Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll Leica 100-400mm

Posted Jan. 19th, 2017 by Daniel J. Cox

Ever since the announcement of the new Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll I’ve received a great deal of questions about how this camera will work with the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm zoom. Thankfully, I finally received the new Olympus, and this last week I spent time at Bosque del Apache NWR shooting the combination. Overall, the combination seems quite positive though there is one known issue we’ll discuss.

Dan shooting the Lumix G85 with the Leica 100-400mm as well as having the new Olympus OM-D EM-1 with 30mm F/4 hanging off his shoulder.

Dan shooting the Lumix G85 with the Leica 100-400mm as well as having the new Olympus OM-D EM-1 with 300mm F/4 hanging off his shoulder. Photo courtesy of my Mylio.com buddy JP Duplessis

This is not an extensive review on the new Olympus camera or the Leica 100-400mm zoom. It’s quite simply a short report on what I experienced during a shoot that contained subject matter I would most typically want to use this combination of camera and lens on, flying birds and general wildlife.

AF Settings For Birds In Flight

Since this was the first time using this new body I decided to keep the AF settings simple. Like all options on the pro version Olympus cameras, there are a myriad of ways to setup the AF. I choose settings,  AF-C with the FPS set to Sequential High, that are virtually identical to what I used to set on my Nikons. I did not use AF Tracking though I hope to give that a try in the future.

A pair of sandhill cranes lift off from the small lake and head out to feed. Photo shot with the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll and the Leica 100-400mm zoom.

A pair of sandhill cranes lift off from the small lake and head out to feed. Photo shot with the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll and the Leica 100-400mm zoom at 400mm (800mm equivalent)

None of the examples I will be sharing are what I would consider perfect for showing how this camera can track a moving subject coming straight at the camera. We’ll have to wait for the Speeding Pooch Test for that kind of information. That I hope to do within the next 30 days.

A pair of sandhill cranes in flight heading out to feed. Photo shot with the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll with Leica 100400mm zoom.

A pair of sandhill cranes in flight heading out to feed. Photo shot with the Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll with Leica 100400mm zoom at 400mm (800mm equivalent)

However, I do think the samples I’m sharing will show this camera and lens combination performs relatively well in a situation—bird’s flight—that is typically about as difficult as many will ever try to shoot. Think of this as being the worse case scenario and everything else should be mostly a piece of cake.

AF Pattern Selection

On this particular shoot I used a group of nine spots, all placed in the center of the frame for the AF target. On the new Olympus you an select 1, 5, 9 or the entire screen. There may be more options but these are the ones that came up and were offered when I pushed the AF Selection Fn1 button on the upper right corner of the rear of the camera.

AF pattern on rear LCD

AF pattern on rear LCD

Known Issue With AF Limiter

A known issue that is being discussed across the Internet relates to a problem with the 100-400mm AF Limiter being set to anything other than FULL. There are only two positions on the 100-400mm AF Limiter, one is FULL and the other is 5M-Infinity. If the lens is set to 5m-Infinity, the lens locks up and the IS does some strange vibrations. Not sure what is going on but most likely this will be fixed with a firmware update to either the camera or the lens or possibly both.

AF Limiter switch has been known to be an issue when it's set to 5m-Infinity.

AF Limiter switch has been known to be an issue when it’s set to 5m-Infinity.

Something Strange I Haven’t Figured Out Yet

Everything seemed be working well with the new camera and lens until I tried shooting a couple of static subjects where the lens focused properly, but the image looks like image stabilization was blurring the image. I’m wondering if either the camera in-body IS needs to be shut off or the lens IS needs to be shut off. As far as I know they do not work together like the Dual IS we have when using the Lumix bodies. I didn’t shut either off and now that I’m reviewing these images, I think that must have been the reason for the horrible quality. Would love to hear from anyone seeing the same problems with both IS devices turned on or even better, which one should we turn off. I’ll be doing more tests and adding them to the blog.

Doves in a tree are extremely soft and look like possibly in camera IS and lens IS were fighting each other. Image shot at 1/320th. of a second so camera shake was not an issue.

