The E-M1 and teleconverters (EC-14, EC-20) with four-thirds lenses

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by mattia, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Thought I'd start a separate thread for this.

    I recently got an E-M1 to replace the stolen E-M5 kit (E-M5, 12-35, 45/1.8 and 100-300 stolen), and I've found a good deal on a 50-200 SWD (not much more than most non-SWD versions are going for around here these days) which will take the place of the 100-300. I don't shoot tele all that often, but when I do I'm find with carrying around a little more weight for the quality. I'm looking around to find a (second-hand) teleconverter to match. My gut feeling is that the 1.4 will give me better quality, will be more likely to yield acceptable AF speeds on the E-M1 (and 280mm is plenty), but I was wondering about any experiences people had with image quality and handling on the E-M1 with 43 HG/SHG glass and either of the converters, in terms of both image quality and AF speed/handling.
  2. jeffg53

    jeffg53 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Jeff Grant
  3. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    I have both EC14 and EC20 as well as HG and some SHG 43 glass.....

    what most people struggle to appreciate is that they multiply everything, including weaknesses!

    the 2x works well with the 50/2, 150/2 90-250/2.8 and 300/2 (from use not ownership and the experiences of others)

    in good light it will deliver on the 35-100/2 and 50-200 but the latter is marginal IMO, but the 1.4 is excellent. some of the results issues are related to the use of any 400/7.1 lens, and in practice it's hard to seperate these out in normal user testing, but over the years many have commented that they end up with better results using the 1.4 and cropping than the 2.0 at the long end of the 50-200.

    I don't see a huge difference in S-AF use on the latter E bodies and the E-M1 except that the 35-100 seems to focus better in lower light situations with the teleconvertors than it did on the E's - no idea why.

    both are excellent in themselves, and there are certainly some strange pricing situations on them at the moment! In the same way as the FL50R I expect them to go back up in a few months time as people realise they too have a (long) future life :)

    handling is entirely subjective - E-M1 + grip handles 35-100 + ec20 fine, although not quite as easily as E5+grip for most.
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  4. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I use the EC20 mostly on my 150/2.0 because the result is still a relatively fast 300/4.0. As photo-owl mentioned, the EC20 + 50-200 works well only if there's plenty of light at the tele-end, because it becomes a 400/7.0. I would highly recommend the EC14 on the 50-200 though. There is minimal loss of IQ when the EC14 is used, and it remains an acceptable f/4.9 at the tele-end. I also find no loss in AF speed when the EC14 is used on the 50-200SWD and E-M1 combo. Cannot comment on the AF speed of the EC20 on the 50-200 though, since I haven't used this combo often. I did use it on shooting the moon, but switched to MF instead... On the other hand, AF speed is pretty much the same with or without the EC20 on my 150/2.0...
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  5. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thanks for these comments as I have struck out & bought an EC20 (used) & hope I haven't wasted my money. I already had the EC14 & only bought the 50-200 SWD last year to use on my E-M1 (I would have liked to have had it when using my E-30). Anyhow, I guess I will find out & I don't expect to be using the EC20 as much as the EC14 with that lens. The EC20 might prove nice with the Sigma 150 f2.8 macro lens though.
  6. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I have started a lot of threads about using the 50-200 SWD and 150mm ƒ2.0, at the end I will link some of them that you may want to check out. It's kind of funny you started this thread because I was planning a trip to my favorite state park Saturday and decided I was going to take the 50-200 with me to mess around with the EC-20 on it. I originally got the 50-200 SWD and EC-14 to use as my main wildlife lens until the 300 Pro arrived. That lens was replaced by the ZD 150mm ƒ2.0, which is when I also got the EC-20.

    First, you are going to want to perform a micro focus adjust on the lens and all combos of TC's that you have. You can do this manually but I found the Focus Tune systems to work very well for this, much easier then trying to do it manually because of the variance in PDAF focusing. Here is a thread I started about the micro focus adjust: Focus Accuracy and Comparison of ZD 150mm ƒ2 and 50-200 SWD In these photos I had only performed this on the 150 and have since done the adjustments on the 50-200. A believe a lot of the reports of the EC-20 being soft are do to the combo needing some micro adjustments. For both lenses I had to make larger adjustments for the EC-14 over bare lens and even larger adjustments for the EC-20 over the EC-14. I highly recommend performing this adjustment for all 4/3 lenses you own and with all combos of TC's you have. A few extra dollars for the Focus Tune system and an hour of your time is well worth it in my opinion, it's pennies compared to the price of your gear and the money spent going places to take photos.

