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jamie allan
5th March 2011, 12:05 PM
I'm looking for some advice. I've an e410 and an e600 as well as the following Olympus digital lenses 14-42/17.5-45/40-150/70-300. I also have a variety of OM fit primes - Konica adapted 28/40/50mm. I've just had a little windfall and was thinking of buying another lens - budget 500 max. I had thought of the 14-54 but have seen a number of comments regarding its performance with respect to the 14-42 kit lens that made me rethink if I'd get the value out of it. I could probably get a second hand 12-60 or even 50-200 for the money. Being where I am the last couple of months of hard work, long hours and poor light when I get home has mean I've had very little camera use. My family are not interested in portrait photography - they run a mile if I point my camera in their direction. I spend a lot of time walking my dog so something versatile - range wise - and large aperture is required as our weather can be dreich. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Wee man
5th March 2011, 12:59 PM
Don't know if this helps? York Cameras (London) 02072427182 have a (mint) Olympus 50 -200mm with case hood and filter for 499 in this weeks Amateur Photographer the same magazine has a 135 - 400mm DG Sigma Lens Olympus fit for 349 from Mifsuds Brixham 01803852400. I have no connection with either company just tend to read the ads!

Ellie
5th March 2011, 01:57 PM
I think you'll make up your own mind once you've had a load of different ideas, so this isn't really 'advice', but just 'what I did'.

I've got a similar set of lenses to yours, also the 35mm macro. I note you don't have a 'true' macro lens, but you might not want or need one.

I recently bought a second hand Sigma 105mm macro (from LCE) and an EC14 teleconverter (privately). Total price was a bit less than the amount you can spend.

Because the weather's been so dire, and it's been so dark, I haven't yet had the chance to use either of them very much but yesterday (it was sunny) put the Sigma onto the camera to see what it'd do and was quite pleased with the results, both for close-up and more distant stuff (birds) and landscape.

I'm hoping that the teleconverter will mean I've got twice as many lenses, although the extra layer of glass reduces the light/available aperture. Yesterday I lent it to somebody else who used it on their 70-300mm. It seemed to do what it was intended to do, and increased the range without adding too much weight.

OlyPaul
5th March 2011, 02:07 PM
Jamie I looked at your gallery and there seems to be a even mixture of landscape wildlife and macro, It seems you have most of those bases covered with the lenses you have except macro, so unless you need weather proofing of the 50-200 or 12-60 I'd say there is a gap for a decent macro lens in there, like the ZD50 ( I love mine) or 105 Sigma.:)

jamie allan
5th March 2011, 02:29 PM
Ed\Ellie\Paul,
Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought of a Sigma prime. I had toyed with the Oly 50mm macro - to the extent of asking Kerso for a price but I don't think I'd use it enough. I also think that using the legacy lenses and manual focus for any macro work that I'll do is enough. I think I should have said in my previous post that I am looking for something versatile, portable and maybe a step up speed wise from my standard lenses. I usually carry the 14-42 on the camera and the 70-300 and the 40mm Konica Hexanon in the bag. I've missed a fair few wildlife on my walks whilst standing changing lenses.

cinders
5th March 2011, 03:41 PM
I wouldn't discount the 14-54 entirely. I've recently bought one to replace my 14-42 and I do find it's a great improvement, particularly in less bright conditions. Although I will also put in a vote for the ZD 50 which is a cracking macro or portrait lens... So many options!!!!

Jim Ford
5th March 2011, 03:58 PM
I've got a very little used Sigma 105mm I'm thinking of selling. I'll be wanting 250 for it plus postage.

Jim

Homer Simpson
5th March 2011, 05:04 PM
Jamie

If I was in your boots it would be a 2nd hand e30 I'd be looking for, to get more out of the lenses you have.

Am I right in thinking neither of your cameras have IS

Melaka
5th March 2011, 06:33 PM
As others have said, it depends on what you want to take pix of.

The 14-54 and the 12-60 are faster and have a better zoom range than either of the short zooms you have. You wouldn't regret buying one and could sell the 17.5-45, which is probably the least atractive of all the Oly lenses, to help offset the cost.

Most would reckon the 50-200, especially if used with an EC14, is better than the 70-300 both for speed and IQ.

