PDA

View Full Version : 70-300 Any good?


Malcolm Cousins
26th August 2008, 12:01 AM
Does any one use the 70-300 and what do you think of it?. I am waiting to purchase the 50-200 but would be interested to know if this cheaper alternative could be used on a serious basis.

Fluffy
26th August 2008, 12:34 AM
Very nice lens. While many can handhold it I find I do better with it on a tripod. I tend to use it only on bright days, but others do well under worse conditions. Finally it has a neat and not in documents feature: close focus is close and stays close no matter whether you're at 70 or 300, so at 300 it's almost a real macro lens. I like it. The sharpness is not that of the 50 macro, but I find it adequate out trying to photograph birds and alligators. The only thing I know about the 50-250 is its rep and its price. The last is all I need to know.

Steve

PeterD
26th August 2008, 04:05 AM
Does any one use the 70-300 and what do you think of it?. I am waiting to purchase the 50-200 but would be interested to know if this cheaper alternative could be used on a serious basis.

Malcolm,
I own one and I am not impressed although others have got some very good results.

Have a read through the posts in this link http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2440

There is a lot of information here that might help you make your mind up.

It is not a good field lens unless used in bright conditions. Focussing can be dire in poor light. Read through the comments then ask yourself what you intend to use it for. I think that will help you make up your mind.

My 70-300 is being used as a macro lens with a Sigma Achromatic Macro lens attached. I am pleased with its performance in this role.

For telephoto use the 50-200 lens is a far better performer but....at a price.

Good luck

Peter

theMusicMan
26th August 2008, 05:47 AM
Hi Malcolm

I am one of those who consider the 70-300mm a superb lens, and I have the results to match the comment. Take a look at all these shots - http://www.reflectingme.com/p28339871/ - all taken with a combination of the 70-300mm plus EC14. My earlier bird potos were taken with the 70-300mm.

When I first used it I found it easy and relatively fast, but wasn't impressed when coupled with the ED14. However, perseverance and practice with alternate camera settings soon started to yield better results for me and it became my fav lens.

Compared with the 50-200mm - it can only compete in this battle on focal length - the image quality you will get from the 50-200 I am certain would be undoubtedly much better as this is semi-pro glass and expectations on IQ are much higher. The 70-300mm though is more than capable of producing superb shots. Here's a few recent ones - taken last week - with just the 70-300mm (with FL-50 flash too);

http://www.reflectingme.com/img/v1/p844711939-4.jpg

http://www.reflectingme.com/img/v1/p600749474-4.jpg

So, in my opinion, I feel yes, the 70-300mm can be used as a cheaper alternative to the 50-200mm as long as you accept that the 50-200mm will yield better results again.

Hope this helps.

StephenL
26th August 2008, 09:01 AM
These results, John, are indeed excellent. I sold my 70-300 to fund the 50-200, with no regrets. But having said that, I would not hesitate to buy another if I decided I really wanted the extra focal length, especially in bright conditions.

theMusicMan
26th August 2008, 09:08 AM
These results, John, are indeed excellent. I sold my 70-300 to fund the 50-200, with no regrets. But having said that, I would not hesitate to buy another if I decided I really wanted the extra focal length, especially in bright conditions.Thanks Stephen, and so that Malcolm is aware - although I have never used one, I do consider the Oly 50-200mm lens to be superior optically and will undoubtedly produce a much improved IQ. Also, if used with the EC14 one would get a super quality 70-280mm lens.

I think Malcolm, it all depends on what your photographic requirements are. if you intend to shoot birds, then even with Oly's x2 crop factor, you really do need all the reach you can muster. Of course you need to balance this with optical results. If on the other hand you need a portrait lens, then I would say hands down that the 50-200mm is a much better bet. Not to say that the 50-200mm won't allow you to get excellent bird images, but that additional 100mm does make a difference. I only wish Oly would come out with a mid range zoon to 500mm lens... I'd jump at one.

