Buying cheap zoom lenses generally leads to disappointment.
And you often eventually end up trading the damn thing in for something more expensive, costing even more money in the long run.
But we went ahead and bought this low cost lens anyway.We had been thinking about getting a longer lens to suit our Olympus micro 4/3 cameras for a while. The thought process usually goes like this; on the one hand we want something that will give a larger image of wildlife, but on the other, we want it to be relatively light-weight.
Oh, and then there is the cost. What if you spend £1,000+ on a lens, but then can't be bothered to lug it around?
No, we are definitely a pair of light-weights, so we keep on looking for this mythical long-reach, light-weight, low-cost lens.
I recently found a blog post where some guy had done a simple review of the Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 mk2. When I say simple I mean he didn't use test cards or talk too much about performance. He mainly took lots of pictures, all of which looked pretty good to me.
|The 75-300mm lens when at 300mm|
So we checked the market and found the going price for this lens was about £450...not too expensive. We then checked with hdew cameras (which is where we got my wife's OM-D E-M5) and found they were doing a deal for £319...which is no money for a lens, ...as long as its a good'un.
Anyway, we went ahead and bought one.
I took a few test shots using both my E-M5 and my E-M10 and was pleasantly surprised.
All of the following photos were taken at f6.7 (the max aperture when set to 300mm) and were edited in Gimp (i.e. cropped, Levels adjusted and very slight Sharpening applied).
|Goldfinch about 5m away, focal length 280mm, f6.7 1/200s, ISO 400, E-M5 mk2, 15-20% of original image.|
|Siskin about 5m away, focal length 300mm, f6.7 1/200s, ISO 200, E-M10, 15-20% of original image.|
|Hedge about 4m away, focal length 280mm, f6.7 1/500s, ISO 400, E-M5 mk2.|
|Bird box about 20m away, focal length 280mm, f6.7 1/160s, ISO 400, E-M5, 15-20% of original image.|
Its a keeper!
As always, focusing is critical for nice sharp images. All the above photos were taken with the camera mounted on a tripod. It may be more of a challenge when hand-holding the camera, but any degradation will be down to the photographer, not the lens.
Its fairly light-weight; when mounted to an E-M5 mk3 the total weight is about 850g (just the body of our old Pentax K3 weighed in at 800g).
So its looking good, we will just have to see how we get on the first time we take it out for the day!