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Panasonic 45-200 vs. 100-300

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rainyseason, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. rainyseason

    rainyseason Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Jan 8, 2011
    Costa Rica
    I am wondering if the 100-300mm is worth the extra $$$ vs the 45-200mm. I live in Costa Rica and just getting into this M43. I've ordered a 20mm and a 14-45 lens for my GF1. I'm wanting to get into shooting nature shots- birds, monkeys, sloths, etc. Sometimes it's kind of dark in the jungle- shady most of the time. So do you guys think it would be worth the extra money to buy the 100-300? Is the 100-300 too heavy to on the GF1 half days in the jungle? Can both be hand held for shooting or do I have to lug a tri-pod too? Thanks in advance for the great insights.
     
  2. Orientator

    Orientator Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Dec 7, 2010
    Hi!
    For shooting wild animals I'd definitely go for the 100-300. You will need the extra range for sure. The hand held posibilities are directly related to the brightness (given a specific camera setting and lens). I assume that you will need a tripod in many cases. But with the 100-300 you can change a bit of focal length into brightness when you zoom to e.g. 200mm.
    The focal length gap between your 14-45mm's top end and the 100-300mm's low end shouldn't bother too much. From my point of view the area 45-100 mm isn't the most important one.

    Regards
    Stefan
     
  3. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    I agree with Stefan. 100-300 for sure...

    If it's dark and shady in the jungle and you want super clear, crisp photos, then I think you will want either a tripod or at least a monopod. When I carry a small field kit, I can easily pack my m4/3 kit and a small, sturdy tripod into a backpack w/ my other hiking stuff and carry it all day.
     
  4. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I have been using my 45-200 a lot - but I have supplemented it with 300/4.5 Nikon and 400/5.6 Tokina adapted lenses at a lower cost than the 100-300.

    Positive
    1. Cheaper for these three lenses versus the 100-300
    2. Longer reach with 400/5.6
    3. 300mm faster wide open at f4.5

    Negative
    1. Bigger over all
    2. No OIS in the adapted lenses - this negates the advantage of the 300/4.5 wide open.
     
  5. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    Well, I hope the 100-300mm is good for Costa Rican forest photos, since we're going to Costa Rica in April. :)

    For the times that it's really dim, I'm working on a flash focuser (fresnel magnifier sheet + attachment arms) to go on a shoe-mount flash.
     
  6. rainyseason

    rainyseason Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Jan 8, 2011
    Costa Rica
    Thanks all

    I'm heading for the U.S. for work until July so have lots of time to figure out my camera and try to figure out the best lens for what I need. Starting the research now.

    Let me know how that lens works in the jungles down here.
    Mark
     
  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Do you have problems focusing these long lenses? I have a 300mm mirror I really like, but focusing is tricky, even with an E-PL1 + VF2 EVF.
     
  8. scott

    scott Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Nov 15, 2010
    Same here -- I thought I could do entirely without AF, but while I can *sometimes*, there are still times I'm glad to have it.

    Also, the ED-IF Nikkor 300mm I had before was good for birds, but too long for lizards, amphibians, etc., and I need to travel light--so the 100-300mm was a better solution. And I don't think I lost anything in image quality.
     
  9. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I don't know if the Olympus bodies have this feature but I sometimes use the "zoom in" feature on the Panasonic G1 and GF1 to pick a focus spot. Also I find the G1 viewfinder pretty good in many cases. The GF1 add-on viewfinder was not so good.

    Of course if the subject is moving a lot it is more difficult and that is where the auto focus would be invaluable..

    Also I pretty much have to use a tripod (or at least a monopod) with the 300 and 400 where the 100-300 with IS could be handheld or used with a monopod where the others require a tripod. For the Oly owners the build-in camera IS is a blessing I don't have with my bodies which is why I will likely get the 100-300 some day (unless Panasonic adds it in the future).
     
  10. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    The 100-300 will through the balance off on the GF-1 for sure. I mounted it on an epl-1 and it away very awkward to handle. The extra reach of 600mm is always better then 400mm with birds. But form reports the long end is a tad soft. I would suggest mounting it on your gf1 at a store to see if the handling works for you. And with the long zoom, if you do not have the evf, invest in one. At 600mm it gets a bit dicey to handle on a lcd.
     
  11. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    My copy of the 45-200 was noticably soft at the long end. I don't find the 100-300 nearly as annoying. :smile:
     
  12. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    I have a good copy of the 45-200. Been happy with the results with it. From a friend, the 45-200 actually works better on the oly then his panny. As strange as it may sound.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Peter
    I have the Panasonic 45-200 and I find the autofocus misses focus too much for my liking on the Olympus E-P1. I cannot comment about the longer lens as I have no interest in it.
     
  14. 43hk

    43hk Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Dec 26, 2010
    HK
    I have the 100-300. Good for the money. IS is effective once you've learned how to get the best from it. Past 275mm it resolves no more detail, but hey, that's quite a reach. It's sharp at f5.6 to11 and focuses quickly. Mine back-focusses slightly at 300mm though.

