Leica Lumix 100-400mm Zoom Getting Closer

Posted Sep. 22nd, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Leica Lumix 100-400mm Zoom Getting Closer? Robert Pothorcki‎ spotted the new Leica/Lumix 100-400mm MFT prototype lens behind some glass at the Panasonic/Lumix booth at IFA Berlin. Could the release of this lens not be far off? I’m truly hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

Photo from the Facebook page of Robert Pothorcki‎ showing the new 100-400mm zoom from Leica/Lumix at the Berlin trade show.

Photo from the Facebook page of Robert Pothorcki‎ showing the new 100-400mm zoom from Leica/Lumix at the Berlin trade show.

I’m not sure if others have heard of the other interesting MFT development regarding Olympus putting their 300mm F/4 on hold. I was originally told it was coming out in November but now I’m hearing that Olympus has seen the light, so to speak, on the benefits of in-lens Image Stabilization. Panasonic/Lumix, Nikon, and Canon have been saying all along that in-lens IS is better suited to telephoto lenses and in-camera IS is not sufficient for lenses with serious magnification. Well it seems they may all have been right. Olympus and Sony have received lots of tremendous press and tons of accolades for their revolutionary In-camera Image Stabilization (ICIS). However, neither of them had produced any serious telephotos that would challenge the ICIS until the Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8. Once this lens got out in to the hands of users we all of a sudden hear the 300mm F/4 has been put on hold. Could Olympus have learned something from the release of the 40-150mm they didn’t know before?

Another great possibility is the amazing Dual IS that Panasonic has introduced in their gorgeous new Lumix GX8. I’m testing this camera now and have shot nearly 10,000 frames so far. It’s phenomenal with the 35-100mm F/2.8 attached with its in-lens IS working in tandem with the GX8’s in-camera IS.

Olympus patent graphic showing a new patent from Olympus to combine in camera IS with in lens IS just like the Dual IS we currently have in our Lumix GX8. Image courtesy of 43Rumors.

Olympus patent graphic showing a new patent from Olympus to combine in camera IS with in-lens IS just like the Dual IS we currently have in our Lumix GX8. Image courtesy of 43Rumors.

Interestingly, just a week or so after the GX8 was launched, Olympus announces a new patent for in-lens Image Stabilization that will work in conjunction with in-camera image stabilization (ICIS). Sound familiar? I can’t help but think this is going to be virtually identical to the Lumix’s Dual IS we now have in the GX8.

When I first heard about the Olympus OM-D EM-1, having in-body IS, my first thought was, wow, I wonder if my Lumix lenses with in-lens IS would give me double IS on an Olympus camera? That was a couple of years ago and when I tried it, I found, no, the Olympus camera didn’t recognize the in-lens IS. Even so, obviously I wasn’t the only one thinking this would be an interesting technology.

Hats off to Panasonic. Just one more amazing tool that comes from a company that is known for groundbreaking electronics and applying that technology to all kinds of popular products. This is one of the major reasons I’m betting on Panasonic. They have phenomenal people and years of history in the electronics industry to bring these new ideas to market faster than many, if not all, other companies. Their ideas and technology just keep on coming and we as photographers. videographers, and storytellers all benefit.

Add Your Voice!
There are 13 comments on this post…
  1. GrantOn Oct. 7th, 2015

    Umm, Olympus have had 75-300mm zoom lenses for ages in their m43 lineup. Why say “Olympus and Sony …neither of them had produced any serious telephotos that would challenge the ICIS until the Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8”?

    I have the GX7 and the 100-300 OIS lens. Since then I bought an E-M5II Olympus, which has the latest-gen IBIS. Using it with OIS=OFF, I have no issues with the IBIS. Mind you, I have never done the ‘how low can it go’ test. Maybe I should!

    I just have a gut feeling that you have been a little harsh, since they have sold IBIS bodies for 300mm non-IS lenses for years, and there hasn’t been howls of complaints from the bleachers. Here is a sample, user of E-M1 with a 300mm zoom and a 1.4x TCV, shooting at 1/60 and 1/100: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3863904/56032625 large view of 1/60 image: http://g4.img-dpreview.com/99232427FDEE48428B78CBE8B4DCA31E.jpg

    Speaking as a satisfied user of both brands. cheers

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 7th, 2015

      Grant, yes, Olympus and Lumix have had some telephotos as you mention. But I’m referring to telephotos zooms in the league of Nikon and Canon. None of what Olympus or Lumix offered before the 40-150mm have come even close to the traditional DSLR’s super telephotos. I’m confident the new 100-400mm will be in the truly professional realm as the Olympus 40-150 and other zooms like Nikons 200-400, 80-400 as well as the same lenses from Canon. For general everyday photography Lumix and Olympus have had some options but we need higher quality for truly professional results.

