Long Tele-Zoom for EM5 Mark 2??

Discussion in 'Micro 4/3 News and Rumors' started by Peter Bond, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. Peter Bond

    Peter Bond Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    I own a EM 5 mark 2 and am interested in purchasing a super zoom lens for bird and wildlife photography. Currently I'm considering the Oly 75-300mm and Panasonic 100-300mm, which both fit my budget. The former is cheaper, but lacks a hood and is a half a stop slower than the pany, which comes with a hood. I've read a number of reviews on both lenses, but am still undecided. I'd appreciate some feedback regarding people's experiences of both lenses on Olympus bodies.
  2. alex g

    alex g Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Mar 30, 2016
    New York / Bath
    I haven't used the 75-300, but I can definitely recommend the 100-300. You will be glad of that extra light.

    One thing I'd mention is that there appears to be quite a lot of variation in sharpness between copies of that lens, so if you have the opportunity to try a few different ones in the store, I suggest you make use of it. I've been very impressed with the sharpness of my copy, but I've seen some reports from other users of it being a little soft at the long end.

    I've used it extensively on the E-M5 mk II and have found the IBIS to give marginally better stabilization than the OIS of the lens. Highly recommended.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I wasn't in love with my copy of the 100-300. At longer focus distances and 300mm it was fairly soft. Much better for smaller, closer objects though, and with a Raynox diopter actually very good for macro.

    The other complaint is that the older aperture mechanism didn't allow as fast burst speeds as the body can do.

    The size and weight of the 75-300 would be appealing to me, now that Panasonic bodies are all getting IBIS it seems.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. alex g

    alex g Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Mar 30, 2016
    New York / Bath
    Without disputing @Turbofrog@Turbofrog 's comments about softness which, as previously mentioned, are not uncommon, here's example to support the case for the defence! :) Shot with the 100-300 and an E-M5 mk II, at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO100, on a fairly hazy, dusty day.

    This is the full image at reduced resolution, exported from the RAW file in Lightroom with no exposure or level adjustments and the default Lightroom sharpening:
    Two male Gerenuk.jpg

    And this is a full resolution crop from the original image:
    Two male Gerenuk (100% detail).jpg

    It isn't as sharp or as contrasty as a 300mm prime, clearly, but I'd say it was perfectly useable. I think the colours look natural (everything really IS that red in Samburu!) and the bokeh is quite smooth and restrained for a zoom.

    As I say, I'm not in any way doubting Turbofrog's comments — I'm just saying that there are sharp copies of this lens out there. I've no idea what the ratio of good/soft copies is, but there are a good number of people on this forum who regularly post excellent images taken with this lens.
    • Like Like x 6
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  5. Peter Bond

    Peter Bond Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks f
  6. Peter Bond

    Peter Bond Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2016
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the tips. Much to consider.
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I've never had the pleasure of using the Panasonic but do own the 75-300 Oly. I quite like it.

    Here are over 200 sample images I've taken with it.

    I believe that this is most likely true of both lenses though.
    • They are slower aperture, so use them in good light.
    • Keep the shutter speed high when hand holding, even when using stabilization.
    • They are weakest at the long end in regards to IQ.
    On the Oly specifically:
    • I almost sold it off when I used it on the EM5. The older focusing algorithms are problematic. It does much better on an EM1with firmware 3.0 and above.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. christofp

    christofp Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2012
    There is no big difference between 100-300 and 75-300. Both are a little bit soft above 200mm. Both offer either no OIS or a very weak OIS.

    The 100-300 has slow mechanics (aperture and AF drives are old style). The Oly mechanics are up-to-date but it is 1/3 stop slower in light gathering.

    Swapping consumer lenses will not gain much, to improve your situation significantly, you could get
    • the Oly 300/f4 (excellent optics and spectacular SYNC-IS together with Oly IBIS)
    • the Panasonic 100-400 (very good optics and very good OIS, better than any Oly IBIS but no SYNC or DUAL IS on Oly bodies)
    • a Canon lens with Metabones adapter
    As these options are very expensive, you could try to improve your situation without changing the lens:
    • Set your camera to release time lag=low and AntiShock=0, with the excellent EM5-II this will avoid shutter shock completely
    • Buy a grip and improve hand holding technique

    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Another vote for the Oly 75-300.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Sep 17, 2012
    When I bought my superzoom, I knew I'd be using it on a Panasonic body without IBIS, so that made the decision easy. I'm very pleased with the Panny 100-300's optics, but the AF can be a little bit flippy flappy!

    • Like Like x 2
  11. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    That's a very good 100% crop, indeed. I don't believe mine was ever that sharp at 300mm, so it really does seem like it's a bit of the luck of the draw. The other obvious caveat is that at 300mm the depth of field is extremely shallow, so every the slightest focus error (which is really, really easy) can give the perception of poor sharpness.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. raucous

    raucous Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 9, 2016
    Pacific Northwest
    I tried and quickly returned the 75-300. The copy that I received was, oddly, only sharp at about 250mm. It was quite clearly less sharp than my inexpensive Olympus 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 where they overlapped. I've seen others post great examples from the 75-300, so I think that there really is a lot of variation.

    I have the Panasonic 100-400 now. It's a dramatically better lens from most perspectives, but it's also dramatically more expensive. It's large enough that it's not something that I would drop into my pack without a second thought. I do miss that aspect of the 75-300.
  13. LundyD

    LundyD Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2013
    Dayton, OH, U.S.A.
    Dave Lundy
    I'll second the Panasonic 100-400 recommendation. I also own the Panny 100-300 but haven't used it once since getting the 100-400 - the newer lens is so much better.

    The Canon lens with Metabones adapter can get you much longer reach, but possibly at the expense of manual focus only, or extremely slow autofocus. The Canon-mount Tamron 150-600mm lens with the original (there's a newer version) Metabones EF to M43 smart adaptor works with my Panasonic DMC-GH4. Initially, it was strictly manual focus, but after firmware updates on both the adaptor & the lens, it now autofocuses very slowly. The Metabones adaptor I have has been discontinued and I haven't had the opportunity to try the current version.
  14. LundyD

    LundyD Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2013
    Dayton, OH, U.S.A.
    Dave Lundy
    I hadn't used the Metabones for several months, so I checked their site and discovered that there have been several firmware updates. I just updated mine from 1.7 to 2.4 and noticed a substantial increase in focusing speed on my GH4. Focusing the Tammy 150-600 / Metabones combo on the GX8 appears to be even faster. Although still not as snappy as native M43 lenses, it's a huge improvement and I was just playing with typical indoor lighting. It's going to be interesting to see how it performs in daylight!
    • Like Like x 1
  15. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
  16. Fred S

    Fred S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2012
    Fred S
    I own a 75-300 II and am very happy with the results
    Most of my shots are birds at 300mm and some cropping ( up to 50 % )
    I have often thought about a Panny 100-400 BUT thats a lot of a Cash Layout for an additional 200mm EFL

    one at 300mm Hand Held , 800 shutter and 50 % cropping

    • Like Like x 4
  17. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    I have the 75-300 and have been very happy with it and would recommend it. This is a another thread which discussed these lenses. My thoughts on the two are post #2.
  18. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    I have the same two Olympus lenses and my copy of the 75-300 is very sharp at 75mm.
  19. HRC2016

    HRC2016 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2016
    Two votes for the Oly 75-300.
  20. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    Will you keep updating on this,its not an immediate consideration but i thought could be a good combination for stationery hide work.
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