src=" The Panasonic 100-400mm f/4-6.3 Review - MirrorLessons
Leica 100-400mm

Date: 09/03/2016 | By: Mathieu

The Panasonic 100-400mm f/4-6.3 review – A surprisingly good performer!

E-M1, 1/1250, f/ 4/1, ISO 200

The Panasonic 100-400mm f/4-6.3 review – A surprisingly good performer!

Have I already mentioned that 2016 is the year of super telephoto lenses? You might start to find me repetitive but the truth is that I am only halfway through the camera/telephoto lens combinations I am excited to try this year for wildlife photography.

After putting the Olympus 300mm f/4 Pro through its paces, we now turn to another highly anticipated lens for Micro Four Thirds. At first, the Panasonic/Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 may seem like just another zoom lens with a slow, non-constant aperture that delivers sufficient performance but nothing more.

However, it turns out that this lens is a high quality product. It often managed to surprise me in cases where my expectations weren’t very high, especially concerning the sharpness at the fastest aperture and longest focal lengths. And that’s not all.

Is the Panasonic 100-400mm a worthwhile investment despite the slow aperture and high price? Let’s find out!

panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/400, f/6.3, ISO 640 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm review
E-M1, 1/1250, f/6.3, ISO 320 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm review
E-M1, 1/640, f/8, ISO 320 – 400mm


The Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 APSH Power O.I.S. Main Specs
  • Focal length: 100-400mm
  • Focal length (equiv. 35mm): 200-800mm
  • Maximum aperture: 4
  • Minimum aperture: 6.3
  • Number of aperture blades: 9 circular aperture diaphragm
  • Angle of view: 12 ‑ 3.1°
  • Closest focusing distance: 130cm
  • Lens configuration: 20 elements / 13 groups
  • Special elements: 1 Aspherical ED, 1 EUD, 2 ED elements
  • Lens surface coating: None
  • Maximum image magnification: 0.25x / 0.5x (35 mm camera equivalent)
  • Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes (POWER O.I.S.)
  • Dimensions: φ83, 171.5 mm
  • Filter diamater: 72mm
  • Weight: 985g (excluding lens cap, lens rear cap, lens hood and tripod mount)

Below you can also watch our video review of the lens.

Design and ease of use

Editor’s note

The sample we received to review is a final version as far as optical quality is concerned, but the exterior is pre-production and as such, it had a few defects:

  • the zoom ring is hard to rotate
  • the lock ring doesn’t lock perfectly
  • the built-in slide ring for the hood moves too easily when not in use

The only thing that annoyed me during the testing period was the stiff zoom ring. Panasonic assured us that these issues won’t be present in the final version of the lens. We will check a final sample of the lens as soon as possible to confirm this.


The Leica DG Vario-Elmar replicates the build quality seen from other Leica branded lenses for Micro Four Thirds such as the Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2. The all-metal barrel gives that reassuring feeling of a premium high quality lens. It is weather sealed against dust and water but not freeze proof.

panasonic 100-400mm review
The 100-400mm lens with hood attached, mounted on the GX8.

The 100-400mm weighs almost 1kg but it isn’t too front-heavy. It remains comfortable to use on the GX8 and the E-M1 especially. The lens is acceptably compact if we think about the zoom range it offers. Note that the zoom mechanism is not internal so the lens protrudes quite a lot (almost double the length) when zooming in.


There are three rings on the lens. In addition to the zoom ring, there is the focusing ring that is of course a “fly-by-wire” type. I found it smooth and precise to use for both stills and video shooting. Then we have the lock ring to prevent the zoom ring from rotating. You can use it at any zoom position if you want to work at a fixed focal length.

panasonic 100-400mm review
The focus and zoom lock rings.

On the side of the barrel we find three switches:

  • The first starting from the top can limit the shortest focus distance to 5m instead of 1.3m;
  • The second switch allows you to quickly change from autofocus to manual focus;
  • The third switch activates or deactivates the optical stabilisation.
panasonic 100-400mm review
The three switches on the side.

Personally I really appreciated the tripod mount mechanism.

The collar is built-in and can’t be removed. In fact the three switches mentioned above are located right on it. By turning the dedicated lock knob, you can rotate the collar 45° to put the camera in landscape or portrait orientation. This means that the three switches always remain in the same position on the left-hand side.


