The Sunday BIRD Volume 9 Issue 33 February 9, 2014

Started Feb 9, 2014 | Photos thread
Richard Turton Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: First shots with the ZD50-200+EC-14

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.

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