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Go Back   Olympus UK E-System User Group > Cameras, lenses and system accessories > Lens focus > Telephoto

Telephoto Lenses with focal lengths longer than 60mm.

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Old 1st May 2017
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Panasonic 100-400

I had a play with this lens on my E-M1ii at the weekend at a camera store. I was very impressed:

- Not huge considering its range

- Seems very sharp wide open

- Excellent in-lens IS. I tried shooting at 400mm at 1/60s and could get reliably sharp shots with the lens IS alone. It managed better than IBIS alone. Having both on surprisingly seemed OK, but the image in the viewfinder wasn't as stable as with the lens IS alone.

- Nice feel and build quality (although zoom action was a bit stiff)

If I were into wildlife/birding I think I'd go for this over the Olympus 300/4. The Oly may well be faster (constant f4) and maybe slightly better IQ, but I find the flexibility of a zoom at these sort of focal lengths almost essential.
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Old 1st May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Another apposite comparison would be with the much cheaper (and consumer grade) Oly 75-300 which gets some good reviews.

Or the FT 50-200 with EC-20 2x teleconverter.
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Old 1st May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Hi Paul,

Interesting observations on the IS. I have only used my in camera IBIS.

I agree that I wouldn't swap it for the 300mm.

Amanda
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Old 1st May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post

- Seems very sharp wide open
Mine is plenty sharp enough at 400mm wide open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
- Excellent in-lens IS. I tried shooting at 400mm at 1/60s and could get reliably sharp shots with the lens IS alone. It managed better than IBIS alone. Having both on surprisingly seemed OK, but the image in the viewfinder wasn't as stable as with the lens IS alone.
The way it should work is that if IBIS is switched ON then the lens IS switch determines which is used. So if both are switched on then the Lens IS should be operative. If the Lens IS switch is off then IBIS should take over.
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Old 1st May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

The 100-400 is pretty much my favourite lens. It worked well on the Panasonic GH4 and even better now I have the EM1 MkII and some days, it doesn't leave the camera. For me, the 300mm wouldn't be flexible enough - if I'm out shooting wildlife, sometimes I may be trying to capture a large red deer, the next minute a robin on a branch. Often it's not possible to back up or get nearer, so I need the flexibility of a zoom. With 1.3 metre as it's nearest focus, I often use it for flowers, butterflies, etc too. It's all down to personal choice, of course - but it is certainly an excellent lens.

I generally use lens IS for this lens, though it is suggested to turn it off (possibly turn all IS off) when panning - when you're using very high shutter speeds anyway. If you use the lens IS, the EM1 MkII disables IBIS anyway, so there is no clash - not sure if this is the case for other Olympus cameras.

Lots of examples on my Flickr stream, if you're interested.
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Old 1st May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

I did some extensive testing and found the lens OIS to be quite a bit better than the IBIS on my EM1, consistently at least a stop better. Although I haven't tested it I would still use OIS with the EM1ii.

I love the lens, great IQ and very flexible, small and relatively light. It was ideal for Alaska, alongside the 12-40 and 40-150 pro lenses it was the perfect for travelling around and having 24-800mm in a small backpack was amazing - I saw one bloke who needed a massive backpack just to carry his lens!

This was with the 100-400 @ 200mm-ish:
Posing by the falls by Ned Awty, on Flickr

And 400mm:
Bear 151 evening sun by Ned Awty, on Flickr

And 400mm:
Alaska-6164874 by Ned Awty, on Flickr


edit: images larger on Flickr if you want to pixel peek.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Maybe this might just be something I can justify for my birthday later this year.

I'll have to make sure I get my wife her extra special birthday present ready for her though.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maria View Post
The 100-400 is pretty much my favourite lens. It worked well on the Panasonic GH4 and even better now I have the EM1 MkII and some days, it doesn't leave the camera. For me, the 300mm wouldn't be flexible enough - if I'm out shooting wildlife, sometimes I may be trying to capture a large red deer, the next minute a robin on a branch. Often it's not possible to back up or get nearer, so I need the flexibility of a zoom. With 1.3 metre as it's nearest focus, I often use it for flowers, butterflies, etc too. It's all down to personal choice, of course - but it is certainly an excellent lens.

