Review New Oly 100-400: Impressions and images

Ross the fiddler

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Egregius V

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I'm glad most of you are having good experiences with the 100-400. I'm still hoping to enjoy this lens soon. I'd like to share an update on my troubles since noticing left side softness in my images. The Olympus asset transfer interrupted and delayed tech support, but things are on track now, with the support experience being about the same as before. I shipped the 100-400 out for repair - and then was asked for sample images since they were having trouble seeing the problem. They adjusted the lens to try to balance out the softness, then returned it to me. However, it's the same as before. (They did an awesome job packing the lens, by the way.) The repair center sent me one of their test images, which confirmed that they are seeing the same problem - so they're taking the lens back again for further repairs. No complaints except for the inconvenience and loss of use of this lens. While they didn't fix the problem on the first try, they are being very responsive and helpful. (Note, the repair service is still using the Olympus name.)

A local amateur photographer told me he spotted a group of four otters right across the street from me - so maybe I'll go hunting for them today before packing everything up again! :biggrin:
 

Egregius V

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Nope. Not yet, anyway. The USA Olympus store wasn't keen on exchanges in the first place. They preferred issuing refunds, but would exchange if a customer could justify it and talk with the right person in support. And that was only within a certain time period. The long wait for the 100-400, plus the timing of the asset transfer and the loss of support records preceding the transfer all made exchanging this lens impossible. OM-Digital is strictly honoring the US warranty by attempting repair. After three failed attempts, the lemon laws will probably kick in, leading to replacement or refund. Or maybe the repair center will decide they can't fix this lens and will send me another - new or refurbished.
 

Shortsonfire79

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I'm glad most of you are having good experiences with the 100-400. I'm still hoping to enjoy this lens soon. I'd like to share an update on my troubles since noticing left side softness in my images. The Olympus asset transfer interrupted and delayed tech support, but things are on track now, with the support experience being about the same as before. I shipped the 100-400 out for repair - and then was asked for sample images since they were having trouble seeing the problem. They adjusted the lens to try to balance out the softness, then returned it to me. However, it's the same as before. (They did an awesome job packing the lens, by the way.) The repair center sent me one of their test images, which confirmed that they are seeing the same problem - so they're taking the lens back again for further repairs. No complaints except for the inconvenience and loss of use of this lens. While they didn't fix the problem on the first try, they are being very responsive and helpful. (Note, the repair service is still using the Olympus name.)

A local amateur photographer told me he spotted a group of four otters right across the street from me - so maybe I'll go hunting for them today before packing everything up again! :biggrin:
Boy what an unfortunate hassle. At least it sounds like they're treating it and you well. How much out of pocket is this running you?

Otters are so fun! Didn't want to risk the 100-400 on an open water yak though. 14-150ii.
PA040485.jpg
 

Egregius V

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How much out of pocket is this running you?
Doesn't matter. I accepted the risks when I ordered this lens, saved a lot on the purchase, and am able to shrug off any losses or delays. I paid over $40 for the first shipment ($18 was the base rate), but OM-Digital took care of the second entirely and sent me confirmation of receipt the very next day. That was great.
 

saladin

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Pretty good deal available on this lens at an Australian retailer atm. Trying to decide whether to buy it for shooting large field sports (Aussie Rules footy) or put the money into a Dslr setup (which I think is still superior for sporting use). I could probably find other uses for the Oly as well, though.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Pretty good deal available on this lens at an Australian retailer atm. Trying to decide whether to buy it for shooting large field sports (Aussie Rules footy) or put the money into a Dslr setup (which I think is still superior for sporting use). I could probably find other uses for the Oly as well, though.
The light needs to be good for the apertures of the lens & why I find it fine for most static bird shots, but I'm not so sure with that use with maybe too much motion blur. Others may give better advice for that area though.
 

retiredfromlife

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Pretty good deal available on this lens at an Australian retailer atm. Trying to decide whether to buy it for shooting large field sports (Aussie Rules footy) or put the money into a Dslr setup (which I think is still superior for sporting use). I could probably find other uses for the Oly as well, though.
Is anyone doing better than digidirect ?
 

saladin

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The light needs to be good for the apertures of the lens & why I find it fine for most static bird shots, but I'm not so sure with that use with maybe too much motion blur. Others may give better advice for that area though.
Yep, that's one of the concerns. I'd be pushing the iso through Melbourne winters as a general rule. The 300/4 would be better in some ways (but obviously not in others) .

That said , I was able to get by with a Sigma 150-500 years ago on aps-c, and iirc that was f/6.3 at the long end.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Yep, that's one of the concerns. I'd be pushing the iso through Melbourne winters as a general rule. The 300/4 would be better in some ways (but obviously not in others) .

