Up-rez vs teleconverter

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jonbrisbincreative, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. jonbrisbincreative

    jonbrisbincreative Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 30, 2014
    I'm already looking forward to High School Football this fall and I'm in the middle of a transition from Canon APS-C to m4/3. I haven't sold my longest lens and 7D body yet (frankly, been afraid to). I've gotten some really great results during track season with the new GX7 and the 25mm PanaLeica. The frame rate on the GX7 is not considered fast enough for sports but I started sports shooting years ago with a Canon AE-1 and T-Max pushed to 1600. A little pre-focusing and situational awareness goes a long way.

    I've been looking at longer options for m4/3 and see the logical choice: the 75mm 1.8. Fast focusing, sharp, etc... I plan to pair it with the E-M1. I'm also open to the 4/3 50-200mm which is, by all accounts, an excellent optic but I'm a little worried about native AF performance with the 4/3 adapter. I understand it to be much better than it was but not sure where it stands in comparison to my 7D + Sigma 50-150mm (which is not really comparable to the L 70-200 but gives great results if used properly).

    So my options for the coming fall seem to be (all assuming an E-M1):

    1) Oly 75/1.8 crop and up-rez with a good algorithm
    2) 4/3 50-200 + MMF-3 no crop but iffy AF performance
    3) 4/3 prime + 1.4x TC least desirable

    I cant' find any TC's for m4/3 so I assume none of excellent quality exist. Since an Oly 150mm 2.8 would be awesome but isn't appearing until 2015 from what I understand, my only "real" option seems to be the 75mm 1.8 and a good crop + resize. Has anyone gone this route out of necessity, given there's a famine of long tele's in the native m4/3 mount?

    FWIW- Up-rezzing is actually quite good now if you haven't tried it in a while. Modern algorithms do a fine job and, given we often add things like vignetting and simulated film grain to the final images anyway, potential magnification of imperfect details seems like less of an issue than it was a few years ago. The 75mm seems to offer such sharpness that it seems likely to posses plenty of detail for crops down to 8MP anyway. My own tests with the GX7 and Panny 25/1.4 seem to indicate that, while blown highlights are disastrous to m4/3, I have plenty of ability to crop given people rarely wants prints larger than 8x10. Once in a while I'll get one that someone wants blown up more than that, but those are rare.

    Be interested to hear thoughts on up-rezzing m4/3 RAW files and any practical examples you have that show the effects. If no one has any, I might be tempted to write a blog post about it and see what I can come up with.
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Hi, there's been some threads recently about 4/3 lenses and the 50-200mm...
    e.g. https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=65341

    Either version of the 50-200mm reportedly works well with the E-M1's new firmware, but the SWD version should focus faster.

    There are no Oly or Pana TC's for m43 (yet; Oly has a patent for some).

    I shot my one of my nephew's Lacrosse games recently; it was at night and the the 70-300mm ZD did poorly (aperture too slow) so I switched to a Pentax 50mm F1.4 with manual focus.
    Unfortunately none of the action photos came out well as the 50mm wasn't very sharp and the 70-300mm shots had too much motion blur.
    I probably should have raised the ISO further and stuck with the 70-300mm.
    I was in the bleachers, but I was sticking around 70mm most of the time as I was having trouble following the action (Lacrosse is fast like soccer). Some cropping would probably be needed.

    He will be playing varsity football (and more Lacrosse) later this year; if I get the 75mm I will definitely use it.

    Ironically, the same nephew has my dad's 50-200 SWD (with an E-50 body, iirc).
    He never uses it because "it's too big"; basically he doesn't know what to do with it, and it's the only lens he has. My dad seemed to think it was too big also, which is why my nephew has it (no one asked me!).
    I told my sister it'd be good for sports but she seemed uninterested; her friend is the semi-official sports photographer for the school so she already has access to lots of good photos.
    Anyways, I'm hoping I get a chance at it someday.

  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
  4. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I've done some tests with the 4/3 Zuiko Digital 70-300mm with and without the EC-14 tele-converter. I found that doing an up-rez on the original lens versus doing it directly with the EC-14 produced nearly identical results. The difference was that I can see the final composition live by using the EC-14 versus doing it (with perhaps more flexibility) as a crop later.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. christofp

    christofp Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2012
    I have both, the 75 and the 50-200.

    The 75/1.8 is very good, while it is not the fastest AF-lens in mFT universe, it gives very good C-AF results on EM1. On EM5 it is not nearly as good.

    The 50-200 is a heavy lens but it is very sharp. From 50 to 150mm and stopped down to f5 it is as sharp as my 75/1.8 at same aperture. For sports it is easily usable wide open, while not being tack sharp, it is still sharper than any mFT tele zoom around (Ok, the 35-100/2.8 and the upcoming 40-150/2.8 are similar).

    By the way, the C-AF performance of the 50-200 is quite good. While it behaves a little bit nervous in S-AF mode (sometimes no AF-lock or some hunting), it is fast and reliable in C-.AF mode. As long as you have some light and vertical structures/lines in the AF region, it will lock.

    When up-rezin the 75/1.8 you might be able to substitute the 35-100mm/2.8 zoom lens or a weaker xx-150/5.6 lens. I tried the latter. BUT you will never get the reach and resolution of the 50-200/3.5 lens.

    The 50-200 lens with teleconverter or up-rezed can easily surpass the xx-300mm mFT lenses. I tried it.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2013
    Teleconverters rarely improve the performance of middling lenses. Softness, CA, and spherical aberration will all be amplified by a TC.