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New camera, 150-400 and 2x TC ?

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Old Saturday 26th January 2019, 22:39   #51
Adey Baker
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Originally Posted by Jim M. View Post
Dave,

That is a good point about a longer macro lens. I have actually been using my PL100-400 in that capacity on my E-M1 mk. ii, since it has about a 50 inch minimum focus distance, and allows you to stand off while still giving up to .25 reproduction. It works great for, e.g., dragonflies and larger butterflies, but you really need a larger image for the smaller stuff. I'm currently considering lugging around another body with the 60 mm macro attached, but I would much prefer to have one lens that would allow me to both stand off and get a larger image when necessary (or at least an alternative that's more versatile than the 60 mm).
I use the 300mm F4 for larger butterflies/dragonflies and it's an absolute gem and I also have the 60mm for when I have time and a cooperative subject for the smaller damselflies, etc. A longer macro would be really nice, though the 1.4x or the recently-announced 2x converters on the 300mm may fill the gap for me. Olympus haven't even got a longer macro in their roadmap so they'll have to do, anyway!
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Old Monday 28th January 2019, 00:08   #52
opticoholic
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150-400 will be f4.5 with 1.25x TC but it looks as big as the comparable f4:s out there. Around 3 kg probably.
Available 2020.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/619236...-teleconverter
I think because it's f/4.5, the outer lens diameter will be less and overall the size/weight will be noticeably less than the f/4 Canon and Nikon xxx-400 f/4 zooms, and the Olympus will also surely be at least a little more affordable.

BUT, I'd rather it was a bit longer, not a zoom (I'm trying to keep an open mind on that), and not white. Still 500mm with the teleconverter isn't much more reach than 420mm, which I already have using my 300mm with the 1.4X teleconverter. Anyway it's a long way off so I have quite a while to think about it.

Actually this year I'm going to try adapting a ~630mm telescope to my E-M1 II (manual focus at ~f/6.9). Looking forward to that.

Dave

Last edited by opticoholic : Monday 28th January 2019 at 00:18.
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Old Monday 28th January 2019, 01:38   #53
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Actually this year I'm going to try adapting a ~630mm telescope to my E-M1 II (manual focus at ~f/6.9). Looking forward to that.

Dave
Dave, is this better than using an adapter to position the camera with a short lens above the ocular of the telescope, and thereby retain autofocus? I realize that there is additional glass involved, but some people love that type of digiscoping. I just feel limited by the fact that it takes time getting on the bird you want to photograph with all digiscoping setups.

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Old Monday 28th January 2019, 10:27   #54
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Originally Posted by opticoholic View Post
I think because it's f/4.5, the outer lens diameter will be less and overall the size/weight will be noticeably less than the f/4 Canon and Nikon xxx-400 f/4 zooms, and the Olympus will also surely be at least a little more affordable.

BUT, I'd rather it was a bit longer, not a zoom (I'm trying to keep an open mind on that), and not white. Still 500mm with the teleconverter isn't much more reach than 420mm, which I already have using my 300mm with the 1.4X teleconverter. Anyway it's a long way off so I have quite a while to think about it.

Actually this year I'm going to try adapting a ~630mm telescope to my E-M1 II (manual focus at ~f/6.9). Looking forward to that.

Dave
I did take the smaller f4.5 in consideration in the "around 3 kg" figure as the Nikon/Canon similar 180/200-400mm/f4 zooms are 3.5-3.6 kg. 2.8 kg would be theoretically possible if considering relative f-stops and use of fluorite-glass and conventional optics.

My guesstimate on price is 7500€, but it could be anything between 5k€ and 10k€.
Really have no clue on how Olympus thinks on competition here.

In comparison, Nikon's older 200-400/4 VRII is still available in some stores for 6000€, but the latest 180-400mm with TC is more like 11k€. Built in TC and fluorite glass I guess motivates some of the extra cost.

