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Panasonic 100-300mm lens reviewed (Photographyblog)


Photographyblog tested the new Panasonic 100-300mm lens. The lens scores 4 of 5 stars: “While this lens is obviously not in the same class as the primes and high-grade zooms that we have reviewed so far, it is actually pretty amazing for a superzoom….For starters, it’s surprisingly small and lightweight…Optically, the lens isn’t a top performer, but it’s perfectly acceptable and actually better than we expected. At most focal lengths, you can safely use it wide open…The lens also earns our admiration for fast focusing on the equally new DMC-GH2, even at the 600mm equivalent end of the zoom range in low-light conditions. This is equally true for moving subjects too, making this lens well-suited to sports and wildlife photography…
Read the full review at Photographyblog.

The lens itself is in Stock at Amazon or eBay.

  • Zonkie

    Does someone know why these new Panasonic m4/3 lenses still are labeled with Mega O.I.S? That’s the old version name. Newer compact cameras have the much improved Power O.I.S. For over a year now. So either:

    – These lenses do have the old and not so effective OIS (would be a very bad thing to put the newer and much better one in compacts but not in these expensive lenses), or
    – They do have the newer and better system, but they still call it Mega OIS (in this case it’s very stupid from the marketing team, so much so that’s hard to believe).

    Anyone knows?

    • Panasonic has an official lens pdf document at their website which labels all OIS lenses witht he Mega adjective. None have Power adjective…

      • Zonkie

        Yes, all lenses for m4/3 cameras are labeled Mega OIS. My question was why this is so. Because it really uses the old mechanism that provides 1-2 f-stops advantage or it uses the new mechanism that can provide 3-4 f-stops compensation but keeps the old label?

        In compact cameras it does use Power OIS for the new and improved one, so when you read Mega OIS in these lenses it’s normal to think it’s the older and not so effective one (even if it’s not).

        • Miroslav

          I was also wondering about that. I suppose Power O.I.S. is a P&S marketing gimmick.

          • Zonkie

            I guess you mean the *NAME* Power OIS is a marketing gimmick. Because the second generation OIS is much improved in every test I’ve seen. They could have called it Mega OIS II, or whatever. That doesn’t matter.

            But think about how stupid the marketing team is. They invent a new name for the newer and much better OIS, use it on the new compact cameras with the new system, but on the new m4/3 lenses with the new system they keep the old label, so that people think it’s the old much less effective one. Brilliant! (I wonder why they didn’t go all the way and sell the GH2 under the GH1 name. *THAT* would have been killer!).

  • Reza

    Can a 3x zoom be called superzoom? What would you call the 14-150 then, ultra-power-uber zoom?!

    • safaridon

      In this case the reference to superzoom refers to the long telephoto reach of effective 600mm. This is a first for m4/3 and only one 75-300 existing for 4/3rds. A lens of 600mm reach in APSC or full frame would be huge in comparison. Yes 14-140 and 14-150mm are also considered to be supzerzooms because of their greater zoom magnification and ability to go from wide angle to telephoto.

    • hd72

      You’re right, a “superzoom” should refer to the factor, not the focal length. Doesn’t matter how far it reaches, it’s only 3x, and not a superzoom.

      That said, I have this lens and i do think it’s super! :) I’m especially impressed with how well the image stabilization works.

    • WT21

      I agree 100%. This is only a 3X zoom. It is a long telephoto, but not a super zoom. It should be able to be engineered to perform very well, given it’s limited reach. I think one of the likely design parameters, though — light weight — might hinder lens quality. Might be a good lens for the price, but at only 3X and all in telephoto (i.e. it doesn start wide), then it should be expected to be very good, not just good.

  • kosta

    I take this review with a large grain of salt, given I read their other review on the oly 14-150 and a bunch of commentary is copy+paste…

    still, I’d love to get this lens!

  • at

    It is indeed a good lens at this price. However, it really depends on how much you need a telephoto lens, especially with starting aperature at f/4. It would be acceptable for photos with the high ISO performance of GH2, but still not too usable when shooting video.

  • Redkite

    It must be hard for the people at Panasonic to read the miserable comments on this site. Try as they might the vast majority of comment is negative. For the record I have this lens and I think it’s a wonderful addition to the range. Well done Panasonic.

    • Greg

      Take it easy Redkite. While you do have a point about the whining there’s no need to downgrade people like you do. As someone put it with humour (may it inspire you ;) ), it DOES look like m43 rumors readers want lenses for sport photography by night…
      I, for one, want fast lenses for exemple.
      But still I’m getting curious about this lens…

  • Ulli

    i find this an interesting zoomlens, because its in tele range only, and rather small. compressed perspective at 200-300 mm can give great effect if used by a skilled/creative person. However, i would love to see a prime telelens for m43 in the 200-250 mm range with 2.5 or 2.8

  • MikeS

    Seems like this lens would be great for birding on a budget. Very tempting for its price, which I think is a bargain by Panasonic’s standards, especially considering that Oly’s m4/3 equivalent is so expensive.

    • Redkite

      @ Mike S. Exactly what I want this lens for. I paid £375 from Amazon UK. That has to be a bargain.

  • Bill

    Not a “superzoom”. Superzoom is a label that applies to lenses with a wide zoom range, typically 10:1 or more. The 100-300 has only a 3:1 range. So it could properly be called a zoom super telephoto or a super telephoto zoom but not a super zoom.

  • Redkite

    This site’s name soon to be changed to 4/3 Semantics . . .

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