Newest Image of the Coming 100-400mm Leica/Lumix Zoom

Posted Nov. 17th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

I recently found a video shot at the recent Fotomässan 2015 photo show in Sweden that is showing what I’m guessing is a prototype of the coming 100-400mm Leica/Lumix zoom. All audio is in Swedish so it’s impossible to understand what is being discussed. But…. they do visit the Panasonic booth—which is quite substantial by the way—and talk about several Lumix products, one of them being the 100-400mm Leica/Lumix zoom.

An apparent prototype of the new and not yet released Lecia/Lumix 100-400mm zoom being shown at the Swedish photo show known as Fotomässan 2015.

An apparent prototype of the new, not yet released Lecia/Lumix 100-400mm zoom being shown at the Swedish photo show known as Fotomässan 2015. Click on this link to be taken to the video and the spot in that video where they talk about the new lens.

More important is a sample of this lens in the hands of the Panasonic rep. The metal, the finish, the overall look certainly does suggest what I’ve been hoping for, a followup to the fabulous 42.5mm F1.2 Leica lens already in my camera bag. The 100-400mm looks like they stuck with the same design and overall fit and finish. That bodes well for the optical performance as well. It’s gorgeous!

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There are 24 comments on this post…
  1. Mike CawoodOn Feb. 15th, 2016

    Hi Dan
    I had an hour with the Olympus 300mm last week, i was only allowed to use the lens indoors, so low light.
    I am not going to say much about the lens as there is lots already written on the internet and i am only an amatur so i will leave that to the pros.
    I have posted some sample images at
    All images where hand held, shot in RAW, and been through light room.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Feb. 15th, 2016

      Thanks Mike for your input on the new Olympus 300mm F/4. I’m sure my readers will appreciate seeing more samples. Really appreciate you sharing.

  2. Mike CawoodOn Jan. 25th, 2016

    Hi Dan
    That’s really great, i will be really interested in reading your views on the Panasonic 100-400. Especially the speed and accuracy of the AF as that will be the main point for me, in deciding witch lens to buy.

    cheers Mike

  3. Mike CawoodOn Jan. 25th, 2016

    I will be testing the Oly 300mm on the 10th of Feb, using my E-m1. But i sure would like to know how the panny 100-400mm performs with the E-m1, before i commit to buying the Oly, as i have heard that the Oly will be selling at around €2600 and the panny at about €1900

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 25th, 2016

      Hi Mike, I recently purchased a used OM-D EM-1 and will be taking it to Yellowstone during our Winter Yellowstone Invitational Photo Tours on February 3. Will be using the Olympus extensively with the new 100-400mm Leica lens and will report back here on the Blog. Thanks for your input and stopping by to add your voice.

  4. Robert MooreOn Jan. 5th, 2016

    OMG!!!!!!!! B&H and Adorama within 10 min’s announced via e-mail the pre-ordering of the Oly 300/F4 and the PL 100-400g.
    I just place my order for the 100-400g.
    Probably the most excited I’ve been about a piece of camera gear in a long time!

  5. Tom OcasekOn Dec. 23rd, 2015

    Dan, FYI
    I was just advised by B&H photo that the new Olympus MFT 300mm f4 which was due to be released in early 2016 was “discontinued”……….. No explanation was given. ………I am assuming they were referring to it being discontinued by the manufacturer. ………..Have you heard anything?

    While I am most interested in Panasonic’s new 100-400mm lens, the Olympus 300mm if anything like their 40-150mm f2.8 would be a worthy alternative.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Dec. 23rd, 2015

      Tom, I’m 90% confident that information is, shall we say, “hogwash”. Everything I’ve heard is the Olympus 300mm F/4 will be announced on January 6th. That said, I have to admit that I’m going by what I’ve heard via the grapevine so who knows. B&H may be in the know. But with the excitement I’ve been reading, from those who are as excited as can be for this lens, if they have chosen to throw in the towel, it will be a seriously missed opportunity. I hope this rumor is not correct. We won’t have long to wait. Here’s a link to a Olympus Visionary Jamie MacDonald who just came back from an Olympus event and he talks at length about images he saw from the upcoming 300mm F/4 in this video.

