Review New Oly 100-400: Impressions and images

Egregius V

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I haven't given up on my Olympus 100-400 yet! Or on the repair center, which just confirmed what I suspected: they calibrated the lens at 400mm but didn't sufficiently test at 300mm where it's still bad. So they sent me a shipping label. Third try's the charm, right? :) They seem to want to get it right. And I'm rooting for them.
 

John King

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Yes thats the better link
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I had to replace the mount on my Pana 100-400 after I dropped the camera from my desk. 3rd party repair in UK, all is fine now with it. I have recently bought the Oly and my only comment on build quality is that there is a little play when attaching it to my Em1.2, whereas the Panasonic is a tight (but not too tight) fit. I think other users have found this as well, certainly hasn't affected anything that I've noticed, but I tend not to go out in real downpours! Image quality differences are small imho, but the Oly is more flexible (can take tc's, low pro capture, ibis/ois), I dont think anyone would be disappointed with either tbh..
Cheers
Nigel
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2018
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Staffordshire England
I thought about the Pana 100-400 but I was little put off by the "tightness" issues. But the deciding factor for me was as Moonraker says the Oly on my 5.iii gives some advantages. I will be especially keen to try a tc with it. When it comes!
 

PhotoCal

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The Panasonic 100-400 had a lot of problems reported. I eventually gave up after trying several copies, including on different bodies (in several stores, where the sales clerk mounted the lens).
Some users weren't concerned about metal shavings left on their sensor, but I am.
It was, without a doubt, the most frustrating and regrettably lens purchase/decision in my decades of buying gear.

If Panasonic made any changes, I'm not aware of them. This lens is like an old relationship- you learn going forward and warn your friends.

If anyone is considering this lens I would suggest they are comfortable with the return policy, including whether they would get a refund or exchange (including for a refurbished model). That's good advice for any gear.

I'm glad to see the Olympus 100-400 is out, as well as the Olympus 150-400 Pro, as expensive as it is. I'm very pleased with the Olympus 100-400. It fits fine and works wonderfully. I post some images (SOOC) when I first received. I believe SOOC reveals more about the lens than images that may have been edited.

I'm glad we have choices and that some prices are dropping.
 

speedy

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Nov 27, 2015
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The Panasonic 100-400 had a lot of problems reported. I eventually gave up after trying several copies, including on different bodies (in several stores, where the sales clerk mounted the lens).
Some users weren't concerned about metal shavings left on their sensor, but I am.
It was, without a doubt, the most frustrating and regrettably lens purchase/decision in my decades of buying gear.

If Panasonic made any changes, I'm not aware of them. This lens is like an old relationship- you learn going forward and warn your friends.

If anyone is considering this lens I would suggest they are comfortable with the return policy, including whether they would get a refund or exchange (including for a refurbished model). That's good advice for any gear.

I'm glad to see the Olympus 100-400 is out, as well as the Olympus 150-400 Pro, as expensive as it is. I'm very pleased with the Olympus 100-400. It fits fine and works wonderfully. I post some images (SOOC) when I first received. I believe SOOC reveals more about the lens than images that may have been edited.

I'm glad we have choices and that some prices are dropping.
Ha ha ha. So HRC makes an appearance here. The crusade continues
 

RichardC

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I am pleased with my lens. Managed to get a little closer today, but still a 50% crop at 400mm. These birds aren't very big by US and Aussie standards. This is with lens IS off, camera IS auto and electronic shutter. EM1Mk2, 1/160sec, f6.3. ISO 1000. Selective denoising.

bluetit130321.jpg
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Edit: Out of curiosity, I ran another image taken a few seconds later on the same camera settings through Topaz AI Clear. I'm amazed how well it cleaned the picture up with a single button press.

bluetit2_130321.jpg
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Motmot

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It was Raptor Week here on Beadles Point, with at least five species making spring cameos. Here are a couple off-the-cuff shots with the Oly 100-400+MC-20. Camera settings were whatever was programmed into C1 (pretty much set up for S-AF with the 40-150 Pro). Post-processed only through Topaz Denoise, no crop, just resized to 2000px wide.

Bald Eagle on Ice:

P3160106-Edit.jpg
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Immature Red-tailed Hawk, lurking near the feeders:

P3160113-Edit.jpg
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RichardC

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Yet another bluetit. Seems to be the only species that will tolerate me sitting nearby in the open (other than a solitary robin, but I missed it!).

Starting to get a feel as to what I need to do to squeeze the most resolution from this lens. Good light makes a big huge difference. Camera settings: smallest centre focus point, CAF (but subject not moving), ISO400, short bursts, silent shutter, low speed continuous. Using a monopod. 1/1250sec, f6.3, zoomed out a little (by accident) to 374mm. Camera IS set to IS1. lens IS off.

Post processing is Topaz AI clear (Topaz studio), highlight/shadow/contrast/saturation and slight vignette in Lightroom, finally colour correction with a curves adjustment layer in Photoshop and +7 yellow/blue/cyan for added pop in a hue/saturation layer. Crop from original to 3500x2625 then downsized to 1600px on the long edge for this forum.

The only sharpening applied to this image was high setting in AI Clear and +17 in Lightroom with some masking. No sharpening applied in Photoshop or on export to JPEG.

It would be interesting to compare other member's settings with this lens which are working best for them. I knew this was likely be a learning curve and I've yet to try this lens on moving aircraft (can't wait!). I have hired a 300/4 PRO in the past and the results in my hands compared to many others on this site were poor. I assumed quite wrongly that synched IS would take care of everything for me.

bluetit_210321.jpg
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retiredfromlife

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@RichardC
Your shot looks good, nice feather detail
So far I have left camera and lens IS on. Dont remdmber the exact recommdnded setting and dont have that camera with me presently. I leave all my cameras at ISO 400 by default, and as you say good light helps.

For me i think it is the weight and stabilization compared to my G85 & 100-300 combo that give me most problems. Dont really have to try with that combo.

Even the G9 with the Pany 100-400 was much easier to use. I only cursed the weight with this combo, no problems using it.

For me i think i will be in for a bit of a learning curve with the EM1.3 and Oly 100-400, bit more than i hoped for.
Wish i had some tips to provide, and use myself :hmmm: apart from more practice
 

RichardC

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@RichardC
Your shot looks good, nice feather detail
So far I have left camera and lens IS on. Dont remdmber the exact recommdnded setting and dont have that camera with me presently. I leave all my cameras at ISO 400 by default, and as you say good light helps.

For me i think it is the weight and stabilization compared to my G85 & 100-300 combo that give me most problems. Dont really have to try with that combo.

Even the G9 with the Pany 100-400 was much easier to use. I only cursed the weight with this combo, no problems using it.

For me i think i will be in for a bit of a learning curve with the EM1.3 and Oly 100-400, bit more than i hoped for.
Wish i had some tips to provide, and use myself :hmmm: apart from more practice

Looking around various review sites, I'd say good light is essential. Fortunately, I bought the lens to take pictures of things in the sky :)

I left the IBIS on in error. Next time I use the monopod, I'll try with and without. Today was also the first time I've used CAF in years, although in this case, I don't think it would have made any difference.
 

Ross the fiddler

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Looking around various review sites, I'd say good light is essential. Fortunately, I bought the lens to take pictures of things in the sky :)

I left the IBIS on in error. Next time I use the monopod, I'll try with and without. Today was also the first time I've used CAF in years, although in this case, I don't think it would have made any difference.
But, a monopod is not a tripod & you will get movement. Having IBIS on will correct for any movement with the monopod & having both on at that focal length for hand holding is even better.
 
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