Review New Oly 100-400: Impressions and images

Ross the fiddler

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 20, 2012
Messages
4,281
Location
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Real Name
Ross
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 ;)
I just use Aperture Priority with Auto ISO which can go up to 6400. Obviously, with some light conditions it isn't as clear with that higher ISO but I bought DeNoise earlier this year when they offered it at a 45% discount (I think it was that much), so that helps for those images.
 

John King

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
2,582
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
In good light with my E-M1 MkII, I find that ISO 3200 is OK, even higher for A4 size.

Here's pretty low light at ISO 6400 OoC JPEG, the lovely Rosa:

E-M1_MkII_JAK_2020-_M226103_Ew.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

Egregius V

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
837
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Real Name
Rev. Gregory Vozzo
Corners soft at 100 & 400 as to be expected I guess, but the left side is softer than the right.

Have you managed to obtain better results since you did your first tests?

I've been testing my lens further, as weather permits. (It's been horrendous here.) On a tripod with a fairly close target (approaching the minimum focus distance, to be honest), I'm still seeing softness on the left side in up to 1/4 of the image frame - and that's away from the corners. Worst is at 300mm. However, with a more distant target (a wall with a lot of fine detail to resolve), the left side gets sharp at wide-open aperture and any falloff is more often on the right side and lower right corner than on the left. So distance definitely plays a role. When it isn't as windy and cold as the summit of Mt. Washington outside my house, I'll do more tests.
 

retiredfromlife

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
4,705
Location
Sydney, Australia
Have you managed to obtain better results since you did your first tests?

I've been testing my lens further, as weather permits. (It's been horrendous here.) On a tripod with a fairly close target (approaching the minimum focus distance, to be honest), I'm still seeing softness on the left side in up to 1/4 of the image frame - and that's away from the corners. Worst is at 300mm. However, with a more distant target (a wall with a lot of fine detail to resolve), the left side gets sharp at wide-open aperture and any falloff is more often on the right side and lower right corner than on the left. So distance definitely plays a role. When it isn't as windy and cold as the summit of Mt. Washington outside my house, I'll do more tests.
Sorry I have not had the chance to repeat those tests yet, only played around with some close up shots. Froblem is I need my other half to help me square off the tripod to the wall to make sure I have the camera square to the wall.

Also have been working on my weekends lately.

I will get around to it though
 

Egregius V

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 14, 2015
Messages
837
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Real Name
Rev. Gregory Vozzo
Great weather today, with enough good targets to test! I didn't retest focus in the corners yet - just the central horizontal axis in landscape orientation. Here's what I can confirm about my copy of the 100-400mm lens with the aperture wide open:

- The field of focus is much like that of my Lumix 12-60mm lens: much more area in front of the selected AF target is in focus than behind it.

- Generally, quite sharp from the center to the far edges at all focal lengths when the lens is aimed correctly at a target.

- At 100mm, typically sharp across the entire frame. Zooming in loses some sharpness and depth of field at the extreme edges and corners, as expected.

- My lens is moderately decentered, but after repair seems to handle real-world subjects well enough.

- Except with very near targets, With targets that are level with the camera, my upper left corner is sharpest and my lower right corner gets soft zoomed in past 200mm. It doesn't seem to be a concern with real-world images due to shallow depth-of-field. (My Panasonic 100-300 II is similar.)

- Consequentially, past 150mm the extreme right edge loses sharpness while the extreme left edge remains very sharp. Not a problem at all.

- With very near targets targets lower or higher than the camera, near or far away, results are opposite and significantly worse. Decentering appears past 100mm. The whole left quarter of the frame is soft at around 300mm, while the right side remains very sharp. Sharper than the center (where I'm focusing).

- While this is a real problem, it improves enough at 400mm, where all edges have softness at close distances.

- I bought this lens mainly for photographing wildlife at a distance. For near targets, my Panasonic 100-300 II is more reliable despite having more fall-off at the edges.

- Flat wall targets are difficult to test with, especially at close range, because of the need to precisely align the lens. My most exact tests consistently show a sharp left edge/upper left quadrant with decentering adversely affecting the far right edge/lower right quadrant when zoomed in past 200mm. Not bad enough to be a concern for me, but something I want to keep in mind. Were I to get any closer to the target, I expect the left side would become soft and the right side very sharp. But testing a flat target that close is too difficult and unrealistic. When the lens is not perfectly perpendicular and the focus target is at center, corner focus varies greatly with focal length even when the target isn't so close to the lens.

UPDATE: Further testing proved that distance doesn't matter, just angle to the target. Olympus has offered to try a third repair.
 
Last edited:

RS86

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
964
Location
Finland
Real Name
Riku
* 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.

Just a notion, neither Dxo Photolab (DeepPrime) or Topaz Denoise AI is a subscription model. Both give updates for a year, and after that you can decide if you upgrade and/or when.

Dxo is just amazing RAW converter imo, and DeepPrime is apparently a bit ahead of Topaz currently. And also both have sales a few times per year. Some blogs have -15 % discount codes for Topaz, which I think might be possible to combine with the sales.
 

retiredfromlife

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
4,705
Location
Sydney, Australia
Just a notion, neither Dxo Photolab (DeepPrime) or Topaz Denoise AI is a subscription model. Both give updates for a year, and after that you can decide if you upgrade and/or when.

Dxo is just amazing RAW converter imo, and DeepPrime is apparently a bit ahead of Topaz currently. And also both have sales a few times per year. Some blogs have -15 % discount codes for Topaz, which I think might be possible to combine with the sales.
Thanks for the suggestions, they look good.
I may look into those when funds are available, bit restricted because of Covid presently.
Currently I use ON1 and Snapseed. ON1 is not as good as I would like for denoise, but seems to be getting regular updates.
 

saladin

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
2,208
Location
Melbourne
Real Name
jason
So when I woke up this morning I never dreamt I'd own this lens by end of day. And yet here we are, lol.

