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Comprehensive comparison of Micro 4/3 "families"

 
 
David J Taylor
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      05-30-2012
> Olympus offers a 75-300mm telezoom for $480 bumped down to $400 at
> Amazon. ($305 used) The in-lens stabilization must add a lot to the
> price of the Panasonic version.


Paul,

In-lens IS does not need to add substantially to the price, as proved by
lenses in the Nikon DSLR range. Perhaps the Panasonic optical design is
simply better?

Think carefully before buying a telephoto lens without IS (and try holding
the camera & lens on a moving ship in windy conditions...).

David

 
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David J Taylor
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      05-30-2012
> My experience with in-lens IS is somewhat disappointing (the Nikon
> 70-200/2.8 VR, original version, and the Sigma 120-400). My experience
> with P&S IS is much more satisfactory. My Olympus EPL-2 body IS is
> quite useful -- even with old lenses.
> --
> David Dyer-Bennet, http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed); http://dd-b.net/


Can't comment on Sigma (but you know what to expect from that company),
but the Nikon VR lenses I've used have had excellent stabilisation - even
the low-cost kit lenses. The stabilisation on the Leica-branded Panasonic
lenses used on their P&S models has also been fine.

Yes, if you already have a bag full of lenses, it alters the trade-off
somewhat.

Cheers,
David

 
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Wolfgang Weisselberg
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      05-30-2012
David Dyer-Bennet <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> (E-Mail Removed) (Paul Ciszek) writes:


>> 3) I also want the aforementioned "long focal length" telephoto
>> lens. (It's a midlife crisis thing, OK?) It would also have
>> to work with the camera's auto-exposure and auto-focus.


> You won't get out to 800mm-equivalent with dedicated micro four thirds
> lenses at a sane price.


You also won't get that much resolution with compact cameras
at such long focal lengths (diffraction due to small
apertures compared to the sensor size).

> But you can get out to 600mm for about $600, so
> that's *so much* better than 35mm.


I doubt that "that's *so much* better than 35mm".

Let's look at the Canon DSLRs as an example (they also have a
slightly bigger crop factor of 1.6 instead of 1.5 with Nikon :-> ):
- 300mm (effective 480mm as 35mm equivalent) is quite normal:
* <120 EUR: Sigma AF 70-300mm 4.0-5.6 DG Makro
* 128 EUR (Amazon): Tamron AF 70-300mm 4.0-5.6 Di LD Makro 1:2
* <170 EUR: Sigma AF 70-300mm 4.0-5.6 DG APO Makro
* <200 EUR: Canon EF 75-300mm 4.0-5.6 III

- 400mm (effective 640mm as 35mm equivalent) is quite available,
though at a somewhat higher price:
* 570 EUR (Amazon): Tokina AT-XD 80-400mm 4.5-5.6
* <800 EUR: Sigma AF 120-400mm 4.5-5.6 DG APO HSM OS

- 500mm (effective 800mm at 35mm equivalent):
* <900 EUR: Sigma AF 150-500mm 5.0-6.3 DG APO HSM OS
* 953 EUR (Amazon): Tamron SP AF 200-500mm 5-6.3 Di LD IF

(no, they aren't the best lenses. Just the cheap ones.)

I don't see that much of a monetary advantage ...

-Wolfgang
 
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Paul Ciszek
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      05-30-2012

In article <jq4gch$hor$(E-Mail Removed)>,
David J Taylor <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> Olympus offers a 75-300mm telezoom for $480 bumped down to $400 at
>> Amazon. ($305 used) The in-lens stabilization must add a lot to the
>> price of the Panasonic version.

>
>Paul,
>
>In-lens IS does not need to add substantially to the price, as proved by
>lenses in the Nikon DSLR range. Perhaps the Panasonic optical design is
>simply better?
>
>Think carefully before buying a telephoto lens without IS (and try holding
>the camera & lens on a moving ship in windy conditions...).


Mostly, I keep hearing about Olympus vs. Panasonic, with Sony trying to
create its own standard. Does anyone have anything good or bad to say
about the Nikon mirrorless cameras and the lenses available for them?

--
Please reply to: | "We establish no religion in this country, we
pciszek at panix dot com | command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor
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| remain, separate." --Ronald Reagan, 10/26/1984

 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      05-30-2012
nospam <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>, David Dyer-Bennet
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> > .. and for me, optimised in-lens IS is a rather better solution than a
>> > do-it-all in body (although in-body can correction rotational jitter,
>> > but this is not done by most Olympus cameras).

>>
>> My experience with in-lens IS is somewhat disappointing (the Nikon
>> 70-200/2.8 VR, original version, and the Sigma 120-400). My experience
>> with P&S IS is much more satisfactory. My Olympus EPL-2 body IS is
>> quite useful -- even with old lenses.

