70(or 75)-300mm is an anachroism on m43

Started Mar 6, 2012 | Discussions thread
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AndyGM
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70(or 75)-300mm is an anachroism on m43
Mar 6, 2012

In a recent thread on lenses for Safari, elherr posted a photo of a load of Canikon nutters in a Land Cruiser. They are all clearly using Full Frame DSLRs, which got me wondering what lenses they could be using (because I've never looked into this before, never been interested in DSLRs, I've been waiting for something like Mirrorless cams since before they existed).

And I found out some very surprising stuff.

  • The longest Zoom lens from Canikon for Full Frame DSLRs go to 400mm. If you want the sort of reach of the m43 Super Telephotos, you have to buy a prime or some monster from Sigma

  • The only Super Telephotos ever designed specifically for crop sensor cameras are the 2 m43 ones.

Bearing in mind this last point, since the m43 Super Tele lenses had to be designed from scratch it would make sense if their focal length range was optimised to the format and fitted in with other m43 lenses. Panasonic seem to have got this, the 100-300mm fits in nicely above the 12-35mm and 35-100mm X lenses (so its clearly part of a roadmap).

So what was Olympus thinking with the 75-300mm? They just seem to be aping the Four Thirds 70-300mm, which was just a modified Sigma design for 35mm SLRs. 70-300mm is only a common focal length for Full Frame because its the next lens up from the typical 'normal' zoom of 28-80mm (with a bit of FL overlap). The true equivalent of a 70-300mm on m43 would be 35-150mm, and the Oly 40-150mm is pretty much exactly that.

Looking at the other lenses from Oly, the 75-300mm doesn't seem like it fits into any kind of lens road map, doesn't make all that much sense. Like I said, it just seems to be a hangover from 35mm SLRs, an anachroism.

It would have probably been better to make a lens that slightly overlapped the 40-150mms range at the short end, and only had somewhere between 2x and 3x magnification, allowing for faster apertures without getting too physically large. Something like a 135-300mm.

Or maybe this is job for Sigma, Tamron, or Tonkina. A 150-330mm (which would cover m43 and NEX quite nicely).

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