*Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm, waste of time, or amazing value?

Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6

One huge benefit to a smaller sensor is the effective focal length multiplier.  Sure you can crop into an image captured at a wider angle, or on a larger sensor but as we have seen in the focal length vs sensor size post, when utilizing a smaller (relative to full frame) sensor, you can actually decrease your depth of field with the same focal length if shot from a fixed location, all while generically increasing your focal length by way of the effective multiplier in that smaller sensors crop into the larger image circle.  Aperture is aperture as far as exposure is concerned, so even by this standard, f/5.6 is relatively quick when you consider the focal length and price.  This said, is the Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 (<UPDATE! click the link to see it at B&H, and if you click on “Savings Available” the price is down to $499 if you purchase one of the three things that qualify, like the $10.99 software…) worth the price of admission when you consider you get a 600mm lens able to shoot at f/5.6?  Let’s see…

set to 100mm

Set to 300mm

I have debated this lens for a long time, having almost pulled the trigger multiple times only to find myself pulling back in hopes of avoiding some type of perceived, inevitable disappointment.  I’m not a huge fan of most zoom lenses, and for what I shoot most, I’m very happy shooting with fixed focal lengths.  That said, the super tele options for the system are still surprisingly limited, and I’m sure when we start to see the longer prime lenses introduced, the prices will rival those of the super teles for the DSLR systems, so, this is certainly a budget option all things considered (and anticipated).

I can go on and on, but really, let’s just get to the brass tacks here.  Below are shots with their respective descriptions, crops, my opinions, et al.

100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/1250, ISO 400

100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/1250, ISO 400

100% Crop - 100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/1250, ISO 400

100% Crop – 100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/1250, ISO 400

The shot above was shot from the passenger seat of a car driving at 60mph, so I wouldn’t judge pure sharpness from this one.  From our location, we would be just about 3/4 of a mile away from the shore on the far side of the river at that point and over a mile away from the homes in the 100% crop.

100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

100% Crop - 100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

100% Crop – 100mm (200mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

300mm (600mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

300mm (600mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

100% Crop - 300mm (600mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

100% Crop – 300mm (600mm e-fov) f/8, 1/640, ISO 200

A quick zoom at identical exposure settings between 100mm and 300mm.  Handheld and using the OMD EM5’s in body stabilization with the lens OIS turned off.

wide open at 300mm, f/5.6, ISO 800

wide open at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/320, ISO 800

100% crop @ 300mm, f/5.6, ISO 800

100% crop @ 300mm, f/5.6, ISO 800

The shot above was handheld at 1/320th using the optical OIS, on the OMD EM5 (with the in body IS turned off).  The grain at ISO 800, especially in the out of focus areas, is more apparent than with other lenses, but the detail of the in focus areas, while a little soft, is very decent for a shot under these circumstances and exposure settings to me.  The grainy, blotchy bokeh seems to me to be part and parcel for most zooms, especially those of the consumer variety.

Now, tracking moving subjects through the viewfinder at 300mm (600mm e-fov) is a difficult task regardless of the camera or lens.  Every little movement, pan, bump or vibration is amplified amazingly, and tracking birds in flight, athletes, et al, is an art in and of itself.  Combine this with the blackout between frames and the less than great tracking abilities of an entirely contrast based auto focus system, and the keeper rate can drop like Howard Dean’s approval rating after his impression of an insane person in the 2004 election cycle.  For those not well versed in American politics, just know the reference is meant to mean “pretty damn quickly”.  Below is an example of my inability to really do well at tracking a moving subject racked out to 300mm.


