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PanasonicLumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens
 
4.4

(based on 118 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (67)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (42)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (72)
  • Easy to use (53)
  • Durable (34)
  • Reliable (29)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (25)

Cons

  • Heavy / bulky (8)
  • Poor in low light (8)
  • Slow focus (5)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (36)
  • Travel (34)
  • Wildlife (22)
  • Landscape/scenery (19)
  • Everyday (18)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (40), Photo enthusiast (23), Semi-professional (19), Professional (9), Semi-pro photographer (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (112), Yes (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

My go-to Lens

I ordered this lens before I received the camera. It has the perfect focal length range for walkabout and drive-about photography. Since May of last year I have taken over 20,000 butterfly shots with...Read complete review

I ordered this lens before I received the camera. It has the perfect focal length range for walkabout and drive-about photography. Since May of last year I have taken over 20,000 butterfly shots with it in the ENMAX Conservatory in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The Bokeh (background rendering) is excellent. Just figure out through practice where to position for the shot, and you'll get beautiful, smooth, out-of-focus backgrounds. I use it on the Olympus OM-D, and I use the in-camera stabiliser, which, imo, is the best available today. I have at least a 90% keeper rate. Last summer I got shots of just about all of the bird species within a 20 mile radius of where I live, and they are crisp and highly detailed. The lens is not fast enough for birds-in-flight really, but then no more are any of the other M4/3 lenses available right now. I had Canon, Nikon, Pentax, and Olympus 4/3 systems, and as I get older, I need something smaller and much lighter, and this is it. I would by this 10 times over; after 1 year I have more than gotten my money's worth out of this lens.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Beautiful optics spoiled by mechanics

This lens is to complement the 14-140mm I've already bought from B&H. Everything looks superb: the build, the finish, the glass, the weight, the size, etc. So...Read complete review

This lens is to complement the 14-140mm I've already bought from B&H. Everything looks superb: the build, the finish, the glass, the weight, the size, etc. So imagine my disappointment when I found that the zoom ring could not be turned smoothly and quietly. It feels like it has crunchy peanut butter for lubrication so it could only be moved in a jerky fashion. But I persevered and took it out for a thorough test shoot. I hoped that whatever the cause of the jerky noisy zoom, it would settle down after a while, but no luck! For still photography, it doesn't matter, but there's little hope for video work. Even with the Lumix zoom lever fitted,I could not perform a smooth zoom as the resistance is not even across the whole zoom travel. I'm not being finicky here as I'm perfectly happy with the zoom action on the 14-140mm. I hope this lens is just a poor copy and I'm just an unlucky guy[...] after having seen beautiful pictures taken with the lens - both extreme close-up, distant and in-between - (as I haven't seen such image quality from a long zoom before), I could not bear to part with it and the long wait for its replacement.[...]For now, I love using this lens for still photography. I shot all images with wide open aperture and I was overjoyed with what this lens delivers in terms of sharpness and bokeh. I just hope that the zoom ring will smooth out over time to allow some video work.Yes, I would recommend this lens for its optical performance but, if you have a chance, test the zoom ring before buying[...].I so wished I could give it a 5-star rating.

Reviewed by 118 customers

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4.0

I would buy this product again

By Lou616

from Holland, MI

About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy To Use
  • Fairly Compact
  • Long Range Zoom

Cons

  • Low light

Best Uses

  • Landscape Photography
  • Macro Photography
  • Traveling

Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

I bought the lens for my Olympus E-M5 and am satisfied with the sharpness of the lens. Like all lenses with IBIS, I have to remember to turn it off when I shoot from a tripod of other stationary device. For close-ups I use a Canon 500D lens.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Lens - Lots of sharpness and reach

By Darren The CameraGuy

from Kingston, ON

About Me Professional

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Nature Wildlife

    Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

    I am a nature and wildlife photographer who just purchased a GH4, and I am on an assignment to shoot 4K video. This lens is amazing. I can capture anything and every creature using this lens. It's sharp and clear and has great contrast.--------------------------

    • Was this a gift?:
    • Yes

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent micro 4/3 telephoto zoom lens

    By Makoto

    from Orlando, FL

    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Bulky

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Sports

    Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

    I picked up this lens so that I can shoot pictures of my son while he plays soccer. I also got this because I lacked a native micro 4/3 telephoto zoom lens. I had a Nikon 70-300mm lens that I adapted to m4/3 but I found it difficult to focus accurately and it also had a lot of chromatic aberration which motivated me to get a native m4/3 lens.

