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Oly 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO AF speed and accuracy

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by acnomad, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I borrowed a friend's 70-200mm f/2.8G to shoot some cross country races and a marathon over the weekend and was really impressed by its AF performance on my Nikon D750. Up until now, I have been shooting sports with the O75/1.8, O40-150/4-5.6, or a P100-300, depending on the situation. None of those has terribly fast AF, and the Panny is actually very slow to lock on at the long end, so it's gotten me thinking about the 40-150/2.8.

    Obviously I recognize that the Oly 40-150/2.8 costs and weighs less than a full frame f/2.8 tele-zoom (and has greater reach, less bokeh-generating ability, etc., etc.)

    But I am interested to hear from 40-150mm/2.8 users who can compare its AF accuracy and speed to their previous (or current) experiences with a Canikon 70-200mm/2.8.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    The 40-150/2.8 is a great lens. Some people like to poo-poo the bokeh quality. I'm not one of them. Bokeh is of little importance to me and my clients.

    That being said, the PRO lenses work best on the higher end camera bodies - more specifically, it will work best on the EM1 with the newest firmware.

    m43 works well for "predictable" action(baseball, racing), is less effective for "erratic" action(football,basketball). It can handle all, but you need to really learn how the AF system works and adapt.

    Speed of AF is not an issue, it is a good, fast lens.
    Even with all that being said, I still have a Nikon D300/D700 and the Nikon 24-70/2.8 and a Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC lens for shooting sports that the m43 cameras might struggle in.

    I'm hoping the EM1 Mk II is the camera that eliminates or at least closes that gap.

    Here is my flickr album for the 40-150/2.8. Quite a few sports pics in there:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gryphon1911/albums/72157648772677243
     
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  3. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    Very nice images. And I agree completely; I found that my keeper rate with the E-M1 and my non-PRO lenses to be much higher with cross country and track than it is with lacrosse. Like many of us, I have high hopes that the Mk II and its improved AF will bring us to DSLR-like AF capability in m4/3. Coincidentally, a Nikon 70-200/2.8G VR II probably impacts the wallet about the same as the E-M1 MkII will.

    At the risk of going OT for this forum, are you happy with IQ and flare resistance in the Tamron 70-200/2.8? I found that the Nikon 70-200/2.8G (not a II) is challenged when the sun is in or near the frame. And more within the topic, how well does the O40-150/2.8 handle flare?
     
  4. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    Mine handles flare really well, with or without the 1.4 TC.
     
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  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I'm very happy with the Tamron, not only in performance optically but in AF speed and the $1000 savings over the Nikon equivalent is not something that should be taken lightly! :D

    Not much in the flare resistance testing, but here you can see the IQ of the Tamron:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gryphon1911/albums/72157660029330573
     
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  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Fwiw,

    1. The 40-150 Pro's AF is much faster than the 40-150R.

    2. The ZD 50-200 SWD is a lot cheaper used, if you're using an E-M1 (or II)
     
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  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    There are a lot of people that really like the 50-200. Not a bad choice either.
     
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  8. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    Agree. The only reason I upgraded to the 40-150 PRO was to take advantage of it's extra features with the EM-1 camera but the older 50-200 SWD 43's with TC is just as good a pairing as the newer lens with TC (IMHO).
     
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  9. macalterego

    macalterego Mu-43 Veteran

    228
    Jul 10, 2012
    Lawrence, KS
    Jeffrey McPheeters
    Personally, after using the older 50-200 SWD with the E-M1 and comparing it with the 40-150/2.8 I sold the 50-200 and the main reason is for when I'm doing track and field or candids of events with children involved who move fast. There was a difference that was noticeable for me.

    Last spring I was photographing the NCAA West Regional Track & Field championships here in Lawrence and had the Canon 7DmkII and 1DmkIV with 70-200/2.8 mk II (along with the big bad 400/2.8 for discus and hammer). I also took the E-M1 bodies, one with a 75/1.8 for indoors (storms moved the pole vault, high jump and women's long jump to an indoor arena) and the 40-150/2.8. The CAF was working quite well on the pole vault, high jump, and long jump as the athletes approached during the competitions. I was very pleased with how well the 40-150 performed. The 75/1.8 is a little slower to achieve initial focus but once locked on it worked well. But the 40-150 really performed in that poor lighting situation as well as the Canon. Difference was I was dealing with a noisier sensor at ISO 2500-3200 vs the Canon 7DmkII and 1DmkIV at those ISOs on the indoor work. Outdoors, though, no problem.

