Zoom Lens - Oly 40-150 vs Oly 300mm PRO vs Oly 100-400mm

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And not one mention of the amazing (for the price) Olympus 75-300ii.
I had the Olympus 14-150mm f 4-5.6 Mark II and I really disliked that lens, I'm not sure why but the sharpness felt too artificial, too contrasty like the shadows were crushed and the highlights were blown (even after RAW editing) and the chromatic aberrations were quite annoying to deal with (constant deep purple and deep blue that was so hard to correct even Lightroom was like I don't even know what these colors are, often I would have to go in with a desaturated brush to paint out the chromatic aberrations on both the 14mm and 150mm).
Now, what does that have to to with the Olympus 75-300mm f 4.5-6.3 Mark II? I don't know ( :p ) because I haven't used that lens BUT I am hesitant to recommend non-Pro Olympus lenses, at least not without testing them first. It was the same with my Panasonic 45-200mm f 4-5.6 Mark I that a generous member donated when I was panicking when my Olympus 50-200mm f 2.8-3.5 Mark I died of mechanical failure and it felt like the entire summer was going to be ruined if I can't do wildlife, it was before I bit the bullet and got the Panasonic 50-200mm f 2.8-4. At lower end range of lenses its more of personal preference while the more expensive lenses offer you a more consistent and guaranteed level of quality.
 

Holoholo55

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Unfortunately Lenstip has not tested the 40-150 with the MC-20, but they have with the MC-14. They gave the 100-400 @ 300mm a MTF50 of 50 and 40-150 (with MC-14) right around 48. I would image that it would drop more with the MC-20. So I would also agree that the 100-400 is sharper at 300mm than the 40-150. But with the MC-14 or the bare 40-150 you would have sharper images with the 40-150. Plus, if shooting a Panasonic camera you get dual IS...………………….which is actually more useful than I really thought I would find it.
The same person thought the 40-150 Pro was sharper than the PL 100-400. I can't remember if he said what he thought of the 40-150+MC-14. I would expect some drop-off with the TCs, but the 40-150 is sharper to start with. I already had the 40-150, so adding the MC-20 to extend the range was a bit of a no-brainer. :)

Don't we wish that Panasonic and Olympus would make their dual IS systems compatible!

Update: Found the post with those opinions.
https://www.mu-43.com/threads/pany-100-400-vs-oly-mc20-with-40-150.105987/page-2#post-1329501
 
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retiredfromlife

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Don't we wish that Panasonic and Olympus would make their dual IS systems compatible!
I think this would help sales for the system as a whole, but same for the weather proofing seals. Make the whole system compatable. Especially sime there are not as many third party making lenses etc like the bigger brands.
 

Phocal

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I already had the 40-150, so adding the MC-20 to extend the range was a bit of a no-brainer.
If I had the 40-150 I would probably get the MC-20. With the 300/4 I just find it being super useful, f8.0 is pretty damn slow.

Don't we wish that Panasonic and Olympus would make their dual IS systems compatible!
same for the weather proofing seals
The only Panasonic lens that even interest me in the least is the 200/2.8 and it's short enough that dual IS wouldn't be nearly as useful as it is with the 300/4. I find the IBIS more than adequate for the 150/2 and think I would be fine with just IBIS. What would worry me more is the weather sealing. I need weather sealing I can absolutely count on and using a Panasonic lens I would not be fully confident in it.
 
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I don't think we will ever see more cooperation between Panasonic and Olympus. There have been some articles (can't remember when or where) that Panasonic thought the Micro Four Thirds alliance would be like a marriage between Panasonic and Olympus technology, but it ended up more like living together agreement, it even took a few generations of Micro Four Thirds cameras to get sharing of Chromatic Aberration Correction profiles between Panasonic and Olympus.

