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Homer Simpson
4th February 2011, 11:00 AM
As a recent buyer of the 70-300 I'm aware there are "weaknesses".

I'd like to tap into the accumulated knowledge here on the forum.
Could those more knowledgeable compile a list of these to help us new 70-300 owners
Plus get arounds of course*yes

PeterD
4th February 2011, 11:41 AM
I know this is a list of negatives but I am afraid that is the way I see this lens.

It certainly does not perform as well as even the kit range lenses for the following reasons:

1. It is incredibly slow to focus.
2. You need good light to get focus lock without hunting.
3. Images are usually 'soft'.
4. The focal range is attractive for wildlife shooting but the inconsistant performance listed above preclude it from this role.
5. The only good attribute is its weight.

I have tried this lens on three camera bodies (E500, E3 & E5) and even had a replacement lens early on.

I concluded that this lens was not reliable enough for me to use and it remains in store. I use the Bigma as my preferred telephoto. I know it is more expensive but I would rather pay more for reliability and performance.

I guess I am going to be alone in these comments but they are my honest opinion and I have tried to work with the lens but it does not want to work with me. Maybe someone who has persevered longer will be able to give you a workaround.

StephenL
4th February 2011, 11:59 AM
PeterD, I agree with your comments. I just could not get on with this lens. Having said that, I sold it to Snaarman, who is getting stellar results from it. I can only conclude a lot of it is down to the photographer!

David Morison
4th February 2011, 12:06 PM
I agree with Peter's comments in the main as I intended to use this lens for bird/wildlife photography which because of the focussing problems finally forced me to sell in favour of the Bigma, now replaced with the ZD 300mm. However this was a huge mistake as the performance of the lens with fairly static subjects, flowers and insects, makes it a hugely important lens in a wildlife photographer's arsenal especially in view of the closest focus distance of 92cm (with MF).

David

Howi
4th February 2011, 12:29 PM
The 70-300 is a lens that has multiple capabilities together with lots of negatives.

1/ it isn't and never will be as good as the ZD50-200, but you shouldn't expect it to be for 1/3 to 1/4 the price.
2/ because it has macro capabilities, you shouldn't expect it to focus quickly (the ZD 50 doesn't either)
3/ it is a lot lighter to carry around than the ZD50-200
4/ F4 is max aperture (5.6 @ 300) - why do people expect it to focus in low light!!!!!
5/ It can and does give sharp images even @ 300mm, there are plenty of images on the net to prove it, just don't expect sharp images at 300mm handheld on a dull day - it just ain't going to happen.
6/ consensus says best aperture is F8 for max sharpness.
7/ not weather proof - why would it be at that price???


I'm sorry folks, but some people just expect too much.
if you can afford the ZD50-200 or the Bigma, then it's a no brainer, but I wouldn't take either of those on holiday, and I've got shots with the 70-300 that I just wouldn't have got otherwise.
Yes! you do have to work at it, Yes! it can be highly frustrating to use, but there are workarounds.
Prefocus with manual, means it doesn't have far to travel when autofocus cuts in.
No workaround for low light other than tripod.

and finally, sorry guys, I think we should be singing its praises, not, spot picking - you only have to read the spec for the lens, to realize it's negatives,
why expect it to perform miracles.
Now! if it cost similar to the Bigma or ZD50-200, then you would have something to beef about.
I'm certainly NOT going to part with mine, even when, one day I might (just) be able to afford either of the other two.

Ian
4th February 2011, 12:35 PM
I disagree that the lens is soft - lots if people get excellent sharpness from the lens, at all focal lengths.

Focusing can be slow because it's a macro lens. The sheer distance that the lens has to move through the focus range does mean that if you're at the wrong end of that range, hunting and slow focus lock will be worse than lenses with a short focus throw.

But if it is only adjusting focus in a small range, it's absolutely fine.

Yes the AF motor is noisy. I think the lens is not as physically robust as more expensive ones. But it's also excellent value for what it offers and affordable to boot.

Here are some samples - these were posted to DPNow last year, can't remember if I posted them here before:

All taken with a 70-300 and an E-450 (so only 10MP and no IS):

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4082824.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20418)
More strutting (if you can use that term for swans!)

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4082832.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20419)
This style of pose went down well last time.

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4082910.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20420)
It was a much more challenging day for the camera as the late morning spring sun was beating down.

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4082955.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20421)
This has to be one of my favourites.

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4082989.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20422)
Though this isn't bad :)

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4083005.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20423)
More dribbling!

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4083015.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20424)
I mentioned the dribbling didn't I?

And finally:

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4083063.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20425)

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4083064.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20426)

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4083065.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20427)

http://dpnow.com/galleries/data/547/P4083066.jpg (http://dpnow.com/galleries/showphoto.php/photo/20428)

So that's how they do it! :)

Ian

PS All these shots were processed from RAW files in Adobe Lightroom 3 Beta 2

snaarman
4th February 2011, 01:05 PM
I'll throw in my observations if it helps.

Treat it as a nice 70-210mm and try to use f8, you won't be sorry. It can be bitingly sharp under these conditions. Here's a blog entry I did on the subject http://snaarman.blogspot.com/2011/01/crop.html

I have a sneaky suspicion that it works better as a 300mm macro than as a 300mm tele.

Good points: Pretty much as told in the posts above:
Cheap compared to the 50-200 but rather well made.
Very sharp if used carefully.
Light for its reach.

Not so good: Slow AF motor
I think its slightly soft at the long end unless you go to f11
Needs plenty of light.

Hope this helps..

Pete

JackBenedict
4th February 2011, 01:17 PM
I know this is a list of negatives but I am afraid that is the way I see this lens.

It certainly does not perform as well as even the kit range lenses for the following reasons:



All the comments made previously have some validity to them.
However the 70 - 300 lens ( for the money ) - think of this way;as a very fast performance car - grap it by the b*lls and take control otherwise you will never nail the better points ( mentioned here by others ) of this lens; otherwise you may as well get rid of it,which incidentally was how I acquired mine.

Plainly put I know but you get my point.

Howi
4th February 2011, 01:17 PM
I'll throw in my observations if it helps.

Treat it as a nice 70-210mm and try to use f8, you won't be sorry. It can be bitingly sharp under these conditions. Here's a blog entry I did on the subject http://snaarman.blogspot.com/2011/01/crop.html

I have a sneaky suspicion that it works better as a 300mm macro than as a 300mm tele.

Good points: Pretty much as told in the posts above:
Cheap compared to the 50-200 but rather well made.
Very sharp if used carefully.
Light for its reach.

Not so good: Slow AF motor
I think its slightly soft at the long end unless you go to f11
Needs plenty of light.

Hope this helps..

Pete

I definitely agree with you there, though it ain't bad as a tele at 300mm, put the Sigma achromatic lens on and get REALLY close.......

Ian
4th February 2011, 01:26 PM
I'll throw in my observations if it helps.

Treat it as a nice 70-210mm and try to use f8, you won't be sorry. It can be bitingly sharp under these conditions. Here's a blog entry I did on the subject http://snaarman.blogspot.com/2011/01/crop.html

I have a sneaky suspicion that it works better as a 300mm macro than as a 300mm tele.

Good points: Pretty much as told in the posts above:
Cheap compared to the 50-200 but rather well made.
Very sharp if used carefully.
Light for its reach.

Not so good: Slow AF motor
I think its slightly soft at the long end unless you go to f11
Needs plenty of light.

Hope this helps..

Pete

Most of my samples earlier in this thread were taken wide open...

Ian

PeterD
4th February 2011, 01:58 PM
I definitely agree with you there, though it ain't bad as a tele at 300mm, put the Sigma achromatic lens on and get REALLY close.......

Thank you for reminding me:)

Before putting this lens in store. I used it with the Sigma achromatic screw on lens with excellant results*chr. The way I used this might also address some of the issues I have raised. I carried out a manual pre-focus then operated af which reduced the focussing time significantly. The problem I found with this set up is that you get a focussing window (both a minimum and maximum focussing distance) for a given focal length. Had it not been for this it would still be in use today. It did however also give me the opportunity of testing Macro at various focal lengths before selecting the Sigma 150mm HSM DG macro.

Yes, I have seen some really good images from this lens but I did try hard as the Bigma was far too expensive for me to contemplate buying but it turned out to be the only solution in 4/3 so I found the cash. I am certainly not trying to compare the two lenses because in cost terms they are at different ends of the spectrum. Value for money.....well thats a different matter. I now reliability get the IQ I have been seeking which means I do not have to throw away as many shots, waste far less time and do not get as frustrated for missing opportunities.

Homer Simpson
4th February 2011, 02:57 PM
For me there is some interesting stuff coming out of this thread.
I think for the money its a very good lens
I've yet to take any pictures with it that I'm happy with but realise I'm on a learning curve.
The thing that finally made my mind up was that stunning Dragonfly photo posted on here a few months ago

Can someone just confirm I've not got the wrong end of the stick?
You are saying:

Switch is "on" at autofocus
Zoom to desired length
Manual focus on the ring
Half press the shutter to let the lens AF finish off the focus

I must admit I was a bit frightened to MF incase I was forcing the AF motor in some way

Ian
4th February 2011, 03:07 PM
The focus ring is fly by wire - as long as you use that instead of rotating the end barrel itself, there will be no problem at all. You can use AF+MF so you can manually focus using the focus ring to get the focus in the ball park and then use the shutter release to lock focus on the subject.

