Panasonic and those usuriously priced telecons

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
jalywol
jalywol Forum Pro • Posts: 10,433
Re: Panasonic and those usuriously priced telecons
1

unhappymeal wrote:

I recently offloaded 90% of my m4/3 gear, but kept a few items for shooting wild life. Partly, this is because the Fuji XF 55-200 and XF 100-400 aren't spectacular and partly because I couldn't find a buyer for the PL 50-200.

Right now, I have an E-M1 II, recently repaired GX8 and Panasonic-Leica 50-200. I'm looking to get a bit more reach for wildlife and birds and I'm in a bit of a conundrum. The Panasonic-Leica 100-400 can be had brand new for $1,600 CAD (+ tax). I have my apprehensions about the lens (quality control, dust ingress, not the sharpest and repairability), but the recently announce Olympus 100-400 is $2,100 CAD.

My other option is going with the Panasonic teleconvertors, but wow are they expensive: $700 CAD a piece for the DMW-TC14 and DMC-TC20--a full $300 and $200 more than the Olympus TCs. I can almost purchase the PL 100-400 at that price.

Let's hear it. If it was your money, what would you do?

Edit: Wild card option: put the PL 50-200 up on ebay and grab a used Olympus 40-150 Pro + EC-14 and EC-20 for $2,000 CAD.

Wait til one of the TCs comes up on Ebay.  I just bought the 1.4x TC for $329 (USD) from a seller on the west coast.  It was new, works perfectly.

After having owned the PL 100-400mm and now the PL 50-200mm with both the 1.4x and 2.0x TCs, here's my take:

The PL 100-400mm is going to be a bit faster and a bit sharper out at 400mm than the 50-200mm with the 2.0x TC.  The 50-200mm with the 2.0 TC at f8 has noticeable halation and is not as sharp as the 100-400mm at f6.3.  However, if you stop the 50-200mm with the 2x TC down to f10, it cleans up extremely well.  IF you can live with that slow a lens, then the 2x TC is going to be a relatively economical way to get the kind of distance you are looking for in a nice, small package, without having to spring for the full price of the 100-400mm.

If you get the 1.4x TC, it is sharper wide open than the 2.0x TC, and your maximum aperture will be f 5.6, at 280mm, which is its longest reach (vs 400mm with the 2x TC). IF you can live with 280mm max tele, AND you can find one for $300ish, the 1.4x TC would give you both reach and sharpness, without breaking the bank, and would give you comparable maximum apertures to the PL 100-400mm, for lower light situations.

I like both lenses and I like both TC's with the 50-200.  However, I actually sold my 100-400mm last year to get the funds for some other gear I wanted to work with, not planning to come back to M43 for other than casual shooting.  But, I decided that for long tele, I really missed M43's reach, so this time around, instead of replacing the 100-400mm, I decided to try the PL 50-200 with the 2x TC since Adorama had a package with both for the same price as the PL100-400mm...and I knew I preferred the smaller size of the 50-200 in general, so I thought I'd take a chance with it.

Result?  I have been having an absolute blast with the PL 50-200 and both TCs.  One major advantage?  The minimum focus distance is much shorter with the PL50-200mm and the TCs than the PL 100-400mm, so I don't have to use extension tubes to do flower and butterfly shots, which I would have to on the 100-400mm.

So...my advice?  Keep an eye on Ebay and pick up one of the TCs when someone lists one in your price range.  It will happen, just keep an eye out.  Much cheaper than the 100-400mm...and IQ really is very similar.

-J

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