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All other DSLR's and Four Thirds, 4/3 All DSLRs excluding Canon and Nikon mounts ie Sigma, Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Leica R Back DSLRs and 4/3 System

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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:35 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Default All the talk : fast Olympus 50-200 SWC

There is no doubt that the new Olympus SWD lenses are very fast and accurate at focusing. Of course any mention of these lenses always goes hand in hand with the professional E-3 body.

I have to tell you though that having really great success with the 12-60 on my E-510, I was eager to see how the newer 50-200 SWD would fair on the same E-510 camera body. Boy - what I in for a pleasant surprise.

Last week, I took my E-3 in to the camera shop to give the 50-200 SWD a test run to see if it could live up to replacing my 80-200 f2.8 for my Nikon D200 - - - or if it would be as so many web posts seem to imply, that there is no way to get creamy smooth backgrounds and ultra fast auto focus with the four thirds system because of it's small sensor size resulting in greater depth of field for any lens put in front of it. On all counts, I found these comments to be unfounded and indeed I could have focus that was razor thin, very fast auto focus when moving from a distant target to a close one, and extremely detailed and sharp images wide open at even the longest focal lengths. At least good enough to suit my own standards - which is to sell quality printed images to my clients.

I also found the feel and handling ability of the 50-200 SWD to be superior to the 80-200 / D200 combination - with the former being very balanced and hand holdable, while the later was is long and front heavy and works best on a monopod. While image quality was excellent, 2 things that were missing with the 80-200 f2.8 Nikkor were fast auto focus and image stabilization. In order to have those advantages, I would have to fork out $1000 more for the 70-200 VR. With the 50-200 SWD, I have very fast auto focus and image stabilization as a result of that being built into the camera body - - - all for roughly the same price as the Nikkor 80-200.
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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:35 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Well - - - after testing the shots that I took on the E-3 last week in my own workspace and printing out samples to verify the quality of the 50-200 SWD lens, today was the day to go purchase it. However I decided to take along my E-510 to try the lens out on before I finalized the purchase.

Mounting the lens to the E-510, I could not believe the feel of the combination in my hand. It appeared a perfect match easily gripped and carried around the throat of the lens. Then when I lifted the camera to take a few test shots in the camera store, the focus snapped into place quickly. Heading outside I extended the zoom and found a far off object to lock on to and then quickly moved in to a close object and was able to find focus very quickly. From my initial playing this evening, I would have to say that the focus ability of the 50-200 SWD on the E-510 is only a bit behind that of the E-3 - - - certainly not enough to discourage the use of this lens on the E-510 by any means.

In my opinion, if you are wanting to benefit from a fast and furious lens like the Olympus 50-200 SWD, you don't require an E-3 to do so. You will get almost as much benefit and pleasure if you have only an E-510. Plus, this combination is almost something that you could walk around with without breaking your wrists.

Probably a little bigger and heavier a lens, BUT THE FEEL AND LOOK IS A LITTLE REMINISCENT OF MY FAVORITE "OM2s Program" WITH MY 300mm f4 ATTACHED.

After I got home this evening, I had Anne hold the 50-200 SWD mounted on the E-510 - outside the back door lit by a floodlight that lights our porch when visitors arrive (both shots taken with my E-3 and 12-60 at 1600 ISO):



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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:36 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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This is the first shot I took in the camera store. The others I took are close ups of customers so I shall not post them here. Pretty well all shots were taken with the E-510 in Auto Exposure mode and are straight out of camera with no cropping (just web resizing):

E-510 with 50-200 SWD : 50mm setting : 1/25'th @ f4 : 400 ISO


While Anne was in at the fabric shop, I wanted to see the 2 focal length extremes taken from the same vantage point and used a business sign off in the distance:
E-510 with 50-200 SWD at the shortest 50mm setting


E-510 with 50-200 SWD at the shortest 200mm setting
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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:37 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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I took this series in fairly quick succession while sitting in my van waiting for Anne in a coffee shop on the way home. A car dealer was across the road and I started by taking a shot of the sign at full lens extension and then moving to a point on the pavement close to me and then to a pair of newspaper stands about half distance. I was using the center auto focus sensor and after checking on the camera screen where the red focus spot locked on I was able to verify the accuracy on my computer screen when viewing the area n sharpest focus.


The focus locked on each area quickly and accurately:





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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:37 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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At home, I took a few closeups around the house - hand held using available light.

E-510 with 50-200 SWD : 200mm setting : 1/50'th @ f3.5 : 800 ISO


These little fluted flowers are about an inch long - this shot is cropped in
E-510 with 50-200 SWD : 200mm setting : 1/50'th @ f3.5 : 800 ISO


A closeup of the wicker mesh on our outdoor chairs
E-510 with 50-200 SWD : 158mm setting : 1/25'th @ f3.4 : 800 ISO
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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:38 AM
Robert Watcher Robert Watcher is offline
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Out of focus and Bokeh

I didn't have much subject matter available for the few minutes that I had before the sun set too low to get a good exposure - people would have been great, but Anne refused. All I got to use was some greenery on a hedge that was backlit by the sun at the front of the porch, and a connector on our clothesline at the back of the porch. Out of focus area looks great to me:

E-510 with 50-200 SWD : 147mm setting : 1/320'th @ f3.4 : 800 ISO


E-510 with 50-200 SWD : 200mm setting : 1/250'th @ f3.5 : 800 ISO


E-510 with 50-200 SWD : 117mm setting : 1/30'th @ f3.3 : 800 ISO
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Old September 2nd, 2008, 02:20 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Rob,

Thanks for the write-up. I am interested in a light weight set up. Just cannot think of carrying
nkion gear and its zooms. but i do need zooms if light and good optic quality. the set-up you
mention seems very tempting.

never used an oly before, and do not want to spend too much either.

Regards.
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