Olympus 75-300mm II VS Panasonic 100-300mm II for landscape

molmi

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Hi all

I want to buy a telephoto lens for landscape photography, to reach more then what my trusty 35-100mm can offer. But i hesitate a lot between the Olympus 75-300mm II and the Panasonic 100-300mm II.
I know that the Pana or Oly 100-400mm could be better options, but tbh i don't have the budget for those lenses, i prefer something light/small and 300mm would be more then enaught for my use.

For my practice (Landscape), the most important thing are optical quality, especially between f8 and f11, and handling atmospheric pollution. Weathersealing come in second position. AF speed and accuraty are not important at all to me, as long as the lens works.

I have 2 Olympus cameras, the EM1 II and the EMm5 (first generation).

Any help or recommendation between both lenses ?

Thank you
 

Egregius V

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I've used both and find the Panasonic 100-300 II to be significantly superior. My copy is sharp wide open and all the way to 300mm. I find it easy to get keepers with this lens and my E-M1 II. And you have a choice between IBIS and OIS.

I've taken images stopped down to f/11 at 300mm for depth of field and the image quality is still very good.

For landscapes, though, the Olympus has some advantages. Sharper edges (if you stop down to f/8-11) and less vignetting, and zooms out to 75mm. Is it much better, though? I wouldn't say so. The Olympus needs more stopping down for peak sharpness. And in my experience the whole image is much softer at 300mm.
 
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ac12

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I have and use the 75-300 on my Olympus.
I've seen comments about soft images at the long end, 300mm. But I wonder if:
  • If some of that is due to camera movement. Even with IBIS, it is a 12x lens.
    • I usually shoot mine with a shutter speed of 1/1250 sec or faster.
    • The lens is light, so is difficult to hold steady.
  • If some of that is due to "stuff in the air." The more distance between you and the subject, the more air you have between you and the subject. And the dirtier the air, the worse the IQ will be, simply from looking through the "stuff" in the air, much like looking through a dirty pair of glasses.
 

grcolts

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I've used both and find the Panasonic 100-300 II to be significantly superior. My copy is sharp wide open and all the way to 300mm. I find it easy to get keepers with this lens and my E-M1 II. And you have a choice between IBIS and OIS.

I've taken images stopped down to f/11 at 300mm for depth of field and the image quality is still very good.

For landscapes, though, the Olympus has some advantages. Sharper edges (if you stop down to f/8-11) and less vignetting, and zooms out to 75mm. Is it much better, though? I wouldn't say so. The Olympus needs more stopping down for peak sharpness. And in my experience the whole image is much softer at 300mm.
I agree with you as I too have both lens and use my Panasonic 100-300ii more than the Olympus. Having said that, the Olympus can produce fine images especially with using a lens hood. If I had to pick one or the other, I would go with the Panasonic.
GQR

P.S.-If you look at my link below you will find most of the wildlife shots and some landscapes were made with the Panasonic 100-300ii lens on my G9 body.
https://garyrichards.smugmug.com/OklahomaTexas-Vacation-/
 

Egregius V

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I have and use the 75-300 on my Olympus.
I've seen comments about soft images at the long end, 300mm. But I wonder if...
I wonder, too. These lenses do need plenty of light and stability. FWIW, I remember the Olympus lens being more susceptible to shake and vibrations. It was very sharp in most of the range, but struggled in comparison with my other lenses. I could get reasonably sharp images at 300mm, but not easily with the cameras I was using at the time (E-M10, E-M5 II, GX85). And the best images weren't nearly as sharp as what the Panasonic lens gives me hand-held at 300mm with little effort. I tried several copies of the Olympus lens: there was significant copy variation but not affecting sharpness. So I think it's a combination of technique, stabilization, and lens characteristics. I don't use a hood, but have tested with tripods, bean bags, etc.

Reviews I've read indicated the Pan. 100-300 I and Oly. 75-300 II were very similar optically, with copy variation, a drop in sharpness at 300mm, and some AF issues. But I've concluded that the newer 100-300 II is better-made and more capable.

I've ordered a new Oly. 100-400 to get more reach for wildlife. Can't wait to try that lens.
 

ac12

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Since using my 75-300, I've thought about adding a weight belt around the zoom ring of the lens, to give it more stabilizing weight.
The idea comes from target rifles, where the heavier target rifle is easier to shoot accurately, than a lighter sport rifle. The weight of the target rifle helping to dampen out the natural body wobble.

The other reason is that there is no tripod foot on the lens, so I cannot attach it to a monopod. I would have to put the monopod under the camera body.

I have not done a stability test with the 75-300, to test out the stability issue.
 

