Oly 75/1.8 for wildlife?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by quatchi, May 16, 2013.

  1. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany

    I know, another "is that lens right for me thread". :)

    But there is a specific question some of you might know an answer to. So here it goes: In August I am lucky enough to go on a RV and hiking trip through Alaska. Of course I am going to bring my camera with me for some nice landscape and wildlife pictures. The question is, would the 75 (which I do not have right now) be ok for wildlife shots? Of course, a longer lens would be even preferable but the 75 is the longest native lens (while still having a wide aperture) as one can get right now.

    I do have the 75-300 but am afraid that quite often it will be to dark for the lens. That's why I am leaning towards the 75. The plan would be to sap pictures and crop in post.

    As for the significant price of the lens: I would of course use the lens later on for other opportunities but those would probably not justify the investment.

    So, any thoughts on the 75 for wildlife (e.g., moos, grizzlies, ...) as well as the occasional landscape and portrait shot (mind you, I also have the 60mm).
  2. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    I would definitely take the 75-300(600). Most times you will be shooting wildlife during the day. So f5/6 @ ISO 200 should be more then enough. The 75(150) will not be enough for wildlife 90% of the time IMHO. I have shot most of my wildlife on a Canon DSLR with a 1.6 crop factor. With a 400 f5.6 lens this was approx 600. I found myself wanting a longer lens for birds and such. For wolves and seals, I was quite pleased with this range.
    The other consideration for longer glass, don't become a write up in the newspaper about photographer got mauled by Bear in Alaska Wilderness.
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Quatchi, why do you think it would be dark?

    I have the P100-300 and I shoot in the morning hours a lot with it. Even though it has IS, I still prefer IS off, and shoot at 1/640 set in S mode. Because the EM5 handles up to ISO3200 very easily, I rarely hit issues. I do in the woods, though, and thats when I shoot A mode, and turn on the lens IS. Haven't tried IBIS with this lens, just because I prefer to keep IS off most of the time, and find the physical switch on the lens more convenient.

    (side thought -- maybe Oly could put an IBIS switch on their lenses!)

    any rate, I think the long zoom is essential for wildlife, but I think a 50 or 75 would be good for wildlife environmental shots. So bring both! lol.
  4. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    I lived in Alaska 4 times, for a total of about 10 years, in several locations. I have two children still there.

    I have shot moose with every length, from 50mm through 420mm. They are everywhere, including your front yard and walking 4th street, downtown Anchorage. But for other wildlife, as long as you can quickly and securely hold, in the choice. Usually no time to "fiddle" with setup. Ready or not, they appear and disappear.

    Light can be a problem at times when they have a cloudy, rainy season. Days are very long in summer. Coastal regions are prone to lots of rain. So have rain gear and water resistant bags etc. for your gear.
    If you want to see Alaska, A local friend or guide is really a big help. If you have never been, it is a wonderful opportunity.

    One last thought. Too much gear is a handicap. One wide zoom and one long one, and a prime for low light portrait type shots should cover most situations. I drove many trips up the Homer to Anchorage road with just a 80-200 on OM-1.

    Have fun :th_salute:
  5. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Don't know if this is the kind of thing that will help you make up your mind but


    This was taken with the 75mm and cropped, cropped a lot. I'd probably have needed a 500mm to frame this mynah like this without cropping.

    I bought the 75 in part to do this sort of thing after tossing up between going for length with the 75-300 or speed with the 75. I've since bought the 75-300 anyway. I like the 75-300 but a lot of my bird shooting is done late afternoon and often in shadowed areas. I'm often pushing ISO 4000 to 6400 in order to use 1/500 to 1/640 sec with the lens wide open at 300mm and I start to lose fine detail. I think this shot with the 75 looks quite a bit better than some shots I've taken with the 75-300, then there's some shots I've taken with the 75-300 where I had a lot more light and it was the longer reach that made it.

    I understand your problem but I'm not certain there's a clear cut answer. I won't say I could go either way because I did, and I still haven't come down fully on one side or another on this question.

    When you don't want the 300mm end though, and when you do want the 75mm end of the zoom range, the 75mm comes into it's own. If you do more shooting at the 75 end than at the 300 end with your zoom, then I'd definitely be considering the 75.
  6. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    of course you can use it for wildlife. the difference will be if you can get THAT CLOSE to a grizzly with the 75.

    I recently shot some wildlife in patagonia, some with the 75mm and i had to be at least 5 to 10 meters away from the Guanaco to get it how i wanted.
  7. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you are close enough to a grizzly to use a 75mm you better have a 30-30 in the other hand! If he decides to charge he will be on you in seconds. Unless you are planning on shooting in low light conditions I would think the 75-300mm would suffice.

    I do recommend a walking stick/monopod. I have one and it works great. Add a quick release and you can get the camera on it and aimed in a second or two. The monopod will help steady longer shots and really helps for panning with wildlife.
  8. jglover

    jglover Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 28, 2010
    Naperville, IL
    The generally recommended 35mm lens for large mammals is usually a minimum of 300mm with a teleconverter or a 400mm lens to get frame filling images. You've got some leeway to crop a bit more now with digital but I'd think the 75mm is going to a bit on the short side unless your goal is environmental styled animal portraits. I'd opt for one of the 300mm zooms. Besides, both moose and grizzlies are very dangerous in the wild and not something I'd want to be close to, so the longer the focal, the better.
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would definitely bring both the 75mm/1.8 and the 75-300mm. Use the 75mm when you can get a decent frame or when it gets too dark for the 75-300mm, and use the 75-300mm when the light is bright and things are too far for the 75mm. We have interchangeable lenses for that reason.
  10. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    If you only have a 30-30 in a charge, use it on yourself. It won't likely stop the Brown Bear, as they are known in AK. The Kodiak Brown, is very aggressive and large! 3006, 4570, or equiv. rifle, and 44 mag with special heavy loads, hand gun, are considered the very minimum.
  11. quatchi

    quatchi Mu-43 Veteran

    May 17, 2012
    Munich, Germany
    Thanks guys!

    I will definitely bring the 75-300 since I already have it. I was using it in South Africa in the Krüger National Park from within the car. I had a foam on the window where I rested the lens on for stabilization. That worked great during daytime/noon. As soon as the sunset set in, the ISO went through the roof, though. That's where my GAS thoughts concerning the 75mm have their origin*. :)

    *) The great pictures on the 75mm thread might although add to it...
  12. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Unless you're another grizzly - but then the buttons would be way too small. :biggrin:
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