Options to go from 12mm to 300mm

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by davidzvi, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    I've been going around and around on this. I'm looking at picking up a P100-300 (I'd love to get the P100-400 but at 4x the price....). Over the years I've owned several copies of the older Nikon 80-400, I like the 600mm angle of view for baseball, wildlife, etc. I owned one a while ago but the P100-300, like the Nikon, is big and heavy (relatively speaking). Yes I know neither is truly "BIG", but both are right at that point where you have to consider the size when you want to pack the camera bag.

    So I'm trying to figure the best way to cover the range and manage the size & weight.
    Options I'm considering given what I already have (P12-32 & P45-175).
    • Option 1:
      Just get the P100-300 to go with what you already have. Simplest option but I think the gap will bother me. I prefer overlapping my zooms at least a little so I'm not felling like I'm constantly swapping.

    • Option 2:
      Get the P100-300 and replace the 45-175 with the P35-100 (f/3.5-5.6 or f/2.8). I'm not sure if 100mm would make me feel like I always needed to have the 100-300 with me. But if I did get the f/2.8 I would probably sell off my Sigma 60.
    • Option 3:
      Keep the P12-32 for it's 12mm and size, add a P14-140 mkII, and add the P100-300. Sell the 45-175. I've owned and enjoyed the 14-140 mkI, but I'm also considering getting the new GX85 so the mkII makes more sense with the dual IS and lighter weight. The images from the 14-150 mkI weren't bad, is the mkII noticeably sharper or just sharper is a lab test?

    • Option 4:
      Keep the P12-32, 12mm and size again. Add a P12-60, keep the P45-175, and add the P100-300. Before getting into m4/3 I've almost always had something like the P12-60 (Nikon 18-70, 28-105, 24-120 on DX and or FX). So the P12-60 has a pull for me. I had the O12-50 but thin, long, and power zoom just made the handling off for me. And Olympus zoom rings turn the opposite direction from Panasonic and Nikon so it always trips me up a little. I get the feeling the P12-60 + P45-175 would be better optically than the P14-140, but time will tell.

    I also have the R7.5, O17 f/1.8, P42.5 f/1.7, and Sigma 60.

    And I missing anything?
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You can do it with just two lenses - P12-60 and O75-300II, just ignore the small 15mm gap between.
  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    It depends if you want one kit to rule them all or if you build different kits for different situations. The 100-300 is not a lens I'd bring around just in case.

    With option 2 (f/3.5-5.6 version) you get the option of a super small kit plus the 300mm.

    All the other four lenses are "big": one is fine, as soon as you pick up two you need a different bag.

    Compact Camera Meter

    I like the idea of the 12-60 but is nowhere as pocketable as the 12-32 but if you never go around with the camera in your pocket with one lens only it's not an issue. Personally I'd find the 32mm end quite short, 60 is much better (and you get semi macro too).
    Sometimes I do not care to bring around 5 lenses and a tripod, others I remove the external grip from the camera and get a pancake.
  4. NY Gadget Guy

    NY Gadget Guy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 17, 2016
    Don't forget the FZ1000:
    • 25mm-400mm equivalent
    • 20 megapixels should allow cropping back a bit to get closer to 600mm FoV vs the 16 megapixel E-M5 II
    • 1" sensor is 1 stop less sensitive, but makes up for it on the long end by being f/4.0, which is a stop faster than the 300mm f/5.6 zooms under consideration
    • DFD autofocus should be better for CAF than the E-M5 II
    • less cumbersome to carry than a bunch of lenses and having to switch them around
    • 4K photo mode might be helpful for capturing decisive moments
    • body is almost free compared to the zoom lens options
    The main downside is the OOC JPEGs aren't that good compared to Olympus. If you are ok shooting RAW and developing the JPEGs at home later, it should be fine.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  5. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Real Name:
    I recommend option 3. The P14-140 is barely larger than the P12-60 and you get a lot more longer end. I have not seen any samples with the P12-60 and it is possible that it has better optical quality.

    I am in the process of going to something like option 3 myself, only with Olympus lenses. I just ordered the O14-150II to combine with the O9-18 and the O75-300II for a 3-zoom kit which covers 9-300mm and hopefully will minimize lens changes.
  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    I considered this but discounted it. Reasons: Olympus zoom ring direction again. I'd surely end up bringing the O75-300 with me everywhere. I'm not seeing this as really different than option 1 with the gap between the P12-32 & P45-175 and I wouldn't feel like I have to take the super zoom everywhere.

