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In a bit of a quandry

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by dcisive, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I just got a 100-300OIS to go along with the 2 lens kit G3. I assumed the 100-300 would give me some things I both wanted and needed over the 45-200, which frankly I love and used a LOT when I had mft before. Frankly...the 45-200 is considerably sharper even all the way out at the tele end. I found the other night when shooting in daylight that only perhaps as much as 20% of the handheld shots I was taking were truly sharp. I can't live with that. I also HATE bringing monopods and tripods to drag around. I'm on the move typically and prefer smaller the better. So perhaps I jumped on this too soon. It's going back for some more thought on the subject. I seriously think I would get a LOT more use out of the 14mm f2.5 to keep the camera tiny and useful for outdoors. Especially indoors with people and such. I already am getting the 20mm f1.7 next week anyway as that's a "no brainer" lens. perhaps I should just settle on the 45-200 being my long lens and shore up the wider end with those 2 pancakes. Any opinions? I don't do birds and haven't even had the need for much wildlife yet. It's the fact that the 100-300 requires a very steady hand or tripod or monopod for best results, and I'm a somewhat shaky shooter :frown:
     
  2. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    As the lens focal length increases, stability becomes more of an issue. The rule of thumb for hand held shots is Min. Shutter Speed = 1/lens focal length (in 35 mm format).

    So your 100 - 300 is actually equal to 200 - 600 mm (35 mm)
    At the full telephoto position (600 mm equiv) that means that to get a good steady shot (hand held) your shutter speed needs to be 1/600th sec. Kick in the OIS and that gives you a 2EV advantage, so you should be able to go down to 1/150 th sec (hand held).

    Any slower and you are very likely to see some jitter induced blur. I use a lightweight monopod - easy to carry and inexpensive. Better yet, build
    this poor mans image stabilizer. I have one in my camera bag ant it works great!

    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBfKl7NEq88]‪NOV 2010 Cheap Image Stabilizer for Any Camera‬‏ - YouTube[/ame]
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I have a pretty steady hand, and with the OIS engaged, I still couldn't consistently hand hold this lens at full tele and 1/150th second. For the most part, I would try to keep the shutter speed up around 1/500s with the OIS on and had consistently sharp results with those settings. Of course, that means using higher ISO values, but the G3 can handle it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I know all too well about what is required in shutter speeds typically to keep things sharp. I just wanted a lens I wouldn't have to be concerned about regarding it's consistency in field use. 20% keepers are not acceptable. Honestly I'm used to more like 90+%. The 45-200 delivers 100% so I'm spoiled :tongue: I'll give it another try tonight before I pack it up to go back. I rather like the idea of having the 14mm f2.5 and a 20mm f1.7 at my disposal. I'd use those a LOT more often to be sure. I'll keep you posted on my decision and why.
     
  5. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dcisive,

    FWIMBW, please consider that any lens, but most assurredly a long focal length lens is going to perform in a highly variant manner. There are many too many variables between your sensor and your object that are changed, magnified or generally affected by a long focal length lens for such a lens to offer consistency that will satisfy a field photographer. I am not talking down to you, I am expressing fact and the results of probably 10,000 to 50,000 photos taken through lenses having focal lengths in the 200mm to 800mm range and costing many thousands of dollars. Even these expensive lenses shot on tripods, one or two, gyro stabilizers, bean bags, King Cobraw, Wimberley brackets, etc., etc., etc. do not come with a guarantee of consistency. Use a long lens in the morning light versus the twilight and your results may well be inconsistent. Shoot 15 degrees to the sun versus 180 degrees to the sun and your results are predictably inconsistent.

    I have seen mediocre results with the 100 to 300mm lens, which I do own and use. I have seen other results that are positively wonderful. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and consistency is either in the hands of the user, but not in the lens, in my opinion and experience.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  6. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    223
    Apr 22, 2010
    For me, 45-100mm is the most useful range, and I rarely want anything longer than 200mm. For those rare occasions, I bring along a TCON-17 1.7x lens.

    I do wish that the 45-200 were a bit wider and a bit faster, e.g. a 35-100 at f3.5 or f4 constant, but then it would probably be larger and heavier!
     
