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View Full Version : Digital Lenses Zuiko Digital (Olympus) 50-200 SWD



tspore
11-03-2007, 10:33 PM
This is the updated version of the Olympus 50-200 classic.

Official press release (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/special/E3_zuiko.php).

Official fourthirds site (http://www.four-thirds.org/en/products/telephoto.html#50-200swf)

Support this site by ordering below:
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PeterKBurian
01-14-2008, 06:44 PM
Lots of discussions about this incredible new lens in the Chit Chat section.

Peter Burian

cisaaca
02-22-2008, 11:20 AM
http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l52/microcosmic/Garbage/products/50200.jpg

Got mine on Monday. The lens has an overhaul physically, now its slightly longer, fatter with a SHG styling. Nice. Handling is still good, no more fly by wire focusing. Sharpness seems to have increased. But I shall leave the experts to do the MTF analysis. Like the overall feel of this lens. Focusing is twice as fast. Hunts a little lesser than the older brother too.

BL3
02-26-2008, 05:20 AM
I've had my copy of this lens for about a week, now. Focus speed has indeed improved and I find that the lens hunts less when the (E-3) camera is in CAF mode, which improves my "hit rate". I can't really see an increase in sharpness over its predecessor, though. My opinion is that this lens is really only justified over the less expensive version when it will be used with the E-3 and its focus system.

Rocky

http://bl3.smugmug.com/photos/257380122_NhHQ2-L.jpg

srf4real
07-15-2008, 03:06 PM
It is nice to see that this lens is great to use, since I never dreamt of spending this kind of money on camera equipment until the 4/3 bug hit me a year ago... The images from the 50-200 SWD resemble the image quality and responsiveness I am used to with the Leica 14-50 ƒ/2.8-3.5, only the 50-200 is faster focusing, whisper quiet, and has the reach I need for sports and wildlife subjects. It is as sharp if not sharper than the Leica, my best lens up to this point. I am pleased with the rendering of images from the 50-200, and have not had any 'bad bokeh' experiences yet.

Pros: speed, speed of focus, silent focus, very well constructed, weather sealed, nice zoom, focus ring is smooth and moves from closest distance to infinity without having to contort my wrist! Lens cap has a sliding slot / door to adjust a polarizing filter while lens cap is attached to lens. Easy for me to manual focus even with the tiny L1 viewfinder. Very nice feel when attached to the L1, not awkward at all. Works very well with EC-14 1.4x teleconverter, effective focal length of 580mm at maximum aperture of f/5, still get hand held keepers with no image stabilization... the surfing photo sample is taken with 50-200 pluc EC-14 combination.

Cons: It's pretty big, definitely not a lens for candid people shots. I will not put price down as a minus, as after seeing image quality and the silent, quick, accurate focus, it is worth every penny to me. It is substantial in weight, but I still feel comfortable using it hand held. I can't think of any real cons haha!

Price paid: The local shop had one, marked at $1199 US. I asked for a discount, mentioning that it is going for $1000 online - and paid $1099 plus tax. It is worthwhile to pay a little extra to keep the local camera store in business, in my county it is the only one who carries a decent Olympus stock!

mrm510
07-16-2008, 09:59 AM
I have used my 50-200mm SWD for a couple of weeks now and its my favorite lens.
I use it in combo with the Ec14 & Ec20 for reach with acceptable results.
Can't compare to the older model since I never used one.


Pros: Fast, Good IQ, Good Color, Good Focal Range.
Cons: price

Samples

bg2b
07-26-2008, 05:40 AM
I sold a Nikon lens and bought this. Have to maintain the balance you know :)... Observations are based on shooting everything around the house and yard until the wife started complaining, not on "real" use.