Doves in a tree are extremely soft and look like possibly in-camera IS and lens IS were fighting each other. Image shot at 1/320th of a second so camera shake was not an issue.

For those who really want to see a sequence of images that were shot in a burst and have the ability to download for your own personal reference—viewing only, no reproductions of any kind—here is a link where you can get the collection of images in the slideshow below in full size JPEGs. I’ve done no sharpening or editing to them of any kind. Please note I added a huge watermark to these since I’m allowing them to be downloaded. The slide show below is not meant to be a showcase. It’s only meant to give you an idea of what the images look like.

Update

I just shot a series of tests with the following settings. The images below are 100% crops of each image and to my eyes frame from Series #3 looks the best. Series #1 Camera IS to Auto, Lens IS on

Series 1 Camera IS to Auto, Lens IS on

Series 1
Camera IS to Auto, Lens IS on

Series #2 Camera IS to Auto, Lens IS off

Series 2 Camera IS to Auto, Lens IS off

Series 2
Camera IS to Auto, Lens IS off

Series #3 Camera IS off, Lens IS on

Series 3 Camera IS off, Lens IS on.

Series 3
Camera IS off, Lens IS on

What’s strange about these tests is that as far as I can recall, all of the birds in flight were shot with both in-camera IS and lens IS turned on as were the doves in the tree. Why the moving images are fine and the static is not, I don’t have any clue. However, based on these latest tests, I would suggest shutting off in-camera IS and leaving the lens IS on. So that’s it for now. Will be giving this lens and camera combination lots more tests. For any of you out there that have used these two together I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Stay tuned.

Add Your Voice!
There are 57 comments on this post…
  1. StevenOn Jul. 14th, 2017 (1 week ago)

    Has anybody noticed any extra purple fringing when using the Panasonic Leica lens on Olympus bodies?
    http://alanwatsonforster.org/writing/mft-purple.html

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jul. 16th, 2017 (1 week ago)

      I’ve not seen any issues with purple fringing Steven. Will do some additional tests to recheck, however.

  2. Sue NorthOn Jun. 9th, 2017 (1 month ago)

    Hi Olympus have a firmware update that fixed this.

    Regards

    Sue North

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 10th, 2017 (1 month ago)

      Great to hear Sue but could you specify exactly what you are referring to when you say “this”?

  3. Jean SoucyOn Jun. 9th, 2017 (1 month ago)

    Hello Daniel !
    I think I have the same problem with my EM-1 Mark II. In single autofocus mode, at 400 mm my pictures are a little bit blurred and even with a speed greater than 1/1500 sec. , camera IS off, Lens IS on.
    Did you made more tests to made the light with that frustrating problem
    I contacted Olympus a month ago and no one was aware of the problem. They opened a file on the problem. Also on the site
    On the other hand in continuous and continuous auto focus mode with tracking I don’t have problems.

    I also have a Panasonic DMC-G85 camera and I have no problem at all with the 100-400.Panasonic lens.

    Is it a matter of settings, I do not know and I do not know what to do to fix the problem unless to buy the 300mm Olympus + 1.4x. But too expensive.

    Thank’s for your super job.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jun. 10th, 2017 (1 month ago)

      Jean, I haven’t retested this situation since this blog was posted. Will try and give it another try in July when I get back from Europe. Thaks for adding your voice to the conversation.

    • Jean SoucyOn Jun. 10th, 2017 (1 month ago)

      Thank you Daniel for taking my request into consideration
      Have a nice trip.
      Jean

  4. SergeyFMOn Apr. 24th, 2017 (3 months ago)

    I’m using GX8 + pl100-400. Do you think oly markII would be a better body for kinda wildlife photography? My thought is that GX8 still the best (GH5?). I’m especially interested in auto-focus performance. Many thanks in advance.

