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Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Power OIS

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
But expensive...
Not really is you need this focal length and are married to the 4/3 format already.

There are not many needs that cant be satisfied by this mature format. This lens has an extra advantage with the exceptionally wide zoom range.

This lens will hold its value for at least 5 years and likley for even much longer. Also at 1,599 / $1,699 the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH Power OIS Lens competes will with the Canon 70-200 2.8L big bro at about $1,899.00, albeit at a constant max aperture of 2.8.

Asher
 

Antonio Correia

Active member
You are right Asher.
The lens will be available some time soon and I just may get one, to use on my Panasonic GX7 or on my recently bought Olympus 5 Mark II.

What made - better: What is making me - to consider this lens instead of the Olympus M Zuiko Digital 40-150 f/2.8 lens are a couple of reasons and among them is the weight !

Olympus M Zuiko Digital 40-150 f/2.8 lens weights 760 gr / 880 gr with colar, while the
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4.0 is just 655 gr

Both are - I am sure - pretty good lens. The other day I shot with the Panasonic Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 and I was - again - surprized by the excellent quality of the image. See below, IYP @ f1.2

The label Leica made me read about their cooperation with Panasonic. I hope, the zoom will have a special "je ne sais pas quoi" which differentiates it from the rest of the lens.

 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
You are right Asher.
The lens will be available some time soon and I just may get one, to use on my Panasonic GX7 or on my recently bought Olympus 5 Mark II.

What made - better: What is making me - to consider this lens instead of the Olympus M Zuiko Digital 40-150 f/2.8 lens are a couple of reasons and among them is the weight !

Olympus M Zuiko Digital 40-150 f/2.8 lens weights 760 gr / 880 gr with colar, while the
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4.0 is just 655 g.
Compared to ~ 1500 gm for the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II that is so amazing for me!

Guys like Robert Watcher who use the 4/3 system day in, day out for serious photography will benefit. But the price may be a significant game changer here.

Asher
 

Antonio Correia

Active member
Weight - The reason why I am selling all my Canon equipment !

Almost forgot: it is not the only reason. The other reason is age ! :) :)
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Antonio,

Weight - The reason why I am selling all my Canon equipment !

Almost forgot: it is not the only reason. The other reason is age !
Yours or that of the system?

Indeed, I sold all my Canon gear because of age - mine. I couldn't lift those rigs anymore! And Carla said that when we went to charity banquets and do forth she had to reserve an extra place at the table for my camera rig!

Best regards,

Doug
 

Antonio Correia

Active member
Weight Doug, it is only a problem for the equipment.

Mine has been constant for years and years... ;)

However, even m43 can be heavy - or, rather heavy - if quality is an important matter.
Most quality lenses are heavy. Nothing compared to Canon or Nikon.

Many people are turning to m43 and/or mirrorless.

Cheers ! :)
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Guys,

I think the simple fixed lens cameras such as the 42MP Sony 35mm F2.0 and the 28mm f2.8 16 MP Ricoh GR each produce stunning pictures as a carry with camera for all social occasions!

The GR also has a nifty high resolution 21mm equivalent addon lens you give to your friendly super-patient spouse!

But, of course you don’t get the reach of the new Leica 50-200 mm lens! For most situations, a fixed lens turns out to be liberating!

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Active member
Compared to ~ 1500 gm for the Canon 70-200 2.8L IS II that is so amazing for me!

Guys like Robert Watcher who use the 4/3 system day in, day out for serious photography will benefit. But the price may be a significant game changer here.

Asher

With my Olympus four/thirds gear, my 50-200 f2.8/3.5 (edited from 50-250 f2.8/3.8) was a staple for my portrait and wedding work - it alongside a second body with my 12-60mm f2.8/4. But things have changed a lot for me.

This lens looks like a nice tele focal length range. I would have to have specific work that would justify the cost and size. I only shoot with the smallest of lenses with my work these days.

However I have recently had some portrait jobs come in from past clients who have contacted me. These will be photographed when I return to Canada in September and October this year. So I am considering a professional zoom lens to go with my micro 4/3 Olympus bodies. Taking into account the cost involved in purchasing a pro caliber lens - I checked out the available zoom options from different brands and made a decision to purchase the Olympus 12-100mm f4 —— a range that wasn’t available with 4/3 or I would have had it instead of buying two lenses. I like having one lens to handle wide to tele if possible. I will be making that purchase when I get to Canada.

