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05-02-2014, 09:57 AM   #1
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Adding m4/3 to Pentax gear

I've run into a bit of money and I'd like to add a long telezoom to the camera bag, as I want to get more into wildlife photography. I'm debating a couple of options:

1. Pick up the Sigma 120-400 and use it the K5 I already have. Only disadvantage: the setup would be a bit heavy to haul around.

2. Pick up a m4/3 body and a telezoom like the Oly 75-300 or Pany 100-300.

With either option, I'd get a 600mm equivalent, which should work just fine.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Heather

05-02-2014, 10:13 AM   #2
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I had been thinking along similar lines, though with a regular 4/3 Olympus body since those lenses are in less demand. They do not focus well with m43 bodies (and need an adapter) though I hear the newer bodies do a little better.

I was contemplating a used E500 and 75-300 along with a 14-54 f/2.8-3.5. I really liked the E500's Kodak sensor for color balance and overall IQ compared to the liveMos e510 and later. Sadly the in-body IS came just as the 8Mpxl Kodak sensor left! Still, an m43 body can AF with video which is a nice reason to have one; I owned a GF2 for a short time and found it small and competent but definitely not of K-5 caliber in dynamic range. The newer 16Mpx sensors are a lot better than the GF2.
05-02-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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I shoot Pentax and M4/3, Oly.
Some thoughts. Oly has in body IS, Panny has it in the lens.
Which ever you choose get a viewfinder. Screening with that long of a lens pretty much means a tripod. I use a 40-150 on an E-PL1 and it's a stretch at 150mm.
Something to be aware of is Sun damage to the EVF. It happens when the Sun hits the EVF. Green blobs appear on the screen. They stay. How often it happens I don't know but I've seen it several times on the Oly M4/3 forum. Can't say for Panny.
Also remember it's an equivalent crop proportion that looks like 600mm..You're not getting the magnification of a 600mm lens.

Dana
05-02-2014, 12:07 PM   #4
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For m4/3, I was thinking of a Pany G5 or the Oly m5 or m10, all of which have evf viewfinders.

I have also given the idea of a regular 4/3 body and lens some thought too since they're a good bit cheaper than m4/3.

If I were to go with simply adding the 120-400 lens to my existing kit, I do have a nice tripod and ballhead to use it with. In that case, I would pick up a monopod, as it would be easier to carry around and use, especially for birds-in-flight.

05-02-2014, 03:28 PM   #5
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there are a ton of birds in florida, it'll be a blast!

i think that any platform can work, but i'd want something that allowed canon glass to be mounted on the body... here is one of the nex 7 guys shooting bifs, using manual focus with long canon primes, i don't know if he's using the canon lens stabilization, i don't think so, but there is an expensive adapter that allows it to work:

NEX-7, birds odd bits and pieces: Sony Alpha/NEX E-mount Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3612725
05-02-2014, 05:40 PM   #6
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... I have just one advice to offer: along with the tele reach, consider the lens, sensor quality and resulting crop quality (calculate the resolution of an equvalent crop on say a K3 vs uncropped m4/3 photo). According to dxomark the m4/3 lenses in the telephoto range have quite poor resolution when compared to the best full frame and APSC glass. Some of the m4/3 lenses with more standard focal lengths are very good, but about as expensive as the good Pentax lenses (plus you need to buy a camera)... and even the best m4/3 glass is beaten by much cheaper APSC lenses. If you can carry your gear, I'd stick with Pentax. Otherwise, if you have plenty of money get the Olympus EM1... if you have less money, get the Panasonic GM1 (you still need to pay for a good lens though).

For me the m4/3 systems are very nice, but apart from discrete travel or street shooting, I do not have a use for them. I'll buy the Panasonic GM1 if I ever go for extended overseas photo trips, as they are easy to discretely carry around without drawing attention to yourself and the quality is reasonable as judging by the reviews.

Last edited by Rob01; 05-03-2014 at 12:37 AM.
05-03-2014, 01:11 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by heatherslightbox Quote
I've run into a bit of money and I'd like to add a long telezoom to the camera bag, as I want to get more into wildlife photography. I'm debating a couple of options:

1. Pick up the Sigma 120-400 and use it the K5 I already have. Only disadvantage: the setup would be a bit heavy to haul around.

2. Pick up a m4/3 body and a telezoom like the Oly 75-300 or Pany 100-300.

With either option, I'd get a 600mm equivalent, which should work just fine.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Heather
Panasonic 100-300mm images on Flickr

05-06-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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I did some poking around on here and found a thread that mentioned that Sigma had some refurb 120-400s that could be ordered directly from them for $599. To me, that was a no-brainer so I went on ahead and pulled the trigger. In addition to the issue of IQ, adding another system would've meant having to learn a whole new camera. I'm pretty comfortable with my K5 and get good results from it, so I'll be ordering a monopod and possibly a Stedi Stock to handle the heavier load.

The lens arrives on Thursday so I'm hoping to get out with it over the weekend.
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