  2. Markus BolligerOn Oct. 4th, 2015

    This new telezoom will replace my current Pana 100-300mm lens for sure!

    I am curious about the newcomers image quality!?

    In any case, this new glass will fill a big gap in Panasonic’s lens lineup. As portability is more important to me than luminosity (for the latter the Nokton 17,5 and the Nocticron 42,5 are always ready in my backpack), I do not care about f / 6.3 at the longer end. But it will be interesting to see until which focal length it holds f / 4.0 …

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 5th, 2015

      Markus, I’m confident the new 100-400mm will have superb image quality based on the other Leica/Lumix lenses I own. Thanks for stopping by and adding your voice.

  3. Tom OcasekOn Oct. 3rd, 2015

    Dan, will the slower f6.3 at the long end nullify in anyway auto focus? I recall Nikon saying AF worked up to f5.6…….

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Oct. 3rd, 2015

      Tom, great question and something I never even thought of. Typically F/5.6 is the limit for many cameras that rely on AF technology from the last decade. I have my doubts that F/6.3 will effect AF inane way but I will check and let you know. Thanks for the great question.

  4. RobertOn Sep. 26th, 2015

    Just wish I could click the B&H order button on this lens yesterday !!
    Admiring your black collared eagle capture in 4K Photo I can only imagine the possibilities
    with the 100-400. I did read some ‘pro’ forum members decry the F6.3 (Ithink that’s right) at the long end, but
    isn’t that the same at the 10,000 pound Canon or Nikon 800mm ???

    Still think I’ll add the Oly 300 F4 when it is availble. I’ve got Conowingo and Moline scheduled and it would be
    nice to eagle (yes eagle as a verb) with it along with the big boys.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 26th, 2015


      Yes, at 400mm/800mm Full Frame equivalent it will be F/6.3. But this is only 1/3 of a stop less than the the Nikon and Canon 100-400mm lenses that top out at F/5.6 at their long end. In all practicality 1/3 of a stop won’t be a serious issue. That said, I do agree that some people are going to immediately compare this maximum aperture of F/6.3 to what’s available on other lenses, it was my first thought when I heard of F/6.3. But keep in mind that this lens will have the new Dual IS and eventually we’ll have something new in sensor technology on a GH5 or whatever it will be called. I think overall the F/6.3 will be a non issue. Thanks for adding your voice.

  5. Portrait of Jay Murthy

    JayOn Sep. 22nd, 2015

    waiting is the hard part!

  6. StephenOn Sep. 22nd, 2015

    Thank you for this update! I’m really looking forward to the Panasonic 100-400 lens, and I’m delaying the purchase of the Olympus 40-150/2.8 + TC until it is released.

    I am primarily using a LX-100 along with an Olympus E-M5II with Panasonic 35-100/2.8 zoom. I switched to the E-M5II from GX7 as I was getting a lot of jitter from the 35-100 when shooting video (although it is a stellar lens for stills and now for video with the E-M5II). I recently upgraded the firmware on the P35-100, which I think was just to support the dual-mode on the GX8, although I haven’t re-tested theOIS video stabilisation since then.

    Do you know if the dual-mode IBIS+OIS works in video mode with the GX8 and the Panasonic 35-100/2.8 zoom?

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Sep. 22nd, 2015

      Stephen, Unfortuatnely, while shooting video only the lens IS works. Here is Panasoinc’s official statement, “For video recording, 5-Axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) which has been available in Panasonic’s professional video camera development, corrects complex movement for more stable imagery.” I’m hopeful the updated lens firmware and the new GX8 will solve your jitter problems with the 35-100mm F/2.8. I never did see this issue myself but I did hear of others having problems. That said, I would certainly give the new camera and lens a try. It’s certainly not typical for a person to have to resort to Olympus for video. Panasonic is much, much more advanced than Olympus when it comes to shooting moving images for sure.

  7. Fred KurtzOn Sep. 22nd, 2015

    Super article Dan. I cannot wait to get mine. You get the first and I’ll take the second. Exciting times for sure.

Add your voice to this conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In an effort to combat spam, your comment may be held for a brief moderation period.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.