View Full Version : 50-200mm SWD versus non SWD

David Morison
5th August 2011, 06:31 PM
Apart from focus speed, accuracy, and noise is there much difference IQ wise between the above two lenses?


Bikie John
5th August 2011, 07:41 PM
Allegedly not, I think someone said they use the same optics. The mark I (non-SWD) can certainly produce some pretty good images, and I have never noticed it being noisy.

Ciao ... John

David M
5th August 2011, 08:40 PM
In theory they're supposed to be optically identical.

At the same time my sample of the SWD blows the copy of the original version I used to own out of the water. After shooting with the SWD for a while I came to the conclusion I'd had a bad sample of the original version and maybe I should have sent it to Olympus for them to check out.

Phill D
6th August 2011, 04:04 PM
In what way was it bad?

David M
7th August 2011, 11:32 AM
In what way was it bad?

The contrast and sharpness both seemed low. When I got the kit 40-150 that came with the E-410 I shot them both on a tripod and kept the kit lens.

I didn't get an EC-14 until I'd owned the SWD version for a while as I didn't think my sample of the original 50-200 was good enough to take a 1.4TC.

8th May 2012, 03:13 PM
Handy thread this as i was going to ask the same question

should we be paying much difference for a MK 1 in the 2nd hand market?

i see you can get a MK 2 SWD for around the 400-500 what should i expect to pay for a MK 1

8th May 2012, 04:04 PM
should we be paying much difference for a MK 1 in the 2nd hand market?

i see you can get a MK 2 SWD for around the 400-500 what should i expect to pay for a MK 1

I've been watching prices on eBay for a while and the mk1 prices range from 300-508 (av 407) while the mk2 ranged from 410-686 (av 544).

8th May 2012, 06:53 PM
Mk II is supposed to be faster at focus - however I find it "gets lost" lots seeking ! soon I will use both on a project and then compare, seriously ! :eek:

8th May 2012, 08:11 PM
The tripod mount on the SWD is much sturdier than that on the Mk1 version and the lens hood has a slot that allows you to turn a polarising filter, although the hood is much larger.

Not directly IQ related but useful to know, perhaps.

I really liked the original I had but I went for the SWD when I bought my E3 as it just seemed like a good fit. It is my favourite zoom (vs. Bigma, 135-400, 50-200 Mk1 and potentially the 90-250 I have on loan from Melaka).


8th May 2012, 09:47 PM
Very useful info. I see Mk1's on ebay quite often and have often agonised over them not being SWD, resulting in inevitably not bidding! I shall think twice about thinking twice in the future :D

Bikie John
9th May 2012, 10:26 AM
I used a mark 1 for several years and didn't have the image quality that David described. However, when I tried to get a bit more adventurous and follow sports action with C-AF I found it rather sluggish. I bought an SWD off a forum member (thanks, Ian!) and found that the image quality was every bit as good and focus was much snappier, which to me made it worth doing the upgrade.

So it depends what you want to use it for. If you're not too fussed about fast(ish) moving subjects, the mark 1 can be great and is cheaper. And by the way, it seems that the mark 1 works better than the SWD with the E-M5.

Ciao ... John

16th July 2012, 03:33 PM
A 50-200mm related question ... what is the difference between the Mk 1 and SWD lens to tripod mounts? Olly say they are not interchangeable, but I am wondering (because I have lost the mount for my Mk1 version) if the SWD version - being more sturdy - could be adapted to fit the Mk1? If someone has the dimensions of the SWD lens, can they post it so I can compare those sizes to the Mk1 I own? As far as I am aware, Olly are not making/selling replacement Mk1 50-200 tripod mounts ... unless you know differently!

16th July 2012, 04:41 PM
The Mk1 and 2 tripods mounts are different; the Mk1 was known for flexing so the Mk2 is beefed up.

The optics are different, but only marginally. This is because space had to be made for the large SWD ring motor assembly. If you look down the throats of both lenses you can see a difference. In practice their optical performance is indistinguishable.

I covered this a while back here:



Bikie John
16th July 2012, 06:22 PM
Footloose - if Oly can't help with a mark I mount, it could be worth calling Luton Camera Repair Services - http://www.lutoncameras.co.uk/ . They are official Oly repair agents and I've always found them very helpful. They might have an old one sitting in a drawer somewhere.

Good luck ... John

17th July 2012, 08:57 AM
Thanks John, will give Luton Cameras a call later on today. Still want to find out the sizes on the SWD version though ... if the diameter of the SWD is larger, could make a 'stepping ring' so the SWD mount fits the Mk1 lens, so when I 'manage' to lose the Mk1 mount (again, if I can get one!) I can make an adaptor.

David M
17th July 2012, 11:17 AM
I think the difference is more than the diameter, if I recall correctly the locating pin is ina different location.

18th July 2012, 08:02 AM
Luton Cameras had one in stock, which I bought and it's now winging it's way to me. Thanks for the advice! I still don't know the stats of the SWD version, but I gather the SWD version has more location pins.