January 25, 2016
I purchased the ED 70-300mm f4.0-5.6 a few years ago for use with my E-600. The lens is the equivalent of 140MM-600MM in 35MM format, and is my go to lens for shooting animals in nature as well as doubling as a great portrait lens. The downside of this lens is it is slow to focus, particularly in low light, but its upsides far outweigh this drawback. The lens is very sharp and produces excellent images at all focal lengths and aperture settings. I plan on purchasing a lens adapter to also be able to use this wonderful lens on my new OM-D E-M10 Mark II.
January 21, 2016
Great reach adapted to EM-5. Handles well on this body when using the optional grip. Fast autofocus, good image quality, good color, very compact and light for this focal length. Very happy with this lens. Still useful because of the Four Thirds to M43 OLY adaptor with works great with this lens on the EM-5. Good when you need more reach than the 18-180 I a compact package.
August 11, 2015
I have had this ED 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 lens for about 3 weeks now, and have had a great time learning to use it. I use it on my E-5 and Evolt-500, as well as on my E-M1, using the MMF-3 adapter.
There are some neat features about the lens that seem to get overlooked frequently. First, there is a switch on the side of the lens barrel, between the focus ring and zoom ring, which switches from AF mode to MF mode. When the lens starts to hunt for focus, I simply switch to MF mode, and I can achieve focus pretty easily. This switch works similarly to the MF mode of the 12-40 and 40-150 f/2.8 m-4/3 Pro lenses’ focus rings. The AF-MF switch also allows you to focus a little closer to your subject just like a macro lens does.
The second feature frequently ignored is the fact that the aperture assembly is a nine blade (circular blade) aperture set. Only the great lenses are configured with a 9 circular blade aperture assembly (ED 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5, ED 14-35mm f/2.0, ED 35-100mm f/2.0, 75mm f/1.8 m-4/3, 40-150mm f/2.8 Pro m-4/3, to mention a few). The nine blade circular set-up gives a truer circular highlight in your bokeh… generally regarded as higher quality. If you have specular highlights in your out of focus backgrounds, they show up as out of focus circles, so you have a bokeh. If you have no highlights in your background, you have a creamy background (of blurred greens and browns, etc) or a creamy bokeh… but it is really just a creamy background.
Anyway, I have worked at creating the specular bokeh, and creating a nice creamy background. This lens does a very good job of creating each. Good seperation from foreground subject to background features and a wider aperture are used to create the bokeh. My images have come out very sharp and crisp, with fine contrast… and colors so accurate, rich and saturated… nice creamy out-of-focus backgrounds and nice bokehs as well.
I tested the 70-300 lens on three cameras: the E-5, E-500, and the E-M1. The E-500 gave the poorest results, mainly because when shooting inside, under incandescent lamps, the lens would hunt and hunt for focus. Only images with High Contrast would focus. Outdoors, maybe an hour or less from sunset, focus started to fall off again. I got good results in broad daylight. With the E-5, I got good results under any condition. Focus hunting was rare. When I added the 1.4X converter, I had focus hunting maybe 1 image in twenty. So I felt comfortable with that result. With the E-M1 (and MMF-3 Adapter), I got just a few more instances where focusing was not so crisp, but results were very good, just not quite so good as with the E-5.
I had no problem with sharp focus and contrast at any focal length. I had good contrast and sharpness at 300 mm, 200 mm, 150 mm, 70 mm, anywhere in between. I really had fun learning how to use this lens. I have started leaving it on my E-5 in place of the 12-60, only because I leave the 12-40 Pro on my E-M1… so I can more quickly reach a camera with the focal lengths I need. (I keep the 11-22 or the 9-18 on the E-500).
I got really good sharpness corner to corner, as well as good contrast corner to corner. Some others don’t claim that result… maybe I did not test as strenuously or thoroughly as they did, but I consistently got these results… with both the E-5 and E-M1. My resolutions were really as good with the E-500, but only having an 8 MP sensor, results show up differently. And when I shoot an image at 300 mm, I usually have a focus distance of 3 to 6 feet, where others may have focus set near infinity.
This may be one of my best lenses for birding; but really, a nine circular blade aperture lens, for about $400… I see that as a bargain. This lens is a tool… you use to create a striking bokeh or creamy background, to enhance your photographs.
I wish I had bought this lens years ago. I don’t think anyone can go wrong getting one; if you use it on the Pen series, or OM-D series, you need the MMF-2 or MMF-3 adapter.