But everyone’s needs are different. 12-100mm (24-200 equiv) makes far more sense for my people photography. As for a comparison of this Pany lens to the Oly 40-150 - the price I am seeing in Canada would make it hard to justify the Panasonic at $2,200 (an additional $600 for the teleconvertor if you want to get any real reach out it) compared to Olympus 40-150 f2.8 at $1,750.

The Panasonic is lighter at 655 g / 21.10 oz. (Olympus 880g (1.94 lbs.)) and smaller at 76 x 132 mm / 2.99 x 5.20 inch (Olympus 79.4 x 160mm (3.1 x 6.29 inch)). However the Olympus 12-100f4 that I will likely be getting is even lighter at 1.23 lb (561 g) and not a lot different in size.

For my travel needs in the 40-150 (80-300mm) zoom range I need nothing more than my Little (190g and 2.5x3.27") $200 CAD Olympus 40-150 f4/5.6 that I got on sale for $95 - that produces great images and has been used and abused in hot Nicaragua and cold Guatemala weather and sand and rain and volcanic dust, every day without a hiccup.

So small is good. Massive price to pay for that. And if you are shooting with Panasonic bodies - especially if it doesn’t have in body stabilization like Olympus bodies do —it may make more sense. A tough call.

———-
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks Robert,

That’s a wealth of detail to assimilate and a good source for folk to reference!

I think I will need to make a table of the lenses, prices, magnifications and weight to really integrate this, but I get the idea.

I guess that for enlargements, if you did need the max size, then would the new Leica option deliver a better image than current Panasonic and Olympus options? IOW, are the micro 4/3 sensors currently challenging the quality and resolving power of the 4/3 lenses and does the Leica then solve any resulting such issues?

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Active member
Thanks Robert,

That’s a wealth of detail to assimilate and a good source for folk to reference!

I think I will need to make a table of the lenses, prices, magnifications and weight to really integrate this, but I get the idea.

I guess that for enlargements, if you did need the max size, then would the new Leica option deliver a better image than current Panasonic and Olympus options? IOW, are the micro 4/3 sensors currently challenging the quality and resolving power of the 4/3 lenses and does the Leica then solve any resulting such issues?

Asher
I have no concrete evidence, but I highly doubt that there would be any noticeable difference detected in an enlargement made from Leica/Panasonic or Olympus lenses. Obviously cheaper grade consumer glass would be slightly inferior and there may be a noticeable difference side by side. More noticeable difference wide open though, than when stopped down to f6.3 or f8. The content of the image would make a difference too.

The largest that I have printed with my micro 4/3 gear is 13”x19”. I was very happy with the results - especially pleased with several prints of that size that were captured with an Olympus E-PL5 and the $90 for mentioned 40-150 Olympus kit lens that I still use on a daily basis. Keep in mind that I am only interested in real world results. No interest in comparisons or micro analyzing.


As for sensor resolving power, what can I say - with my 8 and 10mp four thirds bodies that were my working cameras for many years, I produced 24x36 and 30x40 prints that my portrait clients payed big money for. My albums often included double spreads of 12”x24” - and I always tended to crop my images. The prints were excellent to my eyes and there were no complaints from my clients. Now they were made with the 50-200 and 12-60 pro Olympus lenses which were of a caliber similar to any of the lenses being mentioned in this post.
—-


——
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Robert,

This last post is even more helpful and sobering, especially your postitive client experience from large prints with 8MP and 12MP Olympus sensors.

Also what is especially noteworthy is how your bargain 50mm-250mm lens has withstood the rigorscof your daily street photography in rather ungentle circumstances! One of the arguments for “Pro Gear” is the resilience to harsh demanding conditions of use. Essentially you are like a news reporter for Reuters or some other mainline agency.

What it says is that one just needs a great body, ascthat brings image stabilization and shutter speed you want and the lenses one can afford!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
BTW, do you refer to the Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED SWD Zuiko Zoom Lens for Olympus Digital Cameras, which provides the equivalent of 100-500mm or is this a different lens?