Malcolm Cousins
26th August 2008, 07:37 PM
Those are superb results John but I find myself in a quandary. Do I wait a little longer and get the more expensive lens or or buy now and get the 70-300. I do like to practice at low light apertures though. I will have to give it some thought. Many thanks for your replies guys.

theMusicMan
26th August 2008, 07:43 PM
Hi Malcolm

To be honest, if you were asking me that question... honestly, I'd suggest purchasing the 70-300mm and using that for some time - you never know - you might love it like I have! If not, and you yearn for the 50-200mm then as the 70-300mm is not that expensive in the first place, I am sure you could get a decent price for one 2nd hand - as they do tend to go like hot cakes.

Doing that would enable you to get decent use out of the 70-300mm for a cost of the difference between new price and resale price... which wouldn't be huge. Am I selling the 70-300mm well here... :):)

PeterD
26th August 2008, 08:08 PM
Those are superb results John but I find myself in a quandary. Do I wait a little longer and get the more expensive lens or or buy now and get the 70-300. I do like to practice at low light apertures though. I will have to give it some thought. Many thanks for your replies guys.

Malcolm, if low light is your thing then the 70-300 definately is not the lens for you. The hunting and misfocus you get in low light will irritate you to the extreme. I know, I have tried it. The transition from the open to under the trees shots for example is dramatic. focussing times being a real issue.

The SWD version of the 50-200 would be ideal if the focussing times are anything like the 12-60mm lens.

The problem is that you get what you pay for. I have gone for the Bigma in the long telephoto lenses but you need to appreciate the weight of the lens on the E3 body. If you don't then you soon do:). It does have HSM which gives a faster focus time than the 70-300 but probably not as fast as the 50-200 SWD. Faster lenses are available but they cost serious money.

If you do buy the 70-300 then perhaps as your finances allow you to buy the 50-200SWD then the 70-300 + Sigma Anochromatic Macro lens makes a superb Macro set up.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/Hoverfly_Closeup_-_Syritta_pipiens-7272885.jpg

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/506/Marmalade_Hoverfly_-_Episyrphus_balteatus_-7232818.jpg

Hope this helps but it is only my opinion

Peter

Scapula Memory
26th August 2008, 08:33 PM
Malcolm,

I recently was up against the same thing and had to think what I would be using it for. Peter is right, you do need the light and sometimes it does miss a beat with focusing. I have had the lens about a month now and I am not an expereienced tog but managed this as a first shot. This is what I bought the lens for.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/637/Blackbushe3.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/7221)

Since then I have had some great portrait pics as well in good light and have used it as a walkabout lens as well. I was concerned I might not like it but have come to really like it and where possible always take it with me. I think Johns shots show what it can really do. Paid £195 delivered of an auction site .

250swb
26th August 2008, 08:59 PM
I am waiting to purchase the 50-200 but would be interested to know if this cheaper alternative could be used on a serious basis.

I would carry on and wait.

I've had a 70-300mm and sold it pretty quickly when it turned out to be a pretty poor performer unless used within a very narrow sweet spot. I originally purchased it thinking it would do as a light and small carry around lens and with a useful bit of extra reach. I didn't expect it to be as good as my 50-200mm, but I think it is a waste of time trying to use it beyond 200mm and at any aperture other than f5.6 to f8. So that is very limiting for a lens that on paper offers much. It isn't as bad as some third party or kit lenses from other manufacturers, but that is about all.

The 50-200mm, even with the EC-14, is such a superior lens at every aperture and focal length you would wonder why you wasted your money, time and photographic skills on buying a 70-300mm.

Steve

theMusicMan
27th August 2008, 06:19 AM
...but I think it is a waste of time trying to use it beyond 200mm and at any aperture other than f5.6 to f8
I appreciate this is your experience Steve, which seems like such a shame to me, but the Field Mouse shot in this thread was taken at FL 300MM and @ f9. Surely the results speak for themselves and show clearly that the 70-300mm is most certainly capable of decent IQ...? I am not suggesting it is better than the 50-200mm, on the contrary - despite not owning this lens, I have mentioned my opinion of that several times already - but I am suggesting merely that the 70-300mm is a more than capable lens, and will allow you to get excellent shots. I consider it a bargain for the price.

