* The Weekly Image Thread 20 11 30 #504 *

Started 3 months ago | Photos thread
EZGritz Senior Member • Posts: 3,024
"Test and Wow" 100-400

Borrowed the new 100-400 OLY on the "Test and Wow" program. Used it with the MC20 to test the limits.

Two shots with the 25 f/1.8 for perspective.

As the fog burned off about noon. Wanted to get out early but too foggy for birds.

This is the osprey platform. It's about 100 yards out. Plus or minus. I'm not a good judge of distance. Most of the bird photos to follow are from ~ 50 yards on my side and 100 yards on the other side of this platform.

Go back to the top photo. This is an image of people standing on the walkway across the water. Probably a quarter-mile away.

This is my new friend, Paul. He is shooting with an EM1.2 with the battery grip and a Panny 100-400. On the platform two SONY photogs shooting hand-held, one with the gigantic SONY, I think the 600mm F/4, the other with a smaller SONY telephoto. A NIKON shooter with a very big NIKON zoom on a tripod. No DSLRs unless the Nikon was. Didn't look. An OLY/SONY day, Nikon and Canon underrepresented.

On the Osprey platform. Not the best Kingfisher photos I've seen but not bad handheld 1600mm at 100 yards away. A bird the size of an eagle would almost fill the frame. Look at the platform taken with the 25mm lens. That is some reach!

A couple of crows eating something left by another bird.

Winter paddle

House 1.5 miles away across the water. You could identify people a mile and a half away.

Another kind of bird

Something at close range to test close focusing ability. Excellent! You photograph insects with this lens. Dragonflies would look great.

Conclusion: For me $1,400, worth every penny. I have to have it but only for a few days of birding a year. Is it worth it to own or better to rent? Undecided. Only for extreme reach. Lots of overlap with 40-150PRO and TC when 40-150PRO can be cropped more. IMO 100-400 not as sharp because I find I can't crop it as much. But if I can fill the frame with the subject using the 100-400 and don't have to crop much = good enough for me. Produces results in the range of the 40-150PRO and 300 f/4. Not as much detail I think after a lot of cropping but definitely if no or small crop nobody is going to think the image doesn't have enough detail compared with the 40-150PRO and 300 f/4. If you really need the reach it's good enough. If a cropped 40-150PRO or 300f/4 is better, not sure. Didn't have enough time to test this and don't know if I care. Good enough = good enough.

AF is very fast but shooting 1600mm hand-held is a different game. I missed more than I usually do but still the vast majority of images are sharp. I don't know the ideal camera settings, shutter speed with this lens. I'm not a birder. I just left the lens on single point SAF or CAF to reduce complication. I have to examine the images to see what I can learn from them about how to use this lens. Probably I can improve on these images. Even so, I think 80% of the photos I took are pretty sharp and well detailed. I had no problem with the weight and balance of this lens on the EM1.2. I shot for 2.5 hours with it with no physical pain or fatigue. My pack was heavy with the camera, the 40-150PRO and the 100-400, the 25 f/1.8, extra battery, both TCs and such but not a burden on a cool day.

Some to noodle on. I'll share more.

 EZGritz's gear list:EZGritz's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus E-M5 III Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50mm 1:2.0 Macro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 Olympus Zuiko Digital 2.0x Teleconverter EC-20 +10 more
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