 is the one notable exception. If you want to get a DSLR for action, you want the best crop-sensored body you can get with a fast telephoto zoom (like the Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD or Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L), along with a body like the Olympus E-5, Canon 7D, or Nikon D700 (the best full-frame option for sports). The Canon 40D is not a good choice for what you're looking at, but a fast lens on any system will greatly improve your capabilities way more than any body could (get it... anybody? lol... I kill me!).

    Considering though that you already have both Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds bodies, I fear that you will only be "chasing the dragon" by switching systems. Yes, you can get good performance but at a huge investment level which is far greater than what you already have invested in both Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds combined. Instead, if you get a good Four-Thirds lens to use on your Four-Thirds body, your capabilities will skyrocket with just one purchase. Add a Four-Thirds mount adapter and you can use that same lens on your Micro Four-Thirds body (I assume if you get another DSLR, that you will still want to keep your mirrorless as it serves a different purpose). If that lens still doesn't perform up to your standards, upgrade to an Olympus E-5 for only half the cost of a Nikon D700. You may spend thousands, but you'll still be saving thousands over what you'd spend elsewhere to get to that next level of performance (which is what I mean by "chasing the dragon").
     
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Your L10 will be better for sports than a micro 4/3 camera. The 50-200mm from what I have seen about it seems to be a great lens. My only hesitation in recommending the camera is that the future of 4/3 is uncertain, and Olympus/Panasonic have not shown any interest in producing a solution that will allow full functionality of 4/3 lenses on an m4/3 body. So, if you find a 50-200mm lens for cheap, or you don't mind renting one to see how it works, try it out. Overall, it should be just fine and more than enough for your needs, even on "only" an L10, although you could probably pick up a newer body very cheap. Just be ready to not have a return on your investment when you need to sell or upgrade. Plus, in a few years, your only choice of upgrade with be something like a used E-5, or whatever else Olympus has released, if they even still make 4/3 cameras then.

    The 40D is a great camera for sports. When I used to work for a newspaper in the budding days of digital photography, the early 2000's, we used the predecessor of the 40D, the D60 and 10D. Back then, the cameras were $2,000 for only a "prosumer" model. Those cameras with a 70-200 f/2.8 L were the cat's meow for sports. I'd say that that lens, along with the better high-ISO for sports, makes the 40D demolish anything that you would consider putting up against it. Again, try renting one to see how you like it.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Actually, I still use my Zuiko 50-200mm SWD on my PEN cameras, and will continue to do so at least until a similar lens comes out in Micro Four-Thirds format, and even then I doubt I'll give up my 50-200mm for it. There are about 3 new m4/3 bodies out every year, and a new 4/3 body out at least every 3 years. I hardly find that a limited choice of upgrades. That's more active than either Canon or Nikon if you put their Full Frame (vs. Four-Thirds) and APS-C (vs. Micro Four-Thirds) body releases together.

    And there is absolutely no reason to assume that Olympus or Panasonic will not develop a PDAF compatible Micro Four-Thirds system in the coming years. Nikon now has on-sensor PDAF, and Sony has a PDAF compatible SLT adapter. Do you really think that Olympus isn't working on anything? These things don't happen overnight, but every manufacturer is always close on the heels of each other. It looks to me like Olympus has been concentrating on developing a CDAF system which can keep up with DSLRs, which is a very reasonable priority. They've done that now, and can move on to other things (hopefully beyond their legal problems, that is).
     
  10. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The 40D will power the 70-200mm lens fast enough for sports. No m4/3 body with a 4/3 lens comes anywhere near close to that setup's capability for moving subjects. I could put a 2,000 horsepower engine in my car, but it means nothing if I have tires that are rated to fall apart above 60mph.


    Maybe, but the bodies are more differentiated in DSLR-land. There's a clear difference between the T3i, 40D, and 7D, while the E-PL3 and E-PM1 are pretty much only differentiated by a tiltscreen. Heck, the E-P3 only shoots 3 fps, while the two lower models shoot faster. Olympus and Panasonic have very clearly not made sports photography one of the intended uses of their cameras. While you CAN shoot sports with them, you very clearly and very quickly run into their shortcomings. But, if you like making your life needlessly difficult, more power to you.

    Again, OP, go rent both systems and make the decisions for yourself. See which camera will work better shooting hockey, and use your rental experience to make your decision.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    223
    Apr 22, 2010
    Kid's hockey

    The only thing better than a hot Tim's at a cold arena when your kids are playing is having the right equipment to capture it painlessly. My 8-year old scored 5 goals last night, and I was able to capture sequences around 4 of them using a Canon T3i body with 70-200/2.8 lens. For the fifth goal, I captured the ref's rear end - mea culpa.:rolleyes:

    Although I use M4/3 for just about everything else at this point, I'm still waiting for an M4/3 body/lens that can handle sports as well as my APS-C setup. M4/3 does great work to capture video of the game, though juggling photos and video is no easy feat, especially if you're trying to be sociable at the same time - did I mention that most young kids' games here are at 7am?

    If you're looking for the least painful way to get the right equipment one option is an older Canon body (40D or even XSi/T1i) and a Sigma HSM II 50-150 f2.8. That ~$1000 (used) kit can tame even dingy local arenas, and you can always upgrade bodies in the future if you want faster sequence shooting or some other feature. It's as lightweight as the E-3 with 50-200, has better high-ISO performance and is faster at the telephoto end, but has a shorter range. The shorter range is an advantage when the action is closer, assuming that you'll be wandering up and down the boards during a game like I do, but a disadvantage when shooting from one goal line to the other. OTOH, if you want reach and are willing to give up some wider shots, lightweight and a chunk of your wallet, the 70-200 / 2.8 Canon is superb.


