My review of the Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by gryphon1911, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Have had the opportunity to check out and shoot with the Olympus 75-300 f/4.8-6.7 II lens.

    This particular copy was obtained used and was shot without a lens hood. I shot it as I normally would shoot on any other day, any other assignment or any other outing. I do this because I want to see if the cameras or lenses fit my shooting style. I also post processed these images as I would any other images I share because for me, it is about the deliverable at the end of the day. Images straight out of camera mean very little to me in the grand scheme of things.

    14825788180_279bf0e351_c. Giraffe Feeding 3 by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    1/320, f/8, ISO 320 @ 300mm

    Why this lens? I look at it this way. I can optically get out to a field of view of 600mm and with the 2x digital teleconverter, I can reach out to an astounding effective FOV of 1200mm!!

    14825802268_c87864713e_c. Zoo Trainers by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    1/640, f/4.8, ISO 200 @ 75mm

    In order to get this kind of reach on an FX sensor size body, the cost would be a whole lot more at the current market rates. Below I will share some images from this lens at various focal lengths and one using the 2x digital teleconverter.

    14912201066_3508fb4f5a_c. Little Girl and The Queen by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    1/320, f/6.1, ISO 250 @ 200mm

    Right to the point - this is a great lens, but not exceptional. It is wonderful to use right up to about 280mm(560mm FOV) at which point I noticed that it did soften up a bit.

    14912202486_0fc5de9db6_c. Snake Handler by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    1/800, f/5.1, ISO 200 @ 100mm

    It did hunt for focus from time to time, but only at the long end of the zoom range. It also did miss focus once or twice, but I'm not sure if that was the gears issue or mine - I was hand holding all the shots, so it is possible that the missed focus was due to user error on my part.
    The 75-300 is also a relatively fast focuser (not 45/1.8 level - but respectable) and silent because it is classed as MSC (movie and stills compatible).

    15009326951_46e4e01f8f_c. Timber Wolf by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    1/320, f/6.7, ISO 800 @ 300mm

    The zoom ring is nice, smooth and precise. It will get you where you want to be.

    The manual focus ring is adequate and useful at times, especially when shooting in the zoo conditions found in our sample images. Shooting through fences or dirty glass can cause the AF system to focus on the foreground elements and not your subject behind them.

    15012051262_4a1e47b4fa_c. Grazing Zebras by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    1/800, f/6.7, ISO 200 @ 281mm

    The bokeh quality is not one I would call top notch, but respectable. I do see some jitteryness in the out of focus areas. I will also state that I've seem way worse. If you bow to the altar of the bokeh gods - you'll most likely hate this lens...however, you need to also understand that there are really not a lot of options for this zoom or focal length on m43. The other options being the Panasonic 100-300mm, which optically is indistinguishable from the Olympus. The Panasonic is also a bit bigger because it uses in lens IS and is a 1/3 stop faster.

    14695768769_f0eaccdcd8_c. Full Moon From Olympus by gryphon1911 [A.Live], on Flickr
    1/200, f/6.7, ISO 1000 @ 300mm w/ 2x digital teleconverter

    While the aperture is really slow, optically this lens delivers more than what you pay for it - much like the Olympus 40-150 does. Given the current used prices, you can get yourself an adequate 600mm shooter(optical) or 1200mm (2x digiteleconverter) for under $1000. Not bad, actually.

    All images taken, handheld, with an Olympus OMD EM5, IBIS enabled. Post processing was done in Lightroom, and any black and white processing was aided with the onOne Perfect B&W plug-in.
    • Like Like x 11
  2. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    Lovely shots. Nice review. I was wondering what sort of PP you had done on the colour shots - particularly the shot of the two people walking to their van. Looks real nice :)
  3. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I have a preset I built out in Lightroom. It is what I use as my baseline.
    I started out shooting JPG in camera, profile is flat. No contrast, color or sharpness boosting.

    The Lightroom preset I do Contrast +10, Vibrance +10, Clarity +20, Sharpness +35 @ 0.5 radius. I then adjust black and white points as necessary to bump the histogram right to the edges.
  4. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    thanks for those - I'm in a bit of a "PP and editing" frenzy, trying out a few different things until I find a combination that gels together well for me, so I'll give thos enumbers a run on some of my recent shots and see how it goes.

    Also, thanks for the review - I find the very slow aperture a bit of a turn off, but the results are certainly quite good... Thanks for taking the time to share!

  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    No problem. the slow aperture can be an issue for sure. When the light is good, you can get the results you see above. Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of native choices in m43 lenses right now. Hopefully Panasonic and Olympus will remedy that issue.
  6. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Olympus is, the 300mm f/4.0 Pro lens comes out next year.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    That is true...forgot about that.
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