100-300mm or 100-400mm?

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mpiukantin New Member • Posts: 7
100-300mm or 100-400mm?

I am interested in buying one of these two lenses for wildlife shooting, especially bird shooting.

My concern is about the cost difference of these lenses.

100-300mm costs about 550€ while 100-400mm costs 1300€!!!

Is it worth paying more than double the price for 100 more mm of focal length(or 200mm equivalent) ?

If anyone owns both these lenses i would very much appreciate his opinion.

Thank you

P.S. I currently own a Panasonic G9

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Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 17,844
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?
3

Yes definitely worth buying the 100-400 but if money is tight the 100-300 is a decent performer

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Svein Eriksen Senior Member • Posts: 2,189
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?
5

mpiukantin wrote:

I am interested in buying one of these two lenses for wildlife shooting, especially bird shooting.

…...

IMO it's not only about the price and the 100mm difference. It's also a significant jump in size and weight. The original 100-300 was the second lens I bought for MFT and I've been quite happy with it. It's not a exceptional lens, but it had really good price/performance when I bought it.

For me though, the 100-400 was still a fairly obvious "upgrade". I needed the extra reach (I'd like even more), and the tripod mount was also a plus to me. I believe you can get a tripod collar for the 100-300 from a third party though if you go for the 100-300 (and need that).

The 100-400 has better build quality too, but the 100-300 was OK for me. I'd almost wish for the 100-300 build quality on the 100-400 if I could choose and save some weight, but that's of course not possible. The Panasonic 100-400 is actually small and light for a 100-400 lens, but it's still significantly larger than the 100-300 and more of a hassle to bring along.

It's difficult to say what's right for you, but hope my comments are somewhat helpful. Personally I never get too much reach, but going over 300mm certainly have some drawbacks too.

Mathij5
Mathij5 New Member • Posts: 23
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?

IMHO it's worth the extra money, I had the 100-300 mm and after a year of using it I sold it to buy the 100-400 mm. The extra reach (200mm in fullframe is significant. I also find the autofocus is better.

It's a good match with the G9, with all the options for fast bursts and AF it makes a great combo for bird photography.

I bought mine second hand which will save you some money.

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rick in vegas Contributing Member • Posts: 747
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?
3

I have 100-300mm II and like it. Nice a compact and fairly decent. Need more reach 2X digital zoom with no Picture quality loss.

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kcdogger Veteran Member • Posts: 3,331
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?

Yes.  I think it is worth it to go to the PL100-400 lens.  The P100-300 (latest model) IMHO is quite good out to about 225 -250mm - beyond that not so much.  The 100-400 is sharp all the way out, but it is your choice and your bank account.

Peace.

John

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SteveY80 Senior Member • Posts: 1,729
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?

I started out with a 100-300mm and was never happy with the quality at 300mm. After buying a 100-400mm I never touched the 100-300mm again. To me the longer lens is well worth the extra money.

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pannumon Veteran Member • Posts: 3,451
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?
1

It depends on your skills, your devotion and the expectations of the outcome. If you actually have some skills, you probably know what I mean. If not, then why not getting a second hand 100-300mm? You can always sell it with very little loss.

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C Sean Veteran Member • Posts: 3,067
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?
1

mpiukantin wrote:

I am interested in buying one of these two lenses for wildlife shooting, especially bird shooting.

My concern is about the cost difference of these lenses.

100-300mm costs about 550€ while 100-400mm costs 1300€!!!

Is it worth paying more than double the price for 100 more mm of focal length(or 200mm equivalent) ?

If anyone owns both these lenses i would very much appreciate his opinion.

Thank you

P.S. I currently own a Panasonic G9

In my opinion the PL100-400 is a pro version of the original 100-300. Both lenses gives a very similar look but the 100-400 overall is a better shooting experience. It should be noted the 100-400 is actually a 100-300 but with an extra 100mm for cropping to achieve head shots of larger animals and to get closer to nearby smaller animals or birds. The extra 100mm isn't meant to be used for long distance shooting because I find shooting with the GH5, anything roughly further than 50m away will produce soft results.

Finally it should be noted I took the original 100-300 with me to Botswana. I don't know if the lens was faulty but it wouldn't focus where I wanted to. It was so bad, I tried to do the majority of my shots with the 35-100mm 2.8. Afterward I bought the 100-400, took it with me to Kenya and I was just end up shooting like crazy with the 100-400.

Strangefinder
Strangefinder Contributing Member • Posts: 846
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?

Other considerations would be the teleconverter-compatible brighter lenses:

Leica 50-200mmF2.8-4, or

Olympus Pro 40-150mmF2.8

Also, Olympus just released a 100-400mm, but it’s very heavy.

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Cimarron Regular Member • Posts: 342
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?

If you can afford the 100-400, go for it. I owned both versions of the 100-300, and I was happy with it -- until I got to compare it to something else.

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lescrane Contributing Member • Posts: 755
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?

For wildlife you can use all the reach you can get.....
I have both.  I used the shorter one when I need to really travel light and I'm not going to need the reach, eg, shooting waterfowl close, sports close etc.
As far as IQ, the biggest difference I see is in color and CA (much less on the PL).
I'll bet in terms of sharpness, each one is close at it's extreme, but if you were to shoot both at 300mm, the PL would come out on top.  jI think the Lumix  Vario is a better bargain, the PL is overpriced but th best choice

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grcolts Veteran Member • Posts: 3,555
Re: 100-300mm or 100-400mm?
1

I had the same decision as you a while back. Do I get the 100-400 which is more costly and heavier, but great for birding/wildlife or do I get the 100-300ii which is cheaper but quite capable. Since I shoot nature in general I opted for the 100-300ii lens. This lens has been wonderful and matches perfectly with my G9 for dual stabilization. And, I still get decent bird pictures too. If I were just using it for birds, I would get the 100-400 but for an all-round nature lens it holds its own.

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