Ian

For me there is some interesting stuff coming out of this thread.
I think for the money its a very good lens
I've yet to take any pictures with it that I'm happy with but realise I'm on a learning curve.
The thing that finally made my mind up was that stunning Dragonfly photo posted on here a few months ago

Can someone just confirm I've not got the wrong end of the stick?
You are saying:

Switch is "on" at autofocus
Zoom to desired length
Manual focus on the ring
Half press the shutter to let the lens AF finish off the focus

I must admit I was a bit frightened to MF incase I was forcing the AF motor in some way

Barr1e
4th February 2011, 08:45 PM
The 70-300 is a lens that has multiple capabilities together with lots of negatives.

1/ it isn't and never will be as good as the ZD50-200, but you shouldn't expect it to be for 1/3 to 1/4 the price.
2/ because it has macro capabilities, you shouldn't expect it to focus quickly (the ZD 50 doesn't either)
3/ it is a lot lighter to carry around than the ZD50-200
4/ F4 is max aperture (5.6 @ 300) - why do people expect it to focus in low light!!!!!
5/ It can and does give sharp images even @ 300mm, there are plenty of images on the net to prove it, just don't expect sharp images at 300mm handheld on a dull day - it just ain't going to happen.
6/ consensus says best aperture is F8 for max sharpness.
7/ not weather proof - why would it be at that price???


I'm sorry folks, but some people just expect too much.
if you can afford the ZD50-200 or the Bigma, then it's a no brainer, but I wouldn't take either of those on holiday, and I've got shots with the 70-300 that I just wouldn't have got otherwise.
Yes! you do have to work at it, Yes! it can be highly frustrating to use, but there are workarounds.
Prefocus with manual, means it doesn't have far to travel when autofocus cuts in.
No workaround for low light other than tripod.

and finally, sorry guys, I think we should be singing its praises, not, spot picking - you only have to read the spec for the lens, to realize it's negatives,
why expect it to perform miracles.
Now! if it cost similar to the Bigma or ZD50-200, then you would have something to beef about.
I'm certainly NOT going to part with mine, even when, one day I might (just) be able to afford either of the other two.

Agreed.

Mine is rarely off the camera.

To me it represents one of the best value for money lenses around.

http://www.fourthirds-user.com/galleries/data/500/Robin_2877_b.jpg (http://www.fourthirds-user.com/galleries/showphoto.php?photo=19951)

Regards. Barr1e

PeterD
4th February 2011, 09:10 PM
The focus ring is fly by wire - as long as you use that instead of rotating the end barrel itself, there will be no problem at all. You can use AF+MF so you can manually focus using the focus ring to get the focus in the ball park and then use the shutter release to lock focus on the subject.

Ian

I used it with manual pre-focus for about eight months and no ill effects:).

theMusicMan
4th February 2011, 09:10 PM
I'm afraid nobody can say that the Oly 70-300mm in not sharp. I will defend it to the hilt.

http://www.reflectingme.com/img/s2/v1/p696084779-4.jpg

http://www.reflectingme.com/img/s5/v4/p133430850-4.jpg


http://www.reflectingme.com/img/s10/v2/p33848669-4.jpg

OlyPaul
4th February 2011, 11:05 PM
I'm with John and Ian, and I use mine wide open most of the time and soft is not the word I would use.:)

f5.6 at 300mm
http://paulsilk.smugmug.com/Nature/Close-Up-On-Nature/2010-10-21-11-04-42/1116715229_HhX5r-L-1.jpg

f5.6 at 300mm
http://paulsilk.smugmug.com/Nature/Insects-Spiders/2010-07-22-15-29-13/1118017233_aqHoM-L-1.jpg

catkins
5th February 2011, 12:22 AM
Great shots shown above taken by the 70-300mm at its best.

I think there is a bit of 'rightness' in all the comments - this is a lens that has to have its advantages exploited and its disadvantages minimised by an intimate knowledge of how to use it to its best.

There are plenty of really good shots on this forum and previous discussions that show how good this lens can be in the right hands and in the right light. It has given me opportunites that I wouldn't have had otherwise, got me closer to subjects that most other people would be well short of, and given me more fun for minimal money than one would ever have realised. My recent Apache photos needed this lens as a minimum and are hard to beat without major sums of money being spent - yet these types of shots only occur maybe for two to four weeks a year. But I enjoy envying the green grass on the other side too!

Of course I'd love to have the 50-200mm f2.9 type lens, but money is limited, muscles are weak, and I'd still have to pay out more money for a tele-converter to even then get the shots that I can get with the 70-300mm.
And of course these types of lenses will be better quality and make it slightly easier to get some of the shots - a very recent purchase of a 12-60mm shows marked improvements in low light compared to the 14-45mm, but then this lens will probably get far more use and is comparitively cheaper. One day though I may get to spend the money, but I can wait for good fortune.

So your intended use may have some relevance to what is best, your spending power will have some influence, and self confidence in making good use of what you've got will be the third part to the eternal quandry!

Most of all have fun and enjoy the photography - and this is coming from someone who loved the Zenith E and the opportunites it brought me in the early days of my photography hobby.

Regards
Chris

Ross the fiddler
5th February 2011, 01:33 PM
I think it is a great lens for the money & if used with care can give great results. Check here http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=12977
& here is another example.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/PC153153s.jpg

& the same photo cropped
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/PC153153crs.jpg

Ellie
5th February 2011, 03:14 PM
[This lens] has given me opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise, got me closer to subjects ... and given me more fun for [-] money than one would ever have realised.
I have to agree with this.

I think the important thing to remember is that this is a 'budget' lens and of course it has its' weaknesses that we have to learn to live with. I can't imagine being able to either afford or carry pro lenses that would give me the same reach.

I've taken some what I think are brilliant wildlife shots with it, and was delighted that it managed to focus quickly enough to take this of a pair of Silver Studded Blues - they don't tend to hang around and pose!
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/680/781_P7025569.JPG (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/30115)

I'd agree with PeterD that the Bigma (50-500mm) is an amazing lens and is worth every penny, but it tends to be more than twice the price of the 70-300 and weighs almost as much as a bag of sugar. (1970g) *ohwell whereas the 70-300mm weighs 620g

Danny
5th February 2011, 04:21 PM
Can't agree with the softness arguement. I have both the bigma and 70-300 for wildlife and I find that the IQ is FAR better from the 70-300, without a doubt.

theMusicMan
5th February 2011, 04:25 PM
Can't agree with the softness arguement. I have both the bigma and 70-300 for wildlife and I find that the IQ is FAR better from the 70-300, without a doubt.
This is why I sold my Sigma 50-500, for this very reason. I was getting far better IQ from the 70-300mm plus the EC14 than I was with the Bigma.

Homer Simpson
5th February 2011, 04:52 PM
I know this is a bit of a "how long is a peice of string" question.

What sort of default settings do you tend to use on this lens

I've been using AP at 5.6 & iso 400 & trying to brace against something (wall tree etc).

I have a Benbo tripod ready for summer Macro work, plus a cheapo monopod on order from Amazon.

theMusicMan
5th February 2011, 04:58 PM
I know this is a bit of a "how long is a peice of string" question.

What sort of default settings do you tend to use on this lens

I've been using AP at 5.6 & iso 400 & trying to brace against something (wall tree etc).

I have a Benbo tripod ready for summer Macro work, plus a cheapo monopod on order from Amazon.
99% of the time it's wide open, regardless of if am taking shots of birds or am at Heathers rugby games. ISO on my E-3 is determined by the available light. I often use 800 on dark murky afternoons at the side of a rugby field. Always handheld, IS1.

snaarman
5th February 2011, 05:22 PM
I would hate to have people think I am 'dissin a perfectly good lens, so perhaps I should explain what I mean by "slightly soft".


Here is a lesser spotted lens chart* that hopped into our house this afternoon: I grabbed the 70-300 and managed to get 4 shots off before it vanished. The long shots were taken at about 20 feet and the close ones at about 5 feet. All shot hand held with radio triggered bounced flash.

I have glued together crops from those shots for your amusement... as you can see it is slightly softer wide open at the long end. Just slightly...

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/622/70to300test.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/30664)


However, and here's the rub:


Take a look at the whole image, and reconsider just how sharp this lens is. IMHO - Lenses don't come much sharper than this one at 70mm and f8 - so we are talking serious respec' dudes *chr

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/622/testchart.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/30665)

Yes, those are cruel corner crops. The only treatment they got was a tiny bit of CA correction in ACR.

So: "slightly soft" in my book means slightly less than perfect, but I have become a perfectionist since I took up Zuiko glass.
The f8 and f11 performance is just plain excellent. Only the best lenses resolve those faint vertical lines at the bottom left corner. I've tried load of lenses that didn't...


Edit: These guys tested the 70-300 and their sharpness graph thingy seems to show similar results to mine... http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1102/cat/15


Pete

* Yes, I know its sad taking pictures of lens charts

Ian
5th February 2011, 06:50 PM
I'm honestly surprised you're getting a sharper result at f/11 and 300mm than at 5.6.

Maybe there is some corner softness, but with a telephoto lens this is probably not that important. And of course there is also the possibility that your lens is not a great example?

Ian

PeterD
5th February 2011, 08:47 PM
I'm honestly surprised you're getting a sharper result at f/11 and 300mm than at 5.6.

Maybe there is some corner softness, but with a telephoto lens this is probably not that important. And of course there is also the possibility that your lens is not a great example?

