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Old Feb 13, 2012, 6:20 PM   #1
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Default Olympus 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Zuiko ED

I was looking at the Olympus micro four thirds model of the subject lens and I see it's priced out at 700 bucks. The subject lens is for four thirds cameras so an adaptor would be needed. The subject lens is on sale for 300 bucks. Is anyone using this lens with their Olympus micros? Is the IQ and sharpness good? Does image stablization work with this? Something must be better in the micro to charge 400 bucks more than the four thirds model. Thanks!
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 9:39 AM   #2
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I believe the $400 bucks is for lower weight, faster focus, and of course shiny newer-ness.

Also the way Olympus figures it the $300 lens still requires a $150 adapter to AF, bringing the price difference down to $250. Granted an adapter could be purchased for as little as $65....

overall though the mft lens is newer, it's kinda like comparing the Olympus 4/3 40-150mm http://www.adorama.com/US%20%20%20%20474969.html

to the latest generation of micro 4/3 40-150mm
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_M_Zuiko.html

speaking of which, I see how by your signature that you already have an Olympus 40-150mm lens, is it first or second generation? how do you like it? Does it get you close enough to capture some wildlife that is not too far away (4-5meters/12-15feet)?
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
I believe the $400 bucks is for lower weight, faster focus, and of course shiny newer-ness.

Also the way Olympus figures it the $300 lens still requires a $150 adapter to AF, bringing the price difference down to $250. Granted an adapter could be purchased for as little as $65....

overall though the mft lens is newer, it's kinda like comparing the Olympus 4/3 40-150mm http://www.adorama.com/US%20%20%20%20474969.html

to the latest generation of micro 4/3 40-150mm
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...R_M_Zuiko.html

speaking of which, I see how by your signature that you already have an Olympus 40-150mm lens, is it first or second generation? how do you like it? Does it get you close enough to capture some wildlife that is not too far away (4-5meters/12-15feet)?
I do not have the "R" version of the 40-150 but it is for M43 bodies (no adaptor needed) and believe or not, I haven't taken a picture with it yet. When I got the lens about six weeks ago I was busy with a home improvement project and didn't have time to play with it. I guess it would be a good idea to put it on the camera now and at least make sure it works. I will say that the zoom is slightly rough but the focusing ring is very smooth operating, no roughness detected at all. And, it appears well built, not at all like some of the kit lenses I've had with my Canon DSLR. What I have is here but I have the black model. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...uiko_Lens.html

OK, you got me going. Just took a pic of our dog, hand held, no flash, no tripod, and set to iAuto. Basic RAW editing done but I'm very new at ACR and I'm sure it can be improved both in ACR and my shooting skills. I should have set the focus to just one box instead of the entire screen. I think that would have improved the sharpness of the subject itself. Too damn much to remember, you almost need a checklist before you take a pic. :-D


Maggie by James Gasta, on Flickr
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 6:21 PM   #4
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Default It's a GREAT lens, James!

James, the 70-300 is a great lens; probably one of the best "standard" quality lenses Olympus has made for the 4/3 format. Extremely sharp, very little CA, no corner falloff that I've ever been able to detect. It's very highly regarded in 4/3 circles.

It's also a great lens on any m-4/3 camera. I've used it on my E-PL2 and my Pannasonic G2. It's easier to use with the G2 because fhe G2 is easier to hold (for me) when a big lens is mounted. but of course when used on a Panasonic body there's no IS. Put it on an Olympus m-4/3 body and your Oly IBIS works perfectly.

The 4/3 model of the 70-300 normally retails for around $400 (US). I suspect the big price difference you noted is due in large part to the size reduction -- the m-43 lens is much smaller -- and the extra cost of the smaller, quieter (and somewhat faster) m-4/3 autofocus system.

When used on an m-4/3 body the 70-300's AF is quick, but it's not as fast as your native m-4/3 14-42 MSC II R. It's also not as quiet -- if you shoot video with it, you'll hear the focus motor working.

But... if you're looking for a good entry to shooting long, $300 should be a no-brainer if you already have a 4/3-to-m-4/3 adapter. Even if you don't have one, the additional freight for a Panny adapter (about $90 US last time I checked) still makes it worthwhile. Just remember: if you use the lens for video, you're gonna hear it autofocus.
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 7:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Emory View Post
I was looking at the Olympus micro four thirds model of the subject lens and I see it's priced out at 700 bucks. The subject lens is for four thirds cameras so an adaptor would be needed. The subject lens is on sale for 300 bucks. Is anyone using this lens with their Olympus micros? Is the IQ and sharpness good? Does image stablization work with this? Something must be better in the micro to charge 400 bucks more than the four thirds model. Thanks!
The four-thirds 70-300 is a nice, sharp lens that can focus on it's own to one-half life size and is stabilized by the Pen bodies. I used it quite a bit with my E-PL1, sometimes with the EX25 tube to allow for closer focusing, sometimes without..









The reason the Micro 75-300 is expensive is easy to see..

Look at the optical construction at the Olympus America website..

http://olympusamerica.com/cpg_sectio...&page=overview

With one Super ED, two ED and three HR lenses, the 75-300 has a combination of high-end glass elements you don't even find in some really nice, expensive four-thirds lenses. Certainly not in the 70-300 f4-5.6 Four-Thirds Zuiko.

The 75-300 M. Zuiko is one of only two Micro Zuikos Olympus has chosen to build in their Japanese factory instead of the factory in China. It's probably one of the more over-engineered tele zooms ever as slow as f4.8-6.7. Olympus obviously designed this lens with the intention of keeping it as compact as possible, at a cost of speed, and required a pretty complex optical formula to make it possible.
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Old Feb 14, 2012, 9:15 PM   #6
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Greg,
beautiful shots and thanks for the info.

In case anyone is still considering the 70-300mm 4/3 lens there is one about to end on ebay that looks like it will go for under $200 - leaves room to buy an adapter

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-Zuik...#ht_865wt_1185


I was gonna go after it myself but instead I ended up picking up a panny 45-200mm mft lens, so my lens buying is done, for now...
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 9:36 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, great information to know. Would the 4/3 300mm look huge on an E-PL2 body?
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 12:53 PM   #8
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Makes it a little front-heavy, but it does not look that bad and the camera has no problem dealing with the extra weight when mounted on a tripod. I'll shot an image tonight showing the 75-300 Micro vs. the 70-300 Zuiko, on and off the E-PL2.
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 1:07 PM   #9
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Makes it a little front-heavy, but it does not look that bad and the camera has no problem dealing with the extra weight when mounted on a tripod. I'll shot an image tonight showing the 75-300 Micro vs. the 70-300 Zuiko, on and off the E-PL2.
Geez, you own both of the Oly 300's?
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Old Feb 15, 2012, 2:14 PM   #10
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The 70-300 four-thirds Zuiko is a holdover from my DSLR system. It's one of those four-thirds lenses, along with the 50mm f2 macro and 9-18 Zuikos, I'm still holding on to, mainly because I do not have anything micro-specific that can do what the 70-300 can, especially when paired with the EX25 tube, which is to get in really close with a good working distance. I fully expect to be using the 70-300 and EX25 with my Pen for these type shots in the spring like I captured using the same setup with an E30 DSLR..











I just got the 70-300 back this past weekend. A fellow camera club member and Olympus E620 DSLR user has been using it the past several months.
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