aostling's reviews

  • Olympus 60mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko Digital ED

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    unbeatable image quality

    The sharpness and contrast of this lens continues to amaze me. The E-PL5 has enough pixels that I find myself cropping (in post-processing) with no sensible loss of detail. It's sort of like having the ultimate macro zoom.

    The detail is just as impressive when shooting landscapes. The focal length (120mm equiv) is well-suited to my Arizona desert scenery. When rains come I'll put a bag around my camera and let the lens protrude, knowing it will love the wet.

    No lens hood is necessary. A hood would interfere with close-up natural lighting. There is no trace of flare, thanks to what I assume is efficient anti-reflection blacking on the interior lens barrel.

    The focus limiting switch is an ingenious addition to the design, effectively eliminating any tendency of the drive motor to hunt for focus.

    It is simply the best lens I have ever owned.

    reviewed February 18th, 2013 (purchased for $500)
  • Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6 ED Zuiko Digital

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    accepts 58mm achromatic Canon close-up lens

    I will wait until I have more shooting experience before rating the lens IQ. But I want to correct the impression that the field of view is not a true 150mm at the long end. I tested it against a Minolta MD 135mm f3.5 lens mounted via an adapter, and there clearly WAS a significant difference between the fields of view. I have no reason to distrust the labeled focal length.

    reviewed August 11th, 2010 (purchased for $199)
  • Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8-6.7 ED M.Zuiko Digital

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    sharp, contrasty, and quick AF
    it's all good

    I am an aficionado of slow telephoto lenses. They often have half the weight of the fast telephotos of the same focal length. My previous favorite was the Pentax Tele-Takumar 300mm f6.3 lens, which I use on my Olympus E-P2 in manual focus mode using an adapter. That lens weighs 790 g, including the built-in tripod collar.

    Now I have the M. Zuiko 75-300mm f4.8-6.7. It weighs a mere 428 g. It has automatic diaphragm, zoom, and autofocus. My tests show that it is at least as sharp as my classic Tele-Takumar, and so fast in operation that I now use it as my "walking around" lens.

    Some may not get the best from the lens -- using it to its full potential requires a special technique. The E-P2 does a great job steadying the image at full zoom, but 600mm (equiv) really does benefit from using the camera with some additional support. The easiest solution is to use a lightweight monopod (mine is the Dolica WT 1003, which weighs 350g). This is weight worth carrying with the 75-300mm. I use the monopod in collapsed position with the end jammed into my belt. That's all the steadiness the E-P2 needs for perfectly sharp photos with this long zoom. I have also made a chestpod out of 3/4" PVC pipe, and this is even lighter.

    Of course you can use a tripod, but that's not what this lens is for. It exists to be carried, ready for any subject which crops up, or for finding subjects not visible to your naked eye.

    This is by far the lightest and most compact 300mm M43 lens currently on the market. I expect it will hold this distinction for quite awhile. It's the perfect safari lens, and maybe long enough for serious birding too.

    My fun with it is just beginning. I'll likely never see anybody else carrying one in the National Parks of the West which I frequent (where Nikons and Canons reign). This is the lens for the cognoscenti.

    reviewed December 13th, 2010 (purchased for $900)
  • Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS

    10 out of 10 points and recommended
    light weight, sharp wide open, OIS very effective

    I bought this lens for a trip to Cornwall in March 2014. My prize image was of the first robin of spring. In fact, that was a lifer, since the American robin is an entirely different bird.

    The lens pairs nicely with the X-A1. I typically shot with the lens braced on any handy low support, looking down on the camera screen tilted upwards. The O.I.S. works so well I never felt the need for a tripod. Shooting mostly at max zoom and f6.7, fine detail held right to the edges of the frame.

    I often favor slow lenses for the savings in weight. The charm is missing, though, on any such lens which needs to be stopped down for IQ. This is not a problem with the Fujinon; it is impressively sharp wide open.

    The build quality is first rate. This lens is a sleeper. Get it and you won't be disappointed.

    reviewed September 26th, 2014 (purchased for $400)