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Old Aug 7, 2009, 5:12 PM   #11
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I'm with John, no matter what you have it won't be long enough but 200 is far too short. Even when I'm shooting with a 600mm option I would love more reach sometimes. You have to be very close with a 200 or 300mm lens on a 1.5x crop body to get good quality so focal length is key. Don't take that to read just get a long cheap lens as there are some dogs out there when you look at eBay so I will again suggest considering a 50-500 for reach.
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Old Aug 7, 2009, 6:30 PM   #12
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Dear Matty B,

It is good that there are people like Mark and John who can catch and correct something that I said, which after reading it, I myself said, now why did I say something as dumb as that????

So, I apologize.. as 200mm lens isn't going to really going to get you where you want to go. When I was reading your post, I was thinking of my frustrations with the 70-300mm lens when trying to shoot birds in flight. Unless I had a lot of light, the 70-300mm I used would hunt endlessly and it simply drove me nuts. I opted for the 50-200mm 2.8 ED Olympus because it simply is a better, faster, sharper lens. I added a EC-14 teleconverter that gets me close to the reach of the 70-300mm. Even with the EC-14, it's AF speed is faster than the 70-300mm

But, the fact never the less remains that I too, long for a lens with much greater reach than the 200mm lens can provide me.
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 6:59 AM   #13
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Everyone here is making great suggestions. I guess from reading your first post I had the impression that you were looking at the 620 70 300 combination because of the price, under 1000 US dollars. The obvious thing is to have the best lens with the most zoom or again if you can afford it for birding a 400 + mm prime. In the four thirds world we really only have three choices with the 70 300 being the least expensive. The best lens the 50 200 along with the EC 14 for around a 1000 or the more versatile but light limited 50 500 in the same 1000 dollar range which is what I plan to go to next unless a reasonably priced 400 prime comes out, wishful thinking on my part. From that point the jump in price quadruples and the average guy not making a living from this has to decide if his or her hobby is worth that kind of money. I stayed with olympus because I have used them for a long time, I'm comfortable with the menu, and I can get a good crop factor with the four thirds system. The 70 300 has an equivalent of 600mm crop factor and the price won't destroy your wallet. It's not a perfect lens and struggles in low light but it's 300 dollars not 1500 dollars. It's a choice thing.
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 7:48 AM   #14
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I'd like to thank you all for posting. Very informative.

My limited understanding of the 4/3 system was that you could basically have a MAJOR zoom advantage over the APS-C cameras, hence my idea to shoot surfers with the Olympus 70-300. Everywhere that I've read about shooting surfers from the beach has recommended at least a 400mm (35mm equivalent). I also have the chance to shoot wildlife and would want something that could capture the birds - usually not flying.

There is a cheap Tamron 70-300mm that should AF with the D40 for 150 but I can't help thinking that it wil be a waste of money. Much as I'd like to, I'm not going to spend 1500 on the 80-200mm mentioned previously. The Tamron 200-500mm is more expensive than the 520 with two lenses. The Sigma as well.
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 11:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
Dear Matty B,

It is good that there are people like Mark and John who can catch and correct something that I said, which after reading it, I myself said, now why did I say something as dumb as that????

So, I apologize.. as 200mm lens isn't going to really going to get you where you want to go. When I was reading your post, I was thinking of my frustrations with the 70-300mm lens when trying to shoot birds in flight. Unless I had a lot of light, the 70-300mm I used would hunt endlessly and it simply drove me nuts. I opted for the 50-200mm 2.8 ED Olympus because it simply is a better, faster, sharper lens. I added a EC-14 teleconverter that gets me close to the reach of the 70-300mm. Even with the EC-14, it's AF speed is faster than the 70-300mm

But, the fact never the less remains that I too, long for a lens with much greater reach than the 200mm lens can provide me.
I too have gone the 50-200/EC-14 for my long lens option. Its 566mm EFL at F4.9 brightness accoring to the EXIF file.

Satire runs a Bigma on Oly mount, so that would be the best source, but light is important at the longer effective focal lengths. You need light to gain the shutter speed you need to get a pic without camera shake. The Siggy doesn't do its best wide open (f6.3) and 500mm on a crop camera would likely require support. Nothing against it, but keep reality in mind.

Alot has to do with what you need. The 70-300 is alot of reach for the buck and in body IS is a big plus at the long end. Its comparitively light for the reach, and the images I've seen are pretty good. You will still have to work at getting close to the small critters to get good results, the same as any camera system.

These are 50-200/EC-14 and the reach is slightly less than the 70-300.








Greg
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 12:08 PM   #16
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Some lovely shots there Greg. Do you have any in flight as this can be a key area for some shooters (doesn't sound like this is too important to the OP but if things change the he is stuck)? I know that the AF on the Oly isn't as good as some other cameras when we are talking continuous AF so some first hand experience would be great.

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Old Aug 8, 2009, 12:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I'm with John, no matter what you have it won't be long enough but 200 is far too short. Even when I'm shooting with a 600mm option I would love more reach sometimes. You have to be very close with a 200 or 300mm lens on a 1.5x crop body to get good quality so focal length is key. Don't take that to read just get a long cheap lens as there are some dogs out there when you look at eBay so I will again suggest considering a 50-500 for reach.
Just a thought, but the Siggy 100-300 f4 is running across my mind here. It has a reputation for being sharp, perhaps sharp enough for a 1.4 converter for a little more than 400mm at f5.6. Just thinking out loud and only for the Nikon. They don't make it in 4/3 mount..... Pity.

Greg
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 12:16 PM   #18
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Sharp is an understatement for that lens, it is almost prime like so does take a 1.4x TC very well. Still begs the question is 420mm long enough on a 1.5x crop?
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Old Aug 8, 2009, 2:42 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mark1616 View Post
Some lovely shots there Greg. Do you have any in flight as this can be a key area for some shooters (doesn't sound like this is too important to the OP but if things change the he is stuck)? I know that the AF on the Oly isn't as good as some other cameras when we are talking continuous AF so some first hand experience would be great.
Alot in flight, but I can't say I've tried tracking birds in flight.










I'm shooting the E-3 and its ability is improved greatly over the E500 I shot before. I've shot the 30D a fair amount, and I'd say tracking ability between the two is about the same. I'm sure there is a difference between entry level, and I'm sure there is a difference depending on the glass used (f2.8 vs f5.6) .

I do alot of dog sport shooting and tracking subjects is reasonable until the dog is about 25ft away.


Greg

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Old Aug 8, 2009, 3:27 PM   #20
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If you really need a long focal length, its hard to beat the Sigma 50-500mm on a 4/3rds body, but its not the sharpest lens and needs a lot of light.

I usually use mine with a 1.4 teleconverter, 500mm + 1.4TC = 700mm X 2.0(crop) = 1400mm EFL.

A few examples.

E-30 f/11 ISO800 1/640s 708mm



E-30 f/11 ISO800 1/500s 294mm



E-30 f/11 ISO800 1/1000s 443mm



E-30 f/11 ISO800 1/3200s 636mm



E-30 f/11 ISO 800 1/500s 708mm



E-510 f/9 ISO400 1/800s 514mm



E-510 f/11 ISO100 1/80s 708mm; uncropped photo of the moon.
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