Pros: good sharpness wide-open in the center (edges improve slightly one stop down); usual pleasing-to-me Olympus color rendition; no chromatic aberration that I noticed, but I have to try some more to provoke it (this was my biggest complaint about my old 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5); reasonably quiet focusing; fast focusing on my E-1 in reasonable light; not as heavy as I was expecting; construction seems very solid; manual focus feels very nice and with no more focus-by-wire; you can focus with the camera turned off; hood has a window for polarizer manipulation; center-pinch lens cap (finally! :thumbup:)

Cons: still somewhat heavy; hood is enormous and won't fit in my bag; tripod foot tends to get in the way for handheld use (I removed it); lens must be unmounted to remove tripod foot; "nervous" bokeh in some situations, though I don't have a good feel for exactly when yet

Price paid: $949 before Microsoft live search cashback; $719 after I get the cashback in 56 more days

Edit: With more detailed experimentation, I found that the lens does have a bit of longitudinal chromatic aberration (red/blue fringing in front of the focal plane, green behind), at least when used wide open. I didn't experiment stopped down, though such aberration generally improves in that case. It's subtle enough that I had to go really looking for it (using black and white targets viewed at 100-200% magnification), and I don't consider it an issue for real photos. It's much better than the Nikon 105mm lens that I sold, which was an f/2 lens, but which had slap-me-in-the-face longitudinal CA until stopped down to f/5.6.

moggi1964
10-12-2008, 03:10 PM
I have the E420 and am looking to invest in a telephoto lens. I have in mind pictures of the motorcycle racing at Indianapolis next year (I went this year and the stock 14-42 was just not close enough). I am reading good things about two lenses: Zuiko 50-200 SWD Zuiko 70-300 So, clearly there is a performance as well as a price gap. I will need to shoot fast moving bikes and will likely be under a stand at Indy so I'm not sure what the light conditions will be. Will the 70-300 cut it in your opinion or should I play safe and get the 50-200? I will be selling a telescope to pay for the purchase though I will be about $200 short if I go with the latter lens but an eyepiece sale should cover that :)

lendur2
10-12-2008, 04:22 PM
You have a 400-series camera, so you might want to look over on the PanaLeica side where lenses have on-lens IS.

Victory Lane Forum
10-12-2008, 05:10 PM
I shot over 35K pics of auto racing this year primarily with the old 40-150 kit lens........one of if not the best kit lens ever. You can pick one up for between $90-150 I would imagine

moggi1964
10-12-2008, 07:43 PM
You have a 400-series camera, so you might want to look over on the PanaLeica side where lenses have on-lens IS.
Thanks, I will look into that. I like the idea of IS at that FL.

moggi1964
10-12-2008, 07:45 PM
I shot over 35K pics of auto racing this year primarily with the old 40-150 kit lens........one of if not the best kit lens ever. You can pick one up for between $90-150 I would imagine
Fabulous selection of pics on your site.
It seems you get a lot closer to the action than I can and what with the bikes being a lot smaller profile I think I am going to look at the IS lenses mentioned above.

Thanks for the insight though; it's appreciated..

moggi1964
10-12-2008, 08:24 PM
Yikes!

Didn't realise the PL lenses were so expensive. I love the look of the 14-150 but at $1200 it's not going to be on my list for some time - I have run out of eyepieces to sell :eek:!

Seems a non-IS and a tripod/monopod might be the order of the day (for now).

More research required!

srf4real
10-13-2008, 05:28 PM
Seems a non-IS and a tripod/monopod might be the order of the day (for now).

More research required!In my opinion, IS is of no benefit when you are shooting with fast shutter speeds to stop action anyways. I use the L1 body (no IS) with the 50-200 SWD (no IS) and easily achieve shutter speeds above and beyond 1/1000 seconds at minimum ISO even a couple stops down. A monopod, certainly! I wouldn't worry too much about IS, unless you're aiming to use the lens for indoor portraits without ample lighting... I have found my own abilities limit shutter speed to 1/50 seconds at 50mm and 1/200 seconds at 200mm and still get sharp unblurred photos. If you aim to freeze a bike moving at 100+ miles an hour, even if your panning skills are supreme you will need to shoot at 1/500 sec. at least!

I'll repeat, don't think IS will do you any good for the stated application.;)
Also, as great as the 70-300mm lens is, you might find it easier to hand hold while panning fast bikes with great results. It is not quite as contrasty and sharp unless the light is very excellent, though.

moggi1964
10-13-2008, 05:37 PM
In my opinion, IS is of no benefit when you are shooting with fast shutter speeds to stop action anyways. I use the L1 body (no IS) with the 50-200 SWD (no IS) and easily achieve shutter speeds above and beyond 1/1000 seconds at minimum ISO even a couple stops down. A monopod, certainly! I wouldn't worry too much about IS, unless you're aiming to use the lens for indoor portraits without ample lighting... I have found my own abilities limit shutter speed to 1/50 seconds at 50mm and 1/200 seconds at 200mm and still get sharp unblurred photos. If you aim to freeze a bike moving at 100+ miles an hour, even if your panning skills are supreme you will need to shoot at 1/500 sec. at least!

