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What Is The Longest Manual Focus Focal Length You Can Hand Hold With M4/3 ?

Ruben Bittermann , Apr 05, 2010; 11:19 a.m.

A decade ago, with film, the limit focal length I could hand hold was a 500 mm mirror lens. By then the image was 'dancing' in my hands but still could be focused with some pain.
Now with my G-1 I cannot manual focus without tripod the equivalent of 300mm as the image dances too much for me. Perhaps it is my eyes or/and hands stability and I have reasons to believe both have deteriorated, perhaps there is more than that.
Your experiences please, comparing film cameras and M4/3 for the same equiv.


Godfrey DiGiorgi , Apr 05, 2010; 11:45 a.m.

Personally, I use a tripod for most work at focal lengths beyond 50mm, certainly for 70-100mm and above, although I've hand-held 135-200 mm non-stabilized lenses occasionally.

The Panasonic 45-200 OIS lens is pretty easy to hand-hold at 200mm setting with Mode 1 OIS enabled. Jitter does become troublesome with non-stabilized long lenses.

200mm constitutes 8x normal focal length magnification, so it should be no surprise that it is challenging to hold steadily. The diagonal FoV at 300mm is equivalent to a 600mm lens on 35mm Film format ... that's a very long lens with 12x normal magnification. I never hand-held that long a lens with anything approaching satisfactory results even when I was in my twenties. The upcoming 100-300 OIS lens should make some hand-holdable operation possible.

Bob Sunley , Apr 05, 2010; 11:55 a.m.

Part of the problem is the lack of mass/weight of the camera. I've always found it easier to get sharper pics from a heavier camera/lens combo than a lightweight one.

kevin dixey , Apr 05, 2010; 03:01 p.m.

I've hand held the Olympus 200 f4 on an E500 successfully.

Yoshio Tanaka , Apr 06, 2010; 04:26 a.m.

with good daylight I regularly use my 300mm f4

Adam Bliss , Apr 21, 2010; 09:02 p.m.

I've hand held my E-P2 with a Canon 70-200 f2.8 with good results in bright daylight. The balance of the camera is obviosuly way off with this setup though so you have to keep your shutter speed up.

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