    I have no problems using the EC-20 on my ZD 150mm ƒ2.0, but it also works out to a 300mm ƒ4.0 which is still fast. I do find that stopping down to ƒ5.6 makes for sharper images, but ƒ4.0 is still acceptable. With the EC-14, the ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 is still crazy sharp and is my preferred TC to use with that lens. I try to get as close as possible and if I need the extra reach I will put on the EC-20. With that lens I feel I am better off with the EC-20 over using the EC-14 and cropping in post (especially if I can shoot at ƒ5.6 and a low ISO), but the lens is crazy sharp to begin with. Some examples of the ZD 150mm with the TC's:

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 + EC-20, shot wide-open at ƒ4.0

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 + EC-20, shot at ƒ5.6

    EM1 w/ ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 + EC-14, shot at ƒ4.0

    Other then the photos from the link above I have not really used the 50-200 SWD with the EC-20, one of the reasons I want to give it a try this weekend. Several people above have mentioned the slow ƒ7.1 aperture of using this combo, but it is only 1/3 stop slower then the upcoming Panny 100-400 and everyone seems to think that is not a problem (personally for the price they want for it I feel that is to slow, but for a lens with a 2x TC it may work out just fine). I can say that the 50-200 loses little to nothing with the EC-14 and only when shooting a DockDog event have I ever used the lens without the EC-14. A few examples of the 50-200 SWD with the EC-14:

    EM1 w/ 50-200 SWD + EC-14

    EM1 w/ 50-200 SWD + EC-14

    EM1 w/ 50-200 SWD + EC-14

    I have noticed no perceivable difference in autofocus speed when using the EC-14 on either the 50-200 or 150. The 150 may focus slower with the EC-20 but I honestly can not tell. I cannot remember if there was a difference when at the zoo with the 50-200 and EC-20, but this weekend should give me a good idea.

    Now for some links:

    Airshow using EM1 w/ 50-200 and EC-14: AirShow = E-M1 + ZD 50-200 SWD + 1.4x TC

    DockDogs using EM1 w/ 50-200: DockDogs Competition w/ EM-1 and ZD 50-200 SWD (FYI - Photo Heavy Post)

    Wake boarding using EM1 w/ 150 and EC-14/20: Houston Pro Wakeboarding Competition - Photo Heavy

    Airshow using EM1 w/ 150 and EC-14: EM1 + ZD 150mm ƒ2.0 = 2015 Wings Over Houston Airshow

    A walk in a park using EM1 w/ 150 and EC-14/20: ZD 150mm ƒ2.0, a park, and why I shoot Olympus

    My website (lots of photos with both lenses and TC's): RRcoleJr Photography

    My old Flickr account focus tune album (this account is way out of date): Auto Focus Accuracy Testing

    My old Flickr account wake boarding album: Houston Pro October 2015

    My new Flickr account (slowly adding to this and organizing everything by camera and lens): RRcoleJR Photography

    My new Flickr account album with full resolution photos: Brazos Bend State Park on 9 Jan 2016

    If you look thru the showcase threads for the various 4/3 lenses you will find examples of the lenses with the different TC's. Well, I should say that is true for the 150 and 50-200 SWD as I know those threads pretty well. I am pretty sure the 300mm ƒ2.8 has lots of photos with the TC's also.

    Any more questions don't hesitate to ask. I will probably start a thread next week about my experience using the 50-200 SWD with the EC-20. Just depends how much I actually end up using it. It will be kind of like when I was using the 75-300 (which is also only a 1/3 stop faster) and requires good light. Not sure I can justify in my mind using it with the EC-20 early morning and driving up the ISO when I have the wonderful 150 with me. Getting that 150 really put an end to me using the 50-200 but I do want to give it a try with the EC-20.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  7. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Forgot I put this photo up on Flickr at full resolution also. Shot using EM1 w/ ZD 150mm + EC-20

    by RRcoleJR Photography, on Flickr
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  8. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I just realized this is a 2 year old post that @Ross the fiddler@Ross the fiddler responded to. I do hope that he and any others find this useful. In preparation for my outing on Saturday with the 50-200 I went ahead and figured out the apertures for the different focal lengths with the different TC's if anyone is interested. It is almost impossible to get my 50-200 to stop at specific focal lengths so I just got it close (tried to error on the side of going over for worse case scenario) and checked the aperture.

