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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:17 am 
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Location: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada
Hi, I see most people posting using this particular lens for wildlife photography. My son is a competitive swimmer (only 9 years old) and I am wondering if this lens would be usable at the pool to get some closer shots.

Most of the pools are well lit but I have a corollary question to ask as well. I am in the process of purchasing a FL-50R flash. From the stands will this flash be able to illuminate the picture enough to make a difference with either my 50-150mm lens or the 70-300mm that I am considering purchasing?

Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Don't know
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:09 pm 
26 views with no replies. I don't own this lens and I've never done flash photography -- about to buy a flash myself. My gut is that the flash has maybe some reach out to there but it will need to be direct flash, no bouncing or diffusion. The 70-300 is kind of slow. Lighting can be tricky and the AF may be difficult to lock in, especially at its full zoom. The trickiest part of using this long of a lens is keeping yourself steady AND getting action that isn't blurred. A faster lens like the 50-200mm Zuiko, possibly with a teleconverter, may be worth the investment though it's of course a whole lot more! This is all a hunch by a fellow who is quite an amateur.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:22 pm 
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As I understand it the flash has a guide-number of 50 at focal-length of 42mm and higher. That is quite powerful and at f/5.6 you can reach 9m at ISO 100 or 18m at ISO 400. Not sure whether this is enough for your purpose.
The reach of a 70-300mm on a 4/3 body should be more than enough to cover the distance. A better choice could be a 70-200/2.8 because with the larger aperture you can
- have better control with depth-of-field effects, isolating your subject more form teh background
- can use shorter shutter times and freeze action when not using a flash
- give your flash double (!) the reach than with an f/5.6 lens

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 Post subject: 70-300mm as sports lens
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:47 am 
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You might get by without flash by pushing the ISO up to 400 or 800 and using a mono- or tripod to steady the camera. I suspect that you will be firing at or near maximum power on your flash based on the likely distances and lighting, so don't expect to get any burst mode.

I might also suggest putting your camera (and lens) into manual focus mode and pre-focusing on a buoy or something at the same distance as the swimmers will be, rather than chasing them up and down with the slow AF mentioned already.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:05 am 
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I have a feeling that freezing the motion of the water is going to be more difficult than the swimmers. I haven't used the 70-300 but I imagine that it would be a little too slow for indoor sports - it also depends on hpw close your are/want to be to the action.

If your budget will allow, the 50-200mm Olympus lens could be a better option.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Location: Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada
Wow, great suggestions all. The 50-200 is beyond my budget right now so I will try the other suggestions. Should I turn IS off if i use a monopod? Thanks.

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E-620 14-42/3.5-4.6 & 40-150/4.0-5.6 each with Hoya UV filters, Hoya polarizing filter, 4 gig 300X Lexar CF card, 2X 2 gig Olympus M+ xD.


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 Post subject: Yes
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:50 pm 
Definitely choose either IS or monopod, but not both at the same time. Kirk Tuck recently had an entry that he got better results with just IS, but as they say, your mileage may vary.

http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/20 ... -days.html


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:51 pm 
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I can only judge from Nikon VR lenses: On the monopod the stabilization still helps and is not contra-productive.
So I use monopod + IS/VR.

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 Post subject: IS and monopods
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:07 pm 
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Interesting comment to the blog post BuonRotto cited. Essentially, the writer makes the point that a monopod is much better at reducing up-down camera motion than side-to-side camera motion.

This tells me that when shooting objects moving horizontally (swimmers) you might benefit from setting IS to mode 3 when using a monopod. It confines the IS action to side-to-side motion. I think it's worth a try at any rate; digital is free.

Any chance you could get permission to set up a flash w/ light stand on the pool deck much closer to the action, then use remote flash capability? You might have to hone your story telling skills :wink:

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E-620 : HLD-5 : 7-14mm : 8mm FE : 9-18mm : 12-60mm : 14-42mm : PL 25mm : 50mm Macro : 50-200mm SWD : 70-300mm : EC-14 : EC-20 : EX-25 : XZ-1
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:33 pm 
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I have not purchased the flash yet (got an unbelievable deal on a Bose home sound system so the flash will have to wait) but will try the flash at some practices at the pool set up on the pool deck once I get the flash.

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E-620 14-42/3.5-4.6 & 40-150/4.0-5.6 each with Hoya UV filters, Hoya polarizing filter, 4 gig 300X Lexar CF card, 2X 2 gig Olympus M+ xD.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:34 am 
I have been using my new lens for about two weeks,....and as a tip for AF...and it takes some practice.

Set it for around 200mm for AF,.....flick the MF switch and zoom rest way out to 300mm.

It does hunt and act wonky all the way out,....in all but daylight.But like others have said,...if you prefocus on a point....you should be good to go for a burst.

And IMHO,....some motion blur is preferred as it's giving motion to the action.

Best of luck!


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