The tripod mount can be detached from the collar. This solution also makes the whole package more compact even with the tripod mount attached.

panasonic 100-400mm review
The tripod mount can be detached easily.

The lens hood is made of metal. You attach it to the built-in slide ring positioned at the front end of the lens. Once mounted, you can slide the hood forward or backward depending on you needs. The difference between the two positions is not huge though, so I admit I found this extra option unnecessary. I would have preferred a sliding hood like the one found on the Olympus 300mm Pro.

Through the lens: optical quality

The Pana/Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3’s optical quality and sharpness surprised me.

Leica designed the lens to give the best performance at the fastest apertures regardless of the focal length. In addition to the various images I took at natural reserves around Wales, I ran a home-made test to confirm my findings. I got a little help from the lovely stuffed kite below: his name is Milvus! Yes, I bought a stuffed animal but for a good cause: it supports the Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre!

At 100mm, the difference between f/4 and f/5.6 is barely noticeable. At 400mm a similar conclusion applies: f/8 is just a tiny bit sharper than f/6.3 at moderate distances and you will need to pixel peep at lot to find a difference. With more distant subjects f/8 gives slightly better sharpness too.

panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/125, f/6.3, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/80, f/8, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.


panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/1000, f/6.3, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/640, f/8, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.


In fact I never hesitated to use this lens wide open and the results are great. The same findings apply to the 200mm and 300mm focal lengths and the various apertures. Past f/8 diffraction starts to appear but sharpness remains decent up to f/16.

I ran another test at 300mm and 400mm to see if there was a difference in sharpness between the two focal lengths. I took the same shot by readjusting my distance to get the same composition. I noticed that the lens performs slightly better at 300mm than at 400mm. Here again the difference is not huge but worth mentioning.

panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 200 – 300mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/125, f/6.3, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.


Note: you can check a full set of images shot at all apertures and focal lengths here.

For me, 400mm remains very usable. For a real world shoot, you’ll often zoom in completely, which magnifies the subject and the minute details on its body.

panasonic 100-400mm f4-6.3 review
GX8, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 400 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm f4-6.3 review
E-M1, 1/500, f/8, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.

The out of focus background and bokeh are not perfect but I wasn’t expecting anything more from this type of lens. Still, in my own personal opinion, I find some shots rather nice. You can come across double lines and harsh edges in some cases but most of the time, I was pleased with the results I got.

panasonic 100-400mm f4-6.3 review
GX8, 1/125, f/6.3, ISO 640 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm f4-6.3 review
GX8, 1/100, f/5.9, ISO 640 – 350mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.
pana leica 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/400, f/6.3, ISO 320 – 400mm
Some double images and hard edges in the bokeh can be noticed in this example
Click on the image to open the full res version.

The lens is not designed for portraits of course but the performance is not bad for some occasional head shots. This shows once again the versatility of the lens.

panasonic 100-400mm review
E-M1, 1/80, f/5, ISO 320 – 195mm

The lens can focus as close as 1.3m through the whole zoom range which gives you a magnification factor of 0.25x (0.5x by 35mm format equivalence) at 400mm. You can see an example below with Milvus and then a few real world shots. To give you an idea, Milvus’s body measures approximately 17cm. Sharpness decreases slightly when focusing at the shortest distance.

pana leica 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/2000, f/6.3, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.
pana leica 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/200, f/8, ISO 200 – 300mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm closest focus distance
E-M1, 1/400, f/8, ISO 200 – 400mm
Click on the image to open the full res version.

If you look for it, you can find some flare but it is rare that you will have to deal with it unless you are shooting directly in the sun. Panasonic doesn’t mention any particular coating and as you can notice below, I encountered some greenish ghost flare and some slight purple veiling flare.

pana leica 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/400, f/6.3, ISO 200 – 100mm

The lens controls chromatic aberration and vignetting very well, so much that I haven’t found anything in particular worth mentioning. Vignetting is noticeable at f/6.3 and 400mm mostly but it easy to fix it. The lens is also almost completely distortion-free.


