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Old Jan 2, 2006, 3:43 PM   #1
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Hi Eveybody,

New to this forum...looked through the website a couple of times before purchasing my Olympus E500.

Anyways, I've bought the Olympus E500 double kit with 14-45mm/40-150mm, and was wondering, are there any cheap alternatives to buying a telephoto lense that goes up to 200mm or even to 250mm than buying the 50-200mm?

Thanks in advance,
Yujin
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 6:12 PM   #2
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Yujin-

www.sigma4less.com is selling the 28-300mm lens for around $(US) 255.00. I have this lens on my Pentax 1st DS and it is an average, but not great lens. In contrast, the Zukio 50-200mm lens sells for $(US) 800+.

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Old Jan 2, 2006, 7:05 PM   #3
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The Sigma 28-300 will do Olympus users little good- it's not available in the 4/3rd's mount.

Even if it did, my bet would be a 50% cropped image from the 40-150 at 150mmwould be sharper than a full-sized image shot with the Sigma28-300 at 300mm. By the time you get to 300mm, it get's awfully hard to hand-hold steadily without a tripod. The combination of not-so-good 300mm performance and not being able to hand-hold well enough would probably ruin most images. Remember at 300mm you're talking about an actual focal length of 600mm. Unless you've had a lens that long you just cannot appreciate at that magnification how little it takes to cause an unsharp image.

The 50-200 Zuiko is expensive, but if you want good image quality and decent speedthroughout the range......you do get what you pay for.

I was at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas today. Here are a few images shot from the second deck with the 50-200 Zuiko. The winningfield goalby the Alabama kicker was around a 40% crop of the original image:

http://gmchappell.smugmug.com/gallery/1091436

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 12:38 AM   #4
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Yujin wrote:
Quote:
Hi Eveybody,

New to this forum...looked through the website a couple of times before purchasing my Olympus E500.

Anyways, I've bought the Olympus E500 double kit with 14-45mm/40-150mm, and was wondering, are there any cheap alternatives to buying a telephoto lense that goes up to 200mm or even to 250mm than buying the 50-200mm?

Thanks in advance,
Yujin

Your choices are limited. I'd go for the 50-200 and 1.4X TC but for the price - even with the recent rebates I'd still be U.S.$1250 out of pocket - not happening right now. It's an excellent lens, something I'm working to afford in the future.

So, I'm using a 200mm f/4 OM manual focus lens, along with an OM to 4/3 adapter. The lens cost $80 at a local second-hand photo store, and the adapter cost about $70 from a guy in Poland (search at DPReview's Oly SLR forum for "Polish adaptor"). I like the 200mm;I got a 1.5X and a 2XTC for$15 to go with it, it works fine in the daytime. It requires a tripod to get any sharpness, along with a lot of practice with focus - it's hard to hit it exactly right, my E-300 has no focusing aids in the viewfinder. I often have to push the aperture to F11 to get enough DOF.I've also bought a 50mm f/1.4 and a 300mm f/4.5; the 300mm f/4.5 is a better lens than the 200, but problems with focus and camera shake are too common.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 10:13 AM   #5
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Sigma also has a 55-200mm lens in 4/3 mount, but it's a far cry from the Zuiko 50-200mm. The Sigma gets very soft past 150mm, which means your Oly 45-150 is probably a good deal sharper and more usable. The Sigma works for full-face portraits where less resolution and a bit of softness may not be considered crucial issues, but it's poor for fine detail work at the long end. Here are a couple of comparison shots (100% crops) at 200mm: first, the 55-200 Sigma:



Next the Zuiko ED 50-200


The Sigma was shot from a tripod, while the Oly was handheld but at faster shutter speed; also, remember that these are both 100% crops, so they are not the entire frame. They do show the difference in resolution at the far zoom end, tho. You may be lucky and get a better specimen of the Sigma than I got, but for someone who already has the 45-150 (which is a terrific lens, by the way), I'd wait until I could afford the ED 50-200 rather than going for the Sigma.

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 4:52 PM   #6
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Wow, what a difference. Were these crops from the corners, or nearer the center? I wasn't really tempted by the Sigma lenses before, but this puts the last nail in the coffin..... Too bad Sigma doesn't want to release their better quality lenses with the 4/3 mount; if they think that manydSLR users will fork out for this rubbish they're mistaken.

To the OP: an alternative you should consider is getting the EC14 1.4X TC and using it with the 40-150 for now. You need to use the combo during the daytime, it won't work in low light (focus requires an aperture of at least f/5.6). It'll give you 210mm (or 420mm in 35mm equivalent-speak) for about U.S.$400. Here's a thread at DPReview from someone doing exactly that, and getting good results (sorry about the link to another forum):

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=15315576

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:05 PM   #7
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These were near the center of the frame, since the bird was the subject. As in all things, YMMV.

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Old Jan 5, 2006, 11:38 PM   #8
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Hi Norm,

that's a very interesting comparison. Could you post the EXIF info for the two shots , please?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 6, 2006, 12:21 AM   #9
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thebac wrote:
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Hi Norm,

that's a very interesting comparison. Could you post the EXIF info for the two shots , please?
I admit the conditions weren't identical, so it can only be taken as an anecdotal comparison (YMMV), but for what it's worth, here is the basic info:

Sigma 55-200mm (200mm): E-300, 1/60s @ f8, 200mm [tripod]
Olympus ED 50-200mm (200mm): E-300,
1/640s @ f3.5, 200mm [handheld])

Also for comparison's sake, here are the two full frames from which I took the 100% crops:
Sigma:


Oly:


As you can see, the DOF is a bit different due to the differing f-stops, but the crops were both taken from pretty much the same part of the lens.

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Old Jun 2, 2006, 11:11 AM   #10
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Norm I have to wholeheartedly agree 100% with you.

I made the mistake of buying the Sigma 55-200 and have been seriously dissapointed with it. At the long end the images are very soft, so soft that I don't even bother using it.

No amount of PS will help this lens. What a waste of my money, I wished I had seen your post before making my purchase. Now I have ended up buying twice as I could not stand the images I was getting with the Sigma.

I finally went ahead and made one of my biggest purchases this year so far and picked up the ZD 50-200mm Oly lens. All I have to say is WOW! Like night and day!

The images are so crisp and clear even at 200mm its an amazing piece of glass.

From now on I will no longer buy cheap as I will end up buying twice which is more expensive in the long run.

Here are my 2 comparisons with both the Sigma 55-200mm and the Oly ZD 50-200mm:

First is the Sigma then the second is The Oly


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