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PANASONIC LUMIX G VARIO LENS, 100-300MM, F4.0-5.6 ASPH., MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, MEGA OPTICAL I.S., H-FS100300 (USA BLACK)
|Price:||$597.99 & FREE Shipping|
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- Maximum focal length of 600mm super telephoto zoom (35mm camera equivalent)
- 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm (F4.0[Wide] - F5.6[Tele] to F22)
- An ED lens in the first lens group for superb optical performance by suppressing chromatic aberration at entire zoom range
- 67mm filter size, Multi-coated lens elements minimize ghosts and flare.
- Auto-focus. Please Note: Kindly refer the User Manual before use.
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|Aperture Control Design||Aperture controlled by camera|
|Compatible Lens Hood Part Number||H-FS100300|
|Compatible Mountings||Micro Four Thirds|
|Image Stabilization||Mega OIS|
|Item Dimensions||2.91 x 2.91 x 4.96 inches|
|Item Weight||1.15 pounds|
|Lens Type||Zoom lens|
|Macro Focus Range||1.50 m|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F4.0 - F5.6|
|Maximum Focal Length||300 mm|
|Maximum Format Size||FourThirds|
|Minimum Focal Length||100 mm|
|Number of Diaphragm Blades||7|
|Number of Elements||17|
|Number of Groups||12|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||67 mm|
|Shipping Weight||1.95 pounds|
Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 G Vario Aspherical MEGA OIS Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras
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- Great range and pretty sharp throughout (very sharp 100-200mm). It's approximately the same field of view you get using a 100-400mm f4-f5.6 on a DX sensor, or 200-600mm on an FX sensor. I picked it over the 200mm version because if I need to shoot long, I might as well spend a little more and have the reach (telecoverters are out of the question on these lenses), plus I'd rather have 200mm at the middle of the range and be sharp as all get out than have it at the end of the range and a little soft.
- Excellent to good wide open at all lengths. No, not tack sharp at 300mm f5.6. Good (and quite a bit better than "good enough"). If you're viewing your pics online, you'll be very stoked; if you're making prints up to 13x19 or so, you'll be stoked. If you're pixel-peeping, what the heck are you doing with a $400 lens and an m4/3 body? Sack-up and get a D800, 5DM3 or a medium format body and be done with it. I'm sure the corners are a little wack, but what lens with this reach and maximum aperture isn't? I'd say it's better than the Nikon or Canon 70-300mm f4-f5.6 for DX, with more effective reach given the m4/3 sensor size.
- Decently-priced for the range. If you can get a good one used, I'd always say go that route, but $400-$500 for this lens is about what you'd expect. Amazon will probably do a crappy job of packing the lens (sorry; it's the truth), but you can always return it if there's a problem.
- Small and light: this isn't an impress your friends with your bulging forearms lens. It's easy to carry and you look like a tourist using it. This is a good thing about the m4/3 system because I don't like being questioned about my gear when I'm shooting. Pull out a monopod and a 100-400 on a dSLR, and someone will be compelled to ask you how much it costs. They also get suspicious of what you're shooting. I can fit this lens, a 9-18, a 25mm, and a 45 mm in a somewhat effeminate, medium murse-sized canvas bag and put it under the seat of a plane.
- IS: I'm just guessing here; I use the Oly in-body IS. If you're using a Panasonic, you'll probably appreciate it. It may be light, but you'll get a lot more keepers at 300mm if you use the IS (or even better: some kind of support).
- Flare/ghosting does not seem to be a problem. Images are contrasty unless shooting directly into the sun.
The cons are pretty limited:
- Chromatic aberration: Maybe it's an m4/3 thing, but it seems like every Panasonic and Olympus m4/3 lens I have is worse than my Nikons for chromatic aberration; this lens is no exception. Pany bodies will remove it if you shoot jpeg, but that's a non-starter for me. It's removable in post, but it would be nice to have it better controlled from the start.
- Not weather sealed: I like shooting in all kinds of weather and around wind-blown sand, so it would have been nice to have it sealed.
- Not good for most sports: I saved this for last because it's a big deal depending on what you want to do. To be fair, it's really a limitation of the m4/3 bodies I've tried, and not just the lens. But there's a lot of people who might be thinking this would be a great birding or sports lens, and it falls flat for two reasons: continuous focus is a joke, and f5.6 is too slow for decent shutter speeds in anything but bright light. Yes, you can do probably do anything with any lens if you're good or patient enough. But why make it that hard? If shooting sports or flying birds is your primary avocation, I think you'll be a disappointed in this lens and m4/3 bodies overall.
Hope the review helps. Overall, if you don't want to spend the big bucks and you're invested in the m4/3 system, this is a good addition to your bag for reach and portability.
It does have some auto focus issues. It can be slow at times, and get confused, especially in low light, but I have an Olympus 4/3 lens in a similiar focal length and price range and it does not perform any better.
I first bought this lens smaller brother the 45-200 mm zoom. It is pretty sharp, but not as sharp as it's bigger brother at the same focal length.
Still needing a long telephoto for animal and bird shots, I decided to try the 100-300mm Lumix lens, even though I was wary of the relatively low price when compared with the 12-35 and 35-100 flag ship lenses. When the lens arrived, I found that it was manufactured in Japan ( a good sign for quality), was well constructed with smoothly sliding barrel, was substantial, despite the relatively low weight and fit ergonomically well with the GH3 in a manner that allowed easy hand holding, even at its fully extended length . More amazing was that I was able to take extremely sharp hand held pictures at full barrel extension (600 full frame equivalent) at 1/250th of a second. This indicated to me that the in lens stabilization system really works.
However, the real advantage of this lens is its incredibly high resolution in the center areas of focus. Since I almost always crop images in Photoshop CS6, as I digitally taylor my raw photos, I have had no chance or real need to evaluate sharpness at the periphery of of my images. Suffice it to say that I can make excellent 11 by 17 enlargements of 50% crops at full 600 equivalent from hand held shots, an amazing feat for this lens.