250swb
27th August 2008, 07:36 AM
Surely the results speak for themselves and show clearly that the 70-300mm is most certainly capable of decent IQ...?

I don't think the results do speak for themselves John in terms of the lens, but I do think they speak of your skill as a photographer.

Besides Malcolm's original question there could be other people wondering about this lens. And I just don't think your excellent photo's are truly representative of what can be expected by somebody who doesn't have the skill to overcome the slow focusing, or doesn't have the lighting to give nice crisp looking images even where the lens contrast is low. 300mm and f9 is fine (only just outside my 'f8' as a rough guide), but outdoors on a dull day? Then all of a sudden you need to start making compromises for simple everyday photo's. Even at the max of f5.6 at 300mm are you going to be doing action photography? OK boost the ISO but then we all know what happens regarding noise and the most popular Olympus DSLR's only go to 1600iso. It is a slow lens, with slow focusing, and ideally suited to all the bright sunny days we get in the UK. It'll get photographs people never dreamed they could get before, but is it worth it over waiting and buying something that delivers across the board. I think not.

Steve

PeterD
27th August 2008, 08:20 AM
John,
I am not sure of what you are trying to achieve? Malcolm said this:-

Those are superb results John but I find myself in a quandary. Do I wait a little longer and get the more expensive lens or or buy now and get the 70-300. I do like to practice at low light apertures though. I will have to give it some thought. Many thanks for your replies guys.

and you responded thus:

Hi Malcolm

To be honest, if you were asking me that question... honestly, I'd suggest purchasing the 70-300mm and using that for some time - you never know - you might love it like I have! If not, and you yearn for the 50-200mm then as the 70-300mm is not that expensive in the first place, I am sure you could get a decent price for one 2nd hand - as they do tend to go like hot cakes.

Doing that would enable you to get decent use out of the 70-300mm for a cost of the difference between new price and resale price... which wouldn't be huge. Am I selling the 70-300mm well here... :):)

Please be careful. I can assure you that you will cause Malcolm disappointment if he followed your advice. The lens is virtually useless in low light conditions. I believe you have used flash in your images above without declaring it in this post.

In case Malcolm decided to go for the 70-300 (and it is up to him), I have given him an alternative use for the lens which I think it is more suited to in wildlife photography.

theMusicMan
27th August 2008, 09:08 AM
John,
I am not sure of what you are trying to achieve?
Simply to advise Malcolm that, in my opinion, he wouldn't be wasting his money if he chose to purchase this lens. I guess I am defending the 70-300mm lens... what else would I be trying to achieve here Peter?

John,
Please be careful. I can assure you that you will cause Malcolm disappointment if he followed your advice. The lens is virtually useless in low light conditions. I believe you have used flash in your images above without declaring it in this post.

Why 'be careful' Peter...? Not sure I understand that comment. What have I to be careful about...? I am commenting not only on what are my experiences, and my opinions, i am also stating what is fact to me i.e. that I do get good IQ and good images from the 70-300mm.

I disagree with you on your low light comments, and don't feel the lens is useless in low light conditions. Yes, the shots I refer to were taken with flash, but I have posted links to many more images that I have taken with the 70-300mm that were used without flash, and which came out totally respectably, sharp and of high IQ. I have many shots on my gallery where the lens used is the Oly 70-300mm, the aperture is > f9 and focal length is greater than 200mm.

Any budget (non prime) lens' performance will degrade as the aperture closes and focal length increases - that's the way it is, but to suggest that a lens is useless in low light conditions, in my opinion, is wrong.

You are of course entitled to your opinion and I respect that, and based on your experiences I guess you haven't had a good time with the 70-300mm, whereas I have. I am simply informing Malcolm and anyone else who reads this thread of that.

I feel for a budget lens it performs more than adequately.

