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E-group equipment hire This board is dedicated to questions about our Olympus gear hire service and feedback from customers.

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  #16  
Old 11th June 2014
jamespetts jamespetts is offline
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Thank you all - that is most helpful.
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  #17  
Old 11th June 2014
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

James - if you are thinking of picking lenses up on the train, bear in mind that the 300/2.8 and 90-250 are chunky beasts, to say the least. I don't know whether Ian supplies them in their soft cases, or in the boxes (which are e-n-o-r-m-o-u-s) - worth checking with him before making the trek!

Ciao ... John
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  #18  
Old 11th June 2014
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

The big lenses come in a soft carry case that includes a shoulder strap but we normally box them up for shipping.

Ian
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  #19  
Old 17th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Apologies for reviving this over 18 months later: I ended up buying a house shortly after this discussion took place and did not have a great deal of time for photography for a while, however I am still keen to have a go at the London WWT centre with a very long lens.

Firstly, does anyone have any idea of the cost of a courier out and back for the very heavy 300mm f/2.8 or 90-250mm f/2.8 plus the EC-20? I see on the hire web page that there are actually somewhat generous terms as to the hire time (i.e., the hire starts the day after the item is received, and the item must be returned the day after the hire ends).

Secondly, I see that some of the people who posted on this thread have some experience of visiting the London WWT at Barnes. Does anyone have any recommendations as to when is a good time of year to go? I should rather wait until the weather is a little warmer, but perhaps not go in June again so that I can see a different range of birds.

Thirdly, does anyone have any views on whether the 300mm f/2.8 would be more or less suitable than the 90-250mm f/2.8, each paired with the EC-20? (I have my own EC-14 which I could use if the EC-20 was too much for some situations). Do people who have experience of these things find it useful to be able to zoom out to find the birds in question or take things closer by, or is the important thing just to get as much reach as possible? Is there much between those two in image quality? Also, is the latest 300mm f/4 Micro Four Thirds lens an option (is it even available to hire yet?)? I suspect that f/4 might not be quite enough when paired with a 2x teleconverter (taking it to f/8).

Thank you all in advance and apologies again for necroposting.
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  #20  
Old 17th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Having used both the 90-250 and the 300, I would say the versatility of the 90-250 far outweighs the extra reach of the 300.

The new mZuiko 300 f/4 will only accept the matched 1.4 TC

Ian has a 90-250 for sale at present, so if you are going to do a lot of work at this distance, you may want to consider making him an offer...
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  #21  
Old 17th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

That is helpful, thank you. I can't imagine taking a lot of photographs with this lens (hence looking to hire one); I see that Ian has not mentioned the price, but if he is selling it for anything like the price that some of these things go for on eBay, it will be a four figure sum, which is unlikely to be justified by a biannual trip to Barnes.

One wonders why there is a need for Ian to sell it - a decline in the popularity of hiring these larger lenses?
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  #22  
Old 18th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

It can be about 18 each way with Parcel Force but I would need to check to confirm.

I have three 90-250s and I just don't need that many.

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  #23  
Old 18th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Thank you, that is very helpful indeed.

Any thoughts from anyone as to a good time of year to visit Barnes? I was thinking perhaps April.
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  #24  
Old 18th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

See my earlier posts for images with the 300/2.8. Graham is right about the versatility of the 90-250 (which I also used to own) but I found the reach of the 300 more useful than the versatility.

There are birds at Barnes all year round. In April the migratory birds will have left but you should start to see the natives nesting. There will probably be a few young, especially mallard. It's good at any time of year - it's what you see that varies.
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  #25  
Old 18th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespetts View Post
Thank you, that is very helpful indeed.

Any thoughts from anyone as to a good time of year to visit Barnes? I was thinking perhaps April.
Its probaly best to follow their Wildlife sightenings page to see whats there and plan from there.

I went at the end of March in 2010 saw cranes carrying nesting material. I had a 50-200swd lens and thought the reach was all I needed apart from one shot of a grebe wrestling with a fish when I wanted more than 300mm so I would think the zoom lens would be the more versatile. I have never liked the telephoto adapters the increase reach is at the considerable expense of a drop in quality. But then I have only used both the 1.4 and 2.0 with my 50-200mm f3.5 lens. I have tried them with the bigma as well now rarely use them for daylight use.
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  #26  
Old 19th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Thank you both. I did look a the wildlife sightings page, but only saw things that people had just seen, which is not much use for planning months ahead. I do want to go when the weather is a little warmer, when there will be a good range of interesting birds, and when there will be something rather different to what I would have seen in June.
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  #27  
Old 19th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

James just to assist you a little:

I rented the 300 2.8 from Ian for a holiday to the Farne Islands and while it is a big old beast it is not too bad...

I used to with my Panasonic G3 which is around the same size as the E-M1 I know own:


I found it too heavy for more than one hand held shot at a time so it lived on the tripod:


But the results were OK!




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  #28  
Old 19th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

And the 300 is not ideal for use with a Panny So kudos to you Walti!

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  #29  
Old 19th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
And the 300 is not ideal for use with a Panny So kudos to you Walti!

Ian
Indeed - I still regret not taking the EM-1 body you tried to convince me to use as the Panny really was VERY slow to focus so much I used MF most of the time!

I think I'd like to have another go with it sometime with the EM-1!
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  #30  
Old 19th February 2016
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Re: Considering hiring a lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespetts View Post
Thank you both. I did look a the wildlife sightings page, but only saw things that people had just seen, which is not much use for planning months ahead. I do want to go when the weather is a little warmer, when there will be a good range of interesting birds, and when there will be something rather different to what I would have seen in June.
Sorry but you can't plan a birdwatching/photography day months in advance and have any certainty of what you will see. These are wild birds and their movements depend on migration patterns, weather patterns, daily weather variations, tides, availability of food (insects and plants) etc. many of which are highly variable even within one day.

This page on the WWT Barnes website will give an indication of what you might see in different seasons but it's pot luck what you will see in any given day/week.http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centre...ildlife-guide/
Actually Autumn/Winter would be regarded as "better" times by many birders. Birds unfortunately don't operate to accomodate our perception of "nice weather".

Regards.
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