PL50-200 plus 1.4TC versus P100-300ii

Brownie

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I saw conflicting thoughts on that. The previous version of the lens webpage did not mention the TCs. The TC webpages did not list the 50-200 as being a compatible lens, only the 200 f2.8. Private users said that they used the TC with their 50-200. As I was not looking to buy, I didn't pursue investigating it any further. Interesting that while the 50-200 lens webpage say it's compatible with the 1.4x and 2.0x TCs, only the DMW-TC20 is listed on their lens catalog, implying that the 1.4x is not available separately. The TC14 is available in Japan because my friend saw it in a Japanese camera shop being sold separately. The TC20 webpage says its compatible with the 200 f2.8. Wish they'd stop waffling around.
https://shop.panasonic.com/cameras-and-camcorders/lumix-camera-lenses/DMW-TC20.html
BINGO! I couldn't recall all of the details of that thread, but the info you just posted was the basis of it. I think other then empirical evidence from users we may never know Panny's intent.
 

Macroramphosis

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Some fascinating replies so far - thank you everyone. One point I find interesting is @archaeopteryx 's comments about the 50-200, compared with @Brownie 's. If images from the lens are better cropped than those from the 100-300 at full size, then it could make for a comparatively sensible purchase if the image quality is that much better than my P45-175. A TC can come along later if needs be.

But then the 100-400 might be the other option as well. I have a monopod and steady hands, and I'm happy to learn the techniques required for it. If it can be used handheld as some seem to say then it might be worth a go as well! Sigh, so many decisions...so little time.

More thinking required, thanks for the help so far.
 
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But then the 100-400 might be the other option as well. I have a monopod and steady hands, and I'm happy to learn the techniques required for it. If it can be used handheld as some seem to say then it might be worth a go as well! Sigh, so many decisions...so little time.

More thinking required, thanks for the help so far.
This is really off topic but thought it may be of interest for anyone looking at long teleies. Main,y people like myself with no really special skills using long lenses

I would really consider the Panasonic lenses with dual IS

I have tried the Panasonic 100-400 on the G9 and it handled far better than the EM1 Mk3 and Oly 100-400 for the way i use a camera (individual skils obviously come into play)
I found the Panasonic combo as easy to use as my G85 & pany 100-300 combo. That is I did not have to concentrate to get sharp shots. In comparison I struggle with the Oly combo.

What am trying to say, to sumarise in hind sight I think I would buy a Panasonic lens even though they do not repair them because i now know with my skills i will come with more keepers and enjoy using it more

I admit if i had better skills i would do better with the Oly combo, but i dont unfortunately
 

RichardC

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Super telephoto photography has a lot in common with macro photography. It's hard!

Regardless whether you buy the Panasonic or Olympus version, prepare to be very disappointed with handheld results from a £1000+ 800mm equiv lens. Then practice, practice, practice and practice your craft some more.

Look at work by @Hayath @Phocal @Bristolero @SteveAdler @atomicmak et al. All using the same gear as dozens of other photographers on here, but in many respects, output is consistently a class above. I suspect it's because they practice (a lot).
 

Macroramphosis

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Regardless whether you buy the Panasonic or Olympus version, prepare to be very disappointed with handheld results from a £1000+ 800mm equiv lens. Then practice, practice, practice and practice your craft some more.
Oh yes, I know how the course of the story will run, Richard! :D
 

Brownie

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Some fascinating replies so far - thank you everyone. One point I find interesting is @archaeopteryx 's comments about the 50-200, compared with @Brownie 's. If images from the lens are better cropped than those from the 100-300 at full size, then it could make for a comparatively sensible purchase if the image quality is that much better than my P45-175. A TC can come along later if needs be.

But then the 100-400 might be the other option as well. I have a monopod and steady hands, and I'm happy to learn the techniques required for it. If it can be used handheld as some seem to say then it might be worth a go as well! Sigh, so many decisions...so little time.

More thinking required, thanks for the help so far.
If you're happy with the IQ from the 45-175 then maybe the 100-400 is the better choice. Yes, it'll take some getting used to and you'll likely have a higher ratio of stinkers when extended, but there shouldn't be much of a problem using shorter FLs. If you do some shopping you can probably find a 100-400 for a lot less than a 50-200, I see it for anywhere from $200-400 U.S. less (both used) than the 50-200 on a fairly regular basis.

