Olympus 100-400mm f/5.0-6.3 IS lens

skamaraju

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I still don’t understand why Olympus lens which has slower aperture, non-metal build is still longer and heavier than Panasonic! Shouldn't it be smaller and lighter?
 

kwalsh

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I still don’t understand why Olympus lens which has slower aperture, non-metal build is still longer and heavier than Panasonic! Shouldn't it be smaller and lighter?
It is an old Sigma FF DSLR optical design actually so that’s likely part of the reason it is larger. It wasn‘t designed for m43 or even mirrorless.
 

RichardC

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It is an old Sigma FF DSLR optical design actually so that’s likely part of the reason it is larger. It wasn‘t designed for m43 or even mirrorless.
A 400mm f6.3 focal length lens, regardless of if it was a design borrowed from somewhere else (which is open to interpretation) has to have a barrel exceeding the size necessary to contain a hole in mm wide enough to maintain the ratio of 6.3, aperture:focal length - unless someone can find a way of squashing more light through a smaller hole.
 

Pluttis

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Think this lens going to be really versatile, especially with the 1,4TC
It woudl be intressting to see how it performs at 400mm compared to the Oly 300mm f4 +1,4TC (420mm).
If I didn't already own the PL, I might agree, but my perspective is that it's not an obvious upgrade if you were already satisfied with using the PL.

The IS has been good enough for me as I'm usually shooting moving birds - waders, swimmers and flyers, so need high shutter speeds anyway. Compatibility with Pro-Cap L is something I do miss.

As for the TC - I have no interest. The PL is already slow enough at f/6.3 for most of the conditions when I use it...
I agree, if you dont value or have use for the things the Oly lens offers over the PL i would stick with the PL lens.
 

BrianLa

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£1100 in the UK, availability end of August. Mine`s ordered, I shall be glad to stick the Panasonic in a cupboard and forget it.
Brian
 

S-Osolin

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Exactly. The TC compatibility looks like check box marketing to me.
Not really. 100-400 with 1.4x tc, gets you very close into the aperture range of 300mm pro with 2x tc at similar focal lengths. And you still retain zoom on 100-400. It'll be really interesting to see how they compare head to head. With it performing well it could remain a really valid long telephoto option no matter what. On lower reach, not so much. I'm sure Olympus 40-150 with 2x tc, or Panasonic Leica 50-200 will be too strong there.
 

tiago.ereira

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I still don’t understand why Olympus lens which has slower aperture, non-metal build is still longer and heavier than Panasonic! Shouldn't it be smaller and lighter?
Maybe this one is easier to fix. For years, there was complaints about the panaleica not being easily fixable.

And from Peter Bambousek review it looks like the Panasonic is not a real 400mm, at least the imagine seems to look bigger on the Olympus, so that might be the difference.
 

Hypilein

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Lens stabilisation seems to be quite much better, infact better than PL100-400 when used on a Panasonic body that gives Dual IS.
Can you point me to a source for that? It seems unlikely to me that Panasonics Dual IS is worse than single lens IS of this Oly.

Generally, this lens seems to be great for Olympus shooters who didn't have any benefit from the lens IS built into the PL lens anyway and who had to live with the "wrong" zoom direction and maybe incompatible weather sealing (although we don't know for sure).

Now it's just a matter of preference. If you have more Panasonic stuff, it seems better to stick with the PL lens. If you're more off an Olympus guy the new lens is probably the one to buy. If you already have the PL it is probably not worth switching even if using an Olympus camera.

I also think the whole warranty situation was way overblown. If you're that worried about it, you should probably have insurance that covers these things.

I agree with @TNcasual that the secret star of the show and the clear winner in the Value/Money category remains the Panasonic 100-300ii. I remember it being rated fairly close to the PL100-400 when that lens came out so in terms of sharpness it is probably not far off the new lens either. I can't find any test results for both lenses on the same sensor though, so this is from memory. Obviously more reach is always better, but for me it's not worth the price. If someone handed me a large amount of money and said go buy a super tele lens it would definitely be one of the primes. But for the occasional wild life shooter the 100-300ii is amazingly good and I have never felt that my images were "soft".
 

comment23

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kwalsh

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A 400mm f6.3 focal length lens, regardless of if it was a design borrowed from somewhere else (which is open to interpretation) has to have a barrel exceeding the size necessary to contain a hole in mm wide enough to maintain the ratio of 6.3, aperture:focal length - unless someone can find a way of squashing more light through a smaller hole.
The Panasonic 100-400 is also F/6.3 at the long end and is in fact smaller and lighter. It is also faster at the short end. The Panasonic lens was designed as a mirrorless m43 lens from the start.