By pure chance, I came across a mint, 2nd hand example. A lad had bought it, decided three weeks later that the 300/4 was more suitable for their use, and traded /exchanged it back to the store!

@retiredfromlife proved a bit of an inspiration after seeing how good his very slow shutter speed examples had looked. So I tried it out in store.

This is 400mm , iso 400, handheld from a standing position at 1/25 of a second. With the Em5iii. What the actual f@$# !?
Oh, and for the record, the 5iii AF registered both faces in the Evf, lol.

Edit: I just realised, this was with lens stabiliser "On" and in-camera stabiliser on as "IS-1" .


OI000557-01.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


Now, for my proposed use this sort of thing - slow shutter stabilization- isn't a huge priority. But I'd struggle to handhold an 85mm at 1/80 on a dslr. 1/25th at 800mm eq fov!? Nuts. Absolutely nuts.

And I've recently sold off some gear to open up some funds. So I bought it. Which means I'll hopefully be able to offer some useful info to this thread.

Oh, and first outdoor shot when I went outside the store a few minutes ago. 1/1000 , ISO 200, f/6.3 , 400mm .

OI000559-01.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:

John King

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Apr 20, 2020
Messages
2,582
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
John ...
I actually feel a bit bad for the previous owner. If you happen to be a forum member, I hope you love the 300/4 .
They bought it. They sold it. Not your worry, Jason.

The original people who bought our cars got the brand new feel. We got 55% off one, and 35% off the other. Their decisions. We got cars with at least 70-80% of their usable lifespan left. In effect, two very nice vehicles for about the price of one brand new one.
 

Ross the fiddler

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 20, 2012
Messages
4,281
Location
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Real Name
Ross
I actually feel a bit bad for the previous owner. If you happen to be a forum member, I hope you love the 300/4 .
Glad you're enjoying the lens too. Here's an example of near & far with the lens on my E-M1 II this morning.

K3077648-ms.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)


The moon was directly overhead around 9am & image cropped to 2000 pixels across.

K3077633-cr.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

saladin

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
2,208
Location
Melbourne
Real Name
jason
Busy with family things, but speaking of "near and far", for those interested (ignore the photo quality, lol. Terribly hazy day here on Saturday):


100mm

OI000560-02.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)




400mm

OI000561-02.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)




Edit: the 1.4 T/C would have been interesting.


It's about 13km straightline distance to those cbd buildings.
 
Last edited:

saladin

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
2,208
Location
Melbourne
Real Name
jason
And pointed out the back door at a lazy pigeon in pretty drab conditions. 1/40 / f6.3 / iso200 jpeg sharpened in snapseed.


01023284-01.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)



The distance here is about 10-12 meters to the bird, and then probably about twice that to the nearest part of the background. So you get an indication of the DOf and bokeh. I think this will be fine for my hoped-for use (field sports) as whilst the players will often be further away, so too will the background be further away so hopefully there'll still be good separation on the subjects. And i don't find the bokeh unpleasant, even around the blown highlights. So far, so good.

Edit: And I don't want to sound like a broken record, but really, I have no right to be shooting at 1/40th at an almost 800mm fov. I say "almost" because the jpeg file info says 385mm as a focal length. Interesting. Did i not have the lenses fully extended? Or do the electronic contacts send a 385mm signal at full reach?


Double Edit: This was shot on the G9, not the 5iii. Image stabiliser turned on in body and lens. "Animal detect" had no issues finding the bird, but obviously a sitting target proves nothing about C-AF Tracking. I do have some thoughts and questions about the whole IS setup, but I'll save that for more research and an overall review. But I now have pretty sharp shots at 1/25th indoor and 1/40th outdoor so clearly the system is working!

Triple edit (sorry!) : Nope, i wasn't quite fully extended for this shot. I have another where the file details lists "400mm". This one is 1/80 at iso400. Again, it's a jpeg straight into snapseed and basic 10 second adjustments.


01023281-01.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)





And a 2100 × 2100 crop of the first pic. I think there's a tiny hint of motion blur when i zoom right in, but again this is 1/40th ss. I think if i can get a little sunlight into shots, this lens is going to be very very nice indeed.



01023284-01-01.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:

RichardC

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Mar 25, 2018
Messages
4,312
Location
The Royal Town of Sutton Coldfield, UK.
Real Name
Richard
Got mine yesterday. Happy with some results I got today in good light over on the birds thread.

Handholding 16x normal focal length is a learnt skill and one which I hope to practice a lot prior to airshow season (if it even happens). I did a few tests on a tripod and the sharpness is excellent - no need to worry about stopping down. It's tricky to get the same degree of sharpness handheld though and mine are still a little off the mark.

If anyone has disappointing results with this lens, try again with the sun behind you before thinking about sending it back.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2013
Messages
1,249
Location
Wiltshire, UK
I too got mine this weekend. A deal heavier than the Pany 100-400, so more exercise. Seems a bit snappier to focus (3 range settings vs 2 probably helps). Anecdotally, the IBIS/OIS seems a tad better, time will tell though. Looking forward to getting the 1.4 TC to try out in decent light. Common buzzard:
51015691636_df494b1ce6_o.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

saladin

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
2,208
Location
Melbourne
Real Name
jason
01023351-01.jpeg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Forum GIFs powered by GIPHY: https://giphy.com/
Copyright © Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom