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photo:mft300mm

300mm telephoto options for Micro Four Thirds

introduction

  • 300mm lenses on Micro Four Thirds system effectively gives a 600mm field of view in traditional 35mm full frame terms
  • most of us do not need such super telephoto capability but it does come in handy for:
    • astrophotography - particularly moon shots
    • wildlife photography
    • sporting events although most venues will not allow lenses with greater than 200mm focal length (to protect the rights of professional photographers who have paid for this right)
    • highly compressed perspectives
  • gaining 600mm field of view on a full frame system generally means a big heavy lens that must be used on a tripod
  • on Micro Four Thirds you may be able to get away without a tripod, and certainly you can get by with MUCH less weight and size
  • the following excludes consumer grade super tele zoom lenses for MFT - see 3-4x super-telephoto zoom lenses for Micro Four Thirds, and mirror lenses such as Kenko / Tokina 300mm f/6.3 macro mirror lens for MFT, and Samyang / Rokinon 300mm f/6.3 mirror lens

Olympus mZD 300mm f/4 OIS Pro

  • this lens is the holy grail in 300mm lenses for Micro Four Thirds shooters
  • it will be the only 300mm lens with:
    • weatherproof
    • wide aperture of f/4
    • CDAF optimised silent autofocus
    • almost zero aberrations and exception sharpness, although best at f/5.6
    • 6.5EV image stabiliser when used as Dual IS with compatible cameras
    • MF clutch
    • excellent close focus performance
    • relatively compact and light

Olympus ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD for Four Thirds with 1.4x TC

  • AF will be stutteringly slow on most bodies, although the E-M1 will allow faster phase detect AF
  • sharp lens wide open, although not quite as sharp when used with teleconverters
  • when used with the 1.4x TC, you can get to 280mm f/4.9
  • when used with the 2.0x TC, you can get 100-400mm f/5.6-7.0 and at 150mm it will be 30mm f/6.6
  • the problems are:
    • slow AF
    • big, heavy lens (1.07kg), and almost absurdly long when extended even to 135mm focal length when the hood is in place (10.5cm longer than the Canon EF 135mm f/2.0L lens with its lens hood)
    • requires four-Thirds adapter
  • advantages:
    • gives best telephoto range
    • close focus 1.2m
    • has tripod mount
    • nice bokeh for a zoom lens
    • can be bought at reasonable prices 2nd hand
    • can be used with Olympus ZD tele-extenders (EC-14 and EC20)
    • weatherproof

Olympus ZD 150mm f/2.0 with 2x TC

  • gives 300mm f/4
  • a beautiful lens BUT AF will be stutteringly slow on most bodies, although the E-M1 will allow faster phase detect AF
  • very sharp lens wide open although not quite as sharp as the 300mm f/2.8
  • the problems are:
    • slow AF
    • still expensive (>$A3000 new perhaps $A1700 2nd hand)
    • very heavy (1.6kg, 82mm filter)
    • close focus 1.4m
    • requires four-Thirds adapter
  • advantages:
    • option of using it at 150mm f/2.0
    • has tripod mount
    • nice bokeh
    • not too big
    • can be used with Olympus ZD tele-extenders (EC-14 and EC20)
    • weatherproof

Olympus ZD 90-250mm f/2.8 Super Pro with 1.4x TC

  • a beautiful lens BUT AF will be stutteringly slow on most bodies, although the E-M1 will allow faster phase detect AF
  • very sharp lens wide open
  • the problems are:
    • slow CDAF
    • still v expensive (>$A5000 new perhaps $A3000 2nd hand)
    • very heavy (3.27kg, 105mm filter)
    • close focus 2.5m
    • requires four-Thirds adapter
  • advantages:
    • has tripod mount
    • nice bokeh
    • can be used with Olympus ZD tele-extenders (EC-14 and EC20) to give:
      • 126-350mm f4 (with 1.4x TC)
      • 180-500mm f/5.6 (with 2x TC)
    • weatherproof

Olympus ZD 300mm f/2.8 Super Pro

  • a beautiful lens BUT AF will be stutteringly slow on most bodies, although the E-M1 will allow faster phase detect AF
  • very sharp lens wide open
  • the problems are:
    • slow CDAF
    • still v expensive (>$A6000 new perhaps $A3500 2nd hand)
    • very heavy (3.29kg, 43mm drop in filter)
    • close focus 2.4m
    • requires four-Thirds adapter
  • advantages:
    • has tripod mount
    • nice bokeh
    • can be used with Olympus ZD tele-extenders (EC-14 and EC20) to give 600mm f/5.6 (with 2x TC)
    • weatherproof

Canon EF 300mm f/4L

  • a full frame lens
  • very sharp lens wide open
  • the problems are:
    • no AF on MFT, must use magnified MF or other MF assist
    • no aperture control
    • requires EF to micro-four-thirds adapter
  • advantages:
    • nice bokeh
    • close focus 1.5m
    • not too big nor heavy (1.19kg, 77mm filter)
    • weatherproof
    • not too expensive
    • can be used with Canon EF tele-extenders
    • can be used with a Metabones Speed Booster adapter to give aperture control and reduce down to 213mm f/2.8
    • can obviously work as an AF lens on Canon EOS cameras

Olympus OM 300mm f/4.5

  • when compact size trumps AF
  • only 1000g and 181mm long, 72mm filter
  • will need OM-MFT adapter
  • built-in lens hood
  • close focus 3.5m
  • best stopped down to f/5.6 to reduce purple fringing

comparison chart

Olympus mZD 300mm PRO Olympus ZD 50-200mm SWD with 2xTC Olympus ZD 150mm f/2.0 with 2x TC Canon EF 300mm f/4L
focal length range 300mm 100-400mm 300mm 300mm
aperture at 300mm f/4.0 f/6.6 (2x tc) f/4.0 f/4.0
CDAF speed on MFT FAST slow slow MF only
close focus m 1.2m 1.4m 1.5m
flare resistance EXC V.GOOD V.GOOD GOOD
weatherproof YES YES YES YES
filter mm 67mm 82mm 77mm
weight 1070/1200g 1500/1610g 1190g
length mm 157mm + adapter but extends 150mm + adapter 221mm + adapter
price $US1500? $US1200 $US2300 $US1449
max. focal length with TC 420mm f/5.6 400mm f/7 300mm f/4 600mm f/8
photo/mft300mm.txt · Last modified: 2016/11/14 12:59 by gary1