That said , I was able to get by with a Sigma 150-500 years ago on aps-c, and iirc that was f/6.3 at the long end.
With my bird shots (usually in some shade), if the birds move (their heads etc) then it is often blurred, hence my thoughts. You’re welcome to check my results in Flickr.
 

retiredfromlife

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Well I purchased one of these today, first impressions OH No did I do the right thing.
This thing is heavy and hard to hold. The IS with my EM1.3 is no where near as good as the Panasonic 100-300 and G85 body combo.

Tried a few shots on ISO 400 & 800 and not one in focus :hmmm: I don't even have to try with the Panasonic combo.
This was the first time I have tried something and come away completely empty handed with any images, bit sobering for my technique. :speechless:

Set it up for a brick wall shot all nicely leveled up on a tripod. Tried with IS on and off. Gave it to the wife for the first look in case I was biased.
Corners soft at 100 & 400 as to be expected I guess, but the left side is softer than the right. She noticed that straight away and it certainly looks like it is. Not much but definately softer. Checked at maximum playback zoom. Need a better test subject as brick walls don't have even textures across the board.

Since I could not get anything thing even remotely like a keeper I will have to try later with a few tripod shots in my garden next weekend.

Since this will only be for occasional use this will be hard to learn to use. I thought I would have at least got something sharp oh well.
Sure it must be me never having ever used a lens this heavy before.

One thing I did like is that is was very easy to manually focus, the focus ring was very smooth and the peaking worked very well. To zoom I used the hold the foot and twist the lens like Thomas Stirr recommended. It seemed to work well and I did not feel any play.

Edit,
Will try and post some brick wall images later tonight to see if others think the lens is the same across both sides.
these brick wall shots uploaded seemed to be resized so not sure if they are helpfull or not

Below Brick wall shots with stabilization turned off, mounted on a tripod

100mm below
P2141111.JPG
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Below at 400mm
P2141112.JPG
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Below Brick wall shots with stabilization turned on, mounted on a tripod

Below at 100mm
P2141113.JPG
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Below at 400mm
P2141114.JPG
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You’re welcome to check my results in Flickr.
Ross I did just that and you've got some beautiful photos.

(EDIT: didn't realise this actually posted your photo here Ross. I was imagining a live link for others to follow if interested. Oops! If this "ain't on" then please say and I'll edit out. How does one just post a link?) https://flic.kr/p/2khudig I don't have Flickr otherwise would have commented on your post there.

If anyone has doubts about this combo then this is a fine example of what it can do.
Lovely lot of photos. I don't want to barge in on this thread but hopefully encourage others to look at results.
@retiredforlife I can't really comment on your specifics but when I got my Panasonic 100-400 the first day, echoed your comment. Have I done the right thing? Very mediocre results.
Not discounting the lens could be not 100%.
 
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retiredfromlife

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@retiredforlife I can't really comment on your specifics but when I got my Panasonic 100-400 the first day, echoed your comment. Have I done the right thing? Very mediocre results.
Not discounting the lens could be not 100%.
I tried the Panasonic G9 & 100-400 on a paid Panasonic birding day where we could try all the gear, I did get some keepers then. I put that down to a lighter combo and better stabilization.

At this stage I would not comment on my lens apart maybe the brick wall test [but I want to repeat that as well] as I see a lot of people can have problems when first trying a super zoom.

I am also judging my pictures the same as my spider close ups. They must be nearly tack sharp when fully zoomed in on the camera playback. With my closeups they must be either sharp fully zoomed in or only just off. Most of my spider shots posted here are hand held so I expect similar results or I will stick with spiders :)
 
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Curious if these lenses need micro adjustment in the menu settings for the lens? I learnt from @Blackfox about the Panasonic and have adjusted for that lens.
It made noticeable difference, more so on longer shots. >15-20 metres?
 

Ross the fiddler

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Ross I did just that and you've got some beautiful photos.

(EDIT: didn't realise this actually posted your photo here Ross. I was imagining a live link for others to follow if interested. Oops! If this "ain't on" then please say and I'll edit out. How does one just post a link?) https://flic.kr/p/2khudig I don't have Flickr otherwise would have commented on your post there.

If anyone has doubts about this combo then this is a fine example of what it can do.
Lovely lot of photos. I don't want to barge in on this thread but hopefully encourage others to look at results.
@retiredforlife I can't really comment on your specifics but when I got my Panasonic 100-400 the first day, echoed your comment. Have I done the right thing? Very mediocre results.
Not discounting the lens could be not 100%.
Thank you very much for your compliments & you're absolutely fine to have 'shared' my photo, but I'm going to go one better & post it at a larger size. ;)

50726039577_2bfcb5d927_h.jpg
KC164758-adj
by Ross, on Flickr
 
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