PL100-400 versatility

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 17,136
PL100-400 versatility
12

I was watching the Northrups video on the new Canon F11s. It's a very silly video as they try to compare the lenses with a Canon $15,000 dollar prime and using some crazy evaluation scheme come up with a tie. What it made me realise is just how good my PL100-400 is and just how versatile it is. Two days ago I was shooting insects, birds and aircraft at the same time with my PL100-400 which is a good example of why it is rarely off the camera.

It seems to me that versatility is not used as often as it might be in comparisons and if it was a lens like the PL100-400 would score very well.

Incidentally the mimimum focusing distance on the Canons rules out insects and even means that some of my birds are too close. As for 800mm fixed shooting aircraft the opportunities for filling the frame will be limited. The Canons 'may' have better IQ than the PL100-400 at F11 but on just about every other criteria, they would fail miserably.

These pics shot with G9, PL100-400 all within an hour.

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Dale108
Dale108 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,568
Re: PL100-400 versatility
1

Nice Trevor.  With all of the interest in the new Oly 100-400, your shots remind us why the PL 100-400 is so amazing.

Dale

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

I was watching the Northrups video on the new Canon F11s. It's a very silly video as they try to compare the lenses with a Canon $15,000 dollar prime and using some crazy evaluation scheme come up with a tie. What it made me realise is just how good my PL100-400 is and just how versatile it is. Two days ago I was shooting insects, birds and aircraft at the same time with my PL100-400 which is a good example of why it is rarely off the camera.

It seems to me that versatility is not used as often as it might be in comparisons and if it was a lens like the PL100-400 would score very well.

Incidentally the mimimum focusing distance on the Canons rules out insects and even means that some of my birds are too close. As for 800mm fixed shooting aircraft the opportunities for filling the frame will be limited. The Canons 'may' have better IQ than the PL100-400 at F11 but on just about every other criteria, they would fail miserably.

These pics shot with G9, PL100-400 all within an hour.

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,144
Re: PL100-400 versatility
2

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

It seems to me that versatility is not used as often as it might be in comparisons and if it was a lens like the PL100-400 would score very well.

I agree, and consider this lens to be my most versatile, in that it does many things well both at distance, and close in, as you show quite nicely here.

How about flowers?!

From my garden in Southern California this morning:

Showy Penstemon

Seed Pod of Tropical Milkweed. I've been waiting for one to open, displaying the seeds attached to tufts of fine hairs. Wind will carry these tufts with seeds attached to be deposited elsewhere (wind-borne pollination)

Desert Bird of Paradise. This plant is next to my cedar fence.

Pollen grains of California Fuschia. I carry an achromat with me. When mounted, the MWD is shortened to about 1 foot, providing magnification close in for tiny things. About 3.5 cm. here

Purple Sage flower with ants having breakfast. They go down inside the floral tube for the nectar. With achromat.

- Richard

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gary0319
gary0319 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,111
Re: PL100-400 versatility
2

I agree, have had the PL100-400 since it was first released. Hard to beat it for size, weight and versatility.

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Wu Jiaqiu
Wu Jiaqiu Forum Pro • Posts: 26,821
Re: PL100-400 versatility

i used to shoot a 500mm prime on APS-C (750mm equivalent) and then went to 300mm on a 1 inch (810mm equivalent) and with aircraft shots you simply take the shot at different times to shorter focal lengths, you also position yourself where you can use the lens to it's maximum potential, i quite often found those with much shorter lenses would take a flurry of shots before i even considered taking a shot, whilst i agree a zoom is more versatile i do love my primes for aviation and wouldn't shoot with anything else

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the computer says no

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Kcleeton Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: PL100-400 versatility

Very nice pictures. I also own the 100-400 and find it extremely useful. I sometime haul around a second body with the olympus 60 macro just in case a real macro situation appears. Your shots using the acromat are plenty good and that is  much lighter than hauling two bodies or having to change lens in the field. Could you tell me which acromat you use please. That would sure make the 100-400 even more useful. Thank you.

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,144
Re: PL100-400 versatility

Kcleeton wrote:

Very nice pictures. I also own the 100-400 and find it extremely useful. I sometime haul around a second body with the olympus 60 macro just in case a real macro situation appears. Your shots using the acromat are plenty good and that is much lighter than hauling two bodies or having to change lens in the field. Could you tell me which acromat you use please. That would sure make the 100-400 even more useful. Thank you.