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 27th, 2017 (3 months ago)

      Sergey, I do like and use the GX8 but I feel there are much better cameras for wildlife. I’m not a fan of the Rangefinder style of the GX8 when using long telephoto lenses. I love it as a people/travel camera. More traditional cameras styles such as the G85 or GH5 give an advantage by placing your eye directly over and in line with the lens while looking through the EVF. This is a huge advantage as opposed to the Rangefinder that has your eye off to the left from the lens. With a long telephoto such as the 100-400mm, zoomed out to the farthest setting 400mm (800mm equivalent) makes it hard to find the subject when your eye is not directly over the lens. Just my two cents but something I’ve noticed a great deal having shot the GX89 with the 100-400mm for over a year.

  5. Claudia NixOn Apr. 15th, 2017 (3 months ago)

    This is the only blog I read with regularity. Thank you for going out and experimenting and then writing about your experiences so someone like me can learn! 🙂 I was waiting for the GH5 so I had bought the 100-400 mm lens in preparation but, in January, I bought the Olympus EM1.II. I have been too bogged down with my “real” job to have much time to play these past months but tomorrow, I’m heading out to do some birding. I knew your blog would have the information I needed. Thank you! Can’t wait to go explore and experiment in the morning!

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 15th, 2017 (3 months ago)

      Good luck Claudia getting photos of our beloved birds. Stop back and let us know how it went. Thaks for your support.

  6. D. JohansonOn Apr. 15th, 2017 (3 months ago)

    SHOOTING WITH OMD EM1 II AND LEICA 100-400

    IN MENU I HAD LENS. I.S. PRIORITY ON

    USING S-AF BEST SETTING I.S. LENS I.S. ON AND CAMERA I.S. ON

    USING C-F BEST SETTING I.S. LENS OFF AND CAMERA I. S. ON

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Apr. 15th, 2017 (3 months ago)

      Thanks for your input D. Johnson

  7. Simon HartmannOn Mar. 25th, 2017 (4 months ago)

    Hey, thanks again for your insights. Im not completely sure, if anyone has pointed out yet, that ALL OMD Olympus cameras have an option to choose “Lens priority” for IBIS vs. The panasonic 100-400. That works really well, as you dont have to do anything when switching lenses and it just automatikally usese the Lens IS which is preferable for long telephoto! (Like you pointed out, you want it to JUST WORK! I would totally agree!). I did a quick test today though with only an omd em10 mkii and found out, that Dual IS 2.0 at 400mm with the G85 would yield 2 out of three sharp images at 1/13th. Without DUAL IS 2 and just the lens on the olympus i had 2/3 sharp images at 1/13th. With only IBIS i had 1/2 at 1/25th. So in my little flawed test (I was sitting resting the elbow on the left knee, so standing would be much worse) the DUAL IS2 System didnt make that big difference, but AT 400mm the Lens Stabilisation was the strongest. I have to point out though, that the DUAL IS2 delivered more consistent, perfectly sharp results at 1/100th and 1/200th at a second with basically 9/10. The Olympus with only Lens IS at the same Shutter speeds (1/100th and 1/200th) only ever had 7/10, so for perfect sharp shots, the Dual IS 2.0 actually makes a difference. (And who would shoot wildlife with 1/25th anyway…)

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 25th, 2017 (4 months ago)

      Great input. Thanks for adding your voice Simon.

  8. Calvin PhungOn Feb. 16th, 2017 (5 months ago)

    Hello Daniel,

    I am planing to buy a new 4/3 camera body. I am using Panasonic GX8 with 100-400.
    Should I but Panasonic GH5 or Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll. Thanks for your recommendation.

    Regards
    Calvin

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 16th, 2017 (5 months ago)

      Calvin, I’ve not had a chance to shoot the GH5 yet and don’t suspect I will for another month or so. That being the case I can’t say for sure which one I can recommend completely. There will be an advantage using the 100-400mm with the GH5 due to the Dual IS (In camera and lens IS). I’m guessing if it’s similar to the G85 yo will have about 1 stop better low shutter speed advantage. Will be testing the GH5 when I finally get one. Sorry I can’t be more help. Thanks for your voice on the Blog and stay tuned. I’ll give you an honest report when I’ve had a chance to put the new camera through it’s paces.

