For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

Started Feb 19, 2014 | Questions
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,935
For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

I was wondering which long lens people like with the Olympus EM-5 (and E-PM2 as backup)? Do people like the Olympus 75-300mm or the Panasonic 100-300mm?

Now, on the EM-5, the Panasonic's IS would need to be turned off (or the camera's IS turned off). On the E-PM2, I can set the camera to favor using lens IS if it has it over sensor based IS. I suspect lens based IS might be more effective than sensor shift.

The Olympus wins out in terms of weight (430g vs 520g), which might be a factor in handling the camera. The Olympus is slightly smaller at minimum zoom (116mm vs 126mm), but I suspect this is to small to matter. The Panasonic is 1/3 stop faster (f/4-5.6 vs. f/4.8-6.7).

For my E-5, I have the Olympus 50-200mm and 70-300mm lenses, but the weight of those lenses and having to use the 4/3rds to micro 4/3rds adapter makes them feel bulky on the E-P2/E-PM2 (I haven't gotten the EM-5 yet), so I'll looking at native micro 4/3rds solutions.

I figure either of the lens will be problematic at the 300mm limit, but for 100-250mm, I'm hoping either of these lenses will give good images in daylight.

I had recently purchased a Stylus1 but I' not as happy with the zoom range, so I'm thinking of returning it. I had originally thought of getting another bridge camera with superzoom (such as SH-50 or SP-100), but I started thinking that perhaps I should get a lens, and just use micro 4/3rds cameras.

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus E-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II +22 more
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Olympus E-5 Olympus PEN E-P2 Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus SH-50 Olympus Stylus SP-100
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Landscapephoto99 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,183
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

The Panasonic if you value the slightly wider aperture.  The Olympus version II if you like closer focus and a slightly better bokeh.  They are both good even at 300mm, but you've got to understand how to shoot at that range.  Got to rush off to work but I know others here have great examples of sharp 300mm shots.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,010
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

I have the Olympus 75-300mm on my E-PM2 and it's a bit of a challenge to get shake free shots at the longer focal lengths hand held.  I only received it a few weeks ago and haven't used it on a tripod yet. I'm sure on the EM-5 it would be more stable since it has the 5 axis IBIS. On the E-PM2 you might be better off with the Panasonic because it has OIS. That is only a hunch because I can't directly compare the two lenses.  As far as I can tell from reading reviews the two lenses are pretty well matched as far as resolution goes.

grendak Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

I honestly like the 100-300 a lot better, for two reasons:  1.) It is faster (4-5.6 vs 4.8-6.7) and 2.) I find the panasonic OIS to be much better than the Oly IBIS at very long focal lengths.  I can get consistently sharp shots at 1/250 and 1/320 with the panasonic OIS but have issues managing that with OIS turned off and IBIS on.  Thanks to the Oly menus you can easily have lens stabilization priority on, so you don't have to remember to switch off IBIS every time you switch to that lens.

 grendak's gear list:grendak's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Olympus PEN E-PL5 +3 more
DonTom Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

Michael Meissner wrote:

I was wondering which long lens people like with the Olympus EM-5 (and E-PM2 as backup)? Do people like the Olympus 75-300mm or the Panasonic 100-300mm?

To me it made more sense to go with the Olympus lens on my Olympus body: better software lens corrections if nothing else.

I had recently purchased a Stylus1 but I' not as happy with the zoom range, so I'm thinking of returning it. I had originally thought of getting another bridge camera with superzoom (such as SH-50 or SP-100), but I started thinking that perhaps I should get a lens, and just use micro 4/3rds cameras.

I went through the same thought process, thought about a Panasonic FZ200 instead. But it would be yet another charger to drag around when traveling, and battery to keep an eye on. It really doesn't take any longer to change lens when needed than to drag another camera out, switch it on, check & adjust the setting etc.

