Olympus 300mm f4 Pro vs Nikon 300mm f4 PF - comparison

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faunagraphy Contributing Member • Posts: 753
Olympus 300mm f4 Pro vs Nikon 300mm f4 PF - comparison

Not a "lab" test, but comparing these two lenses in a real-world application.

The first shot is with the 300mm PF and my D500, and the rest are with my E-M1 Mark ii and 300mm Pro.

My copy of the 300 PF isn't the sharpest wide-open, so I always shoot it at f5.6, which is its sharpest aperture. Photos with the Olympus were taken in 'S' mode, so the camera varied the aperture across shots. Its sharpest aperture is f8, but wide-open, the Olympus 300mm Pro lens leaves nothing to be desired.

These photos were taken on different days, but featured the same individual (male violet-green swallow) at the same spot. I hadn't set out to conduct a test, but I've ended up with a roughly subject size in frame for two of these photos.

I shot 13 frames with the Olympus setup before changing my framing. I got one shot with the D500 before the mirror slap scared the swallow. This is definitely an advantage for mirrorless cameras. In my experience, the 'quiet' mode on the D500 is worse because the photo is taken waaaay after the mirror slap.

Also - I did not nail focus on the eye in some of these shots. The mistake is mine - so please review the feather detail where it is the sharpest on each photo. You can also compare the bokeh and color output.

Both my D500 and E-M1 Mark ii use the 'Natural' color setting. All photos are direct JPEG exports from RAW files in PhotoScape X without any modification or sharpening.

What are your thoughts?

 faunagraphy's gear list:faunagraphy's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus PEN E-PL6 Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD +23 more
Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro
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