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Old Jun 6, 2010, 9:15 AM   #1
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Default 50-200 SWD -vs- non SWD lens -Opinion needed

Hello, I am new to this forum and have read threads of those using the 50-200 Oly zoom lens. I am considering one, I do have the 70-300 but need a faster large zoom. I can purchase a non-SWD
for $600-$700 but have read that the SWD version is much faster
in focus lock, and has a better motor. Should I be concerned about
the earlier version's short comings compared to the SWD? Also, don't
think I could find an SWD lens for $700.
Thanks for any input.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 9:39 AM   #2
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Hi,

The SWD version may be faster on some models of OLympus dslrs- most notably the E-3 and the E-30. If you have one of those two, than I think you might notice a difference in AF speed. Aside from those 2 models, I really don't believe you'll see a major improvement in performance.

I have the 1st version (Non-SWD) of the 50-200mm lens which I bought 2yrs ago used at KEH.com for about 600dollars. I don't feel that I'm missing anything in performance, sharpness or AF speed when I use it with the E-30.

I do believe that it does focus faster with the E-30 as opposed to my old E-510. But, I'm convinced that the improved AF speed is a function of camera not lens.

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Old Jun 6, 2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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I have both versions.

Optically, there is really no difference between them. The minor differences are so small, they are moot.

The SWD is quieter, and it is faster as it racks from close focus to infinity. The only time that the speed is a factor is things like birds in flight when you slip off the target. If your lens if focuses at 20 feet and you shoot something at 40 feet, both versions are quick enough that they basically snap into focus.

Most believe that the non-SWD will be more durable, at least as the focus motor is concerned. That is not a minor thing.

The hood of the SWD version is horriblely huge. It messes up your storage plans. Why they did that is beyond reason.

The old version chatters in C-AF mode as it changes from point to point. The SWD does so with near silence. Nice, but not a deal breaker.

Both are good lenses.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 4:20 PM   #4
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Default 50-200 SWD -vs- non SWD

Thanks for the informed opinions, I was going to bid on a first version
lens, then thought to go for the big bucks and get the SWD.
I ended up getting the first version (Oly demo model with warranty)
for $570. Now I have to sell the 70-300 f4 lens less than 2 months
old, shows what complusiveness will do, cost some bucks.
Really appreciate the input. I have E-620 / 14-54 first version / 35mm Macro / 40-150 kit lens, looking to buy the EC-14 now.
I am attempting to shoot drag racing, mostly head on launch shots and shut down shots, so AF shouldn't be a big deal. I am an old OLY
user from days gone past, but new to digital post processing, I know
my gear, but wish I knew post processing as well. Using PSE-8 which
seems user friendly, and I shoot jpegs. Being in commercial printing,
I see great digital pics - mostly jpegs - all tasty in print.
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Old Jun 6, 2010, 5:30 PM   #5
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Hi,

Welcome aboard!

No one here on this forum (to my knowledge) shoots much in the way of drag races. I'll be looking forward to your posting some images when you have the chance.

As for PSE8, I've been using Elements since version 2.0 and find it pretty much satisfies my post processing needs. The one plug-in you might find to be of value( if you don't already use it) is Adobe's ACR Camera RAW 5.6. even though it was originally designed to process raw files, it works quite well with jpegs. I find myself typically starting out in Adobes ACR 5.6 to correct or adjust WB, Exposure, and Clarity. Once done, I then finish the image in PSE8.

YMMV.

Zig
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Old Jun 7, 2010, 3:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
No one here on this forum (to my knowledge) shoots much in the way of drag races.
I've shot the Indy the first year it was in Toronto, but that was using a fully manual film camera...had to manually focus it, manually set the shutter speed and aperture...I miss those days.


Quote:
Originally Posted by zig-123 View Post
But, I'm convinced that the improved AF speed is a function of camera not lens.
It's a "chain is only as strong as its weakest link" issue...it's a joint effort between body and lens...if you put a slow focusing lens like the 40-150mm mk1 on the newer bodies, it will still focus just as slow as it had a slow motor, not to mention it rotated everything including the external element.
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