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Oly 75 is killing my P100-300

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by harry_s, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I'm not sure if my Panasonic 100-300mm is a bit rough around the edges, or it's just that the Olympus 75mm is that good, but I can't bring myself to use my 100-300 unless I really, really have to. The strange thing is that when I previously owned :43: kit I loved my 100-300.

    The difference in detail, colours, sharpness and contrast is so big that anything from the Panasonic just feels incredibly disappointing now. A couple of examples below, the Oly 75mm images have been cropped by a minimum of 50%, but the difference is still incredibly obvious in my opinion...

    Kennet and Avon Canal by Harry_S, on Flickr

    Kennet and Avon Canal: Canada Goose by Harry_S, on Flickr

    Kennet and Avon Canal: Robin by Harry_S, on Flickr

    Kennet and Avon Canal: Robin by Harry_S, on Flickr

    Could it be technique? My 100-300 shots just feel soft regardless of what I do, ironically as I use a G5 the 100-300 is stabilised, but the Oly 75 isn't!
  2. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Tucson, AZ
    Well - you are typically going to see somewhat better results with a prime than a zoom. And here you have a great prime against a longer and only "pretty good" zoom, so the difference may be even more dramatic.

    But ...

    It may also be technique. I only say this because I've had the same issues with my 100-300 in the short time that I've had it and I've noticed that I occasionally nab outstanding pics with it and the number of good:bad is getting better with each outing. For me it feels like I'm starting to get a feel for the lens, and once I've fully realized it's limitations/best uses I will be quite pleased.
  3. jfdana

    jfdana Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    South Portland, ME
    I stewed a bit before I bought, but use the 75 quite frequently for landscape "portraits." This shot, of a charter schooner out in the ship channel, surprised me in how detailed the wrinkles in the taut sails show. I also use a Panasonic body; no problems so long as I keep my eye on shutter speeds.

    View attachment 256265
    the wendameen by John Dana, on Flickr
  4. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I was using the Olympus 40-150 for bird photos and wanted something faster and longer. Unfortunately we have nothing faster or longer, but I could go faster with the 75mm or longer with the 100-300 or the Olympus 75-300. I spent a fair amount of time thinking about those options and ended up with the 75mm, and my feelings about the results from it, with strong cropping, mirror yours.

    Given the time of day and location where I tend to shoot birds, and the effect those have on the light available, I think I get a lot more benefit from the gain in lens speed than I would from an increase in focal length. In addition, images from the 75 really hold up well when cropped. I often cropped with the 40-150 and my feeling is that if I compared a cropped image from the 40-150 at 150mm to a cropped image from the 75 mm showing exactly the same field of view, the image from the 75mm would win hands down.

    There are obvious reasons for that: the ability to use a lower ISO setting and a faster shutter speed due to the much faster lens speed really contribute a lot to image sharpness and clarity but the greater sharpness of the 75 also comes into play.

    The 75mm is simply a really great lens.
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    It's probably a combination of things. Based on what I've seen of the 75, it's got a similar sort of 'magic' to it as the Canon 135L. Which is one of my favorite Canon lenses. However, the 100-400 is much, much more versatile for wildlife and the like, but needs to be stopped down a bit (F7 or so) to get really sharp, and it never manages to render the magic the 135 does. But it's a great lens in its own right, within its limitations. Particularly the range to size ratio.

    Comparing a fast prime - that can draw blood when stopped down to less than the zoom can do wide open - to a slow zoom is a fool's game.
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Yep - that's it! :smile:
  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    It's all pretty much been said already. The 75mm is possibly the best resolving lens in the system right now, and you're comparing a premium fast mid telephoto lens to a long slow tele zoom. It really is just a better lens overall, but you're comparing apples and oranges too.

    FWIW, the Panasonic 12-35mm holds up well to cropping (though not quite as much as the 75mm does). But it's a noticeable jump from the other zooms that have come before it.

    With all that said... you should make sure your 100-300 is updated to the latest firmware. My experience with the 45-200mm, 14-140mm and 100-300mm is that the firmware update really makes a noticeable difference in sharpness in general use. You may already be on the latest firmware, but if not I expect you'll see a nice jump in performance.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I appreciate it's an apples and oranges comparison, I guess I'm just surprised that the 75 is having an impact on the use of my 100-300, as clearly they in theory have completely different uses.

