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Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage
  
 
ELinder
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Last week I covered an equestrian dressage show. The day before that they held a riding clinic, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to run thru a number of camera and lens combinations back to back to compare them. Obviously that's not something I would want to do during an actual show, so this was the perfect time to play around. During the morning I ran thru my normal Nikon kit for fairly close action, D5, D500, 70-200mm f/2.8, and 200mm f/2. (When that doesn't give me enough reach I'll use the 200-400 f/4 lens.) While that was fresh in my mind, I spent the entire afternoon with the E-M1 Mk2, Olympus 75mm f/1.8, and 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro to see how it stacked up.

I've used the E-M1 Mk2 a fair amount so far for personal use, but the only action type events were an airshow where I was less than overwhelmed by the performance. I must say I was much more pleasantly surprised than I thought I'd be. The E-M1 is tantalizingly close to being extremely good, but there are still a few things that won't let me use it on paid equestrian gigs.

Battery life was very good, especially since I was using the extra grip. I'd be able to get almost an entire 8 hour show day on just the 2 batteries, around 3,000 shots including reviewing and culling during the day. Two years ago I had a memory card go bad on me in a Nikon camera during an event, so I always either mirror the second card or write RAW to one card and the JPG to the second card for safety. Olympus needs to speed up the buffer clearing. I was using Sandisk and Lexar UHS-II U3 Class 10 SD cards in both slots, and far too often had to wait for the buffer to clear. This is especially annoying as after each burst I'll cull shots by reviewing the pics and mark those that are keepers for later use. Not being able to even start that while the buffer is writing to the cards is frustrating. The continuous autofocus was very good, although I used single point most of the day. I did try tracking, and it was kind of cool to watch it track a face or saddle pad for a while, but then it would inexplicably move to the horse's rump or nose for no reason since it was actually less contrast than what I had initially had under the focus point. That alone makes the mode unusable for this purpose. I was very pleasantly surprised by the dynamic range of the raw files, and the ultra fine JPGs were exceptional, especially with regard to not blowing out the highlights while keeping a good contrast range. Center weighted metering was easily on par with Nikon, and was very predictable. There is no excuse to missing the perfect horse position with the extremely fast frame rates available. I briefly tried 20, 30, and 60 FPS, but the slow buffer clearing killed that trial quickly as it's an insane amount of frames in each burst.

The 75mm f/1.8 lens focused more than quickly enough, but I was surprised at how much CA it had and how often the results were a bit soft looking wide open. I absolutely love this lens for tripod work, especially in museums. The 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro lens is perfect for this kind of event with just the right zoom range. Focus, CA, sharpness, everything was exceptional. However, if Olympus is serious about getting more sports shooters to start using their equipment, they need to come out with more extremely fast long lenses. There just isn't enough separation with the available depth of field at the distances most sports shooters need to work from. I shot both the lenses wide open, and both were noticeably softer than slightly stopped down, and even then I would have liked a narrower depth of field. The last photo illustrates what I mean and what I like to try to get in terms of separation if I can. Of course, a Nikon D5 and 200mm f/2 lens is a very hard act to follow, so I'm obviously a bit spoiled by my normal gear and I'm sure it influenced my impressions of the E-M1 Mk2. I do like it enough that the M43 system has become my primary pleasure camera since a backpack full of gear is less than half as large or heavy as the Nikon kit, which is why I added the Olympus to begin with.

Erich




  E-M1MarkII    OLYMPUS M.75mm F1.8 lens    75mm    f/1.8    1/5000s    200 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  E-M1MarkII    OLYMPUS M.75mm F1.8 lens    75mm    f/1.8    1/3200s    200 ISO    +0.7 EV  






  E-M1MarkII    OLYMPUS M.40-150mm F2.8 lens    100mm    f/2.8    1/3200s    200 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  E-M1MarkII    OLYMPUS M.40-150mm F2.8 lens    110mm    f/2.8    1/2500s    200 ISO    +0.3 EV  






  NIKON D5    200.0 mm f/2.0 lens    200mm    f/2.0    1/3200s    110 ISO    0.0 EV  




Jul 19, 2017 at 09:03 PM
fishjump
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Wow. That 75mm is something else.


