Adventures in Conservation and New Leica Lenses

Posted May. 16th, 2018 by Daniel J. Cox

Mark and Dan Discuss Leica Lenses

This past weekend Mark Toal, Panasonic Lumix rep extraordinaire, stopped into Bozeman to discuss Adventures in Conservation and two new Leica lenses. Adventures in Conservation was the program I did for Bozeman Camera at the Museum of the Rockies on Friday, May 11th. I’ll share more of that story below, but first you may want to watch the video Mark and I shot about the new Leica 50-200mm and the recently released Leica 200mm F/2.8.

Spoiler Alert: Watch Dan rummage through Bozeman Camera’s big Nikon counter and pull out a Nikon 400mm F/2.8 to do a comparison in size and weight to the new Leica 200mm F/2.8 (400mm F/2.8 equivalent).

Mark shares with me, on camera, the brand new, soon to be released Leica 50-200mm as well as the recently released Leica 200mm F/2.8.  He had a pile of gear with him and many people stopped by Bozeman Camera on Saturday to take a look at some of the things Lumix has to offer.

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

Dan compares the Nikon 400mm F/2.8 and the new Leica 200mm F/2.8 at Bozeman Camera.

Big Sale on Leica and Lumix

An added bonus was a substantial sale on many of  the Leica lenses built specifically for the Lumix cameras. They’re taking a whopping $500 off the Leica 200mm F/2.8 and $200 off the Leica 12-60mm (my current favorite all around lens), $300 off the Leica 12mm F/1.4, and $400 off the Leica 43.5 (85mm equivalent) F/1.2, which is another fabulous lens. Finally, it’s $200 off another favorite of mine, the Leica 8-18mm. Additionally, I didn’t realize it, but there are also Trade In/Trade Up deals on the GH5, GH5S, and the brand new G9. Wow, some great opportunities to get into the MFT system if you’re tired of lugging around the monsters I used to carry.

All gear in this photo is available from all Lumix dealers including our friends at Bozeman Camera.

Friday Night’s Adventures in Conservation Program

My program Adventures in Conservation was a bit different than my typical programs. For a unique slant, I brought my friend, PBI biologist, Geoff York. Geoff and I worked in the field for a couple of bear capture seasons in Alaska. I was actually there when a semi-sedated female polar bear grabbed Geoff by the thigh, chomped down, then immediately fell back to sleep.

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

Dan and Geoff get a dual selfie in front of the crowd before the program at the Museum of the Rockies, Bozeman.

To say that was intimidating is an understatement. And… that was my first flight and first bear with the capture team ever. Geoff finished the job and then had things checked out at the local clinic. Despite being in the heart of polar bear territory, this was the clinic’s first ever bear bite.

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

Dan speaking to the crowd from the podium at the Museum of the Rockies. Bozeman, Montana

I remind him to tell that story when we do our talks together. Kind of fun bringing it up really. Hey, what are friends for😁 Not many can say they got chomped on by a polar bear and lived to talk about it.

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

Dan talking to one of a couple of young people who attended the program Adventures in Conservation. She wanted to know more about polar bears.

It was a great evening, just short of a full house with nearly 200 people in the seats. Much better than the program I gave at Huppins in Spokane, Washington where only two people showed up. Yep, two people and one was there just to talk to somebody from Panasonic about a broken camera. Very good for keeping your ego in check.

Below are a few more photos from our night at the Museum of the Rockies with Bozeman Camera.

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

Signs at the museum.

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

View from the audience. Adventures in Conservation.

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

Dan speaking to the audience at Adventures in Conservation. Bozeman, Montana

Leica Lenses Adventures in Conservation

The Bozeman Camera crew. Bozeman, Montana

A big slap on the back and thank you to Mark Toal for doing such a great job documenting the events at the Museum of the Rockies and Bozeman Camera. It’s so nice to get pictures from a real professional. Thank you Mark.

