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View Full Version : Digital Lenses Zuiko Digital (Olympus) 300mm f2.8 -Super High Grade



craig
10-02-2005, 05:20 PM
Focal length: 300mm Telephoto
Lens construction: 13 elements in 11 groups
Angle of view: 4.2 degrees
Closest focusing distance: 6.6 feet
Max Aperture: f2.8
Min aperture: F22
Filter size: Rear - Drop-in Filter
Dimensions: 5.1D x 11.1L
Weight: 7.2 LBS.
Tele 1.4: Yes
Ex Tube: Yes .25x magnification
Price:
Olympus Website (http://www.olympusamerica.com/e1/sys_lens_300mm.asp)

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craig
10-02-2005, 05:21 PM
Coming at some point.

craig
10-02-2005, 05:21 PM
http://www.myfourthirds.com/document.php?id=10074

http://www.e-fotografija.com/artman/publish/article_810.shtml
E-1 + Zuiko ED 300/2,8 vs. D60 + Canon 400/2,8 L - Cephalotus
(For a translation (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/content/view/39/2/) see the bottom part of this article)

Post edited by: tspore, at: 2005/10/07 00:37

craig
10-02-2005, 05:21 PM
Please use this format, or else you will be deleted!!!
Pros:
Cons:
price paid:
Other info:

Renko
02-21-2006, 09:53 AM
Pros: This is my first "pro" lens and lets just say I've not been dissapointed. Images are sharp with plenty of contrast and very nice bokeh. Performs excellently from f2.8 and shows a tiny bit of improvement towards f5.6 + but this may just be due to the increasing depth. Manual focusing is focus-by-wire but is very well damped and smooth, I had to play about a bit to convince myself it wasn't actually mechanical. Build quality really is second to none - people keep saying to me "that lens cost more than my car!" but I wish my car was built this well! Comes with a very handy polarising filter which drops into the filter slot (43mm) and is rotated via a little dial on the top. Also comes with a filter wallet and two neutral density filters for those of you who live in sunnier climates. Very well balanced on a tri/monopod with two mount holes (presumably for with and without battery grip) What else to say?! It's great!

Cons: Very heavy, I can 'just' hand hold it but that wouldn't be for long..What can you expect fo a lens of this type though? Slightly dissapointed by the supplied bag, not quite of the same 'grade' as the lens but functional none the less.

price paid: No Comment

Other info: Only been used on the E1. Would love to try it on teh Exx0 or a higher mp camera, I'm sure it would shine!

noddingdogbob
02-24-2006, 05:59 AM
Renko,

I totally agree with you about the 300. I got mine in March 2004 and it almost became my most used lens, a superb piece of kit. Don't know when you got yours but I've heard Oly changed the focus motor since I bought mine, so maybe new ones are even better.

Only two minor gripes. Focus can hunt a little bit with the TC1.4 attached. And the lens hood locking screw is rubbish, it cross threaded pretty soon after purchasing the lens and is a real pain.

Price paid: A lot less than I would have paid in Europe.

tspore
03-06-2006, 11:49 AM
Note:
Focusing hunting is probably a problem of the camera not the lens.

Kyle Jones
04-03-2006, 09:48 PM
Note:
Focusing hunting is probably a problem of the camera not the lens.
Indeed. In the end this is why I've started building a Canon kit to shoot along side my Oly gear. Of all the pros and cons Canon brings to the table it was ultimately the more robust AF system that I could no longer live without. I could not bring myself to pay the heavy price for the ZD super high grade teles knowing that they would still be hobbled by Oly's Jurassic auto-focus system.

Anybody got Photoshop curves to go from Canon to Oly colors? :doh:

refiningman
11-20-2006, 04:29 PM
Renko:

Do you know if any RRS or Kirk lens plates (Arca-Swiss style) fits the 300/2.8? Thanks
Peter

Pete Wilcox
11-21-2006, 06:38 AM
Renko:

Do you know if any RRS or Kirk lens plates (Arca-Swiss style) fits the 300/2.8? Thanks
Peter

The RRS spotting scope plates will fit on the foot.

refiningman
11-21-2006, 12:35 PM
Pete:

Thanks muchly. Also the 90-250 I imagine?

