M4/3 need a 400mm or larger prime.

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by microfourthirdsnut, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. microfourthirdsnut

    microfourthirdsnut Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 8, 2012
    I like birding and have the 100-300mm but it still is not long enough and after around 250mm not as sharp as I would like. ( not bad ) just I want more.

    Do you think the OLY and Panny people read these threads?

    I will buy the 150mm f2.8 if it ever comes out but give us a 400mmm f4 and a good quality TC 1.4
    I don't want to go with bigger gear because walking for miles birding with 20lbs + worth of gear takes the fun out of it.

    Anyone feels the way I do? Give us a 400mm f/4. PLEASE
  2. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
  3. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    A 400 would be great, but a 500 or 600 would be event better. And there's no need for it to be f/2.8--I need DOF and light weight more than I need speed. So, with a moderate maximum aperture and the smaller image circle, the lens could theoretically be a lot cheaper than it would be for APS or FF cameras.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    400mm/4 sounds good to me. A 300/2.8 would also be awesome, and would fit nicely with a 1.4x TC.
  5. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    But how much would it be and how many people are willing to pay for one?
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The ones who need it will pay for it, the ones who don't need it won't... Just like with every other camera system on the market. There's no difference. We have the same needs, the same users, and the same market.
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Image circle makes no difference for telephotos. Even the lack of a mirror doesn't help.

    A 400/4 will be a large, heavy, expensive lens. As in well over 4 pounds. And for such a small volume item, easily $6-8k.

    The people who will pay for that sort of lens are the same people who want first-class C-AF performance. Which completely rules out m4/3 for them in the first place.
  8. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    Find a used 500 4.5 FD L. It's likely going to be one of your top choices for really good tele's on this system, their will be a learning curve for sure, but hey... it's a great performer considering it's price and construction, and quality at 1000mm equiv for ~$1500.
  9. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    This reflects my thoughts. A 400 f/4 would be about the size of the current 4/3 300mm f/2.8, if you were to want decent performance. That's a lot of high-quality optical glass, and that's what makes it so very expensive. We won't even tap into the CDAF constraints for big-aperture long-glass before the cost starts to exceed the current 300 f/2.8.
  10. GRID

    GRID Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2011
    I love my Canon fd 300mm F2.8, but it´s not a nice lens to lug around and bring on trips, so if oly or pany would make one it might be the first lens i would pre-order.
    the lenses in it would not have to be at the same size so i think it could be quite alot cheaper then the canikons. (then a TC 1,6 or 2,0 would come in handy also)
  11. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    A 400 f/4 will have a 100mm front element.... Olympus will probably never do that. Panasonic probably won't ever do it either, but if they do it will likely be a very long time from now.

    300 f/4 and 400 f/5.6 are much more realistic with their 75mm and 72mm minimum front element sizes (respectively).

    Bear in mind.. Canon's biggest lenses are: 800 f/5.6, 600 f/4, 500 f/4, 400 f/2.8

    So the equivalents on m4/3rds are: 400 f/5.6, 300 f/4, 250 f/4, and 200 f/2.8. All of these are easily doable with < 82mm lenses, which I am pretty sure is the absolute highest Panasonic is interested in going to and Olympus probably doesn't ever want to exceed 72mm. It would take a major change in philosophy to get either of them to make a 400 f/4.

    The important thing is really not the aperture anyway, the important thing is the image quality it is built to achieve. You can make a 400 f/5.6 that is pretty good (like the Canon 400 f/5.6 for ~$1500), or you can make one that is fantastic and charge twice that amount or more. That is what I would like to see a very high quality 400 f/5.6 even if it costs $2.5k or more. Or even better, a 200-400 constant f/5.6 as long as it is built to high enough standards. The point being, ask for Pro quality birding lenses first, specific apertures and focal lengths second.
  12. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I know it might sound wrong saying this since this is a m4/3 forum but why not get a Nikon 1. I know a lot of birders who love this camera because it can AF{spot at least} with all of Nikkor's AF-S lenses including the teles. The smaller sensor means a larger crop factor which means even more magnification.

    For instance a 200mm on the Nikon 1 translates to a 540mm{FF} or a 270mm{m4/3}. Put on a 300mm and it is like an 810mm{FF} or a 405mm{m4/3}. The Nikkor 300mm f4 AF-S is $1500. The zooms are far cheaper than that. You also have the option of Sigma and Tamron lenses which are even cheaper.

    I would love to see a lens longer than 300mm and/or a faster 300mm for m4/3 but it will be at least a year before one shows up if ever. I have no hope of Panasonic making one, Olympus maybe. Sigma or Tamron might however. But no matter what they would be $2K or higher in price.
  13. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    A 7D with a 100-400μμ isn't much longer than a 100-300mm on μ43.
  14. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Olympus' 300mm f/2.8 has a 107mm front element.
  15. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    Greater crop factor does not actually translate to greater reach (and, btw, it is reach, not magnification, because magnification means something else entirely in photography). Reach does not actually change with sensor size, only focal length actually affects reach. People just think it changes because what comes out of their camera appears to have been taken from closer to the subject. However, if you used the same lens on a larger format camera you could crop to the exact same framing. So all smaller sensors actually give you over larger sensors is pixel density, not an actual increase in reach. This is even more the case if the larger format camera has a zoom function to make framing easier.

    That being said, thanks to these lenses being able to AF on the Nikon 1 series, the idea itself actually seems like a good one. The Nikon 300 f/4 + a V1 could be a pretty decent birding package and would cost less than 2k (and anyone serious about birding pretty much has to plan to spend 2k at minimum these days anyway).
  16. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    The Olympus 300 f/2.8 isn't an m4/3rds lens.

    Olympus seems absolutely dedicated to keeping their m4/3rds lenses as small as humanly possible. IIRC the largest filter thread size on any Olympus lens is 58mm, and the largest for Panasonic is 67mm, and that is only one lens. The rest are all under 58mm.

    So far neither company has shown signs of having an interest in making a 70mm or wider front element lens for m4/3rds. So until that changes, and it would be a large change, I would not waste my time hoping for more than an 80mm front element lens from them, let alone a 100mm one.
  17. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I'll see your 1200mm, even your 1600mm and raise another 100mm in a zoom no less.

    nikkor 1200-1700mm

    But seriously, how about the 90-250 2.8 and 300mm 2.8 for 4/3s. Would they work with the 1.4tc and m4/3 adapters?
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    You'd also lose autofocus.

    I'm surprised though - almost all bird photography I see is with lenses between 400-600mm EFL. Occasionally shorter. Never longer than 700mm.
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    M43 needs solid C-AF before venturing into the higher FLs.
  20. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 15, 2010
    I can't speak for anybody else, but for birds that tend to move quickly, I agree that I wouldn't often want more than the 600mm EFL that I have now. It's just too yard to follow them.

    This photo is at 300mm (600mm EFL) and slightly cropped. With a longer lens, I probably wouldn't have gotten it, since the bird (a Northern Parula) was so jumpy and fast.


    OTOH, there's always the temptation to go for longer focal lengths for birds that are hard to approach, or that (like many shorebirds) tend to be a long distance away across water, mudflats, etc.

    The ospreys in this (uncropped) picture were fine with me being close enough to get this with a 1600mm EFL, but left when I tried to get close enough to use the 600mm EFL.


    I didn't hang around, though, so their activity was not interrupted. :smile:

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