Telephoto vs Zoom

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Wormwood, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. Wormwood

    Wormwood Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Being new to the whole interchangeable lens based camera secene I do have to ask - is the only way of getting telephoto ability is using something like 40-150? Are there primes which cover this?

    I kind of passed up getting the twin lens kit on my E-P3 thinking that the x10 that the 40-150 brings to the table would something I could find else where... but now I am unsure where to look.

    Does the new Oly 45mm have telephoto ability?

    Sorry if the title is "wrong" as I didn't know how to express it better.


  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    First, let's clarify that zoom means variable focal length. You can have wide angle, normal, or telephoto zooms. The opposite of a zoom is a single focal length lens, or "prime".

    Telephoto lenses have a smaller field of view, usually used for distant subjects.

    Currently, the only telephoto primes are the PL45/2.8 and the Oly 45/1.8
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Eh, 45mm is a short telephoto at best. That's where our telephoto zooms START. m4/3 doesn't have any decent long primes yet. Too bad, because shooting at 200mm and f/5.6 can be a miserable experience in bad light.
  5. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    90 mm (equiv) is definitely telephoto

    200 mm (act)/400 mm (equiv) is super-telephoto and a whole 'nother world entirely
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    A 45mm lens on a Micro Four-Thirds camera gives the approximate view of a 75mm lens on a 35mm SLR with the sides cropped off to 4:3 aspect. I would not consider that much of a telephoto lens... I think Promit is correct in saying that it's a short telephoto at best. I would call it a short "portrait lens". ;)

    Your best option for a decent, fast telephoto lens, whether prime or zoom, is to get a mount adapter. If you can afford it, the sharpest fast telephotos you'll find, which will also Autofocus (with S-AF) on your E-P3, are in the Four-Thirds category. There's a small selection of primes there (for instance a 150mm f/2, 300mm f/2.8, 105mm f/2.8 Macro, 150mm f/2.8 Macro, 85mm f/1.4, etc.), and an excellent selection of fast zooms (like the 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5, 90-250mm f/2.8, 35-100mm f/2, 50-500mm f/4-6.3, and even a 300-800mm f/5.6, lol). All these lenses are quite sharp, and the Zuiko varieties are killer sharp even wide open.

    However, those lenses are mostly on the large side. You can get a lot of decent fast(er) telephoto primes (ie, like 85mm f/1.4 or f/1.8, 90mm f/2.5, 100mm f/2 or f/2.8, 135mm f/2.8, 180mm f/2 or f/2.8, 200mm f/2.8 or f/4, 300mm f/3.5 or f/4.5, 400mm f/5.6, and various other lenses) with a number of different legacy adapters from different makes. The OM lenses are consistently high quality, but there are many fine and even legendary lenses for other mounts, such as Konica AR, Contax/Yashica, Minolta/Rokkor, Pentax M42 and K, Leica M39 and M, etc. These lenses can be quite compact to fit neatly on your E-P3, and they can also be very affordable for the quality you get.

    Maybe if you have a particular format of lens you like, (ie, "I want a 200mm f/2.8"), then we can throw around some suggestions of great lenses in that form.
  7. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    45mm is really primarily considered an ideal portrait length, it is on the very short end of what most would consider telephoto. Ned is right, if you want a prime telephoto lens you'll have to use adapted manual lenses. The current native m4/3 telephotos are all zooms, including the 40-150mm, 100-300mm and 14-150mm from Olympus, and the 14-140mm, 45-200mm and 100-300mm from panasonic.

    The cheapest of those options should be the 40-150mm from olympus, and should set you back somewhere between $150-200