Peter

Pete Wilcox
11-21-2006, 12:47 PM
It should. I use the B6 small plate for the 50-200mm, 150mm, and 35-100mm. It's possible that you might want the B76 large plate for the 90-250, and 300mm, but I think the B6 will work. The B6 will work with a mounting foot as wide as 56mm (2.25 inches).

refiningman
11-21-2006, 06:44 PM
Ok, I notice they now have a B76n with two screw holes, maybe that would also work with an additional 1/4 by 20 screw.

Thanks again,

Peter

Changeling
03-14-2007, 07:26 PM
Pro's; This lens takes incredible pictures, way beyond my talent and methodology. Being mostly about wildlife photography I find it compact and easy to pack into my Tamrac bag for a voyage into the wilderness for the day, and I prefer the black finish over those blazing white monsters.
With the introduction of the EC20 this lens will give an EFL of 1200mm @ f5.6, all in a 7 pound, 13 inch package, sweet.
Looking like this lens will force me to become a better photographer.

Cons; Pricey

Price; $ 6500.00 shipped

cifcap
03-15-2007, 12:46 PM
I just wish Olympus would release a cheaper super telephoto option. I just can't afford to spend $6K on a lens. Sigma's yet to be released 300-800 is no better (price-wise). A mirror lens is an option, but I don't like the fixed aperture. Maybe with an f/2.8 or f/3.5. The closets I've seen is a 300mm with an f/4.5. :(

JW

Kyle Jones
03-15-2007, 02:24 PM
I just wish Olympus would release a cheaper super telephoto option. I just can't afford to spend $6K on a lens. Sigma's yet to be released 300-800 is no better (price-wise). A mirror lens is an option, but I don't like the fixed aperture. Maybe with an f/2.8 or f/3.5. The closets I've seen is a 300mm with an f/4.5. :(

JW

150/2 + EC-20 = 300/4

Probably two grand total if you can find a ZD 150mm used.

tspore
03-15-2007, 05:31 PM
They are releasing a cheaper 70-300mm.

deep
06-09-2007, 05:17 AM
I just wish Olympus would release a cheaper super telephoto option. I just can't afford to spend $6K on a lens. Sigma's yet to be released 300-800 is no better (price-wise). A mirror lens is an option, but I don't like the fixed aperture. Maybe with an f/2.8 or f/3.5. The closets I've seen is a 300mm with an f/4.5. :(

JW
No way I can afford a "proper" long ZD lens. But for now I am using a screw mount Sankor I got for about $50, with an adaptor. It is a 300mm/4.5 and, though only manual focus, it does a decent job for a poor man's bit of equipment. Check out the aircraft photos on www.deeppics.com, all taken with this lens on an E300.

Don.

Knight Palm
08-30-2007, 11:23 AM
From the first pictures taken with this lens, it is obvious that it delivers both very high contrast, and a sharpness beyond what the E-400 sensor is capable to resolve. A matching teleconverter EC-14 turns this lens into a 425mm f/4.0 lens, where the autofocus of the E-400 still handles the focusing very well. An upcoming EC-20 extender will turn this lens into a whopping 600mm f/5.6, while still in range for the E-400 autofocus system to handle.

The focusing is handled well by the E-400 with reasonable speed. There are four focus stop buttons, and the lens has focus limiters to be set within three different ranges, ,[infinity-2.4m], and [6m-2.4m].

Mechanically built the lens is nothing but first class, with good balance when mounted on a tripod. The tripod mount is non-removable, but allows a smooth rotation of the lens when mounted on a tripod.

The E-400 is a bit too light for this lens getting a perfect balance on a monopod, though on the tripod it's balance is perfect. The E-300 with the power grip attached could be a better fit for the monopod use.