I've tried all the macro lenses and have found the 150 Sigma to be the best, partly because of IQ and partly because it has a longer working distance.

jamie allan
5th March 2011, 07:28 PM
Homer,

The e600 is simply a cut down version of the e620 so does have IS. I'm happy with the camera I'd rather concentrate on the lens side of things thanks.

David,

As I take most of my photographs whilst walking with my dog I think that a zoom is what I'm looking for rather than a prime.

Cindy,

I know this is a silly question to ask someone who has bought the lens but do you think that the difference is worth the cost?

Thanks again all for the responses

photo_owl
5th March 2011, 07:33 PM
Jamie

This is a tough one from the information given (not suggesting more info needed!)

Having most of the suggestions (apart from Jim's 105 - but I use a 50/2 + EC20 which is pretty much the same) my suggestion would be to get an E30 or E620.

Reasons -

1. whilst the 12-60 may well provide a better lens solution to match up with your 70-300, especially by giving you a much wider FOV than anything you have at the moment, it's not hugely faster and the AF speed inrease is neither a noted factor by you nor going to benefit from the 410's capability.
2. somehow the 50/2 does find a way to get used a lot, it's not in the same class as the 12-60 as a must have on the camera lens. I use the 50 a lot around the house and garden, and when specifically shooting flowers or fungi, but when travelling with an E body the 12-60 is simply indespensible.
3. the 410 is at the lower end of the previous sensor family, and relatively harsh in terms of DR and contrast.
4. the 410 doesn't have a tilt-swivel LCD
5. the 410 lacks IS, which is really helpful with the 70-300 (and anything else as far as I am concerned)

jamie allan
5th March 2011, 09:56 PM
Jamie

This is a tough one from the information given (not suggesting more info needed!)

Having most of the suggestions (apart from Jim's 105 - but I use a 50/2 + EC20 which is pretty much the same) my suggestion would be to get an E30 or E620.

Reasons -

1. whilst the 12-60 may well provide a better lens solution to match up with your 70-300, especially by giving you a much wider FOV than anything you have at the moment, it's not hugely faster and the AF speed inrease is neither a noted factor by you nor going to benefit from the 410's capability.
2. somehow the 50/2 does find a way to get used a lot, it's not in the same class as the 12-60 as a must have on the camera lens. I use the 50 a lot around the house and garden, and when specifically shooting flowers or fungi, but when travelling with an E body the 12-60 is simply indespensible.
3. the 410 is at the lower end of the previous sensor family, and relatively harsh in terms of DR and contrast.
4. the 410 doesn't have a tilt-swivel LCD
5. the 410 lacks IS, which is really helpful with the 70-300 (and anything else as far as I am concerned)

Photo owl.
I've got an e600 as well as the e410 so it's basically the same a sthe e620 without the bells and whistles.

cinders
5th March 2011, 10:04 PM
Cindy,

I know this is a silly question to ask someone who has bought the lens but do you think that the difference is worth the cost?



I know the 14-42 is a nice lens for its price, and it's lovely and light. But having taken the plunge and gone for a 14-54 I cansee/feel the difference. You do get a tad more length too, but it's just brighter and cleaner and sharper... A good second-hand one (even a MK1 like mine) isn't too expensive, and is certainly about only about half the price of the 12-60 (2nd hand)

I think the best idea if you can is to borrow or at least just try out a few of the options.

I was looking for a longer telephoto if anything this year - but just couldn't resist the 14-54 when I saw one! I'll have to start saving all over again...
*chr

Ellie
5th March 2011, 11:05 PM
Ed\Ellie\Paul,
Thanks for the replies. I hadn't thought of a Sigma prime.
I meant to come back earlier to share these, because I thought it might give you a vague idea of what the Sigma 105mm macro can do.

I took this yesterday. It wasn't particularly carefully taken or composed. I've only resized and sharpened, no further editing.