I'll repeat, don't think IS will do you any good for the stated application.;)
Also, as great as the 70-300mm lens is, you might find it easier to hand hold while panning fast bikes with great results. It is not quite as contrasty and sharp unless the light is very excellent, though.
I truly appreciate the input on the IS/No IS matter.

I figure if I give up IS then I will need to swap lenses for indoor stuff but that is fine.

I think I need to get a look through a couple of these lenses to get a grasp as to what the magnification is really like. I have spent the last few years in astronomy so relative magnification is a little hard to appreciate :)

I do get the feeling that I will plump for the non-IS and learn to use that to its maximum.

Thanks for the advice.

moggi1964
10-13-2008, 05:40 PM
In my opinion, IS is of no benefit when you are shooting with fast shutter speeds to stop action anyways. I use the L1 body (no IS) with the 50-200 SWD (no IS) and easily achieve shutter speeds above and beyond 1/1000 seconds at minimum ISO even a couple stops down. A monopod, certainly! I wouldn't worry too much about IS, unless you're aiming to use the lens for indoor portraits without ample lighting... I have found my own abilities limit shutter speed to 1/50 seconds at 50mm and 1/200 seconds at 200mm and still get sharp unblurred photos. If you aim to freeze a bike moving at 100+ miles an hour, even if your panning skills are supreme you will need to shoot at 1/500 sec. at least!

I'll repeat, don't think IS will do you any good for the stated application.;)
Also, as great as the 70-300mm lens is, you might find it easier to hand hold while panning fast bikes with great results. It is not quite as contrasty and sharp unless the light is very excellent, though.
I truly appreciate the input on the IS/No IS matter.

I figure if I give up IS then I will need to swap lenses for indoor stuff but that is fine.

I think I need to get a look through a couple of these lenses to get a grasp as to what the magnification is really like. I have spent the last few years in astronomy so relative magnification is a little hard to appreciate :)

I do get the feeling that I will plump for the non-IS and learn to use that to its maximum.

Rob, you have both the 300 and the 200SWD; if you had to plump for one of them which would it be and why? (In a Katie Couric voice if you prefer) :D

Thanks for the advice.

srf4real
10-13-2008, 08:19 PM
Rob, you have both the 300 and the 200SWD; if you had to plump for one of them which would it be and why? (In a Katie Couric voice if you prefer) :D

Thanks for the advice.I owned the 70-300 first, and love it. I bought the 50-200 SWD for its speed and reputed high IQ, to 'test the waters' on Oly's higher grade lens line.

If the 70-300 were all i knew, I would have been satisfied with it for years and years.. although it is a challenging lens to use successfully on cloudy days or indoors.

However, knowing the 50-200 SWD now, I should have saved my money for this lens in the first place, and the EC-14 for longer reach. I have not used the 70-300 at all since putting the 50-200 in my bag... but I will save it for a back-up body in the future or when I want to travel light, so it's a tough call to make.

I guess if it depends much on the budget, go with the 70-300 and you'll not be sorry - but if the best IQ possible and a faster lens takes priority over the budget, you must get the 50-200 eventually... ha ha no help at all am I?!:D

moggi1964
10-14-2008, 08:01 AM
..... ha ha no help at all am I?!:D
Couldn't have put it better myself :p

Actually you have helped me decide, I just need to convince myself I am right :D

Looks like my beloved scope is going up for sale.

I'll let you know how things go and thanks again.

moggi1964
10-14-2008, 05:37 PM
Leica 14-150mm used or Olympus 50-200mm new for same price.

Which do you go for?