I've only had the Olly for 2 months, but am very happy with it so far. 75-300mm is, to me, a more useful range than 100-300mm. I find when combined with the Olympus 12-50mm, they are fine for travel. I don't find the 50-75mm gap much of a problem. Here's a shot from Malaysia earlier in the year:

 DonTom's gear list:DonTom's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL1 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +9 more
Ido S
Ido S Veteran Member • Posts: 4,955
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

I use the 75-300 on my e-m5. I chose it to complement my 12-50 kit zoom, because of its more flexible zoom range, and its physical size. The only thing I would've liked the olympus to have is the Panasonic's wider aperture, but then again, it would've made the lens larger and heavier all over again.

 Ido S's gear list:Ido S's gear list
Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8 +1 more
mpwolf Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

Lots of discussion about these two lenses. You may have already seen these, but they're worth a read if not.

Panasonic 100-300 vs. Olympus 75-300 II lens test: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51229567

40-150 vs. 75-300 vs. 100-300 Pictures: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51270364

Yet another Olympus 75-300 vs Panasonic 100-300 review: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/41503201

Ming Thein also has a good review of the 100-300, with some comments on the 75-300 scattered within:

http://blog.mingthein.com/2012/09/20/review-the-panasonic-100-3004-5-6-lumix-g-vario-for-micro-four-thirds/

For what it's worth, I have the 100-300 for my E-M5 and I like it a lot. I can't comment on it with the E-PM2 though.

When I bought the 100-300, only version I of the 75-300 was available and with a $300+ premium for the latter, my choice was fairly easy. The lower price and the slightly faster aperture tipped things in favor of the 100-300, although I do think I'd appreciate having the extra 25mm on the wide end.

If I were shopping today, with only ~$50-100 separating the two, it would be more difficult to choose. I think I might end up with the 75-300 given the extra range. The loss of some speed would factor into the equation, but ultimately neither lens is going to be very useful in low light, so I think it's a minor consideration.

The MEGA O.I.S. appears to work well, but I've never directly tested it against the E-M5 IBIS; I usually use the latter. On the downside, the two IS systems don't play very well together and on occasion I've had both switched on by mistake.

As some other commentators have mentioned, the 100-300 could also hold it's value a bit better as it would appeal more to owners of Panasonic bodies without in-body stabilization. I doubt there are may shooters that want a 600mm (35mm equivalent) unstabilized lens on an unstabilized body. FWIW, both seem to sell for about $400 used on eBay, so people are taking a bigger hit on the 75-300.

You can't really go wrong with either. Neither is going to be the sharpest lens you own, but both will give you the ability to capture some pretty nice shots, given the reach.

Ultimately the question becomes, on the E-M5 at least (i.e., ignoring O.I.S.), are you willing to pay ~$50-100 and half a stop of speed for 25mm on the wide end?

- M

 mpwolf's gear list:mpwolf's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +21 more
sinkas Senior Member • Posts: 1,592
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm
1

I have owned both. Like the Oly II better but can't wait for the 40-150mm PRO for wider aperture and hopefully improved IQ and the Tele Converter! May also consider the new 300mm F4.

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Regards Daryl
Hobbes: You're ignorant, but at least you act on it.”
Bill Watterson, The Authoritative Calvin And Hobbes

 sinkas's gear list:sinkas's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon D850 Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +5 more
Kawika Nui Contributing Member • Posts: 893
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

Michael Meissner wrote:

I was wondering which long lens people like with the Olympus EM-5 (and E-PM2 as backup)? Do people like the Olympus 75-300mm or the Panasonic 100-300mm?

Now, on the EM-5, the Panasonic's IS would need to be turned off (or the camera's IS turned off). On the E-PM2, I can set the camera to favor using lens IS if it has it over sensor based IS. I suspect lens based IS might be more effective than sensor shift.

The Olympus wins out in terms of weight (430g vs 520g), which might be a factor in handling the camera. The Olympus is slightly smaller at minimum zoom (116mm vs 126mm), but I suspect this is to small to matter. The Panasonic is 1/3 stop faster (f/4-5.6 vs. f/4.8-6.7).

For my E-5, I have the Olympus 50-200mm and 70-300mm lenses, but the weight of those lenses and having to use the 4/3rds to micro 4/3rds adapter makes them feel bulky on the E-P2/E-PM2 (I haven't gotten the EM-5 yet), so I'll looking at native micro 4/3rds solutions.

