Tagged: Olympus 75-300 mm

Going Smaller in Town

Yesterday I went to town, parked my car in the square, and walked around a few blocks.  It was an area that I often photographed about 2-4 years ago; but I wanted to try something different this year.  This time I used a small pocket travel zoom camera, the Canon SX720 HS with a 40x zoom.  It only produces jpeg files but I have still tweaked them into a style that I think works well with the jpegs in Adobe LR.

One problem that I had in the past was that my cameras (I used different ones) attracted attention and, if I used a long zoom lens, even more attention as well as lots of weight to carry.  This time I wanted to try a small camera that didn’t attract attention which could be carried in a pocket or the palm of my hand and which had a very long zoom lens.

The above are two of my test samples.  My desire is to eventually utilize the compression and the great depth of field (DoF) of the small sensor and lens to create a particular style of image.  The above images don’t demonstrate it yet.  These were chosen to test out whether I could hold the camera steady enough at maximum zoom and to see how good the DoF was.  Over the coming days I’ll show you more images that I made in town as I ease towards a style I’m interested in.

You can see the physical size differences and the maximum zoomed images of both the Olympus E-M5II with the 75-300 mm zoom lens and the Canon SX720 HS in the images below.  Both are zoomed all the way out and were hand held.  Also, I will remind you that this Olympus micro 4/3 setup is smaller than any of my previous APS sensor cameras.  The Canon is a lot smaller than earlier camera systems I owned.  For several years now I have been on a campaign to see how small I can go and still retain appropriate image quality.

You can tell which image was taken with each camera since the effective zoom of the Canon was greater at 720mm.  Also, when comparing the images, remember that the Canon image is a 20MP jpeg and the Olympus image is 16MP and was taken raw and converted to a jpeg using LR.  In my opinion the Canon is a better camera for my use in town.

PS, the Canon is a good travel camera if you only photograph in bright light and stay out of dusty conditions.  I wish I had it when I traveled in Egypt and Tunisia and Costa Rica; but I would have also taken my Olympus TG-4 for use in the rain of Costa Rica and the dust of Tunisia.  For the conditions in Ireland, my micro 4/3 camera with a prime lens worked better when I carried it in my rain jacket pocket. I had more indoor pictures there as well as the darker cloudy conditions sometimes.

Red-winged Blackbird


I don’t like to pass-up reflections so I made this one morning at an effective focal length of 600 mm.  I wasn’t close enough even with that focal length to get this view of the Red-winged Blackbird from the other shore of the pond.  I had to crop-zoom and then upsize it to get this view, but it is fine for the web or small prints.

Last Night’s Moon

I noticed the crescent moon last night so I tried a few things with my camera.  Sometimes what it sees isn’t what we see with the naked eye.  The following is probably what most of us saw with our eyes.


The following is what I saw through the lens as I made adjustments to the camera settings.


And the following is another view I was able to capture.


Then as I was heading back inside I noticed these reflections on the pond.


I am having fun as I push the limits of the excellent image stabilization of the E-M5 II.  These were taken handheld at shutter speeds between 0.05 and 0.5 sec at 270 or 300 mm focal length …. An equivalent of 600 mm.

Round 1: Olympus better than Fujifilm

I have been trying an Olympus E-M10 with the Olympus 75 – 300 mm lens to see if it would enable me to get longer focal length images with reasonable image quality than I can get with my Fujifilm long focal length setup.  Since I have the Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fuji 50 – 230 mm lens, I decided that I would compare similar images taken with both cameras in the same manner that I tend to take pictures.  I chose to do this comparison at an ISO of 6400 in lower light since I was concerned about noise using the E-M10 with the smaller micro 4/3 sensor.  I also chose the longest focal length that I could get with my Fuji lens (230 mm).  The focal length for the E-M10 was 171 mm, which gave me a close comparison.  Both raw images are shown below as processed in LR using the Adobe standard settings for each system.

The first image is from the E-M10, second (your right) is from the X-T1.  As you will note there are slight differences in exposure and color balance.  Both images were taken in program mode.  The X-T1 chose ISO 6400, f/6.7, and 1/20 sec.  The E-M10 chose ISO 6400, f/5.9, and 1/25 sec.  Both images were taken handheld.

The following set are the same two images with the color balance chosen for each using the LR eyedropper and with the exposure of the X-T1 image (on your right) increased by +.75

The following set are crops from the last two images.  The first is from the E-M10 and the second from the X-T1.  The images have different aspect ratios so they aren’t quite the same but are close enough to see any differences.  Please note that no noise reduction was applied to either image!

I will continue with my evaluation of the Olympus E-M10, but so far I am quite pleased with it.  Considering that the E-M10 and lens weighs 100 g less than the X-T1 and lens, and that the Olympus lens focal length was 171 mm but that it goes on out to 300 mm, in my opinion the Olympus micro 4/3 setup is better than the Fuji setup for my long focal length use.

Walk with a Different Camera

I have an Olympus E-M10 with an Olympus 75 – 300 mm f4.8-6.7 II lens that I am trying.  Since the camera has a micro 4/3 sensor it gives me an effective focal range of 150 – 600 mm.  My reason for trying it is to see if it will give me the ability to photograph wildlife and up-close landscape details.

This morning I took it with me while I walked down to the main buildings.  The first image is just to remind folks that we still have piles of snow even though it has melted from most surfaces.  The second two images were taken at the 300 mm focal length so that I could get an idea of how the camera focuses as well as the quality of the images.  So far I have found no problems and I am satisfied with it for making these types of images; but, I could always use even longer focal lengths.  I crop-zoomed the last two images to get even longer focal length.  It is light enough and small enough with sufficient image quality for me to carry as a walk-about camera and lens to make pictures of opportunity; but, I have more testing to do before I decide whether to keep it.