Ian

I had resolved NOT to continue in this debate after giving my honest opinion for which I realised at the time would stir up this hornets nest. It has become something like a canikon debate. I wanted to shoot wildlife and have a reliable lens but the focus hunting in particular were a source of great frustration. In short, neither of my two Olympus 70-300 lenses met MY requirement. End of story.
I have appended Ian's note so that I have the opportunity to say, my best images from the 70-300 lens was when using the Sigma Achromatic lens with it. I said in my previous post on this thread that I was delighted with the images. Now, these were taken with the aperture set to f10/11 to give me the depth of field I needed in macro.

Ross the fiddler
5th February 2011, 11:21 PM
This is why I sold my Sigma 50-500, for this very reason. I was getting far better IQ from the 70-300mm plus the EC14 than I was with the Bigma.

That sounds great. I'll have to get the EC14 then (realising I still have to allow for light loss).

Ross the fiddler
5th February 2011, 11:24 PM
I know this is a bit of a "how long is a peice of string" question.

What sort of default settings do you tend to use on this lens

I've been using AP at 5.6 & iso 400 & trying to brace against something (wall tree etc).

I have a Benbo tripod ready for summer Macro work, plus a cheapo monopod on order from Amazon.

One thing to remember if bracing it like that, you probably should turn off IS or at least try it off.

Homer Simpson
6th February 2011, 04:03 PM
I had resolved NOT to continue in this debate after giving my honest opinion for which I realised at the time would stir up this hornets nest.


Peter, there can't be informed debate without two sides. I certainly appreciated your views. *chr
I did not want just pros, the cons need consideration too.

I hate the thought of having instigated a bust up.:o

With hindsight I should have used the term "limitations" rather than weaknesses. The perfect bit of kit (in any disipline) is yet to be made.

I'd still like to hear of more "work arounds" and techniques for getting the maximum enjoyment out of this lens from more experienced users*yes

PeterD
6th February 2011, 04:46 PM
Peter, there can't be informed debate without two sides. I certainly appreciated your views. *chr
I did not want just pros, the cons need consideration too.

I hate the thought of having instigated a bust up.:o

With hindsight I should have used the term "limitations" rather than weaknesses. The perfect bit of kit (in any disipline) is yet to be made.

I'd still like to hear of more "work arounds" and techniques for getting the maximum enjoyment out of this lens from more experienced users*yes

Hi Homer

Don't worry I said my piece. Its just all that it is great without telling you how that I suppose got to me.
I have tried to indicate how you can cut down on focussing time (one headache I listed). The manual pre-focus was the one thing I HAD to do when using this lens in Macro. Maybe, had I applied it when using it as a telephoto lens then my frustrations on the focus time would have been reduced and become more or less acceptable. I did go on to say that I might still be using it for macro had I not had this focussing window which, incidentally is NOTHING to do with the 70-300mm lens in its own right.
As others have said, this lens does require good bright conditions. I suspect the reason people are using it wide open is for this reason.
The second issue of image softness again was not a problem when in macro with the Sigma lens. Ian replied about someone using f11, if my memory serves me correctly, and got sharp images. I replied to this because I too got sharp images with that sort of aperture.
I have gone over what I have said before to put in one place the issues I found and the potential solution. The hunting I am pretty sure was due to low light conditions when shooting birds in shrubbery.

The Bigma is not anywhere near perfect either. The weight is horrendous (its all metal construction), I do get some missed focus shots and it also requires reasonable light to work (although works at lower light levels than the 70-300). The reason I rejoiced when I took possession of the E5 was its ISO/noise performance. The camera has lifted the barrier I had in using the Bigma with the E3.
At the end of the day, you lay out your desires and evaluate what is available and affordable. You can spend a fortune or you can compromise on your desires. Then you get what you can. Spending cash is NO guarantee of really great images. Someone who has to really work hard to achieve great images is to be applauded. It may be frustrating at times but the sweet smell of success makes it worth it.
Good luck and I hope you will produce some really great images like others with this lens have done.

JackBenedict
6th February 2011, 05:02 PM
As a recent buyer of the 70-300 I'm aware there are "weaknesses".

Further to my own previous observations and other users of 70-300's - perhaps it would have been better to illustrate the problems you are encountering with the lens and then ask tfor the appropiate solutions / workarounds here on the forum.

Homer Simpson
6th February 2011, 09:52 PM
Further to my own previous observations and other users of 70-300's - perhaps it would have been better to illustrate the problems you are encountering with the lens and then ask tfor the appropiate solutions / workarounds here on the forum.

No you misunderstand.
I was aware of them (weaknesses /limitations) because of what I'd read on this forum. I have virually no experience in it's use.
My intention was to use other peoples experience to avoid them rather than go though a long learning curve.

I've had the lens for about 4 weeks & the shots are not good ( far worse than from the ED 40-150) - however they have all been dull (very dull) days so as of yet its not a good try out.

The thing about the MF being fly by wire (as Ian put it) was news to me ( & very helpfull)
I think I might be a bit less reluctant to open up wide
I was already aware that F8 was good/best -light permitting

Yesterday I was reviewing the photos (about 40) I had taken with this lens - one cr@p shot after another - truely depressing. Then I happened on a test shot I'd forgotten about - my neighbour unloading his van about 100 yds away - it was really good - I could even make out writing on some tools inside the van - difference? it was a bright sunny day!!

PeterD
6th February 2011, 10:21 PM
No you misunderstand.
I was aware of them (weaknesses /limitations) because of what I'd read on this forum. I have virually no experience in it's use.
My intention was to use other peoples experience to avoid them rather than go though a long learning curve.

I've had the lens for about 4 weeks & the shots are not good ( far worse than from the ED 40-150) - however they have all been dull (very dull) days so as of yet its not a good try out.

The thing about the MF being fly by wire (as Ian put it) was news to me ( & very helpfull)
I think I might be a bit less reluctant to open up wide
I was already aware that F8 was good/best -light permitting

Yesterday I was reviewing the photos (about 40) I had taken with this lens - one cr@p shot after another - truely depressing. Then I happened on a test shot I'd forgotten about - my neighbour unloading his van about 100 yds away - it was really good - I could even make out writing on some tools inside the van - difference? it was a bright sunny day!!

Great:). Lets see if we can improve on this*chr
Try the manual pre-focus when you get a chance, even in dull weather. What this did for me when taking macro shots was to reduce the number of high contrast objects for the af to deal with by taking some well oof. Hence the focus speed is rapid and less likely to misfocus by picking up an unwanted target.
As I mentioned before, it was only AFTER I had given up all hope that I found this method gave me good results. I might even take my 70-300 out of store and try it again.

Good luck

Ross the fiddler
6th February 2011, 11:53 PM
Great:). Lets see if we can improve on this*chr
Try the manual pre-focus when you get a chance, even in dull weather. What this did for me when taking macro shots was to reduce the number of high contrast objects for the af to deal with by taking some well oof. Hence the focus speed is rapid and less likely to misfocus by picking up an unwanted target.
As I mentioned before, it was only AFTER I had given up all hope that I found this method gave me good results. I might even take my 70-300 out of store and try it again.

Good luck

For macro (close-up) shots I used the MF switch on the lens (for a quick changeover if needed) & at maximum zoom, manually focussed to maximum (fully extended lens) & moved into the subject for focus, moving back & forth (minutely) to get the sharp focus where I wanted it.

With patience & perseverance, this lens can achieve great results. In low light & if a tripod is used, LV can be used set to LV boost (if needed) & with 5, 7 or 10 times zoom for accurate manual focussing, some difficult shots may be obtained & this method can be used handheld too if a flash can light the subject.

I hope that helps.

crimbo
7th February 2011, 08:43 AM
[snip]
My intention was to use other peoples experience to avoid them rather than go though a long learning curve.
[snip]

Wouldn't life be wonderful if we could!

You need the learning curve (even when guided by the collective wisdom of this forum) so that when using the kit you 'know' how to use it

So go experiment and enjoy

Ian
7th February 2011, 09:45 AM
Perhaps we have found the salient issue - shooting conditions. The 70-300 is a long telephoto lens, especially at the 300 end, and of course it's going to be vulnerable to camera shake, even with image stabilisation switched on.

There are various formulae for minimum shutter speed versus focal length and this is complicated by the cropping factor of digital SLRs, but I would suggest that at 300mm you will be straying into the realms of camera shake danger unless you have a shutter speed of around 1/500th or higher. Even then, you need to be very smooth with the shutter release and have a very steady grip on the camera. IS is less effective the longer the focal length, too. Switch IS off when using a tripod.

Ian

David Morison
7th February 2011, 10:02 AM
I am not sure shooting conditions are the only answer, results seem unpredictable. The following image was taken just after dawn with overcast sky through a dirty window and is much better than I hoped to get at the time. E30 + 70-300mm, 1/60th @f9, ISO 800, IS1:


http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/sprawk143.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/30681)


David

PeterD
7th February 2011, 10:10 AM
Perhaps we have found the salient issue - shooting conditions. The 70-300 is a long telephoto lens, especially at the 300 end, and of course it's going to be vulnerable to camera shake, even with image stabilisation switched on.

There are various formulae for minimum shutter speed versus focal length and this is complicated by the cropping factor of digital SLRs, but I would suggest that at 300mm you will be straying into the realms of camera shake danger unless you have a shutter speed of around 1/500th or higher. Even then, you need to be very smooth with the shutter release and have a very steady grip on the camera. IS is less effective the longer the focal length, too. Switch IS off when using a tripod.

Ian

These are very good guidelines if you have never used a telephoto lens before. I know it is not good news because you do need good light to get the shutter speed up.
Try also to increase the ISO - yes you may get a noisy image but you should be able to remove this reasonably easy. Also go for wide open aperture. Both these will help get the shutter speed up.

