What inexpensive telephoto lens?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
WhiteBeard Senior Member • Posts: 2,883
Re: Not too promising

wb2trf wrote:

So, as I mentioned, apart from just having a little fun with a camera I'd never tried, the main motivation was to see if I could improve IQ over my Canon SX-50 superzoom without getting the camera size and weight to large.

Before buying a 300mm lens for the E-M10 III, I decided to try it with an old Canon FD 300mm lens I had. I knew that lens to be at least ok.

I was able to determine that I can hand hold the Oly with the old 300mm beast attached and focus it with the IS enabled and set to 300mm. That's very nice. I know I can't do that without IS.

However, the resolution gain just doesn't seem to be there and I don't think it is the lens. Here are crops of two shots, one with the Oly and one with the Canon SX-50. Both are handheld. This test does not lead me to want to spend more money on continuing this experiment. To bother with this I'd need to believe I was chasing some big improvement. I can imagine, however, that the upcoming 400mm lens may show up better than this. So, I'll wait and see what the size and price of that are.

  • Olympus 100-400: 86.4mm x 205.7mm; Weight: 1120g for F5-6.3; 1500$
  • PL 100-400: 83 mm x 172 mm; Weight 985 gr for F4-6.3; 1000-1200$ (ebay)

(Apart from cropping to the test chart I haven't tweaked these, just to avoid one more variable.) These were both taken at about 40 feet in bright light, which is fairly typical for my bird/animal shooting, except for grizzlies which I always want to be further away.

Anyone want to chime in? Do you think that the Oly 75-300mm in such a test would beat the SX-50 by enough to make this a worthwhile venture?

Crop of Oly e-m10 image at 300mm 5.6 with Canon FD MF lens

Crop from Canon SX-50 HS at faux 1200mm

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