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127 of 129 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2008
With this lens you can really feel like you are almost next to your subject. I can't wait to get some shots at the next full moon. For the price, it is a great lens. The bokeh on this lens is nice, with a shallow DOF. That said, there are some shortcomings, but I would expect that from a telephoto zoom lens like this. First, the auto-focus will hunt in low light. I really don't think I'm going to be using the 300mm end of the lens in low light anyway. I noticed that the lens didn't seem to focus well if you had multiple focus points selected. Pick one of your focus points and use it. Remember that this lens, while light-weight is not one that you want to use hand-held at 300mm unless you can get a very short shutter speed. I noticed more than a few shots had problems with camera shake using longer shutter speeds.
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2008
This Zuiko lens, like all their lineup, is superb and a great value for the cost. This particular lens is an "ED" and assembled by hand (as opposed to the kit lenses, which still deliver excellent results) and delivers outstanding images with sharp details.
Here's the surprise (at least it was to me); the lens also possesses a macro feature that is not (to my knowledge) advertised. Switch it to MF mode and rotate the focusing ring and the lens extends beyond the 300 mm point to indicate other markings on the inner tube. It gives you a pretty convenient macro lens function that is in focus at about 20" from the subject.
I have the 35 mm macro and wouldn't trade it away now that I have this, but for convenience, this is a nice combo-- plus you can capture an insect on a flower, etc. while maintaining a distance that won't scare it away.
Oly should let people know about this more so than they do, but it is a nice little surprise I wasn't expecting (or seeking). If you really want a faster tele, then Zuiko makes those too (e.g, 50-200) or a fully dedicated long lens with better optics still (300 f2.8), but bang for buck, this one's tough to beat.
Highly recommended.
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72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2008
As a long-time 35 mm shooter, it was amazing to find the equivalent of a 140-600 f 5.6 lens for $400.00. The lens shoots clear, rich color photos. The only negatives I have found are slow auto-focus, and difficulty focusing under indoor lighting. Otherwise, this is a fine lens.
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96 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2009
I've had this lens for a couple of months now and I can say that I'm pretty happy in some respects and not so happy in others.

Over all it is a nice lens FOR THE PRICE. That is the crux of the matter. If you can't afford something better then this will do in a pinch. It's not a bad lens.

However, If you are a birder then I don't think that you will be happy in the long run.

Here's the thing. When people say that this lens is slow to focus they mean that often (though not always) it has to go through a long procedure of spiraling its barrel (external barrel) from one end to the other. It hunts and pecks its way until finally it finds a focus. That usually means that your beautiful shot of that cardinal is GONE!

I'm often confused as to why sometimes it focuses quickly and other times it has to go through this frustrating procedure. I think that it comes down to this... when you see the perfect "money shot" in front of you it purposely chooses this moment to mess with your head!

One other thing that really bothers me is that, as I said, it has an external focus barrel. This means that if you use a polarizing filter you have to twist the filter AFTER EVERY TIME YOU FOCUS since the filter thread twists during focusing.

Lastly, don't think that this is going to get you as close as you want for birding. No matter what, you will always wish that it was three times closer!

Having said all that, for most other uses, including taking shots of your daughter on the soccer field, you will be relatively happy.

Cheers!

EDIT (4/28/2014):
Over time I've come to appreciate this lens just a bit more. Everything that I stated above still applies, however, one always needs to put the flaws in the context of price and what it is being mounted to. So I'm adding a star. ;-)

Because of the 4/3 system's sensor's issues I now shoot MOSTLY with Nikon but still, this lens for the Oly system is worthwhile for the price.
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89 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2008
First I got only mediocre results from this les then I decided to to a quick resolution chart test. And I couldn't believe my eyes that how sharp it is, at least in a studio. Let me provide you my results.
Tested on an Evolt E-510. Please note that the horizontal absolute resolution limit of E-510 is just 2100 LPH due to the famous DPReview.com. Anything sharper won't reflect here.
Here you go.
70mm F/4: 2100 LPH. F/4~up, 2100+ LPH.
150mm F/4.6 1900 LPH; F5.6~up 2100 LPH.
220mm F/?? didn't test; F/7.1~up 1950+ LPH.
300mm F/5.6 1750+ LPH; F/8~up 1850+ LPH.

"+" means unsure but at least.
Note I am just trying to measure the 'absolute resolution' here which means the 'extinction resolution' go even higher (usually 250 LPH higher).

Wow! This means from 70-150mm (that is 140-300mm equivalent) the lens resolution is beyond the current 4/3 cameras! From 150-300mm (that is 300mm-600mm equivalent) this lens pretty much scratches E-510's limits.

On the downside. I do find the focus to be very slow, especially in low light where it can be erratic. It is frustrating sometimes. So my medicore results came from the focus. Whenever I get the focus right, I get tack sharp results. But it is not easy with this lens. Be prepared to use this lens only in bright light.

How much did I pay for this lens? 360 dollars, not 3600 dollars! I know its limit but with some very careful work I can get some professional level results on my wildlife shots.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2008
I received this Zuiko Digital Lens E 70-300MM at 5:30 PM yesterday. Like a lot of fellows I ripped open the box, mounted the lens on an Olympus E-330/w an EC-20 X2 teleconverter and headed for the park acrross the street. (when I returned home I looked to see if there were any instructions)That this lens could produce good results with the X2 teleconverter was my hope, since I had already a great experience with my Zuiko 18-180mm lens and the tele. I had fairly bad light and it was windy, but with the use of a tripod & a right angle eyepiece I got some fantastic pictures of a couple of doves and a humming bird @ 1200mm (35mm eqv.) Suitable for a calander. Wow! I tried a few shots without the teleconverter and they were super sharp. Auto focus works, but is easily fooled. I got my experience with Nikon 35mm cameras and a lot of their high dollar glass, but I have found that Olympus digital is great and this lens will not dissapoint. Thanks Olympus!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2008
I have wanted a more powerful zoom and didn't have $2,000 for professional quality glass so I purchased this lens. This is the perfect lens for what I wanted - outdoor sporting events and nature photography. I read the reviews that said this lens doesn't work well in low light and I've also found this to be true. The auto focus is slower than other zuiko lenses but not a major factor. I found the auto focus to be a lot faster than the Sigma I have for the 4/3's mount. For a non-professional quality lens the images are sharp and the zoom length is great. Very little color fringe or lens distortion.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2008
This is a great lens when high power is required. Although some reports indicate focus is slow in low-light situations, in good light where this lens will usually be used, it's quite fast. On a recent trip to California, I was able to photograph seals on a beach as though I was right among them. At full zoom, I could get full-frame head shots. I'm very impressed with this lens, and for the performance, the price was reasonable.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2008
Reasonably sharp wide open in good light. Could be a bit sharper, edges are a bit soft. Bokeh is only okay. Under medium-low light conditions, I find the lens has a horrible time trying to auto-focus. Best use of this lens would probably be with a tripod and stopped down a bit. In the end, I decided I don't need the extra 200mm (35mm) and will be waiting for the 50-200mm swd, which is weatherproof. I started off the 12-60mm swd olympus and I can't get used to the slow noisy autofocus the other lenses have.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2008
Overall im very happy with my purchase of this lens. Great lens in bright light. More difficult to manage in low light. My olympus E-500 camera can hardly autofocus this lens at all. Spherical aberration from the glass makes the crop zoom ineffective. So what you see on your exposure is about all you can get out of it. Which is still great clear crisp shot. All round a good lens, but it is limited, dont expect miracles. Just remember this is on zuikos "budget-lens" list.
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