THE OLYMPUS 300MM F4 – UNBOXING

with Damian McGillicuddy

Well its that very exciting time again where I get the chance to take the wraps off something new and show it properly for the first time! It amazes me how accurate the rumour mill can be so it may be that the launch of this lens today isn’t that much of a surprise but at least I get to show you the new Olympus 300mm f4 first.

I’ve popped up my “show and tell” vlog (which you can find at the bottom of this post!) which you may want to sit through to get the low down, but I also wanted to post a couple of images shot with the lens here and give a brief insight into what I thoughts of it in the field so to speak.

As a very proud Dad I spend a lot of my weekends watching my middle son play rugby union, he’s a proud and committed member of Widnes RUFC. It seemed a no brainer then for me to sneak my test Olympus 300mm f4 to the game along side my trusty 40-150mm f2.8, I really enjoy shooting the games for posterity and even more so when I get a good shot of Cals team mates and give it away to the child’s parents, it always warms my heart to see how big a smile a good image can produce on a kids face.

As is my luck the light on the day these particular pictures were taken was far from ideal, I shot between iso 1250 and iso 3200 for most of the match, well at least the bits that didn’t have me huddled with my back to the driving rain #lifeofarugbydad

Although the lens is big in terms of reach, its the equivalent of a 600mm focal length in 35mm terms, its not physically huge. It handles pretty much like other manufacturers 70-200mm telephoto lenses as an approximation. Thats something worth barring in mind as in micro 4/3 term physically this is the “Daddy” lens of the range!

Once my son finished his game and he went to get changed in the club house, I was so excited by the lens I turned it on to another game as I walked to join him.

Calling it the “Daddy” turns out to be quite apt, according to the manufacture the Olympus 300mm f4 is optically one of the finest, if not the finest lens they have made. Now I don’t have any fancy bench test charts to show you, that isn’t my job, but I can say in all my testing that I’m not disappointed at all, this is a fine and very capable lens. A must for all wildlife and sport enthusiasts in the m4/3 universe, infant its a must for any photographer whom needs the reach, catwalk shoots, stage shots the list is far more considerable than first glance may reveal.

This variety of use got me thinking. So in a resent beauty / fashion shoot in my studio I decided to pop the Olympus 300mm f4 onto the front of my camera to shoot a portrait and see how great the compression is. The longer the lens, the greater the compression, in real crude terms the greater the compression the more compact the nose and the more flattened the features become, this is a technique used in beauty photography that I decided to take to the max!

As you can see the result was quite delightful, the biggest shock for me was how far back I had to stand in the studio to get the composition I wanted and my studio is by no means small.

It undoubtably is a very high quality, capable lens and I urge you to get your hands on one, I think once you’ve had a look, been impressed by the clever Sync IS ( you’ll need to watch the vlog to see what I’m referring to ;0) ) I’d be surprised if the enthusiastically dedicated user wasn’t desperate to make a little room for their own Olympus 300mm f4 in their camera bag.

Till next time…

D

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