Panasonic 100-300mm - poor performer

Started Jun 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Panasonic 100-300mm - poor performer
Jun 12, 2012

So I bought myself a Panasonic 100-300mm lens to give me more image-stabilised reach with automatic focusing.

To be honest, I am unimpressed by its performance. The images are quite soft, shallow and lacking details. I dare to say that this lens is not capable of transporting true 16 megapixels to the sensor. After all, it has just one ED element. Beyond f11 it looses details fast so it is best to keep it around f8.0 as at f5.6 it is slightly fuzzy.

Here is how it compares to my archaic Zeiss 200mm f2.8 lens stopped down to f5.6 (Panasonic was stopped down to f8.0).

The competing duo:

Panasonic (whole scene, just downsampled):

Zeiss (whole scene, just downsampled):

Panasonic (central 100% crop, no postprocessing):

Zeiss (100% crop, no postprocessing):

Panasonic (central region, downsampled, sharpened):

Zeiss (central region, downsampled, sharpened):

Conclusion: Zeiss easily beats Panasonic in image quality. There simply is less detail in Panasonic shot, despite having 300mm vs 200mm advantage. Also, the white balance with Panasonic is way off. It is beyond my comprehension why!!!

For Olympus owners with IBIS there simply is no reason to go for this lens. So I am keeping both as one day I might buy an O-MD 2 and suddenly that old Zeiss lens will be image stabilized. The glass does not age, even if made in East Germany...

(Of course, when it comes to ease of use or weight, there is no competition - Panasonic wins.)

 Robiro's gear list:Robiro's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS +3 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5
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