>
> i'm not sure what was wrong with your 70-200 but nikon's vr is very
> good. on the other hand, sigma is a crapshoot if you get a good one and
> even then, its stabilization is not as good as nikon, which is actually
> a little surprising since sigma stole nikon's design and is being sued.


And I get better results on the longer Sigma than on the slower Nikon.

> in any event, one major advantage of in-lens stabilization is that it
> stabilizes the viewfinder which makes composing easier and also helps
> autofocus track the subject. another advantage is it's tuned
> specifically to a given lens.
>
> the advantage to in-camera stabilization is that it works with just
> about any lens, although its effectiveness goes down as the focal
> length goes up (which is where stabilization matters the most) because
> the sensor needs to move a greater distance. at some point, it will
> reach a limit and no longer be able to move enough to stabilize the
> image.


Which both argue for putting in-body stabilization in the camera, and
in-lens stabilization on the longer lenses, and having the computer sort
it out (maybe they could even cooperate sometimes).

What I've found testing VR in lenses is that it will frequently bring
the image to *nearly* sharp.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, (E-Mail Removed); http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
 
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ray
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      05-30-2012
On Wed, 30 May 2012 18:16:50 +0000, Paul Ciszek wrote:

> In article <jq4gch$hor$(E-Mail Removed)>, David J Taylor
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>> Olympus offers a 75-300mm telezoom for $480 bumped down to $400 at
>>> Amazon. ($305 used) The in-lens stabilization must add a lot to the
>>> price of the Panasonic version.

>>
>>Paul,
>>
>>In-lens IS does not need to add substantially to the price, as proved by
>>lenses in the Nikon DSLR range. Perhaps the Panasonic optical design is
>>simply better?
>>
>>Think carefully before buying a telephoto lens without IS (and try
>>holding the camera & lens on a moving ship in windy conditions...).

>
> Mostly, I keep hearing about Olympus vs. Panasonic, with Sony trying to
> create its own standard. Does anyone have anything good or bad to say
> about the Nikon mirrorless cameras and the lenses available for them?


Only that, after comparing them, I consider the Nikon entries greatly
overpriced. For a smaller sensor which, according to most testers, takes
worse photos, you pay twice as much.
 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      05-30-2012
(E-Mail Removed) (Paul Ciszek) writes:

> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
> David Dyer-Bennet <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>Yeah, as a viewfinder, the DSLR optical path is not that great. In
>>particular it's not flexible. I'm still annoyed that tilt/swivel LCD
>>screens seem to be treated as a consumer feature, and actively excluded
>>from prosumer cameras and up.

>
> Does anyone offer a "remote" eyecup viewfinder on a wire? For situations
> where you can't get your eye up to the camera OR see an LCD screen in the
> sun.


Bunches of them, I think. Zigview is a name I remember.

Also, you can plug the video out from any modern camera with LiveView
into an externalmonitor to get a similar (but more expensive) effect.

>>> 2) I *think* that the smaller sensor, while allowing for more light
>>> gathering and less noise than my compact superzoom does, would
>>> allow me to someday have a telephoto lens comparable in magnification
>>> to what I currently have (826mm focal length in 35mm terms) whereas I
>>> doubt I could afford, or carry, such a monster for a 35mm.

>>
>>You need a monster tripod to give you stability at that length, too,
>>though. IS can only do so much.

>
> Of course; tripods are a given for telephoto work.
>
>>> As I understand it, you have to select a micro 4/3 not just based on the
>>> merits of the camera, but on the family of compatible lenses that you
>>> will then be committed to.

>>
>>Nope. That's the whole point of [Micro] Four Thirds -- multiple
>>companies making bodies and lenses that all work together. Panasonic
>>lenses work fine on my Olympus body, with AF, auto aperture, auto
>>exposure, and so forth.

>
> That is good news! Sony and Nikon co-operating as well?


No, neither of them make Four Thirds gear of any sort (cameras or
lenses). They each have their own, incompatible, mirrorless systems.

>>> 2) I would like to have one zoom lens that would cover a lot of
>>> typical situations, sort of like the point-and-shoots have. I
>>> realize that I am unlikely to get quite the range the compact
>>> superzooms have, but I need a lens I can take to a parade and
>>> and take pictures of a guy on stilts, a closeup of a girl in
>>> fairy makeup, and the whole parade without swapping lenses.
>>> Toward this end, it would be nice if the camera body could be
>>> bought "bare" so I wouldn't be paying for an unwanted lame-o
>>> "kit" lens. (Unless the kit lens were not so lame, of course.)

>>
>>This is confusing; because "kit lens" is exactly what you're
>>describing.