I think the 50-200 is the better lens of the two. I've mentioned before that it's my "cold dead hands" lens, and I don't like the 100-400 as much. But, I need to qualify that with the fact COVID arrived shortly after the 100-400 was purchased and there hasn't been much of a chance or need to use it. I assume it's more me than the lens and hope for more opportunity to practice with it this year.
 

archaeopteryx

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I think I would buy a Panasonic lens even though they do not repair them
Just wanted to mention there's kind of an implicit assumption here, namely that OM-D will continue Olympus' repair practices in a fairly similar form. Owning only one Olympus lens I haven't followed this as closely as some but I haven't come across any such assertion and, even if JIP has made one, for most parts of the world it seems inconsistent with the shift to focusing on Japan. Given other manufacturers' pullbacks on servicing I'd be kind of surprised there isn't also a change for Olympus/OM-D kit in the coming years.

While it's not like OM-D can push more cost to the customer than Panasonic's buy a replacement policy does my sense from being on mu-43 for several years is Olympus has a higher failure rate. So, in a statistical sense, if OM-D chooses a disposition in between what Olympus left to them and where Panasonic is that could still end up being worse than Panasonic due to increased odds of needing repair. One possibility might be a move to a send to Japan for repair model. Zeiss does this, for example, though it's send to Germany.

One reason contributing to my negligible interest in the Panasonic-Lecia 50-200 and 100-400 (and to a lesser extent the 12-60) is their cost of replacement. While I could save up for them, it'd be a major financial effort. The idea of having to go through that a second time if something went wrong is pretty demoralizing and I'm not keen on being lens poor to start with. In comparison the 12-60 f/3.5-5.6 and 45-200 are no trouble and the 100-300 II is not prohibitively painful. (The 75-300 II is a fair sight cheaper but DFD via the 100-300 II is lower total cost of ownership than an Olympus PDAF body.)

If images from the lens are better cropped than those from the 100-300 at full size, then it could make for a comparatively sensible purchase if the image quality is that much better than my P45-175.
Depends on how you define better. Barring bad luck with the 50-200 copy or exceptional luck with the 100-300 the centre of 50-200 images will pixel peep better and have lower vignetting. However, it will contain less information than a corresponding image from a 100-300.

For example, the 1.5x crop factor to reduce a 200 mm field of view to 300 mm reduces a 16 MP image to 7 MP. If those are downsized to 1-2 MP for online publication there's little to differentiate them. At a 150 dpi standard for large prints the cropped image supports a 65 cm print (56 x 39 cm, 68 cm diagonal, actually) and the uncropped a 1 m print (84 x 58, 102 cm diagonal). Given the low frequency with which most of us print to these sizes and the limited amount of time then spent critically examining the prints, I would suggest the main functional difference between the two approaches is the need to shift thinking when composing and then spend time cropping in post versus maybe spending time doing vignette correction in post.

A corollary of this is the practical advantage of carrying the more expensive, heavier, and larger lens is questionable. Perhaps the largest differentiation is the 50-200 is a stop faster but, at the long ends, downsizing 16 MP from the 100-300 to 7 MP gives 0.6 stop noise reduction, very likely higher MTF (in a mathematical lp/ph sense), and lower chromatic aberration. With respect to noise, the 0.4 stop disadvantage reduces to 0.3 stop at 200 mm (where the 100-300 is f/4.9, 0.3 stop slower, and crop adjustments no longer apply), so it's fairly stable over the focal length range of interest. Few of us are sensitive enough to what is, in effect, a one third stop increase in ISO that the additional cost of the 50-200 is especially well posed on this basis.
 

Hypilein

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Depends on how you define better. Barring bad luck with the 50-200 copy or exceptional luck with the 100-300 the centre of 50-200 images will pixel peep better and have lower vignetting. However, it will contain less information than a corresponding image from a 100-300.

For example, the 1.5x crop factor to reduce a 200 mm field of view to 300 mm reduces a 16 MP image to 7 MP. If those are downsized to 1-2 MP for online publication there's little to differentiate them. At a 150 dpi standard for large prints the cropped image supports a 65 cm print (56 x 39 cm, 68 cm diagonal, actually) and the uncropped a 1 m print (84 x 58, 102 cm diagonal). Given the low frequency with which most of us print to these sizes and the limited amount of time then spent critically examining the prints, I would suggest the main functional difference between the two approaches is the need to shift thinking when composing and then spend time cropping in post versus maybe spending time doing vignette correction in post.