  7. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Tom, those are wise words. I've been at this for a good number of years and had lots of pro gear as well. I typically have not however, used lenses beyond stock 400mm lengths (regardless of what the crop magnification might have done for it). So I do understand what you're saying and agree 100%. With that said I went out once again tonight just to make sure of my decision. I shot at 300mm all the way out, typically f8. Even tried f11 on a few. The shutter speeds in aperture priority mode (what I prefer to shoot in) was typically 1/500th to 1/1000th sec. I was handholding and doing the best I could to make sure things were stable before I took the shot. Out of 14 shots 3 were outstanding and the rest were pretty much not acceptable in the end for enlargement. I have no interest in that result. My kit 45-200OIS is ironically virtually 100% consistent regardless of f stop or light quality. It just nails it every time at 100% on the screen, and I LIKE that. I can crop and get the same perspective as what I shot with the 100-300 on a G3, so to me it's not staying. I'll most certainly get a 20mm f1.7 pancake and perhaps might also get the 14mm f2.5 for indoor and landscape stuff. The kit 14-42 isn't very nice. I may appeal to the dealer since it's only been a few days of ownership, to get another copy to try. I like having the kit focal length for good light outdoors walking around, but in this case heck. I paid the money the least I should have is a decent working copy. So that's the route I'm going. I'll stick with the 45-200 for my long lens. It always did serve we well before. :wink:
     
  8. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Tom I can't thank you enough

    I went back and one last time retried using the 100-300 with a monopod. I wasn't so sure I was very steady from side to side, but certainly WAS up and down. Wouldn't ya know it low and behold I took 7 shots of difficult long distance subjects and EVERY ONE came out astoundingly sharp. I am shocked how sharp the images were, and more amazingly I shot at f5.6, not f8 because I forgot to change the f stop. No biggie. It makes it that much more impressive now. I'm seriously thinking I'll keep it now. I'm not sure how often I'll use it, but it's kind of a crime to live near mountains like I do and NOT have a long wildlife lens. Tom, thanks again for your encouragement and suggestion. I almost can't believe the solution was that simple. INdeed this lens needs stability to do it's best work, but is sure reaps rewards for doing so. :bravo-009::th_salute::yahoo:
     
  9. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    dcisive,

    I am happy for you and for others who may learn from and/or share your experience. What you found out is a replicate of my experience.

    My wife and I shot serious wildlife for many years. We used the top Nikon glass in 300mm, 400mm, 500mm, 600m and 800mm. We have shot on most available mounts, windoe brackets, ground brackets, bean bags and tripods (wooden, aluminum and carbon fiber composite),Most of this shooting was without Nikon VR. If we used a very sturdy tripod and made certain the lens was not a lever in the wind, our shooting percentage approached the same with short focal length hand held lenses. By the way, there is a fair amount of difference in performance among lens copies. Nikon actually replace a 200 to 400mm lens we bought and I can honestly tell you that the old Nikon 500mm P lens was an extremely mediocre lens.

    We learbed our lesson one day when we tried to shoot a small Dahl sheep from urnagin Arm looking up toward Girdwood, Alaska. We knew of the sheep and we had tried the shot in previous weather that was relatively good. This day was cold, rainy and the wind was strong and puffy. We placed a 600mm f/r under rain gear on two substantial Gitzo tripods. I literall hung on the assembly toward the rear tripod while my wife took the shot in gosh awful grey flat lighting with a remote trigger. The results were totally unremarkable, the picture was an absolute nothing, but it was perfectly sharp and posessed no apparent motion blur. Suffice it to say, this was a "LESSON LEARNED" experience.

    As for the 100 -300mm, I like my lens. I do not hand hold this as I do not feel that I am sufficiently steady. I actually use an oversized older Gitzo graphite composite with a Kirk QR-topped ball head. Most folks will tell you this is too much. My experience suggests differently. I look at this lens as being in a class of its own. Where else are you going to get a 200mm to 600 mm lens that fits in your hands and in many larger pockets and does not drain your life's savings? Yes, I have become very impressed with Panasonic gear overall, lenses in specific and the progress Panasonic has made in the past 10 years.

    I am truly happy that I helped you and hopefully others.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    This thread makes me wonder about the possibility of something like Olympus' 1.4x extender, but in m4/3rds...
     
  11. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    Depending on one's level of expectations and toleration for imperfection, the 100-300 can make very decent photos. Here is one taken in less-than-ideal conditions, handheld, cropped at about 1/3 the size of the original, with some sharpening, and yet suitable enough for viewing and printing on a modest scale. I cropped it further for a 8.5x11" print and am looking forward to see how well it prints at 13x19". After all, such photos from our vacation are not being used for artistic purposes or publication, just for remembrances and general enjoyment.

    MobileMe Gallery
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Perhaps you need a faster long telephoto, like the Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5. I couldn't even get along well with the Zuiko 40-150mm f/4-5.6 because it was so small and slow for the focal length. Even the Zuiko 70-300mm f/4-5.6 was a lot better, as it had more weight and stability to hold and was quite a bit faster than the 40-150mm (I think the 70-300mm was f/4.5 at 150mm as opposed to f/5.6 on the 14-150mm). The 50-200mm on the other hand is so much better than either, providing not only a much faster lens speed but also a steadier hold (plus keeping the tripod collar on adds weight but also gives you a better handle).

