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Customer Reviews

23
4.3 out of 5 stars
Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Lens - Black
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
I'm writing this review as a long-time user of micro four thirds products and as a part-time pro photog who mainly uses a Sony DSLR/SLT setup. I have shot telephoto lenses for around 30 years now on film and digital. The 70/5-300 on DSLRs has tended to be a maligned lens because it is traditionally a fairly cheap and cheerful 'kit' kind of lens that folks often buy who don't care too much about ultimate image quality. I can certainly vouch for OEM and Sigma/Tamron 70-300s to be very mediocre - once you get to about 180mm+ they lose massive amounts of contrast and resolution and the build quality is often pretty low, with slow AF to boot. But reviews of this little m 4/3 lens are interesting - some say it is good but not great, some say it is good up to 200mm, some say it is mediocre and out-gunned by the more expensive Panasonic Lumix 100-300 lens for m 4/3.

Here is my own take - it's early days yet, but after a few 100 test shots, my conclusions are: lightweight and compact for a zoom of this size, as you would expect for a m 4/3 lens; might be a little unwieldy on a very small m 4/3 camera body when fully extended at 300mm (e.g. on an EPL5 or GM1) but on my EM5 it balances very well; feels quite solid in the hand and is 'made in Japan' - nice!; zoom action is just right - not too stiff, not too sloppy, no zoom creep experienced so far; AF not as snappy as a prime or smaller range zooms, but not overly sluggish either on my EM5 - about what I expected; AF-C not great at keeping up with moving targets, but that is more a limitation of the EM5 AF system and is not really the forte of micro four thirds - only the GH4 really starts to catch up with DSLRs when it comes to AF-C in my experience.

But what has really astonished me is the IQ - at 300mm my test shots show very good resolution and contrast - I was stunned to see that images from this lens and my EM5 match those from my Sony 70-400G lens (mounted on a Sony a57 or a77 SLT camera body) for contrast and sharpness - that Sony lens is a £1500 lens by the way ! Now I may have just been lucky and obtained a very good copy of the Olympus lens, and I do have a lot of years experience of handholding tele lenses to fall back on, but even so, this really surprised me. The quality of images from this lens far surpasses those from any other 70-300 or 75-300 I have ever come across on any system so far. If you have ever had, like I have, a Tamron 70-300 or one of those Tamron superzooms like a 28-300, the long end of this Olympus produces images far in excess of the quality of those produced by those other lenses.

Now of course you do need good technique when using a lens like this at the long end. On a m 4/3 system the 35mm equivalent focal length is X 2, so it it 150mm-600mm 35mm equivalent. Handholding a 600mm equivalent lens, even one quite small and light like this one, takes practice and patience to perfect. The IBIS on the EM5 is good of course, but you still need to treat a 300mm lens with respect. My test shots handheld at 1/500 shutter speed were very crisp at the 300mm end - I imagine on a tripod with IBIS turned off they would be even more impressive. I should also say I was very impressed by the low levels of purple fringing and chromatic aberration - again, much lower levels than I have seen on some much more expensive tele lenses on DSLR systems.

So, in conclusion, this lens was a real eye-opener for me - much, much sharper at the long end than I expected it to be. I have never owned the rival Panasonic 100-300 but I have owned the Panasonic 45-200 and this lens blows that one out of the water by quite some margin. And as I said above, it gives very expensive DSLR lenses like the Sony 70-400G a run for their money, even though on paper it shouldn't. I should add I also have a Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens - a lens that costs about £900, and again, this little Oly is as sharp as that lens - really impressive especially for the price.

This is therefore a great lens for wildlife. Is it a great lens for sports, action, air shows etc? Well once micro four thirds camera bodies have good AF-C and tracking capabilities it will be - for now, only really the GH4 offers that. So action shots will always be a bit challenging, but there certainly are users out there who are using this lens on m 4/3 and getting good action shots, so it can be done.