It might be that Olympus has a very strong Japanese Corporation mentality that makes it hard to overcome pride to share deeper technology, like AF algorithms, software corrections, Pro features compatibility, shared IBIS and OIS syncing. Or it might be Panasonic being overly aggressive in competing with each other, who knows really.

I could imagine how amazing a deep sharing and collaboration would work for both companies, like Panasonic making video-oriented cameras and Olympus making photography-oriented cameras, the same with the lenses.

I don't see a very bright future for most camera manufacturers the way the market is going now, either consolidate and diversify or join Kodak to the greener pastures.
 

mrjoemorgan

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I don't see a very bright future for most camera manufacturers the way the market is going now, either consolidate and diversify or join Kodak to the greener pastures.
I have a similar belief. I read an article some time ago which I wish I could find which looked at all the camera manufacturers and discussed their funding for R+D etc. For example, Olympus and Canon and Sony have much larger business units than photography, and other "imaging" departments too like medical scanners etc. So they have the $$ to keep photography going. Whereas someone like Nikon does not have that.

I do wonder what the future holds for M43 system. Does it have a self-life now FF mirrorless is coming down in size and weight and price?
 
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I have a similar belief. I read an article some time ago which I wish I could find which looked at all the camera manufacturers and discussed their funding for R+D etc. For example, Olympus and Canon and Sony have much larger business units than photography, and other "imaging" departments too like medical scanners etc. So they have the $$ to keep photography going. Whereas someone like Nikon does not have that.

I do wonder what the future holds for M43 system. Does it have a self-life now FF mirrorless is coming down in size and weight and price?
I think M4/3 does have a future but it will grow more and more into a niece corner of the market, specifically for the size of telephoto lenses for wildlife and action/sports photographers and for street photographers who want the most stealthy setup (though I don't feel very confident on the 2nd one because Fujifilm has as compact primes and can offer shallower DoF per lens size then Micro Four Thirds, where M4/3 would have a somewhat advantage is IBIS and data read speed of the sensor). I would say APS-C would grow in irrelevance because it is middle of the ground where it doesn't fully satisfy IQ (compared to Full Frame) nor does it get a significant size advantage (compared to Micro Four Thirds): Example (that always makes me laugh):

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And when you look at the primes it's even crazier:
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While I am sure that there are some who love to scream equivalency (*cough* Northrup *coup* ... sorry, I'm allergic to bullshit :p ) some forget that:
#1 Not everyone has the wages of Doctors/Lawyers/Dentists/Business people etc
#2 Not everyone is professionals but we still wish to make beautiful pictures (for money or not)
#3 "Go to the gym" is basically body shaming (not all people are created equal)
#4 The best camera is the one you have with you ... this applies to lenses too, if we take a lens more often with us then we have more opportunities to make pictures with it and of those (wildlife/sports/action) kind.
Don't forget to enjoy the journey, not just the destination.

I think Olympus has more business diversity that has a higher chance of growing then what Canon has. All people need a doctor ... all doctors need tools to heal people ... all tools have to be made by someone: Olympus Medical Business should have enough profit and growth to keep the Photography side of the business for centuries.
Sony has the biggest diversity that can keep the Photography side from surviving any kind of market crash, from PlayStation 4 to Bravia TVs to Smartphones, etc ... if Sony, for whatever reason, might go bankrupt completely most of the camera manufacturers AND smartphone manufactures would run out of sensors to put in their cameras: extremely unlikely.
Canon business diversity (from their own mouths) is 45% Office Equipment (printers mostly), 25% Imaging (Photography and Cinema cameras), 10% Medical Equipment, 20% Industrial Equipment. They won't have any problems surviving.
Pansonic is a very big and diverse company, almost as diverse as Sony.
Nikon?
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That's quite a high dependence on the Camera section of their business.
 

mrjoemorgan

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Yes, it's quite astounding what Oly/Pany/Fuji have managed to achieve regarding size!

