Is this 75-300mm good?

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Jazzychu Forum Member • Posts: 68
Is this 75-300mm good?
1

I just got this used Olympus 75-300mm ii lens (Excellent per MPB) and would like to know...

1. How good is this copy?  Is this typical as you would expect from pairing with EM5.2 and using just P-mode/JPEG SOOC?  The bird was about 25 feet from the camera.

2. If there is room for improvement on my technique, please help.  I was using small single AF point to focus on the eye or the head, and just S-AF.  I am not quite into C-AF or BIF yet.  So far I guess I need to use higher shutter speed which means S-mode and probably silent shutter.

Please also post some if you have much better pictures from 75-300mm.

addlightness Veteran Member • Posts: 3,146
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
2

That is a pretty good shot IMO.

You might want to shoot in SS mode (say, 1/1000s min) to avoid handshake, especially at 200-300mm focal range.  Set Auto-ISO to say 1600 max.

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Dave in Wales
Dave in Wales Contributing Member • Posts: 524
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
2

A very underrated lens IMO. Try adding a thin extension tube between the lens and body, it make for a very useful long range close-up lens.

Something to play around with :))))

Jouko Senior Member • Posts: 1,684
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
1

Seems to be pretty good...

The 75-300mm has a deeper learning curve than shorter lenses, but there are plenty of discussions on this forum on the subject - and everything written about super telephotos go with that lens too, except the weight question...

Basically, keep yourself and the lens steady and balanced, and you'll get good images. Never expect 100% keepers, if you are shooting birds or anything moving fast. Bu shooting more and different subjects, your technique improves, and keeper rate rises. And you can take some "harder" try-outs...Using longer shutter speeds, trying faster moving things etc.

Using a tripod helps, if you get too many blurred images. Or a table tripod as a shoulder/breast support. IS does miracles, but a little help is always welcome...

Cheers!

Jouko
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cangopluto Senior Member • Posts: 1,400
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
2

nothing wrong with the lens. When looking at 100% I noticed that focus is slightly behind the eye (look at the neck.) But that's not the lens's problem. It's har to always nail the eye of a bird, specially in big birds, since the body or neck is always in the way

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Brandon birder Veteran Member • Posts: 4,433
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
1

Looks about right to me.

faster shutter would reduce micro blur in face I think. Though could be just off focal plane as neck is sharp.

shooting in raw will give better and finer sharpening options.

AgoP5 Forum Member • Posts: 53
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?

This is my most used lens.

My advice is, above 200mm only if you use a monopod.

The slow aperture is not a problem for me, because I use it only during the daylight.

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Toni Genes
Toni Genes Regular Member • Posts: 142
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
1

Is just a standard lens. It is good when the subject is close, eventually use maximum 200..250mm and stop it down to F/8.0.

Focus speed and F/6.3 makes it not ideal for fast subjects.

Of course you can do very nice pictures with it in perfect conditions.

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scbwr Junior Member • Posts: 41
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
1

f/6 1/6000 sec.  @ 187 mm

As stated, the lens has quite a learning curve.  I tend to set ISO at 1600 and shoot in aperture mode. I use the Neat Image plug in for Adobe to reduce noise and post process in PS Elements or Corel After Shot Pro/Paint Shop Pro.  A lot of the time, I use a monopod.  If the light is really good, I'll reduce ISO accordingly.

You could try using Auto ISO mode, but go into the menu and make ISO 1600 the maximum setting (unless you find a higher setting will work).  I keep an eye on shutter speed as the longer the zoom, the more speed you will need, especially if the subject moves at all.

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Bobby J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,928
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?

That shots OK Jazzy, but here are a few things to think about when using that lens...especially at long focal lengths.

At 300mm you are holding a 12x telescope in your hands.  Try holding it steady..not easy.  Image stabilization will help, but has it's limitations.  A tripod is the best lens sharpener I know of.  However this lens is really meant for hand holding so remember a few things to help.

Old rule of thumb for Full Frame...minimum shutter speed should be same as the focal length.  That is: at 300mm minimum shutter speed should be 1/300th.  However since this is a Micro 4:3 situation you must double it, so minimum shutter should be 1/600th. which means you may have to increase the ISO.  In the case of this particular photo  ISO 400 might have made it a little "cleaner" as the shutter speed would have doubled.

Also remember that when shooting close up with a long lens you have very shallow depth of field..even with 4:3.  A lot to think about, but with this lens you need to know what you are doing and with practice you will get some very good results.  With practice I think you'll come to like it a lot.

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grcolts Veteran Member • Posts: 3,112
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?

Nice bird shot...

The 75-300ii lens is an ok telephoto, especially in good light. This was my first tele for m4/3rds so I have used it a lot.

When I got my Panasonic G9, I went for the Many 100-300ii lens as it provided dual stabilization with that camera. Comparing the two lens, I would give the nod to the Panasonic over the Olympus, but not by much. Both lens are quite good for what their intended usage. I do get more keepers with the dual stabilization though.

HRC2016 Senior Member • Posts: 5,248
75 mm comes in handy

grcolts wrote:

Nice bird shot...

The 75-300ii lens is an ok telephoto, especially in good light. This was my first tele for m4/3rds so I have used it a lot.

When I got my Panasonic G9, I went for the Many 100-300ii lens as it provided dual stabilization with that camera. Comparing the two lens, I would give the nod to the Panasonic over the Olympus, but not by much. Both lens are quite good for what their intended usage. I do get more keepers with the dual stabilization though.

Yea, but having 75 mm on the wide end is nice. Sometimes I'm out for BIF and I want something wider without changing lenses.

I think that gives the nod to the Oly.

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drj3 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,676
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?
1

Jazzychu wrote:

I just got this used Olympus 75-300mm ii lens (Excellent per MPB) and would like to know...