The Oly 100-400 has an optical design identical to FF DSLR Sigma 100-400 of a few years past.
 

comment23

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The Panasonic 100-400 is also F/6.3 at the long end and is in fact smaller and lighter. It is also faster at the short end. The Panasonic lens was designed as a mirrorless m43 lens from the start.

The Oly 100-400 has an optical design identical to FF DSLR Sigma 100-400 of a few years past.
So some say. We’ve really no proof either way.
 

kwalsh

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So some say. We’ve really no proof either way.
Compare the published designs. Every element and its spacing is identical. As the first design was patented by Sigma it is very hard to say the Olympus design is something different or else they would be infringing the patent. It is a licensed Sigma design. Full stop, no room for negotiation.
 

comment23

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Compare the published designs. Every element and its spacing is identical. As the first design was patented by Sigma it is very hard to say the Olympus design is something different or else they would be infringing the patent. It is a licensed Sigma design. Full stop, no room for negotiation.
I agree it’s likely, and possibly even a smart move compared to the alternative for cash strapped Olympus (by all accounts the Sigma is a solid performer in its class), but I disagree that you’ve proved it.
 
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Pluttis

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Can you point me to a source for that? It seems unlikely to me that Panasonics Dual IS is worse than single lens IS of this Oly.
That is what mirrorlesscomparision's test indicats/shows when it comes to stills.

For video Panasonics Dual IS seems to do a better jobb.
 

BrianLa

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The Panasonic 100-400 is also F/6.3 at the long end and is in fact smaller and lighter. It is also faster at the short end. The Panasonic lens was designed as a mirrorless m43 lens from the start.

The Oly 100-400 has an optical design identical to FF DSLR Sigma 100-400 of a few years past.
Please provide a link. No link no proof! Oh, and by the way, if it works who cares.
Brian
 
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Not really. 100-400 with 1.4x tc, gets you very close into the aperture range of 300mm pro with 2x tc at similar focal lengths. And you still retain zoom on 100-400. It'll be really interesting to see how they compare head to head. With it performing well it could remain a really valid long telephoto option no matter what. On lower reach, not so much. I'm sure Olympus 40-150 with 2x tc, or Panasonic Leica 50-200 will be too strong there.
At f/9 the 1.4xTC just pips into diffraction on this lens. The 2xTC will be visibly worse.
With the 1.4xTC you’ll have 560mm (1120 in 135) very functional wide open in good light.
Veering into “real” stabilization here with a tripod or monopod. It’s very difficult to compose and control at these FLs without physically stabilizing.
 

kwalsh

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I agree it’s likely, and possibly even a smart move compared to the alternative for cash strapped Olympus, but I disagree that you’ve proofed it.
Please provide a link. No link no proof! Oh, and by the way, if it works who cares.
Brian
Sigma optical design:

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Olympus optical design:

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Element for element identical. It is a FF DSLR lens design, period.

I didn't say there was anything wrong with that either.

For anyone with reading comprehension problems go back and note my original post was in regard to someone specifically asking why the slower Olympus lens is larger and heavier than the Panasonic lens. At least part of the answer is shown above. The Olympus lens is actually a FF DSLR lens design meaning its optical design was constrained by controlling aberrations over a FF image circle as well as not being able to put elements as close to the sensor.

For telephoto lenses, however, size is mostly governed by focal length and aperture and the size advantages of placing rear elements or reducing the image circle aren't that big. So in this case using an existing FF DSLR design seems a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

But again, the original question was "why is it bigger". It's a FF lens is certainly part of the answer. And as the optical designs are identical as shown above it is clear beyond any reasonable doubt this is a FF lens design.
 
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