Olympus 75-300 lens?

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I'm curious what experience anyone has had with this lens. I'd like to get a bit more range on my OMD-EM5 and G3 than ingest on my Panasonic 45-200. I looked at the Panasonic 100-300mm but it seems very large and heavy.
 

gryphon1911

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I'll let you know if a few days. Just picked up a used Like New copy a few days ago for a steal. Initial impressions are good, but have yet to do more than the "backyard testing" with it. Lots of stuff going on in my neck of the woods this weekend, so I might have a chance to run it through the paces and see if it will keep a permanent place in my m43 kit.
 

David A

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I bought it for something longer than the 40-150 for shooting birds. My big problems with it are that at 300mm it's slow, F/6.7. which means that I have to push ISO higher than I prefer in order to get fast enough shutter speeds to avoid blur from bird movement and allow me to handhold exposures without camera shake since, at nearly 67, I'm not as steady as I used to be. These problems are compounded since a lot of the birds I shoot are in shadowed areas rather than in good light. I also find autofocus a bit of a gamble at times when the bird is a long way away and relatively small in the frame.

If I'm not shooting birds, say using it for picking details out of distant landscapes, and the light is good none of the above issues apply and I'm much happier. It's a good lens but not a great one like the 75mm when it comes to things like sharpness.

Not a lens I use often but I do find it useful when I need the reach. My feelings about it really depend a lot on what I'm using it for and there's a big difference between using it in good light and in low light at the long end.
 
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Ross the fiddler

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I bought it for something longer than the 40-150 for shooting birds. My big problems with it are that at 300mm it's slow, F/6.7. which means that I have to push ISO higher than I prefer in order to get fast enough shutter speeds to avoid blur from bird movement and allow me to handhold exposures without camera shake since, at nearly 67, I'm not as steady as I used to be. These problems are compounded since a lot of the birds I shoot are in shadowed areas rather than in good light. I also find autofocus a bit of a gamble at times when the bird is a long way away and relatively small in the frame.

If I'm not shooting birds, say using it for picking details out of distant landscapes, and the light is good none of the above issues apply and I'm much happier. It's a good lens but not a great one like the 75mm when it comes to things like sharpness.

Not a lens I use often but I do find it useful when I need the reach. My feelings about it really depend a lot on what I'm using it for and there's a big difference between using it in good light and in low light at the long end.
Most of that applies to me too (except I don't have the 75mm lens) & the thing to remember here is at its price point it is a nice lens. I would have preferred it was a little heavier & a little brighter, but it still performs well for what it is.

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ISO 4000, 1/400 sec., f/6.1, 200mm
 

EarthQuake

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Having owned both the 100-300 and the 75-300 here is my take:

The 100-300 is bigger, heavier, a little slower to AF, a little more prone to hunting when focusing, but it has OIS. When it comes to actual image quality, the IOS of the 100-300 doesn't give a significant advantage over the 75-300 and the IBIS (with the EM5/1 at least, probably worse with older cameras and some pens). However, IOS is a nice benefit because it offers constant stabilization to the viewfinder which is very handy for framing. The EM1/5/10 can stabilize the viewfinder, but only when half-holding, which makes it awkward to frame and focus quickly, as you're often letting go of the shutter button and losing IS.

The aperture difference is just, well, not a difference at all in real use. I've read that the transmission difference is basically 1/3rd of a stop (though I haven't verified this myself). Fact of the matter is, if there isn't enough light to get the shot with the 75-300, there isn't enough light to get it with the 100-300 either.

With both lenses, handling and technique is absolute essential. There are a decent amount of less than stellar reviews out there for each lens, and I can say from experience that these lenses are as good as the shooter(technique) and the light. With poor technique, you're not going to get good results. With poor light, you'll have to raise the ISO too high to keep a reasonable shutter speed.

Both lenses are small, so small that you might want to snap away like you're using a moderate zoom, but don't be fooled, these are super long telephoto lenses. Hand holding is possible but you need to be sure to have a very steady hold of the camera. I don't like to carry a tripod/monopod, so I whenever I can I end up bracing the lens on something, like a tree, or crouching down and getting a more stable stance. I also try to hold the lens as forward as I can, that seems to help stability quite a bit.

Both lenses have difficulty picking out a distant bird from foliage, and you may need to use MAF override to coax it to the proper focus point, this is probably more of a CDAF problem than a lens problem though.

Personally, I went with the 75-300 due to the smaller size and weight, as well as the slightly better AF performance on my EM1. The weight difference is noticeable when hiking etc. Both lenses are great though if you understand their strengths and weaknesses.
 

