View Full Version : 50-200 SWD vs non-SWD

3rd January 2014, 03:55 PM

I have just come back from Disneyland Paris where I have been using a 50-200 SWD lens which I rented from Ian for a week. I have been looking for a high quality fast telephoto zoom lens for my E-M5 for a while, but been disappointed with the choices available in m4/3. I have tried the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 but found it too short in focal range.

The 50-200mm SWD worked actually better than expected. It focusses much slower than when using my other prime lenses but it did not bother me too much given I was shooting static objects or persons. When light faded, I focussed manually which was fairly easy given you can focus from 1.5m to infinity with a short turn of the ring. I am very pleased with the quality of the shots I got from the lens even when wide open! Contrast and sharpness are great. My main issue with the lens was the weight. It does weigh a ton compared to my other lenses. I did not have a tripod with me and handling the lens took some time getting used to.

I am wondering what the difference is between the SWD and the non SWD version. Has anyone used both? Was there a difference in handling and quality? I noticed there is quite some price difference between a used SWD and a non-SWD version of this lens. Would you recommend me getting the SWD versions or the Non-SWD? My shooting is predominantly landscape, people, and not sports or wild life.


3rd January 2014, 04:26 PM
differences -

1. curved aperture blades improves the bokeh
2. SWD AF motors focus faster, and support more AF actions (as I understand it)
3. different bayonet fitting for hood & larger hood. Doesn't accept the RF11 as the older one did.

So, there's a touch of IQ, a bit of AF perrformance and a little practicality.

I would expect the largest AF performance differences on the later bodies, inc O-MD.

David M
3rd January 2014, 07:53 PM
I thought it was the Mk2 14-54 that had the revised aperture blades.

The manual focus feel/action is much better on the SWD. My copy of the SWD has better contrast and sharpness than the copy of the original version but that is probably sample variation.

3rd January 2014, 08:08 PM
I thought it was the Mk2 14-54 that had the revised aperture blades.

it's an easy thing to 'test' in practice because it delivers slightly wider apertures through the range of the zoom ie the odd 0.1 at any particular FL other than 50 or 200

in the case of the 50-200 it was specifically to change the bokeh because of it's bad rep.

4th January 2014, 09:32 AM
Many thanks. It sounds that the SWD version is the one to go for.

Has one of you used the older M Zuiko tele lenses like the 200mm f4 or the 65-200 f4? I wondering how the optics compare to the newer lenses.

David M
4th January 2014, 02:03 PM
I had the 200 f/4 and the 65-200 f/4 in my OM using days but sold them both on long before trying them on a digital body. I have a Tamron 135 f/2.5 that's pretty nice on 4/3.