In case Malcolm decided to go for the 70-300 (and it up to him), I have given him an alternative use for the lens which I think it is more suited to in wildlife photography.

I agree with you, and have also suggested that the 50-200mm will undoubtedly be a better lens, as will the Sigma we both use for our nature photography.

However, I still state, emphatically and clearly, that in my experience (and I have posted enough images to back this up), that the Oly 70-300mm is more than capable of super performance, and people won't be disappointed if they purchase it. Weighing up price v's performance and value for money, I feel it is a good punt.

DerekW
27th August 2008, 09:27 AM
Slight movement off topic - but how much sharpening was involved in the post processing of the images - were the images originally taken as RAW and then post processed or were thy stored as Jpeg and if so what degree of hardness had been set in the camera.

I will be starting a new thread on this are very shortly

Thanks

Chillimonster
27th August 2008, 09:35 AM
Every persons budget is different, and for the money the 70-300 CANNOT BE BEAT (in my opinion of course!).

I too had one when they first came out and was impressed with the clarity and sharp focus - even at full stretch. The focus in all but the dimmest light was acceptable and improved as the light got better. Yes the lens is not as fast as the SWD a focussing, yes the apature is smaller at full zoom, but these are all 'features' of the lens - not weaknesses and, as with any lens, you learn to adjust your approach to using the lens and getting the best out of it as John ably proves time and time again. I was in the fortunate position of being able to upgrade to the 50-200SWD and EC14 so i took it, not everyone is so fortunate.

To say it is not sharp is ridiculous, to say YOU could not get sharp pics while using this lens is more to the point and proves that the lens is not for you ( i know people that cannot get a sharp shot at 100mm at F2.8 for various reasons!)

I think everyone will agree it is no competition for the 50-200 SWD - its not meant to be, but instead it has it own niche.

I would advise trying to find somewhere local that has it in stock for you to have a play with, or alternatively order it online and use the distance selling regulations to return it within 7 days (Check with the shop concerned for further details), i think you will be pleasantly surprised by its performance.

Chris

theMusicMan
27th August 2008, 09:45 AM
Slight movement off topic - but how much sharpening was involved in the post processing of the images - were the images originally taken as RAW and then post processed or were thy stored as Jpeg and if so what degree of hardness had been set in the camera.

I will be starting a new thread on this are very shortly

ThanksHi Derek - I always shoot my images in RAW.

In the case of my Skomer island Puffin shots, and of the shots posted in this thread, after importing them to Lightroom I simply added meta keywords in my library, converted them to jpg and applied the then mandatory sharpening for web, then simply uploaded them to my Zenfolio gallery.

EDIT: I must add that I do have the sharpness settings in my camera set to +1.

PeterD
27th August 2008, 09:57 AM
John,

I do not wish to get into a argument. If you feel upset at all in any way about my last post then I apologise. It certainly was not meant that way.

My first post on the subject described my experience (in brief) and offered Malcolm another thread to view where others had made both positive and negative comments. This I thought would be enough to help Malcolm make up his mind. It was important, given the comments re poor light performance, that Malcolm appreciated that the photos you posted on this thread were taken with flash.

I have admired your earlier photographs using the 70-300 lens and wished I could have achieved something similar. I tried hard but just could not get on with the lens. I take photos on the hoof as the opportunity arises. Not in fixed locations using tripods, lighting etc. This is what I mean about 'field photography' and I have missed far too many opportunities due to focussing issues. The lens is just not suited for these conditions when lighting conditions are not ideal. Yes, I could have learned to accept this and adjust the subjects I shoot and where, how and what I shoot to suit the lens. Sorry, but this is not what I want from photography and certainly not worth spending £250 or so on a lens when I have a limited budget. I was very pleased to have found a use for the lens as I felt cheated about its limitations. These were not obvious at the time of purchase.

Its a shame that Oly have not introduced a better long focal length lens but suspect that the wide use of the Bigma at its price is a disincentive. If they did though, wouldn't it be great with SWD?:D

I really do appreciate the quality of Oly lenses. This one though IMHO lets the others down.

cheers and sorry again if I offended.

