Excited - Panasonic 100-300mm first testshot

StefanKruse

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A while back I asked for some help from the forum about what lens to get for a safari trip

45-200, 75-300 or 100-300 what to get for Kenya Safari

I also asked for some help about telephoto techniques

Practicing for Safari... learnings

Both treads have given massive feedback and I am very grateful for all the advice and help I have received.

I ended up buying a Panasonic 100-300mm (although the forum advice was for the Oly 75-300) but I got a good deal on a mint pana which had only been used 3 or 4times for less than USD 300 and since the forum advice was that there was little difference in image quality I went for the pana offer (which has allowed me to make a bid for a oly 45mm as well :)).

Yesterday I took my lens for some practice shooting (as recommended by many). I had struggled a bit with my Oly 40-150 IIR as can be seen in my second post above so I was quite curious as to find out how the Pana would perform. Below some test shots first one is from my living room the other are from the Deer park and a football game. (I dont plan to do a lot of sport or action shooting but I figured that I might as well test what the lens could offer at some of the most challenging conditions I can imagine.

Before going out I took this one through the window 300mm 5.6 ISO1000 1/320. I was rather encouraged by this as the detail is OK to me even through a dirty window, light was poor, didnt properly frame the shot, basically just a point and shot. I think the window behind the head of the pidgeon gives it a nice glow.
Panasonic 100-300170409.jpg
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Encouraged I went to the deer park to practice.
300mm 5.6 ISO320 1/640 all the animal I found where out in the open which means it is difficult to get really close to the animal (I would have loved to get a deer headshot, but maybe next time) below is uncropped.
Panasonic 100-300170409-2.jpg
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300mm 5.6 ISO250 1/640 (slightly cropped)
Panasonic 100-300170409-3.jpg
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300mm 5.6 ISO320 1/640 (slightly cropped)
Panasonic 100-300170409-4.jpg
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After this trip I was getting excited. I had a lot more keepers than with the 40-150 and I could actually pick keepers on other things than whether the shot was sharp or in focus :). All shots where handheld and although they are shot at 300mm wideopen the are sharp enough for me. (yeah yeah you always want more sharpness - I do too, but these are not bad to me).I had read complains than the lens was very soft wideopen at 300mm, but for me the above i plenty nice. Once my technique improves I guess I can stop down a bit to increase sharpness.

In the evening I decided to bring the lens to a footbal match to see what it (or I could do). These are not as good as the deer shots (far from), but they are also shot at much higher ISOs and targets were moving. (all shots handheld). And all shots are at the opposite end of the pitch which is 105 meters long and we were probably 10-15 meter from the pitch so quite far away

Penalty kick - 286mm 5.6 ISO2000 1/800 (angle straightened but no crop)
Panasonic 100-300170409-5.jpg
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280mm 5.6 ISO3200 1/800 (slight crop)
Panasonic 100-300170409-6.jpg
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300mm 5.6 ISO2500 1/640
Panasonic 100-300170409-7.jpg
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Sharpness isnt great and there is a low of noise, but for small prints these would do fine for me.

Things i've notices so far about my choice:
-Lens has a lot of contrast (I had to adjust contrast quite a bit in LR)
-The weight of approx 500gr is not an issue with the e-m10 I actually found it easier to handhold than the Oly 40-150 IIR.
-The 75mm of the Oly would have been nice I could have used that every now and then.
-The slightly faster speed of the pana compared to the Oly is appreciated.
-Very happy with the build - it seems solid.(And I think it looks very cool as well :))
-The fact that Panasonic lenses has the zoom going the opposite way is annoying, but nothing I cant live with.
-I quite like telephoto shooting.
-Be careful with what you read on the internet, there is a lot of criticism for both the Oly and pana super tele but I find that much of it i exaggerated (based on my very limited experience though ;))
-I worry how much this succesful day will cost me in the long run because if telephoto is this fun then I just know that the Pana 100-400 or the Oly 300 F4 will start haunting my dreams, but for now I am really happy with my 100-300.

Please share comments and critique - I have benefited so much by comments from the forum so please continue I really appreciate every single comment. Thanks Stefan
 

JYPfoto

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Very nice, looking forward to getting the 100-300 II for use on my GH5, thinking of picking one up for a weekend trip down to D.C. and the National Zoo.
 

longviewer

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These pass my PGE test: plenty good enough. And you still have time to practice! That seems like a great price you landed on as well.
 

Egregius V

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Great post, Stefan! Feeling much as you do, I've just spent some time comparing four lenses - the P 100-300 II, O 75-300 II, O 40-150 R, and O 14-150 II. My copy of the 100-300 II is sharp wide open. In fact, it's at its best wide open in the center throughout the wide half of its zoom range. Edges do sharpen up a bit when stopping down. For what it's worth, speaking solely from my own experiences:

(a) my 100-300 II decisively beats my 75-300 II past 250mm, despite a bit of right-edge decentering at that end of the zoom range (seems common). I am especially surprised how much sharper the Pan. lens is at 300mm: with careful focusing, it's very sharp! The Olympus never gets beyond acceptable at that end - two other copies I tried were no better.

(b) My 40-150 beats my 75-300 decisively at 75mm. At 100mm, the edges are still great wide open, but the center slightly lags the 300mm zooms.

(c) AF with my 75-300 II is fast but tends to overshoot, especially on Olympus cameras with targets >2m away. My 100-300 II is much more precise and the 40-150 seems perfect on a tripod. In real use hand-held, any of these lenses can miss focus if the target is challenging or I am not steady enough. The 100-300's faster aperture and OIS can't hurt.

I won't be keeping the 75-300 II. The 14-150 II underperforms the others a bit, but is still plenty sharp and is easiest to use - not to mention sealed like the 100-300 II.
 