  9. Anthony D.On Feb. 10th, 2017 (5 months ago)

    Hi Daniel, thank you for doing what you do! I’m really appreciative of the information/insights that’s shared in your articles/comments section. I currently I have a 100-400 and an EM1.1, I will be traveling to Africa and Indonesia for a spot of wildlife photography and was wondering whether I should invest in a G85 to pair with the 100-400? Though I was getting excellent results from the EM1.1 with the 100-400 I’m thinking whether it is worth spending on a second body for the dual IS of the G85/100-400 pair. Your insights from using both bodies in terms of IS would be most appreciated!

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 10th, 2017 (5 months ago)

      Hi Anthony, I just posted a quick test comparing the new Oly and the G85 with the Leica 100-400mm lens in low light and long shutter speeds. You can check it out here. http://naturalexposures.com/leica-100-400mm-comparison-lumix-olympus/ Thanks for the question. It was you who inspired me to shoot this test early this morning.

  10. Alan HalfhillOn Feb. 1st, 2017 (6 months ago)

    When shooting with this lens I have the E-M1ii stabilization set to Lens I.S. Priority to On in the menus. Getting great shots.

    https://scontent-sjc2-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/16107504_10154794129293950_8265824397628222946_o.jpg?oh=a3b6fadecb201baebf88d144ddfae8c6&oe=594212B4

  11. Alan HalfhillOn Feb. 1st, 2017 (6 months ago)

    I have to say the I too love this combination. Bought the PL 100-400 last summer and have loved the performance on the GH4 and the the E-M5ii. On the E-M1ii it is even better. I am getting consistently great shots. Wonderful when you consider the focal length. This is a great combination.

    I did have the same issues with the focus limiter. Acted very weird, Not a big issue. Using burst mode getting a lot of keepers.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 2nd, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Excellent Alan. Great to hear this combo is working well for you. I just finished a 10 day shoot in Kenya using the G85 and EM-1 Mark ll with the 100-400mm and all are producing great results.

  12. Zetton NaraOn Feb. 1st, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Hi,
    IS issue, my comment. from Tokyo, Japan.
    first, you don’t show SS other than blur shots, so I can’t compare good shots and static object bad shots. so this is my guess:

    SS = 1/320s is around the highest shutter shock speed for In-body IS in general. 
    Do you use anti-shock (♦ sign) shutter mode?
    If not, set it as 0 second delay. please try if it resolves the issue.
    Or try SS faster like 1/500s

    I hope it may help…

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 2nd, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Hello Zetton, I don’t think is was a Shutter Shock issue. It’s just too blurry for even terrible Shutter Shock. I’m not sure of all my settings when I shot those images. I was shooting from the hip so to speak and have since been doing more tests with in body IS on/off, just lens IS etc. I’ve just returned from Kenya and used the same combo with the camera IS turned off, just lens IS, and all looks fabulous. I was using the Leica 100-400mm withe the EM-1 Mark ll as well as the Lumix G85. The one very big advantage the Lumix G85 has over the Olympus bodies is we don’t have to think about what settings for IS we need to set. You just put the 100-400mm on the Lumix bodies, make sure the IS switch is turned on and you are good to go with Dual IS. It’s a bit more complicated with Olympus and Leica.

    • ZettonOn Feb. 8th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      oh, you are right.
      100-400mm firmware update comes..

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 9th, 2017 (5 months ago)

      I just downloaded the newest update for the G85 and the 100 to 400 lens. It’s working beautifully together.

  13. Brian WadieOn Jan. 31st, 2017 (6 months ago)

    I’ve been using the 100-400 on the EM-1 mk2 for some time and would advise that its either / or for the IS systems, never both. For static shots at long range I think the OIS just about wins but for any situation where panning may be needed I would strongly recommend that the IBIS system is switched on and OIS off. Trying to pan using the OIS can cause the stabilisation system to crash with all sorts of nasty image shake effects

    My most successful set-up for flight shots is CAF with low speed electronic sequential, with shutter speeds in excess of 1/1600th sec if possible. I either use single point or 5 /9 point unless its a totally open and bland background when I would use all points

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 3rd, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Great info Brian. I just got back from Kenya where I had more time with the new EM-1 ark ll and the Leica 100-400mm. I completely agree with you regarding turning off In Camera IS when using the Leica 100-400mm and relying exclusively on the lens IS. Thanks for adding your thoughts on this.

