I’ve had a bit of a dilemma recently, or at least a camera/lens crisis. I bought into the Nikon Z6 for a few reasons. Mirrorless being lighter, more compact. A more articulated screen than my Nikon D7200. A full frame behemoth. I’ve always wanted a full frame camera too. The camera has been excellent so far, but I did have a problem. For my Nikon D7200 my main wildlife/birding lens has been the Tamron SP 150-600mm (First edition). The lens has been fantastic for the price but it has a major flaw in my future. It’s not compatible with the Z6, unless I really want to get into manual focussing wildlife (not thanks!).

I’ve been back and forth on this a fair bit. There is a 100-400mm for the Z6, but it costs £2500, there might be a 200-600mm on the roadmap, but who knows when it will come out. I could buy the Tamron SP 150-600 SP G2 which is compatible, but would I use a teleconverter with it to match that 900mm I’m used to on my cropped sensor.

And then an idea hit me. I have a recently bought Olympus EM5 Mark III that I’ve been using for video. There’s a 100-400mm lens that’s quite good for this camera (or so I’ve read). The lens is a hell of a lot lighter than the Tamron/Sigma equivalents (we’re talking nearly a kilogram here). The Olympus is Micro Four thirds, that means a 2x crop factor! That 100-400mm is equivalent to 200-800mm in full frame world! And we’ve not even started talking about price differences between full frame and M43.

Sure, there’s trade offs. There’s always trade offs. In theory full frame is always going to have a higher dynamic range, better low light performance etc etc. But to have a lens that I can carry around easily, not cost the earth and be a similar focal length that I’m used to? I’m sold.

So I’m saying goodbye to the D7200 and Tamron 150-600 and luckily last weekend had the opportunity to try this focal length on the Olympus borrowing a Leica lens.

What you see above is the first time I’ve photographed a jay, and I’m super happy with the quality. The lens performed equally, if not better, than what I’ve come to expect from the Tamron 150-600 and being a lot easier to hold coupled with the fantastic stabilisation inside the EM5 Mark III I was more than happy. So happy that I’ve managed to source a 1.4x teleconverter to take the lens further than I’ve been before.

I’m hoping to have a great relationship with this lens (when it arrives), but for now I’m very exciting with what’s to come. Does this mean I’m turning my back on the Z6 though? Of course not. I’m loving the images coming out of it and still dream of owning one of the mega-expensive lenses one day. But for now this hobby photographer has to take what he can get.

Speaking of the Z6 I’ll leave you with this image. Since I’ve moved away from the D7200 I’ve had to pick up an FTZ to keep using the Sigma 105mm 2.8….and wow, what a combo! This is handheld at f8!

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