Pana 100-300 rough zoom action??

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by londonfire, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. londonfire

    londonfire Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 18, 2014
    Western NC
    Hi, all. I searched the forum for an answer about my 100-300 and all issues seem to be about focusing and overall handling. My question is this...I tried mine outside yesterday for the first time to check focusing abilities and my major complaint is the zoom feel. Going out to 300 it's not bad but bringing it back to the 100 area it is very rough. Probably the worst lens feel I've ever experienced. I have 40 year old Minolta glass that feels great. The lens was never outside or in a camera bag so it hasn't been contaminated. I also have the Oly 75-300 II and by comparison it feels like my Canon 'L' glass. I really want to use the Pana for the IS. Anybody have this issue? Thanks...
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Yes, the 100-300 zoom is not smooth. I've had four copies, and they were all the same.
     
  3. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    Mine's not as smooth as my metal Nikkors, but I wouldn't describe mine as any rougher than other plastic zooms I've used e.g. fairly similar to the G series dx 70-300 Nikkor.
     
  4. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    That would be my response, too. I don't know what they are selling for today, but I think I paid $450 for mine new and for the price the build quality and optical performance are just fine. It's not a $1200 lens, but that was a given going in.
     
  5. londonfire

    londonfire Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 18, 2014
    Western NC
    Thanks for the reports. I realize it's not an expensive lens but I've had plenty of inexpensive ones and they never felt this bad. Maybe I have a bad copy but it's been sitting for a year or so on my shelves so I can't return it. And as I mentioned, the Oly 75-300 blows it away in build quality and that's not much more money.
     
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    The Oly 70-300 started out at like 2X the price of the Panny, but the Oly didn't sell well (for other reasons, as well -- slower aperture, worse bokeh), so the Oly now looks like a good price, but it wasn't at the beginning.
     
  7. londonfire

    londonfire Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 18, 2014
    Western NC
    I do have the 70-300 four thirds, also. I got that with an MFT adapter but didn't know at the time that the focusing was an issue on the EM-5. Then I picked up the 75-300 MFT lens and that's fine. The pics I took with the 100-300 look great but the lens feel is a killer for me. I may try to find another copy of the Pana to see if it's smoother than mine. It just seems like a big mismatch to have a decent camera body, the EM-5, and have a lens on it that ruins the operation. At this point if I take it out again it will be used as a '300 mm' lens with the tripod collar.
     
  8. protapic

    protapic Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    Feb 12, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    John
    My copy of 100-300 is not so bad/OK normally, but I took it out in our colder weather the other day (ca 15-20 degrees F) and it was terrible zooming. Not a cold weather lens for sure.
     
  9. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    Mine is really bad too. Maybe it will loosen up, I only used it for a few hours..
     
  10. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    254
    Jul 6, 2014
    Its not their best lens is it, and well overdue for the Mk2 upgrade.

    Paul
     
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    My copy is not really smooth in zoom, though acceptable. It also has some radial and axial play in the front section. The pictures are acceptably sharp, though.

    I have called Panasonic at least twice and failed to find someone who could tell me what it would cost to have these problems corrected. Typically the people at the customer service numbers are completely ignorant about cameras and the one time someone tried to get me to the right place I gave up after 15 minutes on hold.

    It would seem like these things would be simple and inexpensive to correct and that doing so would also teach Panasonic what QC and manufacturing changes might be needed to eliminate them. I suppose I will try them again at some point, but it's already clear that customer service is relatively unimportant to them.
     
  12. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    I can't compare mine to other copies (or the Oly 75-300 - too slow and no OIS ruled it out), but I've either got lucky or other posters have been unlucky. Maybe there are real quality control issues with this lens. I don't find the zoom any less smooth than other consumer grade plastic long zooms I've used, and would put the build quality (and image quality) above the cheap Nikkor 70-300. There is a tiny bit of play at full extension but it's incredibly minimal and no worse than similar lens. Yes at 300mm the images aren't tack sharp, but are perfectly acceptable - my subjective impression is that it's a very good performer up to 200mm, a good performer up to 275mm and acceptable from 275mm to 300mm - at 250 onwards there's a slight loss of contrast - much more noticeable in poor light and I think the OIS is less effective for that last 50mm - it's noticeable how much better shots at the long end are on bright days. I've no complaints for the price at all. It's not perfect but I find it surprisingly decent for a relatively inexpensive long lens. Fringing is negligible even in high contrast situations, which is quite an achievement at this length.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. LarryL

    LarryL Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Feb 6, 2014
    My copy is very acceptable. Images is are OK for what it is. The lightest long range lens I currently own, not very fast but since I am not shoothing wildlife professionally it does the job, especially for iding birds.
     
  14. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Sounds like you may have a particularly unhappy example. :(
     
  15. londonfire

    londonfire Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 18, 2014
    Western NC
    jnewell, I envy your lens collection. Looks like the 100-300 is the poor stepchild in that group...
     
  16. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    I think many on this forum show that we don't buy into m43 because it is a low-cost system, rather a smaller-size system :)
     
  17. Cederic

    Cederic Mu-43 Veteran

    213
    Nov 14, 2012
    Nottingham
    My 100-300 doesn't feel rough. The plastic build doesn't have the same tactile sense of quality that the smaller lenses enjoy but does mean you get the 35mm equivalent of a 600mm lens that's lovely and light, small enough to carry around and relatively inexpensive, and check the image thread for that lens to see just how nice the photos are that it can take.

    I can handle a slightly cheap feel for the upsides, and unless you're trying to zoom during video the zoom mechanism is more than smooth enough.

    Maybe I just got lucky with mine?
     
  18. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    Mine is pretty tight but I can work with it. Looking on the bright side, the tightness pretty much eliminates any lens creep. :wink:
     
  19. Paul80

    Paul80 Mu-43 Veteran

    254
    Jul 6, 2014
    The one thing about mine that bugs me is not the build quality or the plastic feel but the Autofocus at the long end, I often find I have to zoom out to focus lock and then zoom in and focus again, I find if I point mine at something that is well out of focus it will just refuse to focus and often give focus confirmation when the viewfinder image is miles out of focus. But a quick zoom out focus zoom in focus works fine.

    Perhaps mine is faulty but its over a year old now so will have to live with it. Any one else find this, or is it just mine.

    Paul
     
  20. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Sorry. I've had maybe 4 of these lenses, and I've never seen this. I am sure it likely happened once or twice, but not enough for me to even recall it.

    What body are you shooting on?