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  • 70-300mm

    So, the new 70-300mm offering from Olympus looks suspicously similar to older lenses of the same focal length range (and aperture) from Nikon and Sigma. While it's lovely to have 600mm capability on the E-system cameras at a relatively low price point - is that price point low enough? Park Cameras is currently listing a price of 399 for the lens - while the very similar-looking Nikon 70-300mm AF-G can be had for under 80. Maybe there's even an argument for buying the slightly heavier AF-D version (which has an aperture ring and ED glass) and shoving a Nikon-4/3 adapter on it, all for a fraction of the cost of the new Oly lens? I've tried this with old manual focus Nikons - but does it work with AF ones as well? Memo to self: next time Nikon mate comes round for tea, nick his 50mm and have a go at that...

  • #2
    Originally posted by Den View Post
    So, the new 70-300mm offering from Olympus looks suspicously similar to older lenses of the same focal length range (and aperture) from Nikon and Sigma. While it's lovely to have 600mm capability on the E-system cameras at a relatively low price point - is that price point low enough? Park Cameras is currently listing a price of 399 for the lens - while the very similar-looking Nikon 70-300mm AF-G can be had for under 80. Maybe there's even an argument for buying the slightly heavier AF-D version (which has an aperture ring and ED glass) and shoving a Nikon-4/3 adapter on it, all for a fraction of the cost of the new Oly lens? I've tried this with old manual focus Nikons - but does it work with AF ones as well? Memo to self: next time Nikon mate comes round for tea, nick his 50mm and have a go at that...
    The optics layout certainly do look very similar in design according to the Four Thirds catalogue site and Sigma's own information.

    But I think you will find that there are differences even if (I have no idea) the two are related as the Olympus 70-300 will, I expect, be optimised for the smaller Four Thirds image circle. The Sigma offerings (there are two versions, one being an APO type) are designed for full frame coverage.

    On top of that, the Sigma versions with integrated AF motors will likely have a mechanical manual focus system instead of the trademark Olympus fly-by-wire system. Of course that could be considered either a plus or minus depending on your preference!

    Ian
    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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    • #3
      Re: 70-300mm

      I have been trying a 75-250 OM Sigma recently. I find when I get everything right its fine, but without AF confirm I find it very difficult to focus on my E-330. I can't justify having a proper focussing screen fitted. I guess on an E-1 it could be OK with a split prism focussing screen. Macro is fine with the Live view mode B magnifier but its not practical for wildlife or street photography. I will be looking forward to buying one of these at the end of the year.

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      • #4
        Re: 70-300mm

        I just made the comparison between the published specs on Olympus and Sigma sites the similarities are obvious. Optical layout and even filter size is the same. I guess that if Sigma are making this for Olympus there will be no 4/3 mount version direct from them. It is in situations like this I get furious with Olympus.

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        • #5
          Re: 70-300mm

          Originally posted by Den View Post
          So, the new 70-300mm offering from Olympus looks suspicously similar to older lenses of the same focal length range (and aperture) from Nikon and Sigma. While it's lovely to have 600mm capability on the E-system cameras at a relatively low price point - is that price point low enough? Park Cameras is currently listing a price of 399 for the lens - while the very similar-looking Nikon 70-300mm AF-G can be had for under 80. Maybe there's even an argument for buying the slightly heavier AF-D version (which has an aperture ring and ED glass) and shoving a Nikon-4/3 adapter on it, all for a fraction of the cost of the new Oly lens? I've tried this with old manual focus Nikons - but does it work with AF ones as well? Memo to self: next time Nikon mate comes round for tea, nick his 50mm and have a go at that...
          I don't think any legacy lenses or other makes give AF with 4/3. OM lenses were manual anyway mostly. I have been hoping to get focus confirm adapter for OM to 4/3 ut its not available yet. I agree the lens looks expensive for its spec but its Oly.

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          • #6
            Re: 70-300mm

            I was thinking more about manual focus on ordinarily AF lenses...

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            • #7
              Re: 70-300mm

              Oly E-system lenses need an electrical contact to operate, I don't think any other lenses will work unless manual focus is mechanical in the lens itself. OM lenses work fine. I use a Sigma 75-210 macro zoom.

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              • #8
                Re: 70-300mm

                The Olympus digital lenses operate a 'fly-by-wire" manual focusing that's contingent, like you said, on an electrical contact with the camera. But some AF lenses from other manufacturers can focus manually without a contact, because they have mechanical rather than electronic focusing rings. You can, as I understand it, mount Nikon AF-D lenses onto an old Nikon FM2 and still focus.

                So, I was wondering whether, for those who didn't need AF, whether a cheap lens, similar to the new Oly 70-300mm and an adapter mightn't be a more economical option...

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                • #9
                  Re: 70-300mm

                  If Nikon lenses are mechanical a Nikon to 4/3 adapter should do it. However I need AF. My Sigma is difficult to focus at the 250mm end, for wildlife photos good Af is a boon.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 70-300mm

                    dunno if any one has posted this, just a press info on it
                    http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...sp?pressNo=541
                    "Walk in peace."

                    Wolf's Photos at zenfolio
                    *HAS*E-510 | E-30/HLD-4 | ZD 12-60mm SWD | ZD 50-200mm | EC-14 | FL-36 | Cold Warsteiners // *Wanted* Metz 58 af-2 | More Cold Warsteiners

                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      Re: 70-300mm

                      Originally posted by Wolves View Post
                      dunno if any one has posted this, just a press info on it
                      http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...sp?pressNo=541
                      We published the UK press release, but we want to serve our US readers too, so I will get that news item updated with the US version of the release as well.

                      Ian
                      Founder/editor
                      Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                      Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                      Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                      Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                      Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                      Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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                      • #12
                        Re: 70-300mm

                        Adorama already listing it as pre order, saying it should be availible September

                        http://www.adorama.com/IOM70300.html...-300&item_no=4
                        "Walk in peace."

                        Wolf's Photos at zenfolio
                        *HAS*E-510 | E-30/HLD-4 | ZD 12-60mm SWD | ZD 50-200mm | EC-14 | FL-36 | Cold Warsteiners // *Wanted* Metz 58 af-2 | More Cold Warsteiners

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: 70-300mm

                          So am I correct here that no one knows if this lens is fly-by wire MF? Given my experiences with mech MF, I would probably give up 100mm (135-400) to get a ZD lens with FBW-MF. A 1.4 TEX would give 840mm equivalent, a compact, light lens...very toteable alternative to my ZD 50-200 with the TEX. Any thoughts here?
                          Oops, reading the spec sheet, with the 1.4 TEX, it's MF only...Grrrr!

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                          • #14
                            Re: 70-300mm

                            My understanding is that it is FBW.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 70-300mm

                              Originally posted by Glyn R View Post
                              My understanding is that it is FBW.
                              Are there any Olympus DZ lenses not fly by wire? I don't see why Olympus would want to make one that wasn't?

                              Ian
                              Founder/editor
                              Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                              Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                              Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                              Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
                              Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                              Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                              Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/

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