Panasonic G9 + PL 100-400 – Atmospheric Distortion Disaster

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Chizuka Regular Member • Posts: 487
Panasonic G9 + PL 100-400 – Atmospheric Distortion Disaster

I took pictures this week-end with the Panasonic G9 and PL 100-400 and I am very disappointed because most of my pictures seem to have been terribly affected by atmospheric distortion. I assume it has to be the problem because I have had some good results with that camera and lens combo at other times, but it does seem that anytime I take pictures around water, the results are far from stellar. On the other hand, I hardly ever have such noticeable atmospheric distortion (if that is what it is) when I shoot with my Canon 7D MK2 + Canon 100-400 MK2 in similar conditions.

It should be noted that I took these pictures between 11 a.m. and noon on a day when the day started out cold but warmed up later. Normally I go out earlier in the day and I usually use my Canon combo. I took these pictures from a kayak but the water was very calm, so that should not be an issue in terms of stability, and it usually is not with my Canon combo.

Also, fyi, I did not use any UV filter and I used mostly the pre-burst mode, because I wanted to test it. I also used Focus Peaking to make sure I had good focus.

The 1st picture of a heron is quite bad. The eye looks sharp but it looks like the heron was wrapped in Saran Wrap, IQ wise!

The 2nd and 3rd pictures show a seagull (jpeg SOOC and a jpeg from RAW). It is one of the better ones but it definitely lacks clarity on the eye, the beak and the feathers.

The 4th picture of the seagull is worse than the previous ones.

The 5th and 6th pictures of ducks on a log are bad.

The 7th picture of an Eastern Phoebe is really bad.

What concerns me is that I am trying to test this Camera + lens combo ahead of a safari in Tanzania. And when I see such results, I wonder if I should not leave that combo behind because I will be shooting pictures through all parts of the day on the safari and I am certain that there will be so haze. Will most of my pictures be ruined by Atmospheric Distortion?

jpeg SOOC

jpeg from RAW

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“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.” -
Robert Bresson.

Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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