The lens hood design is excellent, without risk of scratching the front lens surface when mounting and unmounting.

The lens has a holder for drop-in filters. It normally takes a two-finger operation to open and close, but there might be a potential risk, however small of loosing the filter holder if walking with this lens over the shoulder i.e. through a tight vegetation. I haven't heard any indications of that happened, but I would recommend to keep an eye on this drop-in filter holder during those circumstances. (Or attaching a security wire for it?)

The lens comes complete with drop-in filters (i.e. 43mm polarizer included), all within a practical lens case for storage and light transport. ([I]For a more robust traveling bag, I was hoping the LowePro Street & Field Lens case 5 would fit. However, the lens alone fits in, but neither with the lens hood, nor with the lens cap).

This lens was designed by Olympus as their flagship of their Zuiko Digital lens line, probably also as a showcase what their new Four Thirds system was capable of at the inception. It is with both big interest and curiosity you put a camera on this lens the first time, to see how these actually works together. It is therefore rewarding to find, that the focus is there exactly where it should be, and that the sharpness is there also, down to the pixel level and even beyond a 10 megapixel camera like the E-400 can resolve.

Photo samples:
• E-400 test1 - tower (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-06/P6150009m1024exif.jpg)
• E-400 test2 - plane (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-06/P6150020m768b.jpg)
• E-400 test3 - flower (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-06/P6150030m1024atc.jpg)
• E-400 test4 - flower (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-06/P6150032m1024exif.jpg)

Knight Palm
08-30-2007, 11:32 AM
E-400 & 425mm/F4 combo (@ local sports event)

Can this photo equipment pair be more contrasting?

Pairing the smallest and lightest dSLR on the market (375g) together with a lens and teleconverter weighing nearly 10x more, almost 3.5kg, enabling a reach with a view similar to 850mm on 135-film!

The equipment used to take these photos during a local sports event, were a Olympus E-400 with the ZD ED 300mm/F2.8 together with the tele extender EC-14, making a total of 425mm/F4.

It was a joy to see, each time the autofocus on the tiny E-400 quickly and without hesitation locked onto the photo targets, even when they were so far away. The ISO settings were mostly ISO400, in order to keep the shutter time high enough. All pictures are cropped. Mostly 425mm was needed, but some could have benefitted from the shorter 300mm focal length instead, rather what happened getting a picture of only half a canoe.

It also started to rain. No worry about the lens, but the E-400 should definitely have needed to be weather sealed as well.

The E-510 would in some cases have been a better camera to test this lens with, since it has CCD-shift Image Stabilization.

Still this test with the E-400 showed, that it can with grace handle any lens in the Four Thirds lens line up, even the biggest ones.

Photo samples:
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140529hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140532hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140533hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140541hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140555hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140559hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140579hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140584hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140585hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140586hf1024.jpg)
E-400 & 300mm (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/2007-07/P7140590hf1024.jpg)

tspore
08-30-2007, 01:35 PM
Great shots and a nice write up.

Knight Palm
10-31-2007, 06:00 PM
Here's how the system looks like, with the E-400 more or less functioning as an optional lens cap.
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/test/PA269750m1024.jpg

BILL3075
02-29-2008, 11:23 AM
Greetings !

Just asking for an opinion based on anyone's experience in using either/or the 300 or 90-250:

(1) At present, I have the following lenses that I use with
my E3/E-1: 14-28, 12-60 & 50-200 + EC1.4

While for 'general' photography I believe this is a fairly complete system, I'm interested in anyone's view(s) for wildlife/photo safari photography, if adding the 90-250 would be the way to go for total flexibility, even though, there's a lot of FL overlap (with the 50-200); or, would it be 'best' to go with the 300, on the practical assumption that 50-200 (with or without the 1.4 extender) would cover most longer telephoto opportunities, save for photographing birds, or animals at significant distances.

(2) Or, reconfigure the longer FL end, by selling the 50-200, and getting the 35-100 +90-250. Then, of course, the overlap is with the standard zoom.

