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70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

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  • 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

    This thread has been condensed from the original and made sticky as it contains some very useful lens?converter options and comparisons. The original thread can be seen in full at: http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=13789 John (Zuiko)

    I tried the 300 mm 2.8 with the EC 14 today, and was quite pleased with the detail and sharpness. The weather was totally grey today, and I'm still waiting for more than blue tits and tree sparrows to turn up.

    This was shot at max aperture which is f/4.0 for the lens/converter combination, 1/400 sec and ISO 400.

    I've cropped away just a little bit.

    Last edited by Zuiko; 3rd April 2011, 07:49 PM.
    -----------
    Cathrine

    sigpic

    My photoblog: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/blog
    My gallery: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/

    My book on Viovio

  • #2
    Re: Enjoying the 300 mm.

    I really like the results with the EC14 and 50-200, but the 70-300 wasn't quite what I wanted. I seem to get better results with the EC14/50-200.

    On this forum I've seen smashing images taken with the EC20 on a 50-200, something I've never achieved (I have both converters). In a quality controlled manufacturing process like Zuiko I don't believe there are huge differences between individual lenses. Some, yes, but not a lot! Maybe we all have different favourite camera settings for various situations, and individual ways of shooting, which suit different lenses, and therefore we achieve the best results with different lenses?

    These comparisons are maybe not quite correct, as I've cropped different amounts off them, but anyway (All with the E3):

    This was taken with a 50-200 SWD on it's own (overcast, Norway):


    This one with the EC14 and 50-200 (Bright light, Kakadu):


    This one with the EC14 and 50-200 as well (overcast, Norway):


    And this with the 70-300 mm on the same day as the one above (overcast, Norway):.


    I gave my dad the 70-300, it's so nicely balanced on the E510 and he enjoys the lightweight lens. I bought it for his birthday and tried it myself during fieldwork to see if it was fast enough for our typical field weather, but I decided to stay with the 50-200. The 300 prime is something else, though, and I should jolly well hope so!
    Last edited by Zuiko; 3rd April 2011, 07:33 PM. Reason: Condensing Thread
    -----------
    Cathrine

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    My photoblog: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/blog
    My gallery: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/

    My book on Viovio

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Enjoying the 300 mm.

      Originally posted by pandora View Post
      Your 50-200 results are impressive both with and without EC14, although hardly a fair comparison with the 70-300 sample of a different bird, strongly backlit.
      You are absolutely right. A Black guillemot against a backlit sky is not a fair comparison!

      Let me be clearer about the two lenses: I'm definately not saying the 70-300 is a bad lens!! It most certainly isn't!!

      The combination 50-200 /EC14 gives a best f-stop of 4.9 at 283 mm compared to the 5.6 of the 70-300 @ 300 mm. For fieldwork on the Norwegian coast this is a margin I need, in better light it's not going to matter (luckier parts of the world ).

      300 mm gives a better close-up than 283 mm. No argument!

      The 50-200mm and the EC14 are both robust, splash and dust-proof. The 70-300 is far more delicate.

      The combination 50-200 /EC14 (on my lens!) was a little less sharp at the bottom edge than the 70-300 in my experiment (note the bottom of the nest-box), but those pictures were taken last summer before my 50-200 was adjusted, and that could be the focus plane and difference in aperture! Example with a woodpecker:

      70-300 mm @300 mm:


      50-200/EC14 at 283mm.


      In the middle, though, there is a little more detail in the 50-200/EC14-image, so I wait for the adult again to show up, and hope for similar lighting on it. Why on earth I managed to use 202 mm and not 300? Must have been because I was switching the two all the time...


      All the above images have only been opened in Adobe RAW and converted without adding any changes other than technical labelling. Here's what I got out of the 70-300 mm lens with a little TLC in Photoshop, note - still no extra sharpening:



      So, to conclude: The 70-300 and 50-200/EC14 are similar with respect to image quality, and I would have bought a 70-300 for myself as well, had it not been that I need the extra f-stop and I need splash-proof equipment. Also, I was only testing it to evaluate whether that extra reach was worth it, before I gave it to my Dad to enjoy. I didn't want to give Dad something that was rubbish! I didn't buy myself one, because we decided to buy the SHG 300 mm 2.8 lens at work.

      The 70-300 is definately a lens I would recommend if lighting is good. It focuses a bit slower, but the converter can slow down the 50-200 as well. And when I bought it, the price was very reasonable! In my case there was no question of selling the 50-200...

      In your case, Mark, I think you would enjoy buying another 70-300 instead of a converter. You have a lot of nice light down under!
      -----------
      Cathrine

      sigpic

      My photoblog: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/blog
      My gallery: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/

      My book on Viovio

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Enjoying the 300 mm.

        Cathrine, thank you - thank you for your time and technical expertise in putting together the above which will clarify the issue for any of us who are or have been pondering the optical merits of these two lenses.

        On studying your samples closely, and before I had reached the bottom line, "In your case, Mark, I think you would enjoy buying another 70-300 instead of a converter. You have a lot of nice light down under! " I had already reached the same conclusion.

        I think the comparitive images and your analyses are so illuminating that your thread (leaving pandora out) should be preserved here as a sticky.