Peter

theMusicMan
27th August 2008, 10:07 AM
Hey Peter, no probs - we're all here for a good debate eh! :)

I too take all my shots on the hoof, well... maybe the use of a pop-up hide when I use it certainly helps I guess, but the Skomer shots, all the garden bird shots and all the family day out shots are taken on the hoof too. it is only this last week where I have decided to have a try at birds in flight shots - where the use of a flash will yield better (though some may say somewhat 'unnatural') results. Not managed anything to write home about yet - more 'bird bum' shots than faces... hehehe

"Oh yes, you betcha" re the Oly longer focal length lens - how I wish for one of those, I'd jump at one if Oly ever came out with one. I think I mentioned in another thread that I would love to see an Oly 500 f4 lens...

Howi
27th August 2008, 01:12 PM
I would have thought it boils down to the simple fact that if you can afford the 50-200 then buy it, if you can't the 70-300 is a more obtainable option.
Yes! you may have to work at it a bit harder, but that is all the fun.
There are always those that will throw money at anything in the hope it will improve their performance/results etc and there are those who use what they can aford, to it's best capability, having to live with any inadequacies as they arise. This is a simple fact of life for many of us without bottomless pockets.
I have seen numerous threads on this lens, this one has to be the most negative. There are lots of examples from this lens on other boards, that show it's fantastic capabilities. What do you expect for <£200 :confused:
Lets not forget folks - it is 95% photographer 5% equipment. *yes

PeterD
27th August 2008, 01:30 PM
I would have thought it boils down to the simple fact that if you can afford the 50-200 then buy it, if you can't the 70-300 is a more obtainable option.
Yes! you may have to work at it a bit harder, but that is all the fun.
There are always those that will throw money at anything in the hope it will improve their performance/results etc and there are those who use what they can aford, to it's best capability, having to live with any inadequacies as they arise. This is a simple fact of life for many of us without bottomless pockets.
I have seen numerous threads on this lens, this one has to be the most negative. There are lots of examples from this lens on other boards, that show it's fantastic capabilities. What do you expect for <£200 :confused:
Lets not forget folks - it is 95% photographer 5% equipment. *yes

When you are on a limited budget and want advice on the performance of anything. You listen to what is said, make a descision on whether to buy or not based on what is said. The comments on this thread have been both positive and negative and I believe that they have been reasonably balanced. People are expressing their views based on personal experience. This I would say is invaluable as at least it is practical advice.
John has produced some very good images with the lens as have others. What you do not see are the poor results which may be down to the operator or the lens.
The cost of this lens was approx £250 not <£200 (unless you know of a source I don't;))

Cheers

Peter

Howi
27th August 2008, 06:22 PM
Hi peter
There are lots on ebay under £200, as for poor results, at the end of the day a crap picture is a crap picture, it may be pin sharp corner to corner, it may have fabulous bokeh, it may have super DR, it may have been taken on the most expensive equipment there is - but it is still a crap picture. Lets face facts here, we all take crap photos,unless your one of the gifted few who only produce masterpieces!! Obviously it is only the good ones we want other to see.
The good photos hit you straight away, you see a good pic and think Wow!, closely followed by 'I wish I'd taken that'. The composition is more important than how sharp it is, or what camera/lens is used. If you are lucky enough to try the high grade lenses, then yes I totaly agree with you, all the 'faults' start to crawl out of the woodwork when you compare to their cheaper siblings , but where do you draw the line. If you have the money, it is a no brainer *yes, always buy the best you can afford.
If you can consider the 50-200 on a limited budget, then my budget must have been strangled at birth - I simply do not have that option.
The 70-300 is capable of very good performance but you do have to take in it's limitations - for the price, I like many others, can live with those limitations.... *zzz
end of rant, sorry to bore you all to death *moon

