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ludi
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New lens, or new camera?

Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:54 pm

If I can even swing this, my budget cap will be somewhere around $500.

Here's what I've got now: Olympus OMD EM-10 (Mark 1), and the m4/3 kit lens (12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ).

What I like:
-- Good for video (other than the 29 minute limit with no automatic file limit roll-over: thanks, EU!), including the IS and variable-control motorized zoom.
-- Good for general photography, but not great (due to the lens).
What I don't like:
-- Not enough telephoto reach in some situations.
-- Not a spectacular portrait lens.

I see two ways forward. The first way is to pick up a lens to either replace or supplement what I have:
(1) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 II Lens
(2) Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens
(3) Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens
(4) Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II Lens

Option (1) is versatile and has the MSC focusing motor, but loses the image stabilizer. Option (2) fixes the IS deficiency but is pricier. Options (3) or (4) get me the extra reach, and I continue using my kit lens for general duty.

The other way, mitigating against all that, is something like this:
Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 Digital Camera
Or any of the similar options from Nikon, Canon, etc. The downside is that the minimum aperture on these things tends to be limited (f/8 in the above example). Since I don't have an investment in a lens collection, and the market for afforadable used m4/3 lenses is sparse, I'm starting to wonder if it's time to abandon my aging camera body and go for something newer?
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Sep 13, 2019 8:23 am

My personal opinion is it depends on what your subject matter. For landscape and stuff that doesn't need fast focus, I've been perfectly content with the performance of a super-zoom.

If you need the ability to focus quickly, then there is no substitute for a DSLR or mirrorless.

EDIT: One other thing to consider is a lense adapter like: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... ns_to.html
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:55 am

Hmm...the fast focusing is definitely a consideration. Good to know.

The big downside of those lens converters is that you lose all automatic control, which is pretty rough for rapid composing.
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:02 pm

ludi wrote:
Hmm...the fast focusing is definitely a consideration. Good to know.

The big downside of those lens converters is that you lose all automatic control, which is pretty rough for rapid composing.

I think I picked a bad example. It looks like this one has full automatic control: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _auto.html

Of note, I haven't been impressed by the video mode on any SLR. Mirrorless is way better in that regard. Otherwise I would recommend an inexpensive used body for soething like a T5i or D7500.
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:04 pm

As a stopgap, I picked up the Meike 25mm f/1.8 all-manual lens so I can get a feel for how my current camera body and sensor will perform with wide aperature. The all-manual approach is not great for composition but it's a prime, so there are only two parameters to set. This is pretty close to a 50mm format given the crop factor of 2.

Ordered from B&H yesterday, hoping to have it in hand by Friday.
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ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:58 am

Second update: The Meike lens does pretty well, but it's awfully tricky to do a manual-only focus on such a small display. The wide aperture performance is otherwise pretty great.

I finally caved and ordered the Viltrox adapter today, though. There are actually two choices: the EF-M1, which is just an electronic translator and an open ring. It loses one stop of light similar to a teleconverter. The other choice is the pricier EF-M2, which has a 0.71x conversion element to improve crop factor and avoid light loss. But according to at least one YouTube review I found, it's possible to wack that conversion element with the rear protrusion of a Canon EF-S lens, so I skipped it and went for the (slightly cheaper) EF-M1.

Sigma and Tamron both have affordable, wide-aperture lenses for EF mount that are widely available both new and used. Even the gen-1 and some gen-2 EF-L lenses have fallen significantly in the used market since I was last there. Used to be that a 70-200 f/2.8 IS couldn't be touched, in any version, for less than $1k unless it was in pretty bad shape. Now they're as low as $6-700 for some reason.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:58 am

There's not much difference between the 2018 version III and the 2010 version II of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. Version II brought measurable image quality improvement over the already impressive (for a zoom lens) 2001 original.
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... -Lens.aspx
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... eview.aspx
1: i7-9700K, NH-D15, Z390M Pro4, 32GiB, RX Vega64, ½TB 960Pro +2TB MX500, Define Mini-C, SSR-850PX, LG 32UD99 + UltraSharp U2410, RK9000V2-BR
2: R5-3600X, Wraith Spire, B450M Steel Legend, 32GiB, RX5500XT, 2TB SX8200Pro, P160, SS-660XP2, TV, G610
 