While I don't mind a small amount of FL overlap, it seems to me that 30 % or 40 % of the same FL coverage makes one lens or the other a bit redundant.

I'm trying to plan ahead for a couple of trips in 2009/10.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

Regards,
BILL

cifcap
03-01-2008, 05:46 AM
Hey Bill,

I'm no expert, but looking at your option I'd opt for the 90-250 to go with your 50-200. The 35-100 is from what I've heard a great lens, but you already have the gaps covered with the 12-60 and 50-200. It does have the advantage of being half price of the big tele and a little faster though. However adding the 90-250 would give you good reach, speed, and flexibility offered by zoom lenses. If I could I'd take both, but that would leave a $7K + burning hole in my pocketbook.

JW

Knight Palm
03-01-2008, 07:54 AM
Hey Bill,
I also agree that the 90-250 will give you a lot of flexibility, especially now with the launch of the 2x extender EC-20. The original speed of f/2.8, gives the use of either extenders (EC-14 / EC-20) still a rather speedy lens at the resulting focal lengths.

Knight Palm
03-01-2008, 08:03 AM
A heavy lens & camera system needs a good and flexible support. The HLD-4 added will balance the system even better, and the added weight will also reduce the sensitivity to vibrations. A sturdy tripod without a center column would also improve the stability.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/sundvis/test/P2231581satc768.jpg

jebir
03-01-2008, 11:06 AM
I have both the ZD ED 50-200/2.8-3.5 and the ZD ED 90-250/2.8 and a Tokina AT-X 300/2.8 (my review (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=6858)) and I'm a wildlife photographer.

The ZD ED 50-200 is a very competent lens if you are out where you get decently close to the wildlife. However, it will in most cases leave you a bit short in reach and it may also cause you some grief if it starts hunting as it takes some time to get back to focus. (The SWD version should have that issue remedied though.) Combining it with the EC-14 or EC-20 (I have both) helps a lot in reach but if you go for the 2x converter, you will instead often find yourself in lack of light - even in bright daylight. Also, one shall not neglect the advantage of having a compact gear - the 50-200 easily fits into one of the pockets of my photo vest.
I was at the Galapagos Islands recently and the ZD 50-200+EC-14 suited 95% of the needs there.

The ZD ED 90-250/2.8 is a whole different beast to bring along. It weighs in at 3.8 kg with the hood and it fills more than all my other lenses together when packed in the backpack. Forget about finding a pocket in the vest! If you get this lens, you will find it significantly more awkward to change lenses on the fly so I advice that you get a second body for the shorter focal length zoom.
The main advantages with the 90-250 over the 50-200 is its superior image quality wide open, better low light capability, and slightly longer reach. At first sight, it doesn't look like any significant difference worth the added price but if adding an EC-20 (which you will want in any case), we are talking 400mm f/7.1 with 'OK' image quality and mediocre AF capability (for the 50-200) vs. 500mm f/5.6 with very good image quality and very good AF-capability (90-250) - a significant difference. A con for this lens is that it exhibits a significant vignetting when shot wide open with the EC-14.

Regarding the ZD 300/2.8, I can't say anything other than everything I have seen from it so far beats any other long focal length lens I have seen. The contrast is clearly superior to the 90-250/2.8. I'll let those who have this lens further comment on the image quality. However, having and using the Tokina AT-X 300/2.8, I can say that the added 50 mm compared to the 90-250 is a significant bonus when you are out and can't possibly get any closer to the subject without scaring it off. However, with my 300/2.8, I have many times cursed the lack of a zoom because the subject has been too close for a full figure portrait but too far for a head-portrait. While my Tokina 300/2.8 with its 1.8 kg weighs in at Bantamweight, the the ZD ED 300/2.8 goes matches in Heavyweight against likes of the ZD ED 90-250/2.8. So the same considerations regarding bulkiness, getting extra body, etc., has to be taken with those big boys.