The other thing to try is to mount the camera on a tripod with IS switched off as Ian has said. This way the shutter speed need not be high.

Good luck

Ian
7th February 2011, 10:21 AM
I am not sure shooting conditions are the only answer, results seem unpredictable. The following image was taken just after dawn through a dirty window and is much better than I hoped to get at the time. E30 + 70-300mm, 1/60th @f9, ISO 800, IS1:


http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/sprawk143.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/30681)


David

I would certainly be happy with that :) You probably didn't need f/9 - f/7.1 would have given you slightly more shutter speed and eliminated any diffraction softening without impacting much on depth of field. Were you using a tripod? - 1/60th is a remarkable shutter speed for this lens.

Ian

David Morison
7th February 2011, 10:38 AM
Yes f7.1 would have been a better option but the prescence of the Sparrowhawk caught me by surprise as I opened the curtains (but not my eyes fully!) and I just grabbed the camera and ran off about 20 shots before the bird got fed up with posing. I must admit I am often guilty of shooting "from the hip" in these situations but surprisingly it worked out in this case. The camera was handheld but bracing an elbow on the top of the TV.

David

Shaw
7th February 2011, 10:52 AM
Yes f7.1 would have been a better option but the prescence of the Sparrowhawk caught me by surprise as I opened the curtains (but not my eyes fully!) and I just grabbed the camera and ran off about 20 shots before the bird got fed up with posing. I must admit I am often guilty of shooting "from the hip" in these situations but surprisingly it worked out in this case. The camera was handheld but bracing an elbow on the top of the TV.

David

It's an absolute cracker of a shot, so clear & detailed.

Ross the fiddler
7th February 2011, 11:49 AM
I would certainly be happy with that :) You probably didn't need f/9 - f/7.1 would have given you slightly more shutter speed and eliminated any diffraction softening without impacting much on depth of field. Were you using a tripod? - 1/60th is a remarkable shutter speed for this lens.

Ian

Another thread elsewhere ( http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/showthread.php?p=544005#post544005 ) I have shown results with & without IS1 & one of the photos with IS1, I had my elbows on the table supporting the camera & there was noticable blur in one direction, but when my arms were free, the IS1 performed perfectly, so the above photo looks like it worked perfectly & maybe for the same reasons, not overly braced (if at all). Just something to be aware of when using that lens too.

I've just read the reply & it blows that theory of mine. I guess it just means you need to check the results before you end up with a series of blurry photos.
Congratulaions on captering such a nice shot. *chr

Ross the fiddler
7th February 2011, 11:50 AM
It's an absolute cracker of a shot, so clear & detailed.

They are my sentiments too. *chr

Ian
7th February 2011, 11:57 AM
Yes f7.1 would have been a better option but the prescence of the Sparrowhawk caught me by surprise as I opened the curtains (but not my eyes fully!) and I just grabbed the camera and ran off about 20 shots before the bird got fed up with posing. I must admit I am often guilty of shooting "from the hip" in these situations but surprisingly it worked out in this case. The camera was handheld but bracing an elbow on the top of the TV.

David

Been there and done that - but with much less exotic subjects :D

Ian

davidsa
7th February 2011, 05:58 PM
I have a 70-300mm lens and most of its results have been sharp. I have put any fuzzy images down to the photographer. Yes, sometimes it just won’t focus, particularly in low light; it does need something contrasty and “meaty” to lock onto.

Presumably the more expensive lenses with larger apertures collect more light and will focus more positively.

Thinking about auto-focussing systems in general I am wondering if there aren’t some other factors at play.

It takes a lot of energy relative to the capacities of the various camera batteries to drive a large lens through its focussing range; the currents would be relatively high. Rechargeable batteries “wear out” – they hold less charge as they age - the charge being mostly lost through internal leakage. So in time the apparent EMF will fall, providing less current to drive the focussing motor. Also, a battery will heat during a long focussing run. Its internal resistance will increase, and its apparent EMF fall still further. So it will tend to run out of steam perhaps before it reaches the “in focus” point although it is apparently working properly. This could one reason why turning the camera off and on helps – giving the battery a moment to recover. Perhaps using a grip (incorporating two batteries in parallel) might help – has anyone noticed a difference?

Secondly, the contact pins. The autofocus system is (I imagine) a classic servo loop using negative feedback from the some sort of “in/out of focus” detector. Two of the pins carry a feedback signal which will change in polarity as the system goes back and forth through the “in focus” position.

As to the contacts, corrosion will consist partly of metal oxides. These tend to have rectifying properties (a higher electrical resistance one way than the other), so the feedback signal (or “instructions”) to the focussing motor could be corrupted as the polarity changes back and forth. Add a tired battery and the lens might well grind to a halt just out of focus.

The above applies to any auto-focussing lens. It is interesting that the problem is not ENTIRELY unknown for the 50-200 and bigma. Any common problem would show up more in the 70-300 because there are so many more of them out there. The smaller lenses, with shorter runs, would be less affected.

Not that these ruminations are particularly helpful in practice - other than to say that new and charged batteries may help, as well as keeping the contacts clean.

PeterD
7th February 2011, 06:46 PM
I have a 70-300mm lens and most of its results have been sharp. I have put any fuzzy images down to the photographer. Yes, sometimes it just won’t focus, particularly in low light; it does need something contrasty and “meaty” to lock onto.

Presumably the more expensive lenses with larger apertures collect more light and will focus more positively.

Thinking about auto-focussing systems in general I am wondering if there aren’t some other factors at play.

It takes a lot of energy relative to the capacities of the various camera batteries to drive a large lens through its focussing range; the currents would be relatively high. Rechargeable batteries “wear out” – they hold less charge as they age - the charge being mostly lost through internal leakage. So in time the apparent EMF will fall, providing less current to drive the focussing motor. Also, a battery will heat during a long focussing run. Its internal resistance will increase, and its apparent EMF fall still further. So it will tend to run out of steam perhaps before it reaches the “in focus” point although it is apparently working properly. This could one reason why turning the camera off and on helps – giving the battery a moment to recover. Perhaps using a grip (incorporating two batteries in parallel) might help – has anyone noticed a difference?

Secondly, the contact pins. The autofocus system is (I imagine) a classic servo loop using negative feedback from the some sort of “in/out of focus” detector. Two of the pins carry a feedback signal which will change in polarity as the system goes back and forth through the “in focus” position.

As to the contacts, corrosion will consist partly of metal oxides. These tend to have rectifying properties (a higher electrical resistance one way than the other), so the feedback signal (or “instructions”) to the focussing motor could be corrupted as the polarity changes back and forth. Add a tired battery and the lens might well grind to a halt just out of focus.

The above applies to any auto-focussing lens. It is interesting that the problem is not ENTIRELY unknown for the 50-200 and bigma. Any common problem would show up more in the 70-300 because there are so many more of them out there. The smaller lenses, with shorter runs, would be less affected.

Not that these ruminations are particularly helpful in practice - other than to say that new and charged batteries may help, as well as keeping the contacts clean.

Hi David

As promised, I have tested my 70-300 lens at 300mm and 70mm. I even pushed the ISO up to give me a shutter speed in excess of 1/1000s. Opened the aperture fully and closed it down to f11/f13.

I got focus confirmation every time*chr but I was soon disappointed. Not one of the shots focussed properly:eek:

Looking at the images quickly, I suspect my lens is suffering from front focus. If I remember correctly this was the problem with my 12-60 lens which was replaced and my first 70-300. I shall process all the images later but this is what I suspect.

davidsa
7th February 2011, 08:11 PM
Hi David

As promised, I have tested my 70-300 lens at 300mm and 70mm. I even pushed the ISO up to give me a shutter speed in excess of 1/1000s. Opened the aperture fully and closed it down to f11/f13.

I got focus confirmation every time*chr but I was soon disappointed. Not one of the shots focussed properly:eek:

Looking at the images quickly, I suspect my lens is suffering from front focus. If I remember correctly this was the problem with my 12-60 lens which was replaced and my first 70-300. I shall process all the images later but this is what I suspect.

What's "front focus" ? :)

PeterD
7th February 2011, 11:01 PM
Well, at last I have prepared the files for you to use.

Although I tested the 70-300 at fifferent ISO values, I took advantage of the E5 performance at 1600 to keep the shutter speed as high as I could for the various test conditions.

To remain as consistant as I could from shot to shot processing was limited to:- 1. adjusting the upper and lower curves to pevent clipping at extremes.
2. Loading into Neat image to remove noise (this way my processing should not affect the image).
3. Upload the image after checking that no clipping is present.

Results

a. Focal length 70mm

ISO 1600, f4, fl 70mm, 1/1250s.
http://www.imageinuk.com/photos/1180601063_mCBZs-XL.jpg

ISO 1600, f5.6, fl 70mm, 1/640s.
http://www.imageinuk.com/photos/1180610771_By7de-XL.jpg

ISO 1600, f8, fl 70mm, 1/320s.
http://www.imageinuk.com/photos/1180618242_5Bfc2-XL.jpg

ISO 1600, f13, fl 70mm, 1/125s.
http://www.imageinuk.com/photos/1180627071_pirYL-XL.jpg

b. Focal length 263mm

ISO 1600, f13, fl 263mm, 1/200s.
http://www.imageinuk.com/photos/1180632589_gNsBy-XL.jpg

ISO 1600, f10, fl 263mm, 1/250s.
http://www.imageinuk.com/photos/1180639602_JrhGD-XL.jpg

ISO 1600, f5.6, fl 263mm, 1/800s.
http://www.imageinuk.com/photos/1180644801_99p4Z-XL.jpg

At first I thought it was front focussing but it just seems to be all over the shop. Focus confirm was given in every case.
This is the sort of performance I have had from 2 x 70-300 lenses. The first was confirmed faulty by Olympus and I had a free replacement, This one gives this sort of performance on the E500, E3 and E5.