PeterD
27th August 2008, 07:59 PM
Hi peter
There are lots on ebay under £200, as for poor results, at the end of the day a crap picture is a crap picture, it may be pin sharp corner to corner, it may have fabulous bokeh, it may have super DR, it may have been taken on the most expensive equipment there is - but it is still a crap picture. Lets face facts here, we all take crap photos,unless your one of the gifted few who only produce masterpieces!! Obviously it is only the good ones we want other to see.
The good photos hit you straight away, you see a good pic and think Wow!, closely followed by 'I wish I'd taken that'. The composition is more important than how sharp it is, or what camera/lens is used. If you are lucky enough to try the high grade lenses, then yes I totaly agree with you, all the 'faults' start to crawl out of the woodwork when you compare to their cheaper siblings , but where do you draw the line. If you have the money, it is a no brainer *yes, always buy the best you can afford.
If you can consider the 50-200 on a limited budget, then my budget must have been strangled at birth - I simply do not have that option.
The 70-300 is capable of very good performance but you do have to take in it's limitations - for the price, I like many others, can live with those limitations.... *zzz
end of rant, sorry to bore you all to death *moon

Thank you for your reply above and I respect your opinions however, do you or have you ever used the 70-300 lens? The discussion here is not in any way snobbery as your post implies. It is about giving honest advice on our findings with the lens. When we as a group started thinking about longer focal length than the kit 150mm (which incidentally is a superb kit lens), we looked at the options to us. The 70-300 appeared to be superb value for money and we all looked forward to the extra reach. Some were saying at the time the best value for money would be to use your feet and get closer. I bought the lens and coudn't wait to fit it to the E3. I went for months taking poor pictures with it and trying to convince myself, once I got the hang of it it would be alright. It turns out the the 'new' lens was defective and the poor images were the hardware and not me. This was confirmed by luympus who gave me a foc replacement without argument and supplied me with the fault diagnosis saying that a complete re-build was required. The new lens was fitted and I found that some of the complaints that I had with the old lens were present on this new one. Slow focus/mis-focus under poor light conditions. This has been noted by others. Under good light conditions the lens works well - no one disagrees with this.
So, to put it in a nutshell, this is what we have found and reported. Others can make their choices about whether they feel that they can live with this or not. And by the way, this is not poor images we are talking about but the ability to even take an image!
Lets for heavens sake get back to discussing the pros and cons.

Peter

Howi
27th August 2008, 08:24 PM
Hi Peter
Yes, I do have this lens and have found it to be better than the kit lenses, which as you say are super lenses at their price point.
I think anyone who has had a bad experience like you have, will have his judgement clouded to some extent (I know I would, we are all human after all).
As someone else has mentioned, if anyone is in any doubt, try it, if it doesn't suit sell it on and go for the 50-200 you won't have lost much, probably cheaper than hiring.
I will but out of this one for now, don't want to turn this into a slanging match *yo

theMusicMan
27th August 2008, 08:44 PM
Peter - I don't think Howi was implying snobbery of any form - well at least I didn't pick anything like that up in his response. I read his post simply as another '+' for the 70-300mm lens.

Also... I am not sure your comment re the 'goup' is correct as, unless I have misinterpreted your post, this implies all of us on e-group looked for a longer lens, and subsequently arrived at the same opinion - which of course, is simply not true.

By all means speak as you find, and offer your valuable opinion based on your experiences - but these are not the same as everyone elses opinions or experiences.

I have to say once again, that I disagree with several of your comments in the post above. You state;

...Under good light conditions the lens works well - no one disagrees with this.

...So, to put it in a nutshell, this is what we have found and reported. Others can make their choices about whether they feel that they can live with this or not. And by the way, this is not poor images we are talking about but the ability to even take an image!
Lets for heavens sake get back to discussing the pros and cons.

Peter

... but, this is not what 'we' have found reported - it is what 'you' have found and reported...!