StefanKruse

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Very nice, looking forward to getting the 100-300 II for use on my GH5, thinking of picking one up for a weekend trip down to D.C. and the National Zoo.
I also want to take mine to the zoo (would love to take it to D.C as well :)) to have a look at what what level of sharpness/detail I can achievethe at less than 300mm and practice have low a shutter I can do handheld.
 

JYPfoto

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I also want to take mine to the zoo (would love to take it to D.C as well :)) to have a look at what what level of sharpness/detail I can achievethe at less than 300mm and practice have low a shutter I can do handheld.

I have two small girls (4 and 2) so I spend a lot of time at the local zoo (2-3 times a month during warm weather) and we always go to one if the place were visiting has one. So I've been in search for a long lens without breaking the bank and being relatively small in size. That's why I love the m4/3 format. The longest lens that I had when I shot my a7rII was my 70-200 f/4. Now they have the 70-300. Still way short of the 100-300's reach. Even now there's rumors of them making a G series 100-400. Still short and would be much more expensive and much larger. Sure you could crop but then you're throwing away a lot of the MP advantage.

The 100-300 is a perfect lens for someone like me, a hobbyist who could rationalize a $650 lens for personal use but not the $1,700 100-400. Plus the CFO (wifey) is a lot happier with the cheaper purchase.
 

Shaun

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Id be interested to hear your settings fir a few if these shots and various shots like BIF etc.
I have 2 pre sets for birds alone and always still finding myself tweaking them in field and curious to see what other users are going with for similar situations.

I understand that this is not a generic thing and we all have our own personal preference but its interesting to see if there is a close resemblance in our settings for this particular lens for similar subjects.
 

StefanKruse

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Id be interested to hear your settings fir a few if these shots and various shots like BIF etc.
I have 2 pre sets for birds alone and always still finding myself tweaking them in field and curious to see what other users are going with for similar situations.

I understand that this is not a generic thing and we all have our own personal preference but its interesting to see if there is a close resemblance in our settings for this particular lens for similar subjects.
Hi Shaun,
All shots where done with S-AF single frame. For the football shots I pre-focused on the area I expected the ball to be in or other action. Chasing the ball through the viewfinder was basically impossible, the game was just too fast. I did succeed with a few shot but they weren't particularly interesting. In hindsight I should have increased the shutter speeds, better to get noise than blur. I have never done BIF and wold not know where to start, but please share your settings and learnings :)

I have tried to mess around with C-AF but frankly I dont really get it - Focus didnt seem to follow anything at least not the stuff I wanted - I guess football and sports have to many potential focus candidates but for BIF it might work better.

Not sure what other settings you are interested in, I didnt do back button focus, but that might have worked for some of the penalty and corner kicks where I was prefocussing anyway.
 

Shaun

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Yeah your settings are similar to what i would use in that kind of situation. I use C-AF with 9 box layout but on a busy background it can struggle allot.

S-AF with back button is what i would generally use as a small adjustment needs focussing again and can be done quickly with back button. If the lens had ability to keep focus on adjustment it would be an amazing piece of glass.

The old saying know your equipment and play to its strengths goes hand in hand with this lens.

Great shots @StefanKruse you demonstrate great technique.
 

StefanKruse

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Yeah your settings are similar to what i would use in that kind of situation. I use C-AF with 9 box layout but on a busy background it can struggle allot.

S-AF with back button is what i would generally use as a small adjustment needs focussing again and can be done quickly with back button. If the lens had ability to keep focus on adjustment it would be an amazing piece of glass.

The old saying know your equipment and play to its strengths goes hand in hand with this lens.

Great shots @StefanKruse you demonstrate great technique.
Thanks :) and I couldn't agree more about playing to the strengths of the equipment and focus on what you can do and make the best of it - my own limitations are usually the restricting factor and not my gear :)

Please share some of your stuff. I checked your flickr and liked what you are doing so would be interested in seeing some more stuff on BIF etc.
 

bbarnett51

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I'm selling my 50-200swd to buy this lens. I hope I don't regret it but I'm willing to give up the advantages to get a slightly more compact lens. The 50-200 is fast and tack sharp but this new lens will br more I convenient. Being weather sealed was the kicker for me!
Nice images!
 

Northland

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I'm selling my 50-200swd to buy this lens. I hope I don't regret it but I'm willing to give up the advantages to get a slightly more compact lens. The 50-200 is fast and tack sharp but this new lens will br more I convenient. Being weather sealed was the kicker for me!
Nice images!
Please let us know how that works out for you
 

ijm5012

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I'm selling my 50-200swd to buy this lens. I hope I don't regret it but I'm willing to give up the advantages to get a slightly more compact lens. The 50-200 is fast and tack sharp but this new lens will br more I convenient. Being weather sealed was the kicker for me!
Nice images!
Slightly! I don't think you'll realize how big the size & weight savings are until you get it in your hand.

I was gobsmacked when I received my 40-150 PRO at how much lighter it was than my 50-200 SWD (some 300g once removing the tripod collar, which IMO is completely unnecessary). The 100-300 II is ~200g lighter than the 40-150 PRO, and is therefore about half the weight of the 50-200 SWD.

Regarding IQ, it's not going to match the 50-200 SWD, but I also feel that the 100-300 has received an unfair portrayal, and the IQ is not as bad as the internet would make you believe.

I think you'll be very happy with the 100-300 II when you receive it. I'd be interested in seeing a head-to-head comparison of some images between the two lenses if you get some time.
 

sammykhalifa

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Please let us know how that works out for you


I know what you mean. I have the (not as good) Panasonic 45-200 and have many times considered moving to the 100-300 or the Oly for more reach. I would really miss the 45mm end though--I wind up using it wide almost as much as on the long end.
 
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