I can't recommend this lens highly enough in conclusion - it punches well above its weight. Shame on Olympus for not supplying a lens hood for free though - while many report the coatings on this lens make it very resistant to flare and ghosting, I would never use a long tele lens without a hood - I ended up buying a collapsible rubber hood sold on here and made by Hoya - you can, of course, buy other third party hoods or the over-priced official Olympus one. Looks like Oly have started supplying hoods with their more recent lens models..finally !
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2013
I've knocked a star off because it's not perfect, but then again, I doubt many lenses are. The missing star is also because of Olympus' annoying practice of not including a lens hood, which you then have to go off and source - usually at too much cost and often with some difficulty.

I've tried it in a variety of lighting conditions, including the lesser-spotted bright sunlight situation. In decent light on an Olympus OMD EM5, it gives very good sharp and detailed pictures handheld. On a tripod, it might be even better, although there's no lens collar, so the balance is going to be a bit off from the ideal. In poorer light, it can still be good, but you are obviously limited by the slower apertures on this lens.

It is very light (certainly compared with a Nikon 300mm f4) and really quite compact. Build quality seems fine to me unless you equate weight with quality, because it is definitely light. There is no zoom creep that I can detect, and the image quality is decent wide open throughout the range, although I think you'll get better performance out of it if you stop down to f7.1 or f8 and stop short of fully extended (say about 252mm, which you will see in the top right of the viewfinder on an OMD).

Because it's so small and light, I have found myself sometimes forgetting that I'm shooting at up to 600mm equivalent and have tried shutter speeds that are far too low. I think this may well account for some reports of disappointment with this sort of lens. The IBIS on the Olympus OMD can let you get away with this sort of thing quite a bit, but even that has its limits and I find the OMD IBIS a bit inconsistent at this sort of thing, possibly even being better at supporting my Nikon 300mm f4, 1.4 tc and adapter, but I fully accept that could just be operator variance or a preference for a bit of heft in such a setup.

The only lens I can really compare it with is the Nikon 300mm f4, which is supposed to be a particularly sharp lens. I would say this Olympus lens can come very close to that, maybe just lagging a bit on close inspection. The difference is that the Nikon lens is heavy and quite long, even if still reasonably portable as full frame lenses go, while the Olympus lens can go in a bag with the OMD and several other lenses taking me from 24mm to 600mm equivalent and I'll barely feel the weight. I dithered greatly, choosing between this and the Panasonic 100-400, but as far as I could make out from reviews and samples, image quality was pretty much the same - better with the Olympus in some reports - and there is less price difference than with the previous version of this lens. For the difference that half a stop on the aperture is going to make, I decided to go with the smaller, lighter, newer Olympus lens. I don't have the opportunity to try different lenses where I live. If you do, it would probably be a good idea to try both lenses or, if you're using a Panasonic body, probably go for the Panasonic lens if image stabilisation matters to you (don't need it with Olympus since it's built into the camera body).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I've been using this lens for a while now, mostly for wildlife stuff at zoo's, but today also for a Red Arrows display. It continues to impress me when used with my Olympus EM1/EM5. Quick to focus, and pin sharp images.

Effectively this is the same as 150-600mm lens on a full frame camera. A fraction of the weight/money though.

In good light its hard to beat.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2013
A very nice lens, highly recommended for you guys out there, who love picturing wildlife. It's very light, and it's is cheap for a 150-600mm (35mm) lens.
Love it! :)
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2014
I bought this lens for a safari next year, but decided to try it out in autumnal light at a local zoo. Its not perfect - getting really biting focus can be tricky but overall I was really impressed. So much so I went back the following week, and again on an unseasonably warm day of halloween, and again in early November. This lens is responsible for me falling in love with a lioness, photographically speaking of course.