Whole picture - E-30/Sigma 105mm macro, which is about the same size 70-300mm but weighs less at 460g.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/678/P3048351_resize.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/31310)

100% crop - a bit like Narcissus, looking at his reflection.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/678/P3048351_100_crop.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/31309)

And this one was taken last month using the rear screen, with the camera sitting on the ground beneath the flower, so less than a foot away. Again not a particularly 'good' picture, at ISO 800 so a bit noisy.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/679/P2177855_edit_crop.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/31308)

jamie allan
6th March 2011, 02:45 PM
Thanks to all who have given advice. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words so here are 3 images taken this morning on my riverside walk with my dog. His biological clock dictates the timing. The weather was overcast - as it seems to have been for the last 6 months! I was about 5m from the duck and used the 70-300 at 300mm

Taken with camera on Auto it decided that iso 800 was required
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1128/P3064663auto.jpg

Taken with A priority and iso 200
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1128/P3064666a200iso.jpg

Taken with A priority and iso 400
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1128/P3064664a400iso.jpg

The images are raw straight from the camera into Olympus viewer 2 to resize and jpeg them - otherwise they've not been touched. What I'm really looking for is a lens that'll provide better low light performance than I've got here but without going to iso 800

photo_owl
6th March 2011, 04:44 PM
Photo owl.
I've got an e600 as well as the e410 so it's basically the same a sthe e620 without the bells and whistles.

fine - our previous posts obviously crossed. 600 covers it all.

as to the 14-54 v 14-42 I also bought the lens but didn't think it worth the size and weight, CA is much worse than the 14-42 ie noticable, and I have other solutions that are faster. where I did like it was in being able to slot on the RF11 for a reasonably compact close up package for flora and fungi; but this ended up as the only use so the lens went to someone on the forum who gave it a good home :)

Melaka
6th March 2011, 07:21 PM
The 50-200 with or without the EC14 would have done better in my view.

photo_owl
6th March 2011, 08:46 PM
I am confused by these

The first is 1/60th-800
The second is 1/50th 200
The third is 1/100th 400

all at f5.6, taken moments apart

whilst the relationship between the image appearance and settings is OK for 2 and 3 it's way out on image 1; there is no way this can be right. Confused.

As to the potential for lens impact - you would need to take out the operator element first. At that focal length and t would drownhose shutter speeds there is huge potential for operator impact that drowns the lens impact. Note, the 50-200 at 283mm with the EC14 isn't going to chage the shutter speed much (or ISO potential) and without the EC you are goin gto be into the digitalzoom arguments......

jamie allan
6th March 2011, 10:00 PM
Photo owl,
The auto settings are correct. I actually took 3 shots on auto simply to see how the camera interpreted the conditions - all were at iso 800 and 1/60. I then took 3 more on aperture priority with varying iso's. I don't quite understand the rest of your response. The 70-300 at 300mm will not go below f5.6. I'm assuming that the 50-200 at full reach will be f3.5. I appreciate I'd not get as close with the 50-200 but I'd have more light to play with hence the iso could be lower and the speed higher - you've got an extra 1 and 1/3 stops to play with by my calculation. Assuming the speed is higher the operator element of the equation would be reduced - particularly if assuming the use of a tripod or brace. That's my understanding of how it all works but please correct me if I'm mistaken - I'd really like to learn. This would equally stand for the 14-42 f5.6 at 42mm against the 14-54 f3.5 at 54mm.
By the way for these shots I had myself braced against the safety fence at the river bank with my elbows anchored on the flat top of the fence.

photo_owl
6th March 2011, 10:56 PM
Thanks to all who have given advice. They say a picture is worth a 1000 words so here are 3 images taken this morning on my riverside walk with my dog. His biological clock dictates the timing. The weather was overcast - as it seems to have been for the last 6 months! I was about 5m from the duck and used the 70-300 at 300mm

Taken with camera on Auto it decided that iso 800 was required
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1128/P3064663auto.jpg

Taken with A priority and iso 200
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1128/P3064666a200iso.jpg

Taken with A priority and iso 400
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1128/P3064664a400iso.jpg

The images are raw straight from the camera into Olympus viewer 2 to resize and jpeg them - otherwise they've not been touched. What I'm really looking for is a lens that'll provide better low light performance than I've got here but without going to iso 800