While the frame rate on the OMD EM5 is nice, it does it’s best job to make tracking difficult with the viewfinder blacking out with each actuation making it difficult to guess where the subject may be for the next frame, especially at 300mm where you can very easily lose your subject by over compensating (or in my case, under compensating) your movement.  Of course, a well practiced individual should be able to get around this, but it is something that when shooting moving subjects, you should at least be aware of.  I was also handholding the camera and lens for this series.  Perhaps a good gimbal head would have helped, but I was balancing on an outcropping of very uneven rocks at water level, so sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

246mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO1250

246mm, f/5.6, 1/250, ISO1250

Optically, this lens can be very sharp, or at least very sharp for a zoom.  Taking into consideration the price and reach, it may be the sharpest and fastest sub $600, 600mm equivalent lens I’ve ever seen.  The further away your subjects, the worse the cameras tend to do resolution-wise I’ve found.  If you’re shooting portraits, or subjects within 20′, this lens can be very sharp, contrasty and do a fine job at resolving fine detail.  If you’re trying to get a quality, detailed shot of a person 100′ away, the optical shortcomings are far more apparent to my eye largely down to the AF struggling to really latch onto fine detail in distant subjects, and the generally lower fine detail resolution.

When you consider that you get this kind of reach, with optical image stabilization and very decent optics to boot in a package that can easily fit in a small kit bag, I think we micro 4/3 system users can consider ourselves lucky.  This lens is hindered most by the relatively poor auto focus (comparatively speaking) in these cameras.  Until there is a functional hybrid Phase/Contrast detection, I can’t see these mirrorless system cameras as “serious” sports, or birding tools, or at least on the same level as comparably priced current DSLR’s.  This is too bad, because the IQ in these cameras and through these lenses stand up to even some of the best current sensors in the larger, more developed DSLR systems (at least I feel they do which you can see in this Oly75 vs EF135 post).

300mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO800

300mm, f/5.6, 1/2500, ISO800 (for reference, he’s about 150-200 yards away, and that bridge in the background is about a mile away from me.

Tracking birds in flight, or fast moving action can be far more difficult with a contrast detection auto focus system (as is utilized in the micro 4/3 cams) and I found the pause/blackout between frames on the OMD EM5 to be next to impossible to accurately keep tabs on quickly, and erratically moving subjects, especially when needing to try and adjust AF between frames as they moved toward or away from me.  This is not to say that there are those of us that aren’t capable of amazing results under these circumstances, I’m just saying that these cameras aren’t the absolute best options for certain shooting scenarios.

That said, if your subjects are static, or have steady and easily trackable movements, or you’re really good at manually focusing and anticipating, I’m sure you could find much more success in these situations than I.  For under $600 for a 600mm equivalent f/5.6 lens though, the price might be enough to ignore this as missed frames really only cost the time to delete them.  If you’re being paid to shoot sports or birds, you should be looking at far more expensive tools.  For the rest of us, this lens is fully capable of producing some keepers.

Optically, I’d say this lens is on par with other super tele zooms for any system, that I’ve used anyway.  Granted I’ve not yet used the EF 200-400 f/4 +1.4x TC, but that is largely because I’ve already promised all my organs and appendages to various research facilities and can’t see me selling off a child to afford one.  Plan on using higher ISO settings to gain access to fast enough shutter speeds to account for hand shake or certainly for moving subjects.  I have yet to find a situation where I’ve felt the need to stop down past f/8 though and from what I’ve seen, f5.6 – f/8 is about the sharpest that this lens gets, so unless you really need to increase the DOF, I’d keep it right around here.  For the price, and for this system, it is a good, but perhaps not great, lens.  For what you get, and with realistic expectations, it can be a great situational lens.  I certainly feel that it is good enough that I’m keeping it.

You can find this lens around for between $500-600 and can be found at B&H here: Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4-5.6 Lens

Thanks for the read, and keep an eye out as this lens was largely purchased to be brought along on my multi day backpacking adventure which will be well documented here on the blog in the coming weeks as well.  I should have some tripod mounted shots with this lens as well which shouldn’t hurt.

Cheers all and happy shooting,


28 thoughts on “*Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm, waste of time, or amazing value?