Johbremat

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I'm curious what experience anyone has had with this lens. I'd like to get a bit more range on my OMD-EM5 and G3 than ingest on my Panasonic 45-200. I looked at the Panasonic 100-300mm but it seems very large and heavy.
Just bought one yesterday. Exceeded my expectations (which had been lowered considerably after spending a month researching it versus the P100-300. And that lens? I hear it chews though battery even when OIS is turned off.



I took this yesterday. It was a bright sunny day, but the feeder is in the shade. ISO 4000, 1/400, f/7.1, @ 300mm. Handheld.
And that's using an E-M10? Might sound daft, but love the grain. For 4000 I reckon it renders damn well (unless you've mistakenly added an extra digit, in which case *shrugs*).



The 100-300 is bigger, heavier, a little slower to AF, a little more prone to hunting when focusing, but it has OIS. When it comes to actual image quality, the IOS of the 100-300 doesn't give a significant advantage over the 75-300 and the IBIS (with the EM5/1 at least, probably worse with older cameras and some pens). However, IOS is a nice benefit because it offers constant stabilization to the viewfinder which is very handy for framing. The EM1/5/10 can stabilize the viewfinder, but only when half-holding, which makes it awkward to frame and focus quickly, as you're often letting go of the shutter button and losing IS.

...

With both lenses, handling and technique is absolute essential. There are a decent amount of less than stellar reviews out there for each lens, and I can say from experience that these lenses are as good as the shooter(technique) and the light. With poor technique, you're not going to get good results. With poor light, you'll have to raise the ISO too high to keep a reasonable shutter speed.
Good points.



The aperture difference is just, well, not a difference at all in real use. I've read that the transmission difference is basically 1/3rd of a stop (though I haven't verified this myself). Fact of the matter is, if there isn't enough light to get the shot with the 75-300, there isn't enough light to get it with the 100-300 either.
Interesting. One of the concerns for me was the lower transmission when trying to decide which to pick up, but in the end considered my use and all other factors (battery usage, size, weight, any lens correction using the E-P5 and E-M1) and chose the O75-300.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Also, the lens hood (not supplied with the lens) for the 75-300 lens is also the same one as the 4/3's 70-300 lens which, to my mind is too large so I modified a JJC hood (JJC LH61D) for the 40-150 lens instead which is much better proportionally & it can also be reversed.
Here it is fitted on the 75-300 lens.

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The back view of an Olympus LH61D for the 40-150 lens
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& of the modified JJC copy.
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And that's using an E-M10? Might sound daft, but love the grain. For 4000 I reckon it renders damn well (unless you've mistakenly added an extra digit, in which case *shrugs*).
No mistake, it was ISO 4000. More hummingbirds here.
And a photo of my cat that was hanging out with me at the time. ISO 2000 on the photo.

I like the 75-300 for landscapes. It renders an unusual quality I think.

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M1016154
by Harvey Richards, on Flickr


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M1018440
by Harvey Richards, on Flickr


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M1018436_edited-1 by Harvey Richards, on Flickr
 

Mattr

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Excellent when used with care

I have only had this lens for around 2 weeks but I'm very happy. It's sharp, focuses quickly and performs very well in my opinion. Where people tend to have issues is when they don't apply the correct handling techniques required for a 600mm equivalent lens. You need to think of it in 35mm terms, or else you will have issues. No photographer would prefer to handhold a 600mm lens at a shutter speed much below 1/800s (I know the rule of thumb is 1/600 but I find long lenses move a bit more above 400mm). Also, remember it's a zoom not a prime and it retials for a few hundred rather than thousand dollars so, it performs like a good zoom. You can get perfectly suitable detail though using good post porcessing techniques for sharpening and detail extraction.

Rules/techniques for long lenses:

Use a monpod or tripod if shutter speeds are lower than 1/focal length
Place a hand on the barrel to steady further
If handholding, get a solid stance, hold the camera with one hand under the barrel the other on the camera grip, tuck the barrel-holding arm close-in to your body and breathe slowly (very like shooting a rifle, if you've done that)
Use higher ISO if necessary (a noisy shot is better than none)
Use single point focus to ensure you are in control of the focus spot
For small/distant objects such as birds in flight, start wide then zoom once you've framed the subject, focus and shoot

If I can work out how to upload pictures, I'll show some examples of my playing.

