An m4/3 adaptor costing just SGD$30 was used to mount the lens onto my Olympus OMD EM5. The full combination included the adaptor, a Tamron 1.4x Teleconverter and the Nikon AF-S 300mm f/4. This gave a set up that had an 840mm effective focal length, albeit with full manual operations, including focus and aperture adjustments. This effective focal length would no doubt be very appealing to bird photographers on a budget, also to those looking for long reach without the accompanying bulk and weight.
Operating the set up required patience, lots of it. The adaptor allowed the control of aperture, with some clicking heard when adjustments are made. Focus is done manually, by activating the magnification feature of Olympus cameras using one of several customisable buttons found on the OMD. I personally use Fn1, but anybody can choose to customise the OMD operation using another Fn button.
It must be noted that the focus is made harder due to the physical stopping down of the aperture blades, making for a darker viewfinder image. This is partially offset by the fact that the OMD has an EVF, allowing the artificial brightening of the image preview to some extent.
Image quality is decent, i find that the lens performs better on native cameras like the D3 and even the D3200 with its high pixel density. This is only natural since lenses are generally optimised for their own system.
The hassle of having to use this lens on a tripod in field conditions together with full manual operation may restrict its effectiveness for birding, which will no doubt be its primary application. During a birding trip to the Chinese Gardens in Singapore, I was able to get some shots of stationary birds like perching Kingfishers only. Jittery ones such as the Ashy Tailorbird proved impossible to capture using this setup. Some sample shots of my birding trip have been included for illustration purposes.
Plantain Squirrel that seemed to be fetching straw for its shelter. This particular critter was rather still and gave me ample time to set up and take a few shots before it scampered off.
Malayan Water Monitor Basking by the pondside. I could have done better justice to this particular scene with the magnificent backlighting, pardon my poor skills.
Common Kingfisher observing fish from its perch, it later dived into the water. The set up was too cumbersome to track the bird with as it flew off.
Your mileage may vary with both your skill and luck. Some users may simply use the lens on a Nikon D7100 or the new D7200, with their built in 2x crop factor mode which allows the entire viewfinder to be covered with the 51 AF points, allowing for superb tracking ability.
Nevertheless, one may find this combination suitable for their use, since a cheap adaptor can be had easily and the native x2 crop factor of the M4/3 system is useful for extending telephoto purposes.
Good article. I’m experiencing a few of these issues as well..
Thanks Dorris, i hope you managed to solve this issue. Granted, it has been a few years since a native m4/3 lens has been developed in this range. You may want to check out the OLYMPUS M.Zuiko Digital 75-300mm or Panasonic 100-300mm.