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Old 14th May 2019
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Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

Olympus UK had kindly arranged for a good friend to loan for a few days the new 12-200 lens. We often shoot natural history subjects together and both of us had an interest in this lens. Yesterday at Ivinghoe Beacon we both tried it out. This was my annual trip to see and photograph the Duke of Burgundy butterfly along with all of the other spring butterflies that this site offers. Dennis lives locally and knows when the butterfly is active and where to park! It is one of the UKs rarest butterflies and is the size of a postage stamp. Perfect for a high magnifying telephoto.

I have tried most lenses that are suitable for butterflies and felt this one was a strong possibility when it was announced. I even went as far as trying it at a London store. That was a bad mistake as it tells you absolutely nothing about this lens. The store was dark and the lens needs to be used outside to see what a performer it is. And f6 is not a problem for insects, I was using f9 on both lenses. I am a fan of the 40-150 pro lens especially with the 1.4 converter. It allows a close working distance, magnification and is beautifully clear and sharp. It is my most used lens and I rarely take it off the camera. My issue is do I need another lens.

Dennis shoots with an EM5 mk2. The 12-200 is a wonderful match to it. Size and weight are great. I used it on a G9 as well so it is a good match for a larger body too. I used it for some butterfly shots and can show some examples alongside the PRO lens. I will not say which was used as I did not set out to make a review! but the fact that I put them side by side and am now thinking about getting my own lens says a lot to me. I was impressed, it was fun to use. It is a very fast and easy lens. Light and compact, perfect as a walk round a reserve lens. Clearly it will be a great holiday special and that is not damning it with faint praise.


Duke of Burgundy by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Duke of Burgundy by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Comma by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Green Hairstreak by Peter Willmott, on Flickr


Speckled Wood by Peter Willmott, on Flickr
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Old 14th May 2019
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

Lovely butterfly photos, Peter. #2 is so clear, money is on the 40-150 Pro.

I agree with your thoughts on that lens, I use it quite often for non-birding walks. The 12-200mm certainly covers a large range of "zoom", quite tempting to look at it at least......
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Old 14th May 2019
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

No. 2 for me also. The focus is spot on, including the antenna of this rare butterfly.

Jim
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

Lovely photos and nice to see a comparison between the two lenses.

I do wish, though, that you would identify which pics were taken with which lens. Not as a review but just so that we know and can make our own judgement as to whether the 12-200 is a worthy prospect for our own personal use.
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

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I do wish, though, that you would identify which pics were taken with which lens. Not as a review but just so that we know and can make our own judgement as to whether the 12-200 is a worthy prospect for our own personal use.
Sorry Keith not meant to be an annoyance. Flickr identifies the lenses. But for you the butterflies 1 and 3 are the 12-200. So is this baby bird shot in my friend's garden...



My friend is buying one and I'm just trying to resist...
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

Many thanks Peter

My wife is still using her Sony A58 but the IS is nowhere as good as my EM1ii she also doesn't want to keep carrying/changing lenses owing to health issues so I'm looking at getting her an Oly camera with the 12-200.

The info is therefore very helpful to us.
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

The Bokeh on the 12-200 is "better" in your examples, but that may just be the type of background. It is a superb optic and gets alot of use, though not so much for macro, yet.
Very nice to see the Duke.
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

To my mind your bird shot highlights the lens detail far better than the butterfly shots and is seriously impressive. At close quarters the 75-300mm is (possibly) equally impresive but falls short and long focal distances at 300mm. Your bird was shot at 200mm as far as I can tell from the EXIF, but how far away was it? Is the lens equally impressive at 100 feet or more to the subject?
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

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Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
To my mind your bird shot highlights the lens detail far better than the butterfly shots and is seriously impressive. At close quarters the 75-300mm is (possibly) equally impresive but falls short and long focal distances at 300mm. Your bird was shot at 200mm as far as I can tell from the EXIF, but how far away was it? Is the lens equally impressive at 100 feet or more to the subject?
I was in a small garden. it is small and designed to be wildlife friendly, so the bird was just fledged and hopping about calling to mum. I would have been about 6 feet or so from it. The only lens I have that I would bother to use at half a field away is the canon 100-400 which is superb on the G9 with a metabones adapter.

