What lens instead of the 40-150/2.8 for upcoming trip? Sorry, another "what gear" post :(

Huff

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Well, it's starting to look like I wont be getting the 40-150/2.8 pro lens in time for a trip in January to Costa Rica. I was hoping to take my E-M1, the 12-40 pro and the 40-150 but due to supply and my not placing an early pre-order I won't have the long lens. The wife would also really prefer I don't drop another 1500 right now! (I need to break it off in bite-sized chunks :)) I can take a very capable Canon kit but I simply don't want to lug around all of that big heavy gear.

This is primarily a family getaway the first half, then a work retreat the second half. Photography is not the primary goal of trip but an important part. I want quality images with minimal worry about gear in varied conditions. While I am not really a birder, I know there are going to be lots of opportunities for photos. Plus monkeys, sloths, snakes (ew!), and who knows what else.

I'm new to Olympus so I have essentially zero experience with lenses other than the 12-40/2.8. I need an alternative lens to give me some versatility and reach. While it's 1/2 the reach of the 150, I have been considering the 75/1.8 as it seems to be highly regarded. What else should I think about? I'm willing to trade reach for quality. 35-100? 50-200? 100-300? Oh, I do not plan to bring along a monopod or anything like that so the focal length of the 100-300 would concern me some (as does the image quality actually)

Thanks in advance and sorry for yet another one of these questions. I thought I had it all figured out without too much effort.
 

Listener

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If you want to get pictures of birds and other wildlife, a 75mm will be far too short for many shots. Even a 150mm lens will not be long enough for many opportunities. The Panasonic 100-300 zoom or the Oly 75-300mm would be good choices. You can get a tripod collar for the Panasonic. Handholding at an effective 600mm is chancy. Some birding opportinuties will be under forest cover. Not much light. I'd take a monopod.

If you want to get pictures of wildflowers, a macro lens would be good. My wife and I use Oly 60mm macro lenses.

A Panasonic 14-1450 ii has been a fine walking around lens for other kinds of pictures.

I've been to Costa Rica. There are spectacular birds there but they won't be at a trivial distance in great light. Don't blow your opportunity because of doctrine or prejudice.
 

Glenn S

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The Olympus 40-150 f4/5.6 is a really nice lens, small, light and sharp.

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mattia

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The 50-200. Rainforests are one of those places where I really appreciate the weather sealing, and the 43 50-200 with the mmf3 provides the weather seal you'd want. Works nicely with the E-M1, and there's the option to get a 1.4x TC. As well.

Otherwise I got a lot of nice shots out of my 100-300 panasonic when I had it, including in Ecuador. But occasionally did miss having a wider aperture that I could use wide open without worrying about sharpness.
 

Growltiger

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The Olympus 75-300 is an excellent little lens. This photo was taken at 300mm handheld - you don't need a monopod or tripod, just use a fast shutter speed.

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CiaranCReilly

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+1 on Olympus 40-150 f/4-5.6, small and cheap and enough reach for recreational use in my opinion. Will also let you know if you want to splash out on the f/2.8 eventually

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Carbonman

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I have to agree on the 40-150 f4-5.6. It's actually quite sharp and dirt cheap. I'm relying on mine until next summer. I figure the combo you're already waiting for will be in stock everywhere by then.
Get yourself a set of Fotga 10mm & 16mm extension tubes and you have quick and dirty macro capabilities on the 40-150 without spending much. The 40-150 f2.8 and 1.4x extender are coming; you just have to make it through until then without breaking the bank.
 

Huff

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If you want to get pictures of birds and other wildlife, a 75mm will be far too short for many shots. Even a 150mm lens will not be long enough for many opportunities. The Panasonic 100-300 zoom or the Oly 75-300mm would be good choices. You can get a tripod collar for the Panasonic. Handholding at an effective 600mm is chancy. Some birding opportinuties will be under forest cover. Not much light. I'd take a monopod.

If you want to get pictures of wildflowers, a macro lens would be good. My wife and I use Oly 60mm macro lenses.

A Panasonic 14-1450 ii has been a fine walking around lens for other kinds of pictures.

I've been to Costa Rica. There are spectacular birds there but they won't be at a trivial distance in great light. Don't blow your opportunity because of doctrine or prejudice.
Thanks for the thoughts. I'm aware the 75 will be short in many situations, but again ,this is not a primarily birding or even a wildlife trip. We will also be confined to the northern part of the country and not deep in the rainforests down south. That is for another trip.

