Panasonic 100-300mm - not that bad after all

Started Jun 14, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Robiro
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Panasonic 100-300mm - not that bad after all
Jun 14, 2012

This is a continuation of my previous thread called "Panasonic 100-300mm - poor performer".

I have carefully listened to all the comments and made two more comparisons today.

I have eliminated Panasonic JPEG engine completely, shooting in RAW and developing in Silkypix. All images below were developed at Silkypix's default settings, except for slight manual curve adjustments and Silkypix's automatic white balance correction (to get those shots as close to each other as possible).

The shutter speed was kept at 1/500 or faster. Many images were taken with both lenses (repeatedly refocused) and only the best specimens selected. The camera was handheld. Both lenses were stopped at f8.

I am happy to report that in RAW I was unable to demonstrate the superiority of Zeiss 200mm over Panasonic 100-300mm.

Scene 1:

Zeiss 200mm (100% crop, no postprocessing):

Panasonic at 200mm (100% crop, no postprocessing):

Panasonic at 300mm (100% crop, no postprocessing):

Scene 2:

Zeiss 200mm (100% crop, no postprocessing):

Panasonic at 200mm (100% crop, no postprocessing):

Panasonic at 300mm (100% crop, no postprocessing):

These days RAW is no longer RAW since camera's engine is performing various things over the captured data anyway. For instance, you can see that Panasonic RAW images are little bit sharpened, CA/PF removed and contrast is better as well. That is not the case with Zeiss images, which are soft (but would respond nicely to postprocessing).

The important thing here is that I can no longer see any advantage of Zeiss over Panasonic.

Also interesting is to see that in terms of actual resolution, 300mm offers only a marginal improvement. There is more detail in 300mm shots compared with 200mm shots, but only just. On the other hand, at 300mm you can see hints of PF/CA that was not completely removed in-camera while 200mm shots do not suffer from that. I would say that going beyond 200mm is a double edged sword with this lens.

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