    Now the question remains... at 200mm, which lens is better for you, the 45-200mm or the 100-300mm? If the 100-300mm provides at least as good quality as your 45-200mm when shot at the latter's maximum range of 200mm, then the last 100mm from 200-300mm is just bonus, right? You don't have to use the extra reach unless you're ready to. It's just like how people complain about the Zuiko 70-300mm being soft from 200-300mm, unlike the Zuiko 50-200mm which is killer sharp at any focal length. True, but the 50-200mm doesn't even HAVE the reach past 200mm so is there really anything to compare to? (And for the record, I did shoot many sharp photos with the Zuiko 70-300mm at 300mm, even with a 1.4x teleconverter added.)
     
  13. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Frankly, don't take this wrong, but I'm likely in the minority as I have NO Interest in lenses that require an adapter to work on the G3. I prefer the native mft lenses, and there are plenty for me at this time. I elected to stick with the 100-300 as discovery found it only took some stabilizing to get a great result (a monopod sufficed). So I now am in love with it once again. No worries. In the end I'll have the kit 14-42, 45-200OIS, 100-300OIS, 14mm f2.5 and 20mm f1.7 pancake lenses. That's all I need to get the job done.:tongue:
     
  14. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    dcisive,

    What is wrong about that? I am doing the same thing. After all, I bought mft for what it offers and it offers more with native lenses than with other lenses in my opinion. This is why I raised a thread about the PL 25mm D relative to the new, promised lens. The 4/3 rds version is optically quite good and heavy and slow focusing and much larger than needed. Oh yes, The large lens plus an adapter cost a whole lot more.

    GO NATIVE!

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  15. DennisC

    DennisC Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Jan 24, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    I have both the 45-200 and the 100-300 lenses. Without doubt the 100-300 has more resolving power but being a massive telephoto it needs a high shutter speed to get results.
    With the G3 there is no reason not to use ISO 400 or 800 to get a decent speed for handholding - for me 1/640 is about as slow as I'd go at 300mm.

    If you're trying to take things like Birds in flight and waving the lens around as in this shot then the best results are achieved by switching the OIS off. Forget the panning mode and rely on your ability to follow the action with a high speed shutter

    southport-1010124.

    It really is a tack sharp lens and a class above the 45-200mm ; don't give up:smile:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    655
    Mar 14, 2010
    Toronto
    Ulfric

    Olympus 2x extender on an Oly 4/3rds Pro 150/2.0, giving me 600mm equiv. Handheld. Many were discarded, only because the lens wasn't focusing fast enough. I need a third hand for manual finish focusing, or just leave it at infinity, and be done with it.

    At least a 100% crop, maybe 150%.

    All long lenses need dedication and personally developed methods to manage the technology and get that shot. That's part of the fun of it.

    With me it's still luck.

    Bokeh D

    CWH-007_lzn.
     
  17. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I guess you didn't read my earlier post. I AM keeping the 100-300. It is an outstanding lens, and yes, it requires higher shutter speeds but more importantly better support to do it's best resolution. I finally figured that out. It's a big bad boy worth every penny.
     
  18. binch_

    binch_ Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Jul 20, 2011
    Scotland
    So Dcisive... What's your overall verdict? 45-200 or 100-300. I've a G3 with a 20mm panny (AWESOME) and want to buy just one zoom lens. Do you think the 100-300 is manageable as a walk-around lens?
    I would be using it for landscapes and occasional wildlife ... but mostly for lazy situations where walking closer to something is just plain annoying.
    The quality seems marginally better at the 200mm end but for an extra £170, 3cm length and 140g weight... I'm not convinced.
     
  19. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    There is NO question in my mind about ONE thing. IF I was not able to have afforded the 100-300, I would definitely say without hesitation that THE lens to have besides the kit or 20mm f1.7 IS the 45-200OIS. It is by far the most versatile and sharp lens I've worked with above the focal range you're dealing with now. It is "long enough" for all but distant subject like birds in flight way off, or wildlife where you want to fill the frame. The 100-300 is clearly IMHO a "specialized" lens. It won't come out of my bag anywhere near as much as the 45-200 will, just a fact of life. I too am getting a 20mm f1.7 next week along with a 14mm f2.5 as well for walk around and landscape shooting. The profile is hard to beat :tongue: But as far as zoom NO question about it get yourself a 45-200. I know you'll use the heck out of it. For me having the 100-300 is a bit like having the BMW sports car in the garage. It may not come out often, but on those special days it will sure make life a bit more exciting. However I've got a TON of stuff I shot with the 45-200 because it was so darned easy to carry and use and get a superb result with. Just go for it.......
     
  20. binch_

    binch_ Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Jul 20, 2011
    Scotland
    Ha ha! Splendid! ... I think I will. Nice one 