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Telephoto Options: The missing middle

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by harry_s, Dec 14, 2015.

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  1. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    We have the rather awesome Olympus 40-150mm 2.8, with a price tag to match that awesomeness, we have a 300mm f4 on the way, which will no doubt occupy a price range at least that of the 40-150, and a Panasonic 100-400, which is again shooting for extreme focal lengths but with little regards to light gathering (but rumored to still have a hefty cost attached).

    I might be alone here, but is a 50-200mm f4 not a good idea? It wouldn't be too huge or heavy, and it could occupy the significant middle ground between the generally cheap/slow consumer variable aperture zooms, and the 'pro' offerings with pro price tags. The Panasonic 100-300mm f4-5.6 is the obvious elephant in the room, but whilst it's a solid lens it's doesn't have a fixed aperture and has a rather limiting 100mm starting point.

    I used a Sigma 100-300mm f4 extensively in my DSLR days and it was a brilliant compromise to fill exactly the gap discussed above, and obviously Canon have a very popular 70-200mm f4 which on an APS-C body occupies a similar focal length.

    I had thought about a prime, occupying the large space between 75mm and 300mm that we currently have, but a zoom would no doubt be more marketable and therefore have more chance of being priced reasonably.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
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  2. Yong

    Yong Mu-43 Regular

    96
    Sep 25, 2014
    I follow that. Although Lumix 35-100 X is already very compact for what it is, even more smaller and lighter f/4 tele zoom lens would be great travel companion. There already exist budget tele zooms which are great for that purpose, but I just want to have constant aperture zoom lens.
     
  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    +1 if it works with the TC
     
  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    That lens would still likely be at least $800, and physically as large or larger than the 40-150/2.8. 200/4 is 50mm, and 150/2.8 is 53mm in terms of physical aperture size. Hard to imagine them selling for less.

    So while it would be cheaper than the 40-150/2.8, it would still be an "expensive" lens.

    Given the 40-150/2.8 works with the 1.4x TC to give the same range, and the 100-300 already gives you the effective reach and aperture of the 200/4 with TC at a far lower price, I see this being much too small a market opportunity to cover the development costs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
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  5. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Even better, Olympus already makes the 50-200mm/2.8-3.5 for you. Since you shoot with the E-M1, you only need the adapter. While not a fixed aperture, the apertures through out its zoom range are all faster than f/4. And the 50-200mm (both version) are outstanding lenses.

    You're welcome! ;)
     
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  6. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    You forgot that it can also be had with adapter and 1.4x TC for under $600 and is fully weather sealed if used with MMF-3 adapter.
     
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  7. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Using the range of Pro zooms you can go from 7-150mm without the TC and to 210mm with the TC. When the 300mm Pro arrives starting February we will have it at 300 and with the TC it would be 420mm. What is missing is the 90mm gap between 210 and 300 plus the 120mm gap between 300 and 420. Are those two gaps what you mean by the missing middle?
     
  8. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    You do not need to cover every single focal length possible. Right now in effective reach we have (I use effective because the gaps do get bigger when you double everything and my brain works in effective reach):

    14mm - 28mm @ ƒ2.8
    16mm fisheye @ ƒ1.8
    24mm - 80mm @ ƒ2.8
    80mm - 300mm @ ƒ2.8
    112mm - 420mm @ ƒ4.0
    600mm @ ƒ4.0
    840mm @ ƒ5.6

    In my opinion there really is nothing needed between 600mm and 840mm as those are extreme telephoto ranges and even the big guys go 500mm to 600mm to 800mm. The gap in my opinion is from 300mm to 600mm in something other then ƒ4.0, which is really getting to slow for sports photography (especially indoor sports photography). This really could have been fixed if the 40-150 Pro had been a 50-200 Pro. As it stands now, anything they would make to fit between would put competition on the upcoming 300/4. I am just glad that I have the ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 because with it and the EC-14 I have a 420mm ƒ2.8 lens that will fill the gap nicely.
     
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  9. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Yeah, like Phocal, I dream of an M43 version of that wonderful ZD 50-200 SWD lens, which I love. It is, admittedly, a bit of a beast especially with the OEM lens hood. But, what sweet images come out of it. Wish Olympus had made that instead of the 40-150 Pro. :)
     
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  10. harry_s

    harry_s Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Jul 19, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    Thanks so much for this, had not even realised I could do this with my E-M1. Does the SWD one offer much over the original? I can get the Mk1 for £250, where as the SWD is £375, so quite a difference.
     
  11. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi, the SWD offers quick manual-focus corrections (via a MF ring) if needed, whereas the original does not.
    Some say the SWD focuses faster, others say it doesn't.
    There are also some minor optical differences.

    Barry
     
  12. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    As Barry said, it has the instant access to manual focus no matter what focus mode you are in. This is actually more useful then you think. When you miss focus the lens will rack back and forth to regain focus and this can cause you missing a critical shot as it takes a bit if time. With the SWD you just spin the ring and get close so autofocus can easily take over and your focus back. Without a focus limiter switch this is the next best thing.

    I had mine a few days before shooting an airshow and found this ability a life saver. I was using C-AF and when I would miss focus it would take the lens 15-30 seconds to rack back and forth to get the plane in focus. By that time the plane was gone and the shot lost. But, I could move the focus ring and get it back in time and get the shot (took a bit of practice to perfect the technique but great once you get it down). You need this mechanism to get manual focus override while in C-AF and well worth the little extra cost in my opinion.
     
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Same dream, plus the 12-60mm F2.8-4.0.
     
  14. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    767
    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I have no experience with the SWD version. I use the original version but have been very happy with its performance on my E-M1.

    As others mentioned, the SWD does have a mechanically coupled focus ring so it always can be adjusted. The original version is focus "by wire" (turning the ring tells the lens to change the focus rather than happening directly) when in a manual focus mode. If you think you might need to use MF to tweak in a shot, you can always set up the camera to use SAF+MF mode which will allow you to autofocus but adjust manually if needed.

    As I previously stated, but worth repeating, the 50-200mm lenses are both very good lenses and worth looking into if you shoot with the E-M1.
     
  15. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I don't know, if you look at modern 70-200 F4 offerings from other systems, they cost about as much as the 40-150 Pro anyway.
     
  16. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yes, this is also a good point.

    When new, the Olympus 50-200/2.8-3.5 cost ~$1200, which is almost $1400 in today's dollars. (And the Yen was worth exactly the same then as it is now, so isn't an argument for the discounting that the Japanese manufacturers are now able to do on the world market). So basically identical to the 40-150/2.8.
     
  17. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Well the 50-200 was f2.8-3.5. That's an average of 2/3 a stop faster than f4. But Nikon and Canon both have pro 70-200 F4 with stabilization at $1200 and $1400. Fujifilm's 50-200 f3.5-4.8 is only $500, but 4.8 isn't even a half stop faster than f5.6 is it?
     
  18. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Technically the 50-200 is stabilized. Well I look at all Olympus lenses as stabilized because they put it in their cameras and not the lenses, even in the 4/3 days. I really do prefer this approach over in lens as Panasonic has chosen because even my lowly 7.5mm fisheye has IS.
     
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    That's why I mentioned the stabilized Canon and Nikon versions in comparison.
     
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