Does 1/2 a stop matter?

Started Apr 13, 2014 | Discussions thread
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anomalous Regular Member • Posts: 131
Does 1/2 a stop matter?

Yes, you guessed it, another Olympus 75-300 II vs Panasonic 100-300 thread! But maybe from a different angle this time.

I have an E-M1 (and grip) with 12-40 and apart from it being too small, it's quite nice to use and produces excellent images. So I went lens shopping.

I live a long way from any decent camera shop, so when I was near a sizeable one I tried every M43 lens they had. This was a pleasurable diversion but, to cut a long story short, the only focal length that appealed to me was zooms to 300mm, and that means the 75-300 II vs the 100-300.

I've read a number of reviews now and all of them say you should stop these lenses down to f/8 at 300mm and at that point the images are indistinguishable. So, the 1/2 stop advantage of the Panasonic is moot, right? I'm considering them to be optically the same unless someone shouts "Stop!" right now and proves the difference.

So it seems I'll be basing my choice on other factors, like how the combination feels to hold, how it looks, what it weighs, in body vs in lens stabilisation, the weirdness about rotating the zoom ring the opposite way on Panasonic lenses and lastly: Olympus' petty decision to charge extra for a lens hood, if you can find one. I mean, by the time you add a hood to the Olympus it costs about the same as the Panasonic, and the Panasonic includes a pouch of some sort. Looks like Olympus needs a smacking here.

The Panasonic feels nice to use and looks better on the E-M1. But the zoom action the wrong way round? Will that weird feeling pass?

Anyway, my real question: do you people stick to one lens manufacturer within the micro four-thirds lens system? Or do you mix and match? And will I ever get over being surprised by the zoom rotation direction?

I'll be back at that store in a few days and if my initial gut feeling remains (i.e. the Panasonic feels better to shoot with) then my camera bag will host a mixed system.

Will they get on?  Will they fight?  Will I regret straying outside my limited circle?

Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS
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