    • Simon HartmannOn Mar. 4th, 2017 (5 months ago)

      im not sure, if i understood this right: The initial post was claiming, that the OLYMPUS IBIS was the better allrounder but esp. for panning (BIF and so on). He then continued to say, that the Pana Lens IS is only superiour in slow, steady longest focal-length shooting. Dans Reply seemed contrary though, as he claimed, his exp. was that it was best to turn Olympus IBIS OFF and use ONLY Lens IS… confusing… what is actually better now? Or does it even make a considerable difference, given the crazy good OLYMPUS IBIS…

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Mar. 5th, 2017 (5 months ago)

      Simon, since the Leica 100-400mm does not connect to the Olympus with the Olympus version of Dual IS, I think they call it Sync IS, it’s best to turn the camera IS off. Especially with the longer lens. In lens OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) is more effective than in camera IS for longer lenses. That’s why Olympus decided to build the OIS into the 300mm F/4.

  14. Jon ROn Jan. 31st, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Glad to see this BIF discussion with the OMD M1 II. I have used the M1 I and M1 II Bodies with Olympus 300mm f/4 ( with and without the 1.4x) and the two bodies behave differently. For the Mark II, the AF-C is available only in Sequential Low and if you don’t exceed 10 fps mechanical and 15 (I think) electronic shutter. For the Mark I body, AF-C is available if you keep the shutter speed less than 10 fps. TRACKING AF-C vs simply AF-C settings: Olympus, unlike Nikon, doesn’t have a Dynamic Single Point AF-C algorithm that will set a single point focus and then follow a BIF across the focusing screen. Unless you use the Tracking AF-C on the Mark II, one must keep the BIF on the selected active focus area selected (1, 5, 9 or all). More is better with clear backgrounds, but the trick is getting and holding focus when the birds jumps from cover or off contrasty water!
    Olympus seems to have put effort in implementing a fast TRACKING algorithm. I very much want so see reports of the usefulness of TRACKING AF-C for BIF of course pumping the back button to very quickly reacquire focus when the tracking bracket turns red. There is a review that claims that this works, and I am starting to test the claim.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 3rd, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Great input Jon. Thanks for sharing.

  15. RobertOn Jan. 29th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Haven’t visited your blog in a while, my bad! But came to see various viewpoints on the Oly M1ii. I too use the PL 100-400mm on this body and have to say I love it. My better-half uses an Oly 300/4 and I often get the shot because of the limited FOV she deals with in finding the critter while I can find wide and then zoom in 🙂

    On a recent trip to Florida I took not only the new Olympus body but also a 1DXii and a Sony a99ii. It was a grand shoot off of three ‘flagship cameras. We often would walk in various reserves up to four miles a day…no surprise that the mFT was the rig of choice for the long walks (in the heat and humidity of central Florida). Of course the Sony came next weight wise and the Canon rig last.

    In the end and after reviewing all images captured I can honestly say that mirrorless has arrived for BIF’ing with the new Olympus. Yes Sony did well with the a6300 and a6500 for AF-tracking but sadly they still offer no FL of greater than 300mm native. For bird work 300mm is never enough! The Olympus offers true AF-tracking and at a frame rate that is way way more than adequate and between the Oly 300/4 or the PL100-400mm we have the focal length need for this genre of photography.

    I could also brag on the Sony a99ii but won’t since this is an mFT blog; suffice it to say that those in the Sony a-mount world have been given a mighty gift……still as I age I realize that mFT is my future.

    I’ll share a couple of shots BIF’ing with the Oly M1ii + PL100-400mm, none perfect, I’d received the Oly only days before the flight

    Exquisite
    Spoonful of pink sugar
    Viera Stork in flight series continued

    Bottom line, BIF’ing with mFT is easy now!

