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Old Nov 7, 2007, 11:46 AM   #31
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JohnG wrote:
ANd, NHL, again shots from a 10d are hardly relevant. You ASSUME a modern oly has better AF than your older 10d. But have you ever actually tested that theory? It absolutely may be true. I admit I don't know. ALl I'm saying is your advice is dangerous because you have no actual first hand experience upon which to base it. You haven't used the kit you're advising someone to consider. Now, if like Jim, you at least had some threads where a birder WAS using the kit that would be different.
John, this is not a combo that I'm just recommending but something I've been researching for a while and considering for my own use...

This is where I'm coming from: I'm already at a point where my Canon gears no longer fit my need within the size and weight constrain that I try in vain do describe to you guys:

1. The Oly/Bigma is a 1000mm in focal lenght!
2. The Oly set-up looks plenty fast for my own use: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=25197165
3. I've already reach the limit of what I can carry with my Canon gear (i.e. 500mm f/4)
4. I've checked at the upgrade path for my Canon and none of them are tempting
o a 600mm f/4 will only give an extra 100mm, but will render me completely immobile
o I can also forget about the 1200mm f/5.6 @ 36lb (and $$$!!!)

Even if I don't get a Bigma, the 300mm f/2.8 looks mighty tempting on the Oly @ an equivalent 600mm f/2.8 FOV. Do you realize how heavy a shorter Canon 400mm f/2.8 is?
-> I'll let you guys know what I'll take between the D300 and the Oly for my next trip to S. America this January... :-)
-> if I only go by review and what people recommend on the web I would have never gotten the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8, which is my most flexible and most used lens... :G
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Old Nov 7, 2007, 11:47 AM   #32
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JimC wrote:
I'll concede that almost any camera can take bird shots. The quality of those shots is another issue.
And therein lies the difference between theory and reality. It's also the reason to look around for hands-on experience and photos. I'm not pushing a given solution here - but if those are the best examples of what Oly can do then no I don't see any advantage to the system.

I'll also concede mine aren't much better (although I believe they are a bit but I'm biassed ) - but a quick look through Nikon and Canon galleries (the ones I'm more familiar with) will clearly show much better results.

Here's a thread from a Canon lens forum: weekly wildlife. You can see bad, good and outstanding results from shooters from a one week period:


Here's a post in the Nikon forum about what lens to use. You can see some stunning shots here as well:


So I urge you to search all the manufacturers sites there (and elsewhere as well as here) to find examples. But so far I haven't seen Oly IQ holds up to the others.

Also, there is no "concession" on perched birds. Again a bird 20 feet away the size of an eagle incapable of moving is VASTLY different than a bird in dense foliage in the wild.

Again, I just don't see the volume of birding shots out there from Oly users that I see from Canon & Nikon. And I still haven't seen anyone step forward with first-hand experience. So given that the system is not proven out to anyone so far in this thread I still don't consider it a viable option.
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Old Nov 7, 2007, 11:50 AM   #33
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I understand your points regarding wanting to try another route. Your desire makes sense to me. I just point out that until you actually TRY them out you don't actually know how well they will work. I'm sure it will be very beneficial for people like the OP for you to give feedback after you've tried one or both of the options you're considering. Having someone test in the field the three different systems would be very beneficial.
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Old Nov 7, 2007, 12:00 PM   #34
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JimC wrote:
I'll concede that almost any camera can take bird shots. The quality of those shots is another issue.

To be frank, the examples you posted don't exactly promote this camera system from my perspective (blown highlights in the first one, *horrible* bokeh from the 300mm f/2.8 in the next (looks like the "doughnut" type out of focus highlights you'd get from a mirror lens versus a premium lens).

I was very surprised at how bad it did for that shot (especially for a lens that B&H is now selling for $5,699.95 (outside of the OP's budget). I would have expected better results. Hopefully, that shot is not indicative of what that lens is capable of and is just a "fluke" because of the type of background.
I didn't say Olympus made great lenses. In fact, in another topic, I argued that Olympus didn't make great lenses. And I don't think much of the bokeh of the 300mm f/2.8 built-to-order lens either.

But the issue was focusforBIF shots, and in these and other examples available at http://myfourthirds.com/category.php?id=10, the BIFs are in focus.

And the Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ( http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...2835/index.htm, http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...duct/38/cat/15 ) might be a fine lens for what the OP has in mind, as might others.
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