Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400 lens test results

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CaspianCanuck
CaspianCanuck Junior Member • Posts: 25
Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400 lens test results
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I recently took advantage of a big price drop on Amazon.ca and bought an Olympus M.Zuiko 100-400 lens hoping to complement or replace my old first-gen Panasonic Lumix 100-300 which I have been using for years with my E-M5II and E-M1III bodies.

Despite all the positive reviews touting the Oly 100-400 as tack-sharp and delivering amazing IQ, it proved to be a major disappointment in my own tests.

The details of my tests and links to the test images can be found on my blog: https://caspiancanuck.blogspot.com/2022/09/olympus-mzuiko-100-400mm-vs-panasonic.html

But the quick synopsis is that across the practical range of apertures from wide open to f/11:

  • when shooting handheld with both OIS and IBIS enabled, Oly 100-400 can at best match the IQ and sharpness of my old Pana 100-300
  • when shooting from a tripod with both OIS and IBIS disabled, Oly 100-400 delivers visibly poorer results compared to Pana 100-300.

Here are a couple of full-res crops of the centre of two test images shot at each lens' sweet spot aperture from a tripod using an E-M1III body:

Panasonic Lumix 100-300 @ 300mm f/7.1 1/1600 ISO200 (no OIS or IBIS)

M.Zuiko 100-400 @ 300mm f/8.0 1/1600 ISO200 (no OIS or IBIS)

All test images linked in my blog review were the sharpest/clearest images selected from a series of several shots made at the same exposure and aperture.

I don't know if I simply got a really crappy copy of the Oly 100-400 or if the online reviewers were just earning bonus points from Olympus by promoting a subpar lens, but I have no trust in this model or Olympus' quality control anymore, so I am shipping the lens back for a full refund.

Has anyone else noticed similar image quality issues with this lens?

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