Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Feb 20, 2008, 7:37 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
zig-123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,145
Default

Good morning,

Glad tosee your reply as I was curious as to what you ended up doing. I'm not surprised to hear that the camera shop wasn't able to "magically" come up a with a loaner. I think I was justbeing unrealistic when I commented that the very least they should do is give you a lens to use-but it never hurts to ask.

The good news is that you have a fall back position with the 18-180mm- should you need it.

I hope you have a great trip, take lots of photos:|,and will post a few when you get back.

regards,

Zig






zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Feb 20, 2008, 11:50 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Tullio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,370
Default

eBay sellers are apparently on strike this week (at least here in the US), reason why there is a shortageof items available for auction. Wait till next week and you may find a multitude of lenses up for sale!

Moving on, I keep reading these complaintsabout the rotation of the front elementwhen focusing because it messes up the adjustment of polarizing filters. I'm not sure I'd discardthe possibility of buying a lense simply because of that. I think using a pol filter ona 70-300mm lens is not that goodbecause it cutsa lot of much needed light for that type of lens.Considering that at 300mmon a 4/3 system you are actually at 600mm, you need speed and a lot of it in order to prevent blurfrom camera shake. So, using a polmay impact the quality of your images unless you have plenty of sunshine.So, I would not worry too much about that. You'd be just fine w/o a pol in front of the 70-300mm. It's a great lens for the price.

The 50-200mm aparently is one of the best Zuiko lenses you can get but I think it's way over priced and for me, 200mmis not long enough. So, you'll end up having to buy a converter to increase the FL. The EC-14 is good but it will cut down the light by 1 fstop and, I'm not sure the IQ remains unaffected. I've had converters before and found them to affect the image one way or another, even if just slightly. Now, I haven't owned a Zuiko converter so I can not afirm anythingbut...). It's still short of the 600mm you get with the 70-300mm and you now have to deal with two lenses rather than just one. The EC-20 on the other hand will give you the extraFL but from what I've seen, it falls a bit short in terms of IQ and it will cut down even more light than the EC-14. Add to these scenarios theHIGH cost of these converters and you'll see that the 50-200mm + converter will cost you $1000 USD (more if you buy both brand new as opposed to used onesfrom eBay).If you look at the 70-300mm thread here at Steve's, I've posted a variety of images taken with the E510 + 70-300mm combo.

As for the 18-180mm, I've read mixed reviews about it.At one point I was considering it for practicality. Then I though, 18mm is not quite wide enough and 180mm is not long enough. So, when will Ibe using this lens? At that point, I decided to get the 14-54mm (a much much better lens than the 14-42mm kit lens. It gives me the WA and a bit extra FL and the optics are awesome. I also tried the Sigma 55-200mm. Bad news. It's cheap but that's about it (I've said that before, didn't I???Well, it just comes to show how much I disliked it. BTW, today I got my full refund from Amazon...got to love that store!!!)
Tullio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 2008, 8:13 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
anomaly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 144
Default

I know you've been hanging out waiting to know how things went... :-)

The 50-200 arrived at the store the day after I left. D'oh! I went and picked it up the day after I got back.

After using the 18-180 a bit, it's clear it is a serious compromise. I am mildly pleased to have confirmed in practice my original idea that the 12-60 and 50-200 would cover my needs, but I'm not so pleased to have spent this much money on the experiment.

In short, the 50-200 is so much better than the 18-180 that I only take the 18-180 out of my bag now and then to look at it and wonder when I'll ever use it.

I really want to use the 18-180 too! It's small, light and wonderfully smooth in operation. Not too loud when focussing either. It's just basically redundant if you've got the other two lenses (and are willing to carry them, which isn't guaranteed given their considerable mass).

From an image quality perspective, the wide end of the 18-180 works well even wide open. That's my general impression from a day I walked in some bush and along a beach, not from shots of test patterns. The long end though is definitely soft. Annoyingly soft. I haven't tried to work backwards to see at which focal length it goes "bad", but at 180 it's not much good wide open at f/6.3, which is what I used (out of ignorance) at the time.