    I'm not looking for the one kit to rule them all, I prefer options.

    Ideally I think I'd like to keep it so the P100-300 comes out when the outing calls for it (baseball, zoo, etc.) and on vacation also to take out when planned activity calls for it. And why I'll more than likely keep the P12-32 no matter what. It makes a nice small carry kit.

    I've considered getting a superzoom. Considered the FZ1000, FZ300, and the new Nikon DL 24-500. Just not sure I could deal with the power zoom. It's also another system, battery, etc. That said I have been considering this type of option for wider than 12mm (24mm angle of view) with the Nikon DL 18-50. But the DL would also be a pocket camera so...

    The P7-14 is an option down the road, but I might add the Nikon DL 18-50 to fill the wide and pocket friendly option.
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I've been finding it a struggle to get enough use out of my 100-300 to merit keeping it around. I was excited to use it for bird photography, but I don't have enough opportunities it seems. It's also only an "okay" lens in my opinion, optically. Very sharp at the short end, but it's hit and miss at the longer end. Part of that, of course, is that it's relatively light weight and OIS really encourages hand-held use, so its usability belies it's shot discipline requirements. Even at 1/800s or faster, though, I feel like there's no guarantee I'll be happy with the resolution.

    It's not big as far as super-telezooms go, but I'm always very conscious of it's presence my kit, and 90% of the time I'm going to prefer to use the 14-140.
  8. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    I find that my P12-35 and the Oly 75-300 II make a great pairing for my Gx8 or EP5. I have the Pany 35-100 f4-5.6, amazing performance for a small lens inexpensive lens - I've often thought of getting the 12-32 for a very, very small travel kit. The 75-300 II is a very small lens for what it does, and even though I have the PL 100-400 I am keeping the Oly. Since the Pany 100-300 does not do dual IS, would go for the smaller Oly.
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I think with the GX85 finally offering through-the-viewfinder stabilization, Olympus telephotos are finally a legitimate option for Panasonic users who are planning on upgrading over the next while. With my GX7, I would never buy a non-OIS supertele again. The inability to shoot handheld makes a big difference.
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sony RX10 III? It's a bit taller, but shorter than an E-M5 II with the 70-300 attached. Compact Camera Meter

    It would be kind of like having a weathersealed 12-300mm f3.2-5.4 superzoom for m4/3.

    Probably not at all what you were looking for, but that's what I thought of when you said 12-300mm.
  11. NY Gadget Guy

    NY Gadget Guy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 17, 2016
    • BLC-12 about the same size as BLN-1
    • I have a 3rd party spare I got for $12 that works fine with the battery gauge
    Power zoom:
    • can use toggle by shutter button for coarse zooming and the lens barrel ring for fine zooming
    • I actually like being able to operate the camera entirely with my right hand so I can use my left hand for off-camera flash (in combination with the leaf shutter)
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Maybe you got a bad copy of the P100-300? I'll probably use the less than 300mm most of the time. But I go to at least 5-6 baseball games a year, so that's one of the main reasons I'm looking for the longer zoom.

    I'd love the P100-400, can't justify it.

    Not at $1500, might as well look at the P100-400. ;)

    Not sure were you're going with the battery and flash information.

    I had my LX100 setup for zoom to specific values by ring and fine zoom by switch. Still bothered me.
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yeah, the RX10 III is expensive. But it could replace a couple more lenses, too, in theory, and it's weather sealed.
  14. Lettermanian

    Lettermanian Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 4, 2014
    Surrey BC, Canada
    How about this: sell the 12-32, get the 12-60mm and the 100-300. Buy a second small Oly (cheaper from the refurb store maybe?) or used Panny body and keep the 45-175mm on that body? :thumbsup:
  15. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    FWIW, my setup, mostly for travel photography, is the following: 9-18, 14-140 II, 100-300 + 2 bodies. Presently a GX7 and a GX8. I will be watching for 100-400 "used" (aka customer returns) from Amazon Warehouse Deals in anticipation of a Tanzania & Kenya trip in a couple of months but no way can I justify sticker price. With the good low light performance of the bodies plus the fact that I always travel with a monopod and often with a tripod, the lack of a bright lens isn't much of an issue. YMMV of course.
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    I'm probably going to end up hanging on to the P12-32. It's just so small and handy, especially if I pick up another smaller body.

    I think I'm really down to the options 3 & 4. I had a GM1 and GM5 with the P12-32 and P35-100 (f/4.0-5.6). But I recall the 100mm seeming a little short.