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Going for a long native M4/3 lens, which one?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LisaO, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I'm traveling to Italy late April for 3 weeks. I want to lighten my load and try to leave the 70-200 for my Canon DSLR at home. I am pretty much a wide angle shooter but I know I want to capture architectural details and some long Tuscan landscapes. Which long lens would you get and why? Off the top of my head the Panasonic 14-140, 45-200, 100-300 Olympus 14-150 are what I'm considering.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    14-150 would be the AF speed leader of the bunch. Give you a nice compact long zoom.

    I like the 45-200 for the almost 400mm of reach, it seems to work really well on the olympus bodies. Good color and sharpness.

    the 100-300 looks pretty nice, just a bit on the large size.

    Have you consider the 75-300 from oly, having the msc lens would give it quick af. But at 600mm eq if you do not have a ibis body, it would be tough to handhold steady.
     
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  3. I have both the 45-250 and the 100-300. They're quite different lenses.

    The 45-250 is quite light and easy to add to the gadget bag when walking around. On the other hand, I don't think it's a particularly great lens at any of its zoom range. I have manual focus lenses at 45, 85, 100, 135, 200, and a couple more between those, and I don't think the 45-250 comes close to any of them in terms of image quality. On the other hand it's very convenient, so I still take it with me at times.

    The 100-300 is a total surprise. At 135 or 200, I've gotten really amazing pictures from it from the start, and having 300mm f/5.6 (600mm equivalent) in your hands, with OIS and autofocus is a great experience. On the other hand, it's significantly bigger, significantly heavier, and unless I'm pretty confident I'll be wanting a telephoto, I don't just "throw it in the bag".

    I originally bought the 100-300 for a trip to Rio over Christmas, but chickened out and took the 45-200 instead. (I had barely even tried out the new one when I left.) When I got back, I started using the 100-300 seriously, and totally regretted my decision.
     
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  4. awade

    awade New to Mu-43

    1
    Mar 9, 2011
    I am taking my first longer trip with my GH1 setup next week. Fitting the GH1, 14-140, 20mm 1,7 and 100-300 in a Tamrac Velocity 6 bag. It is quite a tight fit but really portable. Only had the 100-300 for about a week and the weather in Sweden (where I live) now does not really scream for taking pictures. But a two week trip to Canary Island hopefully will gime me more chance to try the lens out.
     
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  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Lisa,

    Just depends on how long you want to go. I traveled for about a month in Europe last summer (with most of it in Italy). I took two m43 bodies with a 14-150, 9-18, 20, and 17. During the day when I was just "tourist shooting" I had the 14-150 mounted on my main camera on a strap and did a LOT of shooting with this. Its a wonderful tourist lens, very good for a lot of different types of shots. I had the 9-18 on the other body in a very handy spot in my bag so I could be ready to shoot ultra wide angle very quickly. When I went indoors, or in the evening, I'd switch the 14-150 out for the 20 for low light. And sometimes, I'd stash everything but one body and the 17 and just do a couple of hours of street shooting (although I got some street type shots with every one of the four lenses I had along - they can all shoot in that general range).

    I've had the 45-200 and now have the 100-300. The 45-200 doesn't give you that much more reach than the 14-150 and isn't any better at the long end (although might be marginally sharper at 150, but I was always quite satisfied with the 14-150 throughout the range). The 100-300 is a much larger lens and not one I'd want to carry around all day (in fact, even the Pany 14-140 was more than I wanted to haul around - its much bulkier and heavier than the Olympus version).

    There are specific events I like to shoot sometimes where I want all the reach I can get. But I never felt like 150mm wasn't enough reach while I was traveling. I got some great close-up details of architecture and other things and the lens is just so versatile. So my recommendation would be to go with the 14-150 as the primary lens. When I'm walking around all day, I don't want to change lenses often (which is why I had two bodies with my most of the time - cut the lens swaps down to just a few per day, if that). If you have a higher tolerance for changing lenses, want a LOT of reach, and don't mind the weight, take a 100-300. For me, that's a specialty lens, not a travel lens, but your priorities may be different...

    Have fun!

    -Ray
     
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  6. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    I definitely like the size and weight of the Olympus 14-150. I would be less likely to use it on the wide end as I prefer wider like the 9-18 or just a 14 or 20 pancake. I will also have my 5DMKII and often shoot with 2 bodies and will probably bring 2 m4/3 bodies on my trip. If I feel like going light I'll just go M4/3. I don't like changing lenses much so I'll just choose by day what I want to carry.

    The other day I attended a talk at B&H Photo given by travel photographer David H. Wells and sponsored by Olympus. He travels with 3 M4/3 bodies but takes just one camera with 9-18 a manfrotto table top tripod and ball head. In a small belt pouch he carries the 14-150, EVF-2, lensbaby and maybe a 20 pancake and a polaroid printer and he is extremely unencumbered, agile and mobile in the field.
     
  7. LDraper

    LDraper Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Feb 4, 2011
    Albuquerque, NM
    I'm heading down to Chile for a couple of weeks and I'm taking the Oly 14-42 and the 40-150. I'm also hoping to take the 20mm 1.7 if it arrives in time - I'm still building my kit. I find the 40-150 to be a fast focusing and sharp lens, and it gives me adequate reach for most scenic needs - handholding it at it's full extension takes some persistence, I would think anything longer would call out for some support! it's also a good portrait lens - if not too fast.