Finally, I'd like to agree with Knight Palm about a good support with the 90-250/2.8 or 300/2.8 - mainly because you won't be able to handhold them steady enough. I'm mostly using a monopod for mobility but a tripod is recommended. The 50-200 is another story and it can be used handheld or, as I prefer, with a shoulder pod.

Cheers, Jens.

BILL3075
03-01-2008, 12:05 PM
I want to thank you guys for your quick responses.

Re. the tripod, my intention is to use my trusty 1325 Gitzo Carbon, with the larger RRS ballhead. If necessary, I'll add the extra support as KP + JW suggest.

The issue I have with carrying both the 50-200 as well as the 90-250 is what jebir suggests, i.e. weight + flexibility with the former vs. the latter lens. Again, I wish to emphasize the great redundency of the much of the Focal Length with these two teles.

As a practical matter, in a backpack + photo vest + tripod, it seems to me that it's got to be one or the other and not both....

So, the issue seems to be largely one of gaining an extra 50mm plus up to 1 stop with added weight and bulkiness, vs. a shorter tele that has more portability; image quality, at a minimum, very very close.

So, to add the 300 to the 50-200 would provide sufficient coverage, however, with also a sufficient loss of FL flexibility.

It's an interesting trade-off that has to be given some thought.

Again many thanks for your input.

BILL

cifcap
03-01-2008, 11:42 PM
The 300 would give you 100mm on the long end at f/2.8. As you mentioned though you loose out on flexibility since you go jump from 200 to 300. With a teleconverter the 50-200 gives 280 & 400 on the long end, but there are still gaps. I imagine either the 90-250 or 300 would be sweet glass to own.

JW

astcell
05-22-2008, 12:43 AM
I asked my dealer about the 90-250, he said bite the bullet and get the 300/2.8. I prefer fast primes but that's because I like the lens to always AF properly, and the wider aperture does just that.

In lieu of the 90-250 I am considering the 150/2, but then I recall that the 50-200 covers this range and if I do not buy it I can save 2 grand towards the 300. Too many bounces across all lenses to decide without the help of those who have gone before me. That's all of you. :p

jebir
05-22-2008, 05:14 AM
Hi astcell,

the ZD 90-250/2.8 and ZD 300/2.8 are likely to be equally fast in focus but I'm sure the 300/2.8 gives the better image quality (IQ) of the two.

It is true that both the 90-250 and the 50-200 cover the ZD 150/2.0 in focal length but also here, I'm certain that none of those lenses come close to the 150 in IQ.

One thing to include into your considerations is that there are different uses for these lenses. I use the 90-250 when I have a car with me and/or I'm out to actually do some serious wildlife photography. I bring the 50-200 with me if I'm out and about for some other reason but want to bring a long tele just in case I come across a photo opportunity. I hardly ever bring both lenses though - and if I do, I find myself using the 90-250 on a trpod while I have the 50-200 handy for occasional birds in flight passing by.

Cheers, Jens.

astcell
05-22-2008, 08:27 AM
When I shot C* I quickly learned to love primes again. From the reviews on the board here I want the 8mm, 7-14mm, and 30/1.4. Also the 90-250, 150, and 300, but that all comes to about $15k and I have other things I want to buy with that money first. Like paying down my mortgage! But out of the three later lenses, the 150 is the cheapest. I know it runs circles around the 50-200, I do know that you get what you pay for.

A stand 6'4 and 250lbs and used to hand hold the N* 400/2.8 all day long, and do quite well with it. Sounds like this lens may be the ticket!

lendur2
05-22-2008, 04:30 PM
I just wish Olympus would release a cheaper super telephoto option. I just can't afford to spend $6K on a lens. Sigma's yet to be released 300-800 is no better (price-wise). A mirror lens is an option, but I don't like the fixed aperture. Maybe with an f/2.8 or f/3.5. The closets I've seen is a 300mm with an f/4.5. :(

JW

Vivitar used to make a 450mm f/4.5 Cat lens, but they soon abolished it, leaving prospective customers howling. If you could locate one of those...?