    With wildlife, I also notice that when an eagle appears or other large bird and I want to swing the 40-150+1.4TC up quickly to get some shots it's much more likely to actually find and lock on than the older 4/3 lenses could ever do on the E-M1.

    All that said, when using the E-M1 and 40-150/2.8 side by side with a Canon setup designed for rapid speed action photography, there's a noticeable difference in how well the Canon performs. With the Canon I'm always surprised if it misses and I figure I probably screwed up. With the Olympus I'm just pleasantly surprised and somewhat excited when a whole stream of shots tracking an animal or person turns out to be in sharp focus. But as they improve the system, I'm getting more 'expectant' that it will work as opposed to how it used to be: "here goes nothin'". I also use some tricks to compensate for areas of weakness with the Olympus system that I don't need to use with the Canons.
     
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  10. absolutic

    absolutic Mu-43 Veteran

    416
    Jan 21, 2011
    I like 40-150/2.8 a lot. As far as af, after my recent foray into Fuji land with Fuji xt2 with its tooted af and Fuji lenses and back I feel the af of all mirrorless systems is pretty close to each other this time with no major leaps one has on the other two. However once I tested Nikon d500, I was floored. I know it is the best af in the world right now and it truly shows. It is on a different level from Fuji xt2. Or anything Olympus. I have not tested the new Sony a6500 so I cannot comment there. But I've owned a7r2 and its af should not even be mentioned in the same sentence.

    As far as 40-150/2.8 I love its size and weight especially when u remove and leave the hood at home (for some reason the hood is very heavy) it becomes a phenomenally convenient constant 80-300/2.8 equivalent. In terms of CAF I had my 4 year old run toward me and away from me last night and everythjng was in focus until he would get close to me. I am using em1. I am happy with results. I am using strictly the center af zone with pdaf points for continuos Af.
     
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  11. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    I shot four more cross country races yesterday with my friend's 70-200mm. When I gave it back to him so he could shoot his daughter's race, I grabbed the rest of the day's shots with the Oly 75mm on my E-M1. Now I've pressed that portrait lens into service to shoot sports before, but never in a situation where I went from one moment shooting action with a pro zoom on a DSLR to the next with the 75. I once stated that m4/3 was "good enough" for my sports photography needs, but now I'm eating those words. So, I'm shopping for a big, heavy FF pro tele zoom on the used market.
     
  12. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    Yes, I am very confident that the size/weight/IQ of the 40-150/2.8 would be a great, and even the AF would be fine for "single runner" photography. For those more skilled at sports photography than I am (which is probably the majority of people!) this is probably a no-brainer. But for me, the E-M1's EVF blackout time after a burst of frames and the time it takes to re-acquire a new AF target afterwards are causing me to miss a great deal of shot opportunities. Even worse, it detracts from the spectating enjoyability, which is really a shame. Perhaps the E-M1ii will indeed bring us the DSLR-like buffering and AF capability that Oly has claimed. I really hope so!
     
  13. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    The 75mm is not known for fast AF, right?
     
  14. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    Definitely right about that. It was just an eye opener to see how much slower the E-M1 seemed in a side-by-side with the DSLR. I realize the 40-150 has a much faster AF than the 75, but the big differentiator between the E-M1 and the D750 shooting sports is not the amount of time it took to finish focusing, but the amount of time it took to start. There's nearly zero lag time between half press of the shutter release and AF activity on the DSLR. On the E-M1, it seemed like I was always waiting for the buffer to clear and the EVF to light back up. This slight lag felt like an eternity by comparison. Don't get me wrong - I still love shooting the E-M1, I'm just newly aware of the greater capability of the DSLR, at least in this regard.
     
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  15. rboate

    rboate Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Nov 6, 2012
    Before m43 I used Canon gear and had a Sigma 70-200 F2.8 as at that time I couldn't afford the Canon. Since switchint to Olympus I first had the Panasonic 35-100 F2.8 but switched to the Oly 40-150 F2.8 when it was released. The Oly lens is much faster than the Sigma or the Panasonic and works well. The only time I have had difficulty is shooting an air show this past summer.
     
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