  6. Tom OcasekOn Nov. 26th, 2015

    Dan, thanks for the quick reply, your evaluations have always influenced my equipment decisions. Do you foresee using a tripod with the PL100-400 above 600mm ?

    FYI, Really Right Stuff has an attractive “Compact Pano Gimbal” coming out soon for the express purpose of serving this emerging market. Tom

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 26th, 2015

      I’m not convinced I’ll be using a tripod. I’ve been shooting without a tripod now for several years and this last year without Image Stabilization duet my Lumix cameras using the 40-150mm Olympus. So when the 100-400mm shows up with the new Dual IS I have my doubts I’ll be needing a tripod even at 800mm. Time will tell but I’m pretty well convinced my days of tripods are behind me. That’s not s to say I won’t have bean bags and other forms of support when in Africa in vehicles etc. but tripods in general are most likely no longer necessary. Be well and thanks for dropping by to add your voice. Always appreciated.

  7. Tom OcasekOn Nov. 25th, 2015

    Dan, Which way are you leaning regarding the Olympus 300 f4 and the Panasonic 100-400 f4-6.3 ? After the great handholding performance of the Olympus 40-150 f2.8 and its 1.4 extender with Brazil’s wildlife……… I used a 1600 ISO and didn’t miss IS a bit ……………..Do you know if that extender work on the Olympus 300 ( 840mm f5.6 ) ?
    I see this as a difficult decision as both lenses will be similar in price, sharp, and fast. Will a tripod be necessary? Right now I am also thinking of selling the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8, keeping the Olympus lens and extender and adding the 300 f4. My GH4’s love all these lenses..
    Aloha, Tom

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 25th, 2015

      Tom, without a doubt I’ll be getting the 100-400mm and waiting to see what the aperture will be at 600mm. If I feel I need an additional stop of light that I would get from the Olympus I’ll buy one. Even if I spend $4000.00US for two lens, I’ll still be money ahead. I’m in the process of selling my Nikkor 600mm F/4 and expect to get about $6000.00US for it. If works out I’ll have two lenses and an extra $2000.00 that will be heading directly to my retirement account. Couldn’t be happier. Do you know how good it feels, after forty years of buying lenses that cost as much as $12,000.00US and realizing those days are no longer necessary? It is such a good feeling to take money I’ve always known I should be adding to my retirement and finally being able to do it.

      From what I hear, the Dual IS in the 100-400mm is going to give this lens a big advantage AND the DFD (Depth From Defocus) Lumix technology is going to make predictive AF extremely accurate. That’s what my friends at Lumix are telling me. Additionally, for nature, a zoom lens is a huge advantage so I’ll be seeing how it all goes with the 100-400mm before I try the 300mm. Finally, as far as I know the 1.4X teleconverter will work with the new Olympus 300mm.

      All in all we have two amazing newlines coming for the M43 cameras and the 100-400mm will be my first test and most likely my prime wildlife lens.

  8. RobertOn Nov. 24th, 2015

    Did I read correctly ???? The PL 100-400g available February ?????
    That is such huge news.
    The better half has already decided to add the Oly 300/4 to her bag for the OMD M5ii.
    I’ll hopefully be one of the first to jump on the 100-400 for my GX8.
    As far as the projected cost….was it in the $2000 range?
    That seems more than perfectly acceptable considering what we paid for out Nocticron 42.5s.
    Actually quite amazing that for less than $700 more (if the $2000 estimate is correct) you get so much more.
    Now won’t we all be cows over the Moon if the build and IQ are Nocticron level!!
    p.s. Costa Rica was a blast. I can see why you photo tour there 🙂

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 24th, 2015

      Not sure on the timeline Robert. Panasoinc has not released any specific dates yet. There are web sites speculating however. I’m very hopeful and expecting that we will all be jumping over the moon when this lens does ship. If this lens is as good as I expect Panasonic and M43 industry in general will be absolutely ablaze with interest from new and current users. Can’t wait to see the final product.