    I actually completely reconsider the photos I'm going to take because of it, instead of tighter shots of far away objects I'm considering wider views purely because the 75mm photos have so much more 'pop' about them.

    I guess that's the point I'm making...they shouldn't be comparable or overlap much, but in my situation one is killing off the other.
  9. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    I get my 75mm 1.8 today, but I've had the 100-300 for months, so from all I've read it's like comparing a Dodge Dart to a Dodge Viper, yes they are both automobiles, and they will both get you where you want to go, but from there the similarities end. That being said if you trying to take the wife and two kids somewhere you going to find the Dart far better equipped than the Viper. :) 
  10. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Gotcha - in that case I can certainly understand that :smile: It's a special lens... I'm pretty sure that in many cases the 75mm out-resolves the sensor or really close to it, so even very heavy crops retain quite a lot of detail and resolution.

    The 75mm can't replace the 100-300 for me, since the 100-300 is primarily a wildlife lens (for me at least) and I've still had to crop shots from the 100-300 to get enough reach. There's just no way even with heavy cropping I could make up the difference in reach. But I know exactly what you mean about the look of shots from 75mm - after using the 75mm, 12-35mm and other great lenses it makes it hard to go back to using the older zooms.
  11. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    Just out of curiosity, I'm considering purchasing something between 45 and 150mm this year before June, how is 75mm prime compared to the 35-100mm and 60mm prime, sharpness and micro-contrast wise? I understand 75mm is the sharpest lens we have but how much less the other two options are? There are few threads that talked about this in practical sense but I'm curious if there has been MTF measurement to compare? I'm leaning towards zoom now because I own 4 outstanding primes already up to 45mm with only one body. Any comments or suggestions will be appreciated. J
  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Reviews with MTF charts:
    LensRentals.com - The Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8 First Impression: The Glass is 87.6% Full

    Olympus 75mm f/1.8 Lens Performance Review

    Review of Panasonic Lumix GX Vario 35-100mm f/2.8 Lens
    • Like Like x 1
  13. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I dunno, my O75 is sharp, very sharp, but, (the big but), not a 'Day-and-Night' difference in sharpness between my P100-300.

    Okay, not shooting a target, tripod-ed, will always be an apples & oranges review but this is the best I have:

    E-M5    LUMIX G VARIO 100-300/F4.0-5.6    201mm    f/5.0    1/350s    ISO 1600

    E-M5    OLYMPUS M.75mm F1.8    75mm    f/4.5    1/180s    ISO 1600

    E-M5    LUMIX G VARIO 45-200/F4.0-5.6    200mm    f/5.6    1/180s    ISO 1600

    E-M5    OLYMPUS M.75mm F1.8    75mm    f/2.8    1/350s    ISO 1600

    #1 = P100-300
    #2 = O75
    #3 = P100-300
    #4 = O75
    • Like Like x 6
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I really love the 300mm reach, so I'm not giving up on the zoom, but you have convinced me to NOT try the 75mm!
  15. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    • Like Like x 2
  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I was hoping you would post Gary. Not so much because I know you own and use both lenses... I just wanted to look at some of your excellent photos again :biggrin:
  17. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    We've had this rumour for a while now and it was never confirmed. Good to see 43R upping it to FT4 from FT2 or 3 a little while back.

    It's inevitable that Olympus will enter the fast zoom design and production. Timing is right. Remember the year or so difference between the release of 14-140 and 14-150? How about the year or so difference between the release of 7-14 and 9-18?

    I know I'm not the only hold out, but considering the telephoto focal lengths it'd be nice to have OIS on these zooms so you can future proof yourself with Panasonic bodies if Olympus ever fails to deliver.
  18. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    I just took the 100-300 out for my morning walk today to force myself into using it. Weirdly in amongst a load of dross I nailed a few, this being my favourite...

    252mm, f6.3, 1/500, ISO 1250, OIS ON

    Kennet and Avon Canal: Robin by Harry_S, on Flickr

    He was a few branches further away at first (only a few feet further back), despite being on the same settings and focal length as the shot above they looked muddy and soft, but as soon as he got closer things improved.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    The robin photo is very good. I use the 100-300 a lot and the long end sharpens up significantly at 6.3/7.1 compared to 5.6.

    Would be interested to see comparison shots, off a tripod, fixed target and cropped to match of the 75mm vs 300mm
  20. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    Dont know why people try to compare zooms to primes soo much
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