Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm for Nature /Outdoor Photography
Experience a lens designed for the Micro Four Thirds mount that is around two-thirds smaller and one fifth of the weight compared to the equivalent focal range for a full frame 35mm DSLR. This is the Panasonic Leica high-performance lens for nature/outdoor photography with a 200-800mm 35mm equivalent focal distance.
The lens is ideally suited for outdoor use with nature, wildlife and sports photographers in mind. It comes with a splash and dust proof sealed body when paired with splash and dust proof LUMIX G Mirrorless camera. One of the best features is the impressive Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S), and the integration with the LUMIX Dual I.S. when combined with a LUMIX G camera with the In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS). This feature allows handheld nature photography fully extended at 400mm.
When compared with the equivalent 35mm lens it becomes apparent this is an extremely versatile lens. One downside is the aperture range from F4-F6.3. Fully extended at 400mm at F6.3 can be tricky in lower light conditions but the Dual I.S helps to keep images sharp at lower shutter speeds. For moving subjects the ISO will need to be increased to maintain a suitable shutter speed. High ISO levels are simply not as good on the Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) sensors than compared to Full Frame 35mm, this is one of the compromises of a more compact and portable camera system.
After using Full Fame DSLR cameras for several years and APS-C before that, mirrorless cameras for me is the way forward. Mirrorless camera options range from Full Frame Leica, Sony and recently Nikon, Canon and Panasonic, the APS-C Fuji and Sony A6K range, then the M4/3 of the Olympus and Panasonic.
For me there are many pros and cons for each camera system and probably far too many to list for this article. I personally like the overall size and weight of the M4/3 system. I can carry more kit, more cameras, more lenses and therefore more options to capture the world around me.
I generally travel with a GH5, G9 and the smaller GX80. I have most bases covered with the selection of lenses i currently have – find out more here on my current gear. It really just depends on what your requirements are relative to what you’re trying to capture. The M4/3 are not going to replace professional sports photographers any time soon. They require the highest performance optical equipment on the market.
If you’re looking for professional quality gear that’s easy to carry and is a fraction of the size, weight and price of the Full Frame equivalent then the Panasonic Leica 100-400mm Micro Four Thirds is possibly the better option.
The Leica F4-6.3 100-400mm is clearly one of the best lenses on the market at the moment for this particular focal range. The results can be seen below in some of the wildlife photos i’ve taken during the last few years using the GH5, G9 and GX80.