Lens Reach

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Kemo53, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Kemo53

    Kemo53 New to Mu-43

    Sep 14, 2013
    I need greater telephoto reach than the kit 14-42 lens accompanying me EPL 5. Obviously cost is a factor, but I'm having difficulty finding any lens "zoom factor" listed at all. (5x, 10x etc).
    I understand the conversion factor … 50mm means 100mm etc… but advertising "300mm equivalency" doesn't mean much to me if that means 3x zoom on one lens and 4x on another. Since manufacturers tout zoom factors on many standard DSLR lens and ALL high zoom bridge cameras, I wonder if i am missing something obvious. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Kevin
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    The 'zoom factor' is simply a ratio - a 100-300 zoom lens is only a 3x zoom lens.

    What You need to start understanding is focal length - what angle of view a certain focal length will give you. Better quality zoom lenses will rarely be more than '3x', and primes are a '1x'. The 'superzooms' lenses like the 14-150 have a much larger zoom ratio but you pay for it a little in terms of quality.

    If you give is an idea of what kind of subjects you want to shoot that you can't quite get get framed and we might be able to make some suggestions.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    As mattia has said the zoom ratio is only part of the specification you need a starting (or ending position).

    For example your 14-42 is a 3x zoom starting at 14mm. If you added a 40-150 zoom (3.75X) between the two you could go from 14 to 150 (10.7X total).

    However if I added the same lens to my 12-50mm I would have a total ratio of 12.5X but this would not make the long distance any closer because it's the same 150mm at the maximum.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    May 16, 2013
    Like others have sade, the zoom factor is BIGNUMBER divided by SMALLNUMBER, 14-42mm=42/14=3. If you want to get closer, you want the BIGNUMBER to get bigger. The bigger the number, the bigger the lens and the closer you can get. You've got 3 ways to accomplish this:

    • The next step up from your 14-42 is a 40-150 (Olympus), or 45-150 (Panasonic). Cost $200-$250. Both lenses are pretty equivalent, though the Panasonic has an option for in-lens stabilization which would be handy if you ever switch your camera body over to Panasonic.
    • If you don't want to change lenses then you can replace your 14-42 with a 14-140 f3.5 (Panasonic) or 14-150 (Olympus). Cost for this type of lens is $600.
    • If you want to get REALLY close, go with the Panasonic 100-300mm for $500. I don't really recommend the Olympus 75-300mm, because it's almost a stop slower at the long end and costs $50 more than the Panasonic. Both are pretty equal in terms of sharpness.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Kemo53

    Kemo53 New to Mu-43

    Sep 14, 2013
    Thank You (all)

    As embarrassing as this is to admit, I didn't know the silly, simple formula you noted. Is this valid across the board ? Thanks.
  6. Kemo53

    Kemo53 New to Mu-43

    Sep 14, 2013
    Thanks for responding. As to what I want it for: I drive a charter bus for a local university and enjoy shooting (and sharing) sports teams. Outside, I use my Nikon DSLR and Sigma 18-250 zoom with outstanding results; inside gyms I prefer the EPL 5. Since the University photo teams are concentrating on plays, I like zooming in on player faces. I prefer the native, inherent IQ of my Olympus over the D5100, and despite the camera's so-so reputation for sports, I've never had a focus problem with the EPL 5 either. I'd just like to get closer without resorting to a heavy crop PP. Zooming in just seemed like an easy way out.
  7. brettmaxwell

    brettmaxwell Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 8, 2012
    believe it or not, this lens only has a "zoom factor" of 1x
  8. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    Absolutely right, something longer than 42mm would be very handy for shooting most sports. An Olympus 40-150 is a good starting point in my opinion, I have one and find the range just right for sports events and such... sometimes it would be nicer to have something longer but most times 150mm is enough. Of course I would also like the Panasonic 100-300 to get closer still but it's a little too much €€€ at the moment.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Rather than restate what has already been said I suggest you do this - buy the Olympus 40-150mm. It sells for $200 new and less if you get a reconditioned or good used one. The image quality is on par with the 14-42mm you already have. It will give a good telephoto reach, about the same as most compact zooms.

    If you find that that isn't enough reach then you only have 3 options{without adapting a lens}. They are the Panasonic 45-200mm, 100-300mm and the Olympus 75-300mm.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    Zoom factor is really just a handy marketing term... it's convenient that most compact fixed lens zooms start between 24mm and 30mm equivalent, so most people have a "feel" for what the zoom would be like given a number, even though they could be way off. If I gave someone my Olympus 40-150 and said it was a 3.75 zoom, I'd be misleading them, as the focal length (equivalent) would only start at 80mm, i.e. portrait range. The 3.75 zoom doesn't accurately describe what the lens does.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    The way I explain it to people is that "zoom" is a relative term...what they want to look at is "magnification," which is an absolute term...basically multiples of 50 (when the FL is converted to 35mm terms).
    • Like Like x 1
  12. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    The Olympus M.ED 40-150 zoom works well with the EPL5. If you're in the front rows near the team, you'll be able to get great shots at game of players and fans.

    Right now, there are no ongoing sales I know of, but you could get a silver one off amazon for $148 but I have no knowledge of the seller's reliability other than it's an amazon transaction.

    Refurbs are $109 at cameta.com when in stock. I have bought refurb stuff from these guys and been happy, but you may have to wait a while for the lens to be available.
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