    • A)cost
      B)lens speed at both ends of the zoom range
      C)optically, even if the Oly tests a little better (which nothing I’ve seen has proven this to be the case), it’s still a slow, tele zoom and I feel the speed and cost of the Pana to be a better overall value.


  1. Nice pictures and report Tyson. I have an E-PL1 and a G3, and bought the G3 after using this lens and finding it frustrating on moving birds on the E-PL1. It can still be frustrating on G3, but not quite so much. I do find that if it is giving me grief I can sometimes focus on something underneath the bird to set the auto-focus and then move to the target and get the shot.

    G3 shot. There are more under the top one.
    Hunting Terns

    E-PL1 shot.

    I am coming off various Panasonic FZ cameras so have lots of practice at shooting birds with EVFs. Never having used a DSLR I cannot compare, but just knowing the live view won’t fuzz out makes me think that could be better. But, then I would have to carry that great big lens those guys use.


    • Awesome shots Steve,

      Thanks for the examples. I think, for a lens this long, having the camera firmly pressed against your face is a necessity. Not that one can’t get decent shots using an LCD to compose, and I had a few keepers with the GX1, but having that third point of contact helps so much in the way of consistency.

      With a DSLR, you still get blackout when the mirror swings up, and in this situation is where the Sony translucent “SLT” style allows for no blackout. With an electronic feed (like that in a live view scenario) I don’t understand why there needs to be any blackout other than having a pause to clear the buffer between frames. With higher end DSLR’s that blackout is minimal though, and when combined with the phase detection auto focus tracking ability, it makes for a better tool for these types of applications.

      In a few years, I’m sure we will be complaining about something entirely different, something we’re not even aware of being hindered by at this point as much of this will have been remedied through research and competition.

      Thanks Steve!



  2. Thanks for the test shots. I offer my own, some hand held and most tripod on the Pana-Leica 100-300. I find it not an easy lens to love for the purpose to which I put it. For action photography, I think it would be even more difficult. The shot of the pond turtles in my Flickr set is more my speed. 😉

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35742767@N04/6798288595/in/set-72157629121193731 Acorn woodpecker – tripod and cropped at least 100%

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35742767@N04/6798289009/in/set-72157629121193731/ Hooded merganser – likewise tripod and cropped

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35742767@N04/6808541531/in/set-72157629121193731/ Unknown female duck – Prob. tripod

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/35742767@N04/6814321413/in/set-72157629121193731/ Blue heron – Hand held

    Sorry I don’t know what focal length but honestly, the true test of a telephoto (IMHO) is either at super high speed or on a tripod. The rest of the set is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/35742767@N04/sets/72157629121193731/. This is a lens I got for birding and then left home almost every time, so I’m not enormously taken with how it makes nature photography although I got a Manfrotto tripod and, more importantly Man. head which makes it possible to actually find (let alone track!) and focus on a bird in the distance.

    ps. also put 3 up from the set on TRPphotoblograhpy


    • I agree with you Terry, and feel that this is the type of lens that will only be busted out for very specific situations. I see getting some use out of it in the Gorge for sailing season, but will have to temper my expectations. If I’m shooting for someone specifically, I’ll need to rent one of the big, white Canon tele monsters, but for personal stuff, I think it will do admirably… hopefully.

      I’ll try to grab some bird shots on Rainier for you this weekend! 🙂

      Take care and thanks for the examples as always.



  3. Excellent Review and good observations!

    I picked one of these up last year and use it mainly for nature trips and hikes, birds, turtles and other critters. I’ve even tried it with a Nikon 6T close-up lens for macro shots and it did a pretty good job, but for real macro work I still grab my tripod and Nikon 60mm f2.8D and 105mm f2.8 AI-S lenses.

    A couple of additions you may want to consider.
    Rudolf Rösch Feinmechanik in Germany makes an excellent Tripod lens collar for the 100-300mm (also one for the Oly 75-300mm). It costs $100 and change, but is beautifully made and fits the 100-300mm perfectly. It really helps balance the handling both on a tripod and monopod. zIt also makes for a solid stand when resting the lens and camera on walls, fences and whatnot.