In micro 4/3 do folk talk in terms of 35mm full frame equivalent or the a dual focal length before adding the mag factor?

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Active member
Robert,

This last post is even more helpful and sobering, especially your postitive client experience from large prints with 8MP and 12MP Olympus sensors.

Also what is especially noteworthy is how your bargain 50mm-250mm lens has withstood the rigorscof your daily street photography in rather ungentle circumstances! One of the arguments for “Pro Gear” is the resilience to harsh demanding conditions of use. Essentially you are like a news reporter for Reuters or some other mainline agency.

What it says is that one just needs a great body, ascthat brings image stabilization and shutter speed you want and the lenses one can afford!

Asher
Thanks Asher

The bargain kit lens is the 40-150 f4/f5.6 - equivalent to 80-300mm on a full frame.

While I do own the pro Olympus E-M1 body, it sits in my apartment most of the time. I use the inexpensive consumer bodies - EPL’s and E-M10. These little guys are built like bricks, small and made of steel. Last year I fell onto the street in one of the cities down here and smashed my lowly E-M10 into the cobble stone streets as I reached to the ground to break my fall (my camera is always on a wrist strap.

I expected the camera body and lens to be smashed to smitherines when I got my senses. Not the case. The battery flap popped open and there a small crack in the corner of the tiltable LCD screen on back. I put the battery back in, turned it on and it continues to work perfectly till this day - although the screen crack has extended it’s reach a little.

I would be a camera companies worst advocate for endorsing pro gear. Not that I haven’t owned good quality gear and have no problem purchasing it if I can financially justify a return on it and would use it regularly. The very odd time I had a specific need one o r twice a year in my studio, like needing a Hassy SWD or huge Speedotron strobe packs, I rented them. My favorite camera to own was my Mamyia RZ67 with 3 amazing lenses and eye level A/E prism finder. But reality was that in 10 years of having it, it probably used for less than 5% of my shooting assignments.


———
 

Robert Watcher

Active member
BTW, do you refer to the Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED SWD Zuiko Zoom Lens for Olympus Digital Cameras, which provides the equivalent of 100-500mm or is this a different lens?

In micro 4/3 do folk talk in terms of 35mm full frame equivalent or the a dual focal length before adding the mag factor?

Asher
Yes that is the Olympus pro lens that I used for my work. I paid $1,300 CAD for it back in 2007/2008.

I am not a spokesman for micro 4/3 LOL. but I always think of the effect that I will get from my lenses, in the equivalent of the look I know I would get with that focal length on my 35mm Olympus film cameras (with that lens 100-400mm). But when I talk about the lens, I refer to the micro 4/3 designation (with that lens 50-200). As a Canadian I am used to thinking in both metric and imperial measurements - so it’s not a big deal for me.


——



——
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Yes that is the Olympus pro lens that I used for my work. I paid $1,300 CAD for it back in around 2008.

I am not a spokesman for micro 4/3 LOL. but I always think of the effect that I will get from my lenses, in the equivalent of the look I know I would get with that focal length on my 35mm Olympus film cameras (with that lens 100-500mm). But when I talk about the lens, I refer to the micro 4/3 designation (with that lens 50-250). As a Canadian I am used to thinking in both metric and imperial measurements - so it’s not a big deal for me.


——



——
But the lens I found is “50-200”. Is there another one 50-250mm?

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Active member
But the lens I found is “50-200”. Is there another one 50-250mm?

Asher

My mistake. It was 50-200 mm not 250. I made the adjustment in above replies. It’s been a while since I switched to micro 4/3 and got rid of that gear. Sorry to mislead you.


That lens is still listed on Henry’s website. https://www.henrys.com/23952-OLYMPUS-50-200MM-E-F2-8-3-5-SWD-LENS.aspx . Many photographers are using it on their Olympus micro 4/3 bodies with the Olympus adapter, because it was such a wonderful lens, and it will work in auto focus.


—-
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
What stunned me just now is that for $1597 one can have 800 mm reach in a 4/3 system.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens

So for occasional birding, for me with. GFX MF Camera, the micro 4/3 seems like bargain territory!

