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Old Nov 3, 2006, 8:40 PM   #31
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...and the more this subject get discussed here the more it seems like serious birding is beyond my pocketbook and my ability to carry around heavy equipment. I appreciate the info I have gleamed here, probably helped me avoid making a mistake. Even if I could afford a huge lens now, I doubt I could carry it far. Maybe a mid-range lens and larger subjects would serve me better. Anyway, I will continue to find way to get closer to my feathered friends...

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Old Nov 4, 2006, 1:16 PM   #32
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Donna, as I said before, the Sigma 50-500mm is WIDELY used by serious bird shooters, and is regarded as being quite good for the task - and certainly the best thing available on 4/3 in the vicinity of a 3-digit price point for the task of birding. It is very slightly more expensive than the 50-200mm. The 135-400 might well be nearly as good, but I can't say that for sure, but you can rest assured I plan on finding out, as I am likely to buy one or the other of these Sigma lenses in the not too distant future (unless Tamron or Tokina enter the 4/3 market as well, with their reasonable choices in this focal length range).

However, the drawback of the 50-500 is that it is big and bulky - probably too much so for general purpose shooting (the 135-400slightly less so).But, that being said, you already have the 40-150mm lens for that. It's an unfortunatefact of life - anything much longer than 150-200mm means a big heavy lens with at least a monopod, and ideally a tripod.

I also own a manual focus 300mm f2.8 Nikkor ED, as well as 1.4X and 2X TCs for it. It's an optically great lens (as good as the Digital Zuiko 300mm f2.8) But manual focusing is not sufficient for birds in flight, even for someone skilled at it like I am, using acamera with a Katz-Eye screen - it's limited to stationary or not so fastmoving wildlife even when theequipment is optimal.
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Old Nov 4, 2006, 1:19 PM   #33
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Note that a lens will have to be either very short or very light in order to be used for handheld shooting. Mirror lenses are therefore best unless you want to be forced to always use a tripod. However, be prepared for a large number of spoiled shots.

The two lenses I mentioned need the 4/3 adapter and have only manual focussing. Such lenses can be found secondhand for little money. They also function as macro lenses. The aperture is fixed. Filters are screwed on the back of the lens (i.e. they are inside the camera). Manual focussing (and long lenses) take some practise but is doable on an e-300.

Tamron 350mm review that I agree with: http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/a...php/t-438.html

Tamron 500mm I haven't really used but here is a review: http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/a...php/t-685.html

Re. Donna's remarks about fast small birds: I doubt it is possible to shoot small birds in flight with a long lens. The angle of view is 2.5 degrees on the 500mm so the bird will have passed in literally no time.

You can use these lenses for moving larger birds and animals. And as a macro lens for shooting insects at 1.1. and 1.7 mesters distance, respectively.

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Old Nov 4, 2006, 2:10 PM   #34
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Okay for an inexpensive lens, only a little longer I realize, how about the sigma 55-200mm in the oly mount. It's about 145.00. I guess with that aperture you would want great light. I saw one review of it and was quoted as pretty good for the money. Donna
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Old Nov 4, 2006, 3:06 PM   #35
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D.Ann wrote:
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Okay for an inexpensive lens, only a little longer I realize, how about the sigma 55-200mm in the oly mount. It's about 145.00. I guess with that aperture you would want great light. I saw one review of it and was quoted as pretty good for the money. Donna
But it will still only give you a very small incremental increase over your existing 40-150mm lens. You will barely notice the difference going from 150mm to 200mm.

You would be better off buying a 1.4X TC and putting it on your 150mm. Not because it will improve things much, but because you'll still have it when you do eventually get a lens that is sufficiently longer.
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Old Nov 4, 2006, 4:21 PM   #36
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Doug, I don't know about the add on you mentioned. I assume they make it for olympus? Where to buy?

Well, going in another direction, I have a bid in on a Zuiko (barely used) 50mm...hope I win it. Donna
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Old Nov 4, 2006, 4:45 PM   #37
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It's called the Olympus EC-14, and it's a 1.4X teleconverter for Olympus lenses. But it's very over-priced for what it is (around $400).

I just don't see any reason to go from a 150mm lens to a 200mm lens. It's just not much difference. If you need to see a big increase in telephoto effect, a good rule of thumb is, you need to double the focal length to make a really significant difference.
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Old Nov 5, 2006, 8:11 AM   #38
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Agree. Buy a lens of 400mm or more if you are happy with always having to use a tripod.

If you want a walk-about lens forhandheld shooting, buy an inexpensive short/light 300mm lens to see if you can hold it still enough; if you can't, you can always use it with a tripod.

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Old Nov 5, 2006, 12:05 PM   #39
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Conceptually, that's an excellent idea - the problem is, there is no such thing available in the 4/3 system. There IS NO compact 300mm lens available in the 4/3 mount - neither a zoom nor a prime - neither from Olympus, nor anyone else.

That was the point that kenbalbari was making in his earlier post on this thread - he said that he wished that the Sigma 70-300 lens was available on 4/3 and he had written them to ask that they make it available. But so far, it is not among the 11 lenses that Sigma has announced for the 4/3 mount. So, for the time being, nothing fit's this niche that jorgen described. At least not without going to an older, manual focus lens (BTW, I DO use a manual focus Tokina 100-300mm lens for this purpose - but manual focus is a whole 'nother issue, and I've discussed this with Donna at length).

jorgen wrote:
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If you want a walk-about lens forhandheld shooting, buy an inexpensive short/light 300mm lens to see if you can hold it still enough; if you can't, you can always use it with a tripod.
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Old Nov 5, 2006, 12:47 PM   #40
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BTW, a respose:
Thank you for your inquiry.

We will expand our lenses in FT mount in the very near future but we do not have an immediate plan on making 70-300mm lens yet.


We appreciate your support and interest in our products.



"The content of this message and any attachments may be privileged and confidential. They may contain legally privileged information or copyright material. Please do not disseminate this message without the permission of the author."
Don't tell anyone I told you, it's top secret! :-)

My guess is that they'll probably sell more of the more expensive 135-400 in the short run if they don't do the 70-300 right away. Hopefully they will within the next year, though. Long term they'll sell more of the less expensive lens.


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