Panasonic 200mm f/2.8 on Olympus bodies

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Anyone have experience with this combo? I realize that dual-IS, aperture ring and lens-function buttons won’t work on Olympus bodies, but is there any other caveats? Does it focus as fast as an Olympus MSC lens like the 40-150 2.8 or 300mm f/4?

Basically I have a serious case of GAS and I’m looking for something to step up from the 70-300ii. Mainly targeting Zoo photos and probably Soccer when it gets warmer. Shooting with E-M5ii now, probably getting a E-M5iii or E-M1ii sometime in the next 6 months.
 
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The 40-150 + 1.4x is definitely under consideration - and my original plan before I started considering the 200mm or perhaps the 300mm f/4.

The zoom would be more flexible and probably better for soccer and other sports. However, many of my photos at the zoo with the 75-300 were taken in the 180-220mm range, with a few stretching out to the 250-300mm range. The 40-150mm combo would max out at 210mm f/4. So I’d also gain a stop with the Panasonic.

I also have the 45 and 75mm f/1.8 so I’ve got the low end of the 40-150mm covered (although again, not as flexible)

I’m also a little concerned with reports that Panasonic doesn’t have a repair shop, meaning a focus motor or electronic issue would make the lens an expensive paperweight.
 
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Well, i've been offered the 40-150mm and 1.4x combo locally for $950 (used in great condition) so I may go that direction. Still curious about the Panasonic 200mm. Strangely enough, Adorama shows it as being "discontinued" although B&H has it in stock.
 

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I've got a Panasonic Leica 50-200 on my E-M1II and it works just great, focus is super quick and I've not experienced any operational issues. It's a really compact package for what you get and I have absolutely no complaints. Definitely worthy of consideration.

I've posted a couple of examples, the Swan took me by surprise and I just had to swivel and shoot with whatever the camera was already set for. I'm certainly no birding expert.
 

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ac12

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WHAT and HOW are you shooting?
For ME and how I shoot, shooting soccer, on the field (not from the bleachers), calls for a zoom like the 12-100/4, 35-100/2.8 or 40-150/2.8, not a fixed FL lens.​
If I were in the bleachers, the 300/4 may work better, due to the longer reach. But what happens when they come close to your side of the field, might be too close for the 300.​
For zoo photos, with short to long distance and subject size from small to huge, I would go with a zoom.​
Second question is . . .
What is the lighting condition?
The lower the lighting the FASTER you want the lens to be.​
If I am shooting at night under lights, I would want the faster f/2.8 lens, rather than the slower f/4 lens. I would give up the reach of the 300/4, for the speed of the 40-150/2.8.​
During the day, there is plenty of light, so lens speed does not matter.​
 
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WHAT and HOW are you shooting?
EDITED TO CORRECT F-Stop Errors. Thank you Barry

Thanks for the thoughtful response. Everyone that recommended the zoom is right, and i've sorta known that all along. The 200mm f/2.8 only entered the discussion because they are currently available at a pretty good price, and it looks to be an amazing piece of glass that would probably step up my zoo/wildlife photos.

But the more practical choice is the 40-150 f/2.8, and I actually bought one yesterday with the MC-14.

The soccer i'm talking about is just Junior High/Middle School soccer -- there are no bleachers! But if my son continues to play it will be in the high school stadium in a couple of years, but even I'll shoot from the sidelines for as long as they will let me. I don't like shooting from the stands. The problem with middle school soccer is that they play after school in the fall, approaching dusk. And the sun sets earlier and earlier through the season. My photos are not fantastic, but the other parents are happy when I share them. The 200mm would NOT be a good choice for this, but the 40-150 2.8 (and a camera with better CAF) will be an improvement over the 75-300ii.

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I live a short walk to one of the largest Zoos in the USA. As a result, it's one of my favorite places to take photos. I'm not one to blame my equipment because I know that the shortcomings in my technique can be much greater than the shortcomings of my equipment (see soccer photos above :)). But, many exhibits at the Zoo I feel like i'm hitting the limitations of the 75-300ii due to the available light.