I also have found the lens works fine under low light - not as well as the 50-200mm, but not that far behind the Sigma 50-500 which also hunts in low light conditions. By all means provide us with your experiences, I for one appreciate them as I am sure others do too, but please don't then consider and report these to be those of 'the group'. The group per sé doesn't have an opinion.

Finally, I am confused at your continued critique slating the lens, and making profound comments such as... "this is not poor images we are talking about but the ability to even take an image!" - which are comments that are so obviously incorrect. Yes, you had an awful experience with the lens, and I am sorry for that, but myself and many others haven't had this negative experience with the lens - on the contrary...

Nothing is personal here Peter, some like the lens, but it appears fewer don't.

garethlovering
27th August 2008, 08:45 PM
I have a 70-300mm lens and have found it to be a very good lens.
IS & 70-300 a good combination. I have to admit that I have used it more than I thought I would.

stryker
27th August 2008, 10:08 PM
I have the 70-300 and I love it. I think its a bargain for the price.
I found focussing a problem with my E500 in any sort of light, so much so that I sold my E500.
I upgraded to the E510 and the autofocus is quick and locks easily. The lens is great fun with the image stabilisation and better higher ISO performance of the E510.
When I bought it I thought I would use just for wildlife photography but I find that I am using it more and more, so much that I always carry it in my camera bag, often leaving out my 40-150.
If you can't afford or justify the 50-200 then its a very affordable and worthy alternative.

Howi
28th August 2008, 09:16 AM
http://fourthirdsphoto.com/magazine/ftp_01_03b.pdf
http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/zd-070-300.html

Chillimonster
28th August 2008, 10:40 AM
http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/zd-070-300.html


The last comment on that article says it all

Looks like Olympus (with some help from Sigma this time) has a winner here, providing a very attractive compromise between specs, performance, size/weight, and price. I hope they will sell lots of these.

j.baker
28th August 2008, 10:54 AM
Hi All,

It my turn to wade into this discussion :D:D

Last year, when I purchased the 70-300mm, I found that I could not get to grips with the lens. It did not appear to be sharp and its focusing was slow. Now nearly a year later, I have the 50-200 and the 50-500mm. Both of the news lenses have the pros and cons. The 70-300mm was relegated to my wife’s E-510. She uses it and likes it.

Anyway, I decided to try the 70-300mm again last week. I was surprised on how light it was when compared to the newer lenses. I took some shots and was surprised on how good they were. Yes, the 50-200mm is a far better lens (it should be given the cost), but it was not that bad as I remembered it to be.

Now, I have upgraded the firmware on my E510s and the 70-300mm. I have, and this is no comment on anyone else, improved my technical photography skills. I also only shoot in RAW. Yes! I use the Olympus Master software, which has been covered in other threads, but its free and it sort of works :)

John & Peter, your images taken with the 70-300mm (as shown in this thread), are excellent......I would like to be able to take images like that :)

Anyway, back to the original purpose of this thread.

Would I recommend the 70-300mm.....

Yes. If you are budget constrained and can live with its faults. They can be picked up for about £200ish.

The 50-200mm, is a great lens, but its heavy.

Malcolm, if you can wait until next week, I will try to take some shots using the 70-300 and the 50-200 of the same object and at similar focal lengths with a tripod. All taken with a bad photographer on an E510 :D :D

This may help you make your own decision.

Ellie
30th August 2008, 10:56 PM
I've got a 70-300 lens that I bought second hand from somebody in USA, I have no idea why they sold it.

I tend to use it for taking pictures of wildlife that I know I can't get very close to. I've also used it when we're out walking, not always with the tripod. It's a relatively small and light lens (compared with similar zooms) which suits me perfectly. My E-400 doesn't have IS and I've got some decent shots handheld.

I also often have my tripod set up indoors and take pictures of whatever happens to land on our bird table, always taken through a closed window. It seems to cope well enough with the semi darkness we've had during daylight hours for most of this year.

I haven't a clue what the 50-200 is like so I can't offer an opinion on the comparison.