Brownie

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Interesting discussion. I had the 100-300 I and sold it. I have been thinking about the II version as a lens I can keep in my truck, since there's no way I'll leave my PL tele zooms in a vehicle all the time. The other contender is the Oly 75-300. Both are available used, the Oly is about $100 less. I like ePhotozine's graphs because they're practical and was comparing them yesterday, I had no idea this discussion was even going on. Here are the comparisons which seems to echo most of what you guys are saying, but they show the Oly to be quite a bit sharper up to 200:

Resolution first.

Oly @ 75mm
highres-Olympus75-300mmII_MTF75mm_1364462702.jpg
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Panny @ 100. Note this is the I version, they haven't reviewed the II that I can find. I don't think they changed anything optically, so under controlled shooting where stabilization isn't as critical, not sure how much of a difference there'd be between the two.
highres-Panasonic100300mmM43MTF100mm_1320311262.jpg
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Oly @ 150
highres-Olympus75-300mmII_MTF150mm_1364462704.jpg
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Panny @ 200
highres-Panasonic100300mmM43MTF200mm_1320311263.jpg
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Oly @ 300.
highres-Olympus75-300mmII_MTF300mm_1364462706.jpg
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Panny @ 300
highres-Panasonic100300mmM43MTF300mm_1320311264.jpg
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Chromatic Aberration.

Oly @ 75
highres-Olympus75-300mmII_CA75mm_1364462698.jpg
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Panny @ 100
highres-Panasonic100300mmM43CA100mm_1320311259.jpg
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Oly @ 150
highres-Olympus75-300mmII_CA150mm_1364462699.jpg
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Panny @ 200
highres-Panasonic100300mmM43CA200mm_1320311260.jpg
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Oly @ 300
highres-Olympus75-300mmII_CA300mm_1364462700.jpg
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Panny @ 300
highres-Panasonic100300mmM43CA300mm_1320311261.jpg
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Going by these only it would appear the Oly is the superior lens until you get to CA @ full extension. As we know, most lenses get soft at the long end and these are no exception, but it looks like the Oly will perform better in the 200-250 range. Still, the CA on the Oly at full extension is pretty significant and I'd expect that to be growing as you zoom.

Would love to hear more of your personal experiences before I decide.
 
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b_rubenstein

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For my practice (Landscape), the most important thing are optical quality, especially between f8 and f11, and handling atmospheric pollution.
Diffraction will significantly reduce resolution in these lenses when stopped down below f5.6. There is no lens design feature that can reduce the effects of atmospheric pollution. A UV or warming filter may help.
 

PhotoCal

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I prefer my Olympus 75-300 II over my Panasonic 100-300 II.

Having the wider end is very convenient for the landscape photography I do.
Both of my copies are very good and seem very similar throughout the focal range.

I would recommend the Olympus (plus it's lighter).
 

retiredfromlife

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I have not used the Oly lens but for me it is the dual stabilization that I like about the Panasonic lens. After using it on my G85 with the dual IS I would not use it on my Oly bodies, the dual IS makes the picture taking so much easier.
Regardless of how sharp either of them are it is the stabilization that enables me to get a few keepers.

I see a lot of good photos from the Oly lens on this forum from people with a lot more experience than me and I am often tempted as I would like the 75 at the wide end.
But alas I know my capabilities and have to work around those.

I am guessing for some people the same questions will be contemplated between the now competing 100-400 lenses
 

ac12

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I have not used the Oly lens but for me it is the dual stabilization that I like about the Panasonic lens. After using it on my G85 with the dual IS I would not use it on my Oly bodies, the dual IS makes the picture taking so much easier.
Regardless of how sharp either of them are it is the stabilization that enables me to get a few keepers.

I see a lot of good photos from the Oly lens on this forum from people with a lot more experience than me and I am often tempted as I would like the 75 at the wide end.
But alas I know my capabilities and have to work around those.

I am guessing for some people the same questions will be contemplated between the now competing 100-400 lenses
I agree.
At 300mm, I find it hard to keep STEADY, even with IBIS.
12x is a lot of magnification to hand hold.
Add some wind, and you have trouble.
 
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I agree.
At 300mm, I find it hard to keep STEADY, even with IBIS.
12x is a lot of magnification to hand hold.
Add some wind, and you have trouble.
One of the things I notice when I occasionally use the 75-300mm is its lightness.
I find the much heavier 100-400 Panasonic easier to hold steady.
It's a different holding technique for the lighter lens.
 

Brownie

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I've been using (though not much) a Tamron Adaptall II 60-300 on a GX9. Talk about an imbalanced setup. Yes, it's difficult to hold steady. One of the reasons I'm thinking about moving back to a M4/3 lens, smaller and lighter. Even with IBIS I try to follow the old rule of shutter speed as fast as the FL. That can be tough in low light but the GX9 can usually spare a stop or so.
 
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