View Full Version : Legacy Lenses Zuiko OM 300mm f4.5

02-23-2006, 09:41 AM
This is probably the most affordable super-tele solution for E-system as the ZD 300mm 2.8 is too expensive for most users.

Generally speaking, I love the images from the lens but since it's a manual focussing lens, a maximum aperture of f/4.5 and a small E-1 viewfinder, makes focusing quite a challenge. From my usage I've had a 30%-40% success rate of getting an 'acceptably focused' picture. So I guess it's mostly user error and my inability to master the lens. I use the aperture wide open most of the time as it aids focusing, and being only f/4.5 camera shake is a problem. I generally use ISO400-800 (1600 occassionally) for most of my shots.

There's also issue with CA but i think this only happens in high contrast scenes where the CA can be quite horrible. However this rarely happens on my lens and the level of CA is quite acceptable and normal for most of my shots.

There's also a problem in getting details sharp, such as bird's feathers, etc. I don't really know if this the lens weakness or simply user error.

Despite the drawbacks I love the fact that I don't have to carry a 600mm lens around and I'm quite pleased with its colours. Love the lens, really. Sorry for a non-technical review of the lens, but here are some of my crappy shots taken at a local zoo and bird park.




Would like to hear other users using this lens and their toughts, and maybe some tips too. :D . Anybody tried it with the EC-14?

Thanks for reading.

03-02-2006, 08:46 AM
Would like to hear other users using this lens and their toughts, and maybe some tips too.

Hi Unpro,

I agree with all your conclusions and I can surely say that the lack of feather detail is due to the lens if you use it fully open.

I'd rate this lens as mediocre.

Here is a short article (http://www.myfourthirds.com/document.php?id=10503) about my shooting technique with the lens on my E-1 that I posted at MyFourThirds a while ago.

Cheers, Jens

03-02-2006, 10:29 AM
I'm looking forward to playing with mine soon.
But the great majority of the shots will be tripod.

First Light
03-02-2006, 10:59 AM
...I'd rate this lens as mediocre. ...
Thanks Jens. I changed its rating in the summary (http://www.fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?p=5373#post5373).

07-11-2006, 07:59 PM
I have to agree with FL and Jens, this lens just doesn't work well on Olympus digital bodies, at least not for me. I tried every trick I had...5 seconds of anti shake, mirror lockup, my sturdiest tripod, and even a Katz Eye focus screen, I just couldn't get images out of this lens that compare with the 50-200. In PP, I got much better images by cropping the 50-200 shots to equal the 300mm FOV. It's too bad, because it's a beautifully constructed lens and it compliments the E-1 and Grip well. CA was indeed a problem, especially with night shots of the full moon. It was with no small sense of regret that I returned this lens to the dealer. The Nikon version of this lens reportedly works much better, but it costs three to five times as much, so for now, I'll get closer.


08-07-2006, 09:00 AM
I actually like this lens, but only for very specific purposes. I find its sharpness not that important when it actually comes to prints--that is, the prints I've made from this lens look better than the monitor images. I find I get about 25% to 40% keepers with it, but only when using tripod & RM-1 remote shutter release. Wide open is not very good, but at f5.6 & f8, it produces quite acceptable pictures. Since I don't have the DZ 50-200mm or DZ 1.4TC, this is the only alternative I have to capturing shots that require some reach. I also have combined it with an OM2X TC--softer images still--but again, I get acceptable images which otherwise would not be captured at all.


09-05-2006, 03:00 PM
I have used this lens for the first time last weekend. I used it in conjunction with the 50-200mm, and 1.4tc. The 50-200 clearly made for sharper images more often. Quite amazing quality considering the use of the tc. But the 300 gives just a bit more reach, even further with a tc.

In this example (prob my best with the 300), there are some magenta highlights in the background bushes and some slight green highlighlights over the ears. If I recall, used at f5.6. The point of focus is prob just behind the deer. Regarding the varied quality, I understand Olympus made changes to the coating over the production life. A good filter might help? I used a std hoya uv filter.

The image is a crop with some post processing . I removed some branches from the background.

07-22-2007, 04:55 PM
I appreciate that this is an old thread, but have just bought one of these as an interim step, prior to the release of the ED 70-300mm F4.0-5.6, I', hoping that I can recoup the 140 paid or close to it when the 4/3 lens is released.

I primarily want it for birds in flight and photos which would be otherwise difficult with the Sigma 50-500.

It'll arrive early next week, hopefully closely followed by the OM-4/3 converter, so i may be taking some test shots by the end of next week. :)

08-13-2007, 01:23 PM
Can only agree with what others have said, not the easiest of lenses to use, as the manual focus is quite stiff and puts a lot of pressure on the camera when hand held.

I took a couple of shots to compare with the 50-500 on an equivalent length
and found the 50-500 results better.

OM 300mm




Not a bad lens, but certainly not suitable for birds in flight, so will be going back on ebay. :)