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View Full Version : Wish I hadn't sold my 70-300mm


David Morison
3rd January 2011, 05:12 PM
Seen lots of threads and images recently regarding the pros and cons of the ZD 70-300mm and going back through my images I now wish I'd hung onto my 70-300. I now use a 300mm f2.8 for birds but it is a weighty beast and there are occasions when I'm travelling that I leave it behind. I will have to find a 2nd hand one now!

This image of a Red-tailed Hawk was taken at a wildlife park with the 70-300 - 160th at f8, ISO 200.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/Red-Tailed-Hawk.jpg

David

Danny
3rd January 2011, 05:24 PM
the 70-300 is still my main birding lens even though i have the 50-500mm bigma. I find the zd 70-300 far sharper at both ends.

Cracking shot btw!

JackBenedict
3rd January 2011, 05:53 PM
I pondered long and hard before I got my 70-300. I wouldn't be without it now. Along with 12-60 these are the first two lenses to go in my bag.

stryker
3rd January 2011, 06:16 PM
I've sold all of my lenses except 35mm macro and 14-54 and 70-300 the 2 lenses I use most!
I can now carry everything in one medium sized bag.
Looking to buy a micro 4/3rds adaptor so I can try the 70-300 on my panny G1.

shenstone
3rd January 2011, 09:08 PM
I have to say that I agree you should have kept it. I've never sold a lens

I've given some away when I changed from 42mm screw to Pentax and then again when I moved from Pentax to Oly Digital

I like coming back to them again because I find I get too set on a group of lenses and it's good to go back and see what you can do with them

I don't use my 70-300 much now, but there are times I would like it as a backup because I've dropped a camera on holiday and broken a lens and would not like to rely on 1 in a range for any important trips - I lug as much as I can get away with

Regards
Andy

Ross the fiddler
4th January 2011, 01:08 AM
What a fantasticly beautiful shot. I use my 70-300 lens a lot but it can be slightly frustrating with its slow focusing motor, but otherwise it is a very versatile lens. I would still like to get the 50-200 SWD & EC14 & EC20 combinations but that requires money. :(

Kittykat23uk
4th January 2011, 01:04 PM
I haven't used my 70-300 after buying the 50-200. It's practically brand new only been used a couple of times. I was thinking about selling it but I'm not sure if I'd just regret it... :confused:

Jim Ford
4th January 2011, 03:25 PM
I haven't used my 70-300 after buying the 50-200. It's practically brand new only been used a couple of times. I was thinking about selling it but I'm not sure if I'd just regret it... :confused:

Exactly my position!

If I took my 70-300 out I'm pretty sure I'd look at any images taken with it and say 'Hmm - wish I taken it with the 50-200mm!'.

Jim

Wee man
4th January 2011, 03:47 PM
Great shot I will have to start using this lens more after seeing the results others are getting.

pandora
3rd April 2011, 08:14 AM
I have been having a conversation about the 70-300 vers. EC14/50-200mm with Cathrine as I have not yet produced an image with the latter that convinces me it is any better.

The only thing wrong with the 70-300 is its build quality. Mine broke internally after two years of quite heavy use, it was my favourite lens.

There are also a practical factors here worth mentioning.
Let's agree that the 50-200 is optically superior to the 70-300.
Without a converter the lightweight 70-300 outreaches the heavier 50-200.
For photographers who like 'shooting from the hip' without a tripod, uses fence posts, trees etc. as a brace for a fast moving, multi subject photographic style, I ask whether at the end of the day the 70-300 will yield more keepers than the more cumbersome 50-200, with or without a converter. My guess would be that the 70-300 will take the day so long as it doesn't break during the shoot!

And btw, I have been out field testing the 50-200 today. Unfortunately I no longer have a 70-300 that would have allowed me to shoot comparatively. I will post today's exercise within the next hour or two.

pandora
3rd April 2011, 08:19 AM
And David, thanks for raising the subject, your Red-Tailed Hawk is beautiful.

OlyPaul
3rd April 2011, 08:27 AM
For me the winning qualities of the 70-300mm are the fact that you can go from this.