I'll look at the options you mentioned with the exception of the 60 macro. For my needs, the very close focus capabilities of the 12-40 pro will be perfect for my needs. No need for a dedicated macro IMHO.

Thanks again!
 

Huff

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The 50-200. Rainforests are one of those places where I really appreciate the weather sealing, and the 43 50-200 with the mmf3 provides the weather seal you'd want. Works nicely with the E-M1, and there's the option to get a 1.4x TC. As well.

Otherwise I got a lot of nice shots out of my 100-300 panasonic when I had it, including in Ecuador. But occasionally did miss having a wider aperture that I could use wide open without worrying about sharpness.
If things work out as everyone says, we won't see much rain. We will be int he northern part of the country which I understand to be more arid to start with. That and it being the "dry season". That said, I've also experienced the downpours of SE Asia "dry season"! :)

Weather sealing was a big influencer for me to purchase this system. I appreciate the callout there. Is this lens native m4/3 or do I need an adapter? With an adapter, do I lose a half stop of light? Auto focus?
 

Huff

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The Olympus 75-300 is an excellent little lens. This photo was taken at 300mm handheld - you don't need a monopod or tripod, just use a fast shutter speed.

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I would tend to agree that the right shutter speed can help with things. I'm hoping the IBIS will be of benefit here too. That said, I've tried to handhold other 600mm solutions and its a real bear. The advantage here is the extreme weight savings so I think I can hand-hold much easier
 

Huff

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+1 on Olympus 40-150 f/4-5.6, small and cheap and enough reach for recreational use in my opinion. Will also let you know if you want to splash out on the f/2.8 eventually

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Thanks. I know I will be purchasing the 2.8 version, it's just a matter of when. My Canon 2.8's may as well be glued there. This is a stop-gap solution.
 

barry13

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The 50-200mm is a 4/3 mount lens so it needs an adapter... The mmf-3 is the adapter from Olympus, and it has weather seals.
You don't lose any light with most mount adapters.

It is auto-focusing but will not be nearly as fast as the new 40-150mm Pro.

Note the 50-200mm is large by m43 standards.

Barry
 

Huff

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I have to agree on the 40-150 f4-5.6. It's actually quite sharp and dirt cheap. I'm relying on mine until next summer. I figure the combo you're already waiting for will be in stock everywhere by then.
Get yourself a set of Fotga 10mm & 16mm extension tubes and you have quick and dirty macro capabilities on the 40-150 without spending much. The 40-150 f2.8 and 1.4x extender are coming; you just have to make it through until then without breaking the bank.
I think I might grab one to try sooner than later. This might be a good solution. I'm still sorely tempted by the 75/1.8...I know the reach is short but the quality of the images and the 1.8 are very nice to have. I honestly don't expect any extended trips into the rainforest for shooting and I am trying to keep the kit minimal.
 

Huff

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The 50-200mm is a 4/3 mount lens so it needs an adapter... The mmf-3 is the adapter from Olympus, and it has weather seals.
You don't lose any light with most mount adapters.

Note the 50-200mm is large by m43 standards.

Barry
Thanks Barry
 

Huff

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AmI looking at the right 40-150? Selling for like $100?
 

bassman

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I have both the 43 50-200 and the Oly 40-150/4-5.6. Without a question, the 50-200 is better in every way. It focuses reasonably quickly on the EM1, is very sharp, and is fast enough. It's also reasonably priced; I got mine with the m43 adaptor for about $500. But it's really big. I never carry it on trips or spec; I only take it out when I know I'll need it - such as kids' sports (I did the same with my Nikon 80-200/2.8). The 40-150/4-5.6, of the other hand, is really inexpensive, really light and takes good pictures if you have the light. I've never actually carried the 50-200 on a trip, but I almost always take the lightweight. YMMV.
 

shermanshen

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Here's a vote for the 35-100mm f2.8. It looks like you're after a premium lens, and the 35-100, while shorter than the olympus has several advantages. First, it can be found for around $900 used on ebay or amazon. In fact, you could probably find used copies of the 35-100 and oly 75mm for about the same price as the 40-150 new. Second, the size difference really is significant. I was able to put my GX7 and 35-100mm combination in a sweater pocket recently, something you could probably not get away with using a larger lens. From reviews I've seen, it's optically equal to the 40-150, it's just missing the extra length at the telephoto end.

The slower zoom lenses are great as well if you want to save money, I've used the 40-150 f4-5.6 and the pana 100-300. Both deliver really great results as long as there is sufficient light. Good luck on your search!
 
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