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There are 13 comments on this post…
  1. Portrait of David and Shiela Glatz

    David and Shiela GlatzOn Jun. 2nd, 2018 (6 months ago)

    We are long time Nikon shooters and Shiela converted to video a year ago. She has been shooting with GH5 and a number of Panasonic lenses. Even lets me use her second GH5 body when I want to do video. GH5 blows away video quality from any Nikon I’ve used. We had one issue with a lens foot on Panny 100-400. Talked to Dan, who told me to ship to Panasonic service. We did so and they fixed the problem quickly and perfectly. Lens was within the warranty period. At any rate in our admittedly brief experience with Panasonic products we’ve had great experience. Just started using the 200 mm f/2.8and like the other Leicas we’ve used on GH5 it’s extremely solid and well made. Image quality even with TC is extraordinary. Both this lens and the repaired 100-400 withstood a beating when we hauled them up and down mountains in Patagonia (getting video footage of wild pumas) recently. So just wanted to add our experience- we’ve been impressed and happy so far.

  2. Sam OttOn May. 31st, 2018 (6 months ago)

    Hello Dan,
    I have been following your blog for quite awhile and have certainly appreciated your sharing info about Panasonic and micro 4/3 in general. I was a long-time Canon user and made the switch to micro 4/3 for the same reasons that you have stated, —- size, weight, etc. I use and love both Olympus and Panasonic. In fact, most of my favorite lenses are Panasonic. Dan, the conversation here about the Panasonic warranty and service problems, not to mention my discovery that the Panasonic website doesn’t offer a secure connection for downloading the firmware updates, has definitely gotten my attention. I was ready to purchase the Panasonic 200 f2.8 lens that is on sale for $2500 this week and have decided against it due to this conversation. I read your lengthy response to this Panasonic issue on this blog the other day and when I returned the next day to re-read it more carefully, found that it had been removed??? Anyway, I, (and I’m sure other photographers), am quite interested to know if Panasonic is going to address these issues? I’m not interested in spending $2500 on another lens when I can’t really trust the warranty, service department or firmware update process. I truly hope the company can do something to address these problems and provide some type of assurances to its customers. Thank you for your time.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 31st, 2018 (6 months ago)

      Sam,

      Thanks for stopping by. I took the response down due to my desire to let Panasonic handle this. I thought I was doing everyone a favor but alas, based not the horrible comments over on DPReview, where you can find my comment with the info I took down from here, I decided to pull out of this conversation and let the folks at Lumix handle it. You have every right to make a statement by not purchasing the Lumix 200mm F/2.8 but I personally feel the hysteria on this subject is way, way over blown as is often the case when a few individuals start screaming wolf.

      The Lumix lenses I’ve used have been extremely durable and dependable. I’ve not sent even one in for repair over the past five years of professional, every day use. My 100-400mm has almost 200,000 images under it’s belt and it’s never skipped a beat. Yes, there have been a few incidental issues with some photographers but like everything, when someone is happy almost never do we hear about that. Only the negative voices rise to the top. In short, I’m very happy with my Lumix equipment.

  3. JohannesOn May. 29th, 2018 (6 months ago)

    Hi,

    I also got 100-400mm lens without any problems and other Lumix and Olympus gear (four thirds and micro four thirds gear long time user). I have no problem with my 100-400mm and that have been glued to my GX8 since I got it about end of 2016.

    Yes dpreview.com there are some negative stuff going on about Panasonic Lumix repairs. I did find it by accident because I was about to buy new gear. Usually before I buy something, I do little search in advance.

    To me it looks like this Panasonic Lumix warranty and repair thing came as surprise to many new and old customers and I guess that is the reason why discussion continues.

    I still hope micro four thirds will gain more users in general. I hope that will force to give us better after market support to our possible repair needs in future.

  4. JohannesOn May. 21st, 2018 (6 months ago)

    Hi,

    I don’t know why, but these kind of “out of warranty repair problem” post are all over the web. I hope Panasonic will address this issue quickly. These kind of writings from unhappy Lumix customers could hurt their sales. This is not what I want as system users. I want to support this system and keep it alive. There is also time to each customer to come back and upgrade our lenses and cameras without any hesitation to the company.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 25th, 2018 (6 months ago)

      Johannes, all I can tell you is I’ve had very good luck with the 100-400mm. I’m attaching a screen shot of my Mylio catalog that shows I’ve shot 133454 images since I’ve owned it and not one has it given me any problem. There are always those that complain and the MFT forum on DPReview is the most caustic, negative community I’ve ever been a part of. Not sure why this group is so intent on producing such bad Karma.

  5. Dean SwartzOn May. 20th, 2018 (6 months ago)

    I’d like to add my experience with Panasonic’s tech service to this discussion. I simply loved my Panasonic Leica 42.5 f1.2 lens. It was absolutely fantastic. Then, after it was out of warranty, I updated the firmware. Sadly, the firmware file was somehow corrupted and my fantastic lens would only work at apertures from f1.2 to f4.0. From f4.0 and smaller, overexposure went from terrible to worse. I sent my lens to Panasonic’s USA service center. Diagnosis: lens is broken and cannot be fixed. I was offered a “refurbished” lens for $1,000 or I could pay to have the lens returned to Japan where it would be looked at again with no assurances that it could be repaired. (It has already cost me $150 plus shipping to have Panasonic USA look at it.) How I long for those 5-year Nikkor lens warranties.

    Let me be very clear: the service personnel were extremely pleasant and the lens was looked at immediately upon arriving at the facility. (I think this may have been in part because of Dan’s assistance through a friend of his.) But, a firmware update gone haywire after the warranty expiration should not result in destruction of an otherwise fantastic lens. [Note: I am selling the lens for 25% of what I paid for it . . . with full disclosure of its condition and history.] This is not what one would hope for from a “Leica” lens (or Lumix product).

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 20th, 2018 (6 months ago)

      Very disappointing to hear Dean. Not sure what to say other than I’m passing these comments on to the appropriate folks at Panasonic. thanks for the feedback.

  6. Rick PophamOn May. 19th, 2018 (6 months ago)

    Hi Dan,
    I started following your blog a short while ago and have been seriously thinking about giving the Lumix gear a try. I’m not new to micro 4/3, but have been using Olympus gear along with my Nikon system for the last couple of years. The Lumix G9 and especially the new 200/2.8 look VERY appealing.

    In my research on the Panasonic system I found some troubling reports about service: in particular the repairability of the Leica branded lenses post warranty — at least in North America. At first I ran across this on Lloyd Chambers’ blog (he really likes the Pana/Leica lenses):

    https://diglloyd.com/

    Roger Cicala’s (from Lensrentals.com) comments were interesting, and the issue was probably best summed up in this thread from DPReview:

    https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4283303

    The gist of the matter seems to be that if your Pana/Leica lens fails under warranty you are issued a refurbished lens, but if it fails AFTER warranty you are expected to buy the refurbished lens — there is apparently no option for a reasonable repair.

    The person who started the post had an excellent response from Panasonic, and Panasonic did issue a statement on the thread via DPReview, but their commitment to service remains unclear. What can we expect after the warranty runs out?

    I wonder if you could reach out to the Panasonic folks to clarify things.

  7. Mike GOn May. 17th, 2018 (6 months ago)

    Hi Dan, Is there somewhere that you have a calendar of upcoming speaking/presentation sessions?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 17th, 2018 (6 months ago)

      The only place we keep up to date Mike is our Natural Exposures Facebook Fan Page. Give us a LIKE and you’ll get regular updates whenever I’m speaking somewhere. Thanks so much for the interest and joining the conversation here on the Blog

  8. Kent JakuszOn May. 16th, 2018 (6 months ago)

    Hi Dan,
    Nice article. The size difference between the 400 mm lenses is impressive. I would love to see a comparison in picture quality, pixel peeping, in a variety of lighting conditions.
    I am a big Lumix fan and don’t suspect the difference is noticeable especially when viewed via the internet.

    All the Best

    Kent

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn May. 17th, 2018 (6 months ago)

      Kent, I can guarantee you’ll never see the difference on an internet image as long as it’s posted at the typical size for internet use. I may try and do a comparison. We’ll see. Stay tuned.

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