Jul 20, 2017 at 12:00 AM
k-h.a.w
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


fishjump wrote:
Wow. That 75mm is something else.



+1



Jul 20, 2017 at 12:08 AM
birdied
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Wonderful set.

Birdie



Jul 20, 2017 at 01:12 AM
ELinder
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Thanks all. Here's another one with the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens wide open. As I said, when it's sharp it's great, but more often than I expected it was slightly soft. Perhaps I was just seeing instances when the focus speed couldn't keep up.

What I'd absolutely love is a 100mm f/1.0 that could also take the 1.4 teleconverter. Yes, it would be big and expensive, but it'd also be awesome for this kind of thing.

Erich




  E-M1MarkII    OLYMPUS M.75mm F1.8 lens    75mm    f/1.8    1/3200s    200 ISO    +0.7 EV  




Jul 20, 2017 at 03:22 PM
k-h.a.w
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


I would shoot C-AF silent low, tracking doesn't work for me.

K-H.



Jul 20, 2017 at 04:00 PM
whumber
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


ELinder wrote:
Thanks all. Here's another one with the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens wide open. As I said, when it's sharp it's great, but more often than I expected it was slightly soft. Perhaps I was just seeing instances when the focus speed couldn't keep up.

What I'd absolutely love is a 100mm f/1.0 that could also take the 1.4 teleconverter. Yes, it would be big and expensive, but it'd also be awesome for this kind of thing.

Erich


Agreed, I would love to see a 100mm f/1.0 or even a 100mm f/1.2. As good as the 75 1.8 images are, the D5 + 200 f/2 just blows it away.



Jul 20, 2017 at 09:09 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Second that. The subject isolation from a 200/2 FF lens is simply stunning ... whether it's a Nikon or Canon lens. Lisa Holloway does most of her portrait work with the 200/2 or 85/1.2 lens and she creates these magical images. Those 2 lenses have helped her to win the Featured Thread of the Week 60 times ... so far! Of course, most of us couldn't do what she does even if we own these lenses. I am just making the point that the 200/2 is so good for selective focussing work.

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/viewwinners.php?FeaturedPoster=Lisa_Holloway

BTW the the FT 150/2 lens aka "Little Tuna" does an amazing job too. Would be fantastic if Olympus could make an mFT version of this lens that is smaller and lighter than the Little Tuna .... like a real "Little Tuna"!

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1500034

whumber wrote:
Agreed, I would love to see a 100mm f/1.0 or even a 100mm f/1.2. As good as the 75 1.8 images are, the D5 + 200 f/2 just blows it away.



Jul 20, 2017 at 10:51 PM
Sagar
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Bobby, These are simply stunning! specially selective focus and bokeh.

bobbytan wrote:
BTW the the FT 150/2 lens aka "Little Tuna" does an amazing job too. Would be fantastic if Olympus could make an mFT version of this lens that is smaller and lighter than the Little Tuna .... like a real "Little Tuna"!

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1500034






Jul 20, 2017 at 11:43 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Thank you! Yes, the FT 150/2 is arguably the best FT/MFT lens ever made by Olympus ... but it's a hefty/heavy beast of a lens. I sold it because of that. Olympus have been able to shrink most of the FT lenses so there is no reason why they cannot do the same for this lens, in the m43 version. The Olympus 75/1.8 and 42.5/1.2 Nocticron, and maybe also the 25/1.2, are the best lenses for selective focussing, but they are not quite as good as the Little Tuna.

Sagar wrote:
Bobby, These are simply stunning! specially selective focus and bokeh.






Jul 21, 2017 at 12:03 AM
 

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millsart
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Nikon 105mm f1.4 with an adapter (not sure if they have anything that allows any degree of AF) certainly could be worth considering


Jul 21, 2017 at 01:36 AM
whumber
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage




bobbytan wrote:
BTW the the FT 150/2 lens aka "Little Tuna" does an amazing job too. Would be fantastic if Olympus could make an mFT version of this lens that is smaller and lighter than the Little Tuna .... like a real "Little Tuna"!


I actually just bought a little tuna about two weeks ago and it's definitely a stellar lens. I keep meaning to try a brenizer style pano with it. The bokeh quality is so much better than the 40-150 pro and it's sharper at f/2 than my 40-150 pro is at f/4. Amazing lens, if only the AF performance was as good as a native m43 lens.