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/133632115.jpg

To this half life size and still maintain quality with just one lens.

http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography/image/113251193.jpg

Ross the fiddler
3rd April 2011, 08:38 AM
I know the 70-300 lens is versatile & I wish I had it yesterday (on my E30) at a Highland Gathering instead of the standard twin lenses on the E520. I thought I would go light plus it would have been better if I'd remembered to turn on IS. I still would like the 50-200 SWD for indoor events where the range is more suitable plus a larger aperture for better lower light performance (when a greater DoF is not needed).

Cathrine Stephansen
3rd April 2011, 08:47 AM
I like the fact that you can get very good shots with a reasonably priced lens. Most of the images which require detail (such as birds) that I've seen are far better with the Olympus 70-300 than with same-priced Canonikon-gear... I wish Oly would be better at marketing their wonderful system. I'm usually so annoyed at all the ***** that gets such splendid wrapping, with Olympus it's the other way around: High quality within the price ranges, but too little marketing effort!

I have a couple of woodpecker images I'll find when I was doing the comparison between the 70-300 and the 50-200. I found the focus a bit slow on the 70-300, and after having tried it in the field I gave it to dad. But that is taking into consideration that 1: coastal fieldwork quite simply requires something faster and 2: it was a great present for a much-loved father! The lens has the weight in its favour, so it's a good lens for him. If I hadn't had anyone who could put it to better use, I would have kept it myself.

I'll hunt out those woodpeckers from the archives now

.

David Morison
3rd April 2011, 10:47 AM
Slow focus is a big issue and using CAF just didn't work for me unless the bird was just against a plain sky and didn't move an inch. I eventually sold it after I had bought the "Bigma" (since replaced by the 300mm f2.8) because of the frustration of trying to focus and photograph a bird that was only going to stay in place for 5-10 seconds. However given the right lighting conditions and the right subject (as in the Red-tailed Hawk) this lens can give superb images and I still wish I had it in my arsenal. Whether I will buy another is a moot point as I have so many lenses I am already at a point where I can see me not getting acceptable use out of all of them, I like to travel by foot or bike and economy of kit is an important issue. With the 300mm being my mainstay I would only regret it if a stunning telephoto opportunity arose and I only had the 70-300.

David

OlyPaul
3rd April 2011, 11:33 AM
Slow focus is a big issue and using CAF just didn't work for me unless the bird was just against a plain sky and didn't move an inch. I eventually sold it after I had bought the "Bigma" (since replaced by the 300mm f2.8) because of the frustration of trying to focus and photograph a bird that was only going to stay in place for 5-10 seconds. However given the right lighting conditions and the right subject (as in the Red-tailed Hawk) this lens can give superb images and I still wish I had it in my arsenal. Whether I will buy another is a moot point as I have so many lenses I am already at a point where I can see me not getting acceptable use out of all of them, I like to travel by foot or bike and economy of kit is an important issue. With the 300mm being my mainstay I would only regret it if a stunning telephoto opportunity arose and I only had the 70-300.

David

As in all walks of life it is about choices and compromises, something we cannot avoid.;)

Cathrine Stephansen
3rd April 2011, 01:20 PM
I dug out the woodpeckers, but couldn't find back to this thread at first, so I posted it in the other one:

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?p=108707&posted=1#post108707

Tordan58
4th April 2011, 09:04 AM
Hi,

I have both lenses. I have had the 70-300 for several years and the 50-200 SWD for a couple of weeks (used tha

Price tag ratio is ~1:3. For a lens three times as expensive you get one that produces higher quality images, the AF is much faster and the f/2.8 vs f/4.0 makes a difference in the viewfinder.

Also as some people have raised the 70-300 is probably not the highest build quality. AF failed after 2 years in my case.

The 70-300 is capable of delivering sharp images though. I usually have it mounted together with the EC-14 for bird photography. That unfortunately reduces the lens speed further with approx one f-stop (~f/5.6) and you need high ISO for shutter times short enough. I have been using a E-520 meaning usually ISO 800 (I would consider ISO 400 if sunny conditions only).

The 50-200 SWD is my choice when light conditions start to become an issue when shooting with the 70-300, or when shooting moving objects.

Cheers,
Tord