The M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4 IS Pro is a lightweight telephoto with sophisticated stabilisation and, according to Olympus, superb optical performance
Olympus says the lens, whose focal length is equivalent to 600mm in 35mm equivalent terms, is ideal for professional wildlife, landscape and sport photographers using the mirrorless Micro Four Thirds system.
We managed to get hands-on with this new beauty at CES and when paired with sophisticated OM-D bodies such as the OM-D E-M5 Mark II the lens, the AF speed was noticeably swift, even in horrible convention centre lighting. Olympus claims the lens can officially achieve correct focus in as little as 300 milliseconds.
It also includes six-stop image stabilisation, which is the strongest we’ve seen yet, and this should open up a world of new possibilities for handheld telephoto photography. It weighs 1,270g without its tripod adapter. But as you can see from the picture above it’s not the most compact lens once the hood is pulled out. However, considering the size of an equivalent lens on a DSLR, this thing is a work of art.
In terms of controls the M.Zuiko 300mm f/4 has gone for a barrel-mounted, pull-back focus clutch system for a more traditional manual focusing feel, and it comes with a retractable hood for reducing flare.
With a closest focusing distance of 1.4m the lens also has macro and close-up applications. Olympus has made the 300mm f/4’s metal body dust-, freeze- and splash-proof, making it a suitable companion for all weathers. We weren’t allowed to grab any sample shots at the show, but when we finally get our hands on one for review, we’ll be sure to share how sharp this lens is. Even after only some brief time with it, it appears to be one of the sharpest pieces of glass we’ve ever seen for this system.