Quick test of Panasonic 100-300 - images

Started Jan 22, 2011 | Discussions thread
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HappyVan
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Quick test of Panasonic 100-300 - images
Jan 22, 2011

Single quick test on the GH1 and 100-300. Mounted on a Manfrotto 701HDV Pro fluid head and Manfrotto 055. The long clamp helps you to balance the camera/lens because there is an amount of latitude. Also, the fluid head is using a longish QR plate which provides some direct support to the lens.

The target is a heater on a balcony in the next building. The first three photos (from RAW) show the actual view (resized to 700x394) at f/6.3. The exposure is 1/50 at f/6.3 ISO 100. The fourth picture shows the crop at 300mm actual pixels.

Compared to the Nikon 70-300 VR, the Pany lens is inferior in construction. The Pany zoom ring is not smooth and even. It makes a squeak that can be heard on video via the internal microphone.

Moreover, you can hear focusing noise. This is not the equal of the 14-140.

That said, the optical quality is impressive at 100 and 200mm. Image quality at f6.3 in the 200mm center is about equal (questimate) to the Nikon 300 VR at f/4.5. Good!

At 300mm f6.3, the Pany is about equal to the Nikon 300 VR plus 1.4 extender at f/4. Not bad!

The Pany's edge to edge sharpness is good. There is a lot of DOF for the 4/3 format. At 200mm f/5.6, there may be decent sharpness within a 5 feet zone.

I'm waiting for a sunny day to test the bokeh and saturation. IMO, I doubt that the Pany will match Nikon's 70-300. Still, a very credible effort by Panasonic.

Also did a quick test of the O.I.S. The combo is really not heavy enough for hand holding. Still, I think that decent small prints can be made at 1/125 at 300mm. Can't say at this stage what kind of success rate you can expect.

Conclusion: This Pany lens is being sold about 50% higher IMO than it should be. Expect a large discount once demand slacks off. Of course, Panasonic can get away with it because there is no alternative. Oly has stalled. We really need competition in the M4/3 market.

That said, this lens is a good travel zoom. The ergonomics will not be as good as Nikon's. But, the optical quality is more than acceptable for the money.

Your thoughts?

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