    I had a chance to take a look at the Olympus lens at my local camera shop and I did like the 70-300mm range but didn't like how slow (small aperture) it is.

    This would be my first non-Olympus m4/3 lens that I've purchased and was curious to see if the MEGA OIS in the lens would be better than the IBIS in my Olympus PEN E-P5. After taking a few test shots in low light with slower shutter speeds at maximum zoom (300mm), I was surprised to see that the 5-axis IBIS in the Olympus body did better than the MEGA OIS.

    Also, I was surprised to see that this lens is about the same size as my Nikon 70-300mm lens designed for APS-C sensors. However, I find it a manageable size and am able to carry it around in a small camera bag.

    The lens overall feels like plastic and rubber. I have some plastic Olympus lenses that have a metallic feel but Panasonic didn't do anything to give the illusion of being metallic. Even though it's plastic, it still feels sturdy and solid.

    The rubber grip around the zoom ring can be a little bit annoying as I find that dust and debris sticks to it and gets caught in the grooves.

    Speaking of zoom ring, the zoom ring provides a nice level of resistance where it is easy to turn but also doesn't have any issues with zoom creep.

    I've read some reviews on here from people saying that the lens has difficulty focusing in the dark. I don't think they realize that it's actually the camera body that is performing the focusing. Given that it has a maximum aperture range of 4.0~5.6, I'm not expecting it to work that great in low light.

    In the couple of weeks that I've had this lens, I've used it to shoot some pictures from my son's soccer game during the day as well as some pictures during his gymnastics class. I also shot some pictures of a few bands that played at a local 4th of July event. This lens does a fantastic job of shooting outdoors during the day and I haven't seen any issues with chromatic aberrations. However, shooting indoors such as during my son's gymnastics class proved to be a bit more challenging which forced me to shoot at a higher ISO setting.

    It's also nice that Panasonic included a lens hood and a pouch for the lens.

    Overall, great lens with great quality images. Even though it feels plastic, it still feels solid, just wish it used a ribbed plastic or metal zoom ring instead of rubber. For Olympus bodies, stick with IBIS.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Nice lens!

    By Tim Birder

    from Washington DC

    About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight
    • Reliable

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Traveling

      Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

      Have this lens only for a week, and highly recommend it - can't beat it for the price. On the long end is sharp (contrary to what others say), but focus can be a little slow in low light. Well designed and OIS works very well.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Does what I want at a great price

      By Carolyn

      from Surprise, AZ

      About Me Casual user

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • GOOD PRICE

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Traveling
        • Wildlife

        Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

        I am a casual photographer who just switched to a Panasonic micro Four Thirds system and wanted a long distance lens for vacation shots. This lens is just right. Other reviews mentioned a grating feeling when focusing, but I have not found that to be true. I'm looking forward to having it for our trip to Hawaii this year.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great stabilazation

        By elvis901

        from Memphis, TN

        About Me Semi-Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Stabilization

        Cons

        • Bulky

        Best Uses

          Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

          I'm using it on the new GH4. It is big comparing with the other Lumix Lenses. But with 300 mm that's normal. I like the image stabilization. Even at 300 it does a great job. Colors come out good. Sharpness is good. It is not your everyday lens. You cant take family photos with it. It is bulky and not practical for everyday use. But if you have the standard lenses in your bag and have a need for a 300mm (600mm)lens, this is a great choice.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Go-to lens for nature shots

