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P100-300 or O75-300 on Olympus OMD EM-10

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by bremner, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. bremner

    bremner Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 27, 2016
    Apologies in advance, this somewhat overlaps with my previous this-or-that, where I tried to cram too many decisions into one post. On the other hand, this seems like a pretty general question, since these are the only long zooms native to m4/3.

    I'm looking for a wildlife lens. I have a budget of approx USD500 (I'm in Canada, fwiw). TBH I don't really know what kind of wildlife I'm looking at. For static stuff at medium distance I have a 200mm legacy MF, but that doesn't seem too practical for moving animals and or moving vehicles.
    I already have a 60mm sigma 2.8, so the extra focal range of
    of the Olympus lens is maybe not as compelling as it would otherwise be (although of course changing lenses is an issue).

    From the completely unscientific method of looking at people's posted samples I was pretty convinced that the P100-300 gets nicer results at the long end. On the other hand it's heavier, seems to be a bit more expensive, and some techical reviews (e.g. DXOMark) claim the Olympus is actually sharper.
    The EM10 IBIS is ok, so I probably don't get much benefit from the OIS in the Panasonic lens.
     
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  2. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    I looked at this decision last year as I moved to m43 and chose the O75-300II for a trip to Teton/Yellowstone. I did not see enough of a difference between the quality of the 2 lenses and so decided to save a little bit of money and a little carrying weight. I have mostly been happy with my choice, though here are a couple of negatives:
    • For wildlife, low light performance is important and there have been times when I would have like the extra stop of the Panny.
    • The Olympus loses some sharpness at the long end and is decidedly soft beyond 275, so you need to be careful not to zoom all the way.
    • The Oly hood is a monster and is not included with the lens while the Panny comes with a hood and a case.
    Hope this helps in your decision.

    Here is a couple of samples from the Yellowstone trip (Shot JPEG+RAW, these are SOOC jpgs taken at 300, the first one is at dusk). I had owned the camera and lens for a grand total of 3 days when I took the first one, so please account for user inexperience while evaluating them :).

    Teton - Meadow at dusk.
    Yellowstone Young Grizzly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  3. fredrikn

    fredrikn New to Mu-43

    4
    Aug 9, 2015
    I got both the Olympus 75-300 and the Panasonic 100-300 and I prefer the Olympus lens.
    I find Olympus lens to be slightly sharper. The Olympus lens is also smaller and the zoom feels good. On the Panasonic lens the zoom is not smooth at all.
    The only advantage of the Panasonic lens is the OIS. I use the Panasonic lens on my Panasonic camera for video and the Olympus lens on my Olympus camera for stills.
     
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  4. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Either Oly or Pana lens will be good.

    The bigger question is this, do you have a grip for the EM10? With a lens of that size, you'll want one.
    I'd buy whichever you can get cheaper - it really is that close.
     
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  5. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    +1 for the grip. Really improves the handling of the camera for the long zoom, but I find that I never take it off even for the small primes.
     
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  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I have a grip for the EM5 Mk II and only use it when the lenses I require are bigger than the primes. I like the smallish body.
     
  7. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    I am sure that that it comes down to personal preference. I have the Olympus ECG-1 grip which adds about a centimeter to the height of the camera and a little heft. I find that it helps me hold the camera in a position which is more comfortable for my hand and fingers. If I had not bought the grip, I am sure that I would have been just fine without it for the smaller lenses. But now that I have it, I rather like having it on at all times.
     
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  8. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    If you decide on the Oly I am about to list mine. Only used it about 2 months. Will sell it for around $350 with hood.
     
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  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Before finding a great offer for the 75-300 I've read all the comparisons (reviews and forum) I could find. Given the big disagreement around I came to the conclusion that there is not a big IQ difference (yes, DxO disagree).
    Checking the transmission charts on DxO seems that the 1/2 stop speed advantage of the Pana is just 1/4 stop up to 200mm and only after 250mm it gets closer to the actual value. The O75-300 is close to the declared values on the whole range.

    I did a lot of simple tests with the O75-300 comparing focal lengths, upscaling, apertures, IBIS, etc. and the biggest problem I got, on the E-M10, is to get perfectly steady shots. As soon as you move below 1/500s the percentage of perfect shots drops, and that micro blur cancel any other sharpness considerations. I'm talking about 100% crops, side by side pixel peeping, but this is where you'll find some difference between these lenses anyway.

    So the big difference for me may be stabilization. These lenses are not fast and is worth to shot at f/8, with low ISO, making the light problem even worse. I think that the IBIS struggles with this focal lengths. Go on a hike and a slight heavy breathing, shooting standing up, will show clearly in the EVF with IBIS engaged. Find a tree to lean against and half of the movement is gone. Point the lens up to a bird on a tree with your back arched back and the steady shots count drops (maybe in these situations the 5-axis may help more).

