Which Telephoto Zoom is best?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by newphoto, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. newphoto

    newphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2013
    I have a new EM1 on order and I want to buy a micro 4/3's tele for my wildlife photography. Since only zooms are available in this format, I have chosen either the Panasonic 100-300 or the Olympus 75-300. The Panasonic is a little cheaper, a tad bit faster, and comes with a lens hood, the Olympus of course is the same brand. For those of you with experience which lens would you choose, knowing that most of your use will be on the long end of the zoom?
  2. newphoto

    newphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2013
    I forgot to mention that the Olympus focuses two feet closer than the panasonic (minimum focus distance) but the olympus has a larger macro ratio (magnification). Anyone?
  3. neofx19

    neofx19 Mu-43 Regular

    May 16, 2012
    I can't comment on the 75-300mm Olympus but I do have the 100-300mm Panasonic and it focuses pretty darn quickly on my EM5. I've heard from people who've had both the 75-300mm focuses quicker on Olympus bodies and the 100-300mm focuses quicker on Panasonic bodies. Although this purely from a user experience and nothing scientific (unless someone can prove me wrong). The reason I chose the 100-300mm was for two reasons cost - at the time of purchase it was cheaper the 75-300mm and the slight advantage pertaining to speed the 75-300 starts at f/4.8 while the 100-300 starts at f/4. Its not an earth shatter difference but still a difference nonetheless. Oh and of course the lens hood was a bonus. Personally I don't really see any reason to go for the Olympus other than brand loyalty. Olympus makes great optics but when you compare these two specific lenses, IMO, Panasonic is clearly the lens to get.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. thelaxong

    thelaxong Mu-43 user

    Jan 13, 2011
    Melbourne - Australia
    Have a look though this threads on those 2 lenses:

    http://www.google.com/cse?cx=partne...lympus 75-300 or Panasonic 100-300&gsc.page=1

    Oly image samples:

    Pana image samples:

    I am using my Panasonic 100-300mm lens for birding and is quite happy with it.

    One thing the Pana got over the Oly lens is that it got in-lens OIS via a switch and can be used on body without IS (Panasonic). Using on the OMD (EM-5 or OM-1) you either have the choice to use both (in-body or -in-lens IS).

    Good luck with your decision.
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    From all I've read, the IQ is a wash; and they are both examples of "consumer" zooms - that's to say the IQ is OK, but nothing special, especially at the long end. I have the 100-300 and it's OK for a lot of things, but if you're looking for fine feather detail on birds, then you'll be disappointed.
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    This is one in the same. The reason the Olympus has better macro magnification at 300mm is because it has a closer focus distance at 300mm. Given the same focal length (the longest focal length on a zoom), the macro magnification is determined by the closest focus distance.
  7. thelaxong

    thelaxong Mu-43 user

    Jan 13, 2011
    Melbourne - Australia
    The Panasonic 100-300 is quite sharp. I can get decent feather detail of birds.

    Others are getting decent result as well. One of our forum member from the UK, klythawk is shooting birds with this lens and he get amazing detail. Have a look through his FlickR site. It is worth to check them out.

    Here is one of his bird example shooting at 300mm:
    Slimline...... by klythawk, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 5
  8. byegad

    byegad Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2013
    I have the 4/3 Olly 70-300 which is very slow to focus on any of my bodies and the Panasonic H-FS045200E 45-200mm f4.0-5.6 ASPH Mega O.I.S Telephoto Zoom Lens. The latter is much faster, at the expense of that last 100mm!
  9. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Don't forget the 50-200 f2.8-3.5. Certainly the best image quality in this range outside the really expensive glass.

    Add a 1.4 TC and you get out to 283mm @ f4.9
  10. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    I didn't think anyone made a TC for ยต4/3.
    There are loads of legacy lenses that might meet the OP's needs without a TC, but I got the impression newphoto was after a native lens.
  11. kenez

    kenez Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 18, 2012
    I have the 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD and it does focus well on the EM-1 (much better than the EM-5). I also have the TC20 teleconverter which makes the lens 100-400mm at a cost of two stops of light gathering ability. Image quality wise the 50-200 SWD would be the way to go if you don't mind the extra size and weight. I also have a Panasonic 45-200mm m4/3 lens and while it focuses fast it just doesn't cut it in low light. Outdoors in daylight it's fine.
  12. RenaudVL

    RenaudVL Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    I second that. I had both Oly and Pany 300mm zoom and find the IQ with the 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 SWD with 1.4x converter is much better... I have the 2x on the way...
  13. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I have the 100-300mm and I love it. It's the only zoom that I own, I sold all the rest in favor of primes. I've used it handheld and with a monopod and I've been very satisfied with the results. I consider it great value for the price.