I tested the lens on both the Lumix GX8 and Olympus OM-D E-M1. The AF motor behaved well on both cameras. It is fast and silent. For birds in flight I found that limiting the focus distance to 5m-∞ with the dedicated switch helps to achieve more accurate results. Unless you need to focus closer, I suggest that you leave it like this.

With both cameras I got an average of a 50% keeper rate. At least 10/15% was my fault because I didn’t track the birds very well (I am not an experienced bird photographer yet).

pana leica 100-400mm review
E-M1, 1/1250, f/6.3, ISO 1600 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)
Click on the image to open the full res version.

E-M1 users will be pleased to know that it is the camera that gave me the most constant results thanks to the phase detection points that work in Continuous-AF. Once it locks onto the bird, it rarely loses it except when I wasn’t good enough at tracking the subject in the first place.

pana leica 100-400mm review
E-M1, 1/1600, f/6.3, ISO 1600 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)
panasonic 100-400mm omd em1
Click here to see the entire sequence in high res.

However there were multiple occasions when the camera failed to lock, leaving me with a series of out-of-focus shots (even when set to Focus priority).

OM-D E-M1 favourite settings for birds in flight:

  • Continuous AF
  • Continuous shooting H (9fps)
  • Focus Priority
  • 9-target AF points when the bird is closer to the ground
  • Multi-Target AF when the bird is in the sky


panasonic 100-400mm gx8
GX8, 1/1250, f/6.3, ISO 1600 – 300mm (slightly cropped in PP)
Click on the image to open the full res version.
panasonic 100-400mm gx8
GX8, 1/1250, f/6.3, ISO 1600 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)
Click on the image to open the full res version.

With the GX8, I had less constant results. Despite the lens being compatible with the 240fps AF drive, the DfD contrast detection system struggles especially when the bird is in the sky. The camera often alternates between sharp and out-of-focus shots. Photographing birds in flight is probably one of the toughest AF tests for any camera and in this case, it reveals a limit of the DfD technology in my opinion.

Lumix GX8 favourite settings for BIF:

  • Continuous AF
  • Continuous shooting M (because it keeps the live view)
  • Custom AF with 9 central points
  • Focus priority

Optical stabilisation

The 100-400mm features Panasonic’s Power O.I.S. system. I ran some tests with Milvus once again to see how slow a shutter speed I could use with the Dual IS system of the Lumix GX8 that combines sensor and optical stabilisation.

panasonic 100-400mm stabilisation
GX8, 1/15s, f/6.3, ISO 1600 – 400mm – Hand held (Dual IS)

At 100mm I managed to shoot at 1/5s with good results. The sharpest result I got at 400mm was at 1/15s while I got an almost perfect image at 1/10s with the longest focal length. This is not bad at all considering the 800mm equivalent! However the keeper rate went up significantly only when I started to shoot at 1/50s.

In the real world at 300mm or 400mm, I would advise that you stay at 1/200s at least. If you can raise the speed to 1/400s, all the better. Also keep in mind that the GX8 suffers from some severe shutter shock between 1/50s and 1/320s and the only way to solve this is to use the electronic shutter, which also helps with slow shutter speeds.

panasonic 100-400mm stabilisation
GX8, 1/100, f/5.9, ISO 800 – 350mm
Here I got a perfect result at 1/100s but I took the shot multiple times and only a few were perfectly sharp.
Click on the image to open the full res version.

Then I tested the lens on the E-M1 by turning off the sensor stabilisation to see how effective the OIS would be on its own. Remember that the stabilisation system of Olympus bodies and Panasonic lenses can’t be combined. You can also leave the IBIS on and activate the Lens OIS Priority in the Menu (C. Release).

Interestingly I got very similar results on the Olympus camera with optical stabilization only. I managed to capture one sharp shot at 1/15s and the keeper rate went up from 1/50s here as well.

panasonic 100-400mm stabilisation
E-M1, 1/15s, f/8, ISO 100 – Hand held (OIS only)

The fact that I had very similar results with the E-M1 is related to two things in my opinion. First, I find the ergonomics of the Olympus camera better than those of the Panasonic, meaning you are less likely to quiver when you press the shutter release button. This may seem like a small detail but when you are shooting at 400mm (800mm equivalent on 36×24 format), every little thing that can improve the shooting experience counts. I am confident that the ergonomics of the Lumix GH4, for example, would also be a better match for this specific test.

