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

(based on 157 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (83)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (61)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (84)
  • Easy to use (67)
  • Durable (40)
  • Reliable (35)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (25)

Cons

  • Heavy / bulky (13)
  • Poor in low light (8)
  • Slow focus (5)
  • Difficult to use (3)
  • Heavy (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (42)
  • Wildlife photos (36)
  • Wildlife (29)
  • Everyday (22)
  • Landscape photography (20)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Enthusiast (54), Semi-professional (24), Photo enthusiast (23), Professional (13), Semi-pro photographer (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (135), 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 157 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great lense

By James

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Works smoothly with great shots.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Very good lens

By Sergioalberto

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Very good lens

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Just fine

By Laurence

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Compact, good optics

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A Good Lens to Have

By Dilys

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

This lens is consistantly attached to my camera, it is much sharper than the 45-200 mm and clearer. It is perfect for birding and wild life, it does good close-ups.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Meehhh-Awesome

By Wcure

from Canton, mi

Verified Buyer

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

I love the zoom and the pics are sharp. Not the bust for action shots while handheld.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Love the Zoom!!!

By Warren

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Other than Wanting a lower F factor, I am very impressed with this lense. The range is great and pic so far are sharp. I have yet to use for action shots with tracking, so not sure how it will do. But, looking forward to testing it capabilities.

 
5.0

Awesome lens

By Sean Mollits

from Montreal

Verified Buyer

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

The 100-300 is really great for long shot, sport shot in light time. I use it to film action videos, picture and timelapse. Let say you pay for the price so it's normal that the ft is not 2.8 but for outdoor shooting itdo the jub.

(12 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Very hard to get sharp pictures hand held

By Michael

from Boston, MA

Verified Buyer

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

The lens is good at its shorter lengths, but when zoomed out to the long end, the majority of pictures are just not sharp. I don't know if the problem is the lens sharpness or image stabilization - but whatever the case, most are not sharp. I was able to test the new (and expensive) panasonic 100-400mm lens, and it was exactly the opposite with the majority of pictures being very sharp - even fully zoomed out. I returned the 100-300 zoom lens.

 
5.0

Good Lens

By Batman

from West Warwick, Rhode Island

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

This is an excellent photography lens! Far zoom with clear image quality. The built in O.I.S. definitely helps!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Nice long focal length zoom

By Dave

from Milwaukee, WI

Verified Buyer

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

I purchased an Olympus OM-D EM-10 MFT camera about a year ago, with the kit lens and a small telephoto. Since this is a MFT camera, the effective focal length of any lens is double what it woudl be for a full-frame camera.

So this new lens give me the equivalent of a 200-600 mm telephoto. It is just as fast as the 400-150 mm telephoto I bought with the camera, at F/4.0-5.6.

With the newer digital cameras and their improved sensors, one can push the ISO higher than in the past, and so this lens is fast enough for most situations.

Its image stabilization works well.

The only negative is that the manual zooming of the lens requires a bit more effort than I would prefer.

Definitely a good value, and a nice lens. Picture quality is very good.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Big reach and sharp

By Madiscene

from Madison, Wisconsin

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

I love this lens with my GH4 to shoot wildlife and sports. And the image stabilization really helps. The only thing that is a little annoying is that the focus ring sticks a little. Thinking of returning it to see if I can get one that doesn't stick. But, I really want to keep this lens!

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Sticky zoom as others have noted, otherwise pretty good

By JH

from Roseville, MN

About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

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

I can confirm what other critical reviews have said: the zoom ring is jerky, which makes zooming while shooting video a challenge at best. That's too bad, because it would be a great tool for video if that were not the case. I'd send it back, but I'm pleased with the optical quality, and there aren't many options in this zoom range. There's a 100-400 Panasonic Leica at about three times the price of this lens, but some reviewers have complained that it, too, has a stiff zoom.

While this Panasonic 100-300 has the roughest zoom of any lens I've ever owned, I have noticed a few things that seem to make the problem better or worse. It turns out that zooming in isn't all that bad -- not perfect, but less jerky than zooming out. Zooming slowly over the full range is naturally the most problematic: I can zoom out from about 225 to 100 without too much jerkiness, while the lens seems stickiest in the 300 to 200 range. And it could be my imagination, but it also seems to help when I grip the zoom ring a bit more toward the edge away from the camera body than I ordinarily would.

As to the size and weight of this lens, I love shooting with my Olympus OMD E-M5, but this zoom feels a lot easier to handle on my larger Panasonic G7 or GH4.

It focuses quickly and accurately enough for my needs. And I can get decent shots outdoors without a tripod, though I haven't run a lot of tests yet.