My achromat is a Nikon 6T. No longer made, but available used.

The brand is not that important, just a good quality 2 element diopter rather than the common "closeup" lenses.

Mine is 2.9 diopters which provides great magnification at 400mm, if you want that ( the longer the focal length, the greater the magnification).

An old test:

400mm, extreme magnification, but not so useful in the field for flowers!

Most achromats provide a chart showing the magnification at various focal lengths.

Yes, carrying an Achromat beats carrying two cameras, or changing lenses.

For me, this is one of the great uses for this lens - covering both distant and closeup situations.

- Richard

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cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 5,243
Re: PL100-400 versatility

Great shots, Gary.

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Mike.
"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

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rich33584 Regular Member • Posts: 164
Re: PL100-400 versatility
2

Love my PL 100-400

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Kcleeton Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: PL100-400 versatility

Thanks Richard, that was very helpful.

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Jim Scarff Regular Member • Posts: 335
Re: PL100-400 price dropped $200
2

At least at B&H which makes it much closer ($100 vs, $300) to the newly announced Oly 100-400,
I have taken thousands of wildlife photos with the G9 and Pan/Leica 100-400 and agree it is extremely versatile and plenty sharp enough for me.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimscarff/

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horsth Senior Member • Posts: 1,627
Re: PL100-400 versatility
3

Watching the Northrup's is your personal drama.

But all this fuss about the coming Olympus 100-400 or the Canon f/11 tele-lenses I really don't understand. For years we do have the excellent PL100-400 that is compact, light and has a top-notch performance. Together with my E-M1mk2 it provides an unbeatable small package for outdoor-sports, action and wildlife.

Horst

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brentbrent Veteran Member • Posts: 4,716
Re: PL100-400 versatility
3

Yeah, I can really see your point about versatility.

I went to the Denver Zoo on Friday (limited timed admission, masks required, distancing required, one-way route from entrance to exit, so it seemed quite safe) with my relatively new PL200. I took the 1.4x teleconverter that came with it, and in part I wanted to see if I might be interested in the 2x teleconverter.

I ended up not even putting the 1.4 TC on, even though I could have used it for some shots. I mostly wanted to get more experience with the 200, so I also never pulled out the second camera I lugged along with the 12-100, even though there were some shots where the 200 was too tight.

I like the 200 a lot, but I definitely left the zoo thinking that the 100-400 sure has it beat in terms of versatility/convenience.

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Brent

p.s. I will never watch/read another Northrup piece.

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gary0319
gary0319 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,111
Re: PL100-400 versatility

It is possible that the availability of the Oly 100-40 may actually generate some heretofore unrealized sales of the PanLeica 100-400. Canon and Nikon introduction of their first ff mirrorless ILCs spawned a big move to mirrorless in my camera club........ with Olympus actually getting the largest percentage of that new mirrorless money.

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Trevor Carpenter
OP Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 17,136
Re: PL100-400 versatility

richj20 wrote:

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

It seems to me that versatility is not used as often as it might be in comparisons and if it was a lens like the PL100-400 would score very well.

I agree, and consider this lens to be my most versatile, in that it does many things well both at distance, and close in, as you show quite nicely here.

How about flowers?!

From my garden in Southern California this morning:

- Richard

yes and of course don't forget the flowers

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Recent and not so recent pictures here https://trevorc28a.wixsite.com/trevspics

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Trevor Carpenter
OP Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 17,136
Re: PL100-400 versatility

gary0319 wrote:

I agree, have had the PL100-400 since it was first released. Hard to beat it for size, weight and versatility.

great versatile set

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Recent and not so recent pictures here https://trevorc28a.wixsite.com/trevspics

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,144
Another versatile set
1

All except the last were opportunities that came up while I was out photographing wildlife.

A wonderful lens for photographing people

- Richard

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Trevor Carpenter
OP Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 17,136
Re: Another versatile set
1

richj20 wrote:

All except the last were opportunities that came up while I was out photographing wildlife.

- Richard

Excellent examples of versatility, everybody should have one

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