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4.7 out of 5 stars67
4.7 out of 5 stars
Price:£329.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on 15 July 2008
I bought this lens after seeing some example photos. When I received it I wanted to return it. Some distant motifs across 1 km lake where not as sharp as I had expected. But then i tried it on a soccer match. The images where razor sharp. It is also a marvel to use in close up photography - razor sharp whith crystal clear details and wonderfully unsharp background. This is also the case in portrait photography.
I have 11-22mm, 14-42, 40-150 and this one really opened a door to a new world in photography wide open for me. But bear in mind two things: Firstly, long distance photography means light penetration though large masses of air with humidity, dust and temperaturedifference-related distorsions in the air.
A long lens is not at all easy to master.
Second, the focus engine has a lot of work to do due to the long movements necessary to go from oo to close up. So the lens is not so quick as the 11-22.
Another aspect is that the bokeh makes the difficult for the focus sensor to decide which way to adjust when the lens is very much out of focus. This is easily avoided by a litte help of manual prefocusing. If it should hunt. a quick release and repeated press on the release button fixes this. Used in this way the lens is quick and dead on.
The lens is also very compact and well built.
Sigma makes an identical lens (the ED-version!) to a much lower price. But try it before buying it.
The Zuiko 70-300mm is a great lens even without considering its price.

FIH Norway
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on 27 July 2010
When the box was delivered I was surprised at the weight and size of this lens, though I suppose I shouldn't have been; but the picture is a bit deceptive. It is, after all, the 35mm equivalent of a 140 - 600mm zoom lens.

I have now played around with this lens for about a month and I am impressed with the results - the optics are excellent and produce good, crisp images throughout the focal range. It certainly brings distant objects right up close and I have had some excellent results using the E-420 and this lens in macro mode - a bee the size of a house and you can count every hair.

I most certainly recommend this lens for the amateur wildlife photographer. I have yet to find an opportunity to use it for action/sports shots but I am confident that this lens will excel in that area too.

The only adverse comments I have are that focusing can be a touch slow and noisy when shifting from extremes of focus, but the manual focus option can overcome that to a degree either via the camera or the AF/MF switch on the lens itself. To avoid camera shake from the addition of this heavy lens to a camera body I would recommend using a solid tripod and, possibly, a remote control.

Highly recommended and within the pocket of most amateur or semi-pro photographers I would have thought. I have had Olympus equipment in the past and this certainly lives up to my expectations.
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on 15 October 2010
This lens is simply brilliant for wildlife photography. I would recommend using a tripod/mono pod or some support unit due to the terrible camera shake you get with telephoto lenses.
The manual focus isn't that hard to master and is simply brilliant with this lens when you do master it!
It's a pretty good all around lens, if you use the correct settings on your camera for what you are photographing, however i prefer to use my standard wide angle lens for landscapes when i don't want to lug my heavy tripod around. Having said that it captures waterfalls, rives and oceans pretty amazingly with a nice slow shutter speed!
All in all, worth every penny ... would recommend it to any semi-amateur photographer!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 August 2010
My E520 came with a 17.5-45mm `special' kit lens and it did its job whilst I was leaning to get to grips with the camera, but, as with all kit lenses, it's limited with what it can do so I knew I had to get a couple of extra pieces of glass, one of which was the 70-300mm. Though I'm not in a position to compare this with other telephoto zooms, having used it for a while, I can tell you that it does take some great photos and with the focal length doubled on Olympus cameras, you can get `right in there'. It also shoots down to 38 inches in manual mode or 48 inches when auto is selected.

What you have to bear in mind is that although the physical size isn't great and the 22 ounce weight (that's 615 g) may not sound a lot, when used at the top end, it'll soon begin to get heavy after a while, which is why a tripod is essential. Something else you need to know is that if the camera is set to 'Manual Focus', the AF/MF switch will always operate in manual mode irrespective of what position the switch is in. Ah, the manual focusing ring. Why do they always make it as small as possible? One minor complaint I have is that when manual focussing, the ring seems to grind slightly at times, though it might be my particular lens but I can live with it.

At f4.0, this isn't the quickest lens you can get but is good for the current price. It closes down to f22. The thread size is 58mm and the package includes a hood. If you want something that takes nice pictures with good colours and is easy to get on with (once you've resolved the weight issue), you can't go wrong with this lens.
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on 28 August 2011
I've had this lens for a few months now having tried some old OM manual focus zoom lenses and this far outperforms them. It does have limitations, as would any similar lens from other manufacturers' systems, and in certain conditions (bright days) it does a fantastic job.

Olympus builds image stabilisation into the body of the camera, that means this lens is lighter than, say, similar Nikon or Canon lenses. It is certainly lighter that the old OM mount lenses I tried. Despite its lighter weight and like other Olympus Zuiko lenses it feels well made with a smooth zoom and focusing action and it has a strong metal bayonet mount, a must for bigger lenses.

