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EF-m 50-200 - A revelation

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by pixelpuffin, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    586C941B-3D91-4403-9870-0C3A2A1B5579.jpeg Only just just started trying the EOS M series
    With the kit zoom and a 22mm I was almost content. But 45mm long end of the zoom is a little limiting.
    Fortunately a friend has a 50-200 that he’s loaned me to try before I consider buying. Got it today and….well I’m lost for words.

    I had read the negative online reviews regarding softness and plastic mount. But I think it’s delightful
    So damn small and light. The zoom action is a joy to use as is the weight saving.
    After using the gripped 5diii & 100-400Lii for sons soccer this morning. Picking up the M50 & 50-200 was bliss.
    Friend says he’s in no rush for it back…….I’ll bide my time then :)
     
  2. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    IMO, reviews are (mostly) to be avoided. Reviewers tend to obsess about sharpness, and sharpness <yawn> is not interesting. I'm much more interested in the 'rendering' of a lens - which, of course, is not measurable by numbers. :)
     
  3. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I'm a huge fan of the M series - excellent performance to prize and performance to price ratios. I love being able to carry a complete kit around for the weight of one full frame camera and zoom.

    I don't understand why the 50-200 doesn't get a lot more love. It's absolutely tiny, yet actually a very good performer. Yes, it's slightly soft wide open, but one stop down it's more than sharp enough. It focuses quickly and accurately, and I've shot rugby and football with this lens and an M50 without any issue. Sure, in poor light I would rather be using a full frame camera and an f2.8 zoom, but otherwise, it's fine. And brilliant for travel shooting.
    As to the plastic mount, well that's simply a load of old nonsense, as someone who actually studied materials to degree level. The only real additional risk over a metal mount is if you drop then lens onto a hard surface, impacting the mount, but if you do, you have significant worries in terms of lens groups and elements being knocked out of alignment anyway.
    For a lens this size, a plastic mount is a positive advantage in terms of weight reduction.
     
  4. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I've heard this many times, yet I still don't quite understand.
    My take is.... I cannot abide watching a movie that's shot in HD. It looks totally false.
    But I had a canon 18-200 ef-s that I got for peanuts a few years ago. I'd read all the negative comments but I actually really liked it. It was (to me) sharp wide open, the close focus was great as was IS. The need to lock the zoom constantly is what made me sell. But I very quickly regretted it. Even though I have the 18-135mm STM, which is sharper, truly silent I really missed something about that 18-200??
    I bought another copy a while later, its images are nothing like the previous copy and its certainly soft wide open. Still has the dreaded zoom drop. It has remained unused and unloved since the day it arrived.
    I can only assume its lack of sharpness is the reason. Yet the 18-135 is sharp but strangely I just can't use it?
     
    peterba likes this.
  5. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Thereby hangs the problem for reviewers, objective v subjective.
     
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  6. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    The difference between copies and possibly when/where they were made. I have Fujifilm CSCs as well as an FX Nikon DSLR and I prefer the images from the former, but there are times where the bigger heavier camera can do things better. Now I have the 18-55 f2-8-4 and some primes in it's range, the latter are undoubtedly slightly sharper, I don't use them in preference to the zoom though, I only take them when I know they will be needed.
     
  7. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I belong to a subjectivist audio forum where measurement is frowned upon. As an engineer I find that a difficult concept but never mind. The difficulty with objectivism (is there such a word) is that it assumes that what can be measured is what is important. I think we all know that isn't always the case. In audio it has got to the level that some people believe the specifications and graphs above their own ears. What nobody has yet done is to determine what measures are relevant to producing a subjectively good result. The same is true in photography, what is it about a lens that renders a subjectively good result and how do the measurements relate to the result.

    Absolute edge to edge sharpness doesn't necessarily indicate an aesthetically pleasing image will result but overall softness isn't acceptable all the time either.
     
    zx9r and Andrew Flannigan like this.
  8. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that, if you're noticing the image quality: the writer, director and actors aren't achieving their aim.
     
