GH5, what lens for general nature photography (and video), with also need for birds

Aquila Pixels

New to Mu-43
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Sep 9, 2021
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4
Hi,
i currently own bodies:
1) a second hand but well working gh5
2) olympus em5 II (the em5 II with half broken screen after a fall).
3) well used 7d mark II --> currently placed for sale but few reactions
4) sony a6400

i currently own lenses
I) 60mm macro 2.8 olympus,
II) the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 II
III) and a wide angle non autofocus lens from Loawa 12mm.
IV) (200-600mm sony (with a6400).
V) canon 70-200 2.8 + 1.4 converter Canon --> currently placed for sale but few reactions

My workflow today
- i shoot most of my side profession on the gh5 with lens I, II, III -see above please)
- my birdphotography and filming i do on the sony a6400 + 200-600mm (a6400 has good Af, but terrible noise levels, iso 800 is the maxible usable)



What am i looking for? real life advice of people using m4/3 system:
AIM = optimise my gearlist, sell what i under use, avoid double gears and mainly travelling lighter ! and wheaterproof!
i don't mind staying in the m4/3 system (and i am happy to leaving my Sony at home because it is heavy). I am aware what happened recently to the company olympus (as a matter of fact i wanted to go m4/3 all the way and sold most of my canon gear while i was waiting for the new olympus 150-400 with build in converter to come out when they sold their photography department. I was left in doubt and went for sony but f.e. what i dislike a lot on my sony combo is the rolling shutter + weight + noise ISO. I read even their expensive bodies - except a1, which is out of budget - are having trouble with it.

My main focus is pictures and partially video nature, landscape with special mentioning birds (and birds in flight). And i am a lot out there in less then ideal light conditions,
windy, storms, rain, also dark forrests, etc...



** I have been looking into
A)olympus 40-150 2.8 (with potentailly 1.4 converter)
B)olympus mft 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 zwart ed ii.
C)Panasonic Leica DG 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0
D) And the there are more options as the De Panasonic MFT 100-400mm F/4.0-6.3 Power O.I.S. Leica DG Vario Elmar, olympus Pana 100-300 4.0-5.6 lumix g vario mark II, ...


Can anyone give advice based on my gearlist what i already have please: i feel sometimes buying more gear is not always the way to go....
What I am looking for is very good quality results, sharpness is important. Also weather sealing! i am a field birder and observations is still more important then picture (so i already take bino + tripod + scope also in the field).
My main focus is pictures and partially video nature, landscape with special mentioning birds (and birds in flight).


What are my options i think?
- stick with my old canon rig (7d markII + 70-200 + conert) that still works.
- buy a lens for my gh5, wheatersealed and versitile but with enough reach for wilflife, birds --> cost? second best is also good if that can spare my budget
- olympus 40-150 2.8 (with potentailly 1.4 converter) seems very versatile but this is already a heavy price tag (and does it work well on the gh5?)
- I could invest in a em1 mark II or III / or em5 III olympus + lens combo (my olympus em5 II is had it's time and is damaged, the screen can not tilt, rotate anymore)



Any reallife input greatly appreciated,
big thanks!
greeting Koen
Aquila Pixels
Belgium
 
Joined
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457
Location
Western North Carolina
(a6400 has good Af, but terrible noise levels, iso 800 is the maxible usable)
So this bit here is interesting. What are your thoughts of the GH5 and 7D2 at iso 800 & iso 1600? The GH5 isn't going to improve on this with a lens that can get out close to equivalent. Sony is f6.3 at 900mm effective and the PL 100-400 or Oly 100-400 will be the same at 800mm effective.
1631205865321.png
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The other lens options that are shorter in focal length can improve on the light gathering and reduce noise, but if you're already used to getting out to 900mm effective it may be hard to go shorter. I would recommend going out to do what your normal shooting would be with the Sony combo but limit yourself to the focal ranges that you are interested in m43 lenses.

If you want to get the best focus for Panasonic bodies and moving subjects, you should go for a Panasonic lens for DFD. Others with experience with that body and BIF would have to chime in, but general consensus is that it will be behind Olympus EM1 X, mk3 & mk2, and EM5 mk3. Static birds won't matter. All will probably be behind the 6400 for tracking performance.

Personally I would want to just have the 1 lens mount and 1 camera body brand to try to not have to remember / re-learn for the different scenarios. So the best balance since the main objective and paid gigs have you very used to working with the GH5, I would stick with that.