I have placed these in a private gallery and you may download the full files if you wish to. This is the link. (http://www.imageinuk.com/Other/70-300mm-Test/15747344_zHTzG#1180644801_99p4Z)

I had undertaken this exercise with the hope that I could tweek the lens. I think you will agree that this is not posible.

PeterD
8th February 2011, 06:49 PM
hello all

I wonder if anyone has any comments on the images I posted yesterday in this thread?

crimbo
8th February 2011, 07:21 PM
Tripod?
What was your focus point?
How many focus sensor sites on?
Was it windy?

davidsa
8th February 2011, 07:21 PM
hello all

I wonder if anyone has any comments on the images I posted yesterday in this thread?

Mmm ..

Looking carefully at the 70 mm shots it seems to me that in all of them at least one leaf is in sharp focus

and at the longer ones, in each shot at least one floret is in focus - to my eyes anyway (but then my eyesight is up the creek).

so could it be that it isn't actually focussing on the part of the image it appears to be locking onto but a plane a little in front of or behind that (is that what you mean by "front" or "back" focussing?), but is this consistent? If so it could I imagine be adjusted out.

Could it be that the dof is extremely shallow, even less than what one would expect, theoretically from a lens at that focal length?

And could it also be that Olympus have a qc problem with this lens, and some of us have a better example than others, and there are a significant number of dubious ones about?

PeterD
8th February 2011, 08:20 PM
Tripod?
What was your focus point?
How many focus sensor sites on?
Was it windy?

Thanks for your reply:)
I was using centre spot (s) as my focus. This was targeting the central cluster of 3 flowers in each case.
Focus sites 1 (see above)
A slight breeze but at this shutter speed insignificant

Mmm ..

Looking carefully at the 70 mm shots it seems to me that in all of them at least one leaf is in sharp focus

and at the longer ones, in each shot at least one floret is in focus - to my eyes anyway (but then my eyesight is up the creek).

so could it be that it isn't actually focussing on the part of the image it appears to be locking onto but a plane a little in front of or behind that (is that what you mean by "front" or "back" focussing?), but is this consistent? If so it could I imagine be adjusted out.

Could it be that the dof is extremely shallow, even less than what one would expect, theoretically from a lens at that focal length?

And could it also be that Olympus have a qc problem with this lens, and some of us have a better example than others, and there are a significant number of dubious ones about?

Thank you for your reply:)
Agreed that some part of the image is sharply in focus in most shots - but not consistently so.

Yes, this is what I meant by front or back focussing. The problem is compounded by the extremely narrow dof. If it was just the former then I too would think it could be adjusted out. I think bt adjusting the distance between the final lens group and the sensor.

I too believe this is a qc issue. I think the lens groups within the body are not correctly set in the barrel which probably accounts for the narrow dof.

Despite what has been said about look at the specs and you will be aware of the limitations, I bought this telephoto in good faith based on the build quality of the Zuiko lenses. The kit lenses I got with the E500 are still in use and superb. I bought the E3 and 12-60mm lens + 70-300 based on this and other peoples comments. We all know what happened to the 12-60mm lens and the 70-300 was faulty too. Both of which were swapped. I am extremely pleased with the 12-60mm but still pretty fed up with the 70-300. Look at it from my perspective and ask yourself how you would feel.
I have NOT bought any other Zuiko glass and prefer instead the Sigma product. That is my personal choice.

Ross the fiddler
8th February 2011, 10:38 PM
Thanks for your reply:)
I was using centre spot (s) as my focus. This was targeting the central cluster of 3 flowers in each case.
Focus sites 1 (see above)
A slight breeze but at this shutter speed insignificant



Thank you for your reply:)
Agreed that some part of the image is sharply in focus in most shots - but not consistently so.

Yes, this is what I meant by front or back focussing. The problem is compounded by the extremely narrow dof. If it was just the former then I too would think it could be adjusted out. I think bt adjusting the distance between the final lens group and the sensor.

I too believe this is a qc issue. I think the lens groups within the body are not correctly set in the barrel which probably accounts for the narrow dof.

Despite what has been said about look at the specs and you will be aware of the limitations, I bought this telephoto in good faith based on the build quality of the Zuiko lenses. The kit lenses I got with the E500 are still in use and superb. I bought the E3 and 12-60mm lens + 70-300 based on this and other peoples comments. We all know what happened to the 12-60mm lens and the 70-300 was faulty too. Both of which were swapped. I am extremely pleased with the 12-60mm but still pretty fed up with the 70-300. Look at it from my perspective and ask yourself how you would feel.
I have NOT bought any other Zuiko glass and prefer instead the Sigma product. That is my personal choice.

The style & specs of the 70-300 are the same as a Sigma one. It is believed there was some co-operation for this lens. I still like mine, but I am also aware of its limitations & that can frustrate a little. At a fraction of the price for something similar, it is still great value, although the equivalent Sigma lens for other mounts are much cheaper.

David Morison
8th February 2011, 11:37 PM
My history of using E-system telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses is 70-300mm - 25%, Bigma - 40% and 300mm f2.8 - 35%. Taking this into consideration and going through all the images that I have kept I have more "good" images taken on the 70-300mm than either of the other two. Undoubtedly I have probably deleted more images from this lens than the others and I am probably taking less images as time goes on with gaining experience of 4/3rds. Nevertheless, taking these facts on board and despite my reservations of the 70-300mm and the fact that it can be obtained for not much more than 20 x the cost of a 300mm this leads me to believe that this is a very good lens indeed and we probably need to start to learn how to use it properly and just get out and shoot with it

David!

PeterD
9th February 2011, 12:12 AM
My history of using E-system telephoto and telephoto zoom lenses is 70-300mm - 25%, Bigma - 40% and 300mm f2.8 - 35%. Taking this into consideration and going through all the images that I have kept I have more "good" images taken on the 70-300mm than either of the other two. Undoubtedly I have probably deleted more images from this lens than the others and I am probably taking less images as time goes on with gaining experience of 4/3rds. Nevertheless, taking these facts on board and despite my reservations of the 70-300mm and the fact that it can be obtained for not much more than 20 x the cost of a 300mm this leads me to believe that this is a very good lens indeed and we probably need to start to learn how to use it properly and just get out and shoot with it

David!

David,

Thank you for your reply:)

I am afraid that your reply just describes the blind approach at seeking to defend the 70-300mm lens without actually reading what I have said nor from examining the images I have painstakenly produced. I very clearly have a faulty lens.
I believe I can handle my camera well and I produce good images. How do you expect me to accept what you have written in your reply. I accept that some absolutely superb images have been produced from this lens by others. I also accept that the Bigma (which by the way is probably the better comparison to a prime lens) was about 2.5 times the cost of the 70-300. Unfortunately, I am left with a lens that I cannot use nor cannot sell if I wish to retain my integrity (which I pride myself for having).
Please consider your replies on here before publishing them. Think how you would feel if you received this sort of message.

PeterD
9th February 2011, 12:19 AM
The style & specs of the 70-300 are the same as a Sigma one. It is believed there was some co-operation for this lens. I still like mine, but I am also aware of its limitations & that can frustrate a little. At a fraction of the price for something similar, it is still great value, although the equivalent Sigma lens for other mounts are much cheaper.

Hi Ross,

Thanks for your reply.

I agree with you that it would be excellant value for money had one of the two 70-300 lenses actually worked. Especially when I see what can be achieved with a good lens.
I think Sigma are charging a higher price for their Bigma with 4/3 mount because of the volume sold. This, I think is now an academic thing as I believe they have discontinued this version.

Ross the fiddler
9th February 2011, 01:10 AM
Hi Ross,

Thanks for your reply.

I agree with you that it would be excellant value for money had one of the two 70-300 lenses actually worked. Especially when I see what can be achieved with a good lens.
I think Sigma are charging a higher price for their Bigma with 4/3 mount because of the volume sold. This, I think is now an academic thing as I believe they have discontinued this version.

I can understand your great frustration & hesitation to repeat any episodes with this lens. I'm not doubting they're faulty, but do you mind me asking what level firmware are in them?

This is the description for up to 1.3
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 Firmware Ver.1.3 has incorporated the following upgrade.

[Modification]
-
Resolved unstable sequential shooting when using C-AF on the E-3 and E-30.

* Upgrade history *

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 Firmware Ver.1.2 has incorporated the following upgrade.
-
IMAGER AF is available when supported by the camera.
*Depending on the condition of the subject, the focusing speed near the telephoto end may slow down to maintain focusing accuracy.

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 Firmware Ver.1.1 has incorporated the following upgrade.
-
Stabilized exposure precision.

PeterD
9th February 2011, 01:30 AM
I can understand your great frustration & hesitation to repeat any episodes with this lens. I'm not doubting there faulty, but do you mind me asking what level firmware are in them?

This is the description for up to 1.3
ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 Firmware Ver.1.3 has incorporated the following upgrade.

[Modification]
-
Resolved unstable sequential shooting when using C-AF on the E-3 and E-30.

* Upgrade history *

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 Firmware Ver.1.2 has incorporated the following upgrade.
-
IMAGER AF is available when supported by the camera.
*Depending on the condition of the subject, the focusing speed near the telephoto end may slow down to maintain focusing accuracy.

ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 70-300mm F4.0-5.6 Firmware Ver.1.1 has incorporated the following upgrade.
-
Stabilized exposure precision.

Thank you Ross for your welcome reply:)

That was a very useful suggestion seeing as I had to dust off the lens;)

I have just checked and the lens is at Firmware issue 1.1 which the site advises is the latest.

Just as a reminder, I was getting this problem on the E500, E3 and now E5.

The strange thing is, when I used it as a macro with the Sigma achromatic screw-on lens it appeared fine. I have thought a little more of this and I think the narrow dof of the lens may have been masked by the narrow dof produced by the achromatic lens. In other words, I did not notice this because I was expecting it. The other point was that, because of the focus window using the achromatic lens, I tended to focus by moving the focal distance rather than to rely on af. This is all starting to make sense.

Thanks for your very useful suggestion and the time you took to get this info*chr.

PeterD
9th February 2011, 01:56 AM
Hi Ross

I used Viewer 2 to check the update status. After I checked you reply it appears that the lens should be at Issue 1.3. Re-checked in Viewer 2 and it still says I have the latest issue firmware:confused:

PS
I have just checked on the Olympus website (http://www.olympus.co.uk/consumer/dslr_ZUIKO_DIGITAL_ED_70-300mm_1_4_0-5_6_Firmware_Updates.htm) and found that version 1.2 firmware is available. This was not offered when I used the Update link. Now I am getting really confused.

Ross the fiddler
9th February 2011, 03:32 AM
Hi Ross

I used Viewer 2 to check the update status. After I checked you reply it appears that the lens should be at Issue 1.3. Re-checked in Viewer 2 and it still says I have the latest issue firmware:confused:

Peter, that sounds weird. I take it, it shows 1.1 in the camera. Downloading firmware to lenses (& body) has its hazards as an interuption to the download can cause a corrupted firmware which can only be fixed in Oly Service. A freshly charged battery (or batteries) is highly recommended.

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what else to suggest except, I hope you can get the lens firmware updated. It might just solve the problem (if you can solve the firmware update problem). One suggestion would be to try the update on one of the other bodies (it may not acknowledge the need for a later version on earlier bodies before Imager AF, but then again, it shouldn't matter), but the firmware level needs to be recognised by that by body & also be sure there is no tarnishing of the lens contacts.

I hope you can get somewhere with this.
Cheers *chr

PS This the link for the update info page that I was referring to. http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/download/software/firm/e1/

PeterD
9th February 2011, 03:43 AM
Peter, that sounds weird. I take it, it shows 1.1 in the camera. Downloading firmware to lenses (& body) has its hazards as an interuption to the download can cause a corrupted firmware which can only be fixed in Oly Service. A freshly charged battery (or batteries) is highly recommended.

I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what else to suggest except, I hope you can get the lens firmware updated. It might just solve the problem (if you can solve the firmware update problem). One suggestion would be to try the update on one of the other bodies (it may not acknowledge the need for a later version on earlier bodies before Imager AF, but then again, it shouldn't matter), but the firmware level needs to be recognised by that by body & also be sure there is no tarnishing of the lens contacts.

I hope you can get somewhere with this.
Cheers *chr

PS This the link for the update info page that I was referring to. http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/support/imsg/digicamera/download/software/firm/e1/

Hi Ross

I have to admit I have done something very stupid:o. I must be tired but, rather than change the lens on my camera I had the Bigma fitted rather than the 70-300:o:o:o:o:o:eek:. I did not notice, nor did I think to check, the only thing visible was the camera body. I am very sorry to have wasted your time:(.

The firmware issue I am at is version 1.3. So it looks like I am up-to-date. It was worth checking as it would have been a neat fix if this was a problem.

My apologies again.

Ross the fiddler
9th February 2011, 06:06 AM
Hi Ross

I have to admit I have done something very stupid:o. I must be tired but, rather than change the lens on my camera I had the Bigma fitted rather than the 70-300:o:o:o:o:o:eek:. I did not notice, nor did I think to check, the only thing visible was the camera body. I am very sorry to have wasted your time:(.

The firmware issue I am at is version 1.3. So it looks like I am up-to-date. It was worth checking as it would have been a neat fix if this was a problem.

My apologies again.

You're excused. You should have been getting your beauty sleep hours ago. *zzz According to my calculations, you were still up well into the wee hours. *shh

Now, in answer to your situation, bummer, what next?

PeterD
9th February 2011, 08:02 AM
You're excused. You should have been getting your beauty sleep hours ago. *zzz According to my calculations, you were still up well into the wee hours. *shh

Now, in answer to your situation, bummer, what next?

Good morning Ross,

I fear that the lens needs some sort of fix by Olympus but I note from another thread on here that the repair quote was horrendous for this lens. It is out of warranty and therefore would likely be beyond economic repair. I think it is the end of the line for sure now.
Thanks for your help (and understanding:)). Your comments have been very constructive*chr.

David Morison
9th February 2011, 10:03 AM
David,

Thank you for your reply:)

I am afraid that your reply just describes the blind approach at seeking to defend the 70-300mm lens without actually reading what I have said nor from examining the images I have painstakenly produced. I very clearly have a faulty lens.
I believe I can handle my camera well and I produce good images. How do you expect me to accept what you have written in your reply. I accept that some absolutely superb images have been produced from this lens by others. I also accept that the Bigma (which by the way is probably the better comparison to a prime lens) was about 2.5 times the cost of the 70-300. Unfortunately, I am left with a lens that I cannot use nor cannot sell if I wish to retain my integrity (which I pride myself for having).
Please consider your replies on here before publishing them. Think how you would feel if you received this sort of message.

Peter

I am sorry that you took my post as a criticism of you personally, it was not and I did not indicate that it was, and I am fully aware of the possibility of your lens being a "rogue" and I have read all your posts and examined your images. Nevertheless a lot of users are producing stunning images on this and other forums and many of them may well have had to discard lots of unexplained unsatisfactory images, which I have. Most may well have had to spend some time learning the how, when and where to use this lens, as I did. Also even with my 300mm I have had to learn (and am still learning) the skills necessary to use with any degree of success, I still often have to use MF with some subjects. In replying to this thread as I did I was merely trying to rebuild some enthusiasm, amongst those owners who are now doubting their purchase, for a lens which is extremely good value for money and to indicate that any lens, whatever the price, has it's limitations.

I have never and will never use a forum to personally criticise an individual, I see forums such as this as a means of sharing ideas and problems and do not regard them as a serious medium for personal discourse, surely PMs are for that!

I do consider thoroughly all my posts before publishing them.

Regards

David

Ian
9th February 2011, 12:00 PM
Peter, I certainly believe that you don't get on with the 70-300 but I personally doubt that your lens is faulty. The subject you chose to demonstrate the focus issue you have is far from ideal as it has many points at different focus distances that the camera could lock onto.

It's perfectly normal for someone to not gel with a particular lens and this seems to be a good example. But I haven't really seen anything so far that has convinced me that the lens is faulty.

Ian

Ian
9th February 2011, 12:06 PM
Thanks for your reply:)
I was using centre spot (s) as my focus. This was targeting the central cluster of 3 flowers in each case.
Focus sites 1 (see above)
A slight breeze but at this shutter speed insignificant



Thank you for your reply:)
Agreed that some part of the image is sharply in focus in most shots - but not consistently so.

Yes, this is what I meant by front or back focussing. The problem is compounded by the extremely narrow dof. If it was just the former then I too would think it could be adjusted out. I think bt adjusting the distance between the final lens group and the sensor.

I too believe this is a qc issue. I think the lens groups within the body are not correctly set in the barrel which probably accounts for the narrow dof.



The shutter speed is irrelevent when it comes to AF, as is the ISO setting. The imaging system that the AF uses is completely independent of the camera as this is an SLR. You were using very high ISO (1600), so it was not a bright situation, and apparently there was a breeze so the subject was probably moving. The combination of low light and a moving subject can easily account for the poor focus reliability in this example.

Ian

PeterD
9th February 2011, 12:07 PM
Peter

I am sorry that you took my post as a criticism of you personally, it was not and I did not indicate that it was, and I am fully aware of the possibility of your lens being a "rogue" and I have read all your posts and examined your images. Nevertheless a lot of users are producing stunning images on this and other forums and many of them may well have had to discard lots of unexplained unsatisfactory images, which I have. Most may well have had to spend some time learning the how, when and where to use this lens, as I did. Also even with my 300mm I have had to learn (and am still learning) the skills necessary to use with any degree of success, I still often have to use MF with some subjects. In replying to this thread as I did I was merely trying to rebuild some enthusiasm, amongst those owners who are now doubting their purchase, for a lens which is extremely good value for money and to indicate that any lens, whatever the price, has it's limitations.

I have never and will never use a forum to personally criticise an individual, I see forums such as this as a means of sharing ideas and problems and do not regard them as a serious medium for personal discourse, surely PMs are for that!

I do consider thoroughly all my posts before publishing them.

Regards

David

Thank you for your reply David. Rather than PM you, I will say here that I accept your explanation and as far as I am concerned the matter is closed:). I do NOT harbour grudges and will always be happy to receive comments from you and likewise be happy to comment on your posts*chr.
My big mistake was to get fed up with the lens and NOT return it to Olympus. That is my fault and the wasted cost is mine to bear. At the time I was keen to get something that worked as a telephoto lens.