  9. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    There seems to be a fixation with many now of shooting wide-open, the faster the lens the better.

    Plastic is a strange one, it is often associated with cheapness, there are situations where it is better than metal, that it is the material chosen for the mounts of lower cost lenses doesn't really do anything to change that point of view. Once a lens is dropped, regardless of the materials it is likely to suffer some sort of damage.
     
  10. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    With audio you can also add where the equipment is being used to the equation, a sparsely furnished room with a hard floor provides a totally different environment to another with a thick carpet and a lot more furniture, much as perhaps atmospheric conditions affect the appearance of a photograph.
     
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  11. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I have to disagree Andrew. I forget the actual movie we were watching (one of the marvels) . But it was the first day we fitted the new 65" TV on the wall. Both me my partner and son were understandably looking for something good to view and checking out the seemingly endless list of viewing options. The movie was being played trying out these different options and when we selected HD it was truly awful. EVERYTHING was suddenly tack sharp...just horrible. My 14yr old son was the first to comment, followed by my partner. The result is the HD setting hasn't been used since.

    I think the best way to describe it is clinical, no subtleness or nuances just bitingly sharp and completely soulless.
     
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I'm not a huge fan of the 50mm focal length on full frame, but I love the results my EF 50mm f1.2 produces. It's not the sharpest, certainly wide open. But it has a very definite look that I love. Sigma make a very excellent 50mm f1.4 Art lens that's not quite as fast, but is much sharper wide open. It has no interest for me, because the results look rather, well, antiseptic in comparison.

    I still love my old M42 Carl Zeiss Jena lenses, made in East Germany for Prakticas. These were not very expensive lenses at the time, but have a wonderful combination of decent sharpness, nice colour rendition, and a look that I just love. My old 135mm f3.5 S (for "Sonnar"), the first tele lens I ever bought, is still one of my favourite lenses of all.

    I'm not of the opinion that biting sharpness is essential or even desirable for every shot, although it certainly has its place.
     
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  13. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I currently have all the EF 50 variants except the 1.2L and 1,0L
    I passed up last year on a bargain 1.2 and have kicked myself relentlessly since.
    Both the 24Lii and 50 1.2 L are in my sights
     
  14. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    I think you've effectively answered your own question i.e. use whatever works for you. :) Hence my comment about reviews....... after all, why should you or I care whether another person likes, or dislikes, a piece of equipment? What matters to me is whether I will like, or dislike, the item.

    Therefore, if possible, I go to a camera shop to try the item. Then, (and this is important) buy it from that same shop, to help it (hopefully) to stay in business. If the shop remains in business, then I'll be able to do the same thing for the next purchase.
     
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  15. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    I used to be like you Pete. But my local shop ripped me off so many times...pitiful trade in values against new at full RRP left a very unpleasant taste that still lingers sadly. Add to that my hearing is dreadful and making a expensive purchase on the whim of 5 minutes handling is no longer the way I like. Now I just read a few different reviews, then check completed listings for past sold prices on ebay...that then becomes my benchmark. I try to pay less knowing I can sell and recoup if needs be.
     
  16. peterba

    peterba Well-Known Member

    I agree. If your camera shop isn't at least reasonable, then options become limited. :(

    My comment about buying from one's local camera shop was based upon the presumption that the camera shop is decent to deal with - which, of course, is still possible, even if they're not quite able to match on-line prices.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
  17. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    That's all right. We can agree to disagree... :D
     
  18. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Things can be unnaturally sharp, in reality little is like a razor blade, we now see bitingly sharp pictures where the subject is rendered without realism. The obsession with many is ever greater and greater sharpness above anything else. When I look at test reports I an actually more interested in consistency across the frame, some lenses have a high level of fall off long before the edges.

    With TVs I notice a difference in rendering between brands, having a preference for Panasonic over others.
     
  19. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Am I alone in finding focus stacked images a little unreal? When we view things close-to we don’t see everything as sharp, admittedly more is sharp than may be rendered so photographically but, to me, some photographers take it too far.
     
  20. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    You are not alone!
     

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