PL 100-400 "Stiff Zoom" huge variance

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lescrane Contributing Member • Posts: 738
PL 100-400 "Stiff Zoom" huge variance
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I own an early copy, bought 8/2016. The zoom started out very stiff. Contrary to some other poster's experience, mine only got worse with use, not better.  It's become unusable. My other issues, were with a loose mounting foot that I had to repair myself, and a lot of internal dust.  After trying the Olympus 100-400 for 4 months, I realized that in most respects I was better off with the PL on my G9 bodies. Better IS, lighter, more compact.  I took a chance and ordered a new PL.
Wow.  The zoom almost seems like a normal lens.  Much smoother. None of the uneven ratchet like resistance I felt. I don't think my first lens operated this way even when new.
My theory... did they tweak the construction or did I have a bad copy?  Well, if I look at the spacing between the two segments of the lens barrel, when extended, on the OLD lens I see some felt-like material lining the inner barrel.   I don't see it on the new lens.
Will the other issues crop up on the new lens?  Hope not.  Do I wish that maybe I had returned my lens way back when?? I don't know. Maybe they were all that way..
If you're wondering about any IQ variance, I really can't say yet as I haven't done the usual testing .  If I see any major difference I'll update this post.

 lescrane's gear list:lescrane's gear list
Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH Panasonic 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 OIS Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 +2 more
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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