BILL3075
05-27-2008, 12:59 PM
WELL, I recently found a demo 300, and went that rout. I'll add the 1.4x to the 50-200 and see how it goes.....

No question the 300 is a beast. But what a beast !!

Now, the best "accessory" will be a good, systematic, daily workout program to get back into some sort of shape!

Thanks again, guys, for all your input and suggestions.


Good Light,

BILL

fldspringer
03-21-2010, 10:17 AM
Please use this format, or else you will be deleted!!!
Pros:
Cons:
price paid:
Other info:

Pros:
The thing is outstanding. Extremely sharp. Stands up to both the EC-14 and EC-20 very well.

Very accurate autofocus. That includes with either of the teleconverters attached. Focus speed is quick and the only exception is if allowed to rack through the entire range. The limiter can be used to eliminate that possibility.

Very impressive reach, especially with the EC-20 attached.

It allows focus at short working distance when compared to the big Canon and Nikon lenses with similar reach.

Built like a tank. Controls are smooth and accurate.

Cons:
It has mass and it you must modify your shooting style accordingly.

The tripod collar balance is near the far edge and still a bit front heavy when the hood is in place, even when counterbalanced with the EC-20/E-3.

The expense will prohibit many/most from experiencing the treat of using this fine lens.

price paid:
I bought this lens as factory reconditioned. The first digit started with a "4" but just barely. By the time I bought the 5 yr Olympus extended warranty it was back over $5k.

Other info:

Now for the nitty gritty.

First, if you think the spending is done with the up front cost of the lens, your kidding yourself. It demands a heavy duty tripod. You will not go to your destination with the camera/lens hanging around your neck. You will be har better off with it on your back. Unless you are within 100 yards of the parking, a good backpack is in order. My old Pelican case was much too small, so that upgrade was necessary. It all adds to the total. Even the 112mm filter (necessary for me for protection) runs $150.

Now back to support. The heavy duty tripod needn't he heavy and a carbon fiber one is a great choice. The choice of head is critical. In my opinion the ball head is not a good choice. There is too much mass and if the thing moves it could be disasterous. A good gimbal head makes the lens a joy to use. If you want to try to shoot handheld, be my guest, but I don't even want the monster sitting on my lap between shots. It is BIG in comparison to the rest of the Zuiko family (except the 90-250 is in the same class).

The next impression the lens made on me (beside the mass) was the look in the viewfinder as it snapped into focus the first time. The magnification and detail just pops. The moon was a treat. The fine detail of the bird's feathers is clearly visable in the E-3's viewfinder.

Images won't dissapoint, but the DOF is small if your filling the frame with the subject. To me, the f2.8 brightness is more for trading off for additional reach when adding the EC-14 (for 425mm f4) or the EC-20 (for 600mm f5.6). While it is certainly sharp wide open, It gets sharper stopped down one stop, and its likely you'll need the DOF anyway.

I think the 300 f2.8 is a wildlife shooters dream come true. Paying for it might be more of a nighmare. My rational process centered more on how much I would likely loose if I turned around and re-sold it. Maybe $1000??? Problem is now I know I won't ever want to part with the lens. Its just too much a treat to use when on a gimbal. Its almost to good.

Becomming a member of the long lens club didn't come cheap, but I'll be a member until I can't lug the thing into the field anymore. I hope that's many years so the cost per year seems less insane!!

For what its worth tripod/head I use is the Fiesol 3372 and the Jobu BWG-LW II and I'm very satisfied with it w/ the 300mm/E-3 combo. It is lightweight and solid.

There.... This lens shouldn't be stuck on page 4. Glad to drag it back to the top!!!


Greg

Don Baldwinson
03-22-2010, 12:21 AM
Pros:


There.... This lens shouldn't be stuck on page 4. Glad to drag it back to the top!!!


Greg
Passion is good:)
You are going to have decades of enjoyment and I wish you well.
Cheers,
Don