LU­MIX LEICA DG VARIO-EL­MAR 100-400mm f4.0-6.3 ASPH POWER OIS

Camera - - AWARDS -

If ever a lens could be con­sid­ered to have his­toric sig­nif­i­cance, the Pana­sonic Lu­mix 100-400mm tele­zoom is it. That’s be­cause here is a lens that’s the most po­tent illustration yet of the ben­e­fits of mir­ror­less cam­eras in gen­eral and the Mi­cro Four Thirds for­mat in par­tic­u­lar. You get the idea when you re­alise that it’s ef­fec­tively a 200-800mmm su­pertele­photo zoom… but one that you can com­fort­ably hand­hold be­cause it only weighs a lit­tle more than a kilo­gram. And one that you can ac­tu­ally con­tem­plate buy­ing be­cause it sells for around $2200.

Sud­denly whole new fields of pho­tog­ra­phy open up which were less eas­ily ac­cessed be­fore – wildlife and sports ac­tion be­ing the ob­vi­ous ones. In con­cert with the MFT sen­sors in ei­ther Pana­sonic or Olym­pus bod­ies, you get the ‘reach’ of up to 800mm with the bet­ter high ISO per­for­mance and much less noise. Bet­ter still, the op­ti­cal con­struc­tion has been de­signed to de­liver a per­for­mance good enough for Leica to en­grave its name on the bar­rel, while Pana­sonic’s ‘Power OIS’ im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion en­hances the possibilities when shoot­ing in low light sit­u­a­tions with­out a tri­pod. What’s more, the op­ti­cal sta­bil­i­sa­tion works in co-op­er­a­tion with the body-based sta­bil­i­sa­tion in the cur­rent Lu­mix GX8, GX85 and G85 bod­ies, giv­ing five-way cor­rec­tion.

On the out­side, the 100400mm em­ploys all-metal bar­rel tubes with pro­tec­tion against dust and mois­ture achieved via a gap­less con­struc­tion. There’s a clever vari­a­tion on the de­sign of the tripod­mount­ing bracket which has a two-piece ar­range­ment so only the foot sec­tion de­taches. The ro­tat­ing col­lar sec­tion is ac­tu­ally in­te­grated into the lens bar­rel and in­cor­po­rates var­i­ous con­trols which al­ways stay cor­rectly ori­en­tated. This lens’s per­for­mance is truly ex­cep­tional too – ex­cel­lent sharp­ness, neg­li­gi­ble dis­tor­tion and ef­fec­tive cor­rec­tion for chro­matic aber­ra­tions. So the Lu­mix Leica DG Vario-El­mar 100400mm f4.0-6.3 zoom is such a re­mark­able pack­age, you’d buy it first and then think about what cam­era body you’ll put on it. Never be­fore has so much tele­photo been so ac­ces­si­ble and so af­ford­able.

This is an ex­cep­tion­ally im­pres­sive prod­uct and, while this cat­e­gory has been re­ally ex­cit­ing over the last 12 months, noth­ing else came close.

ZOOM LENS – THE FI­NAL­ISTS Fu­ji­non XF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lu­mix Leica DG Vario-El­mar 100-400mm f4.0-6.3 ASPH Power OIS Sigma 50-100mm f1.8 DC HSM Art.

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