Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II Lens Review

6/1/2013 11:29:24 AM

This super-zoom lens is designed for Micro Four Thirds cameras offering 4x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 150-600mm). For a lens suggesting such shooting distance, its price is reasonable at $675 though you will only receive an aperture of f/4.8-6.7. This lens is labeled Movie and Stills, resulting in a quiet focusing system.

Features and processing

This zooms is very lightweight (430g), especially in terms of its shooting distance. The lens is made of hi-quality plastic and the frame is metal-made. This lens perfectly fits the tested Panasonic G3 though it may be a little bigger for Micro Four Thirds cameras in existing compact systems.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

Focusing points are processed inside and the 58mm filter doesn’t rotate during operation, making this lens ideal for graduated and polarizing filters. For good lighting, focusing speed is very fast and the focus ring offers fine amount of resistance, assisting to make adjusting process simple and easy. However, in low-lit, the lens must try hard to focus, especially shooting at the farthest distance. The lens has a quiet focus system labeled on of MSC lenses from Olympus, suitable for still images and movie.

The minimum focus distance is 90cm, only available for lens set at 75mm and it increases when lens is zoomed, causing trouble in macro shots. Notes which must be taken when using this lens is that robust colors as well as maximum aperture makes it hard to create a proper shutter speed for user’s grip. As Olympus camera has a long stability in the body, this will prolong the device’s service life.

The body of Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II

The body of Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 II


The sharpness created by this lens at 75mm and max aperture is excellent in the entire frame. Stopping at a lower aperture leads to a decrease to image’s clarity due to the sensor’s noise limit. On-frame performance is similar at 150mm though the clarity slightly falls when compared to 75mm.

Finally, at 300mm, as you can expect from a 4x optical zoom, the overall sharpness decreases in comparison with the result from shorter focus distance. At f/6.7, the sharpness is at the frame’s center but it is just considered fair for the frame’s corners. High sharpness on frame delivers such focus distance at f/8. Here, the sharpness in the frame’s center is very good but those in the corners are not so.

Chromatic aberration

Chromatic aberration

How to read our charts

The blue column shows figures from the frame’s center at different apertures and the green one is for corners. Taking the average from those two colored columns, we have the red column.

The scale on the left indicates real resolutions. The higher it is, the hi-quality the lens gets.

In this article, the lens has been tested with Panasonic Lumix DMC-G using Imatest.

Chromatic aberration for corners are well controlled in the range of 75-150mm. There’s a significant rise in colored fringes with corners at 300mm. Such increase at CA level may be a problem, especially when shooting hi-contrast images with the frame’s corners.

Chromatic aberration

Chromatic aberration

Chromatic aberration identifies the inability of focusing or the act of burring visible colors at the same point in the lens. High CA provides remarkable fringing or a halo effect around the image’s edges. It can be dealt by software.

The Apochromatic lenses has a special lens (aspheric, extra-low dispersion) to reduce the above issues, thus they are pricier.

In this article, the lens was tested on Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 using Imatest.

The falloff level towards the frame’s corners are well control. The corners are just darker in some ranges than the image’s center at the max aperture in zoom range and the visual illumination was archived by f/8 at 75mm and f/11 at 300mm.

Distortion is well controlled and appropriate during zoom levels. Imatest discovers pincushion distortion between 0.226% and 0.216%. This number is low thus we couldn’t see normal images. The distortion sample is identical in the frame, leading to after-image editing in apps.

There’s no lens cover to meet such hi-quality of this lens but due to a ZERO optical layer of Olympus, this is well against glare and contrast is kept still, even when exposed to light.

Sample images

Sample images from the products

Sample images from the products

Sample images from the products

Sample images from the products

Value for money

This lens is surely not for everyone due to its modest aperture and lack of optical stabilization. However, if you own an Olympus Micro Four Thirds compatible with a built-in stability and able to shot extremely-far images in good lighting, or with a single support, this lens can fit the bill well.

In general, this lens is compact, well built, lightweight and able to deliver excellent result in short focus distance. It’s a pity that the result seems a bit dim when compared at 300mm.

Product image

Product image



·         Compact size

·         Lightweight

·         Fast and quiet focusing

·         Anti-glare

·         Great resolution between 75mm and 150mm


·         Low sharpness and high CA at 300mm

·         No accompanied lens cover

Technical specs


·         Lens mount: Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Olympus Micro Four Thirds


·         Focus distance: 75mm - 300mm

·         Viewing angle: 4.1° - 16°

·         Max aperture: f/4.8 - f/6.7

·         Min aperture: f/22

·         Filter’s size: 58mm

·         35mm equivalent: 150mm - 600mm

·         Internal focusing: Yes


·         Min Focus: 90cm

·         Stabilized: No


·         Blades: 7

·         Elements: 18

·         Groups: 13


·         Micro Four Thirds lens cap (LC-58E)

·         Micro Four Thirds lens rear cap (LR-2)

·         Warranty Card

·         Operating Instructions


·         Weight: 425 g

·         Height: 116 mm


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