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Re: [OM] mZ 100-400: first impressions of a late starter

Subject: Re: [OM] mZ 100-400: first impressions of a late starter
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2022 01:02:30 -0700
On 6/30/2022 4:58 AM, DZDub wrote:
On Thu, Jun 30, 2022 at 2:17 AM Frank <wijsmuller@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

It appears to be a tweaked full frame lens from Sigma
<https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4509689>. That would explain the
beastiness ;-).

Pedant alert!

400mm @ f5.6 means the entry pupil IS 71.4 mm, regardless of the format is covers. With contemporary, complex tele-zooms, that doesn't define the actual clear aperture of the front element. Nevertheless, with such similar optical designs, the lenses are bound to be about the same size and weight.

On 6/30/2022 6:57 PM, DZDub wrote:
On Thu, Jun 30, 2022 at 9:55 AM Frank <wijsmuller@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

The difference is interesting.

Because m43 is 4:3 and the lens is designed for 3:2, could it be that it
somehow 'concentrates the rays' a bit for additional sharpness?

Obviously not enough to change the f stops, however it is beyond my
understanding anyway ;-)

Mine too.  But I think it is just made really well.

I agree. It looks, feels, smells and shoots like an Oly lens. Mechanical and electronic design are obviously completely different from Sigma. It even qualifies for Focus Stacking!

  If the "concentrating
the rays" were accomplished by designing for 3:2 and deploying for 4:3, we
should notice improvement when we stick those Zuikos on a E or m43 body,
shouldn't we?  I did think there was a bit of improvement in doing that,
but I think it was because the E bodies did not have Shutter Shudder.  (Now
there's an old thread...)

The capabilities of the mZ 100-400, coupled to the EM-1iii, just seem
miraculous to me.  Once AG had access to a Zuiko 600mm and I got to try it
but didn't want to waste a frame of film with it because I just couldn't
make it focus.  Now, while I wouldn't say the only limitation is me, that's
surely the greatest limitation.

Way too late, the 600 and 1000 mm OM lenses are exonerated. On a FF, mirrorless camera, with magnified EVF/LCD and focus peaking, exact focus is easy. Shoot on a decent tripod, letting it all settle for a couple of seconds and shooting wireless remote, it's excellent. Oddly, image size, relative to frame, is very close to that of the PL 100-400 @ 400 mm on µ4/3, as is IQ.

As mentioned above, the design needs to be tweaked. The diagonal of FF is ~43 mm; that of a 4/3 sensor is 21.6 mm. So the image circle diameter required is roughly 1/2 and the area covered is ~ 1/4.

By designing to correct aberrations over this smaller area, better optical results are possible. In my experience, this holds true in practice. It's the very rare FF lens that is as good on a 4/3 sensor as the lenses designed for that size.

The other things not mentioned in the DPR thread are the very different zoom mechanism, push-pull vs. rotating ring and that the Oly is designed to work with 1.4x and 2x telexenders.

In small diagrams such as shown, it's impossible to tell if there are small, but important differences in the many identical looking elements. As well, the references to different types of glass are generic, and actual formulas may differ.

In any case, whether it started as a Sigma optical design or not, the end result is fully µ4/3 optimized. The PL 100-400 is clearly designed from scratch, whether in Germany or Japan, or most likely, both, for µ4/3, and the newer Oly is easily at least as good. (MikeG is silently thinking "better at the long end".)

  One day I might have one, so right now, I'm slightly
jealous... Enjoy your lens!

Thanks Frank.  Looks like the lens is the same as the Sigma -- except where
it's different.  You definitely have to plan how to move it around.  Today
I'm on a motorcycle trip for the day and I'm only taking the PL 14-150 +
MMF, which I used to think of as a bit of a beast.

Pedant alert! II

"PL", in µ4/3 speak, is short for PanaLeica, which is short for lenses purportedly designed by Leica, and certainly approved by them, for µ4/3 and made by Panasonic. So, there is a Panasonic 14-140, and an Olympus 14-150 (versions I and II), but no PL 14-150.

Yeah, I know, a typo, but the Pedant Abides.

Blathering Moose

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