PeterD
14th February 2011, 12:27 PM
Peter, I certainly believe that you don't get on with the 70-300 but I personally doubt that your lens is faulty. The subject you chose to demonstrate the focus issue you have is far from ideal as it has many points at different focus distances that the camera could lock onto.

It's perfectly normal for someone to not gel with a particular lens and this seems to be a good example. But I haven't really seen anything so far that has convinced me that the lens is faulty.

Ian

Ian,

I took the opportunity of bright conditions and the lens behaves correctly. It would seem that you are correct, the poor lighting and the poor subject matter combined to give the strange result I got earlier.

My opinion on the lens though is based on what I originally purchased it for - to get more reach in taking wildlife shots in particular. I cannot guarantee ideal lighting conditions as this literally changes frame to frame when shooting into shrubbery or taking birds in flight. It is this lack of flexibility that I do not like and the focus hunting that takes place in low light situations. I am fortunate in that I found the cash to buy a better lens and that has satisfied me. Perhaps I do have a strong opinion but it is mine.
I do admire those who have mastered this lens for the images they have produced*chr. It is just that I have a choice and I have made it.
I also own the Zuiko 12-60mm lens which I treasure. Very flexible, great IQ, rapid focussing and an ideal focal range*chr.
I am certainly NOT knocking Zuiko glass its just that I expected more from this lens, perhaps unreasonably.

Ross the fiddler
14th February 2011, 01:33 PM
Ian,

I took the opportunity of bright conditions and the lens behaves correctly. It would seem that you are correct, the poor lighting and the poor subject matter combined to give the strange result I got earlier.

My opinion on the lens though is based on what I originally purchased it for - to get more reach in taking wildlife shots in particular. I cannot guarantee ideal lighting conditions as this literally changes frame to frame when shooting into shrubbery or taking birds in flight. It is this lack of flexibility that I do not like and the focus hunting that takes place in low light situations. I am fortunate in that I found the cash to buy a better lens and that has satisfied me. Perhaps I do have a strong opinion but it is mine.
I do admire those who have mastered this lens for the images they have produced*chr. It is just that I have a choice and I have made it.
I also own the Zuiko 12-60mm lens which I treasure. Very flexible, great IQ, rapid focussing and an ideal focal range*chr.
I am certainly NOT knocking Zuiko glass its just that I expected more from this lens, perhaps unreasonably.

I think the advice I originally heard about using telephoto lenses was it wouldn't be as easy as using the shorter lenses. I would agree it isn't the easiest lens to use but with a limited pocket (money), it can be tamed when there is no choice. It has served me well or as well as could be expexted & when I can possibly justify (to my wife) spending the amount of money needed to get 50-200 SWD lens along the EC14, I would very much like to do so, but the EC14 might be a good option first to go with my macro lens. It's the same with my camera bodies, I justed couldn't rest until I had at least got the level body that I have now, but the E520 still gets used now & again & I would keep the 70-300 lens after getting the other (my son won't mind).

ringneck
14th February 2011, 11:50 PM
Ian,

I took the opportunity of bright conditions and the lens behaves correctly. It would seem that you are correct, the poor lighting and the poor subject matter combined to give the strange result I got earlier.

My opinion on the lens though is based on what I originally purchased it for - to get more reach in taking wildlife shots in particular. I cannot guarantee ideal lighting conditions as this literally changes frame to frame when shooting into shrubbery or taking birds in flight. It is this lack of flexibility that I do not like and the focus hunting that takes place in low light situations. I am fortunate in that I found the cash to buy a better lens and that has satisfied me. Perhaps I do have a strong opinion but it is mine.
I do admire those who have mastered this lens for the images they have produced*chr. It is just that I have a choice and I have made it.
I also own the Zuiko 12-60mm lens which I treasure. Very flexible, great IQ, rapid focussing and an ideal focal range*chr.
I am certainly NOT knocking Zuiko glass its just that I expected more from this lens, perhaps unreasonably.

VERY interested in this thread and just done a marathon read of it all.
I almost bought a 70-300 at Focus on Imaging a couple of years ago but after discussing it with the chap on the Oly stand we worked out that I would need the EC14 as well to get the reach I needed and the loss of F stops was too much.I ended up getting a Sigma 135-400 @ about £450 and this too is a tricky lens to master ( with similar problems).I had to send it back to solve a problem of it freezing in mid focus and the only way to revive it was to turn off the camera and restart.
It DOES need "perfect" light as most of the year is either very dark or like today TOO bright (winter light).
I have uploaded images taken at the long end and got comments such as " I did not think this lens was up to the job at 400mm,but you have proved it wrong".

Sorry to read about Peters woes with the two 70-300's.......here's a slightly naughty suggestion.........could someone volunteer to give it a trial and see what they think.As it is only collecting dust and "un-saleable" at the moment what is there to loose.

Keith *chr
p.s. here's a cropped image I took the other day in strong light at an unknown distance ....but it was a long way off.The exif does not show the distance.
This is sharpened.
E510,135-400 @ f5.6,1/640,iso400 and 400mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/OLY_Distant_Goosander.jpg

...and the original straight out of the camera which looks rubbish....
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/yy312/olyears/OLYGoosanderorig.jpg

PeterD
15th February 2011, 12:18 AM
I think the advice I originally heard about using telephoto lenses was it wouldn't be as easy as using the shorter lenses. I would agree it isn't the easiest lens to use but with a limited pocket (money), it can be tamed when there is no choice. It has served me well or as well as could be expexted & when I can possibly justify (to my wife) spending the amount of money needed to get 50-200 SWD lens along the EC14, I would very much like to do so, but the EC14 might be a good option first to go with my macro lens. It's the same with my camera bodies, I justed couldn't rest until I had at least got the level body that I have now, but the E520 still gets used now & again & I would keep the 70-300 lens after getting the other (my son won't mind).

Hi Ross, thanks for your reply:).

At the time of buying this lens, I had only recently purchased the E3 and Zuiko 12-60:). The only telephoto I had at the time was the kit 40-150 lens supplied with my E500. I was very impressed with the kit lens and so I expected more from the 70-300. I was very inexperienced at the time because the E500 was my first dslr. I clearly had great expectations, little experience and was frustrated that it did not perform as well as the kit lens nor achieve my aims. I should have looked more carefully before jumping and this lesson I have certainly learnt. I cannot blame anyone or even Olympus for this as the mistake was mine alone.
Taking the bigma, at this time of the year, with the low winter sun (when it is around;)) created a situation where the bigma too had its light limitations with the E3. The E5 has now solved that for me.
I am sure that you will find the 50-200 lens a dream when you get one and it seems to work well with the teleconverters too:)

Cheers for now

PeterD
15th February 2011, 12:33 AM
VERY interested in this thread and just done a marathon read of it all.
I almost bought a 70-300 at Focus on Imaging a couple of years ago but after discussing it with the chap on the Oly stand we worked out that I would need the EC14 as well to get the reach I needed and the loss of F stops was too much.I ended up getting a Sigma 135-400 @ about £450 and this too is a tricky lens to master ( with similar problems).I had to send it back to solve a problem of it freezing in mid focus and the only way to revive it was to turn off the camera and restart.
It DOES need "perfect" light as most of the year is either very dark or like today TOO bright (winter light).
I have uploaded images taken at the long end and got comments such as " I did not think this lens was up to the job at 400mm,but you have proved it wrong".

Sorry to read about Peters woes with the two 70-300's.......here's a slightly naughty suggestion.........could someone volunteer to give it a trial and see what they think.As it is only collecting dust and "un-saleable" at the moment what is there to loose.

Keith *chr
p.s. here's a cropped image I took the other day in strong light at an unknown distance ....but it was a long way off.The exif does not show the distance.
This is sharpened.
E510,135-400 @ f5.6,1/640,iso400 and 400mm
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/OLY_Distant_Goosander.jpg

...and the original straight out of the camera which looks rubbish....
http://i803.photobucket.com/albums/yy312/olyears/OLYGoosanderorig.jpg

Hi Keith, I think you deserve a medal*chr to go through this thread.

I bought the EC1.4 with the aim of using it with the 70-300. The difference between us is that you took the trouble to ask first and got good advice. I threw money at it and got burnt. Never mind, as I said to Ross, I can only blame myself.
On a positive note, the 70-300 is good for landscapes and macro with the Sigma achromatic screw-on lens. I obviously will not use it for the latter but will probably give the lens to my son and daughter to use with the E500 they now own. They will not try and put as much demand on it as I had in the past.