>
> OK, I thought "kit lens" meant "the lens that comes with the camera
> whether you like it or not." As in, one review was complaining about
> the abilities of the kit lens, and saying the camera would be a much
> better buy if you could either buy it without a lens, or order it with
> a better lens. So, what does "kit lens" mean?


Okay, you're probably right that that's what it means to most people.
But it's also used some to mean "the lens you mostly leave on the
camera".

It seems to me you may be looking for a a longer zoom range than kit
lenses and P&S cameras usually provide -- something in the superzoom
range. The trouble with that is that such superzoom lenses for DSLRs
are both expensive and not very good (and the Nikon 18-200, for example,
is unexpectedly good for what it is). Long zoom ranges are very hard to
make, and the larger the sensor the harder it gets.

>>> 3) I also want the aforementioned "long focal length" telephoto
>>> lens. (It's a midlife crisis thing, OK?) It would also have
>>> to work with the camera's auto-exposure and auto-focus.

>>
>>You won't get out to 800mm-equivalent with dedicated micro four thirds
>>lenses at a sane price. But you can get out to 600mm for about $600, so
>>that's *so much* better than 35mm.

>
> Olympus offers a 75-300mm telezoom for $480 bumped down to $400 at
> Amazon. ($305 used) The in-lens stabilization must add a lot to the
> price of the Panasonic version.


Really? What I find at Amazon is "Olympus M.Zuiko 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 ED
Digital Zoom Lens (Black) by Olympus Buy new : $899.99" And it's f/6.7
at the long end, REALLY slow.

And the Panasonic 100-300/4.0-5.6 is now showing ar $848.50. Ouch.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, (E-Mail Removed); http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      05-30-2012
Savageduck <savageduck1@{REMOVESPAM}me.com> writes:

> On 2012-05-29 15:04:39 -0700, (E-Mail Removed) (Paul Ciszek) said:
>
>>
>> In article <(E-Mail Removed)>,
>> David Dyer-Bennet <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
> <<< Le Snip >>>
>
>>>
>>> You need a monster tripod to give you stability at that length, too,
>>> though. IS can only do so much.

>>
>> Of course; tripods are a given for telephoto work.

>
> ...and that is one of the times IS/OS/VR is contraindicated.


Depending on, not just the manufacturer, but the specific lens (or
body). You need to read the instructions on the actual equipment you're
using.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, (E-Mail Removed); http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      05-30-2012
Wolfgang Weisselberg <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> David Dyer-Bennet <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> (E-Mail Removed) (Paul Ciszek) writes:

>
>>> 3) I also want the aforementioned "long focal length" telephoto
>>> lens. (It's a midlife crisis thing, OK?) It would also have
>>> to work with the camera's auto-exposure and auto-focus.

>
>> You won't get out to 800mm-equivalent with dedicated micro four thirds
>> lenses at a sane price.

>
> You also won't get that much resolution with compact cameras
> at such long focal lengths (diffraction due to small
> apertures compared to the sensor size).
>
>> But you can get out to 600mm for about $600, so
>> that's *so much* better than 35mm.

>
> I doubt that "that's *so much* better than 35mm".


It is if you include the f/5.6 aperture at 600mm-e.

> - 400mm (effective 640mm as 35mm equivalent) is quite available,
> though at a somewhat higher price:
> * 570 EUR (Amazon): Tokina AT-XD 80-400mm 4.5-5.6
> * <800 EUR: Sigma AF 120-400mm 4.5-5.6 DG APO HSM OS


That Sigma is $999 at Amazon right now. I paid about $850 for it a few
years ago.

> (no, they aren't the best lenses. Just the cheap ones.)


> I don't see that much of a monetary advantage ...


I was comparing to 35mm, not to DX crop.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, (E-Mail Removed); http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
 
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David Dyer-Bennet
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      05-30-2012
"David J Taylor" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

> "Alfred Molon" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed) ...
>> In article <jq1pfc$aus$(E-Mail Removed)>, David J Taylor says...
>>> .. and for me, optimised in-lens IS is a rather better solution than a
>>> do-it-all in body (although in-body can correction rotational
>>> jitter, but
>>> this is not done by most Olympus cameras).

>>
>> Not all lenses are IS...

>
> Most of mine are, and for a telephoto lens I would not buy one without
> IS. For me, it's a must-have feature.


Many of the telephotos I most value do not come in IS versions. It's
fine if I'm buying super-telephotos for wildlife (at 4- and 5-figure
prices), but 85, 105, and 135 lenses tend not to have it. Even prime
200mm lenses tend not to.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, (E-Mail Removed); http://dd-b.net/
Snapshots: http://dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/data/
Photos: http://dd-b.net/photography/gallery/
Dragaera: http://dragaera.info
 
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