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Olympus E-3 E-3 specific discussion.

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Old 28th August 2008
j.baker j.baker is offline
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Re: 70-300 Any good?

Hi All,

It my turn to wade into this discussion

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

This may help you make your own decision.
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Old 30th August 2008
Ellie Ellie is offline
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Re: 70-300 Any good?

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.
- my pictures -
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Old 22nd October 2008
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Re: 70-300 Any good?

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.
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Old 23rd October 2008
joeletx joeletx is offline
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Re: 70-300 Any good?

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.
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Old 23rd October 2008
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theMusicMan theMusicMan is offline
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Re: 70-300 Any good?

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.

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Old 23rd October 2008
Howi Howi is offline
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Re: 70-300 Any good?

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....
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Old 23rd October 2008
Maranatha Maranatha is offline
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Cool Re: 70-300 Any good?

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
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