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Shootout Little Tuna vs Micro Tuna - A Look at Color Rendering

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by Phocal, Dec 10, 2017.

  1. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    First I have to mention that @faithblinded@faithblinded is the first person I have heard refer to the 300/4 as Micro Tuna and I think it is appropriate and will use that term when referring to the 300/4.


    I am sure most are hoping I will compare the 150/2 w/ EC-20 against the 300/4. I will do that sometime after the first of the year, after I have had a chance to really shoot the 300/4. Just like I am hoping to compare them shooting the same subject with identical framing, this will happen the first time I am able to find a willing subject (since I will have to shoot with the 300/4 then move closer for the 150/2).

    This comparison is actually something I was not planning until after I took the shots and processed them. I had been photographing a pelican when it decided to fly off just before the sun really started to shine. I got back in the Jeep and was turning around when I noticed this GBH sitting on a wood post in the water. I drove the Jeep as close as I felt he would let me get and grabbed the 300/4 to photograph him. I realized I was to close to capture his full body and after squeezing off a few frames picked up the 150/2 to photograph him.

    The two photographs are taken 6 seconds apart and processed in my normal way via my custom presets. The 300/4 photo is not cropped and I cropped the 150/2 photo to get similar framing.

    I was really surprised that they rendered the colors very similar to each other, unlike my comparison photographs between the 150/2 and 50-200 SWD which showed very different color renderings.

    Can you tell which photograph was taken with which lens without cheating and clicking thru to Flickr?

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Great Blue Heron 002 by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

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    Great Blue Heron 003 by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr

    Please keep in mind that the 150/2 shot is what I call an extreme crop and this is not meant to compare sharpness or detail resolution. Save that evaluation for when I can photograph the same subject with similar framing.

    This comparison is about color rendering of the bare lenses in identical morning light.

    These photographs help to further my believe that the 300/4 and 150/2 are the best two lens combo I have ever used. It also provided me more reasons to not leave the 150/2 at home and to take both lenses every time I go out............thankfully my Olympus gear is small and light enough that it's not backbreaking to haul around two bodies and two lenses with effective focal lengths of 300/2 and 600/4. I would never have taken my 7D w/ 500/4 and 1D w/ 300/2.8 into the swamp with me................would only bring both if I was shooting from the Jeep or kayak.


    Phocal aka Ronnie
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
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  2. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Nice. I haven't clicked through yet but just when I convinced myself I knew which was one was a tiny bit sharper in an area, I would look somewhere else and see that sharpness changed. This probably has way more to do with the bird moving between shots and during shots. So I am calling it a dead tie. If I went only by the eye area (was that your focus point?) I would give a super slight edge to the top shot and therefore assume the ZD 150. But again only because I am trying to find a difference rather than enjoying the photo as a whole.

    EDIT: Ohhh I got it right! Probably more chance than anything. ;) 
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  3. sesser

    sesser Zen Master Subscribing Member

    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Ooh, a guessing game! I like guessing games.

    The top image looks slightly more saturated looking at the beak. Either the top image has more magenta or the bottom more green but difference in gradient of the out of focus area is detectable. Based on color alone, it's nearly impossible to know without using both lenses and I have used neither. I can't even really make an informed guess at this point so I'm going to guess based on what I think your mindset was when posting...

    I'm inclined to think you would put the older ZD lens on top just to prove a point that newer is not always better. Or, maybe you put the newer lens on top thinking I would say you put the older lens on top just to trick me... DAMN YOU RONNIE!

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  4. wimg

    wimg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 10, 2016
    The bottom one shows more detail and the top one more sharpening artifacts, possibly caused by cropping, so I would think the top one is the 150/2, and the bottom one the 300/4.

    Kind regards, Wim
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  5. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    actually, if you are looking at sharpness the 300/4 should win......it is sharper than the 150/2................but is that extra sharpness noticeable in real world applications? That is what I hope to answer when I can shoot the same subject with identical (as close as I can get that is) framing. I honestly think that with my normal close-up shooting the sharpness difference will not really be noticeable and that it will come down to transitions to and bokeh. Now, if you have to start cropping the 300/4 has the advantage with its greater resolving power as well in high ISO applications...............so I am looking forward to the bare lens comparison as well as the 150/2 w/ EC-20 comparison I hope to do after the first of the year.
  6. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    LOL...........................there is a slight color difference between them...........but it is pretty close in my opinion.
  7. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    + 1 Talk about feathery bokeh! :2thumbs: :eek-31:
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  8. Schwert

    Schwert Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2016
    Pacific NW
    There is no discernable difference to my eye. I would be very happy with either one. It does show just how good the old little tuna is though...with that hard a crop.

    I have the micro tuna coming in 14 days...now if I could find one of our local GBH cooperating in such magic light...
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  9. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Yes it does and it’s why I will never get rid of my little tuna.

