Olympus mZD 300mm f/4 PRO lens
- my blog posts on this lens:
Dual IS - optical IS synchronising with sensor-based IS to give unprecedented 5-6EV effectiveness
Video shot with the 300mm plus MC14 to show how amazing the IS is at 840mm field of view!
The Olympus 300mm f/4 compared to the Canon and Nikon 300mm f/2.8 - far smaller but it is 1 stop smaller but the field of view is actually 600mm.
That's one reason why Micro Four Thirds is far more fun and less burden!
It will be interesting to see how well the Olympus 300mm f/4 Pro lens competes with a Canon 7D II with Canon EF 400mm f/4L IS lens for birding - the Olympus will probably have faster AF for static subjects, face recognition AF, better image quality edge-to-edge, perhaps better IS, will be far less heavy and less expensive but maybe the Canon will do better C-AF tracking of birds?
Compared with APS-C dSLR and 400mm lens - image courtesy of Sm.art.graphicstudio via 43rumors.com
- finally became available in March 2016
- equivalent fov to a 600mm f/4 lens on a full frame dSLR
- similar size and weight to the pro full frame dSLR 300mm f/4 iS lenses such as Canon EF 300mm f/4 IS L lens but instead of only 2 EV image stabiliser the Olympus gives 6-7.5 stops of 5-axis dual IS, closer focus with much better macro capability, and much faster and more silent C-AF, less flare, plus it is likely to be sharper as it needs to operate at a 2x crop factor level giving 600mm field of view, and sharper again when used with a 1.4x teleconverter when compared with the Canon 300mm with 1.4x TC.
- if you are shooting action in low light, an f/2.8 lens with a larger sensor for better high ISO performance may be your better option, but that means much more money, weight and size.
- 300mm f/4 = 600mm in full frame terms giving diagonal field of view of 4.1° (2.3° x 3.4°)
- weathersealed with 11 separate hermetic seals
- 5-6EV optical image stabiliser and dual IS / sync IS compatible
- “highest resolution” Olympus lens ever made
- fast, silent AF (completely silent shooting when used in electronic shutter mode)
- face detection AF with compatible cameras
- Zero and Z nano coating
- Manual Focus Clutch mechanism
- 17 elements in 10 groups
- 9 diaphragm blades
- close focus 1.4m giving 0.48x macro in 35mm terms
- 3 position focus limiter: 1.4-4m, 4m to infinity and full range
- configurable lens function button
- 77mm filter
- 93mm x 227mm
- 1270g (27lbs)
- compatible with Olympus mZD MC-14 1.4x teleconverter to give 420mm f/5.6 (840mm telephoto reach in full frame terms)
- compatible with Olympus mZD MC-20 2x teleconverter to give 600mm f/8 (1200mm telephoto reach and almost 1:1 macro in full frame terms)
- you may wish to purchase a more sturdy case such as:
- Canon LZ1326 Lens Case designed for the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
my blog posts
reviews and previews
- examples of image sharpness hand held at 1/10th sec - 6EV IS !
- sharp images hand held down to 1/15th sec, while using 1/60th sec hand held for rainy day wildlife blurs the raindrops nicely
- excellent sharpness wide open and even sharper at f/5.6, much sharper than the Panasonic Leica DG 100-400mm ASPH f/4-6.3 lens at 300mm
- minimal CA and distortion, excellent flare resistance
- “Wide open, the lens is tack sharp across the entire frame. Looking at our blur charts, the blur characteristics are practically completely flat across the frame and extremely sharp corner-to-corner. ”
- exceptionally sharp, at f/5.6 it is practically, a diffraction-limited lens
- it would be difficult to find another lens among those we’ve tested so far which, after stopping down by 1 EV stop, reduces most of optical aberrations so efficiently - an exception is the much more expensive, but optically superb Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200mm F2.8 Power OIS lens which is even sharper, even with its TC on
- sharper than the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm lens
- performance on the edge of the frame should also be described in superlatives only. The results are lower than those in the centre but only slightly so
- as expected sharpness does drop when using the 1.4x TC but it is still good
- doesn’t have any problems related to the longitudinal chromatic aberration even with the 1.4x TC!
- almost no lateral CA f/4-f/8, but you do get a little when using the 1.4x TC
- no “focus shift” effect even with the 1.4x TC, good correction of spherical aberration
- excellent −0.16% distortion and slightly worse with 1.4x TC at -0.66%, but these are further corrected in jpeg processing
- almost no coma, and just a touch with the 1.4x TC
- very low astigmatism at only 4.1% which increases to a low 5.5% with the 1.4x TC
- extremely low vignetting at only -0.3EV wide open and only 0.03EV at f/5.6 which is amazingly good, and even less with the 1.4x TC
- some ghosting and flares when shooting almost directly into sun which would be an unusual way to use this lens
- AF is accurate, noiseless and appropriately fast, takes o.5-0.6sec to go from closest to infinity, 0.1-0.2sec longer with the 1.4x TC attached, with no front or back focus issues even with the 1.4x TC
- nice bokeh
- solid casing, extra well-sealed against dust and splashwater, combined with very high build quality
- a truly unique instrument without any flaws and the most efficient optical stabilization units we’ve ever had the pleasure of testing, and perfect cooperation with a tele-converter
Using the dot sight bracket (E-6672) of Etsumi, and equipped with a dot sight EE-1 with binocular vision
Image courtesy of dc.watch
Using the EE-1 dot sight