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Lenses for wildlife photographers?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by BGW247, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. BGW247

    BGW247 New to Mu-43

    Am I the only photographer in the M4/3 universe that needs a fast telephoto lens (400mm or 500mm f4)? All the current interest on mirrorless forums seems to be focussed on ultra fast pancake and sub 100mm lenses.
    Having experimented with M4/3 for the last 12 months, I finally sold all my Canon gear earlier this year and switched formats completely. However, as a wildlife photographer, I sorely miss my 500mm f4 and even my 180mm macro lens.
    The current 300mm lenses are just not powerful enough. For those of you who are searching for something bigger, it might be worth looking at the Kowa Prominar 500mm f5.6. It comes in at half the weight of my old 500mm f4, and splits into three sections for easy transporting. I have to say that I am really impressed with the resolution and image quality. The downside is that this is a manual only lens - for both focus and aperture. It also lacks image stabilisation.
    But until either Sigma or Panasonic (I think Olympus have more pressing issues) feel the need to produce a 'pro' telephoto lens, the Kowa is a reasonable substitute.
    The Great Tit was taken with the Kowa coupled with a GH2.

    Attached Files:

  2. maxsoul

    maxsoul Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2011
    Interesting lens and It can convert into a spotting scope!
  3. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    You know that micro 4/3 gets more reach with the same focal length, right?

    If you had a Canon with a 180mm macro and a 500mm f/4 lens, you can easily replicate it with an adapted lens. Go buy any 90-105mm macro from film, and adapt it to your camera, and you'll have the same thing going. As for if you had a 500mm f/4 with Canon APS, you can buy any adapted 400mm and get about the same magnification. If you had a 5D or 1D, then a 300mm f/4 gives you MORE magnification than you had before. Heck, buy an old Zuiko 250mm f/2, and you have the same photo as someone with a 5D and 500mm lens, but with much faster aperture.
  4. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    A old 250mm lens would still be 250mm on m43. It doesn't act as a 500mm.
    Would that it were, caught me out.

    Or at least that's what I've come to understand, correct me if wrong.
  5. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    It is still a 250mm lens on m43, nothing will change the physical properties of the lens, but the image you get will be "further" due to the crop factor / smaller sensor.

    Micro 4/3 has a 2X crop factor, so yes, an old 250mm (on 35mm / full frame camera) gives the equivalent of a 500mm view on micro 4/3. That's due to the smaller sensor only grabbing the middle of the image from the lens, thereby effectively magnifying / zooming in on it.

    So the 100-300mm is equivalent to 200-600mm on 35mm / full frame. If you were using that 500mm lens on a film or full frame camera, the 100-300 Panny lens will give you more reach on a m4/3 camera.

    Put that 500mm on m4/3 and you have the equivalent of 1000mm on 35mm / FF. That's a quite a lot of zoom, and would require a solid tripod to say the least!

    I like the Panasonic 100-300 a lot because not only does it have really nice reach, the image stabilization does wonders for making it usable handheld. Trying an adapted lens anywhere near that long on a Panny body really requires a tripod.
  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yes! I didn't say that a 250mm lens is not 250mm. Notice that our 45mm lens is a portrait lens. Try to use a Canon 45mm lens on a 5D, and see how well your portraits work out. Here's a hint: it won't, because a proper portrait length is 85mm on a fullframe camera. I think you need to go back to the drawing board, and do some reading. I recommend wikipedia, along with a few creative google searches about crop factor and angle of view. Notice that a 20mm lens on our camera is considered a walkaround midrange lens, but if you get a Canon 5D or a Nikon D700, a 20mm lens is an ultra-wide angle. Have you NEVER wondered why that's so?
  7. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    OK. I'm muddled.
    I find it all a little confusing.
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Quite a few people confuse actual reach with crop factor and FOV. I'm glad that some of the posts in this thread have tried to clarify this.
  9. BGW247

    BGW247 New to Mu-43

    My Canon 500mm f4 was used with the XXD series of bodies with a 1.6x crop factor. This gave me a 800mm lens in 35mm terms. In addition, I used it with a 1.4x extender, giving me an 1180mm f5.6 equivalent.
    The Panasonic 100-300 on a m4/3 body with a 2x crop factor will only give me a 600mm f5.6 lens in 35mm terms, and there's the rub......
  10. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    If you're referring to a used OM Zuiko 250/2, they are like "hens teeth", and if you're lucky enough to find one, it will cost you your first born. This lens is very hard to come by, very expensive and delivers fantastic performance. There's also an OM Zuiko 350/2.8 that's incredible, and a 1.4 tele converter for these two lenses. Rarely do you ever hear of these two lenses, and you really have to search to see any photo's taken with them.

    Here are links to these beauties.
  11. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    I currently use an Oly Zuiko 150/2 SWD top-pro unit with an Oly (Not cheap either) 2x tele-converter.... gives me 600 sweet ones at F2.0

    My kind of wildlife... cropped about 300% lol
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I believe that a 2x teleconverter also means that you lose two stops of light, so your lens actually becomes a 300mm f/4. The lens is effectively a 600mm f/4 if you're talking about exposure, and a 600mm f/8 if you're talking about capability to isolate the subject (which isn't important in the slightest to aviation photography, unless you often have low flying planes).
  13. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    Yep, thanks for the correction!

    Unfortunately the fast f2.8 300mm Oly Zuiko is far out of my price range... eBay: Olympus 300mm f2.8

    I love the rendering capabilities on these units.
  14. The thing I've never been 100% sure about with teleconvertors is, using the example of a 2x convertor:

    You obviously lose two stops of light transmission and double the effective focal length of the parent length in terms of the angle-of-view, but does the teleconvertor affect the optical properties of a lens in terms of depth-of-field. My understanding was that the 2x teleconvertor took a crop of the image circle and magnified that portion to project over the same area as the original image circle. That explains the loss of light transmission, but does that also mean that DOF properties of the parent lens are not affected, similar to putting a full-frame lens on a m4/3 camera with a smaller sensor for example?
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I believe you are correct in your understanding, Nic. DOF is retained as per the parent lens, as far as I understand it as well. I notice that teleconverters can change the quality of bokeh, but also that bokeh patterns appear to be larger (magnified). ie, like in this photo of a ladybug, shot at 300mm + 1.4x teleconverter (ie, 420mm total):
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
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  16. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    The DOF will act exactly like the total, apparent lens. In the above example, the teleconverted lens has the DOF of a 300mm f/4.
  17. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
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