Interestingly, I recently found a test site (http://www.diwa-labs.com) that puts facts and figures behind my impressions of the 18-180 and 50-200. Their graphs suggest that the 18-180 should be fairly good at 180mm once stopped down to f/11. I tried a few random test shots and it appears this is true, but the down side is I was shooting at ISO 800 by then, to avoid blur. After turning the stabiliser on, I could do nice shots at 180mm f/11 at ISO 200, but had to use ISO 400 by f/16. That's in broad daylight. But at least it's a way of getting useful images from this lens at the long end.

And the 12-60 plus EC20 combo? I saw mixed results. My impression is the combo was sharper than the 18-180 at 120mm, but I was annoyed by focussing problems. I also had the 12-60 refuse to focus when I was using a polariser (circular not linear, of course) without the EC20. I'm far from fully understanding this, but I'm yet to upgrade my body and lens firmware, and there's still that business of the lens recall, so I'll try it all out again next trip, whenever that will be, once I've sorted these technical issues. Interestingly, the 18-180 plus EC20 combo focussed even at 180mm, which I had been told would be a difficulty. Oh, and the 50-200 plus EC20 rocks, but it weighs a ton and is seriously front-heavy. :evil:

So there you go. What will I do with my 18-180? If I got a cheap E510 when the E520 comes out, maybe that would be a handy combo for quick trips when the full kit is overkill. For now, it sits in the cupboard.
anomaly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30, 2008, 8:36 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Tullio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,370
Default

It's always nice when people follow-up on subjects that were broadly discussed. It closes the loop. I have no doubt that the combo you suggested being the best is indeed the best. However, it has a high price tag. Taking cost into a more serious consideration, I'd prefer the 14-54mm + 40-150mm (old) + 70-300mm for wild life photography, in particular, birds. I'm not too crazy about tele converters (although the Zuico EC-14 has received enough praise to simply ignore it). Then again, I think it's way over priced. As for the 18-180mm, I was seriously thinking about buying it when I first got the E510 simply to avoid having to carry two lenses all the time. In a way, I'm glad I didn't. Enjoy your new toys!!!
Tullio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 8, 2008, 12:04 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 198
Default

Oops, after reading this thread, I see it's too late to give advice to the original poster: But nonetheless, this is what I WOULD HAVE done:


Personally, I would still get your 50-200 when it arrives, but I would also pick up a used legacy Vivitar 135mm f2.8 lens for around $20 in whatever mount you can most easily find it (OM, Nikon, Pentax K, Pentax M42) and an adapter from that mount to 4/3.

This will give you the experience of using manual legacy lenses on your Oly - and the performance of this lens relative to the negligible cost is shockingly good - Plus, it's around half the size and weight of the 50-200.
DougJGreen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 9, 2008, 6:56 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
anomaly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 144
Default

DougJGreen wrote:
Quote:
Oops, after reading this thread, I see it's too late to give advice to the original poster: But nonetheless, this is what I WOULD HAVE done:
Nice try. :-)

Anyway, in hindsight, my correct response should have been to just live with the 12-60 and EC20 until the 50-200 arrived. I've only myself to blame for being unable to keep my hand out of my wallet!

Tullio is also quite persuasive. If I wasn't already committed, I'd consider buying a setup like that. But then I'd have to come in from the rain, so how likely is that?! :lol:
anomaly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 9, 2008, 11:56 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
Tullio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 7,370
Default

Well, my suggestion was based more on $$$ than anything else. From all I've read, the combo you got has probably the best optics available for the Oly system. But, it's certainly costly. If I had the $$$, I'd have bought the 12-60mm. I think that would be one useful lens for my needs. I can live with the 70-300mm instead of spending the extra $$ on the 55-200mm. Besides, the 55-200mm is not long enough for me, so I'd have to spend even more on a tele converter (EC14 or EC20). In any case, have fun with your new lenses and post some images when you have a chance.
Tullio is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:10 AM.