Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm f/4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Sebastian Milczanowski, published November 2011

Introduction

If we take a closer look at the super telephoto zoom options for the micro-four-thirds format we will find two lenses within the 35mm camera equivalent focal length of up to "600mm" - there is one Olympus lens covering 75-300mm (thus "150-600mm") as well as our test candidate, the Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm f/4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. Important characteristics of the Panasonic lens include an ED elements which is supposed to reduce optical aberrations, plus an optical image stabilizer ("OIS").
The the lens is available for around 500EUR which sounds expensive compared to conventional 300mm zoom lenses but the higher pixel density of four-thirds sensors require a correspondingly higher quality - on paper at least.

The build quality of the lens is very good. The lens body is made of plastic parts based on a metal mount and it is assembled with very tight tolerances. The focus and zoom control rings operate pretty smooth. Typical for all lenses in this class it extends when zooming towards the long end of the range. Furthermore, the internal focusing system with accurate contrast AF operates comparatively fast and the continuous AF/AE function supports photos as well as movies. The silent lens drive is well suited for movie shooting without annoying focusing noise.

The following figure shows the Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 100-300mm f/4-5.6 MEGA O.I.S. and the Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH. OIS - just to give you an idea about the differences in size.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length200-600 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/8-f/11.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction17 elements in 12 groups (1 ED lens)
Number of aperture blades7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
min. focus distanceapprox. 1.50 m at all focal lengths
Dimensions (L x W)126 x 73,6 mm
Weight520 g
Filter size67 mm (non-rotating)
HoodYes
Other featuresCase




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