Review New Oly 100-400: Impressions and images

John King

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Thanks for those links
Those PNG files with all the lines will be good to compare my lenses.
From what I can see the Oly 100-400 is a bit sharper than my Panasonic 100-300, but it will be good to actually put that to the test and those two charts look like they may be able to help. Only judging this by a shot I took of the back of a bird and the feather detail looks better on the OLy I think. But the Panasonic was hand held and the Oly was on a monopod.
You're welcome.

That can potentially make a huge difference.

Lens testing should be performed from a solid tripod, in accordance with the procedures in (particularly) the USAF document. Preferably with both remote release and shutter delay of 3-5 seconds. Also preferably, the tripod should be properly damped.

I have started a thread on this subject in this forum. Hopefully it will be made 'sticky'.
 

Egregius V

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Whether the wall is perpendicular or the camera is precisely level with the floor (or more correctly the newspaper), the result will be the same if it is not.
Another thing, how often would this lens be used for those sort of images anyhow? I bought it for wildlife or birds mostly & they are not flat brick walls or floors.
It's just a test. I had first noticed left-side softness with real world images. If it's bad enough to show up that way, then test images (which Olympus asked for) can reveal what the problem is.
 

Ross the fiddler

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It's just a test. I had first noticed left-side softness with real world images. If it's bad enough to show up that way, then test images (which Olympus asked for) can reveal what the problem is.
I would imagine when doing these tests that the grid pattern is enabled to make sure camera to subject is accurately aligned too.
 

Josh Wolfe

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This lens is amazing. It’s tack sharp wide open. This is a heavy crop, he was in the middle of the tree. I’m super glad I switched for this. No time to try the 1.4x!
 

Shortsonfire79

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I'll be up in Yose tomorrow and Sunday. You can guarantee that I'll be spying on climbers on The Nose once summer hits. Distance shy of 5000 ft/1524m. Raw mobile exports from EM5ii/14-150ii @ 36mm and EM1ii/O100400 light tweaking in LR mobile. Not the sharpest picture ever but good lord I am so blown away by the zoom.



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OI000017.jpg < Full res.
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saladin

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Has anyone used their 100-400 for sports (outdoor ) ? Not easy with Covid, I know, but I thought someone may have been able to shoot some soccer/ rugby/Aussie Rules/ baseball, whatever. Even car racing?

I'm going to see if my local Ted's could somehow persuade Oly Australia to let me borrow one for half a day, as I don't want to splash the cash unless I know it can do what I need.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Has anyone used their 100-400 for sports (outdoor ) ? Not easy with Covid, I know, but I thought someone may have been able to shoot some soccer/ rugby/Aussie Rules/ baseball, whatever. Even car racing?

I'm going to see if my local Ted's could somehow persuade Oly Australia to let me borrow one for half a day, as I don't want to splash the cash unless I know it can do what I need.
This guy was testing it for car racing.

And here is another.
 

Shortsonfire79

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Has anyone used their 100-400 for sports (outdoor ) ? Not easy with Covid, I know, but I thought someone may have been able to shoot some soccer/ rugby/Aussie Rules/ baseball, whatever. Even car racing?
I haven't, but I've tracked my dog running full sprint in zoomies mode and it kept up ok. Definitely user error.
https://streamable.com/9zncgt

I did try tracking some cars that were moving at me with ok results. Second attempt. @SpecFoto and I talked about it a few pages back. https://www.mu-43.com/threads/new-oly-100-400-impressions-and-images.109375/page-11#post-1439812

Also, here's a quick teaser of this Saturday's Firefall in Yosemite. Mostly shot with the 60mm macro on tripod but at the last moment whipped out the 100-400. 400mm, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/13, hand held, RAW wifi to phone, LR Mobile. I regret not putting it on tripod but I didn't have time (or stable location) to pull my medium format off the tripod and put this one on, and my gorilla pod can barely support the weight of the O100400.

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John King

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I haven't, but I've tracked my dog running full sprint in zoomies mode and it kept up ok. Definitely user error.
https://streamable.com/9zncgt

I did try tracking some cars that were moving at me with ok results. Second attempt. @SpecFoto and I talked about it a few pages back. https://www.mu-43.com/threads/new-oly-100-400-impressions-and-images.109375/page-11#post-1439812

Also, here's a quick teaser of this Saturday's Firefall in Yosemite. Mostly shot with the 60mm macro on tripod but at the last moment whipped out the 100-400. 400mm, ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/13, hand held, RAW wifi to phone, LR Mobile. I regret not putting it on tripod but I didn't have time (or stable location) to pull my medium format off the tripod and put this one on, and my gorilla pod can barely support the weight of the O100400.

View attachment 874956
That is one absolutely stunning photo! 400mm at 1/13th ... :clapping::drinks: ...
 

Egregius V

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It's just a test. I had first noticed left-side softness with real world images. If it's bad enough to show up that way, then test images (which Olympus asked for) can reveal what the problem is.
Hey, my second 100-400 repair attempt just came back. Packaged in paper this time instead of the plastic air bags I originally mailed the lens in.

The lens looks nice and clean. The repair center's work order says, "Adjusted as much as possible. Cleaned and checked all. Thank you..."

So how does it perform? The good news is that it's hard to find any fault at 400mm now. The bad news is that from 150-300mm the left side remains noticeably softer at open aperture. :drama: I'll need some time to decide if it's enough of an improvement.