    So maybe the Pana OIS may work better here giving an advantage even if optically could be a little behind. Go to high ISO and any optical difference may get leveled by the denoise software. But I have no first hand experience with the P100-300. This video seems to point to the same problem with the Pana zoom:



    The few reviews that tested the stabilization gave it around a couple of stops so it doesn't seem exceptional either. And of course you are not going to shoot a moving animal at 1/10s anyway.

    The Pana is the only one that allows a custom made tripod collar, if you plan to use a support.

    I think these are great lenses to get started, to learn about this kind of photography and for having fun. And the 75-100 range is really good, general purpose and easier to use. What I discovered is that a 300mm, or even a 400mm, are often really short for most wildlife and to learn to get just a little closer will give you much more sharpness than everything else.
    The new Pana 100-400 could be an excellent upgrade in a couple of years. Unless you plan to upgrade to the E-M1 and Four-Thirds lenses there are not many alternatives around.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
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  10. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    217
    Jul 28, 2013
    India
    IMHO every bit of light gathering ability is a must have when shooting wildlife with slow consumer zooms. So that itself makes the Panasonic more desirable atleast to me. The P100-300 is extremely sharp from 100-280mm and is a bit weak at 300mm. The lens loves good light and can give you very sharp images at high shutter speeds , which is why every bit of light gathering ability is needed. No experience with the the Olympus. I have now used this lens on both Olympus and Panasonic bodies and I thought OIS and IBIS is a dead heat with no big advantage to either.

    The following 2 shots are with Olympus bodies

    25223648182_609ba9b710_b.

    25248944331_a06460abee_b.

    and the following 2 are with Panasonic bodies

    [​IMG]
    17011535261_0f6efc29b8_b.
    17012827755_dc3abceb7a_b.
     
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  11. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Optically they seem similar but do be aware that the 100-300 is slower at continuous shooting due to its focus/aperture mechanism. It also doesn't have the DFD focusing ability supported by the newer Panasonic bodies FWIW (probably for similar reasons).
     
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  12. bremner

    bremner Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 27, 2016
    Yes, that's an interesting factor. It sounds like the company [1] investigated making a collar for the 75-300, but they couldn't make it work (according to what I read on an old dpreview thread).

    [1] http://www.roesch-feinmechanik.de/29701.html
     
  13. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    It is not the IBIS that struggles at this focal length, it's the light weight. I find it easier to get sharp photos using my Canon 400mm f/4.5 vs the Olympus 75-300. When it comes to light weight, you can get to light and a OMD and this lens reaches that to light area. My ZD 150 f/2.0 with EC-20 is right at that max weight for handholding (for me, may be to heavy for most) and I find it a lot easier to get sharp photos over the 75-300.

    The reason is even small breaths cause your chest and upper body to move to some degree. With a super light setup it's harder to keep the camera from moving with each breath you take.
     
  14. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    @Phocal@Phocal I agree that weight matters. But I also feel that the E-M10 IBIS works better with shorter lenses. With the O60 I can get good shots quite reliably down to 1/8s. This means four full stops from the rule of thumb. At 300mm I can get at most two, maybe.
    The breath movement is clearly visible in the EVF and I do my best to shoot in between breaths even if often I just end up holding it tensing up.

    Then there are a few errors on my part: one thing I do wrong is to crouch, a really unstable position. The problem is that often I'm not wearing pants that I'm willing to knee in the mud with or I do not have a cover to sit on. I think this may be quite a common situation for casual shooting and I'd like a significant help from the IBIS just in these situations.


    @bremner@bremner FWIW this is my attempt at a custom made tripod support:

    https://goo.gl/photos/u4FmqhpbNYnyzZpY8

    It's a simple double flash rail. The idea was to replace the white polystyrene block with a screwed in custom made plastic support. I gave up because it was even more clumsy then it looks and I do not like to use the tripod very much.
     
  15. Safetytrousers

    Safetytrousers Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Apr 3, 2015
    UK
    I have just got a EM10 MKII and I've had the Panasonic 100-300 for some time. I've done some comparison of the lens OIS and the 5 axis, at 300mm, and my brief tests tell me there is virtually nothing between them, the marginally sharpest shot I got on the same subject was in fact from using OIS.
    Admittedly I haven't tested in every possible situation.
     
  16. bremner

    bremner Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Feb 27, 2016
    I found a used 100-300 at a Canadian dealer for CAD450, tax and shipping in. With the terrible exchange rate with USD these days, that actually is reasonable competitive, and they have a 90 day warranty. So now I just have to hope for a few days warm enough for testing ;).
     
  17. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    Sameer
    Congratulations. That does sound like a good price given that used ones are selling for over 350USD on ebay. Hope you get to shoot your new lens soon: my sources in Alberta tell me that spring is there a month early.
     
  18. afg08

    afg08 Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Nov 26, 2015
    I decided on the Panasonic and found a decent deal on a used one too. It should be here in a few days. We're leaving for a Florida vacation Saturday morning and I am planning on taking it along. I'm a little concerned that I can hold it steady on the long end but the vacation will give me ample time to experiment. My eventual goal is to get good enough with this lens to take it on an Africa safari.