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Recommendations for a telephoto lens for wildlife photography

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by scarbrd, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I am struggling with what is the best solution for wildlife photography and the OM-D E-M5.

    I prefer a fixed focal length, but there is nothing available in a native m4/3 mount. I'm considering the Nikon 180mm 2.8. I used the lens in my pro days, both the manual and autofocus versions.

    I am concerned about critical focus with adapted telephoto lenses.

    Anyone have any experience or recommendations?

    Thanks in advance

    David
     
  2. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    A few of us shoot with Canon FD mount L lenses. I've owned both the 300 f4 and 300 f2.8 and been happy with the results.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    280
    Jun 1, 2010
    UK
    scarbrd, depending on your budget you could look at some of the Top Pro Olympus Zuiko 4/3 lenses. They do a 300 2.8 and a 90-250 2.8. An adapter will give you an electronic connection to control aperture, AF etc on micro 43, and a telecoverter for even more reach if you want.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I am looking at those, in particular the 150mm F2.0. It is more than I want to spend, or at least at the price I would want native m4/3.

    How is the focus speed with the adapter on these high end lenses? I assume it is not as fast as the new m4/3 lenses.

    David

     
  5. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    How is focusing with these lenses? I'm concerned that the LCD or the EVF won't be good for critical focusing without using magnification.

    Thanks,

     
  6. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    134
    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    I don't think the LCD would cut it, but the EVF works nicely - why do you want to avoid magnification? Those 4/3 lenses are huge money, but I'm sure they'd be awesome to work with. I definitely reach for my 300 2.8 and tripod when I have my heart set on grabbing some well thought out patient shots. Do you have a sample of what sort of quality you want?
     
  7. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Using the magnification adds another element to the shooting workflow. If I keep it on them
    I lose the ability to compose critically. Is there a quick toggle method for magnification on the OM-D? Admittedly, I'm still learning the camera.

    As for the image quality, I want the ability to print 20x24 with great detail.

    I've seem some decent prices on the Oly 50-200 2.8-3.5. That is a good range and fast enough optically. Anyone have experience with this lens on m4/3 cameras? I like to know about the weight, balance, focusing speed with the adaptor, etc.

    Thanks
     
  8. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    234
    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Peter Randal
    What about the Pan 100-300? Compact, light, and good IQ. If you need better IQ then its lots of bucks more. What are you going to do with the photos? If just for your own fun and enjoyment then the 100-300 should be just fine. If you are selling your work and want to compete with the big boys then you have to match their work and that means expensive Canons or Nikons and their megabucks long lenses. Many areas of photography depend more on the shooter than on t he equipment, but wildlife photography is one of those areas where specific equipment is a necessity.
     
  9. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I had the Oly 75-300. It was too slow (f6.3) on the long end. The Panasonic 100-300 isn't much better (f5.6).

    The camera is more than capable of keeping up with the big boys as long as the ISO is kept to 640 or below. So, max aperture is critical.

    I have the Panny 12-35 f2.8 and will portably get the 35-100 2.8 when it's released. What would work ideally is a fixed native 200mm 2.8 or a 300mm 4.0 to round out the system. If native these will be relatively small (which is why I switched in the first place).

    The 50-200 fits the bill in all respects except size and weight, assuming the focus speed isn't too slow. If I go with this I may forgo the 35-100 although the wieldiness might be hard to resist.
     
  10. Pennington

    Pennington Mu-43 Regular

    I've got the Panasonic 100-300 for wildlife but can't really recommend it. While I've seen some great shots with this lens, I can't seem to get any out of mine. I've had it back to Panasonic and the camera back to Oly, and both claim everything is fine, so I don't know if I just have a bad copy or just can't hand-hold it at any shutter speed...(although I used to manage a Canon 300 f/4 + TC just fine).

    The Oly 75-300 is even slower, aperture wise, and is quite expensive on top of it. What we really need is a 300mm or 400mm f/4 prime that's native to m4:3. But until then, we're at a loss.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I'd take a 150mm or 200mm 2.8 at this point.

     
  12. fstennen

    fstennen New to Mu-43

    2
    Aug 8, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Frank
    :thiagree:
     
  13. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    As I mentioned earlier, I see some good deals on the 50-200mm 2.8-3.5 lens for Olympus 4/3. With the adapter this could be a decent solution, albeit a heavy one.

    There is a difference in the prices between the newer SWD version and the original design. From what I've read the SWD significantly improves the focusing speed on the E series cameras.

    Does anyone know if SWD makes much of a difference when mounted on the m4/3 cameras with the MM3 adapter?

    Thanks
     
  14. Harmonica

    Harmonica Mu-43 Regular

    114
    Mar 15, 2012
    Finland
    I have now owned OM-D (my first M4/3 camera) about 2months...and what comes to telephotolenses...I have tested my Minolta APO 200mm f2.8 HS (MA-bajonet, weight 790g) and Pentax F* 300mm f4.5 (KAF-bajonet, weight 880g) on it. Both of those are simply great lens and reasonable light as well.

    Short time ago I also discussed with one nature photographer here in Finland who is using Olympus gear/E-5 (has tested shortly some M 4/3 bodies)...he's shooting mainly bears, wolfs, wolverines etc. He said that his Olympus OM 250mm f2 is his best telelens and he owns for example 4/3 Olympus 300mm f2.8. Between those two...the older mf lens is bit sharper...and it can be seen more easily if 1.4x tc is used. Well, that was what he said...of course...still my recommendation here would be Olympus OM 250mm f2. Unfortunately that lens is not very easy to find, it costs a lot and weights a lot too.