Tell me quickly :)

bitslizer
10-14-2008, 05:45 PM
see if you can find them on Ebay, get $200 off with the live cashback, picked up my 50-200swd NEW for $800 after cashback (then i sold my 70-300 on ebay for $310, about $285net after ebay/paypal fees)

bringing the 50-200swd overall cost to about $500 :D


I tried to get a forum member to put up his used copy of 50-200swd on ebay even offering to cover his ebay cost, but no go... would have got the lens for $650 after cashback and selling my 70-300 would have bring overall cost down to about $365 :(

moggi1964
10-14-2008, 07:44 PM
Just bought the 50-200mm new on Ebay for $1000 minus $200 cashback.

:D

Now I need to sell that telescope before the wife looks at the bank account:eek:

bikas
10-15-2008, 10:51 AM
Hi,

I just wanted to ask is it worth upgrading from old 50-200mm to new one? I have an old 50-200 mm which I'm pretty happy with (but haven't got any chance to shoot fast action shot and so not encountered hunting). But with the live cashback currently on place, I am too tempted to get SWD version? If I can sell my old one for $600-650 I'll have to pay around $150 extra. So is the speed of SWD version worth upgrading for $150??? Btw, I have an E-3.

I really appreciate any help.

bik

Jim Flinchbaugh
10-15-2008, 04:03 PM
Others have said that the difference is only noticeable on the E3. You wont see any increase in performance on the other bodies. So, if you have difficulty with your style of shooting, I'd upgrade. I just picked the older version used this week for $550. and I have to say I am impressed big time! I thought the kit lenses where good. WOW!

Jim

moggi1964
10-17-2008, 02:25 PM
Just bought the 50-200mm new on Ebay for $1000 minus $200 cashback.

:D

Now I need to sell that telescope before the wife looks at the bank account:eek:
It arrived :)

Big isn't it :eek:

Testing it out tomorrow on my coverage of the 3 Day 60 mile walk in Philly for Breast Cancer; my Wife and Sister in Law are walking. I shot about 60 pics today with the 14-42 and will try out the big guy tomorrow. It should come into its own on Sat=Saturday for the stadium pictures.

I'll post some when we get back.

moggi1964
10-26-2008, 09:22 PM
Okay, here's a quick handheld jpeg conversion from RAW with no PP using the 50-200mm.

Can't remember the settings but will look them up tomorrow.

Nothing special but I liked it. I will post a picture showing some range of colour tomorrow.

SCT
11-16-2008, 07:58 PM
I am also looking to get a 50-200swd to go with my new e520 and wondering if someone can tell me how to get the live cashback offer? Looked for it on ebay but couldn't find it. Thanks, Steve

moggi1964
11-16-2008, 08:49 PM
here's where i found the 35% off: http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=nintendo+wii&form=QBRE (http://www.fatwallet.com/redirect/bounce.php?afsrc=1&url=http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=nintendo+wii&form=QBRE) ... not sure if they have higher % off in other places?

Click on that and replace Wii in the search function with the product you need and hot return. Near the top should be seen a get 25% off on ebay for your item. Click that on follow the instructions.

Have fin.

moggi1964
11-16-2008, 09:18 PM
Picture of my kid playing soccer with his team a couple of weeks ago. :camera:

Of course, he's the one on the ball :D

SCT
11-16-2008, 09:59 PM
Cool. Thank you

SCT
11-23-2008, 02:47 PM
Does anyone know of a visual comparison with the 70-300 vs the 50-200 with a 1.4 converter to show me the difference in quality of photos. Even the 50-200 with the 2.0 would be a good comparison. I'm doing some wildlife photograpy and want to make sure it'll make a substantial difference in the quality of images before I purchase one. I'd love to take peoples opinions but I'd also like to see image comparisons. Thanks, Steve

You can email a large file to me at falcotait@hotmail.com

srf4real
11-24-2008, 10:22 AM
Tony did spend some time making a comparison for us... here (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/teleconverters/).:)

SCT
11-25-2008, 05:04 PM
Is there any good reviews that compare the zuiko 50-200 to the 70-200 f2.8 sigma??

cfc247
11-29-2008, 03:48 PM
Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum and to 4/3, came from Nikon. I just recently picked up a Leica Digilux 3. I am considering the 50-200 for telephoto work.

