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Old Jul 4, 2008, 10:12 AM   #1
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So it's time for a good lens for sports. I really already know the main trade offs between these two lenses. But I'm posting to consider perhaps third party options that might be available which I tend to read less about.

The main use for this lens will be sports such as baseball, hockey, soccer, perhaps some basketball. It won't be used much for professional sports, so this will be little league stuff, and maybe jr high school stuff and some high school. So getting good seats and locations isn't going to be a huge big deal. Even still is the extra length on the 70-300 worth the quality trade off on the 50-200?
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Old Jul 4, 2008, 3:48 PM   #2
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Hi Rileigh,

At first glance, I thought the answer to your question was quite simple..................get the 50-200mm F2.8-3.5 which gives you a faster, sharper lens. You could always add an EC-14 teleconvertor to squeeze out some more focal length-and still have a faster lens.

Then I started thinking about the recent posts of indoor actionNHLhockey shots and the outstanding horse racing shots by Greg Chappel -all done with the 70-300mm lens. Add the baseball photos recently submitted by Bob Brennan and the pendulum starts to swing towards the 70-300mm lens. There are a myriad of nature photography shots posted on PBase as well as other sites that show just how good the 70-300mm is for that type of photography.

Keeping things in perspective, no the 70-300mm will not be seen anytime soon on any pro shooters camera at a profootball or major league baseball game, but for taking shots of your kids little league game or trying to get a shot of an Osprey or Eagle, I think it's just great-without breaking the bank.

At $350.00US street price, vs the roughly 1,100US street price of the 50-200mmlens(SWD), the 70-300mm is simply an outstanding value. I like to surf the net looking for new fourthirds lenses that are available for the E--xxx cameras. I'm not aware of any other lenses- PanaLeica, Sigma or Tamron that can match it dollar for dollar.

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Old Jul 4, 2008, 4:01 PM   #3
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Rileigh wrote:
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So it's time for a good lens for sports. I really already know the main trade offs between these two lenses. But I'm posting to consider perhaps third party options that might be available which I tend to read less about.

The main use for this lens will be sports such as baseball, hockey, soccer, perhaps some basketball. It won't be used much for professional sports, so this will be little league stuff, and maybe jr high school stuff and some high school. So getting good seats and locations isn't going to be a huge big deal. Even still is the extra length on the 70-300 worth the quality trade off on the 50-200?
The most obvious differences are in lens speed and build quality. I've used both and see little difference in image quality at similar apertures.The 50-200 has a maximum speed of f2.8 at 50mm, slowing to f3.5 by 200mm, where the 70-300 is already slower than the entire50-200 at 70mm andf4. By the time you get to 300mm, it's slowed down even further toan f5.6 lems. Back in the day when I was shooting my daughter in high school with the E1 and E300, with no image stabilization at alland high ISO image quality was limited, the 50-200 would have been the only choice and was, in fact, what I used..









Today, the newer Olympus cameras are much more capable of good quality high ISO image quality, which still makes the 50-200 a better choice, but also now makes the 70-300 very useable.

A lot will depend on the lighting quality where you will be shooting. At pro stadiums, the lighting is excellent, and a 250-300mm f5.6 lens is very useable with the ISO set to 800 or even 1600..





Lighting in Jr. High and High school gyms, football and baseball fields are far short of the lighting quality at pro stadiums. For outdoor daytime shots, either will work, but for night and indoor gym shots, I think you'll want the 50-200 f2.8-3.5. You can shoot at 200mm and crop down to a 300mm equivalent and still have some excellent shots.

I would not waste my money on the other alternatives, none of which are as good as either the50-200 or 70-300 Zuiko, including the Sigma 70-200 f2.8, which can be a frustrating lens to buy(like all Sigma lenses)due to Sigma's variable quality control. Long-term, you arebetter off with OEM optics, bethey from Olympus, Canon, Nikon or anyone else.


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