Olympus 75-300ii Review (pic heavy)

EdricBF

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These photos seem sharp to me at 300mm. I suspect that some people saying it is soft at 300mm are not using a high enough shutter speed.

I try to avoid shooting my Panasonic 100-300 (I) below 1/1000: the possible higher-ISO noise from my G85 is more acceptable to me than the softness from a lower shutter speed. I get very nice results (better than the soft pics above) using my 100-300 at 1/1000 and maximum ISO 3200. Of course one can always get a bad copy of the zoom, and testing the lens under those settings within the returning period really pays... :)
 

Sam S

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I try to avoid shooting my Panasonic 100-300 (I) below 1/1000: the possible higher-ISO noise from my G85 is more acceptable to me than the softness from a lower shutter speed. I get very nice results (better than the soft pics above) using my 100-300 at 1/1000 and maximum ISO 3200. Of course one can always get a bad copy of the zoom, and testing the lens under those settings within the returning period really pays... :)

You realise this, as most, websites compress the shit out of images and thus they will never look as sharp or as detailed as they do on the owners' PCs... I don't think I would call many of the images above soft and most are sharp enough. BTW 1/1000s is way too fast to shoot certain subjects like helicopters or prop planes in the air so there are (many) situations where shutter speed calls for a way slower time. Tele lenses of any focal length above 200mm call for a lot of practice and definitely require special techniques to be learnt before just heading out and shooting, unfortunately most people think they can just point a 600mm lens at something far away and it will come out perfectly sharp and full of detail without considering a) subject movement b) hand-shake c) wind d) atmospheric distortion. Even seasoned photographers who normally shoot at wider FL struggle getting good sharp images out of a lens over 400mm the first few times they use them. Practice is key with this and comparable lenses.
 

RAH

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I'd call many of them soft. Also, the fact that websites usually require downsized images often make the results look SHARPER than the actual full-res image (as the result of downsizing and then sharpening). In fact, I've always considered websites a VERY poor indication of a lens's sharpness for this very reason (unless a "100% crop" is shown). I was kind of surprised that the images in this thread look as soft as some of them do, and wondered whether they needed some shaprening just to restore the sharpness lost because of the downsizing.
 

Ross the fiddler

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I like my Mk II very much. Paradoxically, there are times when I wish it did have a tiny bit more weight. That might make the steadying process easier and supplement the IBIS.
A little more weight with it being a little brighter would have been nice & so if they make one like that with weather sealing it would a great lens more so.
 

Ross the fiddler

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I'd call many of them soft. Also, the fact that websites usually require downsized images often make the results look SHARPER than the actual full-res image (as the result of downsizing and then sharpening). In fact, I've always considered websites a VERY poor indication of a lens's sharpness for this very reason (unless a "100% crop" is shown). I was kind of surprised that the images in this thread look as soft as some of them do, and wondered whether they needed some shaprening just to restore the sharpness lost because of the downsizing.
Any image uploaded that has been reduced in size (which it has to be) should be sharpened for web display, otherwise it will look soft anyhow.
 

RAH

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Any image uploaded that has been reduced in size (which it has to be) should be sharpened for web display, otherwise it will look soft anyhow.
Yes, I agree. That's what I meant - perhaps these were not sharpened after downsizing, which is why they look kind of soft (at least to me anyway) .
 

bbarnett51

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Yes, I agree. That's what I meant - perhaps these were not sharpened after downsizing, which is why they look kind of soft (at least to me anyway) .

The photos in my original post are not that sharp in my opinion. They are decently sharp wide open and at 300mm. I didnt sharpen in post bc I wanted to review the lens. However, I will say that I have gotten much better results after using this for a month or so. Its not a razor sharp lens at 300mm but its pretty dang good. Much better than I expected. If you go to the 75-300 thread you can see some recent examples that are decently sharp in my opinion. The roadrunner is a 100% crop
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The photos in my original post are not that sharp in my opinion. They are decently sharp wide open and at 300mm. I didnt sharpen in post bc I wanted to review the lens. However, I will say that I have gotten much better results after using this for a month or so. Its not a razor sharp lens at 300mm but its pretty dang good. Much better than I expected. If you go to the 75-300 thread you can see some recent examples that are decently sharp in my opinion. The roadrunner is a 100% crop View attachment 546191 View attachment 546192 View attachment 546193

I agree it's a good lens once you really learn the proper shooting techniques for it. I'm so happy you are enjoying the lens and getting great results out of it. Look forward to seeing more from it.
 

bbarnett51

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I agree it's a good lens once you really learn the proper shooting techniques for it. I'm so happy you are enjoying the lens and getting great results out of it. Look forward to seeing more from it.
It's probably the hardest lens I've used in any system! It just doesn't balance like larger lenses. I use every bit of the awesome Oly IBIS with this lens. Lol
 
