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Olympus’ 300mm lens puts extra stabilization into handheld photography

Olympus has a new 300mm lens with built-in image stabilization (IS) – a first for an Olympus lens, and the highest-resolution lens in its history, it says. When used with the OM-D E-M1 or E-M5 Mark II cameras, the M. Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f4.0 IS PRO’s IS and camera’s 5-axis IS work together (called 5 axis sync, using internal gyro sensors and algorithms) to achieve a greater level of stabilization – up to six steps of compensation; the lens’ IS alone offers up to four. With this amount of stabilization, it makes it possible to shoot wildlife and action shots without a tripod – great for situations when it’s inconvenient to set up a tripod. It’s also designed to capture deep space in the night sky.

Another notable attribute about this splash proof, freeze proof, and dustproof lens is its smaller size and light weight. It allows users such as wildlife photographers to shoot from a distance, but easily pack it in backpack.

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The lens also “debuts Olympus’s highest-ever resolution by combining three Super ED lenses, one Extra-High Refractive index lens, and three High Refractive index lenses to reduce the color bleeding and chromatic aberrations that tend to occur on typical super telephoto lenses,” Olympus says. “In addition to Olympus’s renowned ZERO Coating (ZUIKO Extra-low Reflective Optical Coating), a brand-new lens coating technology called ZERO Coating Nano suppresses reflected light to minimize ghosts and flares for extremely sharp details of images, including car headlights. A layer of nanosized particles and a layer of air from the center to the surface of the lens achieves a refractive index similar to air and significantly reduces surface reflection.”

If you like macro photography, the 300mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of 46 inches and a max magnification of 0.48x. That can be increased to 0.67x when used with an optional teleconverter. The Manual Focus Clutch lets you easily switch to manual focusing simply by shifting the focusing ring toward the camera.

The lens is available now, for a retail price of $2,500.