Second, I also think that the Dual IS of the GX8 tends to use the optical stabilization more when at extreme focal lengths.

With the OM-D series, you also have the option of using the 5-axis sensor stabilisation instead. At shorter focal lengths the IBIS has an advantage over the optical stabilisation (1EV of difference more or less). At the longer focal lengths, the lens O.I.S. gives you slightly better results.

panasonic 100-400mm stabilisation
E-M1, 1/100, f/6.3, ISO 500 – 400mm – Hand held (OIS only)

For video, the Power OIS is effective but I noticed some jittering at the longest focal lengths. It is more visible with distant subjects. Note that to get acceptable results at the longest focal lengths, you will need at least a monopod in combination with the OIS.

If you plan to shoot 100% steady images at 400mm, you will need a robust video tripod with a strong fluid head. At that focal length, even the tiniest movement or some wind can produce shaky footage.

Below you can check out some 4K footage shot with the GX8 with the Power O.I.S. activated and a monopod.



I’ll say it up-front: the Panasonic 100-400mm really surprised me. I wasn’t expecting the lens to be that sharp at all focal lengths and the fastest apertures. Although I used 300mm and 400mm most of the time for my wildlife photos, I also found it helpful to be able to pull back to 100mm. It can be an excellent choice not only for birds and wildlife but also for outdoor sports and other applications where a long lens is required.

panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/500, f/4.4, ISO 200 – 124mm
leica dg 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/800, f/7.1, ISO 1250 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)
panasonic 100-400mm review
GX8, 1/250, f/5, ISO 400 – 167mm

The only real limit you will find for a real world shoot with this lens is the slow aperture of f/5.6 and f/6.3.

Unless it is a sunny day, you will need to raise your ISO to 1600 or even 3200 to catch birds in flight because you need a very fast shutter speed to ensure sharpness. Things gets better with static subjects but if you are in the shade, you won’t be able to keep your ISO at 200 anyway.

Whether this is acceptable or not is up to you. Personally I’ve stopped worrying about pushing my ISO too far with Micro Four Thirds, as I find the results more than acceptable (and remember that a good exposure is always better than recovering in post). It won’t beat a DSLR with a larger sensor in terms of IQ or AF but as usual, you get the advantage of a lighter kit.

panasonic 100-400mm review
E-M1, 1/1600, f/6.3, ISO 1600 – 400mm (slightly cropped in PP)

What can be discouraging is the price but if you look at other 100-400mm lenses like the recent Fujifilm version or the Canon version, you will notice that the price isn’t so different. (Actually the Pana/Leica is slightly cheaper.) So yes, the lens is expensive but it is also an excellent performer.

Lately there seems to be the tendency to reject these lenses because they are “too expensive for Micro Four Thirds.” The same reasoning was applied to the Olympus 300mm f/4 Pro but I feel it is mainly a matter of perspective. These lenses have been designed for the same purpose for which Fujifilm, Canon and Nikon designed theirs. The 100-400mm’s price is in line with the other lenses and the Olympus 300mm could actually be considered cheaper than its DSLR counterpart.

Is the Pana/Leica 100-400mm worth the money? Well, the truth is that it might be the best middle ground you can find right now for the M4/3 system.

panasonic 100-400mm review
E-M1, 1/500, f/6.3, ISO 200 – 364mm (slightly cropped in PP)

It is significantly sharper than the Lumix 100-300mm (see our comparison here) and it is less expensive than the Olympus 300mm Pro. The latter retains some worthy advantages in my opinion (faster, slightly sharper, better IS) and is probably the ultimate lens you can buy for your wildlife photography.

However, the 100-400mm offers an unprecedented level of versatility that can make it the optimal choice for photographers who want to get more serious about the wildlife genre but don’t have enough experience (or the budget) for the Olympus prime lens.

thumb-up What I like about the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH Power O.I.S.:

  • Premium “all-metal” build quality
  • Smart tripod collar and tripod mount mechanism
  • Great optical performance at all focal lengths and fastest apertures
  • Fast autofocus motor
  • Excellent optical stabilisation

thumb-down What I don’t like about the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f/4-6.3 ASPH Power O.I.S.:

  • The sliding ring for the hood doesn’t give a substantial advantage
  • The slow aperture at 300 and 400mm will require you to raise your ISO very often
  • Optical stabilisation produces some jittering in video footage
  • The Dual IS system with the GX8 doesn’t give a substantial advantage


Reminder: you can also check out more sample images here.

