M.ZUIKO ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Lens..What do we think?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Dave in Wales, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    As the title really, opinions from owners sought.

  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    What do you want to know specifically?

    IQ wise, I see it on par with the Panasonic 100-300. The Oly is a just a tad slower in the aperture department, so either lens you want to use in good light. They are not low light lenses, for sure. That being said, I got it mainly because I like the FOV of 600mm optically. If you got one of those lenses and say, an EM5 you get a good reach for under $1000. I have a hard time getting anywhere close to that with FX Nikons. Especially for the size. Then, add in the the Oly 2x digital tele and you can get out to 1200mm.

    Focus is pretty fast, but sometime at the long end it misses focus.

    I've gotten some great images from it. I really like the micro contrast it provides.

    The only thing better than these 2 lenses will be the promised and hopefully coming soon Olympus 300/4.
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  3. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I am very happy with mine. I am still looking into some kind of shoulder support or gun stock like design for handling it with more ease in its most extreme (300mm) setting, and I wish it had a tripod-ring.


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  4. franklyadam

    franklyadam Mu-43 Rookie Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2014
    I picked up this lens as a refurb from olympus. For the price I paid it can't be beat :) that said it does hunt focus sometimes in lower light ( like an overcast day :) ), and in not so good light I find I get soft pictures from the long end. That is probably down to operator error though :) I have managed to get quite a few keepers with the lens, I'll try to post a couple samples of the iPad cooperates.

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  5. damianmkv

    damianmkv Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 7, 2014
    Surrey, England
    Im looking forward to using mine in some good light later during the year. This fort is almost 1 mile out to sea ( with a crop ) - it's a light soft in the detail but it'll do

    16152201756_3b90bc3c30_b.jpg spitbank fort by damianmkv, on Flickr
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  6. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    A question to owners of this lens: At what focal length does the aperture drop to f/5.6?
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I had the Panasonic 100-300 and wasn't overly impressed with it. All the reviews say the Oly lens is pretty similar so I'm assuming I'd feel the same about that too.

    If you've got an E-M1, you can pick up a 50-200 + adapter for pretty much the same money and although it's shorter, the IQ is a lot better - and it's significantly faster too. Personally, unless weight is an issue, I'd go that way rather than either of the xx-300 lenses.
  8. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    I really like this lens. It's certainly not the greatest lens out there and it is slow. But, for the size and price I thinks it really delivers. I got mine for AUD 350, new and incl shipping...what else could compare to that??? Great range, smaller and cheaper than the Panasonic. Just check out what amazing stuff people can produce with this lens. I'm just trying to catch up but I'm still very happy with it.

    I just tested and it drops to 5.6 at around 150mm
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  9. I have the 75-300 and I have gotten a lot of great photos from it. It does get soft above 250 or so. I will often shoot at 250 and then crop. I get a much more usable image using mu 40-150 f/2.8 PRO and the MC-14 teleconverter. However today at Olympus the 75-300 is $500, while the 40-150 + MC-14 is $1850, so the 75-300 is 3.7 times cheaper.

    A few I took today at 252mm.

    by Harvey Richards, on Flickr

    by Harvey Richards, on Flickr

    Both have significant crops and processing.
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  10. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2013
    as already mentioned, the three options play in different weight and price ranges...

    I like the 75-300 for being small-ish enough to have with me on a hike - just in case. The other two options (40-150 or 50-200, each with teleconverter) weigh in at about 2 to almost 3 times the weight and are bigger too.

    And for what it is, I like the results I get from it. Nice colours and sharp enough for me (I'm just shooting in that range every once in a while though) :smile:

    16219102082_02db7995da_b.jpg Day 3 - redwinged blackbirds by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    15613020924_b796308c50_b.jpg Day 3 - redwinged blackbirds by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    16033653267_76a4c24926_b.jpg Day 3 - Fern Canyon Trail by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    16217611341_317287dc72_b.jpg Day 3 - Roosevelt Elk in the morning by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    15609398667_436084c6f2_b.jpg frozen rain by tilman paulin, on Flickr

    15891947232_af5593e18a_b.jpg Sharp-shinned Hawk by tilman paulin, on Flickr
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  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Here are some of the images I was able to get with the 75-300. Full EXIF if you follow the links to Flickr.

    This supermoon shot I got, believe it or not hand held, all the way out to 300mm and then turned on the 2x digital tele on the EM5. Effectively got a field of view of 1200mm. Pretty much is what sold me that the m43 stuff was no joke.

