At last month's CES in Las Vegas, Olympus announced what it claims to be "the sharpest lens in the history of Olympus"—the all-new M.Zuiko ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO (MSRP $2,499.99).
A 300mm (600mm equivalent) prime that's only 8.9 inches long and weighs only 2.8 pounds (without its tripod adapter) is a dream come true for sports and wildlife photographers–especially for those coming from heavy full-frame Nikon and Canon versions, which each are over 17 inches long and 11 pounds.
We received a copy of the CES Editors' Choice award–winning lens a few days after we returned from Vegas, so of course I instantly strapped it to the OM-D E-M1 loaner we had in-house. Here's what I saw on the frigid streets of Boston.
With the M.Zuiko ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO, Olympus has done a great job making sure that smaller doesn't mean cheaper. Upon picking this lens up, you can immediately tell that it's incredibly well-made, with a fully metal body and an incredibly dense feel. The weather sealing provides a crucial added benefit that both wildlife and sports shooters will appreciate.
The focus ring–which features Olympus's signature clutch that slides back and forth to switch between auto- and manual focus–has good tactility and glides effortlessly when focusing manually. The controls for image stabilization and focusing distances are snug, so you won't accidentally move them, but can be switched easily with your thumb while shooting.
Overall it's much more like shooting with a 70-200mm full-frame lens than some 600mm f/4 full-frame monstrosity.
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