Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens Field Review

Discussion in 'Featured Tests and Reviews' started by Amin Sabet, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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    I did not find it too heavy to handhold. It was comfortable to use for an extended period of time. I didn't formally test the OIS, but I was able to get consistent results free of significant handshake blur using auto-ISO (shutter speeds around 1/500s at full tele), so it seemed to be working.
     
  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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    All my samples were processed from RAW and given a healthy amount of sharpening. It does take a pretty high ISO sometimes to get enough shutter speed to handhold this lens at full tele, and the G3 will help with results at those high ISOs.
     
  3. zpierce

    zpierce   Super Moderator

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    I think this would be a tough lens on the G1. As a current owner of the G1 and GH2, I wouldn't put it on my G1 as I'm often at higher ISO's with this lens which the G1 just wasn't very good at.
     
  4. zpierce

    zpierce   Super Moderator

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    For those interested, I had the extreme fortune yesterday to witness two male pileated woodpeckers land in my back yard and have a 20 minute territory battle. They were on tree trunks in the shady woods so they were all higher ISO, and I applied quite a bit of sharpening and some noise reduction. They were all at 300mm. I also shot and clipped together a bit of video at 300mm. I shot quite a few duds as well, they were there so long, I had a lot of chances to get decent shots.

    Pileated Woodpeckers - a set on Flickr

    Also, one thing I've found that helped with birds in flight was to go to the multipoint autofocus, then hit the focus area select button and select the middle. That gives you basically a larger center focus. That seemed to work well for me as I couldn't keep flying birds in the little square, especially at 300mm.

    Here's a few herons I shot that way, starting here:
    P1080542.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    If you check out the video, be sure to get the HD version, the default non-HD looks terrible.

    [ame=http://vimeo.com/25010125]Pileated Woodpecker Battle on Vimeo[/ame]
     
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  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

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    Nice review Amin ... is that first shot under "Optics" Representative Weiner?

    G
     
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  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator

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    LOL, there would have been a lot of photographers in the picture if he were.
     
  7. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

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    All my samples were processed from RAW and given a healthy amount of sharpening. It does take a pretty high ISO sometimes to get enough shutter speed to handhold this lens at full tele, and the G3 will help with results at those high ISOs.

    I am hoping for good things from the G3/100-300 combo. Has anyone tried this yet ?
     
  8. georger

    georger Mu-43 Regular

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mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} ********> <![endif]--> Amin,
    Thank you for excellent lens performance summary. Based on this review I purchased the lens and can only comment on good balance with Ep2 and Vf2.
    George.
     
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  9. MadCow4

    MadCow4 New to Mu-43

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    Great review and photos Amin. Currently using this lens and loving it. Great for wildlife photos on my G2, especially with the Ex. Opt Zoom feature.
     
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  10. johnbevan

    johnbevan New to Mu-43

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    Good review Amin. Excellent photos, especially the first one. A recent pacemaker fitted and waiting for heart ablation has thwarted my diving so I will be able to spend more time on photography. Best for now, John
     
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  11. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

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    Yes I use that combo and have got great results, there is no issue using ISO3200 if you are just using to keep the shutter speed up.
    Focus is quick and accurate usually but I have had problems when photographing individual birds sometimes where the focus is a bit out, I've tried various metering modes but haven't yet worked out a solution, you only really notice it when viewing 100% but it's a pain. It's not out by much, for instance the birds body might be in focus but the head is slight oof.

    Here's some that are in focus.

    Paul

    http://www.mu-43.com/f54/more-ducks-i-must-quackers-15922/

    http://www.mu-43.com/f54/ducks-g3-pana-100-300-a-15757/
     
  12. zpierce

    zpierce   Super Moderator

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    Could just be dof issue? At 20ft at 300mm f5.6 your dof is about 2 inches. I notice this often with birds. Often I'm at 300 mm trying to get close, wide open for shutter speed and end up with very little dof. Something I'm getting used to with this really long lens.
     
  13. Shield

    Shield Mu-43 Regular

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    Great review. This lens is sharp as a tack and I am stunned every time I use it. I wish it went all the way wide to 14mm; I may never take it off my camera!
     
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  14. AbsolutKev

    AbsolutKev Mu-43 Regular

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    A quick note for all oly users incase its not mentioned yet, if it is, pls excuse this post.

    If u hav ur IBIS On and lens OIS off, the ammount of compensations is not as great as IBIS off and lens OIS on. Phew... Thats a mouthfull.

    Try it out.
     
  15. AbsolutKev

    AbsolutKev Mu-43 Regular

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    Amount or ammount. Ah, spelling mistake again. Pls (polar) bear (growl!) with me.
     
  16. AbsolutKev

    AbsolutKev Mu-43 Regular

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  17. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

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    Thanks Zach - great video - really enjoyed it
     
  18. kissel

    kissel New to Mu-43

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    As an owner of Nikon D3 was looking for a long tele lens, but y'all aware how bad the price tags are even on the cheaper lenses there. Panny 100-300 shocked me with it's perfomance, so I just bought a G3 body and planning on buying 100-300 before spring and use it for wild life photography.
     
  19. LowTEC

    LowTEC Mu-43 Regular

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    I too switched from APSC to m4/3 for this lens, the DSLR alternative will cost me four times more to have the same focal length
     
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  20. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

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    Lovely images Amin! I too have this lens and I really enjoy using it on my OMD. However the first copy I owned wasn't great, very soft over about 230mm. The copy I have now is much better, its tack sharp up to about 260mm, then sharp enough to 280 at which point it does soften noticeably. However a bit of loss at the extreme long end isn't an issue for me.
     
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