I generally use lens IS for this lens, though it is suggested to turn it off (possibly turn all IS off) when panning - when you're using very high shutter speeds anyway. If you use the lens IS, the EM1 MkII disables IBIS anyway, so there is no clash - not sure if this is the case for other Olympus cameras.

Lots of examples on my Flickr stream, if you're interested.
Some lovely images on your Flickr stream Maria. I can see me buying this lens at some point.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nawty View Post
I did some extensive testing and found the lens OIS to be quite a bit better than the IBIS on my EM1, consistently at least a stop better. Although I haven't tested it I would still use OIS with the EM1ii.

I love the lens, great IQ and very flexible, small and relatively light. It was ideal for Alaska, alongside the 12-40 and 40-150 pro lenses it was the perfect for travelling around and having 24-800mm in a small backpack was amazing - I saw one bloke who needed a massive backpack just to carry his lens!

This was with the 100-400 @ 200mm-ish:
Posing by the falls by Ned Awty, on Flickr

And 400mm:
Bear 151 evening sun by Ned Awty, on Flickr

And 400mm:
Alaska-6164874 by Ned Awty, on Flickr


edit: images larger on Flickr if you want to pixel peek.
Stunning images.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

I think you've convinced me too Maria with those excellent Flickr images, I've wanted one for a while, now I'm sure I need one. Just need to convince the management
That first bear shot especially is a real cracker Nawty. I have the 40-150 pro and the x1.4 currently and I see you have both the Olympus and Panny lenses would you see the 100-400 removing the need for the Olympus combination?
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
I think you've convinced me too Maria with those excellent Flickr images, I've wanted one for a while, now I'm sure I need one. Just need to convince the management
That first bear shot especially is a real cracker Nawty. I have the 40-150 pro and the x1.4 currently and I see you have both the Olympus and Panny lenses would you see the 100-400 removing the need for the Olympus combination?
Two camera bodies with two lenses would be the best way, but I would probably not use the MC14 so much if I also had the PanaLeica 100-400mm lens.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

One day I might get a lens like this but, alas, it does not look like the forseeable future.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
That first bear shot especially is a real cracker Nawty. I have the 40-150 pro and the x1.4 currently and I see you have both the Olympus and Panny lenses would you see the 100-400 removing the need for the Olympus combination?
Thanks

The 40-150 is by far my favourite lens as it covers my favourite landscape range and is also just generally useful as I tend to see in telephoto (always looking a 'what's over there'), so for me the PL100-400 does not replace it. I also have the TC which works great (need to stop down half a stop for it to sharpen up properly though) and is useful to carry around for a bit of extra reach.

However, when you need length there is no substitute and the PL100-400 is that lens and it is super easy to use hand held and easy to carry all day, you can't say that about any 600mm + crop body APSC camera/lens combo.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

I was intending to purchase the Olympus 300 pro in a couple of months time but this thread is making me think that the Panasonic 100-400 may be worth looking at. I believed that the Olympus 300 was way ahead in IQ. I have also noted some superb images taken with the EM1 MK2/Olympus 300 combination on this forum. I was convinced that this lens would take me back to bird photography. If the performance is very close to the quality of the Olympus 300 then with the marked difference in price in the lenses and the versatility of the Panasonic 100-400 then this could be the lens for me.
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Old 2nd May 2017
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Re: Panasonic 100-400

I think if you shot side by side and looked at 100% you would find the Oly has better micro-contrast and therefore better apparent sharpness, I'm pretty confident of this.

However, for me m43 is about being good enough, not the best but better than I need and the 100-400 meets that ethos perfectly. Is it as sharp as the Oly? no, but it takes lovely looking images (you could argue the bokeh is better than the Oly) and is smaller and more versatile as a zoom which is what I want from the system.

Here's an example (go to Flickr and zoom in):
Allotment-4290063 by Ned Awty, on Flickr

Is it critically super-duper sharp at 100%? no. Is it sharp enough for me? absolutely (and I didn't apply any sharpening except for default import/export). As a side note, that was a handheld grab shot at 800mm FFE at 1/250, it is a very easy lens to use.
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