So if you look at the Panasonic options:
50-200mm f2.8-4 - Nice compromise, short for birding. Adding 1.4x TC gets range but only out to 283
100-400mm f4-6.3 - If you want reach close to the Sony combo in a zoom, this is your lens
200mm f2.8 + 1.4x + 2x - If you can do without a zoom, this option brings the brightest possible aperture @ 200 (400 equivalent)
 

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Aquila Pixels

New to Mu-43
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
4
So this bit here is interesting. What are your thoughts of the GH5 and 7D2 at iso 800 & iso 1600? The GH5 isn't going to improve on this with a lens that can get out close to equivalent. Sony is f6.3 at 900mm effective and the PL 100-400 or Oly 100-400 will be the same at 800mm effective.
View attachment 906995
The other lens options that are shorter in focal length can improve on the light gathering and reduce noise, but if you're already used to getting out to 900mm effective it may be hard to go shorter. I would recommend going out to do what your normal shooting would be with the Sony combo but limit yourself to the focal ranges that you are interested in m43 lenses.

If you want to get the best focus for Panasonic bodies and moving subjects, you should go for a Panasonic lens for DFD. Others with experience with that body and BIF would have to chime in, but general consensus is that it will be behind Olympus EM1 X, mk3 & mk2, and EM5 mk3. Static birds won't matter. All will probably be behind the 6400 for tracking performance.

Personally I would want to just have the 1 lens mount and 1 camera body brand to try to not have to remember / re-learn for the different scenarios. So the best balance since the main objective and paid gigs have you very used to working with the GH5, I would stick with that.

So if you look at the Panasonic options:
50-200mm f2.8-4 - Nice compromise, short for birding. Adding 1.4x TC gets range but only out to 283
100-400mm f4-6.3 - If you want reach close to the Sony combo in a zoom, this is your lens
200mm f2.8 + 1.4x + 2x - If you can do without a zoom, this option brings the brightest possible aperture @ 200 (400 equivalent)
thx a lot for your time !

without having any real proof i found the gh5 having less trouble with noise/color noise then the a6400. I can easily shoot 800 iso and not have to worry about it. With the a6400 depending on the scenery you shoot it can already be enormous, but then again my only sony lens is the 200-600 which is not very lightgathering.

I already did test in a shop (indoors) the olympus 300mm f4 pro and i was amazed how fast the autofocus seemed to work, especially because the 60mm 2.8 macro from olympus work terribly slow in autofocus on the same gh5 (ofcourse for macro not a big deal, since i go mainly manual in that respect anyway).

I agree that having to much systems doesn't seem to logical, hence i want to sell my last canon gear hopefully quickly. (although i read interesting info about connecting the 70-200 canon on the gh5 using a metabones adaptor, the latter being way to expensive to even consider trying this option myself ;)


Any more reactions greatly appreciated ! Anyone out there by any chance who own both olympus bodies and the gh5 and who can give me insight in fieldexperiences in autofocus performance/iso noise with one of the lenses mentionned earlier?

big thx!
 

Bushboy

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,855
The 300/4 attached to the Olympus M1 mkii or mkiii. That should do it. Get the 900fl flash if you can too.
 

Aquila Pixels

New to Mu-43
Joined
Sep 9, 2021
Messages
4
The 300/4 attached to the Olympus M1 mkii or mkiii. That should do it. Get the 900fl flash if you can too.
thank you ! yess this is indeed a combo that i would like to try but sadly no renting service in Belgium that i found had this in their renting pool.

how much better is the mk iii compared to mk ii ? in terms of real life speed?


** i found a used pana 200mm 2.8 for 1300 euro, still doubting if that is the way to go... supercompact rigg for sure but then again the gh5 is a beast in itself...
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
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2,056
Location
Tanagra (not really)
I love the PL100-400. Any time I think of changing systems, I remember this lens and start closing the browser tabs. It’s not perfect, but it’s hard to find a lighter lens with that kind of range and sharpness. Anything else weighs more and often gives up distance.
 

turbodieselvw

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 29, 2010
Messages
577
Location
Ottawa
I don’t own a Sony body and have never used one. The only thing Sony I’ve had was a TV years ago but I can’t believe that the larger sensor on the Sony is noisier than the little mu43 sensor. Anyways, I find Topaz Denoise helpful in cleaning up noise from my pics shot with my Olympus bodies. Have you tried denoise or some other similar software to see if the noise from your Sony pics can be cleaned up?
 

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