A corollary of this is the practical advantage of carrying the more expensive, heavier, and larger lens is questionable. Perhaps the largest differentiation is the 50-200 is a stop faster but, at the long ends, downsizing 16 MP from the 100-300 to 7 MP gives 0.6 stop noise reduction, very likely higher MTF (in a mathematical lp/ph sense), and lower chromatic aberration. With respect to noise, the 0.4 stop disadvantage reduces to 0.3 stop at 200 mm (where the 100-300 is f/4.9, 0.3 stop slower, and crop adjustments no longer apply), so it's fairly stable over the focal length range of interest. Few of us are sensitive enough to what is, in effect, a one third stop increase in ISO that the additional cost of the 50-200 is especially well posed on this basis.
I‘ve never looked at this issue like this but the math checks out and makes me even happier owning the 100-300. I’m not sure though if the original question of 100-300mkii vs 50-200+1.4TC has really been answered.

Also do you have any numbers that cure my GAS for the 200mm f2.8+TC?
 

archaeopteryx

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I’m not sure though if the original question of 100-300mkii vs 50-200+1.4TC has really been answered.
As with any other "what lens should I buy?" thread, that's up to @Macroramphosis as it depends on their priorities. It's what an economist would call willingess to pay. More specifically, given possession of a body and the 45-175, it's marginal willingness to pay for the marginal benefit of a lens upgrade. I think some of what you're getting at is it's common perceived benefits in discussions like this are often larger than what maths suggest, often due to a combination of incomplete consideration of factors and lack of quantification. Sometimes broader analysis is helpful and goes over fairly well, sometimes OPs get cranky because what they really wanted from a thread was a way to rationalize an expensive purchase.

I think I've stated my answer to this particular question, based on my priorities, a couple times now, though. ;)

Also do you have any numbers that cure my GAS for the 200mm f2.8+TC?
GAS, I think, is something you have to deal with for yourself by doing your own consideration. Sometimes the answer which comes out of that is the purchase is well posed, in which case I'm not sure a cure is desirable. More often, though, GAS is an exercise in "What if I bought a new toy?" and the folks most susceptible to it are usually ones who make little investment in business or engineering type cost-benefit analysis. Sometimes, however, you end up in a position of needing to expend money, time, and effort to answer the questions you have. I think that's OK.

For me I never had interest in the 200 as I knew it was going to cost more than I can afford, weigh more than I wanted to carry, and (from past experience with 300 and 400 mm primes and TCs) be a poor solution to my long lens use patterns compared to a zoom. Panasonic's high pricing on TCs was kind of predictable and, as I'd basically always use the 200 with a 1.4x or 2x, it turns into a more expensive, heavier, and less flexible version of the Panasonic-Leica 100-400. Whilst some folks don't mind, the one third stop advantage in maximum aperture isn't worth the hassling with TCs for me.

Since I purchased the 100-300 II before Panasonic's lack of repair was well known I did some careful thinking about the 100-400. Ultimately what settled it for me was weight. Not because the 440 g difference is a big deal on its own but because I'm usually carrying quite a bit of other stuff and everything adds up.

In particular, for these kind of long lens wildlife sorts of discussions, I believe it's worth thinking carefully as to one's purpose. Are you in it for the images or because you enjoy wildlife? While nearly everyone falls somewhere on a continuum with a blending these two, it seems to me photography forum discussions are seldom acknowledge this or recognize a majority of wildlife viewing does not involve collecting images. (Photography forums also rarely acknowledge noninvasive approaches to wildlife imaging even though remote cameras are an order of magnitude less expensive than ILC long glass.)

Personally, instead of hauling a lens near 200 2.8 – 300 4 – 400 5.6 continuum, whether prime or zoom, I prefer to carry a one stop slower lens (70-300 f/4-5.6 type) and, if I have the weight and space available, 8x32 binoculars. This accepts cropping from 300 to get 400 (which is milder than cropping 200 to get 300 and thus even less of an issue) in exchange for binocular viewing of critters beyond photographic range. I've found this particular arrangement of tradeoffs very satisfying and use the binoculars more than the 100-300.
 

