Small Size, But Big Reach
HANDS-ON PREVIEW: Shridhar Kunte shares his initial impressions on the LUMIX G VARIO 100–300mm f/4-5.6 MEGA OIS, one of the three lenses announced by Panasonic during photokina.
Till date, there was no Micro FourThirds lens from Panasonic to go really close to the action—untilnow. The new 100–300mmf/4-5.6 MEGA OIS lens from the company offers a focal length equivalent to 200–600mm (in 35mm parlance), making it a great choice for sports and wildlife photographers.
A Compact Bundle
The lens has an optical construction that is designed to control chromatic aberration even while shooting against the light. While the lens is much smaller than a Nikon or Canon lens of a similar focal length, it is not as compact as Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds counterpart. This is because Panasonic uses optical stabilisation, while Olympus has in-body stabilisation. To activate image stabilisation, the lens has a dedicated switch on its barrel. The diaphragm is constructed around seven blades.
Excellent on Field
The focusing speed, coupled with the excellent AF system of the new PanasonicGH2, was fast. I tried shooting moving trains and birds in flight. The lens tracked fast-moving subjects with ease and the images are sharp and well exposed. The lens balances well on the body. Even with such a long focal length, I did not find it necessary to use a tripod or monopod. While designing the lens, Panasonic haskept videographers in mind too. The lens employs a stepper motor mechanism thatenables silent AF even while shooting HDvideo. Initial impressions of the image quality are promising, but we will wait for Panasonic to release a final production piece before we do a full-fledged test.