I'll see if I can put the lens to work outside later this week. It's sounding more like spring out there, even though there's almost a foot of snow on the ground and temps still drop into the teens.
 
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retiredfromlife

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It's been raining every time I have have had a chance to use the lens so I just have a few shots from my back door at close range.
The light has been typical that what I would be using the lens in. I tried using a fairly low ISO but I can see out in the real world I will have to use ISO 1600+ in the conditions I will be using the lens in. I was able to lean on the house taking these, which helped keep me steady.

The below are straight out of camera, no PP at all. Nothing I could post in a normal thread yet, but getting closer. With some sharpening some of the below may be usable, will check soon.

On the bird below I tried to focus on the eye. So not to scare the bird away I held the camera at waist level and used the rear screen to take the photo. I had the screen twisted so I was not looking at the bird. [I hate to admit I finally found a use for the flippy screen over my preferred tilt screen :( ]

This first shot not very sharp.
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I think this second shot is a little sharper
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I tried a couple of Lizard shots, one of my regular subjects. Tried to focus on the eye.

This one just missed
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This shots looks a little better at a shorter focal length
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This second lizard of the same type as above was about 4 times the size [Shutter speeds quiet low as well]

First shot almost sharp
Doing a comparison here with the next shot that has slightly more exposure. The darker shot looks sharper than the second but not sure if it just because it is darker SOOC
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This second shot of the same subject above does not look as sharp, but not sure if that is just because it is more exposed.
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This last one of the same lizard as above may be usable after a bit of sharpening
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Final thoughts so far. I have quiet a few shots at short range now and I think the above sort of shows my progress so far
* It is a big difference getting a usable shots between 300 and 400. It is a lot harder at 400mm than thought it would be.
* With the G85 and 100-300 I don't really have to try that hard to get a usable shot at 300mm
* The Olympus 100-400 weight compared to the Panasonic 100-300 makes the lens far harder to use. This may be due to what I perceive as better stabilization of the Panasonic 100-300 not sure
* It is hard to judge sharpness where depth of field and exposure are not even across the photo. Not sure if it is possible for me anyway with these type of photos.
* I have seen comments that a slightly heavier lens is easier to hold still than a light one. Not so for me, and at my age age not likely to change. Maybe if you are younger....
* Using two different PC's to check sharpness gives different results, and after I post on the forum the photos look different to on my PC's before uploading.
* I probably should be using a higher ISO to get higher shutter speed but then it makes it harder to judge sharpness for me, but I cant afford something like a Topaz subscription at this time.

Anyway it has been fun trying so far, and now looking to forward trying to take some more shots at a more realistic distance where I think it will be a lot harder :crying:
 
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saladin

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From what i can see, the cocky photo was at 1/200 at 100mm (200mm FOV) ? With an awkward hold position, you're doing well to get it as sharp as it it.

The lizard is 1/15 at 275mm FL !? Even on a tripod, that's tough, and f/7.1 at close range doesn't give you a lot of DOF at that FL. And if you shot that free hand, its an extraordinarily good result!
 
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retiredfromlife

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With the lizard shot where "you just missed", I think that it is camera motion blur, not focus.

The others look pretty terrific (on my tablet).

Congrats on your lovely new lens :flowers_2: .
Yes I think I was a bit over confident with the SS, but I thought i was braced against the house. But on reflection with my experience with this lens I should start using a higher ISO to raise the SS.
But when I try to use the lens in real shots I would like to be able to use ISO 400, that I think that is just wishfull thinking. Oh well we can dream and think we are better than we are at holding slow SS ;)
 

retiredfromlife

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From what i can see, the cocky photo was at 1/200 at 100mm (200mm FOV) ? With an awkward hold position, you're doing well to get it as sharp as it it.

The lizard is 1/15 at 275mm FL !? Even on a tripod, that's tough, and f/7.1 at close range doesn't give you a lot of DOF at that FL.
But I was cheating leaning against a wall.

I think I may have made a mistake with my thinking about the short range. I was thinking it would be easier than longer range but I forgot about the closer distance and shortning of the DoF as a result,

Oh Well... Glad I don't make any claims about knowing what I am doing, thanks for reminding me about the DoF :thumbup:
 

John King

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Yes I think I was a bit over confident with the SS, but I thought i was braced against the house. But on reflection with my experience with this lens I should start using a higher ISO to raise the SS.
But when I try to use the lens in real shots I would like to be able to use ISO 400, that I think that is just wishfull thinking. Oh well we can dream and think we are better than we are at holding slow SS ;)
Ha!

Not this little black duck. Not any more.

The non-existent IBIS (may as well not exist) and lack of electronic first curtain shutter on my (new-to-me) E-PM2 has me using ISO 400 in bright sunshine!
 

saladin

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Honestly, if you shot that Lizard at 1/15 shutter - and almost 600mm FOV !!?- freehand, or even "leaning against a wall", you have done amazingly well !! And the Oly Ibis has performed a miracle.
 

saladin

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Ha!

Not this little black duck. Not any more.

The non-existent IBIS (may as well not exist) and lack of electronic first curtain shutter on my (new-to-me) E-PM2 has me using ISO 400 in bright sunshine!

Ha! The old dslr's i've been playing with in the ccd thread has been a rude reminder as to how careful i have to be without stabilisation!
 
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