Panasonic 100-300 - feedback sought

daveproctor

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Guys

I'm very interested in one of these but would need to sell my 45mm to fund it so reluctant to do it without getting some feedback on the 100-300

I'd be really interested to hear how people find the lens in terms of sharpness across the focal lengths and AF speed. I hardly use the macro lens so a longer lens makes sense but I don't want to sell the 45mm and then find the longer lens isn't great quality
 

~tc~

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How are you planning on using it?

What other lenses do you have? Which do you like, and which not-so-much?

Which body do you have?
 

jcurious

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Before deciding to get a 100-300 it's important to decide what you want to shoot with it. For the lens to be usable, the subject needs to be 1.5m/59in away.

I recently replaced my 14-42 and 45-200 with the 14-140 and 100-300. I use the 100-300 for nature loops or otherwise shooting subjects I can't get close to. For me the 100-300 is more of a "required" lens so I don't notice if focus is faster then any other lens or whatever... I just work with what it offers. Having said that, I can say that the 14-140 is defiantly faster focusing lens.

The 100-300 is defiantly not a general purpose lens. It is heavier and bigger then the other :43: lenses. Also, 100mm on this lens is 200mm - 35mm eqiv so at it's widest point it is VERY telephoto. This is not a macro lens... I'm not sure what the ratio is, but I don't think it is anything close to 1:1 of the macro lens.

Short answer, if it is a lens you need then go for it. If you don't need it, skip it.
 

sagarmatha

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Well with your Raynox 150 you certainly don't have to (can't be) 1.5 m away :biggrin:
Your total magnification (print magnification) will be 600/208 or roughly 3:1 at a distance of about 20 cm. That's what I will use my 100-300 for: macro.
 

daveproctor

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Hi

I have a GH2 with a 14-140, Olympus 9-18 and the Leica 45mm macro

I use the 14-140 for probably 75% of my pictures and the 9-18 for most of the others. The Leica gets very little use as I don't really shoot much macro at all.

The only area I don't really have covered is the long focal lengths which has got me thinking about the 100-300. I have previously owned a 45-200 but didn't think much to the image quality (although it was ok for the price) so I'm hoping the 100-200 is better.

The 14-140 is great but I do find it a little soft towards the longer end
 

Rich M

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Dave -

I shot this yesterday....pretty happy with it.

300mm, handheld on the GH2

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My only admonition is that if you don't have to, don't give up on the PL45/2.8.
I don't shoot mine much either, but I think it is one of the best :43: lens out there.

Hold onto it if you can.

R
 

daveproctor

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Thanks Rich

I know what you mean about the 45mm, I do love the lens but use it so rarely. Sadly I can't afford both hence why I need a long hard think and LOTS of advice :)
 

Rich M

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Thanks Rich

I know what you mean about the 45mm, I do love the lens but use it so rarely. Sadly I can't afford both hence why I need a long hard think and LOTS of advice :)
Dave....I'll give the same advice as others.....try to figure out what you shoot the most.

For example, I tend not to shoot wide, so I like something a little on the long side....but fast and WITH autofocus. That's why I particularly like the PL45...great for MY style of shooting.

Here's something I shot the other day with it....

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But that's just my personal style....

The 100-300mm is a lens that will get a lot of use, but due to the slow speed will be restricted to outside or well lit shots.

Gotta figure out what you gonna shoot.....and the shoot plenty. :thumbup:
 

~tc~

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If money is tight, and you need longer reach, the 45-200 is a perfectly decent lens - probably the best "bang-for-the-buck" in m43's world right now.
 

shoturtle

 
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I tried it out at the store today, if you are using it on a pen or gf body. It really throws off the balance of the camera. Think the larger G bodies would be a better fit for the lens.
 

deirdre

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I'm very interested in one of these but would need to sell my 45mm to fund it so reluctant to do it without getting some feedback on the 100-300
My take on it: there are SO MANY good legacy lenses (many of them under $100) in the long focal lengths that it'd be a shame to sell the 45mm. So, even though I'd like a 100-300mm to get that extra reach, I'm perfectly happy with my legacy 135mm for now.

Plus I love the 45mm:

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brnmatsumoto

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100-300 mm and little birds

Dave:

If you like shooting animals then you will find the 100-300 mm a fine lens to work with. I photographed small birds in Los Angeles with them. They tend to be nervous and a camera and lens that can be aimed and focused quickly is essential for these grab shots. The Panasonic lens is up to this task. I own a Nikon 80-400 mm zoom with a D300 body. In terms of 35 mm focal length equivalents, this is 120-600mm zoom so it matches up to the Panasonic which is a 200-600 mm zoom. Well, the Panasonic has replaced my Nikon as the go to field lens.

It is much handier. I am enclosing a shot of the least finch taken with the Panasonic. The nervous fellow was wondering what this odd creature was doing, but I was able to maneuver myself to a position where I could get a clear shot of him.

Brian
 

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daveproctor

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Brian

That is very useful feedback. I acknowledge that the 45mm is a superb lens but, on the basis I use it very rarely, my view is that I'd be better placed investing the money in a lens that I'll use more.

Your comparison with the Nikon lens is very helpful as it is in image quality and handling that I am interested.
 

brnmatsumoto

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5 shots of 100-300 mm on my Blog

I am glad my reply has proven useful. I have a blog on this site and on it I have 5 pictures from the 100-300 mm. If you visit it, you will note that two of the pictures appear fuzzy and this is due to them being grab shots of a birds that I needed to identify. Bird watching is a new hobby of mine, but identifying these creatures can be tough. Especially hawks confuse me and some of the smaller birds. So when I see a new species, I try to grab a shot and have my friends help me identify the little fellows. Photographic quality goes down when you try to stalk a new bird species and fire off a quick shoot. Part of the reason is that as good as the stabilizer of the lens is, it is still tough to find and frame a subject at 300 mm-it is a lot of magnification. On a personal level, I find 150 mm much easier to handle, but when doing bird shots, I use the 300 mm the most because of the animal's small size. The second problem is depth of field is vanishingly small and the lens will sometimes lock focus on the wrong part of the bird. I like to focus on the eyes, so they are sharp and they have a reflective glint. But getting that shot takes a little discipline. For hand holding a shot at 600 mm the light weight of camera and body is very advantageous. With a heavy body, body tremors start increasing the longer you are aimed on the bird. So with my Nikon lens, I can only hold onto target for a brief time before my muscle tremors over ride its optical stabilization. With the Panasonic, I can hold and aim for a much longer time. A critical advantage when shooting the birds.

Brian
 

daveproctor

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Thanks again Brian

I took the plunge today and bought a 100-300 at a good store I know. They were selling for a reasonable price and I sold the 45mm today for only very slightly less than I paid for the 100-300

I've only had a quick test of the lens in the store and now at home but it handles very well and some very quickly taken shots of my dog at 300mm wide open on ISO 1600 look promising. The IS seems VERY effective.

I like the fact that I now have a small, carryable outfit with only 3 lenses covering 18mm through to 600mm and hope this means I'll get out and take more pictures - if only the weather would improve :(
 

brnmatsumoto

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Good luck and good shooting

Dave,

That is fantastic. Please keep us informed on your photographic exploits with the 100-300 mm. You have a fantastic package of lenses!


Brian
 

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