Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4.0-5.6 Mega O.I.S. tested with Lumix DMC-GM1

Aperture Range [f] 4.0-5.6 to 22 Closest Focus 1.5m / 59"
Dimensions (LxD) 126mm x74mm / 4.96 x 2.9" Magnification Ratio 0.21x
Weight 520g / 18.4 oz Filter Size 67mm

This is a 3x zoom lens designed for cameras with Micro Four Thirds sensors. It has been tested with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 camera set on maximum resolution of 4592 x 3064 (3448) pixels and RAW quality.

Click on the "Various f-stops" thumbnail below, to see the charts made at different f stops and focal lengths. The sharpness is best from f/5.6 to f/8.

I've tested this lens on 4 focal lenghts, 100, 200, 250, and 300 mm. Multiply these by two to get equivalent of a full frame sensor (24 x 36 mm). To see the charts in full magnification please click on the thumbnails below. Dependence of the image quality in various parts of the four thirds sensor is shown, with the average resolution in hundreds of line widths per picture height (LW/PH; normalized to 3x2 image size ratio, 4592 x 3064 pixels), given below each chart.

f stop dependence f stop dep.
Various f-stops, center
Tests at f /5.6

The image quality is good in most of the settings. Note that resolution "30" is theoretical maximum for the sensor of this pixel count. The resolution drop at small apertures is to be expected due to laws of physics. At 300mm the circle charts look significantly worse than at shorter focal lengths, but mostly due to the loss of contrast and a rather only small lloss of sharpness at the same time. The sharpness slightly decreases from the center of image on other focal lengths, but not by much. For example, the resolution at 200mm on the side of the image is only 28 hundred lines per 3064 pixel height, compared to max theoretical resolution of 30 hundred lines in the center. The stabilization system works very well.

Distortions are less than 1%, which is negligible. Chromatic aberrations are more pronounced at low and high focal lengths, but less around 200mm.

Compared to Canon Zoom Lens EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 II USM, (designed for APS-C sensors, 22.3 x 14.9 mm),  and not for micro four thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) this Panasonic lens is sharper and gives less distortions and chromatic aberrations. Compared to Canon Zoom Lens EF 100-400mm 1:4.5-5.6 L IS USM the Panasonic lens has less distortions, but more chromatic aberrations. Resolution of the Canon lens is higher but only because it was tested on a 4 times larger sensor, with 3600 LW/PH instead of 3064 LW/PH.


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