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Old Monday 28th January 2019, 14:53   #55
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Dave, is this better than using an adapter to position the camera with a short lens above the ocular of the telescope, and thereby retain autofocus? I realize that there is additional glass involved, but some people love that type of digiscoping. I just feel limited by the fact that it takes time getting on the bird you want to photograph with all digiscoping setups.

Niels
Niels,
Yes, I would say it is much better. I'm directly mounting the telescope to the camera with an extension tube. The attached photo shows my set-up with a smaller 480mm scope. There is a small sub-forum about this under Digiscoping-->Photography using 'Astro' telescopes. I have found the image quality outstanding with this method, and part of the reason is that there is actually far less glass involved compared to normal super telephoto lenses. You are right; it is challenging to find your target and manually focus. Practice helps and a sighting device of some kind is pretty much essential. I really like the Olympus EE-1 which is what you see on the camera hot shoe. Some people even try BIF with a rig like this, but for me it is a "perched bird only" pursuit.

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Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
I did take the smaller f4.5 in consideration in the "around 3 kg" figure as the Nikon/Canon similar 180/200-400mm/f4 zooms are 3.5-3.6 kg. 2.8 kg would be theoretically possible if considering relative f-stops and use of fluorite-glass and conventional optics.
You're probably right. The lens as pictured in the attachment below seemed to me noticeably smaller than Nikon/Canon 200-400's, but I'm guessing Olympus put a higher priority on rugged build and maybe did not use the lightest alloys.

Dave
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	80mm_ready_for_bird_photography-1200x800.jpg
Views:	29
Size:	447.3 KB
ID:	685958  Click image for larger version

Name:	Oly150-400pre-production.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	137.6 KB
ID:	685960  

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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 13:42   #56
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An extension ring would allow the PL100-400 to focus closer. I do not know if any are made that allow the full electronic functions to come across, though.

Niels

Thanks for the suggestion. You motivated me to look more closely into the various macro enhancements for this lens (I think these options should also work with the Oly 300mm f4 and are all less than $150).

Kenko does make a set of extension tubes for micro 4/3 that preserves the ability to autofocus, etc. However, the effect on macro capabilities for this lens is quite modest; only allowing you to focus a few inches closer at 400 mm, there is a slight decrease in light (about 2/3 stop) that reaches the sensor, and you cannot focus to infinity. This won't be enough of an increase in image size for small insects, at least not enough in light of the other drawbacks.

A more appealing option for my purposes is adding an achromat lens, a type of close-up lens which can be added to the front of the lens. There are some made e.g. by Canon (500D), Sigma (AML72-01), and Raynox (DCR-150 which snaps on rather than screws for convenience but requires a step down connector for this lens) that work with the lens. These have the drawback of adding more glass that may reduce image quality, but reports of image quality with such lenses are encouraging, and they permit true 1:1 or greater macro capabilities. Some also seem to be a bit heavy (5 oz?), though I think they Raynox is not. I'm currently leaning towards trying the Raynox as a temporary enhancement to my macro capabilities, since this is something I only want to use for special subjects; for most subjects I want to use just the lens itself.

Also note that the press release for the new in development 2x Olympus teleconverter says that coupling it with the 150-400mm lens will allow "unprecedented super telephoto macro shooting." So that's something else to keep an eye on.
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Last edited by Jim M. : Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 14:09.
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 17:09   #57
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Interesting interview with VP of sales and marketing for Olympus America:

"First of all we won’t use any other mount other than Four Thirds. If we had more than one mount, that’s not really user-friendly, and we’re creating the risk that we’d lose customers. If we ask you to buy a camera and lens and then step up to another mount, you might not want to do that. We want to create one, cohesive system with M43. We know our strengths. We have a small and lightweight system, which is good for shooting telezoom lenses, outside. So we’re focusing on this area, to provide suitable products for this field of photography."

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/...g-behind-e-m1x
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 17:39   #58
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Using "Airplane AF Tracking Mode" in the EM1x for birds (eagles) seems to work.

https://youtu.be/zQIyu-rO0J0?t=260

Let's hope Oly is already working on the dedicated "bird AF-mode".
Sony is "most likely" adding "eye-tracking for wildlife" in the A9
in one of their 2 scheduled firmware updates this year.