Jul 21, 2017 at 02:57 AM
Bobg657
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Bobby, first off cute grandkids! Second, I'd love to see a Littler Tuna as well.
Bob



Jul 21, 2017 at 04:04 AM
bobbytan
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Thanks Bob!

Bobg657 wrote:
Bobby, first off cute grandkids! Second, I'd love to see a Littler Tuna as well.
Bob




Jul 21, 2017 at 04:13 AM
ELinder
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


bobbytan wrote:
Thank you! Yes, the FT 150/2 is arguably the best FT/MFT lens ever made by Olympus ... but it's a hefty/heavy beast of a lens. I sold it because of that. Olympus have been able to shrink most of the FT lenses so there is no reason why they cannot do the same for this lens, in the m43 version. The Olympus 75/1.8 and 42.5/1.2 Nocticron, and maybe also the 25/1.2, are the best lenses for selective focussing, but they are not quite as good as the Little Tuna.



Bobby, I'll add another Wow to those images! Fabulous.

How slow is that lens to focus, and do you think it's because it needs that adapter, or was it slow on all cameras? At 300mm and f/4 effective, it's right in the middle of my 200-400 f/4 range and a heck of a lot lighter!

It's a shame that there are no MFT adapters that allow Nikon lenses to autofocus.

Erich



Jul 21, 2017 at 08:00 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Thank you, Erich! The 150/2 is a FT lens so you have to use the Olympus MF-2 adaptor. Part of the slowness is also due to the heft/weight of the glass/lens. I would not recommend it for action shots but it's perfectly fine for portraits and stationery or slow-moving subjects.

Not familiar with Nikon to m43 adaptors but why would you mount a big/heavy lens to a m43 body? I am sure the E-M1.2 or GH-5 is not much smaller/lighter than the D500.

ELinder wrote:
Bobby, I'll add another Wow to those images! Fabulous.

How slow is that lens to focus, and do you think it's because it needs that adapter, or was it slow on all cameras? At 300mm and f/4 effective, it's right in the middle of my 200-400 f/4 range and a heck of a lot lighter!

It's a shame that there are no MFT adapters that allow Nikon lenses to autofocus.

Erich




Jul 21, 2017 at 09:08 PM
millsart
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


bobbytan wrote:
Not familiar with Nikon to m43 adaptors but why would you mount a big/heavy lens to a m43 body? I am sure the E-M1.2 or GH-5 is not much smaller/lighter than the D500.



Reason would be if they simply don't make a lens with the focal length/aperture in native mount

The OP indicated that as much as he likes the 75/1.8, he really wishes he had something that could come close to the Nikon 200mm f2.0.

Using a Nikon 105mm f1.4 on a m4/3 body, with the 2x crop is about as close as your going to get for that FoV and aperture,
...Show more



Jul 22, 2017 at 03:14 AM
Herbc
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Very impressive-makes me regret selling my Zeiss 100 f2. I still have the Nikon 135 DC, must get out and shoot with it to see what it will do on my Oly.


Jul 22, 2017 at 03:12 PM
ELinder
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Right, if an adapter let me use the autofocus Nikon lenses I already have, it would give me a lot more flexibility. I could use the 70-200 f/2.8 on the E-M1Mk2 as a handheld 140-400mm f/4 all day. I certainly can't hand hold the 200-400 f/4 even for a short time.

However, if I had the choice of an adapter or some really fast long native m43 lenses for subject isolation, I'd take the native lenses. The question it, how high end does Olympus want to take the system and how much of a market would there be for that kind of lens? It's already a niche market in FF, let alone in m43.

Erich



Jul 22, 2017 at 03:24 PM
ELinder
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Olympus E-M1 MkII does equestrian dressage


Herbc wrote:
Very impressive-makes me regret selling my Zeiss 100 f2. I still have the Nikon 135 DC, must get out and shoot with it to see what it will do on my Oly.


Please show us some results from that 135 DC! It's a lens I've considered many times for my Nikon kit, but have never pulled the trigger.

Erich



Jul 22, 2017 at 03:33 PM
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