    Here are a couple of static shots with the M1ii + PL100-400

    Merganser Merritt Island
    Crawdad lunch
    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 29th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Thanks for the great comments Robert and equally exciting images.

  16. Dean SwartzOn Jan. 24th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Kudos to you for trying new gear and sharing your experience. The IBIS in the new E-M1 Mk2 is fantastic but only works optimally in conjunction with the two Olympus IS lenses (12-100mm and 300mm Pro); for all other lenses, including the Panasonic, that have IS, Olympus recommends only using the camera’s IS. Since I no longer have a PL 100-400mm lens (didn’t like the IQ and handling compared to either the Oly 40-150 or 300), I did some experimenting with the PL 42.5 f1.2 (perhaps the best MFT lens ever), and found that trying both the Olympus’ IBS and PL42.5 IS gave me very mixed results. Best images were with camera IS on, PL IS off. Second best camera IS off, lens IS on. Worst, IS turned on in both camera and lens.

    Sooooo, until Olympus and Lumix get it figured out, it is probably best to use your PL 100-400 on the Olympus E-M1 Mk2 (and, for that matter all OMD bodies) while using the IBIS in the camera and turning off the Lumix lens IS. By the way, there are some awesome posts on the Internet demonstrating how incredible the E-M1 Mk2 works with the Oly 300mm f4 plus 1.4x teleconverter for hand-held shots of birds in flight using the combined IS of camera and lens. Now, if Olympus will give us an updated 40-150mm that includes IS, we can celebrate. Oh, this morning’s post at 43rumors.com suggests that Olympus will be launching some new “long fast primes” in 2017! Life is good!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 29th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Thanks for the info Dean. Always appreciate hearing your thoughts. Have a great shoot in Kenya with both the 100-400mm Leica and Olympus 300mm F/4 on new Olympus body and Lumix G85. It’s all working amazingly well. Here’s a shot from yesterday morning.

  17. Portrait of Ray Hirsch

    Ray HirschOn Jan. 22nd, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Hi Dan,

    Given your issue with EM-1 and Lumix 100-400 I decided to try my EM-5 mk II to see if I could see the limiter problem or the static problem. Took several images with static and moving subjects and did not have either problem with EM-5ii. This is most likely a EM-1 ii firmware problem. After using the EM-5 ii with the Lumix 100-400, this is definitely the combination I will bring to Yellowstone along with GX8.

    All the best,
    Ray

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      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 22nd, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Good to know, thanks for the input Ray. See you in Yellowstone.

  18. Peter BoenderOn Jan. 22nd, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Thanks Daniel, for your initial impressions.
    I’m wondering if you had a chance to use the ProCapture shooting mode? According to the manual, ProCapture will only work in conjunction with Olympus M.Zuiko lenses. As there shouldn’t be any technological restriction causing that, I wonder what the results are when using the Panny-Leica 100-400. Will or won’t ProCapture work?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 29th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Peter, sorry for the delay. I’m currently in Kenya and not online as much as I need to be. As far as your questions goes regarding your interest in Pro Capture with the new Olympus OM-D EM-1 Mark ll and the Leica 100-400mm zoom. Unfortunately, the two

      of them don’t work together to give us Pro Capture capabilities. I had heard this but I just checked for myself and the Pro Capture H and Pro Capture L are grayed out of the options on the rear LCD. Maybe we can hope for a software/firmware update to give us this option. Only time will tell.

  19. Dan LeffelOn Jan. 21st, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Hi Dan –

    In going through the menus on the EM1 MK2 again today, I noticed in the gear menu C2 there is something called “Len I.S. Priority” which says: If (on) is selected, priority is given to the lens function operation when using a lens with an image stabilization function. The default for this is (off) I think. This might be something else to try with the 100-400.

    Dan Leffel

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 21st, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Dan, great find. That’s what so beneficial of sharing our experiences on the Blog. I’m no expert and frankly I find the Olympus menu system daunting. It’s nice when people offer help for us all to share. Will get this setup ASAP. Thanks so much for your wonderful insight.