    When I'm traveling I like to keep things as simple and compact as possible, and I'm thinking the three lenses should give me pretty good coverage without too much bulk. The 14-150 is probably a good choice (not much need to swap lenses) but I got my 40-150 for 200.00 from Staples - the price was right! :)

    Have fun!
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    If you wouldn't use the wide end, maybe a 40-150 or the 45-200. To me, the 100-300 is just a bit much for travel and a big heavy lens (by m43 standards). Then again, if you're also gonna be carrying DSLR gear, it might be a drop in the bucket? I believe the 40-150 is the smallest and lightest of the bunch and, again, I found 150 to be long enough for travel applications.

    -Ray
     
  9. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    The 100-300 is 520g while my Canon 70-200 F4 L IS is 760g so I'm not saving that much there. Seems like the 14-150 at only 280g is the best weight/range option.
     
  10. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Oct 28, 2010
    There's another thread here discussing the new Olympus 40-150mm against the Panasonic 45-200 which comes out largely in favour of the Olympus. If you don't want/need the wide end, then I think the Olympus 40-150 would be the best option (especially if you can get the Staples deal).

    That said, I have an Olympus 14-150mm lens and I'm very happy with the results.
     
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  11. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    The olympus is the AF faster lens, And it has better close up(handheld macro) shooting ability then the panny 45-200. If you have a panny body. You will want a IS lens as it really helps out when zoomed out.

    Th3 45-200 is 290 dollars new.
     
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  12. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Olympus 40-150mm is $299 at Staples...
     
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  13. That's true, and I'm sure the Canon L is a much better lens optically. On the other hand, you've got a 5DII, so the reach of the 100-300 is three times as far as that of the Canon. In fact the wide end of the Panasonic (100mm f/4.0) has the same reach as the long end of the Canon. They're really not comparable, in that respect.
     
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  14. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    Yes, but I also have a 60D which makes the 70-200 a 112-320 and 1.4 TC which then becomes 157-448 with that set up. I'm looking for a way to cut down on the size and weight of gear but have a similar reach. I'll definitely bringing the 5DMKII and likely 2 M4/3 bodies on my Italy trip and quite a few lenses. I'm looking to replace the functionality of the 60D, I am going for a photography workshop.

     
  15. Chris Knapton

    Chris Knapton Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Nov 17, 2010
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    I'm intrigued by your huge amount of equipment and I would respectfully suggest that you ruthlessly cut it down to a single large camera and 2 lenses or 2 smaller cameras and 3 lenses. As a travel photographer for some time I have found that equipment only works well if it's easy to get to, uncomplicated and with limited choices - that way great photographs are made. Too much and your aesthetic choices, and your reaction time, become overwhelmed by your equipment - and the equipment should be very secondary to your vision.
    Less is generally more.
     
  16. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    While I appreciate your concern, I don't find your comment about "huge" amount of equipment very respectful. While I do have a good amount of gear a actually use it depending on my subject, mood, time of day, lighting conditions, and many other variables.

    I don't intend to carry it all with me on each outing. I enjoy doing street photography and I also like to do a abstracts and details. I need two very different setups for these. While I enjoy using M4/3 gear and in good light I am happy with the images I have taken in the past year I know that the quality I get for my DSLR is superior especially in low light conditions using high ISOs.

    I have a good system which I have used many times of traveling with a rolling Think Tank bag (as many photographers do) of camera gear and a quite small 2700 cubic inch clothing bag that attaches to the handle of the roller. I can handle this on a train and carry it up a flight of stairs if need be on my own. I have been doing photography for almost 40 years and as it was once my career, it is now my passion. I asked this question because I wanted to replace the weight and bulk of the 70-200 (which is actually the lighter and smaller version of that lens).

    I am quite comfortable walking around with a camera on each shoulder for several hours and have done this with both DSLRs and M4/3s. I know the gear list of the leaders of my workshop and I'm not over doing it. Often I am quite happy with a 35mm or equivalent alone, I'm not one to drag a huge bag with me when I am photographing. I know that slows things down and tires me out but knowing I have my best choice of gear locked away in my hotel ready for my next decision.

     
  17. Chris Knapton

    Chris Knapton Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Nov 17, 2010
    Nottinghamshire, UK
     
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  18. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Lisa
    Well, thanks sort of. Being that you are new here with only 14 posts I will be understanding but you will soon see that this forum is no DPReview where people bash and judge. It's a pretty friendly place where people are supportive and positive.
     
  19. Chris Knapton

    Chris Knapton Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Nov 17, 2010
    Nottinghamshire, UK
    I had thought my comments were positive but I do understand that the internet is a place where it's easy to offend - so I apologise for any misunderstanding.
     
  20. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Great discussion on this thread!

    I'll pitch in my 2 cents.

    How about a 9-18 + 20 + 40-150 combo? You get the superwide end covered for those sweeping architecture/landscape shots, you got the medium zoom for the details, and a standard lens for everything else, including low light?

    And this combo is SUPER light too! I got the 14-150 yesterday (maybe two days ago), and I really like it. But I think you said you wouldn't use the wide end of the 14-150 anyway. So the 40-150 makes total sense then. And it's a whole lot cheaper too! :)