          By LMN

          from Ct

          About Me Semi-Professional

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Reliable

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

              With a focal length from 200 to 600 mm (35mm terms) this lens has a long reach. I use it for nature shots of animals, birds, flowers, etc. It is not a small lens, but not very large either and when supported with the left hand, it is very manageable on a M4/3 body.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Hit or Miss

              By joer

              from northern illinois

              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Great range
              • Inexpensive
              • Lightweight

              Cons

              • Difficult To Use
              • Not Functional
              • Unreliable

              Best Uses

              • Paper Weight

              Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

              Follow up review: I've used this lens on a GF5, G5,GX7 and OM-D-EM-1 and it performs the same on all of them.
              I've has this lens for about 8 months so it been thoroughly tested. It misses focus frequently particularly in low contrast scenes. It doesn't even hunt, it just won't focus. This is my second copy. When it achieves focus the image quality is good. I miss a lot of shots. Its frustrating. Don't wast your money or time. Pass it by.

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              • No

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              (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              nice lens

              By Tim

              from Missouri

              About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easy To Use
              • Lightweight
              • Reliable

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                  great for wildlife and birds

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Long Distance Photography

                  By Kathbill29

                  from Aberdeen, Scotland

                  About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Durable
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                  • Bulky

                  Best Uses

                  • Everyday use
                  • Landscape Photography
                  • Macro Photography
                  • Portraits

                  Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                  I love this lens - use it for night photography and found it great for taking pictures from the top of the rock.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Good image quality but has some faults

                  By Scott Carlin

                  from Denver, CO

                  About Me Professional

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Lightweight
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                  • Poor Design

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                    For reference, I am a pro photographer/videographer, accustomed to using L-series Canon lenses on Canon DSLRs, and recently jumped into the Micro-four-thirds world and bought two GH-3 bodies and four lenses (Lumix and Voigtlander). I am using my experiences with Canon L-lenses as a basis of comparison, but it's only fair to note that this lens is MUCH cheaper than the Canon equivalent.

                    I am impressed with the image quality of the 100-300 lens, and also impressed with the IOS stabilization, allowing me to shoot hand-held video with very acceptable results.

                    On the down-side, there are a couple design flaws… the first and most negative being that the zoom ring is sticky. Very sticky. You can forget doing any zooms while shooting video - it's out of the question. For shooting still photos, it is still a nuisance if you are trying to do any quick shooting (birds in flight, etc.).

                    The other annoyance is that the size and shape of the lens do not work well for quick lens changing with my setup. I am shooting on a Manfrotto 701 fluid head, and when trying to mount the lens on the GH-3, the mounting plate for the Manfrotto head has very little (or no) clearance of the lens barrel, making mounting the lens a bit of a pain.

                    Other than these two negative aspects, it seems to be well built, and delivers good image quality. For the price, I'd buy it again.

                    I am anxiously waiting for Panasonic to come out with some Prime Telephoto lenses in order to get true professional image quality, and compete with Canon and Nikon DSLR lenses.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Super Telephoto in a compact package

                    By Moeman

                    from Northern NJ

                    About Me Semi-Professional

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Durable
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Lightweight
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Traveling
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                      Great addition to my 4:3 system.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Great distance lens

                      By KAR

                      from Aberdeen, Scotland.

                      Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                      I have not had too much practice with this lens yet but my pictures from the Top of the Rock are amazing. I am looking forward to trying it out on wildlife now that I am back in Scotland

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                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Excellent lens, with limitations

                      By Julie SF

                      from San Francisco, CA

                      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight
                      • Reliable
                      • Very sharp

                      Cons

                      • Not For Fast Moving Stuff
                      • Not Great In Poor Light

                      Best Uses

                      • Everyday use
                      • Landscape Photography
                      • Macro Photography
                      • Still Or Slow Animals
                      • Traveling

                      Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                      I use this lens on an Olympus OMD EM-5. This lens is excellent for still objects and critters or slow moving things. It is great at still but distant critters and at getting detail on close things, such as cactus spines.For these things, it is tack sharp. It is not great at quick focus for such creatures as birds in flight, jumping seals, or for low light work, although you can get lucky on the focus if you have a lot of contrast on which to focus quickly. However, I would take this lens and use it anywhere I needed the long reach with good sharpness, especially where I needed a light weight setup. All in all, a great lens.