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About the author: Mathieu Gasquet

Mathieu Gasquet is a professional photographer with French and Italian origins. Besides running his own video and photography studio 3Dit Lab, he is also the official photographer for the National Cinema Museum in Turin. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter or Facebook!

  • Ziggy

    Sooo… for BIF you’d say this lens would be better with the EM1 than the GX8? Even allowing for the 4K photo modes?

  • Ziggy

    Did you try the 4K Photo modes with this lens on the GX8?

  • Mathieu

    Thanks Alexander. I love landscape shots with telephoto lenses :)

  • Alexander Levantovsky

    Thank you for review! Image #26 (the first in ‘Conclusion’ section) is the best! :) It is a kind of images for which I use my 100-300 now and want to upgrade. My variant:

  • Mathieu
  • Bensch Blaser

    Anything new yet?

  • Doug

    Thanks for checking on that Mathieu, that was all I needed to know…my Amex card is going to get warm here very soon :-)

  • Mathieu

    I went through many OOC JPGs and the E-M1 controls CA well. I haven’t noticed any purple blob flare either.

  • Doug

    Mathieu did you find that the chromatic aberrations were controlled as well with the E-M1 body as on the GX8? My concern (as a jpeg shooter) is that the Olympus Truepic7 jpeg engine may not do as good of a job on Lumix vs. Zuiko lens corrections. Also, did you see any “Purple Blob” flare (like the Lumix 7-14mm has) when using the E-M1?

  • Mathieu

    That would be great, but unfortunately I believe it will never happen.

  • Mk.82

    We need to remember that OIS+IBIS is not a sign or proof that OIS is better than IBIS at longer focal lengths.
    It is only a proof that both systems working together is better than either one alone.

    Now Only and Pana should just mix Sync and Dual to work together!

  • Mathieu

    Nope, there isn’t enough space on the rear to insert it.

  • Mathieu

    I agree, the 2x crop factor is a big advantage here.

  • Frank

    Would the olympus tc fit on it? would love to see how that would turn out.

  • bjorn van den bossche

    But with the Pana you have a 800mm at f6.3. With the other 100-400 lenses you have to add a teleconverter and then the Pana is faster.

  • horsth

    Thanks very much. Yes, you are so right !

  • Mathieu

    The lens already has the information needed for DFD (and Dual IS) with its own firmware.

  • horsth

    “Despite the lens being compatible with the 240fps AF drive, the DfD
    contrast detection system struggles especially when the bird is in the sky”

    I don’t get it. How can the GX8 know this new lens for DfD? The GX8 (and the GH4 a.s.o) needs a firmware update first, I guess.

  • Mathieu

    Yes the IBIS of the E-M5 II and E-M1 are very effective with the 40-150mm Pro. However after seeing what the Oly Sync IS can do with the 300mm Pro, I’m wondering how well it could improve the stabilisation with the 40-150. Plus it would be a benefit for Panasonic users too.

  • Bob B.

    Thanks for yet another very good review. I can’t say that I would own this lens..if I make that jump it would be with the Olympus 300mm f/4…
    I was surprised that you said that the Oly 40-150mm Pro could use OIS?… I have to say…I own one and when I use it with my E-M5 II….I am ALWAYS amazed at how effective the IBIS is with this lens. It is VERY good and gives extreme advantage to no IS. ..I have to say…I have not wished for OIS when shooting (Effective C-AF I can cry for at every use, though LOL!). …but that may have made the lens larger…which I would not want to see.

  • Mathieu

    Thanks for the tips. I turned off IS for many of my BIF shots but I admit I didn’t try the AFF mode.

  • Porco Rosso

    For your birds in flight with the GX8, I would suggest using “AFF” for continuous autofocussing, not “AFC”. Also, try Single-area AF with a large central box, instead of a custom multipoint. I’ve found these more reliable on many types of Panasonic, including the GX8. Turn off IS too, if you can get a fast enough shutter speed and your panning technique is up to it.

