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Old Feb 18, 2007, 12:32 PM   #11
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HarjTT wrote:
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Hi ASBR

You have to remember that the 50-200mm is equivalent to a 100-400mm (in 35mm) and that Sigma on the 4/3rds is going to be equivalent to a 270-800mm!

Cheers

HarjTT

:? :O
Of course I know that, I think I've mentioned crop-factors a bit in this thread too, so yes, I have that in mind.

Anyway, for someone with loads of money I think there might be no big worries finding a bunch of telezooms for Olympus, but if you're on a budget I feel lots are lacking. There are a bunch of supercheap Sigmas which I dont know if they are worth using at all or if they have very slow AF and are too soft and slow, and then there are Olympus own extremely expensive lenses, that often not go extremely high on the tele-end either.
One would believe that with the 2x crop-factor Olympus cameras would be all about tele, making it easier to construct fast and small and cheap telezooms.
On the other hand I dont know much about lenses or lensdesign so
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 12:24 PM   #12
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More depth of field for macros really shouldn't help too much, because it's offset by less ability to stop down. Essentially you have the same FOV and DOF at 50mm f2 as you do on a full frame at 100mm f4. But, if diffraction is kicking in and beginning to limit lens sharpness by f16 on the full frame, you will get that at f8 on the 4/3 camera.

On the other hand, you are still letting in more light with the larger aperture. So in that sense maybe it's sometimes easier to get a shot at f11 than one at f22.

The one to look at if you into macro though is the E-330 with live view, and ability to manually focus at 10x magnification.

On the lenses, you're right they need something else that goes beyond 200mm. The sigma 135-400 has only just become available, and it's really the only consumer lens in that range so far. None of those affordable 70-300 lenses on this mount. Often those lenses are a bit soft in the 200-300mm range, so I wonder if the problem isn't that they'd be even softer on the smaller sensor. It seems that recently designed lenses in general, even on the low end, are just getting sharper though, so they ought to be able to address that.

The other two needs are more fast glass, and a bit more on the wide angle. The last is the one area that I think is simply a limit of the format. They could offer more there, but it's not going to be cheap. The 11-22 is pretty good value. An 8-16 would be nice, but what's it going to cost?

Where I think they're losing sales though is in the longer zoom and low light lenses that shouldn't be as hard to produce. For indoor events and athletics without flash, people want a fast lens that also auto focuses quickly. Often the "macro" lenses tend to fail the second part of that test. A good 60mm f1.8 prime would be sufficient. Otherwise, give Harj that 50-100 f2 zoom he wants (in hopefully a lower price bracket than the 35-100 f2 PRO).

In the longer zoom, the offerings that are there aren't bad, and the 50-200 is quite good, but I don't think they've really done enough yet to fully exploit what should be one of the advantages of this format. A lighter weight consumer zoom that goes just to 250mm would give a 500mm EFL, compared to the 450mm-480mm EFL you get from C&N with those 70-300mm lenses. So where is it?

On the whole, the Zuiko lenses are very good. IS in the body will make them even better. But, there's still a couple of gaps they need to fill to really be in a position to challenge C& N.

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Old Feb 19, 2007, 1:22 PM   #13
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kenbalbari wrote:
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But, there's still a couple of gaps they need to fill to really be in a position to challenge C& N.
After looking seriouslyat the Nikon D200 last week and comparing the Nikon lens line to Olympus, Nikon needs to do a litter better on their wide angle endto be the equal of what we have availablewith Olympus. I would take either the Olympus 11-22 or 7-14 over any current Nikkor or third-party equivalent available for a Nikon body. No doubt, the rest of the Nikkor lineup is top-notch and every bit the equal of Canon, but their wide angle options are not that great. Either Olympus lens I mentioned above is nicer than the 12-24 Nikkor, and that's really it for Nikon's wide line with the exception of the 10.5mm prime. In my opinion, Nikon is crazy not to introduce a DXNikkor the equal of the 7-14 Zuiko since they appear to be hard-tied into the aps-c format- seems like every new lens they'veintroduced recently has been that type. With their greater customer base, it'd sell very well and they might be able to offer it for less due to their greater volumesales potential.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 1:32 PM   #14
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little by little Nikon is driving itself into a corner
just compare the quality of the lenses as seen on this site

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/index.html

at the bottom
User Performance Surveys
Nikon, Olympus 4/3

there are few Oly lenses, but the quality is consistently superior

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Old Feb 19, 2007, 1:49 PM   #15
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kenbalbari wrote:
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More depth of field for macros really shouldn't help too much, because it's offset by less ability to stop down. Essentially you have the same FOV and DOF at 50mm f2 as you do on a full frame at 100mm f4. But, if diffraction is kicking in and beginning to limit lens sharpness by f16 on the full frame, you will get that at f8 on the 4/3 camera.

On the other hand, you are still letting in more light with the larger aperture. So in that sense maybe it's sometimes easier to get a shot at f11 than one at f22.

The one to look at if you into macro though is the E-330 with live view, and ability to manually focus at 10x magnification.

