Is the Panasonic-Leica 100-400 a "difficult" Lens ??

oldracer

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I just tried my 70-200/4 on the ball head on a monopod, and it works as you said :)
Good to hear. I'd suggest topping the ball head with a quick release clamp. If you have no reason to use the Arca-Swiss system, I find the Manfrotto RC2 system to be best for this application. Monopod in one hand, camera in the other, when you put the camera plate into the clamp it automatically closes and captures. With A-S you need a third hand to tighten the clamp. Screw clamps are the worst. Lever clamps that lock are IMO the best. I don't know why some enterprising person doesn't adapt the Manfrotto design to work with A-S plates. That would be the best IMO.
 

ac12

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The "one hand" insert then lock of the Manfroto plate is sooo cool.
I saw it in use once and was impressed.
I now use the larger Manfroto hex plate for my 4x5. It is a LOT easier and safer than trying to screw the view camera onto the tripod, while holding the camera and trying not to drop it.
 

Rrybicki

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These birds say 'no'.

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All taken today, on an afternoon walk.

Russ
 
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PhotoCal

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So, as someone who seems to use a monopod a lot, where do you stand on the issue of using IS on a monopod? (or have I just hijacked this thread?). Let's just change the question to not hijack it too much - do YOU use IS while using a monopod, say using current m43 equipment (different IS systems might be different in this respect)?

Don't worry. Off topic posts are not prohibited.
My first copy of this lens was erratic about focusing.

I'm much happier with the Olympus 100-400 on both my Olympus and Panasonic bodies.
 

MacBook

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This was taken through double-paned glass in very difficult lighting. The first is the JPG SOOC and the second a crop processed through DxO Deep Prime. The 100-400mm was not a problem. If anything could be an issue, it might be the limits of the DR of the G9, but the most important limitation would be the photographer/processor.

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Brownie

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Finally got around to testing the effectiveness or the Dual IS as discussd above. Turns out it was more of a test of my own IS, which failed miserably. Flat light today, picked a pepper plant from the garden about 20'-25' away. Also checked at about 50' and infinity with similar results.

The photos are named for their shutter speed and are SOOC jpegs with the exception of 250, which I added a stop of exposure to in Darktable because the lens had no more aperture.

Based on my math I recon the camera and lens should be capable of a clear shot down to 1/15, or 1/30 at the worst. Based on my result, 1/15th is unacceptable. 1/30th is very soft and also unacceptable. 1/60th is getting closer and I would probably have thought it borderline ok had there not been a 1/125th to compare it with. The 125th is pretty good. The veins on the leaf are clear and defined. There isn't a lot of difference between it and the 1/250th, but there is some.

15.JPG
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30.JPG
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60.JPG
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125.JPG
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My observations:
  1. The lens is fully capable and seems no more difficult than any other tele lens See Edit Below
  2. Dual IS is effective
  3. 6-stops of IS cannot overcome 8-stops of bad technique
  4. My technique sucks and likely exceed 8-stops
For the record, this plant was stationary and not flitting about the yard like a bird...

Edit:
After writing this I thought better of my conclusion and decided to break out my Sony STL-65 and Tamron 200-500. Neither the camera or lens should be capable of approaching the G9/PL100-400 results. And when it comes to the SOOC JPEGs and overall image look, quality, etc. that held true throughout...mostly.

I set it up as closely as I could to the G9, 400 ISO, same shutter speeds and zoomed all the way. The Tamron provides slightly less FL equivalence on the APSC sensor @ 750mm. The Sony had trouble focusing at higher shutter speeds due to the limited light so 1/125th is the fastest.

Here's the thing: The shots at 1/15th and 1/30th are clearer than the G9, and are actually fairly usable. The Sony's IS isn't near the G9, and the Tamron has none at all. This lends itself to the point made by @Phocal regarding the size and weight of the lens, the Tamron being much larger than the PL.

So, maybe the PL100-400 is a little more difficult to manage under some circumstances.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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I find that once I get below 1/200 at the 400mm end, my results aren't as reliable. The G9 even warns you once you dip below 1/200 with the little red hand shake symbol. It doesn't prevent you from taking photos, it apprently just doesn't recommend it!
 

Brownie

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I find that once I get below 1/200 at the 400mm end, my results aren't as reliable. The G9 even warns you once you dip below 1/200 with the little red hand shake symbol. It doesn't prevent you from taking photos, it apprently just doesn't recommend it!
It depends on the mode you're in. In Manual it won't prevent the shot, but I have had it say "no" in the past. I can't recall if this was in Auto only or also in P, I'd have to check.
 
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I've used mine at slow shutter speeds down to 1/15th second.
A couple at 1/25th, handheld (oops. One says 1/30th)
These are low res versions
Wren.jpeg
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Wren male.jpeg
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Lescrane

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I have a PL 100 - 400 on order, and a friend who has one told me it is difficult to get good results due to the way it works with the autofocus. He is an xlnt photographer with many decades of experience and has rented Nikon "big glass" for photo safaris, etc. before he moved to Panasonic m43.

Any thoughts or tips?

I usually use a G9 but have a GX85 also. I'll use this lens mainly for wildlife.
New to this forum, not new to the PL 100-400. A few points I'd like to share..

There is a tremendous sample variation with this lens. I know because I've had 2. The first, bought about 4 years ago had the notorious stiff zoom which only got stiffer over time. Sharpness was ok but not great. Your question about the focusing...I think the issue is with the C_DFD autofocus system not the lens itself. It is simply not great on things like birds in flight against a gray sky.
This OIS coupled with the IBIS on the G9 is hard to beat.

I tried the Olympus 100-400. It felt substantially heavier. Same sharpness but the stabilization simply was not as good as it only used lens only, not body on Panny body. The build, zoom smoothness were much better than the Panasonic. Also it has a traditional tripod collar that lets you smoothly rotate the lens in either direction, 360 degrees. To save weight presumably, the PL has a bizarre integrated foot and collar that only turn one way.

Fast forward, I finally decided to try another copy of the PL, knowing that if it had the same issues I would quickly return it for a refund. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the zoom was much smoother and required less torque than my 1st copy. Still not on a par with most zooms I've owned, but it's no longer an issue. I also have found in an unscientific assessment that my new copy is sharper than the first.....I have many more sharp images and it's not that I've become any better at holding steady, etc

THat's what I found. I wish I had more choices for a 400mm range zoom but at least I feel I have a better lens now.
 

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