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July 11, 2009

Olympus 70-300mm Lens Review

Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens

Olympus lenses are very good, I have to say. I believe they are at least as good as the competition, although there may be less to choose from. The Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens is very nice lens for the money.

I have had my Olympus E-410 for about a year now, and it has worked really well for me. I have only been using the kit lens that came with it, a ZUIKO Digital 14 - 42 mm F3.5 - F5.6.

The kit lens is quite decent, and it's a great all-around lens for the price. However, I have been thinking about getting tele-zoom lens, so I can get closer to what I'm shooting. A lot of the times, I'm doing running photos or shots from somewhat far away. For some things like that, the kit lens has it shortcomings.

So, I looked around for good zoom lenses for my Olympus camera. I first thought about getting the Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD, but I didn't really want to spend that kind of money. A friend of mine mentioned the Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens instead, and after seeing some nice example photos on www.pbase.com, this seems like a great choice.

I went to McBain's in Edmonton, and they had this one in stock. I took a look at it and was immediately impressed from just testing it in the store. I was lucky too, they had marked it with the wrong price, so I got $50.00 off the regular price!

Description of this lens:
The high-mobility Olympus Zuiko lens offers a field of view to 600mm (35mm equivalent), and 70-300mm super-telephoto lens is an ideal choice for sports, nature, and other types of long-distance photography. The lens incorporates three extra-low-dispersion (ED) lens elements, which combine to offer a sharper, higher-contrast imaging performance, The lens's Four-Thirds system, meanwhile, ensures that you don't lose your macro or super-telephoto versatility when you switch to a different camera body. The lens also supports tele-macro photography thanks to its 1x magnification (35mm equivalent).

Specifications

    - Focal length: 70-300mm
    - Maximum aperture: f/4 to f/5.6
    - Lens construction: 14 elements in 10 groups
    - Angle of view: 18 to 4.1 degrees
    - Closest focusing distance: 3.14 feet
    - Maximum image magnification: 0.5x
    - Filter size: 58mm
    - Dimensions: 3.14 inches in diameter and 5 inches long
    - Weight: 21.9 ounc

es - Warranty: 1 year

See more details specification at the Olympus E 70-300mm product page.

I have not used the lens extensively yet, but so far, I am impressed overall. It is light and I have found it quite easy to get sharp photos without a tripod, but with a steady grip. That is, unless you zoom in all the way, of course.

I like the autofocus. It reacts fairly quickly if you are shooting moving subjects, which is perfect for my situation. This lens is perfect for any nature photographer. It is not fast as a pro lens, but for most people, it will be more than adequate.

I find this lens produces outdoor photos with rich colors and really good contrast. It will also deliver nice isolation and nicely blurred backgrounds. I am still amazed by the low price of this lens, considering what it delivers!

The drawback with this lens would be that the autofocus has trouble in low light conditions. Once you get the autofocus right, the photos are tack sharp, however.

Summary

In summary, this lens is a great addition to the kit lenses that come with the Olympus cameras. The price is right, and for the money, you really do get a fantastic lens. It's not a professional lens, but use it under the right circumstances, you will get professional looking photos. Don't spend thousands on a good tele zoom lens, when you can get the Olympus Zuiko 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 ED Lens!

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on July 11, 2009

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