In that photo is has the first one as f8-11 equivalent which is a little misleading, as that's DOF equivalent rather than aperture equivalent (speed/light) right?
 

mrjoemorgan

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.xb-attach{ text-align:center; display:inline-block; *display: inline; clear:both; max-width:100% } .lbContainer.lbContainer--canZoom .lbContainer-zoomer { bottom: 24px; }
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Isn't that the Olympus 400m f4? Not the 40-150?
 
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Oh yes, you are right, I wrote the wrong lens, sorry about that, in the picture,it is the Olympus 300mm f 4 Pro, the specs are the right ones for the 300mm f 4.

Now if you really want to talk about equivalency it would be running around own tail. If Depth of Field is what you are wanting then look no farther then Full Frame. The difference in the amount of light a lens gathers then it should be no difference between an M4/3 lens, an APS-C lens, a Full Frame lens or a Medium Format lens. The bigger the sensor the larger the lens diameter has to be but comparing one format to another it's the same ratio of sensor size and lens diameter (but there will always be a give or take a few millimeters if the designer wants to overcompensate for a better vignette correction in the corners).
Why else would T stops on video production-oriented lens have THE SAME T value between different formats (where the T value is the amount of light that passes and the lens mount to the camera)
The reason why M4/3 lenses "seem" to gather "lens light" is because M4/3 sensors are smaller and denser then Full Frame, so you have about 2 stops worse ISO performance, hence it makes the images look less sharp and noisier (aka darker). Then again if you have M4/3 and Full Frame setup put the two side by side with the same focal range, the same aperture value, the same shutter speed, nd the same ISO ... you will get close to identical brightness/exposure, wouldn't that suggest that both cameras and lenses the same amount of light?
 
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mrjoemorgan

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So I have an opportunity to get the 300m f4 for $1200 used. Which is in between the price of a New and Used 100-400.

I'm trying to see results of the 300mm f4 w/ MC-14 vs the 100-400 performance. The 300mm f4 without MC-14 looks far superior based on reviews and results, as it should be for the cost, but what I like about the 100-400 is the focal range it gives me.

@AndyT and @Phocal - you both have the 300+1.4 right? How much does the MC impact IQ and performance? And have you tried the 100-400? How does it compare?
 

Phocal

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I know my reply is going to bring a lot of comments and hate from the Panasonic users...…………………..

I have never used the Panasonic 100-400 but based on all the images I have seen from it on this site and others I believe the Panny is a good consumer lens. I put it up there in the same category as the Sigma 150-600 Sport, while a good lens they are both slow consumer zooms. The Olympus 300 is a professional lens and is without a doubt the sharpest lens I have ever used, it is better than the Canon 500mm f4.0 I used when shooting Canon. If I had never used the ZD 150mm f2.0 I would say it was the best lens I have ever used. While it is a bit sharper than my 150/2, the 150/2 just has something special about it's images. But it is seriously an absolutely amazing lens.

I use LensTip for lens information and their testing of both lenses show a significant difference between the two. They give the Olympus 300 an MTF of 69 (74 when stopped down to f5.6) with the bare lens compared to an MTF of 50 at 300mm with no improvement stopping down. I can verify that the Olympus does sharpen up a noticeable amount when stopped down to f5.6. I only know this from testing because I almost always shoot the lens wide-open. With the MC-14 they give the Olympus an MTF of 57ish (increases a little stopped down a full stop) while the Panny comes in at 38 (increasing to 44ish stopping down a stop). Their testing matches what my own conclusions based on images I have seen.

So, yes. The MC-14 does impact image quality, which is something to expect when using a TC. But even with the TC the 300/4 is still amazing and still slightly better than the Panasonic at 300mm and significantly better than the Panny at 400mm. If you are only posting to the internet or printing small (20" and below on the long side) you could get a way with just cropping, the lens has that good of resolution. But if you are printing large, you will always be better off with the TC.