PS. Thats good PP work you have done*chr

TYS1977
23rd February 2011, 08:55 PM
I for one love the lens,
I can't afford to go Canon like a lot of my fellow aviation enthusiasts to get the 300mm distance on shots so the 70-300mm for me is a great way of doing so,
I am noticing that the results are getting better,the more light we get up on the hills but I'm quietly confident that in summer when F8 is an option I'll be laughing,

Bae Systems Warton Eurofighter Typhoon passing through the M6 pass at Tebay 10/02/11
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5256/5434111149_c21a35db50_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5434111149/)
P2104363 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5434111149/) by TYS1977 (http://www.flickr.com/people/59370467@N07/), on Flickr

RAF Tucano Trainer at the m6 pass at Tebay
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5058/5434728200_e7a9ee4d3f_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5434728200/)
P2104445 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5434728200/) by TYS1977 (http://www.flickr.com/people/59370467@N07/), on Flickr

Eurofighter Typhoon taking off from Bae Systems Warton last Wednesday
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5134/5451374705_7becc2b164_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5451374705/)
P2164738 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5451374705/) by TYS1977 (http://www.flickr.com/people/59370467@N07/), on Flickr

Kindest regards
Mark

PeterD
23rd February 2011, 09:32 PM
Beautiful shots Mark. How do you get the 'look down' shots. I presume you are in another aircraft lucky so and so*chr

theMusicMan
23rd February 2011, 09:36 PM
Beautiful shots Mark. How do you get the 'look down' shots. I presume you are in another aircraft lucky so and so*chr
Gods country, Peter... :)

Mach loop and Tebay... West Wales

TYS1977
23rd February 2011, 09:55 PM
Hi Peter,
Yes John's right :)
They're taken from very high fellsides,
The first two are from the Tebay pass overlooking the M6 in Cumbria,

The last Typhoon is from Runwayside at Bae Warton near Preston Lancs,

THe pilots head out from there and pull really tight turns when they are practising touch and go landings,

Heading out to The Lakes again tommorow probably Dunmail Raise to try and get some more,
We were lucky to catch a RAF SAR flying through last week on a training exercise
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5059/5453831697_bff79d29a3_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5453831697/)
P2175176 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5453831697/) by TYS1977 (http://www.flickr.com/people/59370467@N07/), on Flickr

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5055/5453829573_4ac3955c96_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5453829573/)
P2175166 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5453829573/) by TYS1977 (http://www.flickr.com/people/59370467@N07/), on Flickr

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5131/5454443220_fe7eb8ff1a_b.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5454443220/)
P2175171 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/59370467@N07/5454443220/) by TYS1977 (http://www.flickr.com/people/59370467@N07/), on Flickr

We are very lucky up here to be an RAF low fly zone (LFA17)
I've not done The Mach Loop in Wales yet but hope to get down there this year

My apologies for the amount of pics,don't mean to hijack the thread,But I genuinely believe that for the price this is a great lens,I certainly wouldn't be able to get my shots otherwise:)

Kindest regards
Mark

catkins
23rd February 2011, 10:07 PM
Well it only seems yesterday that you were asking about locations etc., and all I can say is that these photos how well you've progressed in that short time. These are top notch and really show how well the lens competes with the big names.
I just wish I could get a fraction of the quality that you've managed to achieve on what must be fairly cold exposed hill tops in the Lakes - excellent clarity and really pleased that the avaition photography is coming along so well for you.
As a matter of interest, have you used a tripod for the Dunmail Raise and Tebay shots? If not, then even more kudos as I know how difficult it is to catch the passing shot with minimal blur on the aircraft! I've yet to try the two locations and must set myself the target for a nice sunny day in the Lakes.

Regards
Chris

TYS1977
23rd February 2011, 10:15 PM
Thanks Chris
Most appreciated mate *chr
No they're hand held,I tried a tripod once and it was a disaster,couldn't follow the aircraft properly,
I must post some shots in the main forum,
I'm a lot happier with the lens now that the light is starting to get better,
I believe in good sunshine the lens WILL perform a lot better,in low light the lens is a nightmare,and I end up cranking the ISO right up,which of course then ends up with a lot of grain and noise on the shot, but lately the lens has been letting me get about ISO 250 and between 800-1000 shutter on my E-500 so really chuffed with it now,I don't regret buying the lens at all,

As regards to the lens hunting...yes it does now and then,
Due to the subject that I'm taking I use Centre spot focus and [.] metering
However I find that if I focus the lens on continual AF and I focus for example on a road in the distance,when an aircraft comes into view the lens doesn't have to far to go to focus on it,

Kindest regards
Mark

PeterD
23rd February 2011, 10:54 PM
Thanks Chris
Most appreciated mate *chr
No they're hand held,I tried a tripod once and it was a disaster,couldn't follow the aircraft properly,
I must post some shots in the main forum,
I'm a lot happier with the lens now that the light is starting to get better,
I believe in good sunshine the lens WILL perform a lot better,in low light the lens is a nightmare,and I end up cranking the ISO right up,which of course then ends up with a lot of grain and noise on the shot, but lately the lens has been letting me get about ISO 250 and between 800-1000 shutter on my E-500 so really chuffed with it now,I don't regret buying the lens at all,

As regards to the lens hunting...yes it does now and then,
Due to the subject that I'm taking I use Centre spot focus and [.] metering
However I find that if I focus the lens on continual AF and I focus for example on a road in the distance,when an aircraft comes into view the lens doesn't have to far to go to focus on it,

Kindest regards
Mark

Firstly, thanks for your explanation of how you get this look down shots.
Yes, as the winter light is replaced by brighter light, you can only get better (what am I saying, they are great anyhow!). Your method of reducing the need for the AF to move far will go a long way to reducing the amount of hunting failures. CAF is definately the right mode to be in as the focus is only fixed after the full shutter press. Get the focus right on the half press and it should remain locked until exposure takes place. Just out of interest, have you selected the option to prevent the af from reacting to rapid focus changes?

TYS1977
23rd February 2011, 11:03 PM
Yes I select CAF,because as the aircraft approaches,passes and finally heads off,the lens is only moving slightly,reacting to the slight change in focus,I've never had the lens hunt once I've started a sequence of shots on the pass if that makes sense,
Granted I get a few out of focus shots in the sequence but most of the shots end up being ok,
The only problem if any that I have with this is having to shoot in just JPG because if I shoot in RAW the buffer fills up so quick I get a lock on about the 4th shot,whereas if I have it on JPG I can get off at least 8-9 shots,but again that's not down to the lens,

Kindest regards
Mark

Ian
24th February 2011, 11:56 AM
Fantastic shots, Mark! Just to comment on C-AF with the 75-300 as you are using it. Because you will have pre-focussed to the general distance that the planes are at, the lens only has to make find adjustments to the focus in C-AF mode, and even with the 75-300 this should not generally be problematical.

Ian

Tordan58
23rd March 2011, 04:04 PM
I know this is a list of negatives but I am afraid that is the way I see this lens.

It certainly does not perform as well as even the kit range lenses for the following reasons:

1. It is incredibly slow to focus.
2. You need good light to get focus lock without hunting.
3. Images are usually 'soft'.
4. The focal range is attractive for wildlife shooting but the inconsistant performance listed above preclude it from this role.
5. The only good attribute is its weight.
....


Hi All,

I would like to jump in in this thread and comment this post.

I have been using the 70-300 for almost three years, mostly for bird photography. The lens came bundled with E-520 kit (part of a special promotion campaign). The last half year I have been using it in combination with the EC-14. I have actually owned two 70-300 lenses, the auto-focus unfortunately gave up after 2 years and 2 months while travelling to a remote location...

I am generally speaking pleased with the lens. I admit it has its limitations but I have no reason to complain about the results achieved.

1. I agree, if it looses focus it will take ages for the lens to walk through the whole focus range. Point taken.

2. I have to disagree. I have not experienced this behavior.

3. I am inclined to disagree. The lens is capable of delivering sharp pictures.

4. Valid comment if referring to 1, but not 2 or 3.

5. Not only weight, but size is also attractive. What I mean is is that the lens has a 58 mm filter thread which saves costs. The value could be debated but he or she who wants to get started with telephoto and goes for a budget lens will be pleased when finding out that the filters that fit the kit lens also fits this one.

I would like to add the following disadvantages to the list:

6. Lack of thread for tripod attachment. You have to use the camera body thread and the result is shaky. I guess this is a deliberate decision by Olympus to shave costs.

7. Maximum aperture is not that great, limited to 4.0/5.6. impacting the performance when light conditions are not good (leading to fallback to longer exposure times than recommended and/or high ISO), but what I refer to mainly is difficulties to focus manually with good control.

8. Quality? I refer to the auto-focus failure I experienced shortly after warranty expired. This incident is by no means conclusive, I however believe this should be considered in the total picture.

Anyhow, given the price tag, I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone hesitant to throw in a lot of money on his/her first telephoto lens.


Regards,
Tord

Chevvyf1
23rd March 2011, 04:16 PM
This is SUCH AN INTERESTING Thread ! I thought it was me; my other half and/or our cameras ! I have found it ok to about 230! NOW I shall try some of the advice offered. Thank You all very Much ! maybe I can get a better shot out of this - its so light for travelling/walking - which is why I bought it!
*chr

RogerMac
23rd March 2011, 04:55 PM
As a recent buyer of the 70-300 I'm aware there are "weaknesses".

I'd like to tap into the accumulated knowledge here on the forum.
Could those more knowledgeable compile a list of these to help us new 70-300 owners
Plus get arounds of course*yes

I have just been testing mine on my new E5 and I can't see much wrong with it, for example
http://www.macdon.demon.co.uk/NewPhotos/Blossom.jpg
This was at f8 @300mm. Taking it down web resolution obviously degrades the resolution but even at 600 pixels it seems OK to me

Roger

FlemmingS
17th April 2011, 06:35 PM
Regarding the 70-300: I was a bit disappointed after I had used it for a couple of month, and I quickly moved to the 50-200 mm SWD and an EC-20 extender.
Now I have recieved it back from a long term loan to a friend and was considering the option of selling it to fund an EC-14 extender (yes the EC-20 is excellent but maybe not the best option for a E-30/50-200 combo).
But I tried it today and have now decided to keep it as a back-up and travel lens.
With-in it's limitiations it is actually a quite impressive lens and absolutely good value for the money spent.

this is a 90 % crop: ISO 800 buil-in flash wide open at F:4 Focal lenght 190 mm

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/picture.php?albumid=165&pictureid=754

AF-C is usable but not impressive with this lens

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/picture.php?albumid=165&pictureid=755

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/picture.php?albumid=165&pictureid=756