    Was looking at legacy telephotos but the IS, AF, good contrast and price swung it.

    Oh yes if you use it with the GF1 get the EVF.

    Examples here...
    https://www.mu-43.com/gallery/data/1136/1158181593_PMxzC-XL.jpg

    and here

    http://100porcupines.smugmug.com/Hong-Kong/Hong-Kong-Nature/P1070291-2010-12-05-at-11-16/1121942899_n9roB-XL.jpg
     
  15. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    Thanks - your reply plus a bit of reading has convinced me to try the 45-200 again. I had the early version with my G1 well over a year ago, and there were apparently some firmware fixes that came after I sold mine.

    With the 100-300 in my bag and a whole kit of Canon gear for wildlife shooting, I really only need it to cover easy shooting at 45-100. I really thought about a legacy lens in the 75mm range (hello Leica!), but it is nice having AF and the lighter weight of the Pana lenses. :smile:
     
  16. chilliman

    chilliman New to Mu-43

    6
    Jan 24, 2011
    I don't mean to hijack the thread but thought below is a valid question that the OP might find useful for his/her decision, I know it would help me.

    Been reading this thread with interest, I see some folk mention when the 100-300 is at the 300 end it can be a tad soft. Do any of you 100-300 users find that a little USM on PP'ing solves that problem without affecting the photo too much.
     
  17. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    That large af box of the ep1 is most likely the reason for all your miss focus. Not much you can do about it with with the ep1.

     
  18. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    I think it's a bit soft... It especially shows on fur and feather detail as the lighting falls and conditions become more challenging.

    If you have glass that is razor sharp at that focal length (like my 500L, zowie), you will know the 100-300 is not razor sharp at 300mm. However, I find the lens is acceptable most of the time and many people would look at the photos and still think they look great because of attention to lighting, exposure, and all the other things that make a photo... So I think the answer depends on how much of a pixel peeper you are (I always peep) and it depends on what you are comparing against. I am tending to use the 300 for wildlife for capturing scenes and interaction more than individual portraits, so seeing every hair becomes unimportant...

    I don't know if that helps any, but it's my answer and I'm sticking to it. :smile:
     
  19. I have both lenses

    I guess I'd like to weigh in on this thread, since I use both lenses.

    By the time I bought the 45-200mm, I already had a half-dozen legacy lenses in that range, but I wanted something that was convenient to carry in my camera bag and to use either while walking longer distances and/or while accompanied with other people (who might not want to wait while I set up a manual focus lens). I bought it just before a trip to Los Angeles & Las Vegas, and it served its purpose. I was never particularly impressed with the images, though, and never put it on the camera when I was at home.

    By last month, I already had a fairly large number of telephoto lenses, among them my favorite night / tripod lenses (Nikon 105, 135, and 180mm) and my favorite day telephoto lenses (a Contax 135mm Sonnar and a 200mm Tele-tessar). Nonetheless, I really liked the convenience of the 45-200mm, so before leaving for a trip to Rio de Janeiro, I bought the 100-300mm.

    It arrived as I was packing, and in the end I balked. (Rio is just now emerging from a high-crime cycle that has lasted a few decades). In the end I took the 45-200mm instead.

    I got back this weekend, and immediately took out the 100-300mm to try it out. I'd agree with the folks above that it's not particularly sharp at 300mm (certainly not compared with the shorter legacy tele lenses I mention above). On the other hand, my only 300mm is a Zuiko OM, and it's such a hassle to use that I never take it out.

    Here is a photo I took the morning after I got back, as the moon sets behind a hill in San Francisco:

    [​IMG]

    And here are a couple I took that night, the first one at 300mm, the second at around 180mm:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll post some of the pix I took with the 45-200mm in Rio later, but for now I'm regretting leaving the 100-300mm behind. It's clearly a far superior lens, not only deeper and brighter, but also in the way that it renders the images. It's still not up there with the Contax lenses (especially the German-built 135mm), but it's much more convenient.

    So here's my take: if weight (and size) is your primary consideration, go with the 45-200mm. If you're willing to carry the extra weight, the 100-300mm is the way to go.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. pana-animalartist

    pana-animalartist Mu-43 Regular

    75
    Jan 17, 2011
    Northeast USA
    Hi

    Thanks for your photos and input. I have been seriously considering the 100-300, but the jury is still out. I know I'm not going to get what I can usually get with Canon 50D+300L IS f/4. But I can't afford or carry anything longer or heavier. (Except maybe the Canon 400f/4 non-is...a mere $1200 +?_). Anyway, two questions for you:

    In the moon shot, where did you focus? Looks like on the far building? Should you expect the moon to be soft, in that case?

    And, how much heavier is the 100-300, than the 45-200 (which I have)?
    My experience with the 45-200, by the way, is that it is fairly good for birds , but pretty slow. I'm surprised how long it takes to process a raw image.

    Shooting raw, however, gives more flexibility in post-processing, I think.

    Interesting thread- I hope more people weight in.

    Thanks!

    Cynthia