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petermullett

Wildlife, long lenses, and sensor format

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MFT is not much better in image qualtity than a mobile phone. The user interface is far worse, it gives me a headache just thinking about it. Olympus E-M1 with 17mm on left. Apple iPhone SE on right.

Sorry, as someone who owns an E-M1, an iPhone 6S plus and a M9, I can say that this statement is clearly wrong. Yes, the supplied pictures of the E-M1 are dreadful, but I managed bad pictures with my M9 even. Add to that, the 17mm lens isn't the highest regarded one of all Olympus lenses, yet, if you systematically get that bad pictures, you need it to be checked.

 

Indeed, in many situations, the iPhone pictures are "good enough", and of course it is extremely convenient to use, especially, when you plan to use your pictures online anyway. Still, both from the handling, obviously the ability to change lenses, and most of all the image quality, I prefer to use my "real" cameras. The image quality of the E-M1 and the M9 are rather close, depending on the situation the one or the other wins. In low-light, the E-M1 actually pulls ahead, thanks to its CMOS sensor and image stabilization. In general, I just love the images I get out of the M9 though. The Leica lenses have an unique rendering, and of course, 35mm gives you more DOF control. I am very curious about the M10 as I hope it finally pulls distinctively ahead in sensitivity vs mFT.

 

As it was said before in this thread, where Leica M shines is the compactness of the system. I don't want lenses of the size of a typically 35mm AF lens. While I am certainly tempted by the Sony a7, the size of the lenses keeps the temptation at bay. So for me its mFT for anything I need AF with (and a Pen with the Panasonic 20/1.7 is really tiny), and Leica for everywhere I can live with MF.

 

Peter

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Well, argue all you will, but I found the image quality of the new 20 MP sensor far more than adequate and the GX8 with the Vario Elmar has allowed me to get dozens of shots I would never have gotten with any Leica and in quite a few cases the Canikons around me failed too Proof to follow on the Photoforums in a few weeks.

Nothing wrong with the DG Summiluxes either.

BTW the Leica lenses do not have full functionality on Olympus bodies.

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Well, argue all you will, but I found the image quality of the new 20 MP sensor far more than adequate and the GX8 with the Vario Elmar has allowed me to get dozens of shots I would never have gotten with any Leica and in quite a few cases the Canikons around me failed too Proof to follow on the Photoforums in a few weeks.

Nothing wrong with the DG Summiluxes either.

BTW the Leica lenses do not have full functionality on Olympus bodies.

Why? Length of lens? AF? IS?

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Being able to shoot an 800 mm equ. handheld at 1/60th is an amazing experience in wildlife photography *

The possibility to fit a complete high-level system with 30, 50, 90 and 200-800 equ. lenses in a small Billingham for Leica bag is amazing portability.

 

* 5 stop 5 axis stabilisation is the secret. Plus small size an light weight. In some situations a 20 FPS burst is very handy. I have not used Post Focus, but it seems to work well.

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I have a question, probably a stupid one. 

 

Presumably the 90mm Summicron AA will be better on an M240 cropped to 200mm than the best 200mm (FF equivalent) on a MFT, and also the M 135mm Apo-Telyt will be better cropped to 300mm than the best 300mm (FF equivalent) on a MFT.

 

So at which FF equivalent focal length do you get better results from MFT compared to a cropped M 135mm Apo-Telyt?

 

(all this ignoring AF, IBIS, size etc). 

 

Thanks

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Yes, I can see that my reasoning is totally wrong. 

 

However I am not sure that it is so obvious that at any focal length above 135 mm MFT is better than cropping an M sensor.  There must be a trade-off to cramming all that resolution into a small sensor (apart from other things like depth-of-field etc).

 

Let me just say that I am approaching this from the perspective of considering the purchase of a MFT system, not trying to dismiis it as inferior.

 

I considered the SL but decided that I am not going back to huge lenses

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Yes, I can see that my reasoning is totally wrong. 

 

However I am not sure that it is so obvious that at any focal length above 135 mm MFT is better than cropping an M sensor.  There must be a trade-off to cramming all that resolution into a small sensor (apart from other things like depth-of-field etc).

 

Let me just say that I am approaching this from the perspective of considering the purchase of a MFT system, not trying to dismiis it as inferior.

 

I considered the SL but decided that I am not going back to huge lenses

If you compare a mFT sensor with a mobile phone sensor, the pixels are still huge

. So there is no disadvantage vs. a cropped M sensor, actually its the other way around. The same lens would yield more information when used with a mFT camera then with a 35mm camera cropped to mFT size. Where the M sensor shines, is when you use its full sensor size.

 

Peter

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Yes, I can see that my reasoning is totally wrong. 

