Super-Telephoto: More Reach, more problems.

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TRP Contributing Member • Posts: 989
Super-Telephoto: More Reach, more problems.

There has been a lot of discussion lately on non MFT Super-Telephoto lenses that reach 600mm. People question why can't we have the same...get a whopping 1200mm reach with the 2x factor!

Personally I am satisfied with the 300 + TC which provides a mere 840mm reach. A few reasons why and things for us all to consider:

  1. The influence of atmospheric conditions goes up with reach. Haze, fog, heat distortion - lots of weather and environmental factors will only degrade the image the more distance there is between you and the subject.
  2. I once read that the intent of these  super lenses that offer incredible reach are not purely intended to let you sit back and snap away from ridiculous distances. They are meant to help frame a subject that is at a moderate distance. Personally I believe this.
  3. To keep the same quality, a lens that has more reach will be bigger and heavier, or slower. I experimented with the 300 f/2.8 and let me say that hiking through Yellowstone with that was no joy. I was happy to trade for the 300 f/4. How big would a 600mm lens of equivalent quality be?
  4. Removing yourself from the scene can have pros and cons. Recently I used the 300 f/4 for portraits. Loved the compression and bokeh. But, you have to be careful that removing yourself too far you don't loose the intimacy of the photo. After all the goals is to take a great photo not just a photo right? 

Yes I am in the camp that is excited about the next Olympus super tele zoom 150-400+.

Yes I have the longest lense combo possibly in native MFT now so I could be called a hypocrite.

But I would rather see other imorovements made in MFT rather than a 600mm lens and would rather see R&D go towards improved autofocus, lower noise, battery life, etc.

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Olympus O-MD E-M1 ii
Panasonic Leica 12-60 f/2.8-4
Olympus 60 f/2.8 macro
Olympus Pro 40-150 f/2.8
Pansonic Leica 100-400 f/4-6.3
Olympus 400mm f/4

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