which telephoto zoom would be better?

Started Jul 17, 2014 | Discussions thread
TN Args
TN Args Veteran Member • Posts: 5,245
Re: Panasonic for the Future

drj3 wrote:

If you want a good fast telephoto lens that autofocuses for a current mFTs camera, there is currently no other choice than the Olympus FTs lenses. That will change by early next year when there are fast Olympus mFTs long telephoto lenses. They will not be small and light however, if you want fast, long telephoto lenses there will always be a penalty of size and weight. The 300 F4 will probably be as heavy as my EC14+50-200+FTs adaptor.

The Panasonic 100-300 is a good consumer grade lens (like the Olympus 75-300), but it is not nearly fast enough (aperture), sharp enough wide open or capable of sufficient fps with focus to be good for wildlife photography. I am serious when I say "unfortunately" Panasonic does not appear to be developing any new lenses which are appropriate for this use. I personally would like to have a choice in long telephoto lenses. My point was that Panasonic appears to have conceded this market to Olympus, so in effect you are locked into Olympus if you want fast long telephoto for mFTs, since Panasonic appears to not be planning on offering new long lenses, their new CAF system is locked to Panasonic lenses and their top of the line camera does not have IBIS.

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Aperture. Plenty, and I mean plenty, of wildlife photographers use the Canon 100-400 L and love it. Guess what, it's f/5.6. Their $6,000 to $12,000 f/2.8 alternatives are not the bare minimum wildlife photography lenses. Don't make things up.

Sharpness. It is just not right to give the impression that this lens is plain soft at 300mm or wide open or, horror, 300mm wide open. It is entirely, perfectly usable for excellent results. Thank you. Look at photozone measurements of resolution, http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/684-pana100300?start=1. Even Ming Thein, lover of medium format cameras and D800's, reviewed this lens and while being completely up front about it not being benchmark optically, not even close, did conclude that it is 'good enough' and he would 'buy it again', i.e. that's a recommendation. That's the opposite of what you are saying, so I am quite sure you are exaggerating.

FPS with focus. About 2 or 3. Not nearly enough for birds in flight, for publication-grade closeups of the contested touchdown pass that all your competitors lined up next to you with their Canons are going to get, or for that lion leaping at you from 20 feet (uh oh). But for general wildlife photography of land-born animals, 2 or 3 fps will get you lots of keepers. When I am on safari, it's a miracle if you a see any action, e.g. a chase. Reality is that the animals are trotting if on the move, and single shot AF could do the job. Anyway, how much faster is the fps with a Four Thirds 50-200 and TCV? I bet it's actually worse.

In fact, the general opinion of reviewers has been that, while the E-M1 is a must buy for existing Four Thirds lens owners, they would never recommend someone buy an E-M1 so they can BUY Four Thirds lenses to use with it -- because the focusing performance is not good enough. I'm with them. Plus I want to mention, the size and weight brings you right back into DSLR territory, but with terrible performance. Get a 5D3 and do it right.

Bottom line: the 100-300 OIS is very good and practical lens and an excellent choice.

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call me Arg

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