SWD vs Little Tuna

Started 11 months ago | Photos thread
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Phocal Senior Member • Posts: 2,331
SWD vs Little Tuna

My last kayak trip I set out to compare the ZD 50-200 SWD w/ EC-20 against my Sigma 50-500. Because of the shooting conditions I was having to use high ISO's, which really made doing the comparisons a bust. They were also a bit much as far as reach goes, typically shoot the 150/2 without a TC or with the EC-14 when in the kayak. So, I switched things up and mounted the 150/2 and the SWD on the EM1's. My thinking was the 50-200 would give me the same reach as the 150/2 with EC-14 when I needed a bit more reach.

All photos shot with EM1's, handheld, from a kayak, and wide-open with both lenses. Each photo was processed and cropped like I would if I was not comparing the photographs. I was not trying to crop the 150 shots to match the 200mm of the SWD, so the heron will fill more of the frame in the SWD shots. I was after comparing how I would shoot each lens, process the images and crop like it was the only lens I had.

In this first set of images the Green Heron moved and I drifted over some, so they are not the best comparison images. I really wish I hadn't changed perspective because I would have really liked to compare that out of focus area in the 150 shot against the SWD.

This next set is a little better for comparing, but the sun did poke thru a bit more on the SWD shot.

The third set is probably the closes to similar lighting conditions of the three.

I think the SWD held up well as far as sharpness goes against the 150/2. One thing to keep in mind is the extra DoF in the SWD shots plays tricks with your eyes and gives the perception of it being sharper because you have a larger area that is in critical focus. While sharpness may be similar, the bokeh of the 150/2 is much better and it has a bit more micro contrast. Than again it should be since it's 1 1/3 stop faster. The 150/2 images also (to me) have a bit more pop.

I didn't stop the 150/2 down because I wanted to compare them as I would use them, which is mostly wide-open. I do stop down for more DoF when I need it, like my gator shots..........but tend to shoot wide-open because I am after fast shutter speeds with low ISO and usually under the canopy of the swamp (here it was the river, but it was very well shaded).

One side note - I can push the 150/2 images a bit farther in post, one of the advantages of the all optical correction of the SHG glass.

I typically have my 14-54ii (or fisheye) on the other EM1 for landscape shots, but think I will continue bringing the SWD for the 2nd EM1. Next trip I will put the EC-14 on the 50-200 and run the 150/2 without any TC's. This will give me a bit more versatility and a lot of reach for those few times I may need it while in the kayak.


edit - forgot Flickr album with full resolution images if you desire to look.

 Phocal's gear list:Phocal's gear list
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake +6 more
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD
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