The auto-focus has difficulty in focusing and hunts when the target is a low contrast area - forget trying to focus on the sky or sand. I have learned techniques to get around this shortcoming such as zooming out, focusing and zooming in again. This is common problem with many big zoom lenses. The focus is, however, accurate.

You can hear the focus and I have read that it is louder than some. However, it isn't as noisy as, say, a motor-wind or the click of a camera's shutter. It doesn't frighten off birds in my garden when I am less than 3 metres away.

The image is pin sharp at its "sweet spot" at f9, at f4 and f5.6 it can be a little soft. I have found an issue when wanting to take shots with a high shutter speed, hence my previous comment about bright days. When it is dull and overcast I don't bother trying to get photos of the birds fighting over the feeder in my garden. When it is sunny, I have taken some terrific pictures with this lens both in my garden (I have a hide close to the feeder) and of water foul at some local lakes. But this is a budget lens at a budget price (if you can call £300 a budget price), not a professional, high speed lens for which you would pay much more..

Of course, reducing the aperture to f9 means that you also have slightly more depth of field than you might always wish for. Saying that, I get some nice bokeh with this lens.

I have also found the lens good for close-ups. It's not a macro lens, but I have managed some good shots of bumble bees and hover-flies on the way to flowers. It's also a good lens for close-up portraits.

Other successful shots with this lens have been 'layered' super-sharp landscapes, i.e. taking the same shot three times but focusing on the foreground, then the middle distance and then the horizon then combining in Photoshop by using layers.

I have experienced no vignetting and colour fringing only in a couple of photos with this lens. If there has been fringing in high contrast areas of some photos and it has been easily fixable in the lens correction tool in Adobe Camera Raw as available in the full version Photoshop or Lightroom, not in the reduced ACR of Elements, although there are defringing tools within Elements.

The big advantage of this lens is the long reach. With the 2x crop factor with the Four-Thirds sensor this 300mm lens is the equivalent of a massive 600mm lens on a full frame (or old 35mm film SLR) camera.So instead of 6x magnification I get 12. It's great for wildlife.

Would I but this lens again and recommend it to other? Yes, because it outperforms old 300mm lenses and will perform similarly to other 300mm lenses on other systems.
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on 20 May 2010
I'm really impressed. This lens is great for portraits, macro photography (shallow depth of field is really cool), sports or nature photography. After reading other reviews my concern was that the lens was going to be heavy and slow. It's not. It's not heavy as for such huge lens at all. It's also not slow, autofocus works pretty fine (except for the 150mm+), but manual focus is working ok too. I really love that lens and I truly recommend it to all photography enthusiasts. The price is very reasonable too. Buy it and enjoy it!
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on 27 April 2010
Got this to go with my E-510, as I was beginning to feel a tad limited by the kit lenses that came with it, fine as those are. It is not a light lens in use - an SLR gorillapod will wilt under its weight unless carefully set up - but the results that I have enjoyed with it have been spectacular. In macro mode, I have been able to capture skittish butterflies with fine resolution, and hazy distant landscapes become a breeze! The resolution of distant objects has been solid, and cropped in closeup portraits have proved that the lens can handle these more than capably. Craters on the moon are clearly discernable, and playing with the camera settings (yes, well over a year since buying the camera, and I am still discovering the things it can do!) shooting hand-held in low light has proved easy enough in most situations.
The joy of the 4:3 system is that this lens covers such a staggering range (140mm - 600mm equivalent) in a compact body. The downside is that I am now starting to drool over the thought of getting a wide angle lens to complement it!
I am tending to use it for wildlife and flower photography, and for foreshortening landscapes. Before buying it I wondered if I could justify the cost, but you only live once and I am very pleased with the purchase. Having got it, I would not now part with it, and that's a sign of a good product in my book.
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on 18 May 2010
Being a 4/3 lens the range of effectively 600mm is great for zoos, sports etc
Limited aperture means its not an action stopping lens but is easy to carry.
Good entry into wildlife photography before spending eye-watering amounts on a wider aperture or 'pro' version!
Was very pleased that it has a 'manual focus' switch - auto focus at long focal length is not easy on my E510.
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on 26 November 2010
This Lens has opened up a whole new world for me . I recognise the drawbacks when using my Olympus E410 but it and I are coping and once I have shutter speeds ramped up it's almost as good as "image stablization". All in all a good purchase.
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on 15 October 2010
The lens is a genuine Olympus 4 thirds lens for the Olympus DSLR camera. As expected it is a quality prodoct that meets my expectations. The ordering of the lens was easy thanks to the informative information provided on line. Delivery was very quick. All in all well satisfied and a 5 star rating is fully justified.
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