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It's probably the hardest lens I've used in any system! It just doesn't balance like larger lenses. I use every bit of the awesome Oly IBIS with this lens. Lol

It's just so stupid light for the reach. I wish it had a way to attach an optional tripod foot, would be so much easier to use on a tri/monopod
 

Lawrence Beck

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I haven't seen any reference to the blog post by Robin Wong regarding his test of this lens. In the following post, keep in mind that this was Robin's first effort at photographing birds. He was shooting at between 1/60 and 1/80, handheld, at 300mm and f6.7 for the most part, with three exceptions. Robin Wong: A Day at Fraser's Hill with M.Zuiko 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II on Olympus OM-D E-M10
I'm wondering if some of the image softness I'm reading about with this lens is the result of shutter shock?
Robin's test of this lens was done with the EM10, which has three axis IS... so he had a lot working against him with the slow shutter speeds, hand holding and only three axis IS.
Then there's the possibility of sample variability.
All told... this looks like a pretty decent lens.
 

b_rubenstein

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Ignore any comments by Rob. He could probably get great shots using a broken Coke bottle :bowdown:

Getting tack sharp pictures with long lenses is depends good technique and knowing how to configure the camera, and lots of practice.
 

Snowonuluru

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Regarding comments about its light weight making steadying the lens difficult, I wonder if a lead band encased in a rubberized sleeve of some sort could be wrapped around the zoom ring to increase the mass? Lead is malleable enough for that I think?
 

RAH

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I have never heard of trying to make camera equipment heavier (except perhaps a weight bag on a tripod). Now I've seen it all! ;)
 

Sawdust

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Haven't shot more than a couple dozen times with this lens. Looking forward to learning technique and getting experience with it, to approach beauty of images I see in this thread. I like the lens a lot. Thank goodness for Olympus Refurbished specials! I like the fact that I do not have to get real close to subject for a capture. I look forward to getting better with it...lots to learn.

Busy Bee on Dandelion

E-M10, F/8, 1/400, ISO 200

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Bidkev

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I haven't seen any reference to the blog post by Robin Wong regarding his test of this lens. In the following post, keep in mind that this was Robin's first effort at photographing birds. He was shooting at between 1/60 and 1/80, handheld, at 300mm and f6.7 for the most part, with three exceptions. Robin Wong: A Day at Fraser's Hill with M.Zuiko 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II on Olympus OM-D E-M10
I'm wondering if some of the image softness I'm reading about with this lens is the result of shutter shock?
Robin's test of this lens was done with the EM10, which has three axis IS... so he had a lot working against him with the slow shutter speeds, hand holding and only three axis IS.
Then there's the possibility of sample variability.
All told... this looks like a pretty decent lens.

Agreed. If you check my contributions in the "birds" thread or "75-300" thread you will see from flickr exif that all my shots are with the em10 despite me having bodies with 5 axis. I shoot with the em10 because I picked it up for A$200 and therefore consider it to be OK to give the rough treatment that birding may cause.

I have no idea why there is so much disparity in images from, and reviews of, this lens?

I also don't understand those who say (here and elsewhere) that it's difficult to hold steady? I find it to be a doddle after coming from full frame and apsc and I have a frozen left shoulder and am right handed which means I support the combo with my damaged arm/shoulder. I've taken shots at 1/15 sec at full stretch that have been sharp. Agreed, it seemed strange on my first shoot as my body was tense as it used to be with the canon combo so there was a sort of "overcompensation of/for shake" but no, I love every minute of being in the field, whereas before, it was becoming a chore. My guess is that perhaps those who have had a problem with the lens, have done likewise as I did on my first shoot? Either that, or as has been suggested, there really is a big disparity in IQ from lens to lens?

My only suggestion for those who have a problem, and veterans may know what I mean, is to treat this lens as an extension of your body as you would your weapon. Relax and revel in the fact that it puts no strain on your body. Just enjoy it and don't be overthinking as this is what IMHO can cause bad technique. just hold it steady, and the IBIS will take care of the rest.....................and I know that this may sound like a given, and that nobody would be so stupid as to not allow for it, but looking at exif on flickr, it seems that many don't..............IBIS will not compensate for subject movement. If your shutter speed isn't up to freezing movement, then no amount of image stabilisation will give you a sharp image
 

Lawrence Beck

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To add to Kevin's post above... if your lens is not providing sharp images at full zoom and max aperture: shoot a few images with the camera tripod mounted, at full zoom and wide open, with IS enabled and a 2 second shutter delay. If, after doing that test you're still getting soft images than you can be assured it's a poor sample. Just make sure that when you trigger the shutter you depress it halfway to engage the IS before the 2 second delay initiates.
If this test provides sharp images than you'll know where the problem lies.
 
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