Napper
22nd October 2008, 09:44 PM
I have had a 70 -300 for quite a while and I feel that for the money it is a good buy. Obviously it cannot compete with the 50-200 any more than the kit lenses can when compared to say the 14-54 or the 12 -60. But we all know that the kit lenses can produce some great results but have their limitations. I do find that the 70-300 performs better on my E3 than on my 510, especially in low light. The biggest problem I find with it is not low light performance which is limited by its F5.6 setting but when it hits high contrast situations. Often whilst panning to get a bird or animal shot if the lens goes from say a sunny field to darker trees (or vica versa) then it can lose focus and start searching often zooming right out and back again until it finds its self again. I tend to use my camera on auto + manual focus and when this happens I quickly refocus manually and then let the auto focus continue. So is it a good lens --for the money I feel that it is a good lens, it does have a hunting problem on occaisions, and it is limited by being only F4-5.6 reducing its low light capacity. I would love a F2.8 or quicker 250 or 300 prime or zoom lens, but they are way out of reach in monetary terms not to mention their bulk and weight. Hope this helps with any decision making.

joeletx
23rd October 2008, 03:48 AM
I am also in the market for the 70-300mm lens. It seems that general complains were slow focusing with low light. What about manual focusing when autofocus was not possible or impratical? Will MF work effectively most of the time? or it is a waste of money.

theMusicMan
23rd October 2008, 05:06 AM
The 70-300mm is most certainly not a waste of money, in fact it is quite the opposite. Many here will already know that I speak highly of this lens, and feel that for the money it provides superb value.

One must remember here that this is a £200 lens (or thereabouts) and allowances must be made for such a long focal length lens at this price. It is not blisteringly fast (in terms of aperture) and yes there are certain conditions in which it will hunt for a focus point; but nonetheless, it is an excellent lens that performs extremely well.

I have found that manual focus is very good when low light causes auto focus problems, and remember that with this lens one can manually focus on objects closer to you than when using auto focus. Manual focus can be activated on the camera (using the usual method AF/MF etc) and there is also a small switch on the camera that turns it into a fully auto or manual focusing lens.

When I first used the lens, I will admit to being somewhat disappointed, though in hindsight I can see that my expectations were way too high - and to be honest, were also rather naive and based on a lack of experience. So, I reset my expectations, persevered, and by experimentation learned how to get the best out of it and now manage to get some very sharp images at most apertures (though most of the bird shots I take using it are with the aperture wide open).

So in summary, really... one can only tell how well a lens performs by using it yourself, and for me... it is one lens I am more than happy with.

Howi
23rd October 2008, 11:18 AM
It's a big pile of pooh!, cheap tac rubbish, not even fit to adorne a Canikon...
Is that what you wanted to hear?
You simply can't compare the 70-300 with anything else, it's rather unique in the Oli lineup. If you are debating between the 50-200 and 70-300 you are on a hiding to nothing. If your financial means is adequate then the 50-200 is a no brainer. with regards to the 70-300, I only know of one person on these forums that seems to hava had a bad experience with this lens but supect it was more about him than the hardware.
Have a good look around all the 4/3 forums and you will realise the 70-300 is a very versatile lens albeit with some rather obvious negatives, BUT and I repeat BUT, for value for money you can not beat it. Just learn to adapt to its deficiencies. Yes it can, does and will hunt for focus just when you don't want it to, learn to get round it, it is NOT a low light lens but surely you new this when you bought it!!! It still doesn't make it useless in low light, just more challenging. It makes a good macro lens (even better if you can get hold of the Sigma Achromatic close up lens). It is light enough to carry around without giving your neck and shoulders a bruising.
Try it(for a reasonable time) and if it is not for you, sell it, you won't lose that much. I won't be parted from mine, same for the Sigma 10-20.
My 14-54 gets more consigned to the gadget bag these days....*ohwell

Maranatha
23rd October 2008, 04:48 PM
Hi this Guy knows more about the Olympus cameras and lens than most and he thinks the 70 -300 is a great lens even wide open for those who no how to use it ..http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/index.html