I'm looking for a lens longer than 135mm for my Olympus.
Something in the 200 to 300mm range.
I see that many people are not impressed by the longer lenses in the Olympus lineup.
Seems to be many comments about CA being a problem.
I was thinking about the 200mm f4 or the 300mm f4.5.
But I was wondering i should instead look for an alternative lens.
Perhaps something like the vivitar 200mm f3.5 or a tamron?
What are your experiences with the longer Zuikos and would you reccomend an alt lens instead?
darinwc, I have both the 200/4 and the 300/4.5 and honestly I find them both OK. Both are used mainly handheld, which is not ideal and it depends on your own view of image quality. You probably know already that you should use a shutter speed at least equivalent to the focal length, but it's not that simple. Ideally, you should use a tripod and cable release, whatever film ISO you are using. Ask yourself why you need the extra focal length, what subjects are you aiming for and how big an image do you hope to achieve.
I'm not sure where you are seeing those comments. I have converted a 600f6.5 to a telescope and see little CA compared to Cassegrain designs. The 200f5 is greatly loved and is most likely the smallest 200mm lens ever made. If you are going to carry it in a kit the f5 is much more portable than the f4 (although the f4 is small for its FL). The 300 takes you into another realm as it is much bigger than the 200s and I would be hard pressed to hand hold it.
You may want to look into the T-Cons that Olympus made for the IS series "zlr's" back in the '90's. These are teleconverters that screw onto the filter thread. Unlike other teleconverters there is almost no loss of light as they provide a large objective lens. There were several made: the A-200 has a 49mm thread and 1.5X magnification, B-300 has a 55mm thread and 1.7x, C-210 has a 52mm thread and 1.9X. These are a great way to extend the 200mm to 300mm and beyond with minimal added size, weight or cost. And they are true Zuikos, so the image quality is first rate.
I would recommend looking into a Tamron ADAPTALL 80-210 3.8-4.0 have one myself, and absolutely love it!
darinwc, as my previous post, do you have a specific subject in mind or are you looking simply to extend your range of gear in the hope of some diversity? It's an important decision. I bought my 200/ f4 to photograph animals in a local zoo, busy place, not much room or time to set up a tripod, hence the f4. OTOH, I bought the 300 f4.5 on a whim. I was passing a photo. shop and I saw it in the window at a good price and went for it. I've since managed to find a 1.4 Olympus matched TC, making it a 420mm., I would not attempt to use that combo. handheld. I am not a fan of zoom lenses but I do have one, only one, amongst my collection of 9/10 Zuikos, the 50 - 250mm. Zuiko f5. I bought it as a 'grab it and go' to use on one of my OM bodies. Most importantly, you must decide why you need it,.
I was looking for a telephoto lens for wildlife and events.
There is a nature center nearby. And i have kids. I've also shot a few weddings and found a long lens very useful.
I ended up with a 200mm f4 from ebay that only cost me $30 including shipping. -Cannot say no to that.
I will keep my eye out for a 300mm f4.5. But a working one may be hard to find.
FWIW i am impressed with the 200mm f4 so far. It is sharp, resistant to flare and I dont see any noticeable CA. It is well built. Not overly heavy. A little slow to focus but it stays put.
85mm is already too long for me. Rarely gets used.
I do have the 100-200 zoom. I think I should try it some time.
I have "long" lenses Zuikos 200/4 and 300/4.5. They both are very good especially 200/4 . And I have also long lenses Zuikos 500/8 mirror and 600/6.5. I like both lenses, they need always support, rest or tripod and are moderate slow to prepare for use but when the position is completed pictures are great.
I have no experience alternative lenses so I can't recommend any.
My opinion is no zoom lenses if you want excellent pictures.
I used to have the 300/4.5 and really liked it. I have used it in a wide variety of situations and can recommend it.
I have the 200mm f/4, which is a very nice crisp lens, though I don't use it that often. Haven't found any problem at all with CA. If you have the 135m you may prefer to go for the Zuiko Teleconverter 2X-A, which Olympus designed specifically for the 135 and 200 - that would give you a 270 on top of the 135. The combination is about 3mm longer than the 200 and 15g (half an ounce) lighter - but if you are already carrying the 135 around, adding the 2X-A would be less of a load than adding the 200.
I'm an Oly shooter of old just returning to the film fold after years of (mostly unsatisfactory) digital.
Years ago, I managed to get a hold of withiout doubt the best longer than normal lens I have ever used.
It was a Tamron SP LD 80-200mm f2.8. Particularly at 80-100mm regardless of aperture, the performance was astonishing, and my old folks still have a picture I took of my brother's ship shortly after launch on the Clyde as it made its way out to sea. I was standing on the banks of the Clyde at Renfrew as it sailed past, and I had the resultant image enlarged to 30"x20". It is amazing.
I also once lugged it up onto Lochnagar in the winter, shooting on Kodachrome (sob) with my OM-3 (also sob), another image I enlarged to 30"x20", and the level of detail in the image is just out of this world...
I honestly couldn't recommend it enough, if you get a chance to get your hands on one. They command pretty high prices now, though...
Yes definitely steer clear of the telephoto zoom lenses. I shot a partial solar eclipse with my Z600/6.5 and also a Nikon 500 F4P and the Zuiko beat it hands down. So clear and crisp compared to the Nikon. The Z600 is a superb lens. Get that onto your list!!!!
The 300/4.5 is also such a nice lens to use and very crisp. i bought mine brand new and have had no problems with it ever, especially nice is the built in lens hood. These lenses are gonna be usable for a very long time. Not like the fancy modern teles with all the plastics and fragile little computer chips inside them. They are a ripoff. Sure they give astounding results, but with the poor quality of images dominating our news media these days, the lens isnt that important anymore to the vast majority. But shoot the 300 with a tripod and you will be sure to get awesome landscapes AND startrails!
Some of the Tamron teles are worth buying. I have the 350 mirror lens and it works perfectly with OM's TTL metering system. Perfect exposures with the fixed aperture cats.