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Old May 31, 2008, 7:05 PM   #1
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Okay, as I get closer to purchasing either a closeout E-510 or the new E-520, I am realizing that my budget may be a bit more limited than I'd like. Pairing the camera with the new 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens ($899) is still a possibility. While this would be my first choice, in terms of desired image quality and flexibility in a single, standard zoom lens, it is also at the very outside of my current budget - meaning I won't be purchasing a second lens anytime soon.

But I can't imagine that I'm not going to want to shoot something longer than that before very long. Both nature and sports come to mind and we'd be talking about shooting primarily outdoors in such applications (auto racing, baseball, football, etc.).

So, I am considering opting for the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 lens ($374) and paring it with a less-expensive Zuiko lens for outdoor, telephoto use. Because I saw one at my local Circuit City the other day, the old 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 lens comes to mind. Of course, this was the original telephoto kit lens for the E-series Olympus cameras. It's out of production now but is still readily available for about $179.

Olympus's kit lenses, as we all know, are pretty darn good. But generally, I want something faster than the normal f/3.5-5.6 (or even slightly slower) that we see in most kit lenses these days. The older version of the 40-150mm lens is faster than the new kit lens, has metal mounting (versus plastic on the new lens) and, at least to me, appears to be built better. It is also larger and heavier than the new lens, which really isn't a problem for me.

But just how good is the older 40-150mm lens when it comes to image quality? Is it noticeably better or worse than the new lens? And would it make a good "mate" for the 14-54mm lens - in terms of IQ or anything else you can think of? Are there any issues with this lens that I should know about?

Another telephoto option would be the 70-300mm lens, which is available for under $400. But I don't like gaps in focal range when putting together lens systems - if I can avoid it. Of course, I'd be gaining quite a bit at the long end in return. The 70-300mm lens is also understandably slower.

As for the 50-200mm lens... well, I can dream, can't I?

Any information or suggestions would be helpful and appreciated. The purchase draws closer...
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Old May 31, 2008, 7:52 PM   #2
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The older 40-150 kit lens is excellent...really excellent. I think most reviews tend to give it a very slight edge over the newer kit lens telephoto (and, in fairness, the newer kit lens "normal" zoom gets a slight edge over the older 14-45).

Take a look at the picture I just posted today in the thread about IS (Image stabilization). That picture was shot using the 40-150 on the E-510. I've probably shot a few thousand pictures with the lens. I love it. I got the 70-300 just two weeks ago and it's also terrific. But for almost 2 years, the old 40-150 was my only telephoto.

I had no optical issues with it. Every thing worked asI expected it should. The only thing to keep an eye on is that everything moves quite freely. If you point it down, the barrel might start to zoom out. But I have no real complaints with it. I'd recommend it without hesitation.
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Old Jun 1, 2008, 8:45 AM   #3
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............I too have the 'old' 40-150mm lens and recommend it to the startup kit. Coupled with the 14-54mm (see my posts in this forum) your lens set would be quite good all around.

I also have the 50-200 and likely will get the 70-300 but the 40-150 f/3.5, like the E-300, will always have a place in my bags, it is a good one for what I do.

Here are some examples from my collection.

E-300 w/40-150 @ 150mm f/5.0 1/800 ISO 100 (COKIN circular polarizer filter)

E-300 w/40-150 @ 48mm f/3.7 1/500 ISO 320

E-300 w/40-150 @ 150mm f/5.0 1/640 ISO 100

E-300 w/40-150 @ 108mm f/5.0 1/320 ISO 100

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Old Jun 1, 2008, 12:38 PM   #4
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Well now, both of your responses are quite informative and helpful. It looks like I've got a solid telephoto option. I love the new 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 lens. But it floors me that I can buy the 14-54mm, f/2.8-3.5, the 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5... AND the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 for less than $100 more than the 12-60mm goes for by itself. Or I can probably buy a fixed focal length prime /macro lens instead of the 70-300mm and bring it all in for less than the cost of the 12-60mm. Sometimes, being on a budget can be liberating, no?
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