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Thread: Birding Lens For The E-M1

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    Birding Lens For The E-M1

    What Lens are you using on your E-M1 or m4/3 camera for your Bird shots.

    I have been trying out my Canon 70-200 f/4 L lens it weighs 765gms and goes well on the E-M1 with the Kipton adapter a great combo except for the manual focus. Dont mind MF close up when shooting with a Macro Lens Insects or Flowers, though I am no good using it with Birds I cannot focus on their eyes fast enough from a distance before they fly off, its ok if they are at the Bird Bath and rest for a while to have a drink, even then I cannot get the focus spot on hand holding.

    Been researching the Olympus 50-200mm at 995gms I would have to get an adapter that may be the lens for me.

    Thought about the Panasonic 100-300mm 520gms, read don't expect miracles with moving objects ? Birds move

    So what does that leave me with the Olympus 75-300mm 423gms, are there any other light weight lenses or different brands out there I have missed.
    My 52/2011 Challenge

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Morning Mary-Anne,
    Sorry I wasn't awake at 2:00am this morning to respond sooner

    My suggestion would be to go with the m4/3 75-300 for now as it is reasonably cheap and light weight, you did go to Olympus for the light weight didn't you, and weight for the new 300 f4 due out in the next 12 months, I believe it will be around the $1500.00 mark but that is %100 speculation by me. It will be weather sealed and made for the OMD and should be a stellar lens.
    The 50-200 as you say will require an adapter, mmf3 to keep the weather sealing intact, and you'll be looking at the best part of $1000-$1500 for that combo, that does open you up to all the 4/3rds lenses as well of course but they are much bigger and heavier than m4/3. The other issue with 4/3 lens on m4/3 camera is auto focus, while it is quite acceptable it is not great compared to m4/3 or what your used to with your 5d. Your welcome try mine sometime. I have seem some great shots with the 75-300 and I would buy one tomorrow if I didn't have the 50-200, I'm waiting for the 300 f4 as my next acquisition.
    As was mentioned in another post you also have the option of the sigma 50-500, if you can find one, with mmf3 adapter but they are rare these days and probably heavier than the 50-200.
    I have no experience with the Panasonic 100-300 but did consider at one stage, I read mixed reports so decided to wait.
    I hope that helps a little!
    Regards

    David

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    Morning David that's ok I was trying to catch up

    Yes I did go with the E-M1 for the lightness as in a all day walk around lens though I would not mind a heavier Birding lens as most of those shots with the heavier Canon gear are done on the back decking leaning up against a post.
    I will have a think about that light 75-300mm lens, I am waiting to see some images on here.. And yes that info about the 50-200mm helped a lot and Thanks You.

    Back to the painting !!

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    Hi Mary Anne,
    I recently bought the 73-300 for my em 1. It was the obvious choice and really a good deal with the cash back offer. I have the 12-40 also which is an excellent lens and just beautifully made. The 75-300 is quite plasticky and cheap in comparison but to have a reasonable quality long lens which you can put in a jacket pocket is pretty handy.
    Very frustratingly I have a shoulder problem at the moment and can't use hold my camera properly so I haven't given the new lens a good workout yet. I did manage this one from a park bench yesterday - it's not an interesting shot or bird but I think it suggests the lens won't be too bad when I can hold it properly! Oh well, At least the grass is sharp.
    Shot at 300mm and cropped by about 50%
    Last edited by russrad; 14-08-2014 at 2:03pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by russrad View Post
    Hi Mary Anne,
    I recently bought the 73-300 for my em 1. It was the obvious choice and really a good deal with the cash back offer. I have the 12-40 also which is an excellent lens and just beautifully made. The 75-300 is quite plasticky and cheap in comparison but to have a reasonable quality long lens which you can put in a jacket pocket is pretty handy.
    Very frustratingly I have a shoulder problem at the moment and can't use hold my camera properly so I haven't given the new lens a good workout yet. I did manage this one from a park bench yesterday - it's not an interesting shot or bird but I think it suggests the lens won't be too bad when I can hold it properly! Oh well, At least the grass is sharp.
    Shot at 300mm and cropped by about 50%
    Hi russard Oh yes I remembering you mentioning it on another of my Threads and Thank You for taking the time
    Sorry to hear about your shoulder I know all about torn rotator cuffs so I feel for you, hopefully its not that kind of prpblem.
    Actually the image is not too bad for a 50% crop a Spotted Dove I did read about the plastic feel and that's what put me off it..
    I am still thinking about it, nothing stopping me buying it and selling it later if I do get that heavier 300mm lens,
    Though the idea of popping it into a pocket appeals to me as a walk around all day kind of lens .
    I do hope that shoulder heals up quickly and Thanks Again.

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    Thanks Mary Anne, I think its improving now.
    I'm not a fan of long zooms but it does look like we'll be waiting a while for the 300mm. The mirrorless rumours website says 2016 for the telephoto and a 7-14, with a 40-150 pro lens due in 2015.
    http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com
    Last edited by russrad; 14-08-2014 at 4:56pm.