        So, if you have no objection Cathrine how's about it John (Zuiko)?
        My Flickr

        * mark * Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia **
        The OM-D E-M1 Mark II * OM-D M5 MkII * XZ2 * XZ1 * E3
        On post-processing: The camera kneads the dough, PP bakes the bread - Greenhill

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        • #5
          Re: Enjoying the 300 mm.

          No objection

          If you notice the final picture and think that there would have been much more detail if I'd had the lens at 300 mm ()
          -----------
          Cathrine

          sigpic

          My photoblog: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/blog
          My gallery: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/

          My book on Viovio

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Enjoying the 300 mm.

            Originally posted by Cathrine Spikkerud View Post
            No objection

            If you notice the final picture and think that there would have been much more detail if I'd had the lens at 300 mm ()
            I did notice and study the final picture closely and yes, there should have been even more detail focused at 300mm.

            I will bring your illuminating thread to John's attention.
            My Flickr

            * mark * Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia **
            The OM-D E-M1 Mark II * OM-D M5 MkII * XZ2 * XZ1 * E3
            On post-processing: The camera kneads the dough, PP bakes the bread - Greenhill

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

              I have condensed the thread up to this point to concentrate on Cathrine's comparisons of the various telephoto options. If you wish to see or comment on the original thread it can be seen in full at http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=13789

              Comments still welcome in this spin-off thread specifically regarding the comparisons.
              John

              "A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there � even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                Oh, and everyone comparing with the blue tit taken with the 300mm 2.8. Remember that is taken with the E5 whereas the others with the E3. Detail and resolution is better with the E5.
                -----------
                Cathrine

                sigpic

                My photoblog: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/blog
                My gallery: http://csspikkerud.zenfolio.com/

                My book on Viovio

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                  I've looked at this thread with great interest because it encapsulates my own dilemma. I'm downsizing to MFT (probably OMD-EM5) but I still have the FT 50-200 (non-SWD), 70-300 and EC-14. My walk-around lenses for general use are the Oly 14-150 and the Panny 7-14, but just occasionally I want something longer.

                  Keeping the EC-14 is a given, but the 50-200 wins on speed and the 70-300 wins on reach and macro.

                  Any constructive comments would be appreciated (especially from MFT users)

                  Thanks in advance!

                  Andrew

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                    oh my.

                    Just shows what the e system is capable of despite its foibles.
                    hearts at peace under an English heaven

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                      Very interesting read illustrated with some stunning images. Well done Catherine and well done John for the edited sticky.
                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/flip_photo_flickr/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                        Originally posted by Andrew Riddell View Post
                        I've looked at this thread with great interest because it encapsulates my own dilemma. I'm downsizing to MFT (probably OMD-EM5) but I still have the FT 50-200 (non-SWD), 70-300 and EC-14. My walk-around lenses for general use are the Oly 14-150 and the Panny 7-14, but just occasionally I want something longer.

                        Keeping the EC-14 is a given, but the 50-200 wins on speed and the 70-300 wins on reach and macro.

                        Any constructive comments would be appreciated (especially from MFT users)

                        Thanks in advance!

                        Andrew
                        I have heard the MkI 50-200 lens will focus more reliably (in CF) on the E-M5 (or PENs) than the SWD version & although Olympus discourages the use of more than one adapter on the E-M5, it would work quite nicely with the EC14 (& MMF-3) & the 50-200 lens (although the added focal length may not be correct), albeit focus is slow compared to dedicated new Micro 4/3's lenses. I'm still using the 70-300 lens on my E-M5 while I wait to get something faster in focussing (& the money to get it) & it will probably be the Panasonic 100-300 lens.
                        Ross
                        I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
                        Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
                        Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
                        Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD45mm f1.8, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
                        Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
                        Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                          Hi,

                          I have both the 70-300 and the 50-200 and the 1.4. I decided to give them a test out yesterday at Cley in Norfolk. Shots were taken over the same period of time, first two with one of the lenses and the 2nd two with the other:


                          PA134296 by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


                          PA134305 by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

                          See whether you can tell which was taken with which:


                          PA134315 by kittykat23uk, on Flickr


                          PA134334 by kittykat23uk, on Flickr

                          both sets taken with the 1.4 attached.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                            Originally posted by Kittykat23uk View Post
                            Hi,

                            I have both the 70-300 and the 50-200 and the 1.4. I decided to give them a test out yesterday at Cley in Norfolk. Shots were taken over the same period of time, first two with one of the lenses and the 2nd two with the other:

                            See whether you can tell which was taken with which:

                            both sets taken with the 1.4 attached.
                            The 1st two taken (on an E620) with EC14 & 50-200 lens is a good combination, but the next two with EC14 & 70-300 lens is not going give you a great result. The first two compared to just the 70-300 lens would be what most users would want to know (with similar resulting focal lengths) & there have been several comparisons done on in this already (in earlier threads) but to help Andrew Riddell, it would be nice for him to have this comparison done on the E-M5 with these lenses & focusing (speed & reliability) would be an important point with this excersize.
                            Ross
                            I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
                            Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
                            Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
                            Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD45mm f1.8, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
                            Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
                            Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 70-300mm, 50-200mm, 300mm, EC14 Comparison

                              Thanks, Kittykat & Ross, for your input. I had a play with both lenses this afternoon and I'll stick with the 70-300. The extra reach and the weight were the clinchers.

                              Andrew

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