View Full Version : How does Zuiko 75-300 II lens perform?

2nd January 2017, 06:21 PM
I'm new to this forum. I currently use an E-M10 with Zuiko 75-300mm II lens to try and capture images of wild raptors in flight. Sometimes I get pleasing results, if the subject is close, against the sky, and the light is good (the juvenile Goshawk attached is one of the better ones!). But sometimes there are problems acquiring and maintaining focus, and I have found it almost impossible to focus on a bird against a terrestrial background. I'm very attracted by the speed and autofocus abilities of the E-M1 MkII, and am seriously thinking of upgrading but could not realistically consider changing my current lens as well as camera body. I think the current lens is optically satisfactory but worry that the motor may not be fast enough. So I wonder if any forum members with a new E-M1 MkII have experience using, or trying to use, the 75-300 II lens with it. Any feedback, positive or negative, would be much appreciated. Many thanks...and Happy New Year!

2nd January 2017, 09:52 PM
Consider manual focus:

At 300mm with the focus set sharp on an object 50m away, you have about 10m of DoF @ f/11

For things further away using the hyper focal distance can get you sharp images from 300m out to the horizon.

It's how we did it without autofocus, plus the shutter reacts faster.


2nd January 2017, 10:21 PM
Try this with your existing camera. Set it to S-AF and single central focus point. Set high speed continuous. Now aim at bird, half press and then instantly press all the way and fire a very short burst. Keep repeating lots of short bursts.

3rd January 2017, 06:21 PM
Graham & 'Growltiger', many thanks for your replies.

Graham: confirming I'm more birder than photographer, I had to go and Google "hyperfocus distance"! It's really interesting to be more aware of the physics involved, and while sitting at a keyboard I can imagine circumstances when the approach suggested could work well. I like the concept of more manual input rather than relying totally on auto. One difficulty I can foresee is that, with my particular interests, things often happen very suddenly and it can often be too much of a challenge just to get the camera aimed at the target!

Growltiger: actually the approach you suggest is now the one I use in most circumstances, although I've tried most permutations during the two years I've had the E-M10. But none of them work consistently with birds against a terrestrial background. I had begun to get the message that phase detect autofocus was needed in such circumstances, given that it apparently tends to pick on the nearest object rather than a contrasty background, which is what my E-M10 with contrast detect only almost always selects in preference to the subject bird.

Hence my interest in the MkII E-M1, which in principle might enable more success in more situations. So that, specifically, is why I'm wondering what users of this new camera feel about the way it works with the old Zuiko 75-300 II zoom lens.

Thanks again for your useful replies!

(attached another example: a male Marsh Harrier).

3rd January 2017, 06:39 PM
I am very interested in the answer too. I plan to get the E-M1 II and I have that lens. So I will eventually find out myself.

4th January 2017, 07:55 AM
My very limited experience of trying get birds in flight is that the bird needs to be reasonably close (>30m), and its difficult enough to get it in the viewfinder at 300mm, especially if it flying left to right (or vice versa).

Coming towards you or away, you stand a bit of a chance.

I usually fail at this. But I find it helpful to unzoom to 75mm, and when I have the bird in the viewfinder, then zoom I on it.

As you say, it happens so fast..............


9th January 2017, 04:55 AM
I'm new to bif but it seems likely the EE-1 Dot sight would be helpful- although I don't have one as yet. In terms of the Mark II 75-300 combo I'm happy with what I've got so far. The 300 f/4 is a bit beyond my budget at the moment and I think I'd miss the zoom. If I were to look at an upgrade I'd look at the pany 100-400. That said for the cost I think the 75-300 does a good job...
See some samples in the link.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10210703601639871&set=ms.c.eJxVzMENwEAIA8GOIhsI4P4bC~%3BmcOPk3Wpkwou CvMlwVfHikszRboqLafDcagV~%3BNqMWW9pE8kmCOFJfgf47~_ AB2qHNg~-.bps.a.10210703583719423.1073741842.1043804406&type=3&theater