  9. yves75On Nov. 22nd, 2015

    Seriously waiting for this one as well !
    There was the “salon de la photo” in Paris 2 or 3 weeks ago, they didn’t have a prototype (or maybe the day after I was there), asked a Panasonic rep about it, she told me it should come during in the first three months of 2016, about price, she said something like “more than 2000 €”

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 22nd, 2015

      Glad to hear your about your excitement for this lens. I’m chomping at the bit as well. Thanks for adding your voice Yves.

  10. DeanOn Nov. 20th, 2015

    I really can multiply. The Oly 300/4.0 with the 1.4 teleconverter will be an effective 35mm equivalent of 840mm/5.6! But, I’m just so excited, I can’t count straight!!!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 20th, 2015

      Yep, you got it Dean. That will also be a great combination. We will soon be in hog heaven for the telephotos we’ve been crying for. Can’t wait.

  11. DeanOn Nov. 20th, 2015

    The PL 100-400 will no doubt be awesome (assuming it has the build and IQ of the 42.5). However, if the 600mm clocks in near f6.3, then the Oly at f4.0 will probably be the “choice” especially since adding the Oly 1.4 teleconverter will yield an 820mm f5.6 equivalent compared to the PL 800 f6.3. It will be like comparing the Nikkor 400/2.8 to the 200-400/4.0. Yes, the 200-400 was versitile, but the 400 was tack sharp! I realize we are probably splitting proverbial hairs over this (I never really knew what that meant), however, for fine detail that may make a difference (like in-focus wiskers on a big cat from 50 yards). But, at the anticipated cost, it is probably not unreasonable to own BOTH, especially when comparing it to the cost of Canon/Nikon big lenses. (I am really amused when I hear people complain about the cost of high-quality MFT lenses like the PL 42.5 or the Oly Pro lenses. Have any of these complainers ever owned a Canon or Nikon 600/4.0? Heck, you can buy two MFT premium bodies and EVERY MFT lens from Olympus and/or Panasonic for what it costs to owna Nikon D4s or Canon 1Dx with a 600/4.0 flourite lens!!!)

    I, as I know you are, am really looking forward to getting my paws on BOTH of these new, incredible lenses!

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 20th, 2015

      I agree that 840mm at F/5.6 will be nice but I’m betting on the Leica glass quality AND the convenience of having 200-800mm zoom range with the Leica/Lumix 100-400mm zoom. Either way they should both be great new tools. Wow, hard to believe how tis is all coming together. Exciting.

  12. Jan ToreOn Nov. 20th, 2015

    I read your blog and find it very interesting.

    About the new Panasonic 100-400 video. It’s quite easy to understand what they say it you understand Swedish. Translation is as follow:

    We are now at the Panasonic boot and they have many news to show us. One doesn’t work yet, but we can see how it looks. And it is the new 100-400. We will let Tobbe from Panasonic tell us a little bit more about this one.

    Tobbe from Panasonic:
    «We have just received this prototype of the new 100 – 400, equal to 200-800. It is very exiting. It will arrive some time in end of February for delivery. The good thing about this, Leica has a partnership with Panasonic. It is very sharp, it will be perfect for birding and similar. This is a premium lens from Panasonic.»

    Interviewer: How much will it cost?

    It is not decided yet, but it will be somewhere between 22000 and 23000 (Swedish kroner).

    (They have 25% tax on lenses in Sweden, so the cost in US$ will be something like 1900 – 2000 US$ without tax)

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 20th, 2015

      Wow, thanks for the translation Jan (pronounced yan:) being os Swedish descent and all. Great to have you come visit and help us out with getting more info.

  13. DeanOn Nov. 19th, 2015

    This is making it hard to get to sleep at night! Dreams of finally getting a proper long telephone for the MFT cameras!!! Do I recall from an earlier post that you were informed that the lens will be f4.0 at 600mm? That will make it hard to go with the Oly 300 f4.0!

    Best wishes to you and Lady Tanya!


    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Nov. 19th, 2015

      You know Dean I’m not sure. I thought I was told that but I’m no longer certain. Guys we are going to have to wait. Either way it’s going to be a barn burner lens I’m confident. Then again so will the Oly but having the variable zoom is just such a huge advantage.

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