Someone talk me off the PL 50-200mm ledge


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Sep 3, 2018
SE Michigan
Real Name
I've been wanting better glass for some time now and had the 100-400 in mind. After two trips to the dragstrip and this new opportunity to get close I really think the 50-200 would be a better choice. I also want something faster than my current P 12-60 and 100-300.

Current prices seem to be $1700. I swear they were $1500 just a few days ago, but even B&H is showing $1698 now. I called my local shop to see if they might have a used copy. They do not, but they do have a mint open box return with full warranty. After some discussion they offered it to me for $1200. They admitted it's not a popular selling lens although they don't know why. I think the overlap with the 100-400 is killing it.

I still want the 100-400 at some point, but short term I believe the 50-200 is a better choice all around.

Thoughts and comments?


Mu-43 Veteran
Jun 16, 2017
Reasons to buy:
- that does seem like a decent price
- you can't take $ with you; if it will make you happy to have a shiny new piece of glass and you have the cash laying around, why not?

Reasons not to buy:
- you don't have the cash laying around
- realistically, your shots will probably only improve marginally. I don't have any special expertise in motorsports photography, but this is a general principle in most areas. At the relevant focal lengths, you'll gain what, one stop at most? That one stop of added ISO to get the same shutter speed isn't going to be the difference between the perfect photo and an unusable mess. And I'm guessing the thinner DOF is probably not a major bonus in this type of photography.
- $1200 is a lot of money; what else could you do with it? Depending on your age, you could invest it and retire some day. Or you could take your spouse (if you have one) to Europe ($600/ticket would probably get you there at least, if you waited for a favorable price). Or you could donate to any number of worthy charities; nothing kills my GAS quite like thinking about kids growing up in poverty...


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Aug 20, 2016
I saw some kinda review the other day for Fujifilm's 200mm f2. It's $6,000 and weighs 5 lbs.

$1,200 is a steal!


Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Aug 13, 2014
Honolulu, HI
Real Name
I have the old 4/3rds 50-200 SWD and wished that Olympus had made an M43 native version of it. With the EC-14 teleconverter, it's versatile and has great reach and IQ. That being said, I would buy the PL 50-200 if my SWD died. In the meantime, I got the 40-150 Pro reconditioned and the MC-14 on Drop for less than $1,200 total. This works better when faster focusing is needed, such as BIF. I might just stick with the 40-150 Pro/MC-14 combo.

That's a great price for the PL 50-200. I find this range to be more useful than the bare 40-150 Pro, hence I paired that with the 1.4x TC. AFAIK, the Pana 1.4x TC is still only on sale in Japan, although one can get it off ebay.

Then again, people have reported issues with getting the Leica lenses serviced by Panasonic. That's not encouraging.


Mu-43 All-Pro
Jan 16, 2017
I thought about the 2X TC, but not sure how much degradation there'd be. I saw one post that liked it well enough with the 1.4.
I found considerable degradation. Find the thread on here - compared it to a 80-400 Nikkor on a DX body.

OTOH, they are coming out with a new 2x IIRC

it is stellar by itself

do you have the P 12-60 or the PL?
Nov 8, 2011
North Yorkshire
Great shots. Obviously, you shot a lot at full zoom (200mm). I'd definitely stay far away from the snake and the big spider! Yikes. Long lens helps. :)
Yes, full zoom and cropped. It is s compromise but cost, weight and size were factors in the lens choice. f4 is very handy. Quality when cropped is very good. I had the 75-300 before the 50-200 and am glad I made the change. The pit viper was only 6 feet away. It was badly lit but I didn't want to risk flash!


Super Moderator
Aug 12, 2012
Outside Boston MA
Real Name
By all accounts it's a great lens and that's a pretty good price.

If it were that price for a new lens or $1500 for the lens with the 1.4 TC, I might have one. But for me 200mm is just a bit short, I want 225-250mm without the TC if I'm going to spend that kind of money. Also for that much Panasonic needs to work on their service and support options.

But the lens is $1,500 $1,700 new. The 1.4 TC is still not available stand alone in the US and is $450 for an import on eBay. And Panasonic is still working on it's professional / consumer service issues.

And it is too bad as I could probably live with the range if price and support weren't an issue "FOR ME".
Dec 2, 2014
Knoxville, TN
I think the 50-200 + the 2 TC's would be a better choice than the 100-400. But either way would be expensive.
Panasonic does not spec the 2x TC as compatible with the PL50-200.

Just to verify I asked Panasonic support. Here is what they responded (albeit this is first level web support):
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