There are significantly less first impression reviews kicking around about Olympus’ 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO, especially in comparison to Olympus’ launch of the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO. Of the two or three reviews available, Peter Baumgarten’s is easily the best.

My two cents:

  1. I’m surprised to see how small the 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO is next to the 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO. The 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO is not much bigger than the smaller brother in the PRO lineup, making the entire lineup still capable of fitting in a professional backpack or luggage bag. Can you do that with a full-frame 600mm lens?
  2. The in-lens image stabilization looks to make a significant difference at these super telephoto lengths.
  3. If the smaller Micro 4/3 sensor tops out at 20MP, and if all of Olympus’ current sensors sit at 16MP, why would you buy a super telephoto prime lens? In order to nail a shot, you’ll have to be exactly the right distance away from your subject to properly compose your frame. If you don’t nail the distance, you’ll have to crop your image. However, 16MP sensors don’t have much room to crop without losing substantial detail. I think Panasonic’s Leica Vario-Elmar 100-400mm zoom may be the better buy here because it stretches across a wide range of focal lengths and because it’s less expensive.

Regardless of this observation, Olympus’ 300mm f/4.0 IS PRO looks to be an impressive addition to Olympus’ PRO lens lineup.