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    Interesting those rumours sites, the Canon one is the same after all they are just rumours, I guess they have to write about something to keep the photographers wishing and hoping.
    To me seeing is believing and I guess what I am after will come one day, and Thanks for that link..

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    I very definitely do not lay any claims to being a bird photographer, but am trying to learn.

    The only semi-decent bird shots I have were taken with my Canon EOS 6D with the fairly slow 100-400 Canon EF 100-400 1:4.5-5.6 L IS under atrocious lighting conditions. I was amazed that the photos turned out as well as they did. The Canon combo, great as it is, is just a bit too heavy for me to lug around all day. So I am now playing with my Olympus gear again.....

    I am currently using an Olympus Zuiko Digital 70-300mm F4-5.6 coupled with an MMF-3 adaptor on my E-M1 in attempts to take photos of birds. Mary-Anne, you are right. - Birds do tend to move. Apart from being a slightly slow lens, its autofocus speed through the MMF-3 is also a bit slow. However, having said this, this combo is great for fairly stationary targets. - Like birds in a bird bath under good lighting conditions.
    Cheers

    Larry
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Canon EOS 6D | EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L II USM | EF 24-105mm 1:4 L IS USM | EF 100-400 1:4.5-5.6 L IS | Speedlight 600EX-RT
    Olympus OM-D E-M1 | Olympus M.Zuiko DIGITAL 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO | Misc 4/3 lenses
    Olympus XZ2 (primarily for P&S and in-the-pocket duties)

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    Larry I am in no hurry for a Birding lens yet while I can still hold that heavy Canon gear, and Yes it is too heavy to cart around all day.
    I will wait for that Olympus 300mm f/4 m4/3 lens to come out then look for images and read the reviews. And Thank You for that info Larry.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    What about the new M.Zuiko PRO 40-150mm f/2.8 that is supposedly due for release very soon? I have the Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 Pro and was planning to make this my next purchase . Would it be a good birding lens?

    http://www.bestmirrorlesscamerarevie...r-mft-cameras/
    Last edited by bcys1961; 23-08-2014 at 10:01pm.
    The name is Brad ......

    OMD EM-1, OMD EM-5MkII, m.Zuiko 12-40mm Pro f2.8, m.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 Pro , m.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro, m.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 , Lee Filters




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    Good choice Brad to follow the 12-40mm lens I have got that 12-40mm lens also. Thank You for posting that link.
    Really prefer a longer reach than that for Birding as I find my Canon 300mm lens is not long enough at times.
    Yes I would imagine that 40-150mm lens will be ok for backyard Birds and closer up ones in the outdoors as it will be the equivalent to a 80-300mm lens on my Canon camera.
    Last edited by Mary Anne; 23-08-2014 at 11:06pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    No problem Mary Anne. According to this link the 40-150mm will be announced next Thursday.

    http://www.dailycameranews.com/2014/...-m1-august-28/

    They also suggest a 300mm f2.8 is development but release date for that could be a year away . That's OK as I will have a year to save up for it . Then I will have covered 12-300mm all with f.2.8 Pro Lenses.

    I will probably also pickup the macro lens in the mean time to play around with as well while I wait for the 300mm to come out .

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    Very interesting Brad, a 300mm f/2.8 would have a hefty price tag and would not be light weight either..
    You will love the macro lens its so light, it is taking me a while to get used to it, shooting with Canon gear too long I guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcys1961 View Post
    No problem Mary Anne. According to this link the 40-150mm will be announced next Thursday.

    http://www.dailycameranews.com/2014/...-m1-august-28/

    They also suggest a 300mm f2.8 is development but release date for that could be a year away . .
    Hi Brad, the 300 will be an f4 lens not f2.8 the 2.8 they mentioned there was a 7-14 f2.8

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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davsv1 View Post
    Hi Brad, the 300 will be an f4 lens not f2.8 the 2.8 they mentioned there was a 7-14 f2.8
    Thanks , maybe the price tag won't be so hefty after all .

    Looks like the 40-150mm maybe around $1500. I was going to get the Lumix 35-100 f2.8 , but when I read about the Oly 40-150mm coming out I thought I would wait and see what it is like .

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    This weekend, I attached my old four thirds mount Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300 1:4-5.6 to the E-M1 via an MMF-3 adaptor and went around playing. I left the camera in "P" mode and clicked away at a whole variety of subjects. Then my lodger yelled something about a bird fluttering away on a tree outside the front window. I flung up the camera, attempted to frame the subject and took the photo.



    If it looks a bit murky, that is because it was taken through a slightly dirty window.

    Then he (she?) flew off and settled on the branch of a tree in the park next door.



    I didn't notice his companion until I downloaded the photo onto my computer.

    I must admit that I am quite impressed at how well the old four-thirds lens works on the E-M1 when coupled via the MMF-3 adaptor. The auto-focus was fairly slow, but not as slow as I was expecting it to be.

    PS: Neither of these photos has been cropped.
    Last edited by griffljg; 25-08-2014 at 7:32pm.

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