I figure either of the lens will be problematic at the 300mm limit, but for 100-250mm, I'm hoping either of these lenses will give good images in daylight.

I had recently purchased a Stylus1 but I' not as happy with the zoom range, so I'm thinking of returning it. I had originally thought of getting another bridge camera with superzoom (such as SH-50 or SP-100), but I started thinking that perhaps I should get a lens, and just use micro 4/3rds cameras.

I can only speak to the Panasonic 100-300mm lens as used with a GH3. I've found this lens to be quite good for outdoor daylight use. It's not very bright, but under the conditions that doesn't matter. Remember that Pany lenses have the IS in the lens; Oly has IS in the body and not in the lens. You're right that IQ drops off at full zoom, but even at that it isn't bad. This is a heavy lens but you are getting a lot of reach. On the other hand, I would have preferred the extra wide-end range (75mm) but of course I needed the IS in the lens. I use it for both photo and video and have been quite satisfied.

Details: I shoot mostly outdoor action (surfing) at distances of a few hundred feet.  I prefer to shoot at 1/500 (this lets me switch between stills and 60p video and maintain good quality in both).  I found the lens to be smooth when zooming (some users have said it is sticky; mine isn't).

Michael Meissner
OP Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,935
Thanks

Thanks for the various links. For an Olympus body, it looks like it may be a toss-up. Obviously for a Panasonic body, the 100-300mm is the clear winner. Now, I have the Olympus 14-150mm lens, but going with the 75-300mm lens would allow me to carry just two lenses with my E-M5.

In looking at my stats, it looks like about only 10% of my shots since 2001 have been at 300mm equivalent FOV or higher. Of course, many times I don't have the zoom lenses with me.

That brings me back to thinking about whether the SH-50 would be more cost effective.  I mostly have ruled out the larger 50x zooms (Olympus SP-100 and Fujifilm S1) due to size of the camera.  After all, the whole idea is to downsize from carrying 2 DSLRs.

Compared to the lens, it should be easy to fit a SH-50 in my bag or pocket, and use it when I need to get past 300mm. Since I already have the TG-2 for when I want to slim down, the SH-50 uses the same LI-90 battery, so I can leave at least one charger at home.  At $250, the SH-50 is cheaper than either of the lenses.

I might try the 4/3rds 70-300mm when I get the E-M5. It may do as a stop-gap measure, but the 4/3rds 70-300mm is even heavier than the Panasonic lens.

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus E-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II +22 more
Michael Meissner
OP Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,935
Re: For EM-5/E-PM2, do people like Olympus 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm

After starting this thread, I decided to see how my current gear worked with the 4/3rds long lenses I already own and the Panasonic MA-1 adapter. I'm waiting for the refurbished E-M5 that I ordered to show up, so I used my E-PM2 as a stand-in. The 4/3rds 70-300mm balances surprisingly well on the E-PM2, and focuses ok for static or slow moving objects. I switched to my original E-P2, and there the focus takes a lot longer, and doesn't always lock on as well.

I then tried my 50-200mm mark I, and I really don't like the feel of the camera in my hand with the lens, and the focus on the E-PM2 is a lot more uncertain (and worse on the E-P2).

So my take away is the 70-300mm is usable in good light, as long as I don't need fast focus. The 50-200mm is not as comfortable on the E-PM2 and the focusing is hard to use. So, the 50-200mm will stay on the E-5 where it is perfectly suited, but I may start using the 70-300mm to see how well it works in practice.

From a specs point of view, the lenses are long and heavy:

  • 4/3rds Olympus 70-300mm, 5" and 1.4 lbs;
  • micro 4/3rds Olympus 75-300mm, 4.6" and 0.93 lbs;
  • micro 4/3rds Panasonic 100-300mm, 5" and 1.5 lbs;
  • 4/3rds Olympus 50-200mm, 6.2" and 2.4 lbs.

The Panasonic 100-300mm and 4/3rds 70-300mm are about the same size/weight, while the micro 4/3rds 75-300mm is slightly smaller, and 0.5 lb lighter.

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus E-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 Olympus 14-150 F4-5.6 II +22 more
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