 

However I am not sure that it is so obvious that at any focal length above 135 mm MFT is better than cropping an M sensor.  There must be a trade-off to cramming all that resolution into a small sensor (apart from other things like depth-of-field etc).

 

Let me just say that I am approaching this from the perspective of considering the purchase of a MFT system, not trying to dismiis it as inferior.

 

I considered the SL but decided that I am not going back to huge lenses

It was the user interface that drove me away from MFT, not image quality, though my entirely subjective view, not investigated in depth, was that Leica colours were better (brighter, more microcontrast, crisper, what have you.....)

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Colours are irrelevant, given a systematically colour managed workflow.

As for microcontrast etc., I will have to be back at my computer to give a proper pixel-peeped answer. My first impressions are favourable .

However, in general I would say that I would dare anybody to see any significant difference on prints up to A3+ and 1600 ISO with any modern quality sensor.

Disclosure: I discarded 4/3rds eight years ago for the sensor quality and returned with trepidation. The present sensor exceeds my expectations by a wide margin.

In the end it is the lens that counts. The Panasonic Leica asph lenses can easily withstand comparison with other Leica lenses.

 

BTW, an 135 cropped to 270 will only yield 12 MP against the 20 MP of MFT, let alone cropping to an 800 mm field of view, and then consider cropping that again...

 

User interface: I agree that the simple Leica approach is far superior for technically simple photography and it takes a learning curve and application to figure out the buttons. However, it is hard to see how the complication can be avoided if one wants to use the relevant features. Horses for courses I would say.

The M still has its first place for me as soon as I am back to photography which only consists of getting exposure and focus right.

 

And what about size and weight? This is an 200-800 4.0-6.3 equivalent.

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I have a question, probably a stupid one. 

 

Presumably the 90mm Summicron AA will be better on an M240 cropped to 200mm than the best 200mm (FF equivalent) on a MFT, and also the M 135mm Apo-Telyt will be better cropped to 300mm than the best 300mm (FF equivalent) on a MFT.

 

So at which FF equivalent focal length do you get better results from MFT compared to a cropped M 135mm Apo-Telyt?

 

(all this ignoring AF, IBIS, size etc). 

 

Thanks

It is indeed a good question. I have not yet compared a cropped FF M240 pic to MFT but do use cropping quite a bit to avoid carrying longer length. Below is summary of my experience:

 

(disclaimer: this is generalization based on my needs. Your needs and perception of what is "adequate" may vary.)

 

#1 If you limit your maximum print size to A4 then current 24mp is plenty and can be cropped with almost no degradation to 2 times FL. It means if you start with a sharp 90mm then it coveres 200mm on A4 size.  

#2 Technique to start with sharp pictures matters quite a bit. A softness in focus or shake can make cropping in #1 not useful.

#3 Not having AA filter in M helps quite a bit. A 24mp non AA sensor is almost equivalent to 30mp sensor with AA filter. This is why I find 16mp Nex-6 and 24mp M240 almost equivalent even if Nex-6 has smaller pixels.

#4 Carrying multiple lenes with x1.5 times FL gap is too much overlap (ex: 90mm and 135mm). You are better served with carrying lenses with double FL gap (ex: 90mm and 180mm) for maximum flexibility.

#5 Cropping to get longer length is always a last resort since a picture taken with longer length can be cropped further if needed.

#6 Finally, if you are not into wild life and birding then 90mm on FF is more than you need (cropped to 180mm if needed, see #1).

 

As a conclusion, if I go for MFT, then it will be only for lenses longer than 200mm (FF equivalent). I don't care for AF and birding for now therefore I am happy with my M240 sensor size with 90mm (frequent use) and 180mm lens (occasional use with adapter). If I do feel like birding then I use my 400mm Telyt with Nex-6 and it is fun to use (I got some decent shot as well).

Edited by jmahto

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User interface: I agree that the simple Leica approach is far superior for technically simple photography and it takes a learning curve and application to figure out the buttons. However, it is hard to see how the complication can be avoided if one wants to use the relevant features. Horses for courses I would say.

The M still has its first place for me as soon as I am back to photography which only consists of getting exposure and focus right.

 

And what about size and weight? This is an 200-800 4.0-6.3 equivalent.

Hmm, Leica has shown how to avoid the complication with the SL - no button splatter there. But the size and weight of MFT are attractive.

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BTW, an 135 cropped to 270 will only yield 12 MP against the 20 MP of MFT, let alone cropping to an 800 mm field of view, and then consider cropping that again...

 

 

 

That is what I first thought.  I now think that it will actually yield 6 MP only since the quantity of pixels vary with the  area.  So to obtain a 2x crop you would have to reduce area by 4.  I think this is right.

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That is what I first thought.  I now think that it will actually yield 6 MP only since the quantity of pixels vary with the  area.  So to obtain a 2x crop you would have to reduce area by 4.  I think this is right.