May 03, 2015
I have been an OLY user for over 40 years and feel that the Oly products are the best money can buy. I have owned Contax, Hassy,
Leica,Nikon, and Pentax cameras and lenses in the past. I have never been unhappy with any OLY product I have ever owned. The most fun OLY I have ever had was an XA that I used for travel for so many years-
The pics that I have developed and printed have been large 20x30"
and I have NEVER been disappointed with the quality of the OLY picture product. The OLY generated pics are equal in quality with any of those taken with any of the aforementioned cameras.
When I bought the 70-300mm I was immediately impressed with the beautiful pictures that it produced- The color the sharpness
I love this lens and use it with my E-30 and E-500 exclusively.
BTW my fav camera is the E-500- the sensor is amazing
August 04, 2014
I owned, as brief as it was, the Olympus M.Zuiko 75-300mm. I realized quickly this lens was only going to be practical for about 10% (or Less) for my total photography needs. Therefore, I quickly returned it, and opted for a more "practical" lens, but I still needed a long lens for my trips to the Colorado mountains, bike rides along the South Platte River, and capturing fantastic vacation pictures on a southern California beach. I'm an OM-D E-M1 owner (absolutely love it by the way) and with the MMF-3 adapter, I can use this fantastic lens along with all the other 4/3 Zuiko lenses. Here's the secret...they are great lenses and they aren't quite as expensive as micro 4/3. The Micro 4/3 75-300mm is a great lens, but it's in excess of $500.00. If you decide to get that lens you will not be disappointed. However, the Zuiko ED 70-300mm is a great alternative and I am not noticing any quality compromises in the lens performance. It's bigger and more chunky than the micro 4/3 version, but it delivers the typical high standard of quality you expect form Olympus.
April 10, 2013
I've got excellent results with this lens until I put a poor quality UV filter on. My pictures were lacking quality and sharpness. You've got to make sure you use prime quality filters on that lens or none at all. I use it in combination with my 1.4X converter on and I'm very happy with the picture quality. I bring it along with me everywhere I'm going, it's a great asset to my camera kit.
November 21, 2011
I purchased this lens along with the 14-42 mm and 40-150 mm lenses when I bought my E-620 in May 2010. I've been very happy with the camera and the other two lenses, but have been disappointed with the 70-300 mm lens. The other two lenses produce very sharp images, but the images from this lens are noticeably soft in comparison, even at high shutter speeds on a sturdy tripod. Judging from some of the other reviews, it may be that I just got a lemon, but this particular unit is definitely not in the same league with the other two kit lenses. I realize that compromises are required in engineering a lens of this size and weight with such a long zoom range, and it's probably an OK value for the money, but I was hoping for better. I would have attached a couple of representative images, but the originals are in the 7-8 MB range and the uploader rejected them.
I'm a big fan of the 4/3 format, but wish there were a larger multi-vendor ecosystem.
November 13, 2011
After going through lots of mixed review on this lens I bought it for my Evolt 500. After some practice to understand the lens I went to Kaziranga (Asam - India). It delivered nice and clear photos.
October 26, 2011
I read some negative reviews about this lens for bird photos. I disagree and I caught two of my best shot yet, using this lens.
My field camera is the evolt-500. My late brother (Photographer) always said, it not the camera, but the person behind it that gets the shot.
P.S. This was hand-held, no tripod. The original pictures are Spectacular.
October 25, 2011
I purchased this lens a few weeks ago for an four-year old E-510. After a few dozen test shots indoors and out I've been very happy with the results. I particularly like the manual focus in that it feels substantial, more so than the kit lenses that came with the camera. Once in focus manually it stays there allowing for multiple shots without waiting for auto focus which I only use under lower light conditions.
The weight is excellent both for carrying in a briefcase as well as carrying for extended periods on the street.
August 03, 2011
The lens provides excellent clarity at high zoom. It is slow and can take some time to hunt for auto-focus as described by other reviews. I often find myself shooting at higher than typical ISO settings to compensate, but the lens can still deliver very nicely. I've included some photos all of which are shot at the maximum 300mm range. I've specifically included two bird photos in a partial response to the review that speaks to birders: the pelican is tracked in-flight. Even with the lens's slower auto focus, it's still capable of focusing on birds in mid-flight and delivering a sharp photo.
July 10, 2011
I wanted this lens instead of the micro 4/3 mount lens because it is faster. I do a lot of photography in the woods, under a canopy of leaves, and need all the speed I can get. This lens fit the bill.
