I finally took delivery of my Olympus 100-400mm lens so thought I'd give my first impressions of using the lens for sport.
I sold my Panasonic 100-400mm to help fund the purchase of the new Olympus 100-400mm but would I regret this decision? The Panasonic is a fantastic lens but the problem I had was when I cover sport I use two cameras, one with a Olympus 12-100mm F4 Pro lens and the other with the 100-400mm lens. The Olympus and Panasonic zoom action is in different directions and gets rather annoying when using together.
The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the Olympus was the weight of the lens, it does feel quite a lot heavier than the Panasonic. I used the Panasonic handheld for football and rugby matches but thought the Olympus was probably too heavy for covering a full 80 or 90mins so I would have to go back to using a monopod, not a big problem but something worth considering.
I never had problem with sharpness of the Panasonic and I'd say the Olympus is on par with the Panasonic if not slightly sharper at the long end. The Olympus locked on focus extremely fast and coped well with tracking football players running towards the camera so no worries regarding the auto-focus.
The only problem I found using the Olympus was the tripod collar wasn't the smoothest so rotating the camera between landscape to portrait wasn't easy. Apart from that the Olympus was a joy to use.
Because the fastest aperture of the Olympus is F6.3 at 400mm good light is needed to use this lens so using for floodlit or indoor sport isn't advisable but I have my 40-150mm F2.8 to cover those situations.
A full gallery of images, all taken with the Olympus 100-400mm, can be seen at Furness Sports
Below are a few real-life images with 100% crops.
|1/1000th sec, F6.1, ISO1000, 244mm|
|1/1000th sec, F6.3, ISO1600, 300mm|
|1/1000th sec, F6.3, ISO1000, 400mm|