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Review Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

Discussion in 'Reviews, Tests, & Shootouts' started by gryphon1911, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    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.

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    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!!

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    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.

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    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.

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    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).

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    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.

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    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 alter 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.

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    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.
     
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  2. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    879
    Nov 19, 2014
    Good summary, Andrew. I got mine for a bit over $300 USD, and it was in excellent shape. As you say, it isn't exceptional, but in good light can be very good.
     
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  3. Walter

    Walter Mu-43 Top Veteran

    503
    Aug 6, 2016
    Germany
    Hi Andrew,
    here are a couple of shots (all handheld) that show why I like this lens.
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  4. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    I hope mine works as well as yours.
    I got it to shoot softball and baseball in the spring. Its is a LONG reach from outside the outfield fence to home plate.
     
  5. Saledolce

    Saledolce Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    785
    Apr 17, 2017
    Italy
    If I sell my 14-150 (as I'm planning to do, to buy a 12-100 ) I will probably pick this or the panny 100-300mm to have somethin longer than 100mm.

    Is there any review comparing this lens with the 14-150 or the 40-150R on the overlapping FLs? I'm becoming progressively more picky on sharpness...
     
  6. Equable

    Equable Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    190
    Feb 2, 2017
    Jersey. Channel Islands
    Rod
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    I have this lens almost by accident. I visited our local electrical retailer who were (sadly) clearing out the m4/3 stock in their camera section. The 75-300 was in a cabinet priced at the princely sum of £149 brand new. Well it seemed rude not to!
    At first I was not sure, but with care and using auto iso in heavily wooded areas, I can get pleasing results even at 300mm.
     
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  7. chipbutty

    chipbutty Mu-43 Top Veteran

    A steal at that price. I got mine on Black Friday and John Lewis price matched a competitor. Combined with the Olympus £85 cash back offer and it was a very good deal. Though Olympus are incredibly finicky about what they will accept as evidence of purchase. I still haven't received my cash back :mad: 

     
  8. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Just remember to keep the shutter speed as high as you can. Between the light weight and potential shutter shock, I try and shoot mine no slower then 1/400 and usually try and keep it around 1/1000 of I can.

    When I started doing that, my keeper rate went up significantly. So, this guy really is a good light lens primarily. I've had since success at shower shutter speed, but it felt very hit and miss at times.
     
  9. StephenB

    StephenB Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 29, 2018
    Somerset UK
    Steve
    They are, what was OK for one deal was deemed unacceptable for a subsequent deal, luckily Wex sourced me an email and telephone number, I then contacted one of the more senior staff (probably by accident) at Olympus UK and she forwarded her email and dealt with the problem through one of her staff. I ended up scanning a paper receipt, as a Paypal screen grab was no good, all worked out well in the end :) 
     
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  10. chipbutty

    chipbutty Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Interesting. I think I'll try that but time is fast running out. I've tried a photo of the paper receipt (good enough for Panasonic and Ricoh) and screen grab. They're still won't accept it. Kind of left a bad taste in the mouth.

     
  11. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    I bought one to use with my EP5. When I went all M43 with 2 Gx8's I got the PL100-400. However I kept the 75-300II - a unfairly maligned lens in many cases. I find that @ 300mm if I use electronic shutter @1/750 it is as sharp as it is at say 275mm. Small and light for what it is, and I go to the SW for a week to image and normally it's the 9-18 or 12-35 and the 75-100 II . The PL100-400 while an exceptional lens is just too big for hiking in the desert. Used here between $300-350 US they are a steal. Put a Canon 500D dual element closeup lens on it and the macros are very good.

    Cross Orb Weaver
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    Not bad for big birds in flight either:
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    And for things you want a little distance from its a "life saver":) 

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    It's in my kit to stay.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019
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  12. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    879
    Nov 19, 2014
    Good captures, wow especially on that last one.
     
  13. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    Thankfully softball and baseball are afternoon games, in the sun :yahoo:
    The softball and baseball fields are not lighted, so no night games.
     
  14. mary

    mary Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    233
    Dec 13, 2018
    My copy is very sharp. Here is an image taken with the lens in good light.F8 1600 shutter iso 800.
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  15. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Very nice. I just feel the lens is a little under rated because it needs some special handling from time to time to get these great images we are seeing produced. Once you get it down though, the price to performance ratio is hard to beat!
     
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  16. chipbutty

    chipbutty Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Completely. I decided when I got this lens to use no other lens but this one for several months. I think the light weight makes it more difficult to handle and it takes a lot of getting used to and time to build muscle memory. I still wouldn't say I'm proficient with it. Before each shot I have to consciously think about what I'm doing with my arms, hands and breathing to ensure the camera and lens are as still as possible.

     
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  17. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    Shooting a LONG lens is like shooting a target rifle.
    You have to learn the technique, then execute properly.

    As example, I shot my nieces wedding with a DX camera (1.5x crop) and a 70-210 lens (at 210mm) at 1/50 sec, in a DIM church with no VR. By standard guideline the min shutter speed should have been 1/(210x1.5) or 1/315 sec. So I was about 2-1/2 stops below the guideline. I used everything that I knew to pull off those slow shots. I was expecting 20% keepers, I got 80% keepers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  18. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    879
    Nov 19, 2014
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  19. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 24, 2018
    I shot a baseball game last week, and a tennis match today, with a softball game tomorrow.
    The reach of the 75-300 is NICE :D 
    I could "reach out there" where I couldn't last year, with an old 75-300mm on an APS-C/DX camera, and no stabilization.
    And the IBIS made it possible to handhold the lens, with good results.

    My only gripe, is the zoom ring is not up to the level that I like. It is not light and smooth. It turns a little sticky, like plastic on plastic. But not a smooth polished plastic cam. So follow zooming was tough to do. But then it isn't an EXPENSIVE pro lens. Maybe it will smoothen out with use/wear.

    For the price I paid, I am happy :) 
     
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