OM-D E-M1 with 75-300 or 100-300.

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tomO2013, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013

    This awakening to m43 is turning out to be very expensive for me... I've already got my eye on several lens that i WANT (do not necessarily need ;)  ) and as an old FF analogue user when you start looking at the lenses... and just the quality of glass and character of the glass. just WOW!

    So previously I never had an interest in birding/wildlife ... purely because a 300mm+ lens with good optical quality cost me the price of a small second hand car and would need a van to transport! This OMD purchase is opening up lots of creative avenues that I am really hoping to explore...

    So.. I have two excellent options available to me , but I keep reading conflicting reports on both lens..

    The Olympus 75-300 mk ii and the panasonic 100-300.

    The Panasonic is slightly 'older' but faster , however the Oly is half a stop slower is actually based on an older design again than the Panasonic. Both soften up around the 300mm end as expected and both are super sharp around F5.6 -F8.

    The Panasonic has OIS but since I have the OMD, thats a moot point because the IBIS would be better than the lens stabilisation anyway? Even with the IBIS of the oly, this is not really a lens I could shoot hand held.... or is it ? (please keep in mind I've only ever used manual focus, analogue film cameras previously with tripods as far as 200mm ........ digital and longer reach than effective 300mm is completely new :)  ).

    So getting back to it.. from those of you who have used both , and specifically with this camera body I would love to know your opinions.

    Depending on the lens I've seen sample shots (assuming the same conditions ) where the EM1 shows better DR and sharpnss over the EM5 with the same lens (17mm 1.8). Supposedly a result of a tweaked sensor, no AA filter and more processing (truepic, picture pic 7 or whatever the hell olympus call the CA adjustment etc...).
    So I am particularly interested in hearing from those who have used both on the EM1 and whether there was any benefit going with the OLY lens given that olympus supposedly ship the EM1 with a bunch of lens profiles in body to optimise sharpness for diffraction and CA etc....
    Would i truly see the difference between the two ... no... both lens and camera are far more than I am right now... I'm a total newB to digital. However, given that they are in the same price bracket I like to know that I have spent my money on the lens that will give me the most potential to grow into.


  2. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    One thing to note is that the O.I.S in the Panasonic 100 - 300 apparently works slightly better than the 5 Axis I.S at 300mm
    The Oly 75 - 300 is a bit lighter I think and is mainly a cosmetic update from the Mk1 version
  3. Panut

    Panut Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2011

    While waiting for my E-M1 to be delivered, I'm thinking about the exact same question.

    As Rob says, OIS is generally better than IBIS - that's also my experience with Panasonic 45-200mm. On the other hand, OIS drains your battery surprisingly fast, whereas with IBIS there's no such problem.

    For now I'm more inclined towards Panasonic 100-300 because of the faster aperture. On the other hand, a dealer I visited yesterday commented on the 75-300 being faster to focus, especially on Olympus bodies. I don't shoot wildlife or sports so focusing speed would not be an issue for me.

    I might resort to cheking out good deals for second hand glasses and pick the one whichever comes available first with good bargain. :) 

  4. Panut

    Panut Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 25, 2011
    And oh, about handheld - I've shot with Panasonic 45-200 with 200mm dialed in hand-held on a safari and had no problems other than the lens being soft at the long end. So I assume you could, at least to some extent, well use it handheld.
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I have the 100-300 which I use on an E-M5. It' "OK", but not great. Don't expect it to be up to a Canon long prime such as the 400/5.6L for instance (but to be fair, it's probably not too far away in IQ from the 100-400L). All the reviews and owner experiences seem to indicate the IQ is similar on the 75-300 and 100-300.

    Regarding OIS, my experience is that it's hard to say whether IBIS or OIS is better. I think they're probably similar in results at 300mm. Regarding battery usage, the Pany OIS never really 100% turns if. Even with the switch set to off, you can still hear the motor running.
  6. LowTEC

    LowTEC Mu-43 Regular

    I have the Panasonic 100-300 and my friend has the 75-300 mk1, we brought them out to shoot birds on the same date, we were both using the EM5s and we couldn't see any real optical differences and both are quite sharp if you keep them below 250mm. The only thing we noticed was the weight and size difference. I can re-confirm you that the OIS on the Lumix is a whole lot more effective the OMD's IBIS, I tested shooting newsprint using both method @ 1/15s (I know, I pushed that on purpose). To my surprise the OIS has a score of 7-8/10 getting sharp letters while the IBIS has a successful rate of 2/10. To be fair, no one would be shooting any wildlife or stationary subject at that low of shutter speed with a super tele anyway. At 1/250, I certainly cannot tell the difference

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  7. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Thanks a lot guys. Really helpful. For the money both lenses are just incredible and like you said not far off the Canon 400/5.6L optically... except with even longer reach to 600mm equiv!!!
    From sample images I've seen online, I personally prefer the colour rendering of the greens on the Oly and Pan compared to the FF 400L canon but then again everybody develops their own style in LR.