On the lenses, you're right they need something else that goes beyond 200mm. The sigma 135-400 has only just become available, and it's really the only consumer lens in that range so far. None of those affordable 70-300 lenses on this mount. Often those lenses are a bit soft in the 200-300mm range, so I wonder if the problem isn't that they'd be even softer on the smaller sensor. It seems that recently designed lenses in general, even on the low end, are just getting sharper though, so they ought to be able to address that.

The other two needs are more fast glass, and a bit more on the wide angle. The last is the one area that I think is simply a limit of the format. They could offer more there, but it's not going to be cheap. The 11-22 is pretty good value. An 8-16 would be nice, but what's it going to cost?

Where I think they're losing sales though is in the longer zoom and low light lenses that shouldn't be as hard to produce. For indoor events and athletics without flash, people want a fast lens that also auto focuses quickly. Often the "macro" lenses tend to fail the second part of that test. A good 60mm f1.8 prime would be sufficient. Otherwise, give Harj that 50-100 f2 zoom he wants (in hopefully a lower price bracket than the 35-100 f2 PRO).

In the longer zoom, the offerings that are there aren't bad, and the 50-200 is quite good, but I don't think they've really done enough yet to fully exploit what should be one of the advantages of this format. A lighter weight consumer zoom that goes just to 250mm would give a 500mm EFL, compared to the 450mm-480mm EFL you get from C&N with those 70-300mm lenses. So where is it?

On the whole, the Zuiko lenses are very good. IS in the body will make them even better. But, there's still a couple of gaps they need to fill to really be in a position to challenge C& N.
So thats the reason compacts rarely go higher than f8.
Very interresting, didn't think about that. If diffraction appears at f13 on a regular DSLR, it might appear at f11 maybe on a 2x crop Olympus. Nice to know...thanks

EDIT: Strange though that people say a P&S has a big advantage at macros, in that they have so much more DOF. Maybe its mostly a question of light though, that a P&S can take a macro at lets say f7.1, while a DSLR for similar DOF would need f15 and that would need lots and lots of light. So while theres no gain due to diffraction, a smaller sensor lets you work with less light.
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Old Feb 19, 2007, 8:32 PM   #16
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"there are few Oly lenses, but the quality is consistently superior"

I agree about the quality of the Zuiko lenses. But Nikon has offerings that at least come close to matching most of them. And then they have alot more to choose from as well.

Looking at the list you linked to, the majority of the low scoring lenses for the Nikon mount were third party lenses. At the top, counting only those with 10 or more votes, they have 20 Nikkor lenses listed with scores higher than 4.4. On the other hand, most of those are primes, and not one of those is a "G" lens, which seems to be what most of the most recent zooms are, so maybe they are slipping a bit.

Even so, a few of those poorly rated lenses, the big superzoom types which Nikon seems to have been specializing in lately, seem to be underrated a bit by that survey, as it asks people to measure performance at the extremes, but not anywhere in the middle. And, while I don't care for those much myself, they do seem to be very popular.

And, you can pretty much go head to head with most of the best affordable Zuiko glass (say under $1000) and find a reasonable Nikkor alternative:

Zuiko 11-22 f2.8-3.5 $630
Nikkor 12-24 f4.0 $900

Zuiko 14-54 f2.8-3.5 $380
Nikkor 18-70 f3.5-4.5 $340

Zuiko 50mm f2.0 $380
Nikkor 85mm f1.8 $400

Zuiko 50-200 f2.8-3.5 $775
Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 $870

Granted, I'd prefer the Zuiko collection above. But, you're really not giving up much (if anything) optically there with the Nikkor glass. And then there are other places where Nikkor has an advantage. Now, if Olympus continues to fill in those gaps with a few more lenses of this caliber, then maybe it even starts to look like the better overall lens lineup. But they're not there yet.

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Old Feb 19, 2007, 9:17 PM   #17
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kenbalbari wrote:
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Looking at the list you linked to, the majority of the low scoring lenses for the Nikon mount were third party lenses.
This is the main difference between Nikon/Canon and Olympus. There's a lot of cheap junk out there you can buy for your Canonor Nikon bodies. With Nikon it's mainly third-party although they domake their own share of lower quality glass. Canon makes all kinds of junky cheap lenses in addition to the same lower qualitythird-party lenses- they truly areTHE maker for all types of shooters. Olympus only offers 2-3 less expensive "kit-type" lenses in addition to the few that Sigma offers that would fall into the same category.

"More choices" does notnecessarily mean more better choices.Having all those choices, manywho shoot with Nikon and Canon equipment can aftenmake some reallybad decisions in picking their lenses, both of their own accord and at the insistence of sometimesnot-so-good salespeople. You only need to read a few days worth of posts from people who havepicked up allthose Canon 90-300, 75-300 or 80-200 EF "USM"zooms to see they were expecting a little better performance than they wound up getting. They almost always end up going back to the drawing board, after posting their messages of woe,and buying more expensive, higher performance optics that were the better choice in the first place.

The reality is Olympus probablyneeds to offer more affordable choices for entry-level users, because the number of choices seems to be something people see as "better", when the reality is, there's not a muchcheaper alternative that will get you better performance than the 40-150 f3.5-4.5 Zuiko. Hopefully Sigma will continue to make more and more of their line available for those who feel the need to have more choices so Olympus does not have to lower their performance standard at the entry level.
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