I have a few examples of the adapted Canon lens combination, like this


The 70-300 I have is not a player in those circumstances and the 12-200 would be similar, but I think you need to be fair with lenses and your expectations. They are compromises. This isn't a replacement to a birding lens or a scope.
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

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Originally Posted by Beagletorque View Post
The Bokeh on the 12-200 is "better" in your examples, but that may just be the type of background. It is a superb optic and gets alot of use, though not so much for macro, yet.
Very nice to see the Duke.
Both lenses seem similar. If you want good bokeh then aim to have nothing busy close behind the subject as I find it does pick it up and distract.

Every year I enjoy going to sit with the Duke. It is a pleasure and a joy for me.

Tomorrow I am going to see Marsh Fritillaries in Lincolnshire, I cant wait.
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

Question:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
To my mind your bird shot highlights the lens detail far better than the butterfly shots and is seriously impressive. At close quarters the 75-300mm is (possibly) equally impresive but falls short and long focal distances at 300mm. Your bird was shot at 200mm as far as I can tell from the EXIF, but how far away was it? Is the lens equally impressive at 100 feet or more to the subject?
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I was in a small garden. it is small and designed to be wildlife friendly, so the bird was just fledged and hopping about calling to mum. I would have been about 6 feet or so from it. The only lens I have that I would bother to use at half a field away is the canon 100-400 which is superb on the G9 with a metabones adapter....The 70-300 I have is not a player in those circumstances and the 12-200 would be similar, but I think you need to be fair with lenses and your expectations. They are compromises. This isn't a replacement to a birding lens or a scope.
I was not thinking particularly of birding at those distances but distant landscapes (hills/mountains/long valleys) can look a little soft at 300mm with the 75-300mm. Thank you for your thoughts on the 12-200mm as I was just wondering if it was a little better (i.e. acceptable given its limitations and versatility) or a little worse (probably not acceptable).
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

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Many thanks Peter

My wife is still using her Sony A58 but the IS is nowhere as good as my EM1ii she also doesn't want to keep carrying/changing lenses owing to health issues so I'm looking at getting her an Oly camera with the 12-200.

The info is therefore very helpful to us.
Hi Keith and Mrs K

Not sure if it helps but I put 14 other shots in a dropbox folder so you can look at them as out of camera jpgs.

just click the link above.

three shots P1042860/1/2 show a scene at 12mm, 25mm and 200mm. which may be useful.

hope it helps
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

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Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
Question:

Reply:

I was not thinking particularly of birding at those distances but distant landscapes (hills/mountains/long valleys) can look a little soft at 300mm with the 75-300mm. Thank you for your thoughts on the 12-200mm as I was just wondering if it was a little better (i.e. acceptable given its limitations and versatility) or a little worse (probably not acceptable).
Please feel free to have a look at the out of camera jpgs of the scene at 12mm 25mm and 200mm in the dropbox. It seems sharp at the 200mm scene. But I was there for butterflies really.

My friend took more scenery shots and said he had a great shot of a plane flying over Ivinghoe Beacon. I will see if I can get hold of it.

regards
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Old 14th May 2019
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

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Originally Posted by art frames View Post
Hi Keith and Mrs K

Not sure if it helps but I put 14 other shots in a dropbox folder so you can look at them as out of camera jpgs.

just click the link above.

three shots P1042860/1/2 show a scene at 12mm, 25mm and 200mm. which may be useful.

hope it helps
Mrs K asked me to forward her thanks to you, Peter, along with mine of course. She has had a good look at your pictures and found them very interesting with regard to what the lens is capable of.

Just for info, so you know where I'm coming from, as I said, she is using the Sony A58 and is losing a fair few pics to what we can only put down to unsteadiness (health issues) which is why I am thinking along the route I am. The lens she is using is the Tamron 18-270 PZD which has stood her in good stead but I'm thinking that the newer design of the 12-200 should be at least as good if not better(hopefully), and, coupled with an Oly cam with much better IS should help for the foreseeable future. Like myself, she shoots birds, insects, flowers, in fact anything nature and so needs (and is used to with the kit she uses at present) both the short and the long focal lengths.

Many thanks again
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Re: Butterflies with 12-200 and 40-150 (+1.4 tc) lenses

Interestingly, or more likely randomly, Flickr has decided.

Two pictures have been selected for 'explore' (the algorithm based pictures of the day). Picture 1 and 3 (above) are best. Both were using the 12-200.

So AI has spoken....
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