I know this may seem a bit redundant, but it wasn't spelled out clearly or confirmed by others on this post. So could someone tell me whether there would be any difference between the older and the newer WSD version of this lens on my Leica Digilux 3? Are there any other differences between the two in addition to the WSD (which only works on the E3?)?

Thanks in advance.

Mark

cledry
12-03-2008, 06:40 PM
Okay, here's a quick handheld jpeg conversion from RAW with no PP using the 50-200mm.

Can't remember the settings but will look them up tomorrow.

Nothing special but I liked it. I will post a picture showing some range of colour tomorrow.

Looks tiny when I compare the moon shot with those I get from my little Lumix FZ30. I'm sure you could crop the heck out of it and blow the quality of the FZ30 away, but I am still amazed at how good that bridge cam can be under the right circumstances.

srf4real
12-03-2008, 07:53 PM
Looks tiny when I compare the moon shot with those I get from my little Lumix FZ30. I'm sure you could crop the heck out of it and blow the quality of the FZ30 away, but I am still amazed at how good that bridge cam can be under the right circumstances.
I share your enthusiasm about the FZ's... I had a FZ50 until very recently. I never got a moon shot with it that didn't have substantial chromatic aberration issues though. It's a good comparison, similar focal lengths at the long end of around 400mm equivalent.

That said, I'd like to assure you that other than similar focal length and possibly megapixels, there is no similarity in image quality at all. The 50-200 SWD blows the doors off the FZ class as good a bridge cam as it is, Leica lens and all. I finally gave mine up after realizing that I couldn't accept its limitations any longer after using Olympus dslr gear and fine lenses... to a good home, of course! A young surfer friend of mine is using it to explore the world of photography these days!

Nowadays I lament that I spent $700 on the fuzzy fifty about six months before dslr prices came down below that range!:doh:

Please allow me to share another tube from the inlet taken with the E-3 and 50-200 SWD

camera settings: 1/800 sec, f/5.0, ISO 100 at 200mm, aperture priority from distance of approx. 50 meters.
http://i235.photobucket.com/albums/ee126/surferRob_photos/_B154399.jpg

ldf193
09-24-2009, 11:46 PM
Great lens. I was looking into getting a telephoto and needed something fast in terms of aperture as well as focusing. The only option was the 50-200mm SWD. My primary uses in mind were sport and action.

First impressions: heavy and durable. This really is a large and serious piece of glass. This really isn't a walk around lens hovering around the 1kg mark, but for me that's OK. Size wasn't a consideration for this lens and what it would be used for.

First usage: SWD focussing!!! This is the only lens that i cared about when it came to focusing speed. I don't mind Olympus' standard focusing system (I even like the focus-by-wire thing they have going) but in this case faster focusing was needed. I feel like the SWD answered my prayers. When first used I thought my lens had broke. It was fast and came to a sudden stop as if something inside my lens had hit a brick wall. Turns out... this is normal. The focusing may be fast and quite, but boy can you feel it working. After the initial shock of the SWD focusing I tried the manual focusing, I couldn't really care less myself... but those seeking that mechanical feel will be happy. One last thing worth mentioning, the images captured were noticably crisp and saturated. The 50-200 SWD made a good first impression.

positive: fast focusing, good saturation, sharp, well built, weather sealed, good carry case, good tripod collar

negative: large, heavy, pricey

conclusion: with all lenses you have to look at what you need and weigh these up with the positive and negatives. I found that my needs eliminated all of the negative aspects... and this is the first lens that I feel completely happy with. If you need a lens for events, sports, or a weather-built telephoto zoom then this is the answer. If you don't need fast focusing, bright aperture, and weather sealing then you will be best to look at Olympus' standard grade lenses, which are great in their own right.

Below are two example shots taken with the 50-200mm SWD on an E-520.

This image represents the shots i wanted to be able to capture. This was caught using continuous auto-focus. This is cropped as focusing while zoomed in this close is too difficult. This had +1 saturation and sharpness added to it but, to be honest, didn't require it.
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3424/3868964193_1d253bbe64.jpg

The below image is uncropped and as far as I can remember not post-processed. It shows the sharpness and small depth of field which this lens can provide. Fast focusing also came into play as this bird didn't appear to like staying still.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2428/3889198824_b5094c5686.jpg