Yes. That's the math I use. 2X FL increase is equivalent to 1/4th mp crop. It is very approximate but helps.

 

Also note that a good 6mp is very different than not so good 6mp. This is why starting pic quality matters before you crop. I use 90mm macro-elamar which is super tiny and super sharp. Perfect for cropping.

 

One example is below. This was taken with 90mm lens. The Bighorn sheeps were running across the landscape and I had to pull my camera change to 90mm and do a quick shoot. A manual focus camera with infinity stop is best for these. The picture is so sharp that I could crop it to almost 300mm FF equivalent and identify the animals. At this distance if you wanted a close up shot with distinctly visible features then you will certainly need Jaap's 200-800 FF equivalent lens. Even SL's 90-280 will be inadequate.

 

There is another aspect of personal preference. I tend to like wildlife shots with plenty of environment (as in this one) and for that 90mm is plenty.

 

https://flic.kr/p/wgkimC

Edited by jmahto

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Jmahto, I don´t think your link works.  I had a look through your Flickr site.  Some great pictures!, but I did not see the bighorns.

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Jmahto, I don´t think your link works.  I had a look through your Flickr site.  Some great pictures!, but I did not see the bighorns.

Try this

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmahto/19864215992/

 

Actually I found my post from last year with the crops. See for yourself.

 

http://www.l-camera-forum.com/topic/255505-is-that-an-m240/?do=findComment&comment=2967037

Edited by jmahto

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Hmm, Leica has shown how to avoid the complication with the SL - no button splatter there. But the size and weight of MFT are attractive.

Actually they could leave most buttons off on most modern cameras as they have a very practical touch screen.

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Actually they could leave most buttons off on most modern cameras as they have a very practical touch screen.

Yes they could, but that wouldn't always work for me.

With mild longsight, I can use camera VF displays (set to focus at around 2m) more easily than a rear screen at arms length. Wearing no contacts I find a detailed rear screen a nuisance, and touch focus unusable, though I can usually manage a simple scrolling menu. Spectacles are tricky with any VF. Progressive contacts are easier for both VF and rear screen, but on balance I avoid the rear screen for anything except simple scrolling menus. I have disabled touch screen on the SL.

I found the OMD EM5-ii rear touchscreen too complex and impenetrable for setting options; in any case too many options seemed to be interlinked - changing one seemed to change others I didn't want changed. I hope Panasonic does it better.

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It was the user interface that drove me away from MFT, not image quality, though my entirely subjective view, not investigated in depth, was that Leica colours were better (brighter, more microcontrast, crisper, what have you.....)

 

 

It is always interesting to see how different people react to different things. The Olympus interface is clearly the antipode of, say the Leica M-D (both in my possession). However, I was able to configure the Olympus to my needs and now think my configuration is entirely intuitive - especially the way under- and overexpose can be controlled in the EVF. I absolutely love that. Select the exposure compensation with one wheel and select e.g the aperture with the other. The mFT is sort my Swiss Army Knife (sorry, but 20 years in CH do leave traces) for all sorts of things where the M is too cumbersome, too slow or too expensive to use. As of image quality, make sure you check a photo taken my a recent sensor and for example a Nocticron 42.5. You may be in for a surprise.

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Yes they could, but that wouldn't always work for me.

With mild longsight, I can use camera VF displays (set to focus at around 2m) more easily than a rear screen at arms length. Wearing no contacts I find a detailed rear screen a nuisance, and touch focus unusable, though I can usually manage a simple scrolling menu. Spectacles are tricky with any VF. Progressive contacts are easier for both VF and rear screen, but on balance I avoid the rear screen for anything except simple scrolling menus. I have disabled touch screen on the SL.

I found the OMD EM5-ii rear touchscreen too complex and impenetrable for setting options; in any case too many options seemed to be interlinked - changing one seemed to change others I didn't want changed. I hope Panasonic does it better.

IMO they do.

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It is always interesting to see how different people react to different things. The Olympus interface is clearly the antipode of, say the Leica M-D (both in my possession). However, I was able to configure the Olympus to my needs and now think my configuration is entirely intuitive - especially the way under- and overexpose can be controlled in the EVF. I absolutely love that. Select the exposure compensation with one wheel and select e.g the aperture with the other. The mFT is sort my Swiss Army Knife (sorry, but 20 years in CH do leave traces) for all sorts of things where the M is too cumbersome, too slow or too expensive to use. As of image quality, make sure you check a photo taken my a recent sensor and for example a Nocticron 42.5. You may be in for a surprise.

I was comparing the EM5-ii (+Pro lenses) with the M240, which I am guessing has an older sensor.

But I'm not in this forum persuade anyone that their choice of camera is wrong - all I can do is explain my choices so others can consider the same issues when they are making theirs. As you say, people react differently to different things.

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