I have this image taken with the TC printed 40x30 hanging on my wall and it looks amazing. You can walk up and inspect the image from a foot away and the detail in it still shows. I recommend clicking through to Flickr so you can zoom in and look at it. While there check out the images in the album (all taken with the MC-14) and you will get an idea of what the lens with TC is capable of.

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Tricolored Heron 006 by Phocal Art, on Flickr

If you after ultimate image quality the Olympus is the way to go. If you want to settle for 2nd best but have the "convenience of a zoom" than get the Panny. Our system really is super small and light compared to full frame and because of that you can easily carry two cameras and lenses. So if you want convenience and ultimate image quality pair the 300/4 with the ZD 150/2 (with TC's for each lens) and you have is the best setup I have ever used that will cover the following equivalent focal lengths: 300mm, 400mm, 600mm, 800mm.

just my 2 copper pieces,

Phocal

oh, Dual IS. I honestly have always thought it was just a gimmick. But having had the chance to use it a few years now it is absolutely amazing. It allows me shoot from difficult positions or perspectives and still get sharp images. It also allows for some very low shutter speed images when you subject is cooperative. If you are shooting an Olympus body than definitely get the 300/4 because Dual IS very much useful. Here is an image I shot at 1/50 handheld because I wanted to shoot at base ISO and I wanted to see if it was possible, bonus points if you notice what the bird was hunting.

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Frog Legs by Phocal Art, on Flickr
 

AndyT

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My experience with the 300f4 and TC is limited in that it is a relatively new purchase and not used as much as I would like.

Having said that I can only echo that which @Phocal has said - the combo works extremely well, especially with the dual IS.
Makes handheld shots easier, at short ranges anything is possible.
I typically shoot at long distances, especially in our game parks where getting out of your vehicle is not a great idea.
So you do need to watch your technique a bit when shooting as mentioned - also turning off the engine (an Isuzu diesel can rattle anything) helps.

Moon, handheld - the best of the images I could manage.

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Both of the pics below are cropped, originally shot in landscape.

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mrjoemorgan

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Thank you @AndyT @Phocal - I'm sold! Just bought it. Excited to try it out.

The only advantage of the 100-400 is the range in focal lengths, but getting the 300mm for the same price is too good to give up and ill have to use my legs more.
 

Phocal

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Thank you @AndyT @Phocal - I'm sold! Just bought it. Excited to try it out.

The only advantage of the 100-400 is the range in focal lengths, but getting the 300mm for the same price is too good to give up and ill have to use my legs more.
you will not be disappointed. just got back from a hike and shot some abstract landscape with it, hoping they come out as my mind is hoping.
 

bbarnett51

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For an extremely versatile and affordable option, don’t forget about the m.zuiko 50-200 2.8-3.5. With the 1.4x you have 560mm and it’s damn sharp. I find this lens to be my most versatile. I use it for portraits, sports, and wildlife. I have owned both versions of this lens, the SWD and non SWD ED. The ED is significantly better. It’s sharper wide open, better bokeh (not the ugly nervous bokeh I had with thE SWD). The only difference is focusing. I find it acquires focus about as fast BUT if you miss doll focus it sounds like a garbage truck and hunts. Its not bad and. Doesn’t hinder my shooting most of the time.
For portraits it’s very pleasing and the compression makes for nice bokeh. These certainly aren’t my best efforts but they show the bokeh and how it handles back light.
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mrjoemorgan

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Beautiful shots. You need an adaptor for those lenses, right? How do they impact focus etc?
 

bbarnett51

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Beautiful shots. You need an adaptor for those lenses, right? How do they impact focus etc?
I use the Olympus mmf-3 and focus on the em1mkii is great. Again the only time it’s an issue is when it racks focus andbit will hunt. This happens on birds in flight more than anything else. It acquires focus relatively fast. I’m skeptical that the 40-150 2.8 with 2x is as sharp as the 50-200 with 1.4. If it is, then I might go that route.
 

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