Cheers,
Matt
 

fike

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I have had and later sold this lens. The 75-300 v2 is pretty good up to 200mm, but the the IQ drops off significantly where at 300mm I think it is merely okay. I have the Oly 75mm which is a great lens. I have used the canon 100-400 L lens and it is much better than the Oly 75-300 v2.
 

Johbremat

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I like the 75-300 for landscapes. It renders an unusual quality I think.
I dig it.

Just with those photos, they look like they could have come from any lens...the haze could be combatted with UV or PLC, yeah? Or was that the nature of the glass in that environment regardless?

I've been playing with it on-and-off the past week and really? Can't see any issues with sharpness, even at 300/6.7 where people suggest it's quite soft. Wicked deal at AUD$409 new.

I just need to decide when it's too dark to use.

I'm really amazed at how well these cameras (E-M1 and E-P5 in my case) render at such high ISO. More film grain than speckle to my eyes. I wouldn't normally go beyond 640 and yet at 2000 and 4000, I'm still enjoying the quality of output even if my composition is lacking. Any issues that I may have I can always add a little vignette or make black-and-white if appropriate.
 

Gary Ramey

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I'm fairly close to selling mine. I've had it for about 4 months but can't seem to find the sweet spot. Either the sharpness isn't there or I'm not getting the photo at all because of focus lag. Not sure why it hunts but I'll get perfect backgrounds with an OOF subject more often than not. In any case, I also own a manual Canon 300mm L lens that severely outperforms the Olympus. My problem is it doesn't have AF so I'm having to manual focus. In any case there is a void of long prime lenses for the micro four thirds.
i'm tempted to fork out for the 75mm prime and just crop the hell out of it.
 

Geoff3DMN

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I enjoy using mine and it's a very good lens in good light where I find the results to be sharp and with good contrast. it isn't however a lens I'd normally use at 300mm in poor light. I bought mine because the 40-150mm didn't have enough range for the type of photography I use a long zoom for a lot of the time and I wouldn't part with it.

I've a couple of photos (taken on a dull day with my 75-300) in the "Life's a Beach" thread which I think show that even then it can be used with decent results (any failure in the shots is purely down to my lack of skills not the lens) :wink:

https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=67389&page=4
 

Johbremat

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I'm fairly close to selling mine. I've had it for about 4 months but can't seem to find the sweet spot. Either the sharpness isn't there or I'm not getting the photo at all because of focus lag. Not sure why it hunts but I'll get perfect backgrounds with an OOF subject more often than not.
What body are you using? Wonder if that, or the use of S-AF MF would help.

Also curious if it's an issue with the focussing distance. I'll admit to mine hunting a bit never really concerned me as I don't (can't?) shoot action.


i'm tempted to fork out for the 75mm prime and just crop the hell out of it.
Fair to say you can't go wrong even if you kept the O75-300.
 
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I agree with most of what has been said. I've had the mk1 for a couple of years now, and I use it primarily for perching or wading birds. In bright light, and when the subject is close enough, the AF is fine and the feather microdetail is surprisingly good (especially considering the size and price of the lens). I am almost always shooting at 300mm, and I don't find that focal length itself a problem for sharpness. Of course, the farther away the bird, the less sharp it will be, but that's true of any lens. In poor light, such as overcast days, the lens reaches it's limits very quickly.

The most important thing about this lens is that due to its portability and Oly's IBIS, using it is a lot of fun in comparison to other systems reaching a 600mm (equiv) focal length. There just isn't anything else with that package and price in any system. It's not fast, has low DOF, and as sharp as it is it could be sharper, but hiking and shooting wildlife with it is relatively effortless. As many others have said, what sets apart a good system is not the IQ (because it's all good these days) but how well the system frees you to do what you want. This camera/lens combo does that. While of course the posters recommending a tripod are correct in that it would help, I would contend that you generally don't need one to get nice shots, particularly for wildlife where a tripod would be too cumbersome and could cause you to miss the shot.
 

Chasmodai

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With the usual caveats, I like using the lens. This was taken today, in bright sunlight. 100% crop. f/10, 215mm, 1/640, iso 400

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Growltiger

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I am happy with mine. At 75-200 it is capable of very sharp results, slightly softer at 300. On the E-M1 it focuses fast and doesn't hunt - I stick to S-AF and fast shutter speed (1/1000).

I would pay more for a slightly heavier, slightly wider aperture, slightly sharper lens. But it doesn't exist.

When I compare results with the 12-40 the 12-40 is much better, but so it should be, given it is "Pro" and more expensive. It will be interesting to see what the Pro 40-150 f/2.8 and 300 f/4 are like.
 

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