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I finally caved.

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by MAubrey, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I caved this weekend. I had been fighting the temptation for months and I just gave in.

    I had been using using the Olympus 70-300mm with pleasure for the past year as a cheap alternative with no complaints what so ever. Okay, a few complaints. It's a decent lens, but it isn't a great lens. What it lacked in resolution, it definitely made up for in terms of its near-macro 1:2 magnification. And I put some effort earlier into filling out the sample image page for the lens since there wasn't much there:


    But I made the mistake recently of comparing it to my Konica Hexanon 200mm f/3.5. Up until this point, there was no dissatisfaction. But when I compared the images, I realized that this old prime was noticeably sharper than the 70-300mm--to the extent that a shot with the 200mm at f/5.6 enlarged to the size of the Olympus at 300m at f/8 was at least equal, if not superior to it. I would have been perfectly content. But then I started taking the 200mm out instead of the 70-300mm.


    So I caved. I've sold the 70-300mm and I bought a used Olympus 50-200mm SWD. I figure that if I'm going to be carrying around a heavy telephoto, I might as well go one step farther.

    It'll be arriving tomorrow. Hopefully, I'll be able to get for some shooting this weekend. My rationalization? Well, I know that when you get into the telephoto range, size reduction for parallel (real) focal lengths becomes less and less possible--Panasonic's 100-300mm isn't really any smaller or lighter than the similar zooms (in terms of real focal length, not equivalent) for larger format systems, so even an native lens in the same FL range and aperture wouldn't be much smaller and AF isn't an issue for what I would shoot with it (landscape & nature).

    Anyway...we'll see if this was a good idea or a bad idea soon.
  2. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Good luck shooting! :thumbup: I think you're gonna like the new lens.

    I have both the 70-300 and the older, non-SWD 50-200. The old 50-200 IQ does out-perform the 70-300 IQ by at least a light-year. AF not so much. But for your stated use, it may not matter very often. IQ of the old and SWD versions seems to be identical.

    I have heard that the 50-200 SWD auto-focuses less-reliably than the non-SWD version, but don't have experience with the SWD, so can't confirm that. Perhaps someone who has used both can say something about that?

    Anyway.... it's a great lens. And you can still get better IQ _and_ the reach of your (sold) 70-300 if you add the Olympus EX-20 to it!

    • Like Like x 1
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I think you'll be pleased with the 50-200 in terms of quality. It's a bit heavier than the Hexanon, but not enormously. The main downside is that it does extend much farther when zoomed to 200mm. For MF, the SWD version is better since it's not focus by wire (the focus ring is coupled).

    OTOH if you intend to do AF, you'll actually do better with the non-SWD model (faster, more accurate and less stressful on the AF motor)...
    • Like Like x 1
  4. justin4192

    justin4192 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2011
    Fairfax, VA, USA
    The 50-200 SWD is an amazing lens. I had one, but sold it due to the AF being so unreliable on the E-M5. If you plan to use MF majority of the time, you will like it.
  5. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Thanks for the feedback. The lens arrived yesterday and I've done a little playing with it today, though there's no time for going to for a test drive unfortunately.

    One thing I can say so far is that I'm pleasantly surprised by the AF. It isn't as bad as I had expected it to be. So that's a plus. I am seeing that it does miss pretty consistently. I'm thinking that when I want to use AF, if I compose my shot, zoom in to magnified view and then focus, I can see right away whether it has missed or not. We'll see if that works when I get a chance to head out with it.

    I'll see if I can get some photos out in the next week...
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