A Look At The Panasonic Leica 100-400mm Long Zoom Lens For Micro four Thirds Cameras

The Panasonic Leica 100-400mm is a mighty long lens. With this, if you hear the cry ‘Up in the sky, look! it’s a bird! it’s a plane!’ you’ll be the guy or gal who says ‘it’s Superman!’. And you’ll have a shot a portrait of him in flight to prove it.

In association with ePHOTOzine – http://www.ephotozine.com
Sound post production by Charles Walkowski at www.walkowski.co.uk
Read my Micro Four Thirds Blog at http://m43blog.dthorpe.net/

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Chirag Parikh says:

hi David, i love your reviews, i am looking to buy Panasonic G85 + 12-60 kit lens, and some Pana-Leica Primes like 15mm, 25mm, 42.5mm, and also Olympus 75/1.8

i am unsure about other Olympus lenses like 12/2 or other Lumix lenses. This 100-400 is very exciting prospect too.

What are your suggestions ? . . . I use Canon 6D + 24/70/4L IS + 70-300 Nano-USM + 40/2.8 pancake. I shoot street photography. Thanks

Vincent Oliver says:

I enjoyed the photos of the neighbours roof, who wants to see Kingfisher – Gannets diving for fish anyway or even Sparrowhawks hunting for food. Give me a rooftop anyday.

Serenoj69 says:

I wouldn’t call the 40-150 Oly a lens that epithomises the system. If there is one lens,. to my mind, doing that on mFTs it is the 35-100 F2.8. It weighs 360 grams. It gets you 70-200 mm euiv FL. The Oly gets you 80-300. But it weighs 765 gram without the collar…also the 35-100 is every bit as good and to me it makes better sense with my 100-400 Panny, which is a lens I like too.
12-35 f2.8 is also great but gave a lot of purple and green neon flaring on my GH4. On my Em1.2 this has diminished greatly.
Lovely review again David, classy, calm, informative and good in depth as always. Keep up the good work!

Paul Ward says:

Hi David You Give Great Informative & Really Good Reviews On All Gear, Recently moved From Canon 7d Mk2 & L series Lenses That i used For Wild Life, You Say You Don’t Want To ( Show Off With how Fast This Lens is with Birds in Flight King Fishers And so on) But Having Changed Systems For Heath Reasons Mainly Weight & Mobility And Invested A Lot Of money In To Olympus The One Thing That i Can’t Get Right is Birds in Flight or Fast Moving Wild life Like I Did With Ease on DSLR. The Gear I Purchased After Hours of Reviews i decided To Make The Change To Micro 4/3 And Bought In To Olympus EM1 MK2 & Got The 40-150mm 2.8 Pro & The 300mm F4 Pro As well. Would Love To See These Types of Shots And Settings Used To Capture Them, This Would Be Extremely Help Full Not Only To My Self But EVERYBODY Who is Thinking of Making The Same Changes And Investments into Micro 4/3.
Thanks For All The Time And Effort You Put In To Reviewing All The Products And Look Forward To Seeing These Types of Wildlife Shots on micro 4/3 Systems. By Someone like Yourself Who Is Fair To All
Regards Paul

Matthew White says:

now on my short list.. soon baby soon…
Selling off some Canon gear to finance! ooohhh

Chris Overson says:

Great video – but how did you get the lens to turn and zoom all by itself? Are you practiced in telekinesis as well as teleconverters?

Bob Jones says:

Olympus and Panasonic make it so tough to decide which route to go. I have the Panasonic 35-100 F2.8 and decided to also get this Panasonic 100-400mm. I spent around $2500 for this combination. I got it because for planes and flying birds, you really can’t have ‘enough’ zoom. However you can get away with 200mm or even 150mm most of the time if your subjects are at reasonable altitudes.

From a financial and practical standpoint the Olympus makes more sense as you obviously can buy the Olympus 2.8 Zoom with a Teleconverter for considerably less than the 35-100, 100-400 Panasonic Combo. I really got into taking action shots at my nieces sporting events with the Panasonic 35-100 2.8. It takes amazing shots but always wish I had another 50-100mm, so I didn’t have to crop my photos so much for distant shots. You can use the 400mm Panasonic but then you need very high ISO at F6.3 and would almost be better off cropping a 150mm F2.8 shot. The Panasonic 400mm is a no-brainer if you’re in sunny outdoor conditions but not so much indoors.

Overall I still like the combo I picked, as it covers everything you could ever need. However if you are primarily an Action shooter and not that into wildlife/very distant subjects.. I agree with David and say the Olympus better fits the bill in terms of practicality. Aaargh decisions, decisions lol.

TechPond says:

This is not a constant aperture lens ! fucking Bad !!

2nd3rd1st says:

This is by far my most desired lens right now. I’m ages away from being able to afford one but when I got it I’ll move to Africa and become a Safari guide just to use its full potential.

Flip Tube says:

David, would you consider the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm to this lens, in terms of IQ. IS the the extra 100 mm worth the price ? I am an amateur planning to invest in a telephoto for wildlife. I have also bought you book on Panasonic g7 and I love it

Raychristofer says:

Love this review David. It’s different reviewing long tele lenses isn’t it? I can’t stop laughing about the diving falcon sequence.

David Daivdson says:

Now I want one of these. I don’t even do much wildlife; but I still want one!
Does OIS in the Panasonic lenses work (well) with the Olympus IBIS yet? I’ve been wondering this ever since Panasonic opted for it’s own IBIS as well as lens OIS since I’d heard OIS + IBIS work against eachother, or is the dual-IS a Panasonic only thing? Trying to decide whether to get an Olympus or a Panasonic for my next body.