I'd send this lens back given the zoom issue, but I doubt we're dealing with a sample defect. And while a replacement might be a little better, I suppose it could also be worse. For the price, I can live with the limitations.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good but not perfect

By Susan

from Santa Clara, CA

About Me Semi-Professional

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

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

      It's a long fast lens - I was hoping to hand hold with my Olympus M10 II, but it's just a little too heavy. It gets acceptable but not great results.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great lens for the money

      By Bo

      from Pensacola, FL

      About Me Semi-Professional

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Reliable

      Cons

      • None Considering Price

      Best Uses

      • Traveling
      • Wildlife

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

      Bought this lens to use on my Olympus OMD EM5 in conjunction with my Panasonic 12-35. Based upon all the positive reviews I expected this lens to perform adequately on my OMD. I was immediately blown away when I tested this lens. All of my expectations were exceeded for this effective 200-600mm super telephoto on my Olympus. Concidering the price, optical performance, ergonomics, construction, size and weight this lens is a bargain, one if the best purchases I've ever made.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great for wildlife - but only on autofocus

      By Mitch

      from Santa Fe, NM

      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Lightweight
      • Sharp

      Cons

      • Difficult To Use
      • Poor In Manual Focus

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife

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

      I use this lens mainly for stills and photos of wildlife. It produces beautiful images and video, especially when coupled with a variable neutral density filter and used on auto-focus.

      However, I find it very difficult to manually focus.

      Other reviewers have had problems using the zoom on this lens, finding that it binds and resists turning. Mine zooms smoothly, but the manual focus ring binds in exactly the way described by the other reviews. It's almost as though all of the weight of the lens tubes is balanced on top of the focus ring.

      The binding is sometimes so severe that I can't hit the focal distance I'm seeking: when the ring breaks free it move the focus too far, over- or under-shooting my subject.

      The short form: When my subject is in the clear, auto-focus does a great job. When I need to use manual focus, e.g., when photographing a bird with many branches in the foreground, this lens is very frustrating.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Stoked!

      By Bruce Skywalker

      from Outer Banks, NC

      About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Easy To Use
      • Lightweight
      • Reliable

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Video

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

        I was a little nervous about this lens after reading a couple iffy reviews... However I used it once(all for video with my GH4), and I was really happy with it! I mainly shoot surf video and the lighting conditions and constant panning and zooming are often challenging. The lens works better than I thought at least for video anyway. Most people complaining about this lens are more than likely tech divas or they just don't really get it. I'm very happy with the purchase and the price was good!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No
         
        4.0

        Sharp in the right light

        By Dkirk

        from Painesville Ohio

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

        Knew going in this was a slower lens. Used at 800-1600 ISO on an overcast day (most days in Ohio) you can keep the shutter speed high enough for good results. OIS does not work in video mode on GH4. My Nikon with doubler on my 70-200mm only got me out to 400mm at 5.6. This gets me to 600mm at 5.6 and I traded a 7lbs kit (with body) for 2 lb. Hope to get some great eagle shots this summer with it.

        (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        super lens

        By Eduard

        from NJ

        About Me Professional

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape Photography
          • Traveling

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

          I think this is the best lens for nature lovers.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Good lens for the price

          By Pierre

          from Cary, NC

          About Me Getting Started

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Crisp
          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Sticky Zoom

          Best Uses

          • Action
          • Traveling
          • Wild life

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

          It's a F/4-5.6, so it's small for a 300mm and works really well in good daylight. Auto focus is really fast and accurate. Pictures are sharp. It's quite a low price for a lens of that magnification, considering an F/2.8 is 10 times the price.

          Image stabilizer works quite well.

          The only down side is the zoom action that is not smooth, but the plastic tends to be sticky. Yes this lens has a lot of plastic on it.

          Beside this minor inconvenience, it's quite pleasant to use. Along with a Lumix camera, it's quite a portable system. Great for hiking and capturing these animals in their intimacy.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          A great lens for what it is

          By Raincheck

          from The Great Southwest

          About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy To Use
          • Good Shots Up To 250mm
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Focus Ring Hard To Use
          • Very Soft Beyond 250

          Best Uses

          • Everyday use
          • Wildlife

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

          I was going to Africa to photograph (mostly) wildlife and wanted something with some reach. This lens was great, I got some wonderful, pretty sharp close up shots because I had that reach. It is light, easy to get around with, unobtrusive, and I took a lot of shots off boats and out of safari vehicles that came out better than I deserved. It was a very practical to do the job without bringing a monster lens.

          The "for what it is" part? Above 250mm it is exceedingly soft. I developed a technique of zooming all the way and then pulling back to 250, developed the feel very quickly, and got good shots that way. Anytime I was all the way out I got painterly, impressionistic resolution. Interesting effect, I guess, but not what I wanted.

          It is not a good lens for manual focus. The focus ring just has a horrible feel, I couldn't work with it. The lens tends to hunt a fair amount for autofocus in certain situations, so I would just work until autofocus got it right, switch to manual focus and be able to take a lot of shots of a scene without having to use that focus ring or have it hunt for every shot.

          Not a low light lens either, I guess, but I was shooting in blinding sun, so....

          All said it was the perfect tool for the situation. I travelled light, and this and my Olympus M-1 made a portable, practical kit for all the wildlife shooting. I got great shots, the best of anyone on the trip, in large part because I had the right tool - enough reach but practical to use. It certainly wasn't because of me.

          My 3 star rating may seem harsh. I actually do recommend the lens. It is a very useful tool. You just have to be aware of what it is and how to use it.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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