Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22

Thread: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

  1. #1
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

    Introduction
    Ladies and gentlemen, introducing the all new, super telephoto, professional Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens for the micro four thirds camera! The first impression I got from this lens was "WHAT THE?! THIS IS DAMN HEAVY!". Then I remembered that this lens is a 600mm equivalent. I've carried a 600mm equivalent lens before and this is indeed a whole lot lighter. My friends ever asked me if I used bazooka lenses with the exaggerated gesture of holding a huge lens and this is nothing like it. Though relatively heavy for a micro four third lens, this is still a compact and lightweight, handhold-able super telephoto lens.



    When I first brought it up to my eye, it was really surprising how close I could see things in the distance since I've never really shot with focal length longer than 400mm prior to getting this lens and the longest focal length I have now is 300mm (35mm equivalent) in the form of its smaller brother, the M.Zuiko Digital 40-150mm f2.8 PRO.

    At first glance on the back of the camera, which would be the E-M1 with firmware V4.0, the image is very sharp, no surprise there considering it's a Zuiko and a pro lens at that. The maximum aperture of f4 leaves more to be desired but the fact that having a f2.8 for a micro four thirds camera would make the lens huge and make the idea behind the micro four thirds system redundant. Not to mention how much more expensive that would make especially from looking at the price for the older Zuiko Digital 300mm f2.8 SHG lens for the four thirds system.

    All images in this review are handheld except for the comparison in focal length

    The lens
    It feels extremely well built and heavy. It's probably the thickest and heaviest micro four third lens to date. The lens has a non removable lens hood which just slides in and out, much like the old film camera lenses with built-in lens hood, like the Olympus OM 135mm f2.8 lens. There are 2 switches on the side for the IS (on and off) as well as focus limit (1.4-4m, 1.4m to infinity and 4m to infinity) as well as a L-Fn button. It has a removable tripod collar and like its siblings in the PRO line, it has a pullback clutch for manual focus. Despite its weight, it was still manageable even with muscle aches which I had the first day I took it out to shoot.

    The tripod collar has grooves for arca swiss tripods which is a really nice touch on Olympus' part. Like other pro lenses, it's also splash proof (with a compatible body). In summary, a well built lens with nothing much, if any, to complain about. This is the only other lens in the Olympus lineup that is compatible with the MC-14 1.4x teleconverter. Olympus will include in box an option to cover the metal knobs that holds the tripod collar should you wish to use the lens without the collar though personally, I like the collar.




    Types of shots with this lens
    Primarily, the type of shots that can be achieved with this lens would be wildlife, birds and sports though this lens can also be used in portraiture, but it isn't easy as we may not have the space to walk back, but if you have, it is an interesting lens to use for portraiture. This lens is also capable of macro shots, though not life size or greater than life size magnification, it's still quite amazing.

    With a maximum magnification of 0.48, and a close focusing distance of 1.4 meters as compared to the competition of about 5 meters. I was able to shoot some insects close up without scaring them or scaring myself in the process.
    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 08:22 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  2. #2
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

    Comparison
    The E-M1 and the 300mm compared in size to the E-M1 and 40-150, isn't a whole lot bigger but still has a noticeable difference between the 2. There's a visible weight difference between the 2 but as previously mentioned, for a 600mm equivalent, this lens is still very light. With emphasis on the light.



    The largest lens I have is the 70-200mm f2.8 and in comparison, the 300mm with the E-M1 is still smaller and lighter overall. Thought the size and weight between the 300mm f4 and 70-200mm f2.8G is very similar.

    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 11:33 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  3. #3
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

    The capabilities of this lens is shown in the images below.

    The view similar to what my eyes can see is shot at 7mm, then 40-150mm at 150mm, 40-150mm with teleconverter at 150mm,300mm then 300mm with teleconverter


    Red box indicates where I've zoomed in


    From left to right 7mm (14mm equivalent), 150 (300mm equivalent), 210mm (420mm equivalent), 300mm (600mm equivalent), 420mm (840mm equivalent)

    Image stabilizer
    The lens has image stabilizer built inside it. And while lenses with an image stabilizer inside them usually won't work with bodies with in-body IS, Olympus has made it such that this lens is able to work with it, called the 5 Axis Sync IS. Simply put, the in-lens stabilizer will work in tandem with the in-body stabilizer which gives the user a total of 6 stops compensation when used with an Olympus body.
    The in-lens IS can still be used with bodies without IBIS, but only yaw and pitch is corrected.
    The ideal shutter speed would be 1/focal length, in this lens, it would be 1/500 or 1/320 depending on how you want to view it. Hence a 6 stop compensation would mean you can hand hold down to 1/8 sec or 1/5. But of course, this varies from person to person and age, built etc. The closest I got was 1/13 sec which is 2/3 stops away from the theoretical 1/8 second. Not bad considering this is a 600mm equivalent.

    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 12:09 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  4. #4
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

    Image quality
    Image quality is nothing short of amazing. When compared to the MZD 40-150mm, it seems at least as sharp or sharper to me. This lens has the highest resolution for any lens in Olympus history, surpassing even its four thirds counterpart, the Zuiko Digital 300mm f2.8 SHG lens.

    The lens also has a Z coating Nano, which significantly reduces ghosts and flares for sharp and clear images.

    With the teleconverter, image sharpness doesn't seem much different from without the teleconverter.