Combined with the micro four thirds adapter it dwarfs my E-PL2, but it is still light enough to make the whole thing a low weight package. However handling is a little awkward especially when twisting the zoom.
As stated by others, the auto focus is slow. Programming the function button to quickly switch to manual helps.
Hand held bird photography has always been tough. Getting good images is always a challenge without a tripod, but you are not likely to be climbing a mountain with that sort of gear, so just realize this takes work to get framing and focus right. For less fast moving subjects and landscapes the lens is really nice. If you have the time to set up your shot this is a great lens.
June 13, 2011
great light weight all around lense.sharp pictures,uncompromising details.one of the 'gonna have it' toy in your list.
June 08, 2011
this is sharper than the kit lens 12-42 and 40-150.
much like the 40-150 I consider this as an outdoor lens, this lens would work really great with a lot of light. on low light, its gonna hunt and hunt.
but then for the price and the reach, this lens is untouchable. sweet spot at f8 this is where this lens shines, f8 70-300 reach wow! weights around 1lb perfect balance on my e620. Long live 4/3!
bottome line, I love the weight,size,reach, price, and the bokeh it gives.
May 20, 2011
I have used several telephoto lens with several cameras in my collection of photo equipment. I use this lens on my Olympus E-520 DSLR. Great camera makes amazing photos. This lens came without much in the area of instructions which would have been nice. Much of your learning comes from trail and error. Mostly it is an exceptional lens for the price. Lots of bang for the buck. However I have found that in some cases it lack's total crispness and clarity. Once you have learned how to use this lens with your camera it is very easy to use. Easy adjustments. Novice will find it great to learn with. However Amatures and above will NOT enjoy this lens and will find it does not meet their expectations. GOOD lens for the money... Some of the exterior are made of plastic which coming from Olympus suprises me but on this lens I suppose that is one way of keeping the cost down.
May 06, 2011
It is a lens designed for the purpose of providing a good focal length combined with a very light weight and small size, also offers very good possibilities in macro photography.
If one accepts the limitations of luminosity that these purposes require then you have an excellent tool to achieve magnificent photographs.
If you want a brighter lens then remember to be heavier and longer and therefore less versatile.
Optical design there is no possibility of achieving all the benefits on the same target, it is always a matter of priorities, mobility, low weight and small or very light but heavy and big.
March 25, 2011
I use this lens with my E-520 and get excellent results. It is very sharp at 200mm and gets softer towards 300. However even at 300 the results are very impressive. Yes... the focusing is slower than the higher-end optics. YOU'RE NOT PAYING $2000 so keep it in perspective.
You simply can't get a 600mm f5.6 stabilized lens (depending on body) on any other platform for this kind of money.
I have had excellent results in macro, wildlife, and even sports. Like any lens you have to learn it's strong points and exploit them.
A point and shoot photographer probably will have trouble. Anybody else will appreciate the amazing value in this lens given a short time to work with it. Read the pro reviews on the web. This lens is well liked.
Check out my sample shot. The little grasshoppers are less than a half inch long. How's that for sharp focus and thin DOF!
January 08, 2011
I think this lens is pretty good in the 70-200 mm range, and not so great at 300 mm. It does take practice and technique to get the most out of an extreme telephoto such as this. Focusing is loud and slow, and overall the lens performs much better in good light. But overall, a lot of photographic fun for the money.
December 30, 2010
When I first used this lens it was love at first sight. The clarity was great and of course each lens does have a sweet spot. This can be learned if you shoot a lot of pictures.
I am a grandmother of 9 and let me tell you, I captured lots of candid shots without them knowing.
December 11, 2010
Found it almost impossible to focus, either in auto or manual mode. It could just be me, I've lost a number of good shots trying and waiting for this lens to focus. My other lenses seem to work just fine.
October 23, 2010
If you are a birder then I don't think that you will be happy.
This lens is slow to focus. Often (though not always) it has to go through a long procedure of focusing. It hunts and pecks its way until finally it finds a focus. That usually means that you have lost your shot.
The clarity of shots at 300mm is poor, 1 out of 40 shots will be in crisp and clear focus.
October 19, 2010
I was on the job for a three-year shoot which demanded that I be able to capture distant objects up close. With the ED 70-300 lens (used in conjunction with an E-510 camera), getting shots that would have been otherwise impossible was a breeze. I didn't have to wrestle with heavy foot-long zoom lenses on monopods. All I had to do was hold the camera and take the picture. This lens made possible and easy what would have otherwise simply been impossible. I recommend it to one and all.