Olympus OM/ F-Zuiko Auto-T 300mm f/4.5 lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Galah, May 6, 2009.

  1. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Does anyone have this lens and what do you think of it?

    Thanks :smile:.
     
  2. RidingWaves

    RidingWaves Member

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    I had this lens from the say 1988 to 1995 or so, shot with it almost every day during the first few years as a news shooter. Very good lens, almost surprisingly so. I always was wishing for more speed so I moved over to first a Tamron 300mm 2.8 then as I shifted from Olympus to Nikon got a Nikkor 300 2.8. The negs were always crisp and sharp, got one of my very best shots ever on it at F11 which was IMO the sweet spot. 5.6 was decent and even wide open was pretty good. I never thought that lens got any credit, although its slow and does not have internal focussing is works very well for slow subject/landscape shooting, its quite sharp with good character. I got mine back when for a song, no idea what they go for now, try to get a newer version if you can.
     
  3. nicefor88

    nicefor88 Member

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    I'm not sure this will help but I used a Canon FD 300mm f4 in the mid 80s, which I believe has the almost same optical construction as your Zuiko.
    It was a pretty good lens, gave good quality images. Lens was a bit heavy when carried a whole day. But, eventually, I went for a 300mm f2,8 (even heavier)! Human nature...
    When thinking back about that, I thing it's better in some instance to go for a good quality zoom, like the Nikkor 80-200mm f2,8 which is a more versatile lens than a rather narrow 300mm. But that's just my own opinion.
     
  4. Galah

    Galah Member

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    RidingWaves and nicefor88,

    Thank you both for responding and your thoughtful insights on this lens. :smile:

    I'm still considering it.
     
  5. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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  6. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    and the 300/4.5 has beautiful bokeh. John
     
  7. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    Bill, thanks for posting the link to my Bokeh article.

    http://zone-10.com/cmsm/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=431&Itemid=1

    The Zuiko 300/4.5 is one of my favorite lenses of all times. The lens is exceptionally sharp and has such awesome bokeh. However, there are two flies in the ointment:

    1. CA. There is a very very slight amount of CA which sometimes will rear its head, but it's very minimal and quite manageable,
    2. The focus ring on many of these lenses is quite stiff.

    The 300/4.5 in any flavor (silvernosed SC, blacknosed MC) is a worthy lens to have and is on my extremely short list of "must have items" which I can recommend without hesitation to any Olympus SLR/DSLR owner.
     
  8. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks for the link and the recommendation :smile:.
     
  9. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks, John :smile:
     
  10. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks for the endorsement, Ken, and -especially- for the your article with great pictures! :smile:

    BTW, I noticed more great pictures in your other articles on the same site (many using the 300/4.5 -as in "Fire & Ice" and "Broters Bale"): you sure like to get outdoors in all kinds of weather and at all times of day and night! :smile: I enjoyed your other essays as well, particularly "One Roll, One Lens, One Hour". I must try that!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2009
  11. Ken N

    Ken N Member

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    Thank you. "B-D" in the Brothers Bale article has surprised me. I thought it was quite obvious, but nobody seems to get it. Oh well.... Maybe it won't make it to the cover of some jazz album.

    The "One Roll, One Lens, One Hour" self-assignment was extremely profitable. We must constantly push ourselves to do that which we've either never done before or what we aren't comfortable with. Personally, I'd rather have a root canal than to go up to complete strangers and take their pictures.

    It's the Tokina AT-X 100-300/4 and it's used on an Olympus E-1, but the following article shows that one can survive nicely with manual-focus yet today if you work smartly. The AT-X 100-300/4 is a remarkable bargain and extremely underpriced given the world-class optical performance:

    http://zone-10.com/cmsm/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=335&Itemid=1

    Another article featuring pictures from the 300/4.5 with eagles in-flight is:

    http://zone-10.com/cmsm/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=393&Itemid=1

    Shall I continue rambling about the 300/4.5? OK, one more little nasty. The tripod mount on the 300/4.5 is too close to the camera body and can cause tripod mounting issues if you are using Manfrotto Hex QR plates. Last week, while photographing an event I figured out a neat little trick which actually came in very handy.

    Rotate the tripod mount so it is on the left side of the lens (for vertical shooting, Right Hand on Top 'RHOT'). Mount the lens/camera on the tripod. Turn the tripod head sideways for a vertical mode. This hangs the camera/lens to the right side of the tripod. When you need to shoot a vertical, either loosen the lens' tripod mount ring and rotate the entire camera/tripod or just flip your tripod head back to the "horizontal" position. What all this does is effectively places the tripod head always to either the left side of the lens or the top of the lens.

    Another benefit of using the "hang to the side" method of mounting these longer lenses is that it effectively balances the camera/lens combination and allows you to easily swivel the camera around (like an overpriced gimbal mount) and track moving subjects. YMMV.

    All four pictures in the tulip article were taken with the camera/lens mounted sideways.
     
  12. Galah

    Galah Member

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    Thanks again, Ken, for all your input and insights: you've given me a lot to consider :smile:. I'll be looking at the lens this weekend (if not already sold).
     
  13. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Let me second the endorsement of the Tokina AT-X 100-300mm f4 lens. I picked one up in Nikon AI-S mount several years ago, and when I compared it to my Nikkor 300mm f4.5 (which I believe is comparable to the Olympus Zuiko 300mm f4.5 from the same era) the Tokina was the superior lens. I subsequently sold my Nikkor, and kept the Tokina 100-300.

    You can find them used for $100-150 typically on the 'bay. I also use this on my Nikon and my Olympus 4/3 digital bodies and it's a fast, hand-holdable 200-600mm equivalent FOV f4 lens on those 4/3 bodies. Here are some shots I took with this lens at the Miramar air show a few years back on an Olympus E-300:

    http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m288/dougjgreen/Miramar Air Show/MAS-6-small.jpg

    http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m288/dougjgreen/Miramar Air Show/MAS-5-BA-small.jpg

    http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m288/dougjgreen/Miramar Air Show/MAS-11-small.jpg
     
  14. Galah

    Galah Member

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    OK, folks: Thank you all for the informative and helpful input, I have purchased the lens and have nearly finished off my first roll of film with it. I'll let you know how I went.

    Thanks again :smile: