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Telephoto Lenses with focal lengths longer than 60mm.

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Old 24th March 2018
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Decided to go long - but what to choose?

Currently I use the 40-150 pro for indoor studio work and got one with the 14-Mc's to add a bit of reach for some wildlife work. It was evident though that 210mm (420 equivalent FF) wasn't really going to cut if for bird photography in many situations, so I started looking at the longer options; the Olympus 300mm pro and the 100-400 Panasonic are obvious options. I quite like the versatility the zoom option from panasonic, but was concerned about the f6.3 at the 400mm end, also for the Olympus was 300mm long enough? Now I could hire both of these locally and give them a try to see which I felt was the best option a three day hire for each would total 140, but at the end I'd have nothing to show for that outlay except obviously the personal experience of actually using them, but in the end decided to buy a Samyang 300mm f6.3 mirror lens. So this would let me know about the limitations of the restricted aperture of the Panasonic and also the reach of the Olympus and there would be no pressure to get loads of shooting condensed into those three day hire periods. The only downside is of course it's a manual focus lens, but, I always used to focus manually in the past...before I went digital! OK I know the downside of mirror lenses, with the reduction in contrast, softer overall image quality and of course donnut out of focus highlights, but at least it is a cheapish option to have in my bag over the next few months to help me decide - oh and first impressions based on the results aren't that bad actually
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Old 24th March 2018
MikeOxon MikeOxon is offline
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

I decided on the 100-400 Panasonic.

The zoom adds a lot to its versatility and, for wildlife, it is often much easier to 'pick up' the subject at a 'wider' setting and then zoom-in for the shot.

The aperture is still f/5.6 at the 300mm setting and image quality is high when wide open. Since I started in photography when ISO160 was a fast colour film, I find f/5.6 is quite adequate, now that ISO1600 can give very good results.

The Panasonic also offers very close focus capability which gives almost macro results for subjects such as butterflies and dragonflies. At close distances it is necessary to stop down to get any depth of field at all.

My only concern now relates to the revelations about Panasonic's lack of customer support, as discussed in https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=47481
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Old 25th March 2018
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

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Originally Posted by MikeOxon View Post
At close distances it is necessary to stop down to get any depth of field at all.
I see this kind of comment all the time in lens reviews. The reader could take this as a limitation of the lens. It is a combination of aperture and magnification and is the same for any lens, long, short or in between.

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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

True, Harold. I meant to indicate that any concerns "about the f6.3 at the 400mm end", as expressed in the OP, do not apply when exploiting the close-up capability of this lens
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

Been out and about with the 300mm Samyang mirror lens and have to say that it really feels as though I need more reach and the issue of DoF when the subjects are quite close is also an issue as seen below with the picture of the Bahama Pintail where the head is nicely in focus but nothing else. Almost wondering if it would be better to crop from the 40-150 with the MC-14 fitted and not bother going any longer, then again as above the 300 feels too short for 'birding'!
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

Paul that's a lovely shot. I rather like the shallow dof you got there. To be honest I didn't think that mirror lens would have produced anything like such a nice image. Definitely worth persevering with I'd say. Look forward to seeing how you get on with it.
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

I have the 300 and the 100-400 but it is the latter which gets the most use. TBH if it had been available earlier than the 300 I wouldn't have bought the 300.
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Old 25th March 2018
GyRob GyRob is offline
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

I'm not sure but don't you lose some of the image stabilization with a non Olympus lens also Pro capture .
Rob.
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

Rob the IS doesn't sync with a none Oly lens but is still pretty good as far as I know. Also some of the pro capture functionality has now been added with the latest firmware update.
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

The pro Capture H works with the Pany 100-400mm, but not the Pro Capture L.

Which is a shame as I like using the Low version...
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
Paul that's a lovely shot. I rather like the shallow dof you got there. To be honest I didn't think that mirror lens would have produced anything like such a nice image. Definitely worth persevering with I'd say. Look forward to seeing how you get on with it.
TBH I was rather surprised by just how good this lens can be when you do manage to nail the focus point - but it is a skill I've not had to use in a long time and obviously no focus aids on the M5. Currently only getting about a 20% success rate.
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

Don't forget that your MC-14 can also be added to the Oly 300mm f4 making it a 420mm f5.6
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

Here are a few more shots, plus crops taken recently with the Samyang 300mm - I even feel the edge performance is more than acceptable for such a low cost lens;
P3230074

P3230074c

P3230052

P3230052c

P3230126

P3230126c
All jpeg"s straight from camera.
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Old 25th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

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Originally Posted by CJJE View Post
Don't forget that your MC-14 can also be added to the Oly 300mm f4 making it a 420mm f5.6
Indeed especially as I already have the MC-14, it's just the versatility of the 100-400 zoom that I keep coming back to.
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Old 26th March 2018
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Re: Decided to go long - but what to choose?

I felt it was a great pity that Olympus abandoned their 'small and light' policy with the 300f4 lens.

I left Nikon partly because my 300f4 was feeling heavy and then Nikon promptly introduced their new PF lens at 'only' 755 grams, whereas the Oly weighs 1270 g and is much larger as well.

The Panasonic 100-400 weighs 985 g has more 'reach' and focuses closer, all of which I considered to be substantial advantages over Oly. If only Olympus could pull out the stops and come up with a lightweight alternative especially as Nikon have shown it can be done.
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