The Sunday BIRD Volume 9 Issue 33 February 9, 2014
The 70-300 is a very useful and versatile lens and scores very high on price vs performance. The AF/MF switch shows that it is not a native Four-thirds design and is thought by some to be a full frame Sigma. The problem is, that compared to the real Zuiko lenses, it always looks soft and the autofocus is barely adequate. The 50-200 is better in every way. It is noticeably sharper, focuses much faster as long as you are reasonably close to the correct distance, and is effectively one stop faster. It is also virtually silent, compared to the 70-300 which sometimes frightens birds away when it decides to grind through its whole focus range. The optimum aperture for the 70-300 at 300 mm is f/8 and wide open at f/5.6 is a lot worse. The optimum aperture for the 50-200+EC-14 is also f/8 (combined), but f/5.6 is only slightly worse and very usable. The extra stop is a big advantage for the E-5, because image quality seems to fall off a cliff above the maximum "real" ISO of 800. Despite being, according to my kitchen scale, 35% heavier than the 70-300 with the E-5, I do not find it any more difficult to use handheld. As far as I am concerned the only negative aspect to the lens is the much higher cost, although as we all know, the cost and weight of lenses goes up exponentially with quality.
Nice shots of the little guys, Andrew. Nuthatches (both varieties) have always been among my favorites. We rarely get Cardinals up in this neck of the woods, I'm envious.
Your 5% crops are about as sharp as my full frame shots (have to be careful, full sensor)! Hope you are a long way from the fires!
Thanks for your comments Andrew.
As a bird shooter almost everything is cropped, and sometimes cropped in so close that regardless of how still you kept the camera, how fast the shutter, how efficient the sensor and how perfect the lighting , , , I end up hitting the Delete key when I view it in PP.
The fires . . . I had no idea the international media was running stories on them.
Thankfully here in Sydney we have had a mild summer so far (high 90's and a few 100 deg days).
We had our devastating fires to our west in early spring - hundreds of homes destroyed. Thankfully at the moment all clear for us
In the past few weeks though in the southern states of Victoria and South Australia they have had record heatwave runs of 5 and 6 days above 110 degrees, including the city of Melbourne (see Dharma's post), and they have been on high alert with major fires and emergency evacuations over the past few days. Dennis (Denjw) in his home town of Orbost is right in the middle of it. So far it seems that little property has been lost and they have had a cool change in the weather yesterday.