     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Did you ever consider why this is? This is because Canon cripples its lower end bodies to differentiate them for marketing and to over-value the high end bodies to justify their cost.

    Olympus does not do this. They have a history of always putting the best technology they have into every body. Sure, their best technology may not always be the best of everybody's, but sometimes it is. The important thing is that they do not cripple their lower end bodies for the sake of making a cheaper entry price. There have been a couple small exceptions, such as the E-PL1 which was quickly rectified with the E-PL2 (hey, they're still running a business here like everybody else!).

    When I shot a lowly entry level E-510 next to my buddies with expensive Full Frame 5D cameras, I always found the E-510 could easily do a lot of things the 5Ds could not. A Canon 1D could do those things, but not the semi-pro 5D. My E-510 could do all the things my E-3 can. The image quality was even better, as the E-510 offered finer JPG compression as well as a weaker AA filter. Why did the E-3 not have such fine compression? Because the E-3 was longer in development while the E-510 was short development, meaning that even though the E-3 came out months after the E-510 some of the technology of the E-510 was essentially newer. However, the advantages of the E-3 were very quantifiable, such as the metal sub-frame, weather sealing, crystal pentaprism, and external controls. These were the things which justified the cost of the E-3, and had nothing to do with being over-valued because the lower-end models were purposely limited.

    This is the same reason why you see only a 3fps shutter on the E-P3, as opposed to 5fps on the E-PL3 and E-PM1. The shutter mechanism was re-designed to fit into the tiny bodies of the E-PL3 and E-PM1, and in so doing they actually improved it over the old shutter seen in the previous generation PENs. The E-P3 however was longer in development and still carried the old shutter mechanism along with the older body design. Yet another classic case of Olympus putting the best of what they've got into any body - IRREGARDLESS of the marketing price point.

    For a while, Olympus had both the E-4xx line and the E-5xx line. The E-5xx had IS, while the E-4xx was smaller. Eventually, Olympus re-vamped their IBIS system with a more mechanical IS that could fit into a smaller body, and they merged both lines into the E-620 which was supposed to give the best of both worlds. The same thing they did with the E-Px and E-PLx PEN lines, to form the "best of both worlds" E-P3 while introducing an all-new body type alongside it which was slimmer and smaller (E-PL3 and E-PM1). Olympus doesn't try to differentiate bodies for "virtual" market placement, but rather tries to give us the optimum design for each intended purpose.
     
  13. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    Robertro - I'd love to see some of your shots if you care to share - just send me a PM. I can do without the Tim's. I didn't think much of it, but all the playing parents can't believe I bought my 8 year old an $90 Easton Stealth. It was the right size for her, light and it was the most comfortable in her hands.

    Our home ice is two of the new 2010 Olympic venue with full glass around, but every once in a while we play in one of the old arenas with the cut-outs in the glass and it's pure shooting bliss being get the lens right onto the ice. Even better is when the ice guy offers you a ladder to get above the action.

    She's on the ice as early as 6 during some skill sessions :-(
     
  14. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    223
    Apr 22, 2010
    I'd be happy to post some pics of the kids this weekend, as long as the non-hockey parents will indulge me.

    Nice home ice to have! My 6-year old daughter is going to play in the Senator's arena in the new year, and she's already counting down the days.
     
  15. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    There tons of threads on hockey photography, but not enough samples - looking forward to seeing your shots

    Hell, maybe I'll even muster enough courage to post a hack shot or two.

    The home ice is nice, but was way more cool as Olympic size - the Tykes just get lost on that sheet, lol.

    Monday was the 2nd time this year our daughter has skated at Rogers Arena. Both were clinics run with some of the Canucks, but the thrill of skating in a pro venue is pretty awesome.
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The 50-200 is a nice lens (sharp, fast-ish, non-SWD version is affordable), but not for fast sports in low light. The AF is abysmal on micro 4/3 bodies. It is better on 4/3 bodies, but it's still not great, particularly since no 4/3 body has good continuous AF performance, of the sort that a 3-4 year old mid-range Canon or Nikon body does.

    Mind you, even with the right gear, hockey is tricky. But something like a second-hand 40D + 70-200/2.8L (non-IS) or D90 + 80-200/2.8D can be gotten for $1600 or so and will make your life a lot easier than the 50-200, even on the best 4/3 body.

    DH
     
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  17. OPSSam

    OPSSam Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Dec 18, 2010
    NC
    Canon rules fast and continuous AF. Nikon rules low noise at high IS0. Olympus has some of the sharpest lenses at the most reasonable price. The question I ask people I know that want my advice on cameras is, what are YOU going to do with it. For sports, Canon is a no-brainer, but if you like absolute control over every aspect of your shooting, go with Oly. I have taken pictures with my PL1 and my studio light setup, and the results are so good people refuse to believe it came out of that camera.

    I feel a little sorry for people that are sold entry level Canons with kit lenses, thinking that they'll be getting the same results those guys on the NFL sidelines with the white telephoto lenses get.

    I have had experience with the 50-200 on a lot of PEN bodies, and bottom line, C-AF for motion is not going to work well on that one. For any other reason than that, it is outstanding.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The OP was wondering about using the 50-200mm on his L10, which is a DSLR. Totally different world, as the 50-200mm was made for DSLRs. :) In fact, C-AF doesn't work at all on PEN bodies with Four-Thirds lenses, just S-AF.
     
  19. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Maybe, but as you already admitted, the 50-200mm wasn't made for his DSLR, so focusing speed will not be what it could be. It's like paying for an f/1.4 lens and being forced to shoot it at f/4 and smaller. Also, he actually WAS also asking about using the lens on his m4/3 cameras, or even picking up an EP3.
     
  20. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    C-AF on the L10 doesn't work in any meaningful sense for fast moving objects.

    DH