    Also, for tracking shots, there was much discussion on the DP Review M4/3 Forum about using Red Dot Sights, rather than the viewfinder. This would certainly help the blackout between shots that plagues us.

    Red Dot Sight from Brando


    • Thanks Jeff!

      I have eyed that lens collar and hope to grab one, or one like it in the near future.

      The RDS looks intriguing. I might have to research that a little more, and for the cost, seems like a reasonable workaround. I’d like to see a continuous live feed in these cameras without the blackout though. Surely the processor can write files to the card and continue a live feed, and if not, give us a model with two processors. Sony’s SLT/pellicle mirror cams can do it… Combine this with a hybrid, on sensor phase detection AF, and we’re in business!




  4. Try it on the GH3 and you will probably see a difference in AF tracking ! I’m not saying the Olympus aren’t good at this game but pana on pana is far better ! I use it every day and with the grip, I get 99% of what I used to with my Nikon 8 test pana on pana and you’ll be amazed !


    • I would love a GH3. Can’t bring myself to spend that coin though yet, and as this is my secondary system, I chose to jump at the OMD EM5 when it came out and then pick up the scraps as these bodies drop like bricks a year or two after they’ve been released. If it had been around at the same time the OMD was, I might have been convinced, but as is, I’m not going to drop another grand plus on a cam body until I see some huge leaps forward in AF and sensor tech, etc. If the price continues to go down, I might grab one and sell off the OMD, but I’m gonna have to just wait, and take your word for it 🙂 It certainly wouldn’t take much convincing as, aside from a little extra bulk, seems to me to be a better camera (minus the lack of IBIS) than the OMD EM5 from every angle in my opinion.

      PanOly needs to keep in mind that many of the micro 4/3 customers aren’t using this system as a primary system, but many, like me, could be convinced to switch once they catch up on a couple key features. Many have switched, but it seems that the sales numbers are swinging back to the larger DSLR category meaning they need to continue to play to, and increase their strengths while updating tech that they can to level the playing field. Then, of course cost is huge, especially when the perception, and partial reality, that larger sensors provide certain major benefits comes into the argument. When we can get a brand new FF Nikanon for around $1600, it is really going to make it hard to sell m4/3 bodies at $1200-1300 in major numbers and I think that the system is going to have to start to be more realistic with its pricing scheme. I think that a realistic price for these top end bodies are going to have to come in well under a grand to really become alluring in large numbers as they’re largely competing against the entry level DSLR’s which have similar features (albeit the GH3 has far superior video, is weather sealed, but otherwise, is fairly pedestrian by any other comparison I’d say) and include a lens for around $800-900usd. I’m a huge fan of the system for many reasons, but if I were shopping for my first system camera, or looking to invest heavily into a system, I don’t know if the micro 4/3 system would be the most attractive when looking at what $700 or $1000, or even $2000 would get me at the beginning and I think that is where Nikon and Canon are starting to tighten their respective grips on the PanOly’s of the world sadly.

      One HUGE benefit, that will be the focus of an upcoming article, is size and weight, and these mirrorless systems are going to have to figure some stuff out as they’re not only competing against the larger DSLR’s, they’re also needing to convince those that feel their phone cameras are sufficient, and have stopped buying compact cameras pretty much, to continue to buy cameras. The photography landscape is changing and it seems that unfortunately, the marketing muscle of Canon/Nikon/Sony, etc, combined with the high prices of the micro 4/3 system are playing to the big guys favor.


  5. I wanted the lens for high school cross country. I use Olympus’ Four-Thirds ZD 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 and it does such a great job. I had hoped that Panasonic had done a good (not hoping for great at the price) job, to have a smaller alternative view.

