70-300mm deal

Started Oct 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
panometrical
Regular MemberPosts: 120Gear list
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No regrets...
In reply to Doctor Lecter, Oct 9, 2012

I've had the 70-300 for four years now, and I'll be echoing a few commenters observations, confirming them, I suppose.

I bought the 70-300 for my E-510, I paid for it from almost all the money I'd saved to buy the 50-200. Early adopter, I paid $429 for it, and I have no regrets. Let's get the negatives out of the way first:

-Like many have pointed out, if it misses it mark it racks in and out hunting, not unlike the 50 f/2 macro. But at or over maybe 220mm, even recycling it might not find its mark, nor will you in the blurry viewfinder, and often you have to zoom out and show the lens the range and then zoom in and seal the deal.

-The bokeh gets really bubbly wide open at most focal lengths, if you're birding choose backgrounds without a lot of tangled branches. Nobody you're selling your prints to has the slightest idea what bokeh is, but when it comptetes with the subject, options are stopping down and opting for pan-focus or the 50-200.

-Back to the first point about AF, under about 220mm, stopped down (I select about 9.1/f) this you're in great shape for birding, surf shots, distant landscapes and macros; at 300mm the macros sharpen nicely in PS, but they're nothing like at shorter FLs.

Positives:

-Years ago with film I owned a Canon 75-300II. At any focal length this Zuiko rocks that one sideways.

-With my E-510 and E-500 I was shooting a music festival for the festival, and a friend of mine in attendence ponied up his 50-200 SWD for a chance to shoot my 12-60 on his E-3. The 50-200 was a bad match for my 510, the zoom ring too stiff for a light body like I had. Predictably I got great results from the 50-200 but when I was doing the deliverable, there was this one shot where I just said to myself “Man, the 50-200 rocks”, and then I checked the exif and it was the 70-300 stopped down at a shorter focal length.

Take away here is that while 50-200 is easily superior, especially in SWF form, for the owners of single and double digit E bodies, it also costs many (many) times more, and a carefully used 70-300 will always be 43 times better than a 50-200 in the hands of someone who doesn't care, who doesn't sweat the frame.

Buy the damn thing and learn how to work around its few (at this price point utterly forgiveable personality), I gave in years ago and have not regreted my decision since.

My early (2008, Hawaii) impressions of this lens are noted at Wrotniac, http://wrotniak.net/photo/43/zd-070-300.html
Even after all these years, I wouldn't change a word.

Best,
Jim.

 panometrical's gear list:panometrical's gear list
Olympus C-5060 Wide Zoom Olympus E-510 Olympus E-5 Nikon D3200 Olympus E-M1 +12 more
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