Photo owl,
The auto settings are correct. I actually took 3 shots on auto simply to see how the camera interpreted the conditions - all were at iso 800 and 1/60. I then took 3 more on aperture priority with varying iso's. I don't quite understand the rest of your response. The 70-300 at 300mm will not go below f5.6. I'm assuming that the 50-200 at full reach will be f3.5. I appreciate I'd not get as close with the 50-200 but I'd have more light to play with hence the iso could be lower and the speed higher - you've got an extra 1 and 1/3 stops to play with by my calculation. Assuming the speed is higher the operator element of the equation would be reduced - particularly if assuming the use of a tripod or brace. That's my understanding of how it all works but please correct me if I'm mistaken - I'd really like to learn. This would equally stand for the 14-42 f5.6 at 42mm against the 14-54 f3.5 at 54mm.
By the way for these shots I had myself braced against the safety fence at the river bank with my elbows anchored on the flat top of the fence.

Jamie,

I will try and explain what I was saying.

The first shot is ISO 800/f5.6 and 1/60th - the second is at ISO 200/f5.6 and 1/50th. That's what the image exif says, and as you posted. But, how do you explain the fact that the first looks significantly less exposed when it's nearly 2 stops more? (they were only taken 2 mins apart and neither you nor the duck have moved!)

EDIT - I will go and stand in the corner! For reasons I can't comprehend I somehow got myself confused between negatives and prints eposure wise.......well it's the best I can think of. The exposures match the settings perfectly; so my apologies to anyone and everyone I may have confused.

Second point was that comparing 300mm shooting with the 50-200 you would have to either (1) add the EC14 to give you 283mm, which means f4.9 max aperture (only a v.small gain in ISO or shutter speed or (2) shoot at 200 and digitally zoom to the equivilent; this will impact IQ negatively and your ISO gain evaporates again. You have the theory spot on, I'm suggesting that in practice this particular equation isn't that clear cut. The 50-200 should also give you a good underlying IQ boost but you shouldn't expect this on top of lower ISO & faster shutter speeds!

I hope this makes sense.

jchallen
7th March 2011, 12:29 AM
Hi Jamie,

Let me start by admitting that I don't have an answer for you - sorry!

What I can say is that the move to HG glass is well worth the investment, you won't look back.

I have an E3 and E30 and lens wise (ignoring those that I do not use), 9-18, 12-60, 14-45 II, 50-200 SWD & 70-300. At a rough guess 80% of my photos are taken with the 12-60. The 14-54 is a new aquisition go with the E30 and in hope it proves to be as useful as the 12-60. It certainly seems better than the kit 14-45 I was using.

The 50-200 is a great lens and huge improvement on the 70-300 (probably my least used lens) but I find it a little specialist for a walk about lens although I suppose it all depends on your chosen subjects.

Based on all of this I would suggest either the 14-54 or, if you can afford it, the 12-60. They are both very versatile and a real improvement on the already great kit lenes.

Finally like others have suggested, if you can try the options out that could well prove decisive. A friend of mine has got an E620 and is looking for a general lens to go with it. I am planning a day out comparing his 14-42, my 14-45, 14-54 and 12-60 to help him decide. I suspect I know the result!

jamie allan
7th March 2011, 05:42 PM
Finally like others have suggested, if you can try the options out that could well prove decisive. A friend of mine has got an E620 and is looking for a general lens to go with it. I am planning a day out comparing his 14-42, my 14-45, 14-54 and 12-60 to help him decide. I suspect I know the result!

Jason,
Thanks for the advice. I'd really like to try out the lenses before buying but Olympus DSLR stockists here are rarer than hen's teeth these days. Calumet have a store here but checking their hire equipment there's no Oly kit there. I think buying anything Oly would require it to be shipped in. They are also about 25% more expensive than online deals. I've seen a second hand 50-200 non-SWD in Merchant City Cameras for 499 which is overpriced but I may pop in there to try it out.
Thanks again

gregles
7th March 2011, 07:26 PM
Jamie,

there is 50-200 non swd for sale on the link below. Price is 400 but negotiable I believe. Look for Garry Jones Photography.