    50-200 SWD
    50mm - ƒ2.8
    101mm - ƒ3.2
    147mm - ƒ3.4
    200mm - ƒ3.5

    50-200 SWD + EC-14
    70mm - ƒ4.0
    102mm - ƒ4.3
    153mm - ƒ4.6
    208mm - ƒ4.8
    258mm - ƒ4.9
    283mm - ƒ4.9

    50-200mm SWD + EC-20
    100mm - ƒ5.6
    152mm - ƒ6.2
    202mm - ƒ6.4
    260mm - ƒ6.7
    294mm - ƒ6.8
    364mm - ƒ6.9
    400mm - ƒ7.1

    Basically the only way I would use the EC-20 is for the extended reach and would be better off dropping down to the EC-14 for anything closer. If I can find a cooperative bird or gator that lets me get pretty close I will try to shoot it at different focal lengths with the various TC's and without.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Thanks mate. Yes, I did revive this thread since I was crazy enough to think the EC20 (bought a nice clean boxed one from Japan) might help me on the 50-200 (SWD) lens. For the most part I will stick to just using the EC14 on it, however, I have also tried the EC20 on my Sigma 150 macro lens & that looks promising since macro shots need to be stopped down to some extent anyhow. Anyhow, I need to go & do some real work to pay for my folly now. :rolleyes:
  10. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Mattia, I shoot the EC20 w/ the ZD300 f2.8 some but have not owned the ZD50-200 though I've thought about it. I'd add a couple things to what others have said. AF will likely be slower & struggle more w/ the EC20 than EC14 or no TC. If you get the Focus Tune set up to micro adjust, I suggest you get the long ruler kit so you can micro calibrate at something like wildlife distances if that's what you plan to use it for. For the ZD300 calibration at close distance required for the short ruler was not too good at longer distances. And focus breathing could be a bigger problem w/ the zoom so calibrating at shooting distances might be more helpful. Lastly, I've seen several comparisons that clearly demonstrate sample variation of the 50-200mm. Some are super sharp, some less so. Of course any softness will be magnified by the EC20. Last but not least, some copies of ECs & 43-m43 adapters can loose electrical connections to the camera intermittently. My EC20+MMF3 does but not my EC14.
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  11. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have tried out my lens combo of EC20 & 50-200 SWD lens & now I am fairly satisfied having added the EC20 to my kit. Here are a few photos from today all at 400mm (with Auto ISO high limit set to 6400) all out of camera & only resized & sharpened in OV3 (for web display).

    With bounced flash indoors.


    A couple of Bower Birds

    And a close crop to show what this lens combination can do (not the high ISO noise & smearing though).

    A Crimson Rosella


    I'm pretty happy with what I can get with this lens combination but I will only use the EC20 for reach & stick with the EC14 most of the time (unless I am working close & then I'll use just the lens only).
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016
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  12. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Good to see you are getting satisfactory results from the EC-20, I'll be playing with mine this weekend. Based on my aperture breakdown above I would only use that combo if I really need 800mm of reach. The test for me will be comparing a cropped photo from my 150 + EC-20 vs the 50-200 + EC-20, I could be better if just cropping.

    I mostly use the 150 with which ever TC I need at the moment. To help with fast switching I picked up two small neoprene pouches from the camera store that are just big enough to hold a TC and clip them to D-rings on my backpack shoulder straps. Makes switching them out really easy, takes me about 15 seconds to switch.
  13. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I thought I'd point my 50-200 & EC20 at the moon tonight plus to save on cropping as the camera does a nice job for its JPEG output with the DTC I had that ON too with the following result (full resized image at 1200 X 900 in my Four Thirds User Gallery). This was hand held but leaning against a post for support.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
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