    I travel a bit and last year I was at a Rodeo and downhill ski event on two separate occasions 'wishing' that I had a longer telephoto lens with me.

    With the EM1, can anybody tell me what the difference in terms of autofocus speed is? Do you miss the additional 1/2 stop on the OLY ? I know for 400 dollars I shouldn't expect a sport lens. However, with the new EM1 supposedly providing almost DSLR like C-AF and C-AF + tracking things have improved in the mirrorless world. Is it reasonable to expect to be able to use these lenses in a non professional environment for such capture as down hill skiing ?

    Finally, working with the new sensor in the EM1 , does the additional processing horse power and inbody Oly camera profile enable the camera to produce significantly better IQ with the Oly compared to the Pan on this body ?
    I know that on some lenses there isn't any huge IQ improvements EM1 vs EM5 but on others such as 17 1.8 the OOC jpegs show noticeable improvements in IQ. Similarly with RAW some lenses really look to benefit even more from tweaks to the sensor and lack of AA filter. I'm interested to see samples produced with the EM1 from both...
  8. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    This thread will have to remain in the context of we'll have to agree to disagree. I've used several Panny bodies and Oly bodies over he last several years. Picked up a 75-300 mk1 and a 100-300 along the way. My experiences with the 100-300 were that on a OMD body (be it a EM5 or EM1) there was NO question in my mind the IBIS on the bodies and lenses I used the IBIS was superior for a 300mm extension. The keeper rate on the 100-300 handheld was quite low (like 3 out of 10 were truly sharp) where as on the Oly body with the IBIS and 75-300 I can consistently get 8 out of 10 sharp without any effort at all. Not sure why or how others find different results. Also at 300mm the Oly copy I have is sharp where as once again the Panny needs be stopped down or simply isn't rendering crisp images that far out. The body is larger and I certainly find the Oly 75-300 much nicer to hand hold. As for focus speed once again no question in my experience the Oly is instant to focus, the Panny not always so much. Also the extension on the Oly is butter smooth.....not the Panny. Just my 2 cents.........Oh just one other thing. I also had a 45-200 OIS and frankly that little lens was a GEM! Did everything right and was a pleasure to carry. They are practically giving those away these days, so it's a true bargain.
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  9. Harmonica

    Harmonica Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2012
    This is a question which I would also like to hear an good the C-AF of EM-1 is together with these longest native m4/3 lenses (Pana 100-300mm and/or Oly 75mm-300mm)?

    At the moment I own EM-5 and 1. version of Oly 75-300mm.
  10. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Absolutely stunning pics! I really love the colour.

    I love the rendering of the greens and background bokeh in the third pic.

    Have you taken this lens to shoot anything that would be faster moving ? Basically I'm trying to weigh up the glass speed advantage vs focus speed advantage of the Olympus (I know it's only half a stop glass speed... but it all adds up!).

  11. Harmonica

    Harmonica Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 15, 2012
    I'm also waiting for comments to same question. Here're two bad photos taken with EM-5 (= flying birds). I would like to hear is EM-1's C-AF much better with long native m4/3 lenses (Oly 75-300mm or Pana 100-300mm) than EM-5's?

    To shoot these kind of small flying birds is bit different than shoot some much bigger flying birds (expecially the ones which do not move their wings much while flying...or change their flying direction all the time). These do both and will give quite challanger to camera's (and lens) AF system.


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  12. Lee O'D

    Lee O'D Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 27, 2013

    I have just started using an OMD and 75-300 lens due to a worsening back problem. Coming from a Canon 5D MK3 and 400 f4 DO lens, I wasn't expecting great results. I was however very pleasantly surprised with the results and must say that the 75-300 lens is really very sharp. I find myself taking this kit everywhere now and only use my Canon gear for in-flight stuff.

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  13. LowTEC

    LowTEC Mu-43 Regular

    Thank you for your compliment, I was amazed first time using the 75-300, love the bokeh of it.
    To be honest, I mostly shoot at f/8 for either of these lenses where it is the peak of sharpness for both, f/7.1 if it get a little darker. I tested the 100-300 at f/5.6 many times including shooting newsprint on tripod, and which has a SIGNIFICANT impact of sharpness when viewed at 100% therefore the half-stop advantage is completely irrelevant to me.

    I never had the chance to test out the 75-300 with moving things but I wouldn't count on the 100-300 doing that efficiently. It is difficult to get a solid lock on on flying birds on EM5, and even if you do, the photo wouldn't be feather-seeing tack sharp @ 300mm of either lens, which is always needed for cropping a far distance flying birds and even 1000mm equiv. focal length is still too short. I am guessing it all comes down to sample variation rather than the the optical design, so you should based your purchase on OIS, size, price and not for the aperture or sharpness differences.

  14. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I love this image! I don't think I have ever seen a bird eating a crab!
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