Olympus Group on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/olympusesystem/discuss/72157604995713024/)

Greg

jamie allan
30th March 2011, 06:10 PM
Well having weighed up my options I decided to go for a Olympus 14-54. I had chased a couple on eBay but lost out. However today I had a day off and saw one on eBay which I successfully bid for. There's only one snag - there's an E-3 on the end of it!:eek: . I think I'll be back on a steep learning curve. I suppose I should start working out as well.

gregles
30th March 2011, 06:57 PM
Proud of you Jamie:D

Looks like that's two of us on the learning curve:)

Looking forward to seeing some pics

Greg*chr

jamie allan
30th March 2011, 08:56 PM
Proud of you Jamie:D

Looks like that's two of us on the learning curve:)

Looking forward to seeing some pics

Greg*chr
Greg,
Well you pointed me in the right direction. Having the use of your 14-54 was the clincher. The eBay E-3 sale was just too good to miss so rather than buy a new 14-54 mkII the combined E-3/14-54 mkI came to not too much more. Though I think I'll need the 7dayshop backpack now as well as the tripod.

Zuiko
30th March 2011, 09:19 PM
Well having weighed up my options I decided to go for a Olympus 14-54. I had chased a couple on eBay but lost out. However today I had a day off and saw one on eBay which I successfully bid for. There's only one snag - there's an E-3 on the end of it!:eek: . I think I'll be back on a steep learning curve. I suppose I should start working out as well.

Nice one, Jamie. :)

I might try that line on my wife, "I's just a new lens, darling, an sheer coincidence that there's an E-5 attached to it! :D

You won't regret the 14-54mm, or the E-3, I love mine!

gregles
30th March 2011, 09:41 PM
Greg,
Well you pointed me in the right direction. Having the use of your 14-54 was the clincher. The eBay E-3 sale was just too good to miss so rather than buy a new 14-54 mkII the combined E-3/14-54 mkI came to not too much more. Though I think I'll need the 7dayshop backpack now as well as the tripod.

Glad to have been able to help Jamie. The 14-54 is a sweet lens*yes

I am still getting to grips with the E30 but so far so good. First thing I noticed was the viewfinder, it is fantastic compared to the 510 and the E3 is even better;) I still have not taken any shots in earnest but what I have seen so far has been excellent in terms of image quality and detail:)

Hopefully catch up with you again some time. Enjoy your new purchases and yep that 7dayshop backpack is very, very good:cool:

Cheers

Greg*chr

jamie allan
30th March 2011, 09:56 PM
Nice one, Jamie. :)

I might try that line on my wife, "I's just a new lens, darling, an sheer coincidence that there's an E-5 attached to it! :D

You won't regret the 14-54mm, or the E-3, I love mine!

John,
Oh Oh I knew there was something I'd missed in all of this - that'll teach me to impulse buy. I'll just have to be in for the delivery and hope she's not. She'll never realise it's a different camera - as long as the E-600 and E-3 are not in the same room at the same time

jchallen
30th March 2011, 10:12 PM
Well having weighed up my options I decided to go for a Olympus 14-54. I had chased a couple on eBay but lost out. However today I had a day off and saw one on eBay which I successfully bid for. There's only one snag - there's an E-3 on the end of it!:eek: . I think I'll be back on a steep learning curve. I suppose I should start working out as well.

Two excellent buys, you wont regret either. The E3 may be a bit of a learning curve but its worth it, anyway coming from an E600 puts you in a better position than when I upgraded from an E500.

Once you get the hang of the main functions (much the same as your E600) I found it best to just play, you will soon learn what works for you.

Good luck keeping the cameras apart from each other, although I suspect she will find out (mine did!).

Zuiko
30th March 2011, 10:14 PM
John,
Oh Oh I knew there was something I'd missed in all of this - that'll teach me to impulse buy. I'll just have to be in for the delivery and hope she's not. She'll never realise it's a different camera - as long as the E-600 and E-3 are not in the same room at the same time

Hehe, a friend of mine did that when he got an E-3. Two years later he still lives in fear of being found out and constantly has to be on guard against inadvertently having both cameras on view at the same time. :eek:

Far better, I think, to boldly and triumphantly present it as an absolute bargain which only a fool would have passed up and emphasize how lucky you are to have got it for such a ridiculously low price. Even if she's not impressed it's fait accompli and it'll blow over within a couple of weeks, a new handbag and a pair of shoes! :D