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Old Oct 28, 2006, 8:46 PM   #1
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Hi,

I have the e-500 and kit lens. I enjoy shooting birds, nature and wildlife. Will I be satisfied with the 50-200mm for this kind of photography. For my budget, this is not a cheap lens and there doesn't seem to be much out there for me. Before I spend the money, could someone honestly tell me if I am in the right system for this kind of photography...would some other camera system offer me more in the way of affordable lens for shooting for now and in the future...Since this is my first dslr I don't have anything to compare it to. Thanks, Donna
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 10:08 PM   #2
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IMHO, it's a great lens, but it's a big honker. I think you should be prepared at least to use a monopod if not a tripod most of the time if you plan on using this lens - unless you can comfortably say that you'll be shooting at at least 1/400th of a second - or you'll lose much of the excellent optical performance of this lens.

FYI, I prefer the much cheaper 40-150 for most of my hand held work - simply because it's so much smaller and more pleasant to carry around. But, there is a big difference between wildlife, and birds (other than big birds that let you get close, like your flamingo). Shooting birds is a highly specialized task. IMHO, any serious shooting of birds needs at least 300mm on the Olympus system, and at least 400mm on most other systems with 1.5 multipliers (rather than the Oly's 2X multiplier). And you might even need more than that.

FYI, what I use for birding is a 300mm f2.8 Nikkor ED, and also occassionally a 2X TC on top of that, for an effective 600mm f5.6. But I won't lie, focusing that rig manually is impossible unless the birds aren't moving anywhere.

Personally, I believe that the only reasonably affordable solutions for birders in the Olympus system are to use manual focus legacy glass, or to get the Bigma (Sigma's recently introduced for the Olympus 50-500 lens).

Do you already have the 40-150? If you do, I believe that you won't find the 50-200 to be enough additional reach - You would far prefer the Bigma as a longer alternative if you plan on doing any serious bird work.

I should add that there is NOTHING more challenging than shooting birds that are moving in the wild. It is the single most demanding task out there for the equipment.


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Old Oct 28, 2006, 10:20 PM   #3
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Yes, I have the 40-150. Doesn't seem long enough. The older legacy lens would probably be okay...but I would need an adapter right...and focusing manually might be a bit tricky. No katzeye available yet. The bigma is new to me...is it sharp and fast? Here is an example of the kind of pics I get with the kit lens. I was a bit dim in the woods when I took this. I would like the bird to fill the frame more. I did crop and photoshop. Donna
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Old Oct 28, 2006, 11:07 PM   #4
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Actually, that's a darn nice shot for a bird shot using the 40-150.

Sigma has recently announced several of their lenses will be available for 4/3. These include the aforementiond Bigma (50-500mm f4~6.3) MSRP is $1390, but street price for this lens is more like $900-1000

and also I see that they are also making their 135-400mm f4.5~5.6 APO lens available for 4/3. List price is $810, but street price for this lens is more like $5-600.

I haven't seen any test results for either of these lenses on 4/3, but on other mounts, these lenses are generally good to very good, but not really spectacular. Essentially, I would say that they are somewhere optically in the class of the Oly kit lenses, or maybe slightly better. But probably not in the class of the 50-200 (but, the extra reach is very important). I would say that if you put a 1.4 X converter on the Olympus 50-200, making it into a 70-280 f4~5, it would not be any better, and you would still be paying more and not get so much reach.

The Sigma 50-500 is already available, the 135-400 is probably a few months away. I tend to be biased against lenses like the 50-500 with huge zoom range, but the Bigma is generally regarded as a good lens and an excellent value. But I personally am definitely considering getting the 135-400 when it comes out, as with the more modest 3X zoom range, it will probably be the better of the two, as well as a few hundred dollars cheaper.

I suggest that you read up on these lenses at www.sigmaphoto.com

But disregard the fact that the lens writeups don't mention that the 4/3 mount is supported. As I said, I am personally very seriously considering the 135-400 myself when it comes out, for something around $500.


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Old Oct 28, 2006, 11:10 PM   #5
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Thanks Doug, I will keep that lens in mind. If you find out any more about when it is available etc...drop me a note. Donna
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 1:14 AM   #6
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Donna the 50-200 is an excellent lenses for nature photography, adding the 1.4x TC puts the lens out to about 283mm, or 560mm with the 2x factor, though you lose a lot of light, which inhibits action shots a whole lot...now with that said, instead of asking so much about your system and being so on the fence about the commitment towards 4/3rds, just do it, either get a different system or commit to the camera..period. It's what i did as have many others and there is no turning back...i will buy stuff for this camera all the time i own it, and plan on buying the new pro body whenever it comes out:roll:

...so if i ever want to pack out for trips i can decide which body and lens system to use, or bring both with separate setups for each. Owning a dSLR is an expensive hobby from the "get-go" but it pays off tenfold in print. I can assure you that purchasing a mid-level lens for the 4/3rds system is very rewarding, i have bought three of them and the tele and extension tube and they all fit a certain niche.....

This forum is a wealth of knowledge, but you cannot just take and take without giving back...that's why i suggest doing more research, checking out more forums and picture sites and commiting to the big lens..trust me on this, most veterans of forums don't mind answering questions all of the time, but they didn't get all of the answers from constantly posting questions and not researching things...you can lead a horse to water

go to PhotoSig and browse by camera and lens from the left menu..check out what you see from the Olympus ZD 50-200mm f2.8/3.5

start here http://www.photosig.com/go/photos

BTW - Please don't take this as a flame, i'm a light-hearted guy, there is no offense intended
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 1:29 AM   #7
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No, it doesn't. It puts the 50-200mm lens out to 280mm. It is a MUCH shorter lens than the Sigma 135-400 or the Sigma 50-500.

Edge is confused. He's giving you more of the comparative reach compared to full 35mm frame, but if you were trying to use full 35mm frame, I would tell you that you needed 600-800mm minimum for birding. If you look carefully at the bird shots that are in the forum that Edge cited, you will see that the bird shots are all either quite large birds, or they were shot from a blind, which allows you to get much closer than you could without it, but it is a very time consuming process. If you wish to shoot small birds, without spending hours camped in a blind, and without cropping ALOT of your frame, you will need a 350-400mm lens at a minimum (which translates to 700-800mm in 35mm land, or, around 500mm for the folks who shoot APS-format DSLRs (most other DSLRs besides Olympus).

I agree that the 50-200mm is a fine lens for MOST nature photography, but it's simply not enough lens for birding. Even with the 1.4X TC, it's not long enough for birding. 280mm is not long enough most of the time. My experience using my manual focus 300mm f2.8 Nikkor on my Olympuses is that I usually need to add a 1.4X or a 2X TC on it to be long enough for birding.


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Donna the 50-200 is an excellent lenses for nature photography, adding the 1.4x TC puts the lens out to about 483mm,
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 2:03 AM   #8
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i edited it before you posted, i caught it after..:G
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 2:06 AM   #9
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BTW- donna, that's a nice shot for a kit lens!
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Old Oct 29, 2006, 8:08 AM   #10
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Thanks Doug.

And Edge, I wish I had more to offer the forum...perhaps with more time and experience. donna
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