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First Panasonic 100-300mm lens review!

The czech website Fotografovani just posted a detailled Panasonic 100-300mm review. They have taken many image samples at different apertures and focal lenghts (including vignetting test). In summary they”were surprised by the high quality of the optical output“. And those are the pros and cons:


  • Excellent resolution by stopping down to medium apertures
  • Very low levels of chromatic aberration
  • Quiet and quick AF Focus
  • Effective optical stabilization system
  • Good contrast
  • Compact size and weight
  • High zoom performance (200 to 600mm on 135 format)
  • Good price
  • Lens Hood for the price

Potential drawbacks:

  • Plastic body (except the lens mount)
  • Focal length markings are not painted entirely accurate (about 2mm difference at some focal lengths)
  • No distance scale for manual focusing
  • Initial aperture begins at the value of F4

Amazon UK says that: “This item is due to be released on November 8, 2010.

Click ont store name to visit the product page and check price and availabilty or to preorder the lens:
Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon Deutschland, Amazon UK, Amazon Japan

  • Michael

    Just a google correction:

    – excellent resolution by stopping down to medium apertures

    – high zoom performance (200 to 600mm on 135 format)


    – Focal length markings are not painted entirely accurate (about 2mm difference at some focal lengths)
    – No distance scale for manual focusing

    Cheers ;)

    • admin

      Thanks Michael!!!

      • Michael

        You are welcome Admin :)… and Lens Hood for the price means: Lens Hood is supplied as standard.

  • If I buy a G2 (maybe GH2 if I get a better job!) in the next couple months as planned I think that this would be the first lens I acquire beyond the included kit lens… looks pretty promising :)

  • Steve

    I don’t understand what the reviewer is comparing this lens with, but the quality of the centre of the image at 250mm and above is very poor. Very soft images at all apertures in the 250mm-300mm range is not what I was hoping for. Why do lens manufacturers always sacrifice the long end of these telezoom lenses?

    • Abi

      Simple. IQ vs Price and weight.

      You want sharp from end to end 5.5x tele zoom? Pay twice the price and triple the weight for Sony 70-400mm.

      • Nathan

        If it’s not going to be sharp, why wouldn’t I just crop to get there, then? What is the point of a soft telephoto?

        Also, why so slow? If they built a faster, sharper lens that only went to 200mm, wouldn’t that be perfectly adequate? Say, a 100-200 f2.8-3.5?

        • cL

          Because that’s a different market segment? 100-300mm covers a long range, but less quality. What you want is a good quality lens that covers a shorter range. If you want high quality lens, why not get a regular 4/3 50-200mm f2.8-3.5? Or like Abi said, pay twice the price and triple the weight for Sony 70-400mm…. Like I said, it’s a different market segment.

        • hd72

          I get your point – a soft 600mm is no better than shooting wider and sharper, then cropping in post production. Also, an advantage of cropping later is you have more control of framing your shot. This is especially helpful for the types of things one would shoot telephoto… wildlife, sports, etc. The depth of field would be different, but like you said, a wider aperture would balance that out nicely.

        • Duarte Bruno

          The lens isn’t that soft. The test setup is flawed!

    • Duarte Bruno

      I’m jaw dropped! :O
      The lens is much better than I expected! :) :) :)
      I’ve profiled the 45-200 for PhotoAcute and the lens was near useless after 120mm. I expected this one to suffer the same problem but it’s clearly better.

      What most of you are seeing is a consequence of shallow DOF at superior FLs. The lens was focused on the recession and if you look at the bricks they are in front of the DOF field! Look to the frame bisection throughout the recession! Those bisection corners are still sharp at 250m & 300mm!

      The only defect I see on this lens so far is fast sharpness drop but that is just on the extreme corners!

      Bravo Panasonic!

      • Exactly! :)

        Sorry for the repeat posts, I keep clicking on the wrong “reply” links :P

      • Patlex

        what about the 45-200 Panny lens, or what looks to be a bit slower(than the 45-200) 75-300mm oly?

    • elliot

      quality of the centre of the image at 250mm and above is very poor

      To be expected based on the design and cost of any long tele zoom, epsecially consumer zooms. Look at any typical 70-300mm consumer zooms (closest in price and size) and you’ll see the same drop from 200-300. Even something like the Sigma 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 (which costs twice as much) is off at the far end and has light falloff problems up to f/10 (where diffraction issues start to play with sharpness).

      • Duarte Bruno

        I second that there is a small loss in sharpness but nothing like this failed test suggests!

      • I agree, and wasn’t quite sure what everyone else was looking at. I wish some testers would be more consistent and focus where we’d see a truer representation!

      • Exactly! :)

  • Bikedork

    Can’t tell from the picture, but it doesn’t look like there is a tripod thread on the lens. The 35mm equivalent of a 600mm lens really requires a tripod, and attaching the camera to a tripod is not going to be very balanced with this lens (I don’t care how lightweight it is…).

  • An other low quality consumer zoom. Great…
    Hope the 14/2.5 will be better.

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