Gerrelt Bronkhorst says:

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 body and the Panasonic 100-400 mm are both splash proof.
Does that mean that you can rinse them under the tap?

yodamunkey says:

I’ve watched this review twice in a week. That’s how excellent you are at doing these.

John O'Connell says:

Great review, David. I bought this as soon as it hit the stores, found the zoom ring unworkable, tried a second copy with the same results.Will have to try again!

Ira Crummey says:

The one I tried was very stiff to zoom as well.

DieterLo1 says:

Very good!

Daniel Dougan says:

7:06 well we know where David’s mind was!

Achilleas Labrou says:

During daylight the micro 4/3 lenses are great. However with poor lighting the full frame lenses and full frame lenses have the advantage.
Micro 4/3 is an excellent compromise between size, weight and quality. Perfect for travelers who want much better photos than those from smartphones or premium compact cameras.

Dan Oh says:

Hope you can do GH5 review with 100-400 for Still’s and NOT video. Too many reviews on video already.

Ben Sturge says:

Totally my favourite Vlogger, I’m very new to photography and in at the deep end with a gh4 and most of the LUMIX lenses I feel like I’ve learned a lot from your videos and always look forward to your wit and subtle humour. Having trained as a TV presenter I would expect you could be an instant hit if you fancied being the other side of the lens. Either way sincerely thank you and please keep up the great work!
Ps. How did you film the rotation of the lenses with no hands in shot? I suspect some kind of green screen but the movement was very smooth and mechanical which makes me wonder?

Arthur Jackson says:

Hello David – My first comment on your channel, although I have watched with interest many of your reviews since trading in my Nikon kit and investing in an OMD EM-1, Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 PRO and 40-150mm f2.8 PRO. Recently I had the chance to borrow a friend’s Panasonic Leica 100-400mm zoom lens and managed to capture some satisfying wildlife shots with it. My one concern is that the bayonet fitting of the Panasonic lens was a very tight fit on my Olympus body. I fitted the lens to my camera several times and it seemed to loosen up each time – then I realised why: I noticed some tiny metal fragments inside my camera body, one of which had settled on the sensor (which is what first drew may attention to them). I have managed to remove all the fragments, and I have returned the lens to my friend now. He doesn’t seem to have the same problem when fitting it to his OM-5 and my two Olympus lenses fit beautifully to my OM-1, but perhaps this is something people should be aware of? Have you ever encountered similar mechanical compatibility problems between Olympus and Panasonic components?

I am left trying to decide between the Pansonic 100-400mm zoom and the Olympus 300mm f4 PRO lenses! I already have the MC-14 teleconverter.

The Emo Emu says:

This lens makes me want to get an M43 camera. I’ve felt like getting a full frame 150-600 lens since they started showing up, but whenever I see the size or think about the weight I come to my senses.

pixelshock says:

“Hey, that’s some superb zoom lens for MFT without convert-”
*looks at price*
“…I wasnt interested anyway”

William Pegram says:

Mr Thorpe, I always enjoy your reviews but I must say that the presentation of the 250 mph diving falcon prior to the snaps of ones neighbour’s roof intead, was nothing short of genious (David, you had me laughing out loud after a very tiring & stressful day, hence not a small feat!) PS I’m saving up for sticking the 40-150 2.8 onto my E-M1 II. Yep saw your review of it too (now I come to think of it saw your review of the MC1.4 that I also want:) Thank you Sir as always for the very good information.

Keith K says:

Great review, made me laugh out loud at the neighbor’s roof comment. I took this lens on a safari to kenya last summer when I made the switch to m43 to save weight during travel and I didn’t regret it. I was disappointed with the stiff zoom and should have stopped videos in between zooming but live and learn.

I used a lot of your reviews last year when choosing what to buy along with the GX8 Kindle guide. They were very helpful, thanks! I’m deciding on my first prime lens at the moment for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica, will be (re)watching any of your videos I can find on those next.

Currently using 7-14, 12-32 (great for keeping it small and simple around town), 14-140 and 100-400.

Dabbawabbi says:

Good video but….. do you ever review a lens you don’t like David? Sometimes I wish you’d point out more cons.

JC Flippen says:

Love the neighbour’s roof and the review – 100-400 Sold!

Tel Kirton says:

Excellent review David, Thanks.

JohnyTechReview says:

Just randomly foudn you. Very nice review with awesome narration! And Damn it! give us the Showoffy Condor PIX!!!

Linux Tuxfriend says:

How much power does that lens need compared to a smaller, less long and weighty lens? Comparing with 100-300 would be useful. Maybe, on a smaller body, battery runtime might be significantly reduced.

CohEnterprises Multimedia says:

Another great Video. Can’t wait to pair it with the GH5.

AquarelleArtist says:

Aw, come on… show off! I’d love to see those sequences!

I’m considering the Pany GH5 with in camera stabilization and am looking at this lens in hopes that I would be able to get video of birds, birds in flight. Does you camera have IBIS and if so, can you verify that hand holding for video would be possible? (I currently use a Kipon converter with a Canon 100-400 L IS and a tripod is mandatory with GH4.)

Thanks for your calm presentation too… also, THANK YOU for your book on settings for the GH4. My copy is bent, dog eared, underlined, and coffee stained more than any other book I’ve ever owned, and honestly, I have thousands. Sorry for the abuse! It’s been invaluable. (I have created my own table of contents, hint, hint. The only suggestion I have that could make a re-print better.)

Rodelio Pajo says:

this is a very nice lense for sports ang wild life photography.

RufusLeakin says:

How would you compare the 100-400mm f4-6.3 with the Sony RX10 IV with it’s lens reaching 600mm f2.4-4.0 for optical quality? I generally use the Sony for zoo shots and prime lenses and wide angle zoom for my Panasonic GX85.

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