The lens is the first Olympus interchangeable lens with a built-in image stabilization mechanism, and when paired with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 (firmware version 4.) or E-M5 Mark II (firmware version 2.0), in-body and in-lens image stabilization work in harmony resulting in the new 5-Axis Sync IS technology to produce the world’s most powerful image stabilization performance, says the company, with up to six shutter speed steps of compensation. The lens can also be used effectively with other camera bodies, according to Olympus, as the in-lens stabilization mechanism alone provides 4 shutter speeds steps of compensation.
The company notes the lens has a length of 227 mm (8.9 inches) and weight of 1,270 g (2.8 pounds). Despite the compact size, the lens features hermetic sealing in 17 places and freezeproof performance down to -10°C.
The company also says the lens debuts Olympus’ highest ever resolution by combining three Super ED lenses, one Extra-High Refractive index lens and three High Refractive index lenses to reduce colour bleeding and chromatic aberrations that tend to occur on typical super-telephoto lenses. In addition to Olympus’ ZERO 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, according to the company. A layer of nano-sized particles and a layer of air in the centre to the surface of the lens achieves a refractive index similar to air and significantly reduces surface reflection.
The lens has a maximum image magnification of 0.48x (35 mm equivalent), with a minimum focusing distance of 1.15 m (46 inches) from the end of the lens.
When combined with the M.Zuiko Digital 1.4x teleconverter MC-14, the focal length extends to 840 mm (equivalent) with an increased image magnification of 0.67x (equivalent), while maintaining the same minimum focus distance.
The OM-D’s silent mode combines with the lens’ Movie & Still Compatible mechanism for silent AF and shooting.
The lens also features a Manual Focus Clutch mechanism that makes switching to manual focus possible by pulling the focusing ring toward you. The side of the lens barrel features a Focus Limit switch (4 m to infinity, all range, 1.4 to 4 m), an IS switch (On/Off), and an L-Fn button which can all be operated without taking your eye off the viewfinder.
The built-in sliding lens hood can be locked into place when extended, and there’s a removable tripod base plate on the bottom with a quick shoe compatible rail.
The M.Zuiko Digital ED 300 mm f/4.0 IS PRO lens is available now for an estimated street price of $3,299.99.