1. How good is this copy? Is this typical as you would expect from pairing with EM5.2 and using just P-mode/JPEG SOOC? The bird was about 25 feet from the camera.

2. If there is room for improvement on my technique, please help. I was using small single AF point to focus on the eye or the head, and just S-AF. I am not quite into C-AF or BIF yet. So far I guess I need to use higher shutter speed which means S-mode and probably silent shutter.

Please also post some if you have much better pictures from 75-300mm.

Your image is fine.  I see no indication of blur due to bird or camera movement.  I generally use S mode for moving wildlife and S or A modes for stationary wildlife.  Your shutter speed appears to be okay, but you should test yourself with a stationary target to determine your minimum shutter speed for hand holding your lens.

I always recommend several individual shots of a stationary target.  Every camera/lens has some focus variability and by shooting more than one image, you can pick the one with best focus.

When you evaluate the sharpness of a long telephoto lens, you should be aware of the very shallow DOF.  The DOF given by a typical DOF calculator for 25 feet with 7.76 inches (or about 1/2 that from the focus point).  However, that is based on simply noticing blur based on an 8X10 inch image from 25 cm based on the manufacturer standard for DOF.  If you have 20/20 vision, the ability to see differences in sharpness drops to 2.56 inches (or about 1/2 that from the focus point) for the 8X10 image.  Zooming to larger image size (equivalent to a longer focal length) further reduces that DOF.

The camera appears to have focused on the neck at the dark shadow line, so that is the sharpest area.  The eye is a little less sharp since it is a little closer to you.

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drj3

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OP Jazzychu Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?

Thank everyone for the confirmation of this lens and so many great suggestions to improve my techniques.

Drj3, regarding the several individual shots, do you mean several single shots or continuous shooting?

Since the birds are fast moving creatures and they keep turning heads to look for food or clean themselves, I tried to shoot in multiples with silent Sequential-L and 1/1000 shutter speed.  Is S-AF better than C-AF?  I think I used C-AF the last two days and the results are not as good as just single shot with S-AF.  The lens seems hunt quite a bid in C-AF, through EVF, particularly with long range.

JimH123 Senior Member • Posts: 2,220
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?

Jazzychu wrote:

I just got this used Olympus 75-300mm ii lens (Excellent per MPB) and would like to know...

1. How good is this copy? Is this typical as you would expect from pairing with EM5.2 and using just P-mode/JPEG SOOC? The bird was about 25 feet from the camera.

2. If there is room for improvement on my technique, please help. I was using small single AF point to focus on the eye or the head, and just S-AF. I am not quite into C-AF or BIF yet. So far I guess I need to use higher shutter speed which means S-mode and probably silent shutter.

Please also post some if you have much better pictures from 75-300mm.

I find that the 75-300mm can handle slow moving objects fairly well. But it is not so good at fast focus. For example, I can take my Sony A7iii with a LA-EA4 adapter and use Minolta 500mm Reflex lens (mirror lens), and it will nail Birds in Flight that I can't come close to doing with the Olympus EM1ii with the 75-300mm lens. But if the object is slow, it can do quite well. Here is a big footed small bird, a Coot, carefully walking along with those snow shoe like feet.

And another in the water.

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mchnz Senior Member • Posts: 1,264
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?

Jazzychu wrote:

Thank everyone for the confirmation of this lens and so many great suggestions to improve my techniques.

Drj3, regarding the several individual shots, do you mean several single shots or continuous shooting?

Since the birds are fast moving creatures and they keep turning heads to look for food or clean themselves, I tried to shoot in multiples with silent Sequential-L and 1/1000 shutter speed. Is S-AF better than C-AF? I think I used C-AF the last two days and the results are not as good as just single shot with S-AF. The lens seems hunt quite a bid in C-AF, through EVF, particularly with long range.

You definitely want to stick with S-AF if you're using the E-M5 II. The E-M5 II has a C-AF that uses the same CDAF AF used for S-AF, it's not really a competitive C-AF implementation.  Proving the subject doesn't move, the S-AF is very accurate, especially if you use the smallest focus square on the eye.  Setting S-AF+MF may also be useful.

It's worth using a bust shooting mode, such as Sequential-Low or Sequential-High, this increases the chance that you'll get a shake-free, subject movement free result somewhere within the sequence.   Definitely try the electronic shutter, it seemed to make a difference to my keeper rate.

If you upgrade to a recent body with PDAF, like the E-M1 II or E-M5 III, then C-AF would be better for subjects that are moving around.  I pretty much default my E-M1 II to C-AF+MF.

drj3 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,676
Re: Is this 75-300mm good?

Jazzychu wrote:

Thank everyone for the confirmation of this lens and so many great suggestions to improve my techniques.

Drj3, regarding the several individual shots, do you mean several single shots or continuous shooting?

Since the birds are fast moving creatures and they keep turning heads to look for food or clean themselves, I tried to shoot in multiples with silent Sequential-L and 1/1000 shutter speed. Is S-AF better than C-AF? I think I used C-AF the last two days and the results are not as good as just single shot with S-AF. The lens seems hunt quite a bid in C-AF, through EVF, particularly with long range.

With the E-M5.2, I would use SAF and individual shots, forcing the camera to refocus between images.  I would recommend CAF if you were using the new E-M5.3 or one of the E-M1s and then it could be either individual or a short burst.  By shooting several images you reduce the chance of a bad image from auto focus error.  This is typically only important with longer telephoto lenses with very shallow DOF.  You also improve your chances of not getting only a blurred image from subject movement.  Birds tend to move/stop/move/stop, so if you shoot several quick shots, you are likely to get the bird when it is not moving.

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drj3

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