    You will enjoy the 300/4, it really is a great lens.
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  10. Rck

    Rck Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 31, 2011
    Thanks, this is sooooo wrong! I promised my wife no more lenses. Ahhh she will never notice :yahoo:
    • Funny Funny x 3
  11. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    none photographers don't notice new lenses, to them they all look the same..................now the hole in the bank account, that she may notice.
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  12. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Actually there is a noticeable difference in color and of course bokeh between the 50-200 SWD and 150/2 (there is also a noticeable difference when working with images from those lenses in post also) - SWD vs Little Tuna - In the Field Testing
  13. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    Eventually I want a new telephoto lens. All I have now is the P100-300. While not bad, it isn’t in the same league as the 300 4. At least that’s what I tell myself when my photos don’t come out as pleasing as yours. I am sure much of the difference is the photographer and my poor pp skills. Still, eventually I will get a new telephoto. The problem I have I have is deciding which one. They are all a major investment form me. I am leaning toward the 300 4 but the new 200 2.8 and the old 150 2 are also tempting. As is the PL100-400 actually. Anyway, I much appreciate any comparisons you can post. I find them very informative.
  14. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    Sure you can fix some things in post................................but not everything and that's why there are good lenses and great lenses, the 50-200 SWD is a good lens.................the 150/2 is a great lens. I guess I could spend a weekend and develop a preset so that the SWD photos matched the 150/2 photos, which would not be a total waste of time because I could use it over the preset I have developed for all my photos. Then I could spend 30-60 extra minutes on each photograph taken with the 50-200 SWD to mask and blur the background to match the 150/2, now that would be 100's of hours over the course of a year...........................not really worth the time/effort and since time = money I would be better off financially buying the 150/2 (if I didn't have it) and using those 100's of hours to make money over editing photographs.

    The point of this post and the other as well as my upcoming comparison post is not..............................Look I can spend hours in Photoshop making photos from this $400 lens look like they were taken from this $1200 lens when viewed at low resolution on a computer screen. The point of these post is to show the differences between two lenses when shot under identical situations and with minimal post processing.

    For the record - Images that I process for comparison shots have my preset applied. The preset I have developed over the last 3 years (make small tweaks here and there) that basically adjust every slider in the HSL section of LR, a custom tone curve, adds contrast/saturation/vibrance/clarity. This preset gets applied to every photograph I take with small difference between genres of photography, I use a slightly modified version for sports, airshows, abandoned stuff, street. By using them I can keep a consistent look throughout my photographs as well as save a lot of time in post processing. After the preset I hit auto and make a few changes there to even things out and that is it...............takes me 1-2 minutes to process the images that I use for comparisons.

    Now, if they are images that I am going to keep for print or other uses I do go in and do some processing in selective areas of the photo like dodge/burn and if needed into Photoshop for removing distractions and what not........................but for comparison photographs that level of processing is not done.

    Also, the 50-200 SWD is not even in the same league as the 150/2.............after shooting these two lenses for tens of thousands of images I have come to really know both of them. The 50-200 SWD is a good to great lens that when I need a zoom I use it. The 150/2 is an amazing lens that has no equal in the Olympus world and when I can use it, it's the lens I would much prefer to shoot. It captures so much more detail than the 50-200 SWD and it doesn't require me to spend hours in post to fix a background because it has such great transitions into out of focus areas and beautiful bokeh.

    I also have to disagree about "It's always much harder to take a photo with a bird and a neutral background at a distance where you can get great image isolation than it is to blur stuff out and change colors in post." I actually find it pretty easy......................................
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  15. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    First, I highly suggest buying used. I picked up my 300/4 used in mint condition for $1800 from a local camera store. I am also believe in buying the glass I want (even if I have to safe for another 6-12 months) then buying something to cover the focal range until I can get what I want..................always seems to work out to losing money.

    The Panny 200/2.8 is an interesting development and may be worth a look for some people, as an Olympus shooter I have absolutely no interest in it.

    I love my 150/2 and it has gotten me some amazing images and I will never part with it. Using it with the TC's is more than worth it and something you could buy into over time, get the lens then one TC followed by the other. I am guessing in the end it would be about the same as buying a used 300/4, but would give you 3 great focal lengths.

    The 300/4 is turning out to really impress me. It's colors are very close to the 150/2 (which I love) and it's without a doubt very sharp. It also offers things that I can't get with the 150/2 like focus bracketing and pro capture (which the focus bracketing is why I bought the lens). If you shoot Olympus cameras you really have to consider camera features and lens compatibility, which is why any Panasonic lens is a nonstarter for me.

    I am about to write up a thread comparing the 300/4 to the 1502/ when you get similar framing.........................
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  16. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    ok seriously.............give it a rest..........................

    Did you even read what I was replying to or even my comments about the limitations of using different companies lenses on Olympus bodies (which also applies to Panasonic cameras and other companies lenses as well) before listing off a bunch of camera companies that make lenses?

    @DynaSport@DynaSport mentioned some telephoto lenses he was considering and I mentioned what I thought about them..............well all except the Panny 100-400 which I consider a more expensive 100-300.

    You are right, it is only glass in there..................................

    The magic is what the camera can do with that glass when it's made by the proper company..................................


    All those lenses work on Olympus bodies.....................

    But if you have an EM1 you can't use focus stacking or focus bracketing and if you have an EM1mk2 you also can't use Pro Capture. Now, maybe those camera features are something you don't care about, but some people do. Limiting camera features to Olympus lenses only is something that Olympus has been doing and that I see doing more of as time goes by. So I make sure to always mention this fact when people ask me about lenses because it is something I consider when buying lenses.

    FYI, if he had asked about lenses from Canon or Pentax or Nikon I would have mentioned them in my reply..................but he didn't and I limited my reply to those that he did because not everyone is willing to or wants to adapt those lenses to their cameras.
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  17. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I have a feeling @Phocal@Phocal is angling to become an Olympus Visionary. ;) 
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  18. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014

    But I think they would frown on my extensive use of the 150/2, I could never give it up to use the 40-150 Pro in its place.
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  19. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I’ve seen some nice photos of peak action taken with pro capture. My camera and lenses don’t support it though, so I haven’t been able to try. Focus stacking is used to get more of a scene in focus I assume. But I suspect you know that better than I. You’ve used it after all.
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