    14695768769_f0eaccdcd8_b.jpg Full Moon From Olympus by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    300mm f/8 1/320
    14825811928_3834b57919_b.jpg Giraffe Feeding 1 by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    15012051262_4a1e47b4fa_b.jpg Grazing Zebras by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    15290672735_9b565913c2_b.jpg Reynoldsburg School Strike 7 by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr

    View attachment 408543 Arctic Fox in B&W - Redux - More Contrast by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
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  12. Fred S

    Fred S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2012
    Fred S

    EPL-5 with 75-300
    iso 200 f 7.1 shutter 1250 and 2X digi crop ( EFL 1200 ) tripod

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  13. Firedogg

    Firedogg Have cash, will spend

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  14. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    i havent shot with it much... but

    -seems a bit soft in general, everywhere. (again, havent bench-tested to come to a definitive conclusion)
    -focuses quite slow on em-1 for doing things like birds
    -focusing ring too touchy for manual focus. since its focus-by-wire, they can easily correct the throw ratio in software... and i hope they do but they wont

    as a personal thing, i find it more difficult to use than 40-150. havent been able to exploit the extreme compression effect of this lens.
    on the other hand, to get 600mm worth of reach in this size and weight is really quite nice.
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  15. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    It sounds like there may be some variability in sharpness from sample to sample with this lens. I seemed to have lucked out and gotten a really sharp one.

    I use mine on my E-M1.

    There are some clear benefits, to me, for this lens:

    - It seems to be very sharp and resolves good detail
    - It's colour and contrast are really wonderful, even through the viewfinder while composing
    - It's about the size of a can of Coke at 75mm without the hood. Small is important to me.
    - The hood isn't actually that huge
    - It's light, but not without some heft, even when extended and easy to manage hand-held.
    - It feels faster focusing than the Panasonic 100-300 and more sure of itself. It feels less plastic'y.

    On the other hand:

    - Using it without some sort of in-body stabilization is incredibly difficult.
    - Staring through the viewfinder while it racks focus rapidly can make you feel a little sick. The focus pumping is pretty dramatic. So, while bringing it up to eye level I'll often half-press the shutter to get it focusing on something near the subject so it doesn't have far to go.

    I love mine. In fact, I've got pictures with it that I just couldn't get with my unstabilized Canon lens. I had the "tiny" Canon EF 100-300 zoom which wasn't very sharp either.

    Here are some photos taken with my Oly 75-300 on my E-M1 - Obviously these are small images.
    Rather than bog down your browser here and messing up the page with large photos, you can visit my flickr page to see any of them larger if you like.








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  16. newphoto

    newphoto Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2013
    For a wildlife guy who loves flying birds when I can find them, I did a comparison between the 75-300 and the newer 40-150 Pro with 1.4 converter, both cameras mounted on E-M1's.The 40-150 auto focuses much faster and more accurately than the 75-300, also holds focus on a moving target much better. I sold the 75-300.
    I now have only the two Pro lenses released so far. They should be enough for a Costa Rica trip this summer. Of course I plan to buy the other two Pro lenses when they are released later this year. That will be my kit paired with two E-M1's.
  17. Very nice clarity, there is no way that I could get photos this sharp from mine.
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  18. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    Wow those are some really great results
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  19. maritan

    maritan Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2014
    Those are really great pictures fortwodriver.

    My copy is quite sharp too, but I haven't used it of late since I've been playing with the 40-150 pro.

    What I noticed was that while I managed to get great pictures at 300mm, they were far and few. Technique really matters and even the slightest movement produced blurry pictures. I really like the reach of this lens and next time I go out to shoot birds, I'm going to leave the 40-150 pro at home and try my hand with this lens. Key is to have GOOD lighting.

    One thing I did see on my pictures was chromatic aberration. Higher than the Pro grade lenses for sure (and probably to be expected), but was easily corrected in post.

    Edited to add: Gryphon1911 - great pictures too, but I'm particularly captivated by the Arctic fox in B&W.
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  20. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Suspect that the biggest variability is the person holding the lens. The sharpness of a lens can't be reliably evaluated when hand holding the camera. This is especially true with a long focal length lens. Use a tripod, beanbag, or something to stabilize the camera, turn off the IBIS, set the shutter delay to a second and fire the camera with a remote or self timer; then see what the images look like. Having shot thousands of pictures with this lens, I know it's very easy to get soft pictures once the shutter speed goes below 1/800 sec. Bump the ISO up too high to get a high shutter speed, and the detail gets wiped away in noise reduction.
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