Tag Archives: f2.8L

Olympus M. Zuiko 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II

I’ve had this lens for over a year now and I always get questions about it, questions like:

  • Is it any good?
  • Just how much zoom will it give me?
  • Are the photos sharp?
  • It seems a bit slow …
  • Is it heavy, bulky etc?
  • Was it expensive?
  • When will I use such a long lens?

So I’ll address them from the beginning …

Is it any good?  In short, yes.

Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II
Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II

Just how much zoom will it give me?  A lot, but if you want to get technical about it, the M.Zuiko 75-300mm II is designed to be used on a micro 4/3 camera which means you effectively get 150-600mm focal range.  Think about that next time you go to shoot some wildlife!

Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II
Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II

Are the photos sharp? Sharp enough, and I only say that because I’m generally very picky with my lenses.  For a sub $1000 lens that gives me this kind of reach I’ll definitely be less picky.  In saying that, I have absolutely no issues with it’s sharpness and when combined with the Olympus IBIS I can get the photos I need.

Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II
Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II

It seems a bit slow … First of all I don’t know if you’re asking a question or making a statement.  Since there was no question mark I’ll address it as a statement.  Yes, f4.8-6.7 is VERY slow, even for a zoom lens of this range.  The panasonic equivalent is comparably faster.  However, I can compensate for that with a combination of the great IBIS and high ISO performance of my E-M5.  So, no, it’s not a problem for me.

Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm.  Dark conditions, long focal length, small aperture, yet somehow the camera and lens combination does exactly what I need.
Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm. Dark conditions, long focal length, small aperture, yet somehow the camera and lens combination does exactly what I need.

Is it heavy, bulky?  No, especially not when I’ve been used to carrying a Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM.  It all depends on what you’re used to, being a long time DSLR user, I doubt anything in the m43 or Sony CSC range will make me complain about weight/bulk.  Plus, if you can’t put up with the weight of the gear you need then maybe it’s not for you.

Was it expensive? If I remember correctly I paid around $550AUD for it, to me that was a very cheap price for what this lens is.  It’s significantly cheaper than the original version which was priced around $999 and this price is what I would expect for a m43 lens of this calibre.

When will I use such a long lens?  The photos in this post should answer your question, I mostly use it for wildlife, especially birds.  If you are of the stalker type (I don’t judge) then I suppose you can use it for that.  However I would not recommend it for any situation darker than a cloudy day.

Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II
Olympus OM-D E-M5, M.Zuiko 75-300mm II.  Long focal length makes it ideal for bird photography (during the day).

So there you go!  If you need a super long lens and own a m43 system, go out and buy this because this is one of the few lenses that are stopping me from selling my Olympus kit since buying the Sony kit.  You can get more detailed information about the lens here and here.  This was more of an informal Q&A but I can always go into more detail with it later on if you like.

70-200mm, why I have one

When I first bought my digital SLR (Canon 400D), I asked the guys I worked with at camera house which lenses I should get with it.  Both of them mentioned the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS, at that time all I saw was:
– 70-200mm –> $2k
– 55-250mm –> $450
Like everyone else in my situation at the time, I seriously questioned why anybody would pay so much more for a less versatile lens.  Keep in mind the max apertures meant nothing to me back then. 

Over time, however, I realised just how valuable the 70-200mm f2.8L IS came to be after various shoots/events.  Here are a few reasons why you would buy one:
– It looks cool, it’s grey, has a red ring, and a massive hood Winking smile
– It’s sharp, sharper than your favourite steak knife
– Quiet and accurate focusing, unlike those older Tamron lenses that sounds like R2D2 with a spastic colon
– Finally … f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8 f2.8!

Need I continue?

On the other hand, here are a few of the reasons that put people off from buying this lens:
– Size, weighs in at approx 1.6kg which puts it in the light heavyweight division of lenses
– $$$ the MkII version will range from $2300-$3300 in price (AUD)
– In case I forgot … SIZE

Here’s the thing about this lens, it won’t be one that you use all the time.  In fact, it might spend 80% of the time in a dry cabinet in your home.  Right now you may be thinking “why would I drop $2500 on a lens that I won’t use 80% of the time?”  You have a point, to an extent.  I brought this lens with me on an overseas trip and I NEVER used it.  BUT, here’s one of the many reasons to use this lens.  In these situations, there is no substitute to having a 70-200 f2.8L.

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199241_10150435746490650_658045649_17929786_3834176_n     199436_10150435745585650_658045649_17929775_6535703_n

Reason #1 to have this lens: Indoor sports photography!  Sharp, fast focusing, and the f2.8 gives you fast enough shutter speeds for indoor sports Smile.  If you’ve ever tried to get these photos in a basketball stadium with a non f2.8 lens, you’ll know what I mean. 

Stay tuned for reason #2