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Lens pros and cons

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by foxtail1, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut Subscribing Member

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I have had my G3 since January, and I am very glad I made the leap to µ4/3. So far, I have two Panasonic zooms, the 14-45 and the 45-200. I shoot primarily outdoors: birds/wildlife and macros of any animal/vegetable/mineral subject that catches my eye.

    I've set aside money for my next lens purchase. Every time I see a photo that makes me think, "I wish I'd taken that!" I've noted which lens was used for the shot. I thought I'd made my decision with the macro (Pan/Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm / F2.8 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.).

    But then I started admiring the lovely bird photos taken with the Panasonic 100-300 mm (LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm / F4.0-5.6 / MEGA O.I.S.). The 45-200 mm just cannot come close!

    So, now I'm torn! I decided to throw the question out for opinions from the forum. Since I've got 2 zooms, should I go for the prime? Or should I go for the longer reach of the zoom, since I'm getting decent macro results with my existing lenses? (For right now I'm sticking to Panasonic lenses.)
  2. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    I wish I had a 45-200! I tried it at a camera store and seemed awesome. Is that not enough zoom or the quality that you are not happy with? If I had the 45-200, I'd get a macro lens because I love macro photography. As you said, if you get good enough macro shots now, the 100-300 makes more sense.
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    It really all depends on the subjects you want to shoot. The 45mm will make a lousy lens for shooting wildlife. OTOH, the 100-300 isn't so good at close-ups of bugs or flowers.

    Without knowing what you want to do with it, it's pretty hard to give you advice. But here's one thought: AF is less important in macro, IMHO. So I'd get something like an old 50mm Canon or Nikon MF macro lens with adaptor, and the 100-300.

    OTOH, the 100-300 is pretty big. Make sure you're OK with carrying something that big and heavy around with you. It may overbalance the G3, too.
  4. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    The 100-300 is going to give you an extra 100mm as you have the rest of its range covered, so maybe get it and sell your 45-200 and get a legacy macro to help fill the 45-100 gap.
  5. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    You can get good Macros cheaper with manual focus. Are you a serious macro shooter -- tripod, lighting, etc.? Then you likely manual focus. Get an OM 50mm macro for $50-100. You can't replicate the 100-300 with legacy glass, though for me, I don't find m43 a great format for really long focal length.
  6. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Get the 45. Much, much, much, much better IQ. You can only take so many pics of birds and naked neighbors on rooftops, but the options for what to shoot @45mm and macro are unlimited.
  7. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I have the 100-300, and it's a great little lens. You might also look into a good quality close up adapter, like the 2 element Canon 500D or 250D. They screw onto the front of the lens to allow much better close ups. Don't confuse these with the much cheaper single element adapters. A dedicated macro lens will be better, but now you have more choices.

    My favorite lens for close ups (not true macro) is on my dslr, it's my EF300/4 + 1.4xTC, the working distance just works better for me, as I often cannot get as close as I would like with a shorter macro lens. So you might want to also keep that in mind, as your choice of subjects sound pretty similar to mine.
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    The 45mm, while assuredly optically impressive as a macro lens, overall isn't that great of a lens. Look at the Olympus 60mm photos:
    Olympus adds 75mm F1.8, 60mm F2.8 Macro and flash to Micro Four Thirds lineup: Digital Photography Review
    And you'll see that they added some important features for a macro lens:
    -Macro scale, so you can adjust the lens to a specific magnification or focus distance
    -A real focus limiter switch. The 45mm is either "no limit" or "50cm - infinity". The Olympus limiter has "no limit," "19cm - 40cm," or "40cm - infinity." Wow, a focus limiter that limits the focus to macro distances?! On a macro lens? How novel! Olympus did the smart thing and checked out the competition before designing their lenses, while Panasonic, in typical Leica fashion, simply built the lens however they want. "It it what it is, at whatever price we charge, so come beg for it." It's not the absolute worst thing in the world, as most people use manual focus for macro (including me), but without the above-mentioned focusing scale, it's a pretty serious oversight.

    So, skip the Panasonic 45mm for now. Get yourself the 100-300mm and go enjoy. If you want to do macro for now, get yourself either an older manual focus adapted lens, or a used Olympus 35mm or 50mm macro lens for the 4/3 mount, plus adapter.
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