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                      • No

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                      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Much better than expected

                      By GS

                      from Fremont, CA

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Durable
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight
                      • Sharp
                      • Small

                      Cons

                      • None

                      Best Uses

                      • Everyday use
                      • Nature
                      • Nature Safari
                      • Safari
                      • Traveling

                      Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                      To be honest my expectations about this lens were pretty medium if not low. Low price, small dimension (for the range), can't be good, I thought. I bought it anyway because I needed a tele for my 4:3 camera, I normally use Nikon Full Frame, I had Nikon Full Frame since Kodak made one well before Nikon and I love the format. The DSLR I use the most is the D800E.With my great surprise my sample performs. It is sharp, it has a fast AF, I can't ask for more. All of this is above expectation. The quality of this lens has to be put in context. This is not a 600mm F4 or a 400mm F2.8, this however is better than my (older version) Nikon 80-400VR and Nikon 70-300 AFS-VR. On a APS-C camera both nikons aren't as sharp as this one when fully extended. Bad example? Come on, this Panasonic is the cheapest and the smallest of the 3. I paid my 80-400 $1500 years ago. What other lens can give 600mm equivalency for sub $[$]? Not even the Bigma. About the people complaining about the zoom ring not being smooth? This lens is for photography not video and in any case I don't know who makes video handholding a 600mm while zooming manually. A bit of stiffness is required by design in order to keep the focal length in position while doing difficult shots when fully extended . One more thing, the Optical Stabilization is superb.

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                      • No

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Quite sharp near and far

                      By ken

                      from phoenix az

                      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Everyday use
                        • Traveling

                        Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                        Have used on G5, GX1, GF1 and I am pleased with all. Great lens for the price,

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Exellent lens for nature photography

                        By Roaring north

                        from Oslo, Norway

                        About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape Photography

                          Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                          An excellent lense for nature photography. The lense is small and easy to handle. Use of a tripod is recommended, especially during cloudy or badly lit conditions. It's not an ideal lens for fast moving objects.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Incredible lens if you get a good copy

                          By joer

                          from Northern Illinois

                          About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Use
                          • Inexpensive
                          • Lightweight
                          • Sharp

                          Cons

                          • Poor quality control

                          Best Uses

                          • Birds
                          • Super Zoom

                          Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                          Small, light, sharp and hand holdable 600mm. Incredible buy for the price.

                          Initially the zoom ring was a little rough but became smooth with a little use.

                          This is my second copy. The first copy was defective in that it would not focus and the zoom ring was sticky. I would have rated it higher but for the defective first copy. Based on the packaging it was an obvious return.

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                          5.0

                          Great reach.

                          By FLOWMEISTER

                          from VANCOUVER

                          About Me Semi-Professional

                          Pros

                          • Fast focusing
                          • Incredible Reach
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                          • Tripod Mount

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape
                          • Sports
                          • Wildlife

                          Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                          Pros - Incredible reach, 200-600mm in 35mm format, light (compared to its peers), fast focusing, comes with Hood and pouch. Cons - OK aperture f4-5.6, a little soft at 300mm, could use a tripod mount (in the tele-end remember this is effective 600mm). Overall, I think its a terrific lens for the price. Much cheaper now compared to the 75-300mm by Olympus. Highly recommended, especially at this price point.

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                          • No

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                          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Sharp, excellent OS, light

                          By sophotog

                          from Hacienda Heights

                          About Me Professional

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Use
                          • Lightweight
                          • Reliable

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Everyday use
                            • Home
                            • Portraits
                            • Traveling

                            Comments about Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6 OIS Lens:

                            Built quality is not something you want to write home about. It's all plastic like most Pana m43 lenses are but the optics are superb. Stabilization is one of the best I've used. Excellent lens overall.

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                            • No

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