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Old 20th March 2019
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Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Having taken ages to deliberate and decide on a long lens I finally decided to get a Panasonic 100-400 lens at the show. The best deal was from Wex at 1078 so duly I pounded my plastic and came away really chuffed I'd finally got my lens. The next morning I fitted the lens to my EM1 mk2 and tried a few garden bird shots as a first go. Fitting was suspiciously tight, much tighter than my Oly lenses or my other Panasonic ones for that matter. Anyway having taken a dozen shots I took the lens off to be horrified to see an array of fine sparkly bits mainly on the lens bayonet fitting but also a few inside my nicely Olympus cleaned camera!! Horrified is my polite description! So very carefully I then spent about an hour picking off all the bits from both the lens and the camera using Sellotape. I rolled it up to a point with the sticky side out to get the bits off the camera parts but used a strip on the lens flanges so I could save the bits. I did take a few rough shots at the time to record the mess, I'll add them later if anyone is interested. Anyway once cleaned (none seemed to get on the sensor luckily) I put my Oly lens back on and packed the Panny up to take back on Monday. Quite fortunate I was actually going twice this year! A bit of Googling subsequently revealed that this was actually a known problem with the lens in 2017 hmm I'd have thought that would have been time to sort the issue out personally.
So Monday morning armed with lighted magnifying glass, sticky tape evidence and some images and website links on my phone I waited patiently for a Wex assistant. I explained the issue not sure I was believed at first but after getting some support the assistant came back with another lens. I said I wanted to inspect it very carefully before trying it! which I did. All looked OK but to be honest so did the first one so reluctantly I let the assistant put the lens on my camera. Again a pretty tight fit. I then took the lens off and looked at the camera with the magnifying glass and low and behold a sparkly bit on my mount only one as far as I could see but it was definitely not there before and the assistant saw it too. At that point I demanded a refund and prayed that I could get my camera to Olympus for a clean without getting any bits on the sensor. Wex gave me a refund a bit begrudgingly I felt to be honest but they didn't really have much choice at that point as I wasn't a very happy bunny to put it mildly. Anyway careful walk over to the lovely lady on the Oly stand who had taken my camera for cleaning before and explained the situation. She was brilliant even though they were closed for cleaning at that point she took my camera carefully and got it cleaned. What a service gold stars for Olympus. So that's my wish for a Panny 100-400 squashed and bring on the Oly x2 converter for my 40-150. Hope it's released soon.
I did go over to the Panasonic stand later in the day and explained the saga to them. They let me inspect a 100-400 they had on the stand carefully and fit it on a Panny body (definitely a better fit than on my Oly!?) They weren't overly concerned though so I left it at that, life's too short to be honest. I will post some images the prior links and a few more thoughts tonight as I've typed enough for now.
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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Sorry to hear that you had this problem; glad that your camera was cleaned again by Olympus and doesn't appear to have suffered any permanent damage.
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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Thanks again, Phil.

I had seen quite a few complaints of this kind last year and it seemed to be acknowledged that Panasonics QA wasn't all it should be, with some lenses being perfect and some displaying the problems you have had. I decided then that I would keep my 75-300 until Olympus brought their own version out.

Unfortunately (for me) Oly decided that their first venture into long zooms would be the most expensive one, the 150-400 Pro, too rich for my pocket or use. I will now wait patiently for Oly to bring out the long zoom which was mentioned on their latest Lens Road Map but I fear I will be waiting a couple of years or more.

Thanks again for the update

Keith
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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Hi Phill, given the last I heard regarding Panasonic's service history or lack of regarding that lens I think you may have had a fortunate escape.

To refuse to repair or offer service for a lens of that price when it's out of warranty beggars belief. Ok, they do offer a replacement at a cost only slightly less than the full price but that is little consolation if the lens is only 2 yrs old. It's an item I seriously considered buying until I searched the web and discovered the facts.

Maybe they have changed their practice now as it's a while since I looked but frankly it put me off anything with a Panasonic name on it.

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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Very sorry to hear this Phill. Hard to understand how the mount could be made wrong with all the fine tolerances inside the lens. At least the swarf was probably not from the critical butting surfaces. I've been very happy with my Panny f2.8 pair, but recent reports of service problems don't inspire me to get any more at the moment.
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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

I bought my Pan100-400 soon after release and the 'fit' seems much the same as my other Oly lenses. Out of curiosity I photographed the mounts of both my Pan lens and my much-used Oly 12-50.


There are several visual differences in the two mounts, with slightly different profiles to the flanges but, in my case, it is the Oly mount, where it looks as though plating has flaked off, to show the brass underneath.


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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Its not a good image (!) for Panasonic is it....

But just to add I have the lens and have never suffered from that problem. I did buy it 2nd hand, so maybe any problems had worn off (!) before I received it. I use the lens a lot, and am very pleased with its performance....
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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

I've had this lens from new and not had any problems with the bayonet fitting, but I have read about others having similar problems. I did have a problem with the foot coming loose which I fixed myself, but that is such a poor design. All other makes of telephotos have a foot which is part of a loop going round the lens. The Panasonic one just has 2 or 3 short screws into the lens body. With the lack of service and the poor foot design I would be reluctant to buy another Panasonic telephoto lens. Glad you managed to get a refund and no damage to the camera.
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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeOxon View Post
I bought my Pan100-400 soon after release and the 'fit' seems much the same as my other Oly lenses. Out of curiosity I photographed the mounts of both my Pan lens and my much-used Oly 12-50.


There are several visual differences in the two mounts, with slightly different profiles to the flanges but, in my case, it is the Oly mount, where it looks as though plating has flaked off, to show the brass underneath.


Interesting photo. Notice that it shows quite well the difference in the position of the screws that secure the mount. It transpires that the Oly sealing ring on the body slightly clips the Panasonic screws so probably means that the water proofing is compromised. So much for standards!
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Old 20th March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Maybe this is one lens that is best bought second hand Mark.
I'm not sure what the main issue is I suspect it is corners that are too sharp on the flange machining and either they left slight burs on it or if it's coated, as I suspect it is, the coating just didn't take on the corners properly. In addition the seal ring on the 100-400 did seem to protrude more than the rings on any of my Oly lenses. I think that is what was making the fit very tight. It wouldn't help matters by pressing the flange faces together harder I guess. Sounds to me that Panasonic had a bad QA'd batch of lenses and maybe there are still some floating around. Or maybe the quality control is just not up to what it should be. Either way I'd have hoped both Wex and Panasonic would have been a little more interested in the issue than they appeared to be at the show.
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Old 20th March 2019
Keith-369 Keith-369 is offline
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

It does make me wonder -

Given that it would appear the first batch of the 100-400 were suspect and caused many complaints but later many people are happy with what could be possibly new stock after Panny were made aware of the problem, maybe WEX were getting rid of some old stock at decent prices?

Just a thought.

Off line for three weeks now so will try to catch up on return

Keith
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Old 21st March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Yes i wondered that too Keith. Or it could be that they had another QA dip? Either way i dont feel like using my camera as a pass fail gauge
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Old 22nd March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Maybe try out that 50-500 instead. Would be cheaper.
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Old 22nd March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

Yes but a lot heavier Henry. No I think it's going to be the Oly x2 converter for me to use on my 40-150.
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Old 22nd March 2019
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Re: Panasonic 100-400 Photo Show saga. Buyers warning.

I am not too sure about that X2. First you loose 2 stops of light that means f5.6 Also that extra glass could lower that IQ. As for IQ, that 50-500 is not brilliant either
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