View Full Version : Question

15th July 2018, 07:19 AM
For birding, which would produce the better IQ - an M1 Mkii + the 40- 150mm F4-5.6 ED, or the M5 Mkii + the 40-150mm F2.8 pro?

And can you say why?

Phill D
15th July 2018, 08:14 AM
I'd say the M5 Mkii + the 40-150mm F2.8 pro. But that's just gut feel really.

15th July 2018, 08:43 AM
Then you can get an EM1 Mk ii in about 15 months time for a lot less than it is today - do not forget the 1.4 adapter for the 40-150mm lens.

15th July 2018, 09:25 AM
Phill, Derek, thanks. I had a privately expressed opinion by Griffig (Larry) who ageees with you Phill. My reason for asking is that I'm already regretting not having bought the M1 Mkii + the F2.8 Pro lens. Having just bought the M5 Mkii + the 40-150mm F4-5.6 lens I now need to know which to replace first until I can replace both. As you know, the M5 has a 16 MP sensor, the M1 has 20 MP, I thought that may have been the critical factor governing IQ.

15th July 2018, 10:32 AM
Having the ability to add the 1.4 TC can offer a big advantage when the birds simply will not cooperate by coming closer or are small...

15th July 2018, 11:31 AM
Mark, to get the best bird pictures you need to be very close to your subject. So bush skills are very important. If you are very close then you need to be shooting in f8 - f11 range to get enough DoF for all of the bird to be in focus. The combination you have can produce exceptional results in that range.

Obviously there are other technical reasons why the more expensive kit can make it easier to get the shot, but a cheap hide, or blind as the yanks call it, would be the best investment!

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15th July 2018, 11:41 AM
Don't forget about the old 50-200 if still have it, great on the mk2 with the adapter. Add the 2x and shoot at f10 for unbelievable results!

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15th July 2018, 01:28 PM
Doesn't the E-M1 Mk1 allow for a limited amount of PDAF as well as CDAF? which the E-M5 doesn't have, which would give a slight edge in focusing? However the Mk1 limitations for Birds in Flight mean a lot of practice is needed before it "clicks".

As for the lenses - I have a 40-150PRO and haven't used the other but from the experience I have with some of the other non-PRO lenses, they all cope very well in good light, but the low light conditions are where the aperture advantages come in from the PRO.

Phill D
15th July 2018, 02:03 PM
Unless you are really going after birds in flight I'd go for the lens first. It's capturing fast moving things where the EM1 mk2 has the biggest advantage. I think you'll struggle to see the mega pixel advantage on most things.

15th July 2018, 04:10 PM
For better IQ go for the PRO lens. For marginally slightly more shots in focus go for the M1ii. The M1 will handle differently to the M5 - not better or worse, just differently, so try it before you buy if thats the way you want to go. You will still want the lens for best results so go for that first. Just my thoughts.

15th July 2018, 06:47 PM
The situation
I live close by the bush and a creek, my birding is done while taking a 2 hour daily slow amble stopping for photos, about two kilometres in all. While still med free and in reasonable shape at eighty two I'm no longer able to carry much heavy kit. I have always loved birds and the challenge of photographing them, although most of my professional experience was press, wedding and commercial photography. So now as my own perch could snap at the drop of a skat I am strongly inclined to devote whatever skills I've aquired over decades to observing and capturing the behaviours of our feathered friends for whom I have a growing admiration for the extraordinary creatures they are, especially in flight.

I take on board your 1.4 TC, I can appreciate the advantage as I can rarely get close to any excepting less timid species such as magpies and pigeons that are about as challenging to shoot as grass.

Beagletorque (Andrew),
Thanks for the tip, "f8 - f11 range" for enough DoF but that requires a slow shutter, or very high ISO, okay for perches I guess. Yes, I do still have the old 50-200, I will seriously consider the 2x adapter and f10, but an unwieldy cow.