Hypilein

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TBH, I was asking more tongue in cheek. I appreciate the answer though. I'm not really planning on owning the 200 f2.8 mostly for the financial side of your reasons. However I'm entertaining the thought of buying one for a trip and then selling it afterwards. My wife and I are planning a photographic trip to the musk ox in Norway and we only have one 100-300 lens. Buying and then selling would also satisfy my curiosity of the 200 f2.8 and how I would generally get along with tele primes. I would have to find a reasonably cheap used copy in advance though as I don't want to lose too much money on buying/selling.
 
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I‘ve never looked at this issue like this but the math checks out and makes me even happier owning the 100-300. I’m not sure though if the original question of 100-300mkii vs 50-200+1.4TC has really been answered.

Also do you have any numbers that cure my GAS for the 200mm f2.8+TC?

There is no cure for that..
 

MadMarco

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I've not tried the Pana 100-300, but I have had the 50-200 for over a year and it never disappoints. Recently I bought the 1.4x teleconverter second hand and have found the performance of TC and lens to be excellent. Certainly no buyers remorse from me.

P2131875_DxO.jpg
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jhawk1000

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When I read these in-depth critiques of photo equipment, I am not convinced about all the technical jargon. While it is important to me that I not buy a "clinker" of an expensive lens or camera, I am not that interested in all the what-ifs of repair or replacement. If I worried about it, I probably would be walking, having no computer, no TV, absolutely no camera, or any other item that might possibly break.
As to equipment failure, I have some doubt as to the statement that Olympus is more prone to failure in their cameras. I suspect there is anecdotal evidence if one listens with a biased ear to tales of bad service. I own 6 Olympus cameras with absolutely no problems. I also own a Panasonic with no problems for the past 8 years. While I do pay attention to proven problems, I buy what feels good to me and what trips my trigger, so to speak.
What would I do in regards to a P50-200 vs. 100-300 ii? Probably buy neither and buy the 100-400 Panny. Since I own more Olympus, I would buy the 100-400 Olympus if the lens ever becomes available and would practice the good technique with it, use a monopod at least and be thankful that I was able to get my hands on it and pay for it.
 

Brownie

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When I read these in-depth critiques of photo equipment, I am not convinced about all the technical jargon. While it is important to me that I not buy a "clinker" of an expensive lens or camera, I am not that interested in all the what-ifs of repair or replacement. If I worried about it, I probably would be walking, having no computer, no TV, absolutely no camera, or any other item that might possibly break.
As to equipment failure, I have some doubt as to the statement that Olympus is more prone to failure in their cameras. I suspect there is anecdotal evidence if one listens with a biased ear to tales of bad service. I own 6 Olympus cameras with absolutely no problems. I also own a Panasonic with no problems for the past 8 years. While I do pay attention to proven problems, I buy what feels good to me and what trips my trigger, so to speak.
What would I do in regards to a P50-200 vs. 100-300 ii? Probably buy neither and buy the 100-400 Panny. Since I own more Olympus, I would buy the 100-400 Olympus if the lens ever becomes available and would practice the good technique with it, use a monopod at least and be thankful that I was able to get my hands on it and pay for it.
Stop it. If we're going to have to deal with plain talk and common sense the thread will die. :drinks:
 

archaeopteryx

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trip to the musk ox in Norway
Haven't specifically been to Dovrefjell but, in similar circumstances, my experience is the downtime of changing teleconverters favors continuing with compositions forced to be narrow or wide. With a two photographer team where one has a zoom that's likely to increase diversity in the resulting set of images and be less of a limitation than for one photographer trying to keep one lens busy.

Looking through Dovrefjell musk ox flickr EXIFs I'm seeing mostly 560-840 mme with occasionally as short as 400 mme. So it seems like any of a second 100-300, a 100-400, 200+1.4x+2x, or 50-200+1.4x would do the job and it's really down to how much budget one's willing to apply for small increments in pixel peeping. Since it's unclear if lens choice is more important than copy variation, use of a given budget to select among multiple copies of less expensive kit might be lower risk than obtaining a single copy of more expensive kit.

Having looked back over this mini-review, this other mini-review, and the showcase threads it's still my sense the 100-400 seems preferable over 200+teleconverters for cost, compositional flexibility, weight, apparently equivalent MTF at 400, somewhat smoother bokeh, and size. Things which might change that would be if cost and weight weren't concerns and anticipated use was fairly stable at either 200 or 280. Or if fastest available autofocus performance was critical. I'm unsure those factors are a good fit with a wildlife use profile, though, as (you're probably already well aware) typically the maximum available focal length is used and shorter focal lengths happen on an opportunistic basis.

