- Jan 16, 2012
Technically correct although there is only a 75g difference between the 40-150 + 2x vs 100-400.Thought Process:
Getting the 2x converter is the cheapest option and keeps my bag light.
I find the image quality, even at 400 @ f/6.3 to be great. I only wish Panasonic had a better reputation re repair costs / policies for the lens. Some people complain about the lens not fitting well or the zoom ring being too tight. Mine has been fine. The zoom ring is stiffer than my other zooms but it's not an issue for me. I love my 100-400 but I would recommend that you try it before buying.The 100-400mm is very well priced on the 2nd hand market. I do worry about the IQ of this lens but people seem to really like it.
From what I've seen, it's not listed as a PRO series lens so I don't think it would be in the same league as the lenses you're currently looking at.There is also a 100-400 coming out from Olympus. Be interesting to see what the prices are of these lenses and how they compare to Panasonic.
I wanted a travel lens to photograph wildlife (including small birds). I already had a 35-100/2.8. So for me, the 100-400 made the most sense. It's relatively close in size/weight to the 40-150/2.8 but has much longer reach. I'm forced to use a higher ISO, though. Also, the majority of my shots of animals in poor light are usually when they're perched on a branch so I rely on stabilization to let me bring my ISO down whenever possible. The lens isn't a slam dunk because it requires obvious compromised just like all of the lenses you're looking at; for me, its particular compromises were the easiest to live with.Thanks in advance for your thoughts and insight - I'm sure (hoping) that others have gone through a similar thought process.