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upgrade from Oly 75-300mm 4.8-6.7 II to 40-150 2.8 pro for wildlife?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by milkshakeman, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. milkshakeman

    milkshakeman New to Mu-43

    Jan 29, 2015
    is there anyone out there doing wildlife shooting with Olympus and did this previously with the 75-300mm which actually already gives good results given it's price/weight/build quality.
    But is now considering or has upgraded to a 40-150 2.8 (with or without TC) and are there any comparison pictures out there?
    I realise we are talking about different focal lengths here, so one interesting comparison would be if the 40-150 @ 150mm when cropped x2 gives more sharpness than 75-300 @ 300mm uncropped.

  2. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    I think your question could only be answered if there was a final product size. If the photos are only shown on the internet at say in HD, then you could gain some. However if that turns to 4K display or you make large prints (36 inches (1 meter) on the longer edge) by up scaling the crop from the 40-150mm photo, the I think the 75-300mm photos would appear slightly better.

    I have not done the exact comparison you are looking for but did spend considerable time comparing photos from an E-30 and 50-200mm lens to a D7000 with an 80-200mm lens. Neither was better - just different - it was the viewer that picked out the best image, not on technical details but on the content or how compelling the photo was.

    I also later revisited a similar comparison by comparing cropped D800 36MP photos to D7000 16MP photos and then later with D7100 24MP photos - using the same lens on each camera.

    From a cropped 36mp image compared to an uncropped 16MP image – if the final 24 x 36 prints were side by side then one could tell in the detail, if they were not side by side then it was hard to see the difference. Making that same comparison from a 36MP image to a 24MP – the positive clarity in the 24MP was not overwhelming but better.

    Yet in both comparisons items such as color depth and dynamic range in the 36mp crop still could make for a more compelling photo. My bottom line I came away with -
    There is no substitute for a compelling photo, technical issues can be set aside the more compelling the photo. From a technical side, and for long telephoto lenses, there is substitute for longer focal lengths of a quality lens.

    Over the years I have seen some photographers produce some amazing work using less than ideal gear. More often than not I think a photographer is better off pushing their gear and themselves until they can positively get no more out of their gear - then look to upgrade.
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  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The advantages of the 40-150/2.8 are:
    - The larger aperture permits using lower ISO's and/or higher shutter speeds
    - Much more powerful AF motors in the lens which gives faster AF

    For an image to be cropped by half and still give higher resolution, it would have to resolution numbers more than twice as high as the 75-300, and the 40-150 doesn't even come close to that.
  4. newphoto1

    newphoto1 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 24, 2014
    I am a wildlife photographer. I sold my 75-300 and purchased the 40-150 Pro and 1.4X. It is markedly sharper then the 75-300 in low light, but the AF is pretty slow and inaccurate with the 1.4x attached. I took it to Costa Rica this summer and did pretty well with it, although the reach was not enough at times. I am anxiously awaiting the 300 F4.0 Pro. Please ask me any questions you have.
  5. I have both lenses and I no longer use the 75-300. The 40-150 PRO + MC-14 is always much sharper for me. It will also focus faster. The only draw back for me, is the increased weight.
  6. Fred S

    Fred S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2012
    Fred S
    I have the 75-300

    Good points
    600mm EFL

    Bad Points

    f 4.8 -6.7 Slow . Sucks in poor light

    just my 2 cents

    No, Not super sharp
    Starling at 300mm 600mm EFL
    good enough for me

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  7. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    I find the 75-300 to be very good. I have not had the time yet do birds, but I can tell you that for Dragonfly images it is very good. My comparison is the Nikkor 300mm f4 AFS with TC 1.4 on the D7100 which Extremely good. But one setup was north of $3K and the other about $1,800. I image from a tripod and the 75-300 is very sharp, handheld it is sharp, but maybe just a bit less. I can't hand hold my Nikon setup:) 
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I have the 75-300 and I have a few pictures that I consider very sharp, like this for example:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    RAW: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gtfx7y36uxlpb5q/P8220472.ORF?dl=0

    I think that the 40-150 without TC is not comparable. You can crop, you can upscale, but often I already have to crop at 300mm. With both lenses you start with 16MP.

    With the TC you get 210mm that is a little closer. With a good upscale software you probably can beat the 75-300. Eventually you need to upscale, in print, on display, in PP, otherwise you are comparing different things (cropping alone is not upscaling).

    But then I'd like to see a 210 vs 210 where the 75-300 has better performance then at 300.