My M5 Mkii has CDAF, nevertheless it is impressively fast for Birds in Flight and for an old bugga I still have reflexes to match. My non-PRO 14-150 is a very nice lens except at the long end where IQ falls away. If I remember I will sacrifice 20mm of reach in the hope of a sharper image.
Without experience of the PRO lens I have no means of comparison but so far the non-PRO lens has not let me down on fast moving targets.

Thanks for your thoughts; the consensus is as you suggest, go for the lens first. Eventually I will aquire the M1 Mkii also.

As Spring approaches I've noticed the birds are becoming more active voraciously foraging to 'beef up' for the breeding season ahead I suppose. those of you who have visited Australia will know how vivid is our sunlight, and whilst it's lovely to bask in it can be a bitch for photography.

Examples, with existing kit:

Currawong BIF sequential https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=48319

Heron, rarely seen here, yesterday's bungled photo op at 60 metres - 1/2000, f5.6, iso800, 120mm (heavy crop)
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P7140009em.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/99671)

15th July 2018, 07:04 PM
There's a lot to be said for sitting still waiting for things to approach you. Although at your age it might cause alarm with people thinking you'd fallen off your perch!

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15th July 2018, 07:09 PM
Back to the point in hand, the cheap 40-150 was the only long lens I took to Cuba and it was a revelation, light and sharp, perfect in good light. The mk2 75-300 could be a better bet, especially with weight in mind. Better reach and sharp wide open up to around the 250mm mark.

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15th July 2018, 07:16 PM
If the light is good and you don't mind stopping at 280mm (or even 250 as suggested above), then the 75-300 is a lot of reach for the money and quite light as well. It will be slower to focus than the 40-150 though.

15th July 2018, 07:25 PM
150 is not long enough for opportunist birding, except for id shots or emu!

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15th July 2018, 07:46 PM
I have the 75-300 and it's a great lens for the money. Good reach and light enough to cause no problems. When out walking and looking for nature, all I take is the 75-300 and the 60mm macro ... a great lightweight nature kit. (and at great prices *yes)

15th July 2018, 10:51 PM
Back to the point in hand, the cheap 40-150 was the only long lens I took to Cuba and it was a revelation, light and sharp, perfect in good light. The mk2 75-300 could be a better bet, especially with weight in mind. Better reach and sharp wide open up to around the 250mm mark.
I'm not aware of the existence of the mk2 75-300 or the cheap 40-150 (is it the Mk1?) Forgive me, I'm an OMD newbie. :o

150 is not long enough for opportunist birding, except for id shots or emu!
But would it be good for camels?

16th July 2018, 05:36 AM
There's no need to get the hump!

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Phill D
16th July 2018, 06:02 AM
If you can shoot flying camels with it I'd stick with what you've got Mark!!! :D

25th July 2018, 02:48 PM
May I add a comment here?
I bought after much soul-searching, a 50-200 and later the converter. I found it performed better in terms of focusing, with the converter on my M1 Mk1. But it's a lead brick, which I have struggled to carry around. But I find it so much sharper than the 75-300 (mine is a Mk II) though it is much slower at focusing than the 75-300.

For BIF, I have found the 50-200+conv too slow focusing, unless it's a slowly flying bird. I used a Canon L 100-400 until a few years ago, and that was blisteringly fast in comparison. I simply can't do with either the 50-200+conv or 75-300 what I did with the old Canon kit. I haven't tried the 75-300 for BIF.

Even the 560mm equiv provided by the 50-200+conv or the 600 equiv of the 75-300 at full stretch are barely enough for BIF, unless you have the time to sit and sit and sit waiting for your target to get to an ideal closeness/direction/lighting.

Much, I think, depends on what you want to do and achieve. Have a look at a website "Spirit of the birds"; he does nothing but photograph birds, and his results are very, very good. His kit is old and battered Canon. If you are aiming for results of this sort of quality, I honestly doubt that you will with the kit that you have or are considering. It's the technique much more than the kit that counts, ultimately.