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Olympus telephoto cons and pros: 40-150mm f/4-5.6 R versus 75-300mm f/4.5-6.7

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Fri13, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. Fri13

    Fri13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    I have decision problem is there sense to buy the narrower telephoto lens or not.

    The price for new would be a high one, ~550€ ($744) and used one would be in eBay for 100€ less. I don't like to buy second hand lenses. Dust inside and warranty gets difficulty if something is wrong.

    I use to have a 4/3 70-300 and I loved the 1:2 close up ratio at 300mm end giving a 1:1 possibility. That would be missing from this m4/3 variant.

    I hated the 4/3 model hunting and focus speed but... This new model has greatly improves AF speed. And the tube doesn't rotate or move what is very nice.

    I miss the AF/MF switch as it was so easy to disable focusing without binding MF to button or using rear-focusing button.

    I love the 40-150mm R model, I get very sharp shots with it, and I don't care what DXO claims for its 5MPix sharpness to be. It is sharp and more I get problems with air between me and subject than lens sharpness.

    I would not even consider the incoming Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro because this cheap model is so great and I don't yet photograph in low light and moving subjects would anyways be blurred.

    I have made test shots for angle of view with old 4/3 camera and 70-300mm model but it is so so that sharpness with EM-1 is better even when taking with only 40-150mm and cropping.

    I have so hard time to rationalize the price for the m4/3 lens.
    And giving only a 2x narrower angle of view feels so minimal.

    So I ask help from those who own both that which one they use more and do they really need the 150-300 range, and from those two who consider or had considered the 75-300mm and owns 40-150mm m4/3 lens.

    Of course it is about shooting style but leaving wild life and portraits a side, focusing more to landscape, details and nature, that does many feel they like 75-300mm more than 40-150 and wise versa?

    There are so few reviews of the 75-300mm m4/3 and it is hard to compare from my own tests as they were with different bodies or in store with same camera.
  2. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    I own both, actually i’m selling the 40-150 because i never use it. The 75-300 is heavier and all, but the reach is amazing for what I do with it (zoos mostly). I’m not sure it would be any use to you though, since you seem to use your tele for different things than I. The only thing i would say is if you use your current tele more in the 70-150mm range, then having the 70-300 would make sense (it is sharper and with much better contrast in that range) with the added bonus of the 2x extra reach.
  3. I have both lenses. The 75-300 spends more time on my camera because when I'm driving somewhere, it will be on the camera. Use wise, the 40-150 is used more. For my images, it is a better focal length. I will most likely get the 40-150 f/2.8 when it comes out.
  4. Fri13

    Fri13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    when I used 70-300mm I felt often that why there is no lens what only swaps between 2-3 angle of views with a mechanical switch? as I rarely were on 150-200mm or 80-100mm range but typically at 70mm and then 200-300mm.
    at one longer period I didn't have anything between 40-70mm and I felt trapped in many situations and I wish I would had 40-150mm with me. But that was when digital cameras were still on 5-10mpix range and most expensive DSLR had 12Mpix. now with 16Mpix it is like heaven but as it is said about hunger growing when eating.

    as you are selling your 40-150mm, do you think there are situations what would frustrate missing it?

    I have now 7.5mm, 12-40mm, 45mm and 60mm below 70mm so basically nothing would change but swapping again to have extra reach...

    I feel like decade ago with the decision to use a 100mm or 135mm and then next angles were 200mm and 300mm.

    I constantly move around area and subject first to see if there is more interesting camera angles to open nicer composition and then when finding couple, I come back to those locations and take multiple photos from each position (and couple extra).

    have you got much dust in your 75-300mm? the 70-300mm model pumped really much air to 4/3 camera and lens insides would require a total workout.
  5. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    Well, the whole point of a zoom lens is to have 2-3 focal lengths in one isn't it? I mean we all tend to use mostly the two extremes and then one position somewhere in the middle right? :) 

    To be completely honest with you, my telephoto lens has never seen a lot of use. Back when I had a Canon EOS camera, I had an amazing 70-200mm L lens that was worth more than 1K, still I barely used it. My comfort zone is (in equivalent 35mm) anywhere between 16mm and 80mm, and I hardly feel like I need anything longer except for the (extremely) rare portrait or the occasional walk in the park/zoo where I want to capture wild animals. I love the fact that m4/3 allows me to have such a long lens in such a small package, and I enjoy it immensely when I shoot from afar, but those occasions are still too rare for me to keep two telezooms "just in case". My move to m43 was motivated by lightness first (coming from full frame), so I always try to have only meaningful lenses that will see at least a bit of use every now and then.

    And so yes, I do have a big gap now in my line-up between the 12-35mm and the 75-300mm. That doesn't bother me in the least for the reasons I just mentioned, and if I were to buy another lens it would be something below 12mm, not between 35 and 75mm. Again, this is just me for my uses. And it'd still take a Sigma 60mm f/2.8 as a "short tele" option over the 40-150mm any day: dirt cheap, amazing image quality, brighter aperture of course, and much better durability.

    Last thing about dust: I honestly don't know how the 75-300mm will fare in the long run. I've had it for a few months now, using it whenever I can (because it's still relatively light and small so I carry it all the time in my photobag) and I haven't noticed any dust. We'll see.
  6. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    Back in 4/3 land, I used to own the 40-150mm, then the 70-300mm. The difference, as far as what you can zoom in, is huge. Yes, you can crop a 40-150mm picture... but you can also crop a 75-300mm picture. A long telephoto is also 'impressive'. Mostly people can take pretty good pictures with a wide array of gear, being able to zoom in so much sets you apart from the iphoners.

    That said, a long telephoto is not an everyday lens. I had my to a safari in Africa, a trip to Central America, and one trip around the world. I took about 5% of all pictures with it. I enjoyed it, but I have sold mine and do not plan to re-buy, because at home I rarely use these focal lengths, and I simply do not have patience to seek out wildlife shooting opportunities. I have now lived over a year without the long focal lengths and while there are 'moments' I miss it, its not enough for me to buy and carry it.

    I think its pretty easy, if you are shooting stuff and 150mm is constantly too short for you, get the longer lens, if you are not, time to cut that craving at its root.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Fri13

    Fri13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    What percentage of photos taken with specific lens does people consider to be required to own specific lens? Like you had 5% taken with it.

    Just considering as I need to run the percentage first to lenses and the for the focal length going over 200mm (150mm is too close to 200mm) and compare that amount of successfully captured shots what I have marked to be portfolio/gallery worth shots.

    I could believe it is pretty high around 5-10% but need to run statics first.

    The one problem I already know is that I will have so many taken with the max focal length but in closest focus range.
    But I can search for the focusing range data too if available.
    Meaning I would need to by extension tubes with it to gain same capability, slowing down when needing it for mounting and cost would be 1/5 more for it. Use to have much better macro/micro lens system but not for that 90cm distance. Now 60mm macro is more versatile but requires to get close. So extension alone for 40-150 would offer same.

    What so many finds out that they use such telephoto lenses mostly in trips or then they are dedicated wildlife photographers. Even on trips to Africa I never felt I need more than 300mm as the air compression was causing a lots of problems most of the daylight period.
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