Stick with the 100-400 or rent out the 200mm 2.8

Started Dec 14, 2017 | Questions thread
Roger Engelken
Roger Engelken Veteran Member • Posts: 5,353
Re: Stick with the 100-400 or rent out the 200mm 2.8

C Sean wrote:

In a few months time I will be in South Africa and I will be touring the Southern half of Kruger National Park. When it comes to gear, I basically have everything I need except additional SD cards and clothes designed for trekking in a hot environment. Since I will be spending a few days in each camp, I want to pack light when it comes to clothes. So this saves me re packing every few days and spend more time exploring.

Sadly Panasonic decide to release the 200mm 2.8 before my trip and the question is should I take advantage of this opportunity and rent the 200mm 2.8 or use the 100-400 which I already invested in?

This is what I originally planned to bring

  • 100-400
  • 35-100
  • 12-35
  • 45mm 2.8

Out of the four lenses the 45mm 2.8 is going to be the most useless and will be used for walk around.

Since the 200mm 2.8 is a bigger lens compared to the 100-400, I don't think I will take as much gear. The other thing I will likely use the teleconverter on the lens 80% of the time to get the approx 280mm focal length. This means I will have to rely on the 35-100 for close or wider shots. It could work but I think I would need a lens with a longer zoom range like the 40-150mm 2.8 or the unreleased 50-200. Both lenses I don't own but I would like to read the 200mm 2.8 plus 50-200 combo put in use. That would be very interesting.

We know the Panasonic 200mm 2.8 is sharper and blur the background better than any other existing Panasonic long telephoto lens. With that lens, I will get the look but the Panasonic 100-400 will let me frame the shots better. Do I play it safe and photograph with what I find comfortable or push my skills with the 200mm 2.8?


I know zooms are a lot more practical however, there are those who champion these telephoto primes.

I rented the 300mm f/4 from m.Zuiko last year, right after the lens came out, and took it with me on a trip to South Africa,  Zimbabwe and Botswana.   I am very glad I rented and took that lens, along with the 1.4x teleconverter.  I mainly used the lens, with our without the teleconverter (quite a bit without) for wildlife shots whilst on a number of safaris in all three countries, both of the land and river variety.  I am very glad that I rented and took that lens, which I ended up buying earlier this year.

I have not had the opportunity to use the 100-400 lens from Panasonic, and in fact have held it only once.  Results here and other places show it to be a very fine lens.  The opportunity to utilize the 200 mm lens, with telecoverter, is not an opportunity I would pass up, and may, in fact, rent it next fall for a trip to Egypt, Israel and Jordan.  My wildlife shots with the telephoto prime are some of the best I have taken, and allowed a solid and close up capture.

All the best whatever you decide to do.

 Roger Engelken's gear list:Roger Engelken's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Olympus E-M1 II +10 more
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