    Focusing
    Focusing is fast and snappy like the other pro lenses, while it did hunt sometimes because of the scene such as a thin branch in the foreground with the vast blue sky in the background, in good light and with contrast, it is extremely fast

    Sample photos
    One thing to note, Neither my friend nor I are professional wildlife or birding photographers . Most of my shots are taken from at least 10 meters away, some less, some more. All photos are shot handheld. The images from here are shot with the 1.4 teleconverter


    Burst 7 shots composite of a crow taking off


    This kid in a stroller was taken at the end of the corridor of Esplanade, where the shops like the music shop and ice cream place are


    Taken on the roof of Esplanade from across where the round about is


    Taken from the roof of Esplanade to where the Merlion is
    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 12:03 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  5. #5
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens


    I've not been able to identify what species of bird this is, but I got about 3 meters away on the roof at Esplanade and got this


    Very small flower on the roof of Esplanade, the bokeh is nicely rendered and the magnification is good


    this lightbulb is located at the top of the open air theater outside Esplanade


    From the roof of Esplanade, I took a shot of the top of MBS, and if I zoomed in, I can roughly make out facial features and what race were they

    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 12:02 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  6. #6
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens


    I sat on the roof for an hour to wait for a bird but I ended up catching crows on the top of the open air theater of Esplanade. This was taken without the teleconveter


    This is the closest I've ever gotten to seeing the moon in detail. In the full res version, I was able to see the craters, really cool. This was shot handheld too


    1/13s in low light, it was hard to pan, this was my best attempt that day


    Taken by the water near the Esplanade open air theater


    On the roof of the Esplanade, where the roundabout is, I shot this across the library
    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 12:06 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  7. #7
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens


    Standing at the back of the crowd, watching the ACJC choir perform


    This old guy was taking a snooze at the void deck outside the barber at my place


    Across the street doing construction work


    Out searching for birds, I found this old guy


    This man and his dog were watching another man and his dog, and I was watching both of them from a far, at least 10 meters away
    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 12:08 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  8. #8
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens




    The top 2 images were cranes at the top of an unfinished HDB, I could actually see some wires on the crane which I assumed the crane operator tied there for some purpose





    Last edited by spidey89; 6th January 2016 at 08:27 PM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  9. #9
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens



    [imghttps://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1520/23835384679_2c95b1e89b_b.jpg][/img]
    This bird was easily over 20 meters away from where I was, to be able to see and capture it like this is already surprising to me






    This dragonfly was on a branch with the tree about 3 meters away from me, 5 meters up in the air
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  10. #10
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens




    A model on the bridge while I was walking around, was about 10 meters away or so just to capture half body, would have to walk further for a full body shot. There's a lot of compression






    The full res image for this one showed a lot of fine details rendered by the lens
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  11. #11
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens




    In the full res image, I could see the words clearly defined around the lens





    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  12. #12
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens


    White throated Kingfishers, I find these birds to be one of the hardest bird's I've tried to photograph, they spot me easily and are easily scared into flying away. I've always wanted to capture a good and clear shot of a Kingfisher, and with this lens, I nailed not only a good shot of it, but of it feeding




    The size of the flower is smaller than a 10 cent coin, once again demostrating the tele macro capability of this lens. Not forgetting that it's 600mm equivalent handheld, not an easy feat that I can assure you.




    The compression is amazing!
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  13. #13
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens










    Inside the owl enclosure, it was very dark. 600mm equivalent, 1/13 sec f4, ISO12,800, 5 axis sync IS in action. The owl was about 6 meters away, behind the glass
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  14. #14
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens


    I noticed this tiny little hoverfly hovering in the sunlight, and I remember Olympus visionary John Issac capturing a Hummingbird and bee in flight. Not the same caliber, but still nothing short of incredible. Also, this is cropped slightly to adjust the composition, it isn't heavily crop







    Last edited by spidey89; 7th January 2016 at 07:18 AM.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  15. #15
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens









    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  16. #16
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens









    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  17. #17
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens









    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  18. #18
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

    Conclusion
    To conclude, this lens is a great lens to shoot wildlife or sports with. It is small and portable and most importantly, affordable. When in use, I highly recommend using a camera with a vertical grip as it'll help balance the lens especially if you have big hands like mine.

    Coming from a zoom lens user (90% of the time), this lens was a little bit difficult to use initially because of the focal length that's also fixed but after a while, I got used to it and was able to picture the shot in my mind before bringing the camera up to eye level. I highly recommend getting the red dot sight from Olympus to help with tracking your subject. One thing I feel that could be improved is the switch. I felt that it was too easy to slide the switches and I accidentally turned off IS a few times while the camera was hanging off a shoulder sling when walking.

    The key Points are:
    • 600mm f4 equivalent Compact, lightweight and handholdable solution
    • High quality
    • 5 Axis Sync IS
    • Telemacro functions – Max magnification 0.48 with close focusing of 1.4 meters
    • Z Coating Nano significantly reduces ghosts and flares for sharp clear image


    Would I buy it? Personally, I wouldn't BUT! It's not because it isn't a good lens, but because it's not something I would use. But if I were to someday venture into sport, wildlife or birding, this lens will definitely have a place in my bag without hesitation. Personally, this is a highly affordable lens to get into birding, even for a hobbyist, with the competition costing a lot more.
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

  19. #19
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Bukit Batok
    Posts
    6,687

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

    Quote Originally Posted by spidey89 View Post

    I noticed this tiny little hoverfly hovering in the sunlight, and I remember Olympus visionary John Issac capturing a Hummingbird and bee in flight. Not the same caliber, but still nothing short of incredible
    Nice! Which AF mode was this?

  20. #20
    Moderator spidey89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    South Western Singapore
    Posts
    8,123

    Default Re: Olympus Micro Zuiko Digital 300mm f4 PRO lens

    IIRC, Single AF
    A wise man said, "Any available light is good light"

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •