Using Olympus 75-300 zoom for wildlife photos

When I first posted this, I was using the original Olympus 75-300mm micro four thirds lens – chiefly for wildlife, especially birds.

I was using the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 micro four thirds lens with my E-PL1, E-P3 and EM1 [original], chiefly for photographing wildlife, especially birds.

Had earlier learned of the lens pre-release, with Olympus dubbing it the world’s smallest and lightest 600mm lens, though of course it is “only” equivalent to 600mm due to area of the sensor covered. I looked for info on internet; saw comments the lens is expensive, slow – certainly pricier and slower than Panasonic 100-300 zoom. Yet smaller and lighter than the Panasonic; I read of a couple of people having minor mechanical issues with the Panasonic (like sticking a little during zoom); and I’ve had good results with Olympus 40-150 zoom.

So, even though I noted a post to effect that no one in their right mind would buy the 75-300 [!!], I checked prices here in Hong Kong, and I bought one. At first, disappointed: even though I didn’t have massive expectations (for that, try lens costing ten times or so as much), photos very unsharp, even tripod mounted.

Yet this was surely as I was trying to use on a very lightweight tripod: had been fine with 40-150, but couldn’t damp vibrations with the heavier 75-300. Since using on heavier, carbon fibre, tripod – and results thus far good I think.

Given the lens is not fast, I think it’s important to often use a tripod, unless you’re happy to use high ISO, or weather is fine. [Or, perhaps, one of the improved bodies with image stabilisation.]

Maybe note that I have since moved on to the Olympus 300mm, which has image stabilisation built in, and combinable with in-body stabilisation. Use it, now, with EM1.3, and an excellent combination.

Below are some photos I took with the lens on EM1 [original], which has good stabilisation in body so helped with, say, flight shots. Lightly tweaked in DXO Photolab. Inc some examples where you can see crops from full size shots. From a visit to Mai Po Marshes reserve, Hong Kong.

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