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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 15:48   #126
njlarsen
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I do not know what your experience is with cameras and using long lenses before this. It might be helpful if you give us some insight into that. In the meantime:

With my pana camera I can set the focusing area to very small. That helps with difficult focusing, such as what you have in the photo of the geese.

Secondly, do you use single focus or continuous AF? I have an older GH2, and I always use sAF; the GX8 is just about to the point where cAF should become useful, but for now try the single AF and see if you get at least a decent first photo. Additionally, try alternating between just single shots and short bursts - for me the second method works better.

Thirdly, and this is especially if your experience is little: make sure you use short shutter speeds. On the 100-300 mm that I have, I use 1/500 as a go to setting, at 400 mm on yours, you probably should try even shorter shutter times to exclude problems with wobble of the camera. The further away a bird is, the more this is true.

Fourth, for those few birds in flight I have done, I usually change to the multiple AF area setting, simply because I seem to have difficulty getting the small center point onto the bird when it is passing by me.

Hope some of this helps

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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 15:57   #127
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Ime not sure what your doing wrong but catching BIF on a mirrorless camera is a steep learning curve
Have you got the settings right,try these they will not work for all situations though,i often changed to center point and changed from E shutter if there was trees ect in the background.

BIF I have C1 set as follows

Shutter priority 1 to 2000th sec

Auto ISO up to 3200,my thinking a correctly exposed 3200 is better than a under exposed 1600.

+1 exposure compensation,i know sometimes you need more but in the situation I shoot in a bird could start in my frame with clear sky behind it and fly past trees ect,so I find +1 is best for me.

E shutter,i know about the problems with vertical objects when panning

AFC focus mode 2 or 6 frames a second depending on situation and target.

49 area focus points,i was surprised I settled on this,with Nikon I only used single point,the GX8 though seems to know my intended target when panning,i guess its because the bird is the only stationery object in the viewfinder.

Multi metering

Image review off

Raw.

All stabilizing off,my theory being it takes too long for the stabilizing to settle before the focusing can lock on,with Nikon I never took it off.


I have not done many BIF @ 400mm most of mine are 300mm or under but the Egret bellow is 400mm and the Chaffinch is 400mm
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 16:19   #128
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I have years of experience shooting birds, both in flight and sitting on perches.

In the case of the geese I was sitting on the ground with a shutter speed of 1/640, iso200, 400mm f5.6. The focus point was the smallest using S-AF. I took perhaps 40-50 photos making sure to be very still and I couldn't notice any atmospheric issues since I was only 20-30 metres away from them.

I will try some more with a tripod and some test targets.
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 17:05   #129
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Originally Posted by enzodiac View Post
I have years of experience shooting birds, both in flight and sitting on perches.

In the case of the geese I was sitting on the ground with a shutter speed of 1/640, iso200, 400mm f5.6. The focus point was the smallest using S-AF. I took perhaps 40-50 photos making sure to be very still and I couldn't notice any atmospheric issues since I was only 20-30 metres away from them.

I will try some more with a tripod and some test targets.
Try some with the E shutter at the same time,if the mechanical shutter shots are unsharp but the E shutter ones are sharp its shutter shock.
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 17:18   #130
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Try some with the E shutter at the same time,if the mechanical shutter shots are unsharp but the E shutter ones are sharp its shutter shock.
I did, but i cant remember which were e-shutter and which were mechanical lol.

I do have the gx85 as well so I will try some with that to compare.
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 17:31   #131
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I did, but i cant remember which were e-shutter and which were mechanical lol.

I do have the gx85 as well so I will try some with that to compare.
I think i said one of the reasons i changed from the GX8 to the G80 was i could never decide if i sometimes got SS or it was shake.
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 17:34   #132
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I just did the most unscientific test ever, but the results are kind of telling. Something is up with the GX8.

I shot several shots with both mechanical and e-shutter on the GX8. I couldn't tell a difference between them.

I did the same with the GX80. Same settings and everything.

Here is the results.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/a2d45m7xgs...sGX80.jpg?dl=0

Is this the infamous shutter shock? if so the camera is basically unusable :/
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 17:35   #133
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I mean that he seemed to have reached the conclusion before even starting the test ...

Niels
He had to appear critical of a M4/3 system, otherwise the Polish internet warriors would have ripped him apart in the comments (you'd have to read Polish to appreciate the amount of full frame snobbery ).
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 17:40   #134
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Originally Posted by enzodiac View Post
I just did the most unscientific test ever, but the results are kind of telling. Something is up with the GX8.

