View Full Version : Lens Choices

11th June 2008, 12:19 PM
Hi all,
I've recently purchased an E410 with a 14-42 lens, and bagged a 45-150 off of ebay.
I've ended up with some money I didnt expect to have, so I would like to invest this in some new glass.
The options I have are:
70-300 f4-5.6
14-54 f2.8-3.5
50-200 f2.8-3.5
18-80 f3.5-5.6

I'll outline my reasons behind each lens below:
70-300- longer length than the 150 but with lots of over lap of lengths, I've found myself shooting at 150 lots, and the extra length would have been handy at some times
14-54 replacement for the 14-42 with hoepfully better wide angle photos, would be a good pairing with the 50-200
50-200 I didnt think I would be able to include this but I've come across one relatively cheap that I can just afford, would replace the 40-150 all together
18-80 I've not heard much about this lens, but I wonder if it would be a good compromise to take walkabout. I've always travelled very lightly, and only carry one lens and spare memory cards.

I'm taking pictures of a bit of everything at the moment, but after the moto cross bikes I photo'd the other day, I would like to get into more motorsports photography.

Any comments you have to help my decisions will be greatly received



11th June 2008, 12:31 PM

For motor sports I would probably go with the 50-200 if you can run to it.Its faster than the 70-300 but heavier and also weather sealed and very sharp.
I have the 14-54 which is very good,I have not used the 14-42 but have herd good things about it.
Not herd much about the 18-180 to recommend it.

Bear in mind that there are two versions of the 50-200 one with SWD and one without.I have the old version which can be a little slow to focus but I dont find it a problem.

11th June 2008, 12:35 PM
50-200mm all the way. it's a stellar performer, with very quick focusing (even on the non SWD version) and is a quicker lens (3.5 at the long end). The sharpness and contrast of the lens is second to none.

Jim Ford
11th June 2008, 02:49 PM
I bought a 70-300 and shortly after a 50-200 SWD. Since I bought the 50-200 I've not touched the 70-300.


11th June 2008, 03:08 PM
Same here, except I did touch the 70-300 once more - to sell it :D

PS that's not to say the 70-300 is a bad lens, just that I expected more than I should out of hand-holding a long focal length, and found the 50-200 with 1.4 converter much better though heavier.

I bought a 70-300 and shortly after a 50-200 SWD. Since I bought the 50-200 I've not touched the 70-300.


11th June 2008, 03:12 PM
Do any of you miss the extra 100(200)mm length of the 70-300 against the 50-200?

Nick Temple-Fry
11th June 2008, 03:24 PM
'Nother vote for the 50-200, it's a faster (gathers more light) lens than the 70-300, you'll need that if you want to photograph moving objects in typical english weather. Particularly as the 410 is not rumoured to be happiest at higher ISO values. Should be some good ones on the market as people upgrade to the swd version.

Not that the 70-300 is a bad lens, we've seen some tack sharp shots from it in the forums - said before themusicman drops a load of trombones on me.

I'm just a bit suspicious about the 18-180, can't remember seeing any particular shots from it, and that is quite a range for a small bit of glass. Something has got to give.

Hope that helps


Nick Temple-Fry
11th June 2008, 03:28 PM
Do any of you miss the extra 100(200)mm length of the 70-300 against the 50-200?

NO - we stick the ec1.4 on the end, or carry the Sigma 135-400 if we are sure it's not going to rain - now that's a real walkabout lens:D


11th June 2008, 03:34 PM
I thought I would, but if anything my photography benefits as I can't do stupid things with it! My EC14 is almost permanently mounted on the 50-200, giving close to the same focal length as the 70-300.

Do any of you miss the extra 100(200)mm length of the 70-300 against the 50-200?

11th June 2008, 04:59 PM
Well, I am a supporter of the excellent 70-300mm lens - though I don't own the 50-200mm. I have managed some super results with the 70-300mm plus EC14 - it's all down to how you use it, and finding the right settings etc.

Having said that, I use it on the E3 and as such this camera may be better suited to it than the E410. With that in mind I'd suggest the 50-200 - unless you are considering upgrading the E410 to an E3 at some point!

Choices... eh!

11th June 2008, 07:20 PM
Well I can't say I wont upgrade sometime in the future, but whether it be the E-3 or not I dont know.
I will be sticking with the 4/3rds lenses though regardless of which way I turn.
Whilst some people would prefer to spend less money in the beginning on equipment incase they decide to change brand all together, I would sooner invest my money in good products from the outset and stick with the system.

11th June 2008, 10:29 PM
I've been able to borrow a 50-200 a couple of times and have recently purchased a 70-300. First impressions are that the later focuses well on my E510 in good light but hunts quite severely when light levels drop. I didn't have this problem with the 50-200 and it's considerably faster maximum aperture. Having said that, it's clear that the 70-300 packs a good performance into a very small and light package. However, the 50-200 oozes quality and it would be obvious that it is in a different league if comparing these two lenses side to side, the downside being a considerable increase in size and weight. In my dreams, where I would have an everlasting wallet, I'd have both lenses plus a Sigma 50-500 as all three have unique qualities and advantages to cover different situations.

To be honest, the 14-42 kit lens is so good that you may not notice a difference in image quality if you upgraded to a 14-54, but that is far from the whole story. I've just purchased a new 14-54 on ebay for 260 and there is an obvious difference in build quality over the cheaper lens. Also, it focuses even closer than the 14-42 (which itself focuses pretty close) and it's surprising what a difference the extra 12mm at the long end can make. A real bonus is the maximum aperture of f3.5 compared to F5.6 at the long end, which is a particular advantage when you haven't got IS and in low light could mean an ISO setting of 400 instead of 1200.

In conclusion, if you can only afford one lens I'd go for the 50-200, particularly as you have an interest in motor sport. If you can afford two, I'd add the 14-54. Then you would have high quality and very durable pro grade lenses covering the range 14-200mm, or 28-400 in 35mm film equivalent, which you would probably never need to replace and are effectively "future proofed." This combination would stand you in good stead for any future upgrade of camera body, be it an E3 or an update in the E420/520 line.

Whatever lens(es) you eventually choose, good luck and enjoy using them. I look forward to seeing the results on this forum!


11th June 2008, 10:55 PM
I've not tried the 70-300 but I can recommend the 50-200 having made a panic purchase of the SWD version when Olympus said that prices were going up :o It is very well built, as is the 14-54 which I also recommend, and it focuses like greased lightning on the E-3 and is pretty quick on the E-1. The results are pin-sharp and out-of-focus areas are tastefully rendered. As to reach, I had a chance to borrow an EC-14 during the e-group Woburn visit which gives the 50-200 a reach approaching that of the 70-300 whilst still remaining brighter. Image quality did not seem to suffer at all.

You already seem committed to the system so I feel sure that you will make the upgrade to something like the E-3 at some point in the future. That's when the weather sealing of the Pro and Top Pro lens ranges starts to make sense. I was able to keep taking pictures of my daughters pony trekking on a rainswept Welsh beach when another parent was doting not so much on his daughter but on the Canon carefully shielded inside his cagoule :)

I hope you enjoy whatever lens you decide to buy and get some more great shots to post here.