    I ended up buying the Panasonic 45-200mm lens when Best Buy was clearing them for $100 and I feel I mostly wasted my money. It’s a very average lens, so my hopes for the 100-300mm went away. I’m not even thrilled with their high end 35-100mm f/2.8 lens.


    • I debated the 45-200 when the prices dropped through the floor, but I’ve never been impressed by, or a fan of slow super zoom lenses which was why I was so skeptical of the 100-300. The difference for me came when actually trying this lens out. I’m not over the moon about this lens, but I do feel it is a solid performer for $500 or so, and until we start to see higher quality super tele primes, I don’t think we’ll have much of a choice to make. Sure, there is the Oly, but I don’t feel it offers enough of a gap, especially considering it is slower and more expensive (and doesn’t come with a hood 🙂 ) to really make an argument for it for me personally. I’m not aware of any system that can boast a 600mm equivalent lens when taking into consideration the various crops from APS-C/APS-H sensors, that can shoot at f/5.6 with better than decent IQ for around $500, so putting it into perspective, I’ve come to the conclusion that for the money, what I’ve gotten is well worth the price paid I guess.

      You’re not the first I’ve heard that isn’t thrilled with the 2.8 zooms, and while I think the idea of having the “24-200mm” range covered at f/2.8 is great for those using these cameras for work, or those of us that enjoy having fast zooms, I hope that these optics will prove to be better as sensor tech advances because they haven’t exactly been getting stellar reviews from what I’ve read. Of course, if they were $500 lenses, I’m sure we’d be very happy, but when they’re comparably priced to some of the third party equivalents like the Sigmas and Tamrons for the larger systems, and not proving to be even up to that level, is a little disheartening. Can they be good enough? Sure, but when looking at bang for the buck, a current budget full frame and a Sigma or Tamron 24-70, and 70-200 f/2.8 costing about the same (or maybe even less) than a GH3 + Pana 12-35 and 35-100mm, it does not bode well for the micro 4/3 system I feel when the difference would be weight savings, but poorer IQ vs heavier with noticeably better IQ…? Can “weight savings” be enough to continue to justify the high prices? I’m not entirely sure it will unfortunately.


      • My trouble is that I have both the Olympus 14-35mm f/2.0 and the 35-100mm f/2.0 SHG lenses. Yes, they’re each over US$2000 but they’re worth that in optical quality.

        The Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 is a great US$750 lens. To charge twice that seems unreasonable, given its shortcomings. Of course, if I was paying US$2500 for either the Canon or Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8, I’d hope that they’d be amazing wide open.

        The ZD 14-35mm works fine through the MMF-3 adapter and I can manually focus it more quickly than the auto focus can work. I don’t dare use the 35-100mm f/2.0 because of the unbalanced nature of the combination, even with the GH3. The image quality is amazing, though.


      • Herein lies, what I feel will become the achilles heel (and to an extent perhaps has) for this system… Playing to “equivalents” and trying to charge roughly the same amount for lenses that don’t require the same amount of material, and are often produced with plastic and composite materials. These materials can be superior in many ways I feel (I don’t mean to denote that “plastic” means lesser), but they do cost less to machine and produce.

        In the case of the 4/3 standard lens lineup, Olympus offers something unique in an f/2 zoom, and until the recent Sigma zoom, was the fastest modern zoom(s) on the market. This can justify a higher cost, especially when they’re able to produce the IQ that they are. With both Oly and Pana somewhat dumbing it down as it were, for the micro 4/3 system, and trying to pass it off as “the same thing as a 24-70 f/2.8, or 70-200 f/2.8” while obviously not optically up to snuff, nor comparable in pure build quality (or cost of materials) it is really starting to leave a sour taste in folks mouths I feel at the current pricing.