For example, here's a couple of shots taken in a large indoor exhibit. First one is (ƒ/6.3 1/25 215mm ISO3200) I like the image, but it suffers from motion blur, and a lack of critical sharpness (due to the lens, shutter speed, and the 3200 ISO). With the 40-150+MC14 i'd gain 2 (and 1/3) 1 1/3 stops from 6.3 to 4, and i'd be able to increase the shutter speed and/or reduce the ISO. The Panasonic would give me another stop to play with. And the Panasonic would be stupid sharp compared to the other two lenses.

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Next one is really pushing the 75-300 to the limit. (ƒ/7.1 1/25 300mm ISO3200) The Panasonic with the 1.4x would give me 3 1 2/3 stops to play with. The 40-150mm +_1.4x would also give me 3 1 2/3 stops, but it would top out at 210mm. Might still be a better shot cropped than this one with the 75-300mm.

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Last photos. First one was taken a week so so ago with the 75-300mm, and the second photo taken a year or two ago with the 75mm f/1.8, when I was very fortunate to having the curious grey wolf as close to me as possible. I'm thinking that the 200mm f/2.8 will give me similar sharpness/contrast and subject/background separation to the 75mm f/1.8 photo below, but in situations where the animals are further away and not as cooperative.

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I may still get the 200mm f/2.8, just because I can, but the 40-150mm f/2.8 is a step in the right direction.
 
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I have the PL50-200 and the PL200/2.8. Both seem to work great and focus fast on my EM1-Mii. I see no drawback to using these lenses on Oly bodies.

The PL 50-200 seems like a good alternative to the O40-150 w/1.4x. The PL50-200 is remarkably small for the quality and reach that it brings.

I find myself wanting these lenses for the long end so the PL200/2.8 made sense to me. It gets to 280/f4 with the teleconverter so it is 2 nice primes in one.
 

barry13

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...I feel like i'm hitting the limitations of the 75-300ii due to the available light.
...With the 40-150+MC14 i'd gain 2 (and 1/3) stops from 6.3 to 4...
...Next one is really pushing the 75-300 to the limit. (ƒ/7.1 1/25 300mm ISO3200) The Panasonic with the 1.4x would give me 3 stops to play with. The 40-150mm +_1.4x would also give me 3 stops, but it would top out at 210mm. Might still be a better shot cropped than this one with the 75-300mm.
Hi, nice pics. Your stops math is quite off though, afaict.
f/5.6 to f/4 is 1 stop. f/6.3 is about 1/3 stop more.
f/4 (200mm f/2.8 + 1.4 TC or 40-150P + 1.4TC) vs f/7.1 is about 1.5 stops.

So, you'd be able to more than double your shutter speeds with the same ISO, but not get 8x the shutter speed that 3 stops would provide for.
 
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Hi, nice pics. Your stops math is quite off though, afaict.
f/5.6 to f/4 is 1 stop. f/6.3 is about 1/3 stop more.
f/4 (200mm f/2.8 + 1.4 TC or 40-150P + 1.4TC) vs f/7.1 is about 1.5 stops.

So, you'd be able to more than double your shutter speeds with the same ISO, but not get 8x the shutter speed that 3 stops would provide for.

AH! You're right of course. I should know better than to think about f-stops before i've finished my coffee on Monday morning. I turned off my brain and was using f-stop chart and misread it.
 

ac12

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Ah more data :)

Yes, on the sidelines, a 200 (equiv to a 400 on a FF camera) is too tight, at least for how I shoot.
Many of the plays will be too close for the 200.
But I've occasionally seen photograhers with 300 and 400 lenses on FF cameras. They are probably shooting TIGHT shots of the kids (for the parents), rather than the play (which is what I shoot). Different styles of shooting.

Here is what you might look forward to in high school.
Night games under lights.
Varsity starts at 430, JV starts at 6. Soccer is the only HS game where Varsity starts before JV, and I have no idea why.
Here in Northern CA, the sun goes down in the middle of the Varsity game, so I start off with decent sunlight and end in dark under lights.