I found I had to adjust the settings of my EM-5 to get the best out of this lens: reduced magnification when focusing helps, as 14x on 600mm effective focal length is simply too much! Auto-focussing is fast with this lens, but I find manual fine adjustment is often needed to focus on exactly the right thing (face priority doesn't work well on animals - jaguars cause real problems: think spots...) I found keeping the lens/EM-5 combo really steady is not so easy. The HLD-6 power grip helps to give better balance and allows me to keep a really solid, steady hold. This setup is what I will be using it the bush. Oh, I use the JJC lens hood, which seem OK.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 26 March 2015
I've been using this for a little while now. For a 300mm lens it's very compact; and quite a bit smaller than the 40-150 F2.8 Olympus pro for example. I've generally been impressed by the image quality and even though it's F6.7 @ 300mm I have managed to use it through out winter in some fairly dreary conditions, though obviously at a fairly low shutter speed. I managed to but this for £220 which is a bargain.

Given the F stop ratings, this lens tends to sit in my bag until I need the extra reach on the zoom. The 40-150 pro is usually attached because of the better performance in poor light, but that lens costs 4-5 times as much as the 75-300.
The zoom grip has a little too much friction so getting a precise frame can take a little tweak or two. The manual focus ring is very smooth to operate but a tiny movement can have a significant impact on focus. It could do with having the "gearing" (I know it's not mechanical) slowing down when at 300 mm just to give you even more precise control.

It accepts a 58mm protector / filter if you need to fit one .

Remember that if you mount this to a Panasonic body the lens has NO inbuilt image stabilisation, but it performs very well using the Olympus in-body OIS. It's possible to take good hand-held shots @ 300mm (and I have a tremor in one hand).

Overall, I'd recommend it to those interested in nature / bird photography who are looking for a lightweight zoom at a reasonable price.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2014
Only had this lens delivered today, on time and well packaged, I have been out most of the day taking a variety of shots, mainly wildlife for which the lens was purchased, the pictures are nice and clear for a lens of this price, I have cropped some of the better pictures by 100% and printed them out on A4 sheets and the results are very good.

I have only given the lens 4 stars as like many others think that Olympus should supply a lens hood with the lens.

Over all when taking the price into account this is a very capable telephoto lens and would recommend it to friend.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 August 2015
I bought this lens along with an EM5 to photograph wildlife, mostly birds. Weight is a big issue as I have problems with my wrists and shoulders so I have opted for the mft format. The choice of lenses was this one or the Panasonic 100-300. I went for the Olympus as I did not need IS which is built into the Olympus camera. Results have been generally good if I have been reasonably close and in good light, however at 300 mm and at distance, images are a bit soft. If you are really serious about sharp results of birds at distance then you will be better off with a dslr and long prime tele lens although this will cost a lot more. I have had very good results when used at the minimum focus distance of 1.5 metres and maximum zoom for butterflies, dragonflies, etc. The big plus points of this lens are its size and weight compared to its dslr equivalents so when I am out shooting in the countryside this lens stays on the camera most of the day and I carry another couple of lenses in my pockets. I have taken quite a few acceptable landscape shots in good light when I could not be bothered changing lenses. When used with my EM5 and carried on a shoulder strap, I can carry this all day with no problem. This will be my go to lens until Olympus bring out a prime telephoto for micro 4 thirds..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2015
I bought this lens specifically for wildlife pictures while travelling in South Africa. However I have found it to be useful for other tasks as well. Of course it is a bright light lens being slow but its small and light enough for handholding. My wife took some test shots of a chain-link fence at various apertures and zoom points. We were surprised to see how uniformly sharp it was edge to edge.
Definitely worth the money and a useful addition to a MFD kit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2015
This lens does a great job of bringing the subject much closer, Amazing magnification. Obviously at maximum focal length it can be difficult to hold steady so that framing the subject can be a little tricky without a tripod, however with a fast shutter speed much of this can be overcome. I captured a Canada goose which filled the view finder and came out pretty sharp. Although expensive (in my book) it is worth having.
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