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Old Apr 29, 2010, 8:52 AM   #1
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Default Question about 50 200

A few months ago I had pretty much made up my mind that I was going to wait and get a good deal on ebay on a 50 500 bigma. Then after more and more posts on different forums about the 50 200 I thought maybe I'm going the wrong direction. My question is does the 50 200 with the EC14 or EC20 still give better IQ than my 70 300. I realize it's better in low light and faster focus by itself but with the converters attached is this still the case. I like the idea of having better glass but I don't want to go backwards in focal length so at least a EC14 will need to be added. Will I gain that much in IQ, focus speed, and low light ability to justify this upgrade ?
Eric
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 10:20 AM   #2
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The EC14+50-200 is widely regarding by pretty much everyone who owns the set as still being a sharper lens than the 70-300 and it is marginally faster at a comined 280mm f5 vs 300mm and f5.6. To buy a 50-200 and EC14 brand new also costs 4-5 times the price of a 70-300, assuming a $300 price for that lens, so it's not an obvious answer for everyone.

The EC20 generates a bit more conversation. It is excellent by all accounts with lenses like the 35-100 f2, 150mm f2 and 300mm f2.8.

With the EC20+50-200 (either version), the jury is much more divided. Losing two stops, the 50-200 becomes a 100-400 f5.6-7 lens and you need decent light to be able to use it handheld, esecially if the subject is in motion. Many say the EC20 degrades image quality too much with the 50-200 and makes AF unreliable. The times I have used the combination I have never notice any hesitation in the AF system of either an E620 or E30 and image quality has been very good.

Magnification at 400mm is substantial no matter the lens. It's not a focal length where everyone just picks up a lens and gets great results from the start. To be used off a tripod, you have to have light good enough wide open at f7 to be able to achieve a shutter speed of (in my opinion) at least 1/500, and preferrably even faster than that to be fairly sure you can capture a sharp image.

Used by itself, the 50-200 is sharper at 200mm and any aperture from f3.5 to 5.6 than the 70-300 is at 300mm and f5.6, but the 70-300 sure is a lot easier to carry over an extended photo session or when travelling and is no optical slouch, and anytime weight and a lot of money are taken into consideration, it's not that easy a decision to make. With the 50-200 and either converter added, it is going to be just as hard a lens to use in low light as the 70-300 by itself because of the slower maximum aperture.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Apr 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 10:37 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information and your thoughts Greg. What I originally wanted was the Bigma, I'm always looking for more zoom and the shots from the bigma from a lot of people are pretty impressive. But alone there seems to be no one disagreeing that the 50 200 is the king of IQ for any 200mm + lens you can pick up under a grand. Even though I crave the idea of 500mm I want to go up in quality when I change and I'm not sure the bigma is any sharper than my 70 300 just more reach. I think the obvious answer is get closer and use the better glass if you want better pictures. Thanks again.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 10:58 AM   #4
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The Bigma is an excellent lens. As you said, a lot of people have posted some really nice images with it. One "big" problem buying one today is, it is a discontinued model and you need to find and buy one now if you decide you want one while you can still find new ones out there, and hope the one you find is a "good one" because you don't want to have to return it for fear there won't be another one there for the seller to replace it with. The typical places I buy lenses have all been out-of-stock on it and may or may not be getting any more of them to sell.

Sigma did introduce a new version of the lens...

http://www.dpreview.com/news/1002/10...a50mm500mm.asp

Does not look to be available right away in 4/3rd's mount though.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Apr 29, 2010 at 11:03 AM.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 12:36 PM   #5
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On a related note, I've been thinking about the EC-14 for my 50-200. B&H sells it new for $360. I looked on ebay and they're selling from $420 up to $575. WTF?

Ted
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 12:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkurkowski View Post
On a related note, I've been thinking about the EC-14 for my 50-200. B&H sells it new for $360. I looked on ebay and they're selling from $420 up to $575. WTF?

Ted
Plus with B&H you get free shipping and don't have to pay sales tax if you do not live in New York state.

I don't get it either. A logical person who did their homework and knew the "right" price would never pay the higher price knowing the B&H option.

I think I paid $449 through B&H for the EC20 and see it's down a little in price to $419 right now as well.

I also noted the recent price jump on the 50-200.

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Apr 29, 2010 at 12:51 PM.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 1:33 PM   #7
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I'm in no hurry and I'll probably buy used or refurbished no matter which lens I get. I bought the 510 used off ebay and the 70 300 refurbed off there as well. I have around 550 in the two of them and they both work better than the user does : ) I've lost out a few times on both the 50 200 and the bigma on ebay but I have my own price in mind of what I'll pay so I'll just keep bidding as they come up. Less and less bigmas in four thirds coming up on there but it's always got a few 50 200s used up for bid. You have to pay attention, I think I lost out on a 50 200 last week that went for like 530.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 2:30 PM   #8
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Hi Eric,

Currently, KEH.com has two 50-200mm lenses available. the Non-SWD version for 616.00 and the SWD for 919.

Greg, has done a great job of answering your question on the 50-200mm.
So, the only points I'll add are;

FWIW, I have the 50-200mm ED version and I've never felt lagging in any way.
I use it with both the EC-14 and the EC-20. The EC-14/50-200mm combo appears to be more responsive to me. Although, I do admit that the EC-20 in combination with the 50-200mm, when the lighting is there, is hard to beat.


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Old Apr 29, 2010, 2:49 PM   #9
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Thanks Zig, I'm currently in a bid or two on ebay so I have to wait a few days to see how that works out before jumping on to something else. I believe you have the 70 300 don't you, maybe I'm mistaken. Anyway wondering if there is a huge difference in carrying the 55 200 around vs the 70 300. I find no issues with carrying the 70 300 at all, it's pretty light and given enough light can do pretty darn good. I guess I'm just never satisfied with good and want more and more, aghhhhhhhhhhhhh. Obsession can be very expensive at times : )
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 2:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eharrim View Post
Thanks Zig, I'm currently in a bid or two on ebay so I have to wait a few days to see how that works out before jumping on to something else. I believe you have the 70 300 don't you, maybe I'm mistaken. Anyway wondering if there is a huge difference in carrying the 55 200 around vs the 70 300. I find no issues with carrying the 70 300 at all, it's pretty light and given enough light can do pretty darn good. I guess I'm just never satisfied with good and want more and more, aghhhhhhhhhhhhh. Obsession can be very expensive at times : )
There is a significant difference in weight between the 50-200mm and the 70-300mm. When I have the 50-200mm mounted on the E-30, I know it. I don't really consider it an all day walk around lens.

The 70-300mm is significantly lighter and is smaller as well. I've taken it to a couple of ball games at Fenway Park, here in Boston and just put it in one of my cargo pants pockets. The 12-60mm was on the camera. Meanwhile, the 50-200mm was at home.

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