    OTOH the speed difference alone can make a lot of difference in ISO or shutter speed that can be relevant.
  9. milkshakeman

    milkshakeman New to Mu-43

    Jan 29, 2015

    First, thanks for all the replies! To answer the printing question, I probably don't print larger than 16in or 42cm.
    So I see there are mixed experiences.
    One thing everyone agrees is that the 75-300 performs very good when there is enough light. The photo I recently made with it proves this as well:
    (kingfisher smashing a fish against the tree to knock it out)

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    And think this was already x2 cropped.

    Most of the times for birds I need more reach than 300mm so I'll probably better wait for the first reactions on the 300mm f4 with TC. It's the lack of reach on the 40-150mm(even with TC) that will probably annoy me.
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  10. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    I went thru this not to long ago and settle on a ZD 50-200 SWD and EC-14. I never used my 75-300 past 250-275 because the sharpness seemed to really drop off. The SWD with EC14 gave me the same reach, weather sealed, and was sharper/faster.
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  11. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    I would agree with others who said that substantial cropping to achieve a desirable image size doesn't work well. So, cropping the sharper 40-150 Pro with a TC14 (gives you 210mm) may not achieve the results you want. There's something to be said for having the right focal length for the job. I had a choice between getting a 40-150 Pro w/TC14 and a 50-200 SWD. I chose the latter because it gave me the range I wanted with less hassle and much less $. And with MC14, I can get up to 280mm.
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  12. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Going from 600mm FF to 300mm FF max focal length.

    That's not an upgrade, that's a downgrade IMVHO.
  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    For what its worth - I have both.

    99% of the time th e 40-150/2.8 is enough reach for me. When it is not, our only options at the moment in native mounts are the 75-300 and the P 100-300. Neither are very fast aperture wise, so they really need to be used in very good lighting.

    If you absolutely need the reach and a fast aperture, then waiting on the O 300/4 is your best bet. You could be some adapted glass, but then that has its own set of limitations.

    IQ wise, when the 75-300 is locked in focus, it is impressive for its price point and size. The 40-150 is just a spectacular lens all around.
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  14. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    I used the 75-300 mkI for bird and wildlife photography for a few years before switching to the 40-150 Pro and teleconverter. The reach of the 40-150 (even with the teleconverter) is admittedly not enough for most forms of bird photography, but even still, the overall experience is better than the 75-300. The AF speed is massively better, the performance in low light is very important for many birding situations, and the greater capacity for background separation is also welcome. As a result, you will get many more shots in focus with the 40-150, even BIF, and in most aspects of IQ it will be better.

    The 40-150 plus TC is sharp enough to be cropped quite a bit, remains sharp and fast all the way through its range, and at 150mm, IBIS still works well. In contrast, the 75-300 is not the sharpest of lenses to begin with. I don't think it is as bad in terms of sharpness as its reputation suggests, particularly for what it is, but remember that it loses aperture, and thus either takes a hit in ISO or shutter speed, at longer ranges. Couple that with folks' usual usage of hand-holding at what is really super telephoto ranges (where IBIS is also less effective), and it certainly does lose considerable IQ when zoomed out. So, if you were using both hand-held, in my experience the 40-150 can match and oftentimes even exceed the 75-300, even cropped.

    That said, I tend not to use the 40-150 for as long of shots as I would like. I can't say if I crop it to 300mm focal lengths on a regular basis, though I'm sure many of my shots have been cropped to within that ballpark. Knowing how good the lens can be, my standards on how far I can crop it are higher than if I were baselining it against the 75-300.

    I do highly recommend the 40-150 Pro as the best telephoto for the system, and I have been using it for birding until the the 300mm Pro comes out. It is a fantastic lens for closer work (and really good for flying insects). However, again, it's just not enough reach for most birding situations. The 300mm has got to come out sometime (knock on wood). If you can wait for that, it would serve you best for birding.
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  15. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    The problem with handholding the 75-300 is not the IBIS, it is the weight. I can handhold my Canon FD 400mm ƒ4.5 easier then I can the 75-300. While lighter weight is all great and wonderful when it comes to lugging around your gear, it actually is a hindrance when trying to use the equipment. Now handholding a 400mm ƒ2.8 would be a different story as fatigue becomes an issue. Super light weight (like an EM5 w/ 75-300) takes less movement to actually move the camera so breathing will cause more movement then a heavier rig will. While I could handhold and get sharp images with my EM5 and FD 400mm I struggled to accomplish the same with the 75-300 when I had it.
  16. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    That makes sense. Stability can be easier to achieve with heavier lenses.
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  17. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I found that also to be true...it can, however be mitigated by adding a grip, if the camera you are using does not already have one and doing your best to keep the shutter speed up. Hence, the reason a lot of us who use it, really only use it in good light. I try and keep the shutter speed as close to 1/1000 and above as I can. at 300 f/6.7 can be trying to make that a reality. :D 
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