I shot several shots with both mechanical and e-shutter on the GX8. I couldn't tell a difference between them.

I did the same with the GX80. Same settings and everything.

Here is the results.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/a2d45m7xgs...sGX80.jpg?dl=0

Is this the infamous shutter shock? if so the camera is basically unusable :/
It cant be SS with the E shutter you have some other problem,perhaps a stabilization fault,in any case it looks like a return job for the GX8.
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 17:44   #135
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It cant be SS with the E shutter you have some other problem,perhaps a stabilization fault,in any case it looks like a return job for the GX8.
Right I forgot :) Will try more on tripod with manual focus etc.
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 19:51   #136
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I decided to go all in on panasonic so I bought the gx8 on a great discount and the 100-400 since I have read really good things about it.

I haven't shot too much with it yet but BIF is practically impossible. I haven't got 1 sharp bird yet. It seems like the 100-400 is really really soft at longer distances. Up close it looks good, but other than that...

I have seen other people posting BIF and longer distance shots. I am aware of atmosphere etc, but I cant even get a seagull against the blue sky sharp.

The bokeh is also horrible in some cases. Not sure if it's the lens or just the smaller sensor that does it.

Here are some shots. No crops and one 100% close up of the geese.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6dftyqria...eGPmvvvNa?dl=0

I am not sure what I am doing wrong.
In the photo of the geese you're clearly focusing on the grass in front of the birds rather than the birds themselves.
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Old Thursday 23rd March 2017, 20:34   #137
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In the photo of the geese you're clearly focusing on the grass in front of the birds rather than the birds themselves.
Well all my images in that series look like that and I used the smallest focus box covering only the geese, no grass. The results are the same in all my images in other circumstances as well.
It looks like the camera is a dud, will have to try some more tomorrow with good light.

I mean it should be able to focus quite easily on a seagull against blue sky... but nope.
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Old Friday 24th March 2017, 21:02   #138
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Copying this from the mu43 forum.

Alright guys! I appreciate all the comments and engagement in this matter. I did a proper test this morning with a long distance subject in the form of a building.
The air was really cool early this morning so not much of heat haze going on.
Sturdy tripod, 1/400s, iso 200, f6.3, 400mm. 10 second timer etc. On tripod I deactivated OIS and handheld I turned it on again.
These are the best results I could get.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ftug2rfz8g...stest.jpg?dl=0

I also tried some shots with the em1 markii that my friend has.

Now looking at those tests it is quite hard to see a difference... So the GX8 should be fine.
It seems like there are several factors to the poor performance in the geese picture earlier. I think it was part shutter shock, part heat haze, part poor handling from me and the biggest part a lens that really is not that good at distant subjects.

This puts me in a tight spot. What are my options in m43 if I return the 100-400? Will I be happy with the G80 or GH5 instead of the GX8? I just dont know. I don't want to go back to DSLR's since I think mirrorless is the future with awesome evf's and features.

The Oly 300 is alot more money and my friend has had similar issues with his 300 where it would be very soft at distances.

For the price of these optics I would expect great performance at all distances. Maybe not at all focus lengths but surely all distances.
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Old Friday 24th March 2017, 22:25   #139
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The Oly 300 is alot more money and my friend has had similar issues with his 300 where it would be very soft at distances.

For the price of these optics I would expect great performance at all distances. Maybe not at all focus lengths but surely all distances.
From what I have seen from the 100-400mm Leica it should be sufficiently sharp in the center at 400mm, but slightly softer at the edges, if not shooting brick walls, not an issue.

https://www.cyberphoto.se/info.php?article=pana100400

The Olympus 300/4 is probably one of the sharpest 300mm lenses ever produced. Sharp all across the frame even at f/4.
Some long distance shots here:

https://www.cyberphoto.se/info.php?a...oly300micro_D1

A true 600mm/f4 lens (of top quality) will resolve better in theory (Dawes limit) in perfect conditions, but do you want to carry it + tripod etc.? Any lens will fail in heat haze/air movement etc. best way to avoid that, is to get up early......or get closer to the subject, shoot from a hide etc.

Main USP with MFT for me is actually video capabilities. 100-400mm Leica seems brilliant for video IMO, a fixed 300mm is a bit limited. Unfortunately the GH5 is way overpriced at the moment..