  20. ErnOn Jan. 21st, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Thanks for the impressions.

    Just for info, the focus limiter plays nicely with the Lumix G85.

    And I do wish Panasonic and Olympus did more to ensure lens cross-platform compatibility. It’s supposed to be a system.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 21st, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Thanks for mentioning the 100-400mm limiter does work with the Lumix G85. I can attest to that myself. I’m actually working on a review about the G85 and hope to have that published in two to three weeks. I agree with your comment about wishing Olympus and Panasonic did more to make sure the MFT lens system was truly compatible in more ways than just the lens mount. It’s great you offered this suggestion on the Blog since it then becomes part of the record that Panasonic may use to make future decisions.

  21. Portrait of Fred Kurtz

    Fred KurtzOn Jan. 20th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    I used the new Olympus EM1 Mark II with the Olympus 12-100, Olympus 300 and Panasonic 100-400 with the lens IS on and the results were very good. I did run into the same issue with the Panasonic 100-400 when the limiter was switched on. The issue was resolved when the limiter was turned off. However leaving the lens IS on was not an issue as Paul described. The cameras are so easy to use now days you don’t need to read the manuals anymore. Bosque was my first shoot with the Mark II and I did not read the manual and got fantastic images.

  22. Paul PavlinovichOn Jan. 20th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    It’s interesting to me that you go out and shoot without learning about the camera and then talk about your results. This really sums up how people seem to see complex devices as consumer and just expect them to work. Olympus say to turn off any lens IS except their 12-100 which is designed to work with the camera. I’ve used the camera with an old manual Canon FD 400mm and found the results quite pleasing, not a birding rig as the manual focus is very slow. To use continuous auto focus select c-af and the slower of the fast modes. It will work with or without tracking. If your bird is distinct from the background and at least 1/3 of the frame then the tracking will work well.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 20th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Paul, unlike some, I don’t have the luxury (time) to sit around reading a manual, sipping coffee, digesting what I read, doing some yoga, rereading what I already covered, digesting some more then giving it a whirl. Nope, not the way I function. For me, I’ll remember better by making a few mistakes, which I’m happy to do on my own time, which is how I get myself in the game for really important jobs like those I’ve shot for National Geographic. Secondly, if shooting a new camera really was paying the bills, which it’s not, I would need to take more time to figure every minute, little detail out. Additionally, if it really was about using that gear to make a living, which writing this blog and testing new equipment doesn’t do–none of you want to pay for that–I once again would be doing more of my homework to make sure I never make mistakes. But… like everything in life, YOU, get what YOU pay for. I find it quite astonishing that I pay to go do a shoot, where I make a few mistakes, and you learn from my mistakes, for FREE, then YOU find it necessary to criticize.  At least you did offer a couple pearls of your WISDOM, at the end of your criticism, which is how this FREE Blog business model is supposed to work.

    • Peter BoenderOn Jan. 22nd, 2017 (6 months ago)

      _”Olympus say to turn off any lens IS except their 12-100 which is designed to work with the camera.”_

      Can you let us know where you have found this statement? It certainly isn’t in the E-M1 Mk II manual (I checked).

      In that manual Olympus gives advice what to do with Image Stabilization when using lenses *other* than Micro Four Thirds/Four Thirds system lenses (you can set a focal length in the camera to help the stabilizer system, no statement you should turn lens stabilization off, pg.53). So, as the Panasonic Leica 100-400 is a MFT System lens, according to this manual, we shouldn’t need to do anything, and it should work. It’s interesting to see that Daniel did find different results with different settings though.

      One last remark, you mention the Olympus 12-100 Pro as the only lens capable of in-lens stabilization together with the in-body stabilization, but please note that, in the Olympus realm, there is also the 300mm f/4.0 Pro that has S-IS. Sync IS with the E-M1 Mk II works perfectly (tested it myself).

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 4th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Thanks for the additional info Peter. Greatly appreciate your generosity to come share your insight.

