New Olympus 75-300 II vs. Panasonic 100-300

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mc14850, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. mc14850

    mc14850 New to Mu-43

    Mar 18, 2013
    Hi all, New to the site and 4/3. Bought and love an OM-D, now I want a longer lens for birds. Any opinions on which of these two is the way to go? I am leaning Oly as it is a new design and I don't need the in lens stabilization.
  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    The 100-300 is a well-regarded lens for wildlife.
  3. Don't know how they compare optically but the Panasonic has a faster aperture @ 300mm than the olympus.
  4. Heavy Doody

    Heavy Doody Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    I'm leaning toward the Panasonic for the speed, but I'll reserve judgement until I see some thorough testing on the Olympus. It's still very new.
  5. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Love my P 100-300. Had the O Zk 4/3 75-300 via adaptor when I first got into m4/3 two+ years ago with an E-P2, but sold it after a year for the P 100-300. I don't know what the latest O incarnation is like but the old one was creakingly slow, noisy and not a patch on P 100-300 optically. My 5c.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The 75-300 II is the same design as the original 75-300. So any comments on the original 75-300 and 100-300 would also apply here.
  7. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Mc14850, both these are terrific lenses. Both have the same major strengths & weaknesses - size, IQ, close focus & build quality & price. There are some small differences but they are really small like the 1/3rd stop difference. OIS is reported to provide a bit more stabilization than IBIS by members of this forum. The O75-300mm will focus a bit faster on the OMD. But @ 300mm you will have a challenge keeping the camera steady enough & the AF will be too slow for fast critters & will hunt frequently with either lens.

    After much debate & tests, I bought the O75-300 simply because it uses 58mm filters which I already own several of. I couldn't find any other reason to distinguish one from the other.

    The biggest IQ complaint about both is they are not as sharp @ 300 as @ 150mm. But this is more of a comment about their very high IQ @150. If you take a look at the tests over @ Photozone, you'll find the P100-300mm is nearly as sharp @ 300mm as the Nikon 300 F4 prime - an exceptional lens.

    I've done lots of wildlife shooting w/ the Oly 75-300 & when it is steady, it is great. Stability is a real challenge BECAUSE of the low weight of these lenses. Choosing to use a tripod is a vastly more important factor than any optical/AF/IS differences between these 2 great choices.

    Also you'll want to develop a solid focusing workflow - MF, viewer mag, VF stabilization, AF target size, back button focus or focus peaking. Take your pick.

    But boy these are great fun to use!
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  8. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Me, too. Went for the II version for it's reduced price and 58mm filter ring, which accommodates my filter plan of 58mm as the max and only; others stepped up to.
  9. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Sorry to jump in sort of off topic, but that is not a valid comparison. You can't compare resolution numbers at Photozone across systems. In fact you can't even compare them in the same system unless tested on the same body (so in the m43 section you can't compare their 12MP and 16MP tests with any validity). Photozone themselves say this in their FAQ.

    None of these lens test sites (Photozone, DPR, SLRGear) are actually testing lenses. They are testing lens/body combinations. And each site uses their own testing methods. So the only valid comparisons are the same review site using the same body. You'll find this only applies to a very small subset of possible lens comparisons - hence the rather low utility of the MTF50 numbers given by these sites.

    This is a nice write up of the issue if you are the type who likes to waste a bunch of time reading technical mumbo-jumbo online :)

    Notes on MTF measurements

    • Like Like x 1
  10. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Any test results that coincide with my preconceived beliefs is a valid test.
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  11. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
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  12. James Pilcher

    James Pilcher Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 6, 2011
    Colorful Colorado
    The M Zuiko 75-300mm

    The optical formula of the new Oly is the same as the old. You do get the benefit of Oly's new lens coatings and a substantially lower price.

    I have the original M Zuiko 75-300mm and I use it on my E-PL5. It can be sharp sharp sharp at 300mm when you use proper technique. I got some terrific bird photos this past January in Florida. As one other member here commented though, the very best results at 300mm come from tripod mounting and manual focus. The AF is just fine with this lens, but I was using manual focus because the the head of the bird was sometimes small enough that it could fool the E-PL5 AF some of the time and the camera would focus on the background behind the head.

    The lens is slow enough that I tend to use a minimum of ISO 800 on my E-PL5, sometimes ISO 1600 even in relatively good light. I'm glad the E-PL5 is such a good performer at these ISO numbers.

    I cannot imagine the Lumix being any better than this lens. Buy it and enjoy!
  13. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Well done Ken. Thanks for stating the caveats. A nice thing about Photozone is their full disclosure policy unlike nearly everyone else.

    However, I have to respond with a small but? The 2 tests I mentioned are for similar sensor resolutions (10 & 12 mp) AND, the usefulness of the numerical results are demonstrated by the sample photos included with the test reports. Photozone's inclusion of sample photos is another nice feature.

    Using numerical resolution tests to split hairs (pun intended) is a waste of all our time. The big picture (sorry) is both these native zooms will produce visually very satisfying images - almost as good as the big $$ Nikon prime.

    I think we are really lucky to have 2 terrific lenses in this FL range to choose from. The down side is we may never see a native 300mm F4 prime for Mu43.
    • Like Like x 1
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