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 17:48.
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Old Wednesday 30th January 2019, 23:06   #59
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Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
Interesting interview with VP of sales and marketing for Olympus America:

"First of all we won’t use any other mount other than Four Thirds. If we had more than one mount, that’s not really user-friendly, and we’re creating the risk that we’d lose customers. If we ask you to buy a camera and lens and then step up to another mount, you might not want to do that. We want to create one, cohesive system with M43. We know our strengths. We have a small and lightweight system, which is good for shooting telezoom lenses, outside. So we’re focusing on this area, to provide suitable products for this field of photography."

https://www.dpreview.com/interviews/...g-behind-e-m1x
Olympus needs to get back to what its most loyal customers want and love: Upgrades to the smaller bodies and hopefully some new/upgraded small lenses. I guess maybe that is what he is trying to say that here, but I think his answer could have been better:
This is still a fairly large camera - do you still have any interest in developing the smaller, lighter cameras?

"[E]specially last year we used a lot of R&D resources on this [E-MX1] camera, not only because we want to have professional users, but because we wanted to add ultimate reliability to our lineup. We wanted to meet the requirement of professionals who shoot sports and wildlife. Now that [the E-M1X] has arrived, and it's our 100th anniversary, you can expect more."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vespobuteo View Post
Using "Airplane AF Tracking Mode" in the EM1x for birds (eagles) seems to work.

https://youtu.be/zQIyu-rO0J0?t=260

Let's hope Oly is already working on the dedicated "bird AF-mode".
Sony is "most likely" adding "eye-tracking for wildlife" in the A9
in one of their 2 scheduled firmware updates this year.
Absolutely! Eye-tracking for wildlife will be a major breakthrough when it gets here; I think that is what will finally force a lot more sports and wildlife people to start switching to mirrorless. But the super telephoto lenses also have to be there. Olympus' new long lens is more than a year out and I'm not sure Sony or Fuji have many lens choices for us yet.

I'm not going to get an E-MX1, but I'm going to try to be patient with Olympus because I like a lot of what they have done so far and it seems they really are targeting wildlife and bird photographers (not just sports/motor sports, which I don't really care about at all). Also I still think the micro-4/3 format could be ideal for small birds.

Dave

Last edited by opticoholic : Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 23:16.
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Old Thursday 31st January 2019, 17:04   #60
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Olympus needs to get back to what its most loyal customers want and love: Upgrades to the smaller bodies and hopefully some new/upgraded small lenses. I guess maybe that is what he is trying to say that here, but I think his answer could have been better:
This is still a fairly large camera - do you still have any interest in developing the smaller, lighter cameras?

"[E]specially last year we used a lot of R&D resources on this [E-MX1] camera, not only because we want to have professional users, but because we wanted to add ultimate reliability to our lineup. We wanted to meet the requirement of professionals who shoot sports and wildlife. Now that [the E-M1X] has arrived, and it's our 100th anniversary, you can expect more."
Absolutely! Eye-tracking for wildlife will be a major breakthrough when it gets here; I think that is what will finally force a lot more sports and wildlife people to start switching to mirrorless. But the super telephoto lenses also have to be there. Olympus' new long lens is more than a year out and I'm not sure Sony or Fuji have many lens choices for us yet.

I'm not going to get an E-MX1, but I'm going to try to be patient with Olympus because I like a lot of what they have done so far and it seems they really are targeting wildlife and bird photographers (not just sports/motor sports, which I don't really care about at all). Also I still think the micro-4/3 format could be ideal for small birds.

Dave
I think it's a clever move to also target pro-shooters more specifically.
It stirs up public interest and also keeps the Olympus visionaries happy.
Important for marketing I believe.
And like for Nikon, the high-end tech that is developed will trickle down to the cheaper models at some point.

Last edited by Vespobuteo : Thursday 31st January 2019 at 22:57.
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