        Of course a company will try to recoup development costs, especially with new products, but I think the m4/3 system is going to have to start changing the approach a little bit if they are to remain relevant. Using the same sensors through various generations, in a crowded product line (in the case of camera bodies at least) while adding a few extra updates, bells and whistles, while still trying to charge DSLR prices without a few key benefits of these comparably priced DSLRs, is ultimately going to sink the system, or at the very least, keep it wallowing in the back of the pack. We know that they can sell these things at lower prices (as can all companies) and while the margins will not be as high, they may equal with sheer sales, getting more into the system. If the GH3 was announced at $899 let’s say, that thing would have flown off the shelves, and I’d guess, with a little marketing push, would have outsold any m4/3 camera to date. It’s a good camera, but at $1300, it is competing against a whole different class of camera. It’s only been available for months and has already had a significant price drop. That’s not doing much to instill confidence in me at least. They know that they’re not selling well, and have to immediately cheapen the value, slapping early adopters, or system supporters (bread and butter clients) in the face. If they’re going to justify to consumers the price of these newer bodies and optics, they are going to really have to offer a compelling reason. The new organic sensors seem like a step in the right direction, and if Oly (or Pana) can further exploit their already decent history with optics and relationships with Leica, et al, then perhaps the price will be easier to swallow, to an extent.

        The market is contracting and it will continue to get more and more competitive. Panasonic and Olympus can jump in front of that curve, or continue to try and maintain the status quo. The problem with that is that they’re having to try and do that from the bottom of the pile so to speak, as we’ve seen with the DSLR vs Mirrorless sales numbers of late. Evolve or die essentially, and right now I think that many companies are treading water in an attempt to stay relevant by throwing stuff against the wall, hoping it will stick, and then passing that cost along to the buyer which may come back to bite.

        Thanks for the conversation as always. I do love having input from so many quality minded, intelligent folks, it gets me thinking 🙂



      • Right, and thanks to you for the articles, and for replying!

        I still feel that the GH3 is worth the premium but I’m upset that I paid the premium. However, had I know the quality of the lenses, I would have waited. I know quite a few on ClubSNAP who have been long term Four-Thirds users and they have been so enthusiastic that I thought it would be okay. For the most part, it is okay, but reality hits the fan sometimes, if you know what I mean.


      • I don’t think there is any doubt that the GH3 is a great camera. I’ve not actually shot one, but have handled it a few times, and to me, it is the best m4/3 camera that has come out with my assumption that the sensor is up to snuff with other high end m4/3 bodies. While it is a bit bigger, I see it as the best “DSLR replacement” as it has more functionality built into it than any other current m4/3 body. As long as one is not worried solely about size reduction, it’s THE camera for the system in my opinion. Still though, if looking at pricing, it is always going to struggle against other cameras/kits in the $1000-2000 range to an extent. If Pana (and Oly) would get really aggressive with their introductory body pricing, (as we see them drop almost immediately) and forgo that early adopter tax, I think they, and the system would sell so much better. Hell, I would have preordered a GH3 at $900 based on the spec sheet alone, but $1300, now about $1000, I feel it’s only a matter of time that it gets down there anyway, and wish they’d just split the difference and say we’d rather sell 100 units at $900, than 10 or 20 units at $1300, and another 50 or so at $1000 or whatever. Getting more people into the system should be their goal, and premium pricing on bodies, no matter how good they may be, are always going to struggle against the very aggressive full frame and APS-C body pricing. The rumored GX7 is going to be another camera that I feel will be great, but hugely overpriced if rumored prices of over a grand are accurate. Unless there is some amazing feature not seen in any other camera comes along with it, I don’t think it is going to sell very well at that price, and the cycle will start anew with a price drop 3-6 months into it’s life just about the time that new rumors sprout up about the GX8, or GH5, or whatever… I think the GF/G series needs to be priced at $500-600 body only new, the GX should be around $700 and the GH around $800-900. Same basic breakdown with the Oly EPM/EPL, EP and OMD. It’s just too crowded and aggressive right now, and I want to see this system succeed as it has so much going for it.


