Olympus ZD 50-200/2.8-3.5 - worth it for landscapes?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dhazeghi, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Been seeing a flurry of 4/3 lenses for sale recently (I guess a lot of people finally got the memo that m4/3 is the way forward?). Among them there have been several 50-200/2.8-3.5s at droolworthy prices ($400-$450).

    I'm debating whether it's worth my while to pick one up to use on my Pen. The size is kind of prohibitive, but it is supposed to be wonderfully sharp, and for that I could put up with some inconvenience. OTOH, for landscapes stopped down to f/5.6-8 (need the DoF), I sort of wonder whether the difference compared to the cheaper 40-150 is really worth the inconvenience/cost.

    Thoughts?

    DH
     
  2. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    338
    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Do you normally use a long tele for landscapes? I thought people typically use somewhere in the 24-35mm (FF equiv) range for that.

    :confused:
     
  3. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    Some people like to use long lenses to compress the background.
     
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Exactly.

    I rented the 50-200 a few years ago for a trip. It opened up some interesting possibilities. Unfortunately, the E-30 I used it on had dodgy AF in addition to a strong AA filter, so I don't think I really got a sense of the lens was capable of.

    DH
     
  5. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The landscape on this page was taken with a 300mm lens on a 35mm camera:
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/olympusom1n2/shared/zuiko/htmls/300mm.htm
    By the way, I used to own that lens, along with an OM 100mm f/2.8, and if I knew then what I know now about adapting lenses, I'd still own them!

    I say for landscapes, go for it. Stop down to f/4-5.6, and fire away with a great lens! Since you don't care about the autofocus speed, for sub-$500 you get amazing image quality for your money. Plus, Olympus has really expressed interest in eventually providing a full compatibility solution between 4/3 lenses and m4/3 cameras, which they've started moving towards with the introduction of the OM-D line. I wouldn't hold my breath, but just keep in the back of your mind that sometime in the future, you will likely get back a full-speed operating lens. Really, using 4/3 lenses on our cameras is realistically the only way that Olympus sees in providing fast-aperture, pro-quality zooms. I think that with most of m4/3 being consumer grade and appealing, with 4/3 compatibility for the few that want it is the only way for them to realistically appeal to both camps and be profitable. And really, these medium-fast aperture lenses are the best advantage of 4/3-sized sensors. You still get cheaper smaller gear, but with more reach and good quality (unlike say, the 14-35mm, 35-100mm, or 300mm f/2.8).

    By the way, there is a bird photographer with a similar name to you, are you him, or related to him?
     
  6. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    I've used my Sigma 50-500 for landscape shots on a dslr. The 500 end is useful for isolating details, and when you want the sun or moon very large in the frame.
     
  7. Henk

    Henk Mu-43 Regular

    197
    Aug 18, 2010
    the Netherlands
    If you're willing to use it on a sturdy tripod I'd say go for it.
    I would not use it handheld with a PEN as it's IBIS is useless with this lens and the tiny PEN does not balance well with this big lens.
     
  8. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Frank
    what you described appears to be the non-swd version. Mine works nicely with my EP3. here are some handheld shots, processed in oly viewer. i take off the tripod mount to allow better grip for me. it will auto focus if you are patient but i use manual focus.

    P3174344v-M.

    P3184527v-M.

    P3244638v-M.
     
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    So you do think the difference in quality will be visible vs. lesser lenses?

    I sure hope so. Of course if they do, 4/3 lens prices will go right back up (making now a good time to buy).

    Yes, that's my cousin. 500px / Ari Hazeghi / Photos

    DH
     
  11. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
    Absolutely, but it depends on where you are and how you're shooting.

    I'm up in the eastern Sierra and west side a lot, and if I'm really at altitude, having sweeping, cinematic wide angle vistas can make things really tiny.

    Having a longer lens to get closer views and tighter crops on HUGE things can be quite handy. This was shot with a 270mm equivalent Minolta/Rokkor, for example. Had I shot it at traditional WA length, it would be an utterly different shot and things would be teensy.

    6765773821_87da74226f_b.
    pano crop from Moro Rock by tanngrisnir3, on Flickr
     
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Yes, since diffraction happens upon us so soon with our smaller sensors, I think you'll see a visible difference at landscape apertures. Which for us is larger than f/8, since diffraction already begins there! Compare that to any of the other offerings, like a 40-150mm or 45-200mm, and you're shooting wide open, plus these consumer-grade lenses don't hold their image quality out to the longer focal lengths. Even lenses like the Nikon 70-300mm VR and 80-400mm VR have this problem. With prosumer or pro-grade lenses, the longer focal lengths are just as usable. Plus, the 4/3 standard is telecentric, rather than relying on in-camera silent adjustments in m4/3, which means that you'll have better border performance with a 4/3 lens. For landscapes, that's a real boon.

    And yes, now is a good time to buy 4/3 lenses. Just don't go too crazy, remember to keep things in the big picture. For example, don't waste you money on lenses like the 14-35mm, 35-100mm, 150mm, or 300mm. At a certain point, you're better off (money, size, resellability, performance, etc) just getting a supplementary system.
     
  13. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    Nice shot... That's a very good example the kind of landscapes being discussed.
     
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Nice example! I'm a big fan of the eastern Sierra. Unfortunately I won't be able to visit for another month at least.

    DH