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Help... Kit advice for Landscape and Wildlife

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Tez3003, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. Tez3003

    Tez3003 New Member

    Hi, first of all let me confess to GAS (Gadget Acquisition Syndrome).

    I have recently moved from Canon 70D to Olympus OMD EM5ii and acquired 25mm Prime, 12-40mm Pro and more recently 40-150mm Pro with 1.4 TC.

    My first priority genre is landscapes and after trying some L series lenses with my Canon I was taken back by the bulk and weight and decided to look for a change in kit which would reduce the bulk to carry. The Oly seemed the perfect fit. So far, with the Olympus 12-40mm Pro and some filters, I'm getting some reasonable landscape shots. However, a growing interest in wildlife (bird) photography led to the purchase of the Olympus 40-150mm Pro with x1.4TC however, on the occasions I've been out with this lens, there's been very few photos of anything acceptable. Poor focusing and noise being real problems.

    My questions are:-

    1/ I think I am now realising there is no 'one camera fits all' - do you agree?
    2/ To pursue my bird life photography, I believe I should consider a Canon 7D II with a suitable prime zoom and use that and keep the Oly for landscapes? Why not just do it? Expense, the feeling one camera should be enough, frowns from the wife etc

    Some other thoughts...
    * I've been pondering selling the 40-150mm and trading for a 7-14mm Pro for wide landscapes, and just forget about bird life for now
    * Having a 7D Mark II goes against my aim of having a lighter more portable camera but why not have two cameras given my conclusion that there is nothing which is perfect, I.e. Pro level does everything in a mirrorless frame
    * I did wonder if an EM1 will fare better with the 40-150mm in terms of focusing and focus-tracking?
    * I was considering the Sony A7II but I know am aware all mirrorless cameras have challenges with focus tracking especially in low light, and this camera would not help with my bird life aspirations

    Any comments, advice, tips, experiences appreciated.
     
  2. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Generally yes, but many cameras are a reasonable compromise for all but the most demanding situations

    You don't say which 40-150 you have, but I'm guessing one of the variable aperture ones, maybe f/5.6 at the long end, which with a 1.4x TC would give an effective aperture of f/8. I'm not familiar with the specs of the EM5ii's AF system, but many cameras would struggle to focus with that. In general 4/3 or m4/3 are considered better for things such as birds in flight because the smaller sensor size allows a physically smaller and lighter lens to give the reach you need. However, there's no substitute for a fast lens, so I'd've thought that you might get better results putting your money towards something like the 50-200/2.8-3.5, or perhaps even the 90-250/2.8 if you have really deep pockets!

    Not quite sure what you mean by "prime zoom" - prime generally means fixed focal length, i.e. non-zoom. It is true that landscaped and birds, particularly in flight, do have somewhat different requirements - fast focus with tracking probably the top priority for BIF, high resolution for landscapes. However, neither of these attributes is particularly associated with light weight and compact size.

    That's perhaps something to consider. Birds in flight are notoriously tricky. A tripod and gimbal head, or at least a monopod, might also help.

    I believe some mirrorless cameras have phase detect ASF sensors built into the main sensor, but they're probably not yet quite as good as the best DSLRs
     
  3. Tez3003

    Tez3003 New Member

    Thanks for reply. Some excellent points.

    I have the 40-150mm Olympus Pro Zuiko providing a constant f/2.8.

    Yes, I meant a fixed zoom prime which usually seems to mean a lower and fixed aperture across the range.

    Currently my thoughts are:-

    1/ Landscapes
    a) Ditch the 40-150mm and consider either Olympus 7-14mm wide angle Pro - commit further to M43 mirrorless or
    b) Ditch the EM5ii and move to Sony A7II, full-frame so should cut out any further justification for changing - need lenses though!

    2/ Wildlife
    a) Consider Canon 7DII with suitable lens and
    b) Canon lens could be shared with Sony via an adapter or
    c) Abandon wildlife for now, concentrate on landscape
     
  4. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The most cost-effective Canon combination for birds is a 7Dii + 400 mm F5.6 L. The lens has no image stabilisation but is relatively speaking "light" and works well wide open.
     

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