Review Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

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My own (very amateur) tests informed me that the bare lenses were probably within sample variation of each other.

I have long thought that my copy of the EC-14 is outside of what one would expect from normal sample variation.

You have done excellent comparisons - I had already read them. Mine lack controls of any meaningful description. They merely convinced me that the 75-300 II can produce very good images if used with good attention to technique.

My 50-200 MkI is now too heavy for me to use comfortably, or carry any appreciable distance.
 

S-Osolin

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Feb 20, 2019
Messages
93
II has olympus zero coating compared to first version of this lens, If I'm not mistaken. I wonder if it's that that makes it better at macro. I've extensively used it and 40-150 with raynox 250 and extension tubes. Sharpness wise, they do pretty much the same. They lack corner sharpness, but have good centres. Both are pretty good in this regard for adapted macro, but while 40-150 will struggle in sharp daylight and often exhibit chromatic aberrations, 75-300 will go above that and be a quality performer all the time.
 

Excel9

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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.

View attachment 707438
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!!

View attachment 707439
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.

View attachment 707440
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.

View attachment 707441
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).

View attachment 707442
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.

View attachment 707443
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.

View attachment 707444
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.
 

Excel9

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"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!!"-707438.
Am curious, 707438!
Could you share with us what 2x digital teleconverter did you use?
Olympus's
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.

View attachment 707438
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!!

View attachment 707439
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.

View attachment 707440
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.

View attachment 707441
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).

View attachment 707442
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.

View attachment 707443
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.

View attachment 707444
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.
website didn't include 75-300 in their compatibility chart for either the 1.4x or the 2x teleconverter.
 

RAH

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New Hampshire
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Rich
Digital teleconverter works in-camera by cropping into the center of the picture! ;)
Yup. Digital zoom is an abomination (IMHO) and should be avoided at all costs. You can always do the exact same thing in PP and have more control, so there's no point in DZ. Well, OK, maybe if you wanted to send someone a quick snapshot of your lunch or something like that, but isn't that what smartphones are for!
 
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Harrisburg, PA
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Joseph T Murphy IV
Dear Board,

I bought a copy early this summer when Olympus USA was offering it for $ 399.00 plus free shipping and still providing reward points.

I am always looking for more reach since I mostly shoot birds and wildlife. I'll agree with everyone else that you need good light but I have been pleased with what I have been able to do with mine.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrsiburg PA :)
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