Long, sharp telephoto-No free lunch?

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Chris DC Regular Member • Posts: 292
Long, sharp telephoto-No free lunch?
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All (especially Eric and Unhappymeal):

I mentioned on an earlier thread started by Unhappymeal

(https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64227381) that I have had great results using the old 4/3 150mm F2 (Little Tuna) paired with the 2x TC and the MMF-1 on my EM1x to photograph dragonflies, frogs and the like. It is plenty sharp even wide open as a 300mm F4 and focuses close (1.4m).

It is a heavy combo with the glass weighing in at over 2kg alone. Add in the big body and carrying this is a bit of a workout. The results are great though.

Anyhow, I have been thinking about whether the new 100-400 might be a good alternative to achieve a long lens (300mm+) without the weight, albeit at a higher aperture than the 2xTC + 150mm mentioned above. I realized that if I use the 2x TC (4/3 version) with my venerable 50-200 (4/3 version, non-SWD), I can achieve a 100-400, F4.9-7.0 lens. This combo weighs a little over a kilo and is pretty close to the new 100-400 coming out soon with the added benefit being the fact that I already own it:)

So, this morning I took this combo out for a short trial at my local wetlands. I photographed a turtle, some dragonflies and a butterfly. I tried lots of different apertures, shutter speeds and ISOs. I even tried HHHR which tends to improve images of static subjects.

What I learned is that the 2x TC + 150mm F2 is much sharper, more contrasty and just plain better at 300 mm than the zoom combo. The zoom isn't bad its just that the image is definitely not improved by the TC whereas with the 150mm F2 lens the TC is stellar and doesn't seem to degrade the image. This should come as no surprise as the 2x TC was marketed and intended for the 150 and 300mm SHG lenses.

I will be eager to try out the new 100-400mm to see how modern optic design compares to the older hardware but I am thinking that there is no free lunch. Sharp and fast lenses are going to be heavy and expensive. Sigh. I best lift some more weights and save some more pennies:)

CDC

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