Asher
 

Robert Watcher

Active member
What stunned me just now is that for $1597 one can have 800 mm reach in a 4/3 system.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH. POWER O.I.S. Lens

So for occasional birding, for me with. GFX MF Camera, the micro 4/3 seems like bargain territory!

Asher
I agree. That range is far more useful to me that the limited 200mm/400mm upper limit. I owned a 70-300mm (140-600mm) lens for my four third system and found that I often still had to crop to get close enough to subjects in the jungles of Costa Rica. But I did love that 600mm full frame equivalent reach. The Pany 100-400 gives a little more reach, mind you at a much heavier cost than the lens I had. But dirt cheap compared to a price tag of around $12,000 USD for a 600mm Canikon lens.


——-
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I agree. That range is far more useful to me that the limited 200mm/400mm upper limit. I owned a 70-300mm (140-600mm) lens for my four third system and found that I often still had to crop to get close enough to subjects in the jungles of Costa Rica. But I did love that 600mm full frame equivalent reach. The Pany 100-400 gives a little more reach, mind you at a much heavier cost than the lens I had. But dirt cheap compared to a price tag of around $12,000 USD for a 600mm Canikon lens.


——-
I remember you once showed us a snake taken, I think with a 150-300 mm 4/3rds lens, (or the 300-600 equivalent in 35mm terms). I was so impressed how little burdensome “stuff” you had to schlepp around!

Such “getting away from holy ”Canikon” is kinda like “reaching towards God” through being in a plain meeting room as a pious Congregationalist, as opposed the rich statues, columns, vaulted ceilings, stained glass windows, golden goblets, embroided robes and processions and finally, those carved wooden box confessionals of the established Catholic Church of Peter! While all the latter have bespoke value, one can get the job done admirably well without the extra, (admittedly beautiful and awesome),
stuff”!

I hope no one thinks I am blasphemous, but if one can get the job done with less, then that’s likely to be the way I would choose! But diehard Canon fanboys and Nikonophils would hardly ever pick up a mere Olympus 4/3, (as it’s not “serious”), despite being 5-axis image stabilized, having the envious pedigree of Zuiko lenses and the fact that these “”toy cameras” have been be used in the rain by Pros for the past decade or more!

Anyone know, does one see Oly camera’s in sports photographers hands in major sports arenas, I wonder?

My good Afriend Will Thompson, for example, is religious in his devotion to Canon. He is always first in the USA to order all new bodies and lenses and derided me for switching to the upstart Sony A7R as there was no way it could even focus like a Canon!

Your work with the Olympus cameras really opened up my eyes and now I am a believer!

Asher
 

Antonio Correia

Active member
I bought the Olympus 5 Mark II in second hand in a very special way. I know a guy to whom I bought the camera and a lens 12-40 f/2.8 when I bought my Oly 7-14.
I kept meeting him on the street and asked: " Hey, how about some shots ?" He was never taking photographs.
The camera came to my hands with 1.220 shots ! What a bargain !

Now I want to invest in a "lens for the little birds" as my wife says. I am not definitively buying this Panny Leica lens just because it is too expensive and I think I would have not the use for it. Wouldn't I ? :)

So, I moved to the Olympus M Zuiko Digital 40-150 f/2.8 lens which is now taking the flight from the Netherlands. I do believe that recent cameras and lenses have attributes, qualities, coating and so forth that the older models don't. I am - as so many of us - influenced by the media and by the publicity.

My grand-son is having his birthday next 3 May. There will be a little party on the 5th. I hope then, to be able to take some fantastic shots with my Oly 5 II while my wife does the same in different occasions.

I am a little pixel peeper ! I will not regret the money spent !

Thank you both for the instructive discussion. Good shots to you, both !
Nice week end BTW ! :)

 

Antonio Correia

Active member
Wow,

Doies that mean you and Luisa are coming to California!

Hmm, that gives me ideas!

Asher
No, no, no. Sorry ! :)
The elder grand son. The Portuguese one.
The other the Portuguese/American (born in PT and in US since 9 month old) is now in San Diego and he is younger by one year.
:)
 
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