Usacomp2k3
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:19 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
There's not much difference between the 2018 version III and the 2010 version II of the EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM. Version II brought measurable image quality improvement over the already impressive (for a zoom lens) 2001 original.
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... -Lens.aspx
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... eview.aspx

I had the 2001 version back in '07. It was way higher quality than the sensor my measly XTi could ever capture. What a fantastic lens.
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:04 am

I do remember the 70-200 f/2.8 quite fondly. That was the one lens I most regretted having to sell back when I downsized from Canon to m43 a few years back. And if you're using it on a crop body, the gen1 lens' distortions at the corners all but disappear.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:44 pm

For large-aperture portraits, I've had more success with my EF 85mm f/1.8 USM on the full-frame EOS 5D Mark III than I ever managed using this lens on my APS-C cameras. If I were serious about it, I'd definitely spring for the far superior EF 85mm f/1.4L IS USM. This comparison tool makes the case on image quality alone, neglecting the 4 stops of image stabilization and the larger aperture:
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... &APIComp=1
1: i7-9700K, NH-D15, Z390M Pro4, 32GiB, RX Vega64, ½TB 960Pro +2TB MX500, Define Mini-C, SSR-850PX, LG 32UD99 + UltraSharp U2410, RK9000V2-BR
2: R5-3600X, Wraith Spire, B450M Steel Legend, 32GiB, RX5500XT, 2TB SX8200Pro, P160, SS-660XP2, TV, G610
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:42 pm

You're going through my old camera bag! Except I was using the 7D body. IIRC at my peak I had the 70-200 f/2.8L, the 85 f/1.8, the 50 f/1.4, the 20mm f/2.8, the 12mm f/2.8 fisheye, and the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS as a walkaround. Unfortunately, marriage followed immediately by expensive car problems torpedoed our savings and I downsized to m43 in order to free up some cash.

Now that I'm palying with non-linear video editing I want to increase my glass collection again. There is plenty of nice m43 glass but only if you want to buy new, or rent. The second-hand market is a wasteland compare to what's out there for Canon gear, and since the EF and EF-S lens circles are both noticably larger than the m43 sensor, I figure any Canon lens that's at least reasonably sharp in the center should perform well on m43 in spite of the 1-stop loss.
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ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:31 pm

Update: The Viltrox converter arrived on schedule, but I didn't have anything to test it with, so it just sat around for a week. But ended up grabbing a used EF 28-135 IS USM off eBay. I last used one of these maybe 7-8 years ago. A bit bulky for an f/3.5 lens due to its full-frame imaging capability, but the results on an m43 sensor are quite impressive, even with the 1-stop loss. Obviously not as nice for videography as the Olympus EZ lenses, and flares a bit excessively, but it looks like I can finally shoot decent telephoto again until something nicer comes along.

I thought about the EF-S 18-135 IS which would be more appropriate to this camera size and crop factor, but that's an extra $50 or so that I didn't want to spend right now.

Image
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:42 pm

Glad to hear it! Is the flare across the whole image or just the outsides?
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:12 pm

The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is an impressively-sharp telephoto zoom lens for its price and size. This should be a better match for your 4/3 camera than the full-frame EF lens, and it's smaller, lighter and sharper, too.
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... -Lens.aspx

Here's an image quality comparison:
https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Rev ... &APIComp=0
1: i7-9700K, NH-D15, Z390M Pro4, 32GiB, RX Vega64, ½TB 960Pro +2TB MX500, Define Mini-C, SSR-850PX, LG 32UD99 + UltraSharp U2410, RK9000V2-BR
2: R5-3600X, Wraith Spire, B450M Steel Legend, 32GiB, RX5500XT, 2TB SX8200Pro, P160, SS-660XP2, TV, G610
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:31 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Glad to hear it! Is the flare across the whole image or just the outsides?

Nothing terrible for a lens design that's old enough to drink this year, and which has a full-frame front glass exposure. When a point source is within range of the lens, there are a couple green artifacts chasing each other around. A lens hood would help.

The Olympus 12-50 kit lens has a single pink artifact around the same size as the Canon's larger artifact, for whatever that's worth. Both lenses checked with no filters or hoods attached.
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ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:46 am

Additional update: I had noticed that the Canon 28-135 seemed just slightly slow on focusing compared to what I remembered from the old days. When adapted to the Olympus body, it has a tendency to overshoot the correct focus range a bit farther than you would expect, then come back for a corrective pass before settling. With a USM motor this all occurs in a half-second at most, but something felt odd about it.