Except for a very few schools that do not have lighted fields, we do not have Saturday day games. :(

I tell my yearbook students, "if there is a day game, SHOOT IT !!!!"
Unfortunately most just don't understand why, and they would rather do their own thing on a Saturday morning than go shoot a soccer game.

My setup and exposure (under lights follows) is Nikon D7200 + 70-200/4, exposure is ISO 6400, 1/400 sec, f/4.
With the 40-150/2.8, in the same light, you can shoot at f/2.8 and drop the ISO to 3200.
Note that lighting in the different stadiums can/will differ.

Also depending on the lighting setup, the lighting can be uneven. The above is the exposure for the center of the field. At my HS stadium:
  • Close to the sidelines lighting goes down by almost a stop, most evident when I shoot action on the other side of the field.
  • Inside the 10 yard line, the light level goes down by a stop.
  • And in the corners, they are down two stops.
At my stadium, your head on shots above, can only be done when the sun is out, or outside the 15 yard line when under lights.
We do not have lighting from the end zone, so inside the 15, the players are backlit and the faces are in deep shadow.

Shooting across the field at night is difficult. Usually the background is DARK, and that will confuse the meter into overexposing the players.
  • So I either shoot in A mode with the AF point 1 or 2 above center, and use center weight metering. This forces the camera to meter the ground below the AF point, and not the DARK background. The farther the shot and the farther into the corners the shot is, the worse the exposure.
  • Or I shoot in M mode. But then I have to manually deal with the darker area inside the 10 and in the corners.
As for camera, you want a camera with PDAF.
I would personally go with the EM1-mk2, but only because that is what I shoot, for sports. And I know what it can do.
I do not know how the EM5-mk3 will do for sports, even though it has a similar PDAF AF system at the EM1-mk2. It may work fine.
The battery on the EM5-mk3 should easily last you a full game.
Where you may run into battery issues with the EM5 is, IF you use the power hungry 12-100/4. On my EM1-mk1 (similar size battery as the EM5-mk3) with the 12-100/4, my continuous battery run time drops from 4 hours to 2-1/2. That should still be enough to cover a full soccer game. But, I had to use a 2nd battery to finish the 2nd game.
 

barry13

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But I've occasionally seen photograhers with 300 and 400 lenses on FF cameras. They are probably shooting TIGHT shots of the kids (for the parents), rather than the play...
FWIW, MaxPreps are quite insistent they only want tight shots. Most of their sales are to parents, but some to media (they're owned by CBS Sports).
 

ac12

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FWIW, MaxPreps are quite insistent they only want tight shots. Most of their sales are to parents, but some to media (they're owned by CBS Sports).
I have trouble trying to track fast action sports when zoomed in tight.
I zoom out/wide to track the action then zoom in/narrow to shoot. So I am constantly working the zoom ring back and forth.

Out of curiosity, I might just try to shoot a game as tight as I can, and see just how much harder it will be to shoot.
 

barry13

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I have trouble trying to track fast action sports when zoomed in tight.
I zoom out/wide to track the action then zoom in/narrow to shoot. So I am constantly working the zoom ring back and forth.

Out of curiosity, I might just try to shoot a game as tight as I can, and see just how much harder it will be to shoot.
Yes. Most of the shots on MaxPreps end up being non-action shots because of their rules.
 

ac12

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Yes. Most of the shots on MaxPreps end up being non-action shots because of their rules.
I took a look at some of the pics on MaxPreps, and you are right, they are pretty tight. MUCH tighter than I normally shoot.
Very few of plays, mostly are of individuals, which makes sense if you are selling to the parents. Parents don't care about the play, they want THEIR KID.
Some are so tight that they had to have been cropped, or they are using a LONG lens, to get in that tight.

OK, so now I have a target to go after.
Most are just not goina be the fast play shots I shoot, just because of the difficulty of moving a tight lens quickly.
But it will be an interesting challenge.
 
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