I give up, returning 100-400!

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
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prairiedog Regular Member • Posts: 312
I give up, returning 100-400!

After a couple of months I'm giving up on my Leica 100-400 having failed to take a single good shot apart from a couple at shorter focal lengths. But 400mm is why I bought it!  It's boxed up ready to return.

In my last test I took photos including brick wall tests with this and my 100-300 one after the other, both at max focal length. When zoomed to the same size side by side (Faststone Image Viewer is great for that) the 100-300 was winning every time, even wide open where I know it is softer. That convinced me I must have a bad copy of the 100-400.

I'm experienced so not making rookie errors.

  • I don't use filters.
  • When on a tripod OIS is off (but also tested on),  cable shutter release, sturdy tripod (no centre post)
  • Usually electronic shutter (but also tested with mechanical)
  • Shutter set to focus priority
  • I usually use back button autofocus, single point focus where appropriate but varies, including manual focus, depending on subject.
  • etc

Here are a couple of random examples, unprocessed, not cropped. I'm almost reluctant to post them because people may get too focussed on these individual shots. Overall I've taken a few hundred under all conditions. Even a soft toy shot on a tripod in good light with meticulous focus etc was poor. Unfortunately I deleted those or I would post them.

The signpost is a tripod shot. IMO there is a bluriness to everything.

The duck was handheld but the camera was propped against a fence post and the duck was still. ISO was highish at 800. This is about the best quality I've been able to squeeze from it but I feel it should be better.

Anyway, too late to change my mind. Just venting my frustration! I've had a lot of anguish because it was a serious purchase. I'm returning it, not exchanging it, because I've lost faith! I'll go back to the 100-300.

To me there is a glow around the edges of the lettering.

This is actually better than most, OK at small size but is lacking detail at 100%

 prairiedog's gear list:prairiedog's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 O.I.S +2 more
Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH
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