I suspect there is anecdotal evidence if one listens with a biased ear to tales of bad service.
It seems there's a fundamental misconception. Biased decision making is likely to increase risk.
 

Hypilein

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I am drawn to the PL200 for too reasons:
1. I want to try out a long telephoto prime. My wife will still use the 100-300mkII that we have, so my hope is that it will lead to a more varied set of images. Also I'm just generally curious about the experience of shooting a long prime.
2. Without the TC and with the 1.4 TC the PL200 is a stop faster, which might help in low light.

I wasn't planning on getting the 2x TC as I am going to sell the whole setup after the trip and I think the PL200 is already a niche enough lens, that that might be a little bit difficult. I have to say though, that looking at the test you linked I am impressed by the image quality of the lens with the 2x TC which is still sharper than the 100-400. If I were to buy the lens and keep it, the 2x TC would definitely be on my shopping list.

With Astra Zeneca Vaccinations on hold it is not entirely clear yet, if we will have a trip at all though. I'm hoping for the best, but it's very hard to predict right now. If we are unlucky, there will have been enough vaccinations that Airlines require you to be vaccinated while not enough vaccinations will have been around for me and my wife to have had a shot...
 

archaeopteryx

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I have to say though, that looking at the test you linked I am impressed by the image quality of the lens with the 2x TC which is still sharper than the 100-400.
I would suggest a more reserved interpretation. The conclusion there is obtained from subjective comparison of point samples from pairs of images collected at different times with unclear methods. If variation across the field, copy variation, and shifts in lighting are ignored and use of a self timer, absence of shutter shock, and a tripod are assumed, lack of knowledge of the focusing method means the observed differences could just be routine field curvature, lens alignment accuracy, within focus point uncertainty, or cropping error (if the house is 20 m away the depth of field is like 10 cm, narrow enough curvature of the roof is potentially also significant). My subjective assessment isn't always the same as the reviewer's, either.

What the data does support is 100-400 @ 400 and 200+2x differences are small and possibly invertible by copy or field variation. The most effective way to confirm or deny would be to objectively measure additional copies. But the necessary data is, so far as I know, not available. (I'm also somewhat skeptical of the mini-reviews as the 100-400 @ 300 behavior reported is inconsistent with objective measurement.)

It appears Panasonic probably matched the 200, 1.4x, and 2x. If so, the 200+2x and 100-400 @ 400 having comparable MTF seems unremarkable based on my experience with other primes with matched 2x teleconverters and other 100-400s.

Without the TC and with the 1.4 TC the PL200 is a stop faster, which might help in low light.
If you're planning to go in summer I wouldn't be super worried about it. Just checked my dimmest Norway daytime images and they're around 1/150 at f/5.6 ISO 200. I do also have twilight ones that are f/5.6 1/15 ISO 800.

I wasn't planning on getting the 2x TC as I am going to sell the whole setup after the trip and I think the PL200 is already a niche enough lens, that that might be a little bit difficult.
Yeah, expensive lenses and big markets tend not to combine. Particularly long primes in lesser used mounts. From some quick searching it looks like where I am a 100-400's around 45% the price of 200+1.4+2x with several times the sales volume.
 

Hypilein

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I am more worried about twilight, which is where I would need the low light performance. I agree that f5.6 is absolutely fine for any daylight photography.

I'm not too worried about the price difference, as I'm going to sell the lens after the trip anyway. As I will be buying and selling used the biggest price difference comes in at the buying point. If I manage to get a good and cheap copy of the lens I can sell it on with no cost. I don't do nearly enough wildlife to justify keeping even the cheaper 100-400. The 100-300 I already own is a fine lens.

I agree about all the conclusions drawn from the samples. The difference between 100-400 at 400 and the 200 with 2x is pretty small. Still, I can see a difference. I'm not too bothered about non-perfect tests for the most part, because they also reflect our own shooting realities. In the end, it might be us, who have the bad copy of a lens. The only way to eliminate that is to test the copy of the lens you're going to keep. I guess if I was serious enough about wildlife, I might actually do something like that, but once again, for me in my current situation it would be overkill.
 
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