  • Mathieu

    I was hesitating to put a Zeiss sticker on him 😀
    Yes this is a specialist lens for sure, I wouldn’t advice it unless you are interested in wildlife. But it’s a nice new entry for the system. With the other super zooms and the Oly 300 Pro, m4/3 users have now more choice.

  • Mathieu

    I believe Panasonic to be right and as you said that’s why Olympus implemented OIS in the 300mm (also to make the lens more appealing for Pana users). Actually I even think that the 40-150mm Pro should have IS too. Now Olympus did an excellent job with the Sync IS (IBIS + OIS) and it seems superior to the Dual IS of the GX8. So OIS + sensor stabilization seems to be the optimal solution in these situations. But if the lens OIS is good enough as it happens with this 100-400mm, then you can still do a lot of things. I guess that the dual stabilisation helps more for video and in these regards the Oly Sync IS is impressive. Unfortunately the Dual IS on the GX8 work for stills only.

    The M4/3 system is becoming very complete now. It still remains the best example of quality and portability and probably no other systems can beat that.

  • Mathieu

    It is really fast in Single AF but can struggle more with Continuous AF. It’s something we’ve noticed even for our GX8 review when shooting some sports.

  • Mathieu

    I agree, it’s an advantage for the m4/3 combo. The Pana 100-400mm is slightly slower (6.3 instead of 5.6) but it’s not a big difference in terms of exposure.

  • Mathieu

    Would love to do one. But right now there aren’t lots of 300mm samples around and I have to send back the Pana lens today. But I’ll try to do that comparison later on.

  • Mathieu

    Coming later today! 😉

  • Robert

    Yes! Please give us direct comparison shots with Panasonic 100-300mm. I suggest at 100, 200, 250, and 300mm, wide open f4-f5.6 and also at f7.1 and f8. Would love to see!

  • Seb

    A direct comparison of the Olympus 300mm and the Panasonic would be great in terms of: Contrast, Sharpness, Color and Focus speed.

    You could be the first on the web with that comparison 😉

  • Michael

    The compact size & weight reduction really sells the m4/3 advantage. The Fuji & DSLR equivalents are not exactly fast either.

  • Sean T

    Thank you Mathieu – I’m excited to rent this and this just increased my excitement! I might the rental camera from the GX8 to the EM1, but the GX8’s 4K tricks are very appealing and I’m nowhere near good enough to track BIFs anyway! Single point with DfD seems really fast anyway.

  • soundimageplus

    Nice job.

    It’s interesting to read Panasonics view on IS –
    By their own criteria the lens OIS will be working harder than the IBIS at focal lengths like this. And Olympus of course have added lens IS for the 300mm. I suspect for long lenses OIS is essential.

    I guess it’s no surprise that the lens has to be optimised for the widest aperture, because that’s where it’s going to be used most of the time. And it’s very useful to have that Leica input, since that’s something they are good at. My Leica T 55-135mm is seriously sharp wide open. Interestingly the entire Nikon 1 lens range is apparently optimised to work best wide open as well.

    Looks a great lens and I must admit I’m tempted (which certainly hasn’t been helped by your review!!) but ultimately it would be a luxury item. And I’m totally useless at BIF anyway, so I’d have a very low ratio of success to begin with. However, I agree with Henrik, this is m4/3 showing itself to be a very ‘mature’ system these days, with a lot of interesting lenses to cover pretty much everything. Helped, of course, by two companies contributing. Targeted at enthusiasts certainly, but in reality something more than that. I still think m4/3 is the embodiment of what mirrorless should / could be and lenses like this serve to reinforce that opinion.

  • Henrik Fessler

    Milvus … why is the bird not looking like a lens hosting a blue logo? Aside from this, thx for the nice images … but these types of super teles lenses will probably of interest for specialist (birds and sports, I guess ). Nevertheless a welcome addition to complete the MFT camera system.

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To see more information, visit our full Disclaimer page. Thank you!

© Heather Broster/Mathieu Gasquet and MirrorLessons, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heather Broster/Mathieu Gasquet and MirrorLessons with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.