Last week, I had a chance to meet up with my wife's family, including one of her brothers who shoots a Canon 6D body with one of the f/4L series zooms. On a whim, we tried swapping lenses for a couple minutes, and suddenly the 28-135 was focusing like a champ on the 6D, while the adapted f/4L was sluggish on the Olympus body.

IOW, the translation from lens to body isn't quite perfect through the Viltrox adapter, although it's still pretty impressive. Just something to watch out for if anyone else tries this approach.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:22 am

Last week, I tried out the Extender EF 1.4x III with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM. The 1.4 multiplier costs an f-stop, so the combination becomes 140-560mm f/6.3-8. On my EOS 5D Mk. III, it still auto-focuses at f/8, but it's noticeably slower than at f/5.6.
1: i7-9700K, NH-D15, Z390M Pro4, 32GiB, RX Vega64, ½TB 960Pro +2TB MX500, Define Mini-C, SSR-850PX, LG 32UD99 + UltraSharp U2410, RK9000V2-BR
2: R5-3600X, Wraith Spire, B450M Steel Legend, 32GiB, RX5500XT, 2TB SX8200Pro, P160, SS-660XP2, TV, G610
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:59 pm

Another datapoint: was traveling over the holidays, and encountered a Panasonic Lumix G7. Tried attaching the 28-135 with the Viltrox adapter. About 3 seconds later, the camera would hard-lock and even the power switch did nothing. Had to pull the battery to reset. Same behavior in three different attempts. Not sure if that's a Viltrox firmware issue (haven't checked for an update since getting it) or something that may have been addressed in a newer revision of the G7 firmware.

In any case, major incompatibility is apparently a real possibility with these devices. A lens communication error message would have been one thing, but a total crash of the camera firmware was a bit surprising.
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Dposcorp
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:49 am

I picked up a used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300 bridge camera when I was in your boat.
I wanted a zoom camera that could shoot 4K video, and still take good pics, without breaking the bank.

The things that I really like:
12MP, which although low, give it larger pixels for good low light performance.
(Compare it to the newer Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ80, which has the same size sensor, but has 18MP)

The DMC-FZ300 also has a fixed f/2.8 aperture throughout the entire range,where as the FZ80 has a range of F2.8-5.9.

Flip out touchscreen is awesome.

Lastly, the FZ300 has a weather-sealed design.


So far I have been impressed with it for the money (around $300), and will still make a great backup camera down the road. The big test is this weekend when my Niece gets married.

More info:

https://www.apotelyt.com/compare-camera ... sonic-fz80

https://cameradecision.com/compare/Pana ... -DMC-FZ300

https://www.pcmag.com/roundup/348745/th ... ge-cameras

https://www.cnet.com/reviews/panasonic- ... 00-review/
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:13 pm

That is a nice kit for the money, although I wonder how it would perform in low light. The magnification advertises 25-600 equivalence, but the lens is imprinted as 4.5-108. That suggests a 5.56 crop factor and a sensor that's barely 6x4mm, somewhere between the middle and higher-end handycams.
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Dposcorp
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:59 am

All depends on how "low" the light is and what you are shooting I guess. Skill level and other settings will factor in.
I do like the fact that this camera has 4K photo mode, where you can captures 30 fps at any f-stop and shutter speed that you set up.

Search around a bit and you can find lots of regular and low light samples.

https://www.dpreview.com/sample-galleri ... 00-gallery

I am not saying it is the only camera to own, but when u said new camera or lens, I thought this camera might be a good one for you to get.
 
ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:49 am

Hmm, interesting. Seems to hold up pretty well for still work.
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ludi
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Re: New lens, or new camera?

Wed Jan 29, 2020 12:03 am

Holiday bonus came through and while most of it went to holiday vacation and a later vehicle purchase, I did manage to snag a Panasonic Lumix-G 45-175 off eBay for about 70% of the retail price at the usual suspects. It also came from an in-state seller and didn't have to travel too far which was nice.

Image

The appeal is not image quality, which is kit-lensish. Rather, there seem to be (as far as I can tell) just three m43 lenses that have a motorized power zoom feature: the now-discontinued Olympus 12-50 macro that I already have, a newer 14-42 pancake that both Olympus and Panasonic package as a kit lens, and the Panasonic 14-175. Makes for much smoother transitions when doing video and the image quality is more than adequate for the 1080p/30 my E-M10 (mk.I) can do.
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