Safari with E-PL5 and ZD 70-300
MF is the key to using this lens with the E-PL5 or E-M5. I have it and have taken some nice photos with MF and focus assist.
Yes, I tried that and found it very difficult. Mind you, I did not have a tripod and hand-holding this combination while trying to focus with the focus ring that is far forward on the lens, with focus assist magnifying things to a point where any little vibration takes you 'off target' made this too challenging of an exercise for me.
with more practice, this might be feasible but I tried and was not successful with MF and this combination.