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Olympus OM-D E-M1 The first Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 1st May 2014
brian1208 brian1208 is offline
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I may have lost my mind! :D

For quite a while I have been dithering about whether to try the 4/3rds 50-200 on the EM-1 for my water sport shooting (windsurfers, ZapCats etc) but have balked at the cost of used versions which seem to come in around £500-600.

Today I spotted that one of my friendly dealers (WEX) were showing a used ED version for £270 which was rated as 9/10 for condition and came with a 12 month warranty

So - I took the plunge (along with coughing up for the mmf-3)

I know the SWD version would focus quicker (and quieter) and I know its going to feel a bit of a lump after the 75-300 but I usually shoot these session off the monopod (usually to stop me getting battered by the wind ) but at that price I couldn't resist and the fact that the system is "weatherproof" was another draw

I get it tomorrow and have an evening shoot at the UK Kite surf racing meet down here on Sunday (before the EM-1 goes to those nice people in Portugal to have the grip re-attached on Tuesday)

I'll let you know how I get on but does anyone have any positive stories of using this combo to stop me feeling quite so apprehensive
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Old 1st May 2014
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

Unless I have lost my mind too (always possible) I think I can recall reading reports that the non SWD version focusses better on the E-M1 than the SWD.

Hope it works out for you, if not it shouldn't be difficult to sell it on without loss.
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

I think I've read the same as John, although that might have been with reference to the E-M5 rather than the E-M1.

Regardless, it is a nice slab of glass. And it should come with a tripod mount (which works fine on a monopod, it doesn't mind missing the other two legs ).

John
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

I have the SWD version which I use with the em-1, I find focussing to be quick and accurate most of the time, on occasion it can hunt but it used to do that on the E5 too.

£270.00 is indeed a very good price for a very fine lens, hopefully it will prove to be a bargain

Simon
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

Brian, I have a non swd 50-200 and the E-M1. Sorry to say I think you will be disappointed speed wise. Yes it focus's pretty accurately. It was never the quickest focusing lens so unless there are contrasty areas for E-M1 to focus on quickly you will need to be patient.

As for the image results.... very nice.

Gary
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Old 1st May 2014
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

I have used this combo and find it very good. The attached example was taken in very poor November light - ISO800 and f4 - and I was very pleased with the result. I took a number of photos on this day using the 50-200SWD almost exclusively. I used SAF and low sequential shutter for the best results.

Enjoy!

Martin

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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

Thank you for the input so far, interesting reading.

Martin, that's a cracking shot, I just hope the Mk1 non SWD is close to that

From my experience of shooting my water-sports focus speed is not so critical as focus accuracy, plus a wider aperture to cope with the poor light that is so common at these events and improved IQ are other benefits I'm hoping for

I'm not anticipating using it for birding (but it would be a bonus if I could get shots like that Owl )
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

I've not used mine much but when I have it's worked fine. Actually seems to be a smidgen quicker than the Leica to focus I'd say and possibly a fraction more assured but it's a close thing. Images are nice and sharp but I rarely use it though due to the weight.
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

Hi Brian

I have been using the non SWD 50-200 quite a bit recently (fulmar pics in Foto Fair etc).

It's obviously a lot heavier than a 75-300, but on the other hand this arguably helps dampen tracking a bit. If you have come from a Canon 7D I think you will recognise the weight. It can be decently quick to focus, but sometimes it throws the towel in completely and seems to rack back to closest focus point. If that happens you will lose the shot as it takes too long to recover.

However, I have found that SAF+MF allows me to tune prefocus continuously and then give it a final SAF burst. I have also said that it works better on the 9-box focus point set up. That's generally my starting point for BIF. I have tended to use Sequential High, but only for very short bursts. Optically it is very good (not much between this and the SWD version so far as I know, although the latter's bokeh may be better - if that matters) and f3.5 at 200mm is a boon when the light is low.

I enjoy mine. I hope you enjoy your new copy.

Andrew
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

thanks Phil, that's the mk1 you are using is it?

Weight will be an issue in transporting the kit to the beach but after that the "pod" will take the strain

(at the back of my mind is the thought that if this works out I may be able to skip the 40-150 f2.8 and go straight to saving up for the 300 f4, if not, I hope to be able to sell it on with a relatively small trading loss)
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

Andrew, that is excellent input, thanks. I

wasn't sure if SAF + MF would work with this lens, its good news it does as your technique is one I used with the canon L's, have transferred across to the 75-300 and hoped to use with the 50-200
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

Yep it's a mk1 Brian. I'd say you got a bargain. I wouldn't like to have to sell mine for that.
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Old 2nd May 2014
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

I'll let you know if its a bargain when I get my hands on it, but I'm hopeful
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Old 2nd May 2014
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

It arrived about 30 minutes ago and, of course, its a miserable grey day out there

excellent, just what I needed to test it out wide open

First impressions are that I have indeed got a bargain,

-mechanically it looks in fine shape (they did mention some internal dust but I can't see it either looking through the lens or in the images)

- optically the images are sharp & well focused using my usual three test subjects at medium, long and distant locations

- nice subject isolation, although I have seen the muddled bokeh that some reviews mention in one shot (tarmacked drive as a background)

Focus appear to be fairly prompt and lock on is positive (its quite fun listening to the focus motor, reminds of the good old days before the latest ultrasonic focusing systems. Not to loud or "grinding" though )

Just a case of waiting for some "proper" subjects to arrive now but so far I'm a happy bunny

Is there anything I should be looking out for in the return period?

Meet "Squeaky" one of the local cats, wide open at f3.5 with ISO400 for 1/400th sec at 200mm, cropped to about 50% of frame height

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Old 2nd May 2014
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Re: I may have lost my mind! :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian1208 View Post
Is there anything I should be looking out for in the return period?

Barrel stiffness when zooming, normally means the "O" rings are warn or loose. I use this all the time on My E-M1 coupled with the EC14 for birds and close ups of larger insects as it will focus down to 1.2m.
One you master the fact that the E-M1 only has focus sensors in one plane in PADF it works fine, you just have to think a bit more.
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