      • The problem is that people choose brands without understanding functionality. “My mother’s brother’s ex-roommate’s girlfriend’s husband says that Canon is the best, so that’s what I bought. End of story!”

        If I wanted a stills camera around the price of the GH3 (with no format in mind), I would have bought the D7100. Even with the 70D announcement, the D7100 is the best stills body.

        However, I wanted to be able to use a superior video body, even after Olympus introduced a new camera body, and that’s the GH3. There is nothing short of the 5DMkIII that can touch it, especially for the price.

        You’re right that both Olympus and Panasonic need to discount–carefully–to attract customers. They’re both trying to make money while struggling to make money.


      • I agree, and regarding brand loyalty, it isn’t just with cameras. I think many people see “research” as “what do people I know use, and are they happy with it” when in reality, most people would be happy with whatever, so the fact that they chose A or B is pretty irrelevant in this scenario, but still translates to justification for many looking to justify their own decisions.

        I think that the video side of the GH3 is kind of the hidden gem so to speak. Videographers who have little, or no interest in a stills device see the GH3 as a steal, and I think Panasonic is basing a lot of what they’ve done with it, with that demographic in mind. If this is in fact their target demo, I really think that the G series should then become their highest performing (or equal to the GH series) camera for stills, and to dumb down the video a little bit. Then you can have your video flagship with everything offered in it, and one for the stills crowd who may not need nor want to pay for a high end video device. It’s tricky, and I think that we’re seeing a lot of testing of the market going around with companies trying to find which corners of the market currently exist. As everything else is shifting, it makes the ground they’re standing on that much more unstable and I can only imagine the sleep lost by the development and marketing teams as they see Canon and Nikon offering full frame, decently spec’d kits for under two grand, not to mention the extremely crowded area between with all the fully spec’d APS-C cams. It’s a tough place to be I’m sure, which is why I think there needs to be some forward thinking, recognition of and further definition within the product line and an aggressive stance on body pricing because just about everyone else is doing so. I think that lenses will be the harder one, price wise. We’re seeing body prices drop across the board, but lens prices moving in the opposite direction.


  6. Pingback: *Another set of this guy’s opinions, or Mirrorless Lens buying guide! | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

    • Impressive. I’m not a huge sport shooter, and have always found it to be tricky with these cams with the focus tracking, but your shots seem to contradict my assumptions and experiences. A great example of what the lens, and system can do in a fast moving and dynamic sport setting. Thanks for sharing!



  7. Pingback: *Looking for lenses? Adorama has a big sale on Panasonic optics through the 21st. | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

  8. Pingback: *Micro 4/3 Super Tele Battle, Lumix 100-300 vs Oly 40-150+1.4xTC | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

  9. I bought this lens used a long time ago. It is sharp I find, even wide open. Good contrast wide open as well (the 45-150 from Panny is also that way, but the original 14-140 is not, requiring at least a bit of stopping down.) The reach is of course without peer in a lens this size and weight, and the German tripod collar is mandatory as keeper rates improve substantially.

    I did find AF to be annoyingly slow until I got the G7 and GX85, which bring DFD into play. AF feels faster and less nervous. I am considering the newer version of the 100-300 that was just announced at CES 2017. It has the faster AF sampling rate and will participate in dual OIS, which should make it incredible.

    Fat wallets will ignore the 100-300 of course because the 100-400 is amazing (but also bigger and heavier.) But for me, the 100-300 is already a bargain, and the new one will simply sweeten the pot. Especially after selling off the old one. I just hope the collar fits …


    • Thanks Kim. I have been tempted by the Leica 100-400, but the cost is just a bit much for me (not for value as I’d say it’s probably a steal to be honest) as I just don’t do a ton of super tele shooting. Now, having owned the 100-300, I will say that it is probably one of the best bangs for buck this system offers, and with a new version, I may just need to upgrade and if so, will do a side by side, certainly.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s