by Ian Burley
For pros on the go: The world's most compact 300mm1 telephoto lens
Southend, January 6, 2016 – Professional photographers who prefer the portable spontaneity of a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera will soon enjoy the full range of handheld shooting options, following the spring launch of Olympus' first professional-grade, MFT-compatible 300mm1 telephoto lens: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO. The new lens rounds off Olympus' PRO line-up with no fewer than three worldfirst benchmarks2: Firstly, it is the world's most compact and lightweight telephoto lens. Second, it has the world's most powerful 6- step image stabilisation system (in combination with the matching Olympus camera models). And third, it boasts the shortest focusing distance for telemacro photography in the category: just 1.4m from subject to camera. This makes it ideal for fast-moving professionals who need powerful, top-notch lenses that match the usability of their small-format, Micro Four Thirds cameras. The new lens unpacks its full potential when attached to Olympus models such as the OM-D E-M1 or E-M5 Mark II. For example, it achieves autofocus speeds of less than 300ms and its state-of-the-art IS syncs with the unique3 5-axis OM-D system. The silent shutter action complements quiet OM-D motors at sound-sensitive events while the dust-, freeze- and splashproof build makes this the go-to telephoto for nature and outdoor sports. The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO is available in black from Spring 2016 priced at £2199.99 RRP inc VAT – a fraction of the price for telephotos with comparable focal lengths.
Yes, that's an optical IS control!
Super-light means spontaneity
With the launch of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO, Olympus can now offer professional photographers a MFT-compatible lens for every focal length, from 14mm1 to 600mm1. The range combines M.ZUIKO's first-class optical pedigree with the practicality demanded by photographers working on challenging projects that demand minimum clutter and maximum mobility, wherever in the world that might be. A brief comparison with SLR lenses reveals the appeal of the new PRO lens. At 1270g the M.ZUIKO tips the scales at about a quarter the weight of available SLR lenses with equivalent focal lengths.
M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm1 1:4.0 IS PRO Main Features:
> Highly portable professional super-telephoto Micro Four Thirds lens boasting three world bests2 including world's most compact and lightweight telephoto lens2
> World's most powerful 6-step combined Image Stabilisation system2
> World's shortest focusing distance for telemacros2: 1.4m with max 0.48x zoom*
> Exceptional image reproduction
> Extremely fast AF
> Ideal for handheld close-ups without blur
> Aircraft hand luggagecompliant due to compact design
> Approx 1/4 the weight of comparable DSLR rival lenses
> Barrel-mounted one-finger photo clutch for AF/pre-set focus switching
> IS On/Off switch for tripod use, L-Fn switch for 27 assignable functions
> Arca Swiss-compatible for quick tripod mount and release (with adapter)
> Robust design: dust-, freeze-, and splashproof
With only 227mm in length, the Olympus is also considerably more compact than any of the comparable lenses. As any pro who has ever tried to board a plane with one of those will confirm, in terms of handheld manoeuvrability and convenience, the SLR models can't compete.
Stabilisation ensures image quality
Olympus has established itself as the world leader in in-camera image stabilisation for compact system cameras and has expanded this expertise to include in-lens technology.
Owners of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO benefit from a world-first Sync IS mechanism that coordinates with the 5-axis system fitted to the OM-D E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II models. The result is enhanced compensation by 6 EV steps. This stabilises handheld stills and the EVF display, and reduces shake noticeably when recording video.
Innovations add versatility
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO is not only attractive in terms of weight, size and stability, it is also equipped with a series of thoughtful features that make this one of the more versatile telephoto lenses on the market, not least because it is one of the easiest to use. The focus clutch allows the photographer to switch between pre-defined focus settings and the len's own super-fast, high-precision AF. On the top of the lens barrel there are three switches that can likewise be operated without glancing up from the viewfinder, using just one finger. On the left, the L-Fn switch can be customised to trigger one of 27 assignable functions. Next along is the On/Off switch for the in-lens IS, for use with a tripod or stable perch. The other switch toggles the focussing area. The short-shot potential of this lens is likewise exceptional, offering magnification of 0.48x1 with as little as 1.4 metres between the subject and the camera.
Build quality offers peace of mind
Thanks to the excellent build quality of the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO, a passing shower or dust storm won't get in the way of that one-off telemacro or any other outdoor shot. When it comes to capturing wildlife, sport and other potentially fleeting moments from fashion to the performing arts, the new Olympus telephoto is practically in a world of its own. Every Olympus lens and camera comes with a free six-month warranty extension4 when registered via the MyOlympus online platform.
M.ZUIKO 300mm1 1:4.0 IS PRO Other Features:
> Focal Length: 600mm (as 35mm equivalent)
> Angle of view: 4.1° > Closest focusing distance: 1.4m
> Lens configuration: 17 Elements in 10 groups
> Max magnification: 0.48x
> Minimum field size: 72.1 × 54.2mm
> Max aperture: 1:4.0 Min aperture: 1:22
> Diameter: 92.5mm Length: 227mm
> Filter diameter: 77mm
> Weight without tripod adapter: 1270g Weight with tripod adapter: 1475g
Pricing and availability:
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm 1:4.0 IS PRO is priced at £2199.99 RRP inc VAT and available at all specialist photographic retailers from Spring 2016, with the opportunity to pre-order from 6th January 2016.
> The 1.4x teleconverter lens. Just 15mm slim, for more magnification on the move.
> Duffel-shaped case. For compact, safe storage that's easy on the eye.
> Protection filter with ZERO coating technology. Olympus' proprietary coating helps prevent ghosting and flaring.
Product specifications are subject to change without notice. Please check the Olympus website at http://www.olympus-europa.com for the latest specifications.
1 35mm equivalent focal length: 600mm.
2 As of December 2015.,among interchangeable lens cameras.
3 As of December 2015, among interchangeable lens cameras – including SLRs – on the market, and using Olympus's in-house test conditions.
4 Six months on top of the statutory warranty in the country of purchase.
- Ends -