  23. Dan LeffelOn Jan. 20th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Thanks for posting this, Daniel. I have been doing some shooting with the same camera and lens combo. I mistakenly left the 100-400 lens AF limiter in 5M-Infinity and had no problems! I guess I was lucky there! Also I thought I would point out that on the EM1 MK2 the Pro Capture mode only works with Olympus lenses. With the Lumix 100-400 attached Pro Capture is grayed out in the menu. The Panasonic GX8 does the same thing as Pro Capture, but I wish Olympus would let it work with the 100-400 lens!

    By the way, I am really looking forward to traveling with you in May to Croatia and Slovenia!

    Dan Leffel

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 20th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Thanks for the additional info Dan. Looking forward to meeting you and working together in Croatia.

  24. Wes MallardOn Jan. 20th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Dan,
    I don’t think the omd e-m1 ii will C-AF in sequential high speed mode?
    I’ve also experienced those soft focus images with the new Olympus and not just with the pany 100-400 lens ( mostly shooting low speed bursts with electronic shutter and C-AF).

    Thanks for the review.

    Regards,
    Wes Mallard

    • Wes MallardOn Jan. 20th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Sorry for the redundant post. Looks like the C-AF distinction has already been made.

  25. Mark WashburnOn Jan. 19th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Good to see your comments on this Daniel. I have been shooting with the EM1.1 and the P/L 100-400 for several months and the combination is very nice. On the older EM1 I usually use the lens IS only. I did just complete a rental/trial of the EM1.2 and found it to be very good, fast, etc. I had very limited use with it on the 100-400 since I also rented the Oly 300. Of course that pairing worked out wonderfully with dual IS. And although there are a few quirks with the mk2 and the 100-400, I did get very good images with them together as well. Mostly I shot those with the camaera IS set to auto, but also disabled it a time or two as well. I love the versatility of this lens. I did thing on very poorly lit conditions…heavy overcast, etc, the 300 was certainly my go to lens. I had more confidence in it. But in good light and if you had to hike around much, it’s hard to beat the 100-400 for most anything. I did shoot mostly in Seq Low. On a few occasions I might bump that up to high if some kind of dramatic action was taking place but for me, and for birds in flight, I felt I could track it better with the Low setting.

    Daniel, I want to thank you as well for leading me into the m4/3 arena. You, along with Jay Dickman were probably the biggest inspirations for me to even try it. If you were to believe much of what you might read about it I think it’s too lightly discounted. For my main interests, such as wildlife, birds in flight, and landscapes, the EM1, and particularly the mk2, has proven to be everything I could want. The lenses, both panasonic, and olympus, are fantastic. The systems are nimble, relatively light, packable, and more than capable, and compared to the typical Canon or Nikon equivalent, m4/3, while not cheap, is certainly more affordable for me. I couldn’t be happier, and the proof is in the fact that I’m shooting and enjoying my time in the field, more than I ever have. So thank you for that!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 19th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Mark, great to hear your experience’s with MFT. I appreciate your kind comments. MFT really does have an uphill battle but it’s plugging away pretty well. People are really tired of the huge traditional DSLR cameras and with Sony mirrorless, we have more of the same. It’s a fun time to be a photographer.

  26. AndyOn Jan. 19th, 2017 (6 months ago)

    Good to see you trying this combo – I’ve been using it for a while. You can leave body IBIS set to on. When lens IS is ON the Body IBIS automatically switched off. I have found it best to use IBIS when panning because the lens IS causes a similar problem to the one you list. I haven’t seen the blurred effect that you show.

    You said “AF-C with the FPS set to Sequential High” – The High setting fixes focus on first frame. For C-AF you need to use Sequential Low which despite its name is still fast!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 19th, 2017 (6 months ago)

      Hi Andy, thanks for adding this important information. That’s interesting about the Sequential High and Sequential Low. I may have even done better with AF-C had i put the camera in Sequential Low but that’s why I didn’t’ claim for this to be an exhaustive review. Still things to discover obviously. Have to say I knew high settings fixed focus but I thought it was with the electronic shutter at 18FPS and the Super High 60FPS. I did just check the manual and you are right. Thanks for your input.

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