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New camera, 150-400 and 2x TC ? (1 Viewer)

opticoholic

Well-known member
There seems to be a lot of disappointment over what's not in the specs rather than what is! The C-AF needs to be top notch otherwise there's not a lot of new stuff there for bird photography - we'll see when the test reports are published.

Yes I saw that. I agree that the C-AF tracking will be critically important and that we must wait for independent testing and not necessarily believe the hype we hear at the launch event.

I'm personally more interested in the new lenses that might be announced. We wait pretty long in-between announcements for new lenses from Olympus and tomorrow the rumor is there will be more than one plus a road map.

Dave
 

Adey Baker

Member
The 2x converter will fit the current 40-150mm F2.8 and 300mm F4 lenses as well as the new 150-400mm so that's one good point. I'm thinking of getting the 1.4x some time but will wait for the tests on the 2x - though I'm not expecting any miracles there!

The AF on the EM1X isn't looking to be anything special as far as wildlife is concerned, though most of the subjects tried seem to be sports-related so it's hard to be sure until they give it to someone with experience of birds-in-flight. There's always the possibility of future upgrades to fine-tune it to subjects' requirements but that's for later. At the moment, with no obvious improvements in 'rolling shutter' effects when using the silent mode, there's nothing for us to get too excited about.
 

Paul Tavares

Well-known member
Focal length equivalency

.........I shoot the PanaLeica 100-400 which is the 200-800 equivalent. ............

Niels

These comparisons on equivalent reach were fine when all cameras had sensors with resolutions of 12 to 16 MP. But when the gap between sensor resolution widens you need to consider the resolution of the sensors. One way to look at it is that a Full Frame sensor has a built in APS-C sensor and a 4:3 sensor. As an example the Nikon Z7 has 46 MP at full resolution, 19.5 MP DX Crop and 12 MP 4:3 sensor.

If a lens projects an object to the full width of an OM-D 4:3 sensor (17.3mm) the image will be 5184 pixels wide (sensor is 5184x3888). The same lens will also project the same width on a FF sensor. The full frame sensor is 35.9 mm wide and 8256x5504 pixels. So the image width in pixels on the FF sensor, to the 17.3mm width, will be 8256*17.3/35.9=3979 pixels. This compares with 5184 on the OM-D so the crop factor is 5184/3979=1.30. Not 2.0. For a 16MP 4:3 sensor the crop factor is less at 1.16.

The argument that number of pixels don't matter is subjective but for me it is important. The images from my first two fixed lens cameras do not fill a 4K display. The images taken with my GH1 are great but with a little cropping sometimes do not fill a 4K display. My present camera has a 24MP sensor (6000x4000) but it will not fill an 8K display.

What I've found is that since 2010 the quality of the images I've taken on three different cameras are all very good and the only reason to change camera is for more resolution on the sensor. On my RAW developer I can't really distinguish between an image taken in 2010 and one in 2019. Sorry if this rambled on a bit.
 

Jim M.

Choose Civility
I'm personally more interested in the new lenses that might be announced. We wait pretty long in-between announcements for new lenses from Olympus and tomorrow the rumor is there will be more than one plus a road map.

Dave

Also more interested in the lenses. But the lens announcement is kind of a yawn I think since it doesn't give much new info, and the new info they give isn't too exciting. They are only announcing "the development" of the 150-400 f4.5. No pricing, dimensions, or weight. Expected availability is 2020. They do claim it will be compact and lightweight, but that might just be a comparison to an 800 mm lens for a full frame camera--that's how they marketed the 300m f4.

The only other super telephoto listed on the roadmap is not in the pro line, and lacks specifics but looks to be something like a 100-400 mm lens based on the map diagram. But since it is not in the pro line I'm skeptical it will match the quality of the PL 100-400. But this could be a nice development for those who find the cost of the PL 100-400 prohibitive.

They do say the 2x teleconverter will be available sometime this year, and claim it will be possible to shoot handheld at 2000 mm equivalent. So that indicates it can be combined with the 150-400 with the built-in 1.25x teleconverter enabled, though image quality of such a combo remains to be seen. They also say you can use the 2x on the 300 mm F4; seems mildly interesting if you know you are going to be shooting most things at a distance, but is a pretty small field-of-view (as well as slow) to be stuck with if you have to shoot something big or close. But could be good for, e.g., shorebirds.
 
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opticoholic

Well-known member
Yes Jim,
I agree with you. The whole "event" was a bit disappointing. First of all the new camera itself is not really what I want (or most micro-4/3 enthusiasts) and its behind the competition in some ways (EVF, video, and maybe the AF tracking... we'll have to wait to see but it seems like they prioritized motor sports over wildlife or BIF). I was hoping for at least 1 prime super telephoto on the road map with a focal length longer than 300. I knew it might not happen but I was hopeful based on the sports/action oriented target market for the big new MX1 camera. The new zoom lens could be really excellent, but it is probably more than a year off for Pete's sake. Then in the shorter focal lengths, almost everything on the map is a zoom, and no estimated timerframes for any of them. The only primes suggested on the map are "bright" which suggests to me that they will be more huge expensive lenses with f/1.2 maximum aperture (or even faster?). Not what I was hoping for. In my opinion the Olympus system with its high res mode should have more ultra-wide choices. I'd like to see 1 or 2 really nice wide primes without the bulbous front element to take filters more easily, and not insanely fast to keep the size and price down. Something like a 10 or 10.5mm f/2.8. Someone on the other forum said that maybe Olympus looked at what it takes to make a really good prime ultra-wide and just decided they could almost get the same quality with a zoom that has broader appeal. It does look like one of the planned zooms might be something like ~8-28mm or something, and that might be a very nice landscape lens. Still at this point with such a full-fledged system I think more wide primes are overdue now. For that matter I wouldn't mind seeing several new or upgraded smallish f/2 or f/2.8 primes, maybe weather-sealed, including a longer macro at say 100 or maybe 125mm. Olympus is such a great camera for macro with their automatic focus stacking features, but still only the 60mm macro. I know it's a nice lens, but having the choice of a longer macro with more working distance would be nice. I don't think I'm the only one who's been hoping for a lot of this, but Olympus is doing their own thing. Oh well.

Dave
 
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Jim M.

Choose Civility
I wouldn't mind seeing several new or upgraded smallish f/2 or f/2.8 primes, maybe weather-sealed, including a longer macro at say 100 or maybe 125mm. Olympus is such a great camera for macro with their automatic focus stacking features, but still only the 60mm macro. I know it's a nice lens, but having the choice of a longer macro with more working distance would be nice. I don't think I'm the only one who's been hoping for a lot of this, but Olympus is doing their own thing. Oh well.

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).
 
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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
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
 

Adey Baker

Member
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!
 

opticoholic

Well-known member
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/61923...-5-pro-lens-with-built-in-1-25x-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
 
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njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
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.

Niels
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
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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opticoholic

Well-known member
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.

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
 

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Jim M.

Choose Civility
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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Vespobuteo

Well-known member
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...ympus-exec-explains-the-thinking-behind-e-m1x
 

Vespobuteo

Well-known member
Using "Airplane AF Tracking Mode" in the EM1x for birds (eagles) seems to work. o:)

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.
 
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opticoholic

Well-known member
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...ympus-exec-explains-the-thinking-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."​


Using "Airplane AF Tracking Mode" in the EM1x for birds (eagles) seems to work. o:)

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
 
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Vespobuteo

Well-known member
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.
 
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