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Old Saturday 25th March 2017, 08:53   #140
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I have owned the 100-400 for just under one year and indeed the announcement of this lens was the chief reason why I returned to MFT. I now have entirely changed over to MFT as a result, which was quite a big surprise to me coming from Sony and MF film. My main camera is the GX8 although I recently took advantage of the absurdly good cash back offer to get a GX80 as a second body.

Birding is not my primary use of the system. Most of my work is urban landscape. But I do like the challenge of bird photography. Much more demanding than buildings!

MFT cameras come with advantages and a distinct disadvantage, imho, which is above iso800 noise becomes a big problem. By iso 1600 it seriously interferes with image qualty. The advantage though is that as someone whose back is well into its seventh decade of service I just cannot begin to cope with the 'big daddy' systems and their bazooka lenses. If you take a look at the Kingfisher photograph I posted yesterday in the photo forum, that was taken handheld, standing between two other photographers who were seated with tripods. That kind of versatility is valuable at my age - or indeed any age, I would argue. You are more likely to get the shot than not if you can seize the moment.

My chief observation about the 100-400 is that in some ways it is too long. There have been several instances where I have missed the shot because at 400mm the fov is (obviously) too narrow. Secondly, f6.3 is very slow. It might not make a lot of difference on ff sensors which can produce excellent results at iso3200/6400 but light has to be very good to avoid creeping into iso1600 and above and basically losing too much detail.

I'm glad I have the lens but especially now if I had to do it again I would instead get the version II 100-300. I am banking on the fact that the GX9 - if it arrives - will have the same sensor without AA filter as the GH5 and also the new shutter mechanism. I think the combination of the removal of the AA filter and the new shutter mechanism could sharpen the output a lot. This is not a failure of the lens, of course, but of the platform. It would be great to improve the platform to get the best out of the lens. In fact, if the GX9 never materialises I would probably change up to a GH5 at some point in the future.

If you want to check out some the bird photographs I have taken with this lens and previously with my version I 100-300 then they are in an album in my Flickr stream.

Hope this helps and adds to the discussion. I'm new here so be gentle with me!

LouisB
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Old Saturday 25th March 2017, 11:49   #141
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Only just started testing my copy of the 100-400 with an older Oly E-M5.

I set the zoom to 300-350mm as the default position and then zoom in further only if needed.

Compared to my copy of the Panny 100-300 Ver 1, this lens gives consistently sharper images, but likely more due to better AF than anything else.

For bird photography, I doubt there is much difference with Panny 100-300 Ver 2 given the improvements to AF.

For general photography at 100mm - 200mm the Panny 100-400 is quite a lens so that could be a factor to consider also.

Would like to see more pics from the Panny 100-400 mated with the Oly EM1 Mark2 compared with G80 and G5.
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Old Saturday 25th March 2017, 14:10   #142
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...It seems like there are several factors to the poor performance in the geese picture earlier. I think it was part shutter shock, part heat haze, part poor handling from me and the biggest part a lens that really is not that good at distant subjects.

This puts me in a tight spot. What are my options in m43 if I return the 100-400? Will I be happy with the G80 or GH5 instead of the GX8? I just dont know. I don't want to go back to DSLR's since I think mirrorless is the future with awesome evf's and features.

The Oly 300 is alot more money and my friend has had similar issues with his 300 where it would be very soft at distances.

For the price of these optics I would expect great performance at all distances. Maybe not at all focus lengths but surely all distances.
A few thoughts

- Does your GX8 have an anti-shock setting like the Olympus cameras? Some of those mechanical shutter shots seem less clear than the e-shutter.
- Perhaps test your lens/camera combo for front/back focus (I like to use the 5 AA battery method).
- My experience with BIF on this lens (a rental unit) was mixed, but I was using an EM5MII, and I didn't have extensive time to learn.
- Stationary birds were quite good (a big improvement over my Oly 75-300), but low light performance at 400 was a problem, for areas I bird, so my purchase went to the 300/F4.
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Old Saturday 25th March 2017, 17:45   #143
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The results for distance shots in this thread are not typical for the 100-400,the shot below are a lot further than 20/30mt and i think the crop stands up well,taken @ 400mm.
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Old Sunday 26th March 2017, 11:01   #144
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MFT cameras come with advantages and a distinct disadvantage, imho, which is above iso800 noise becomes a big problem. By iso 1600 it seriously interferes with image qualty.
As for that... I find that the image quality from Olympus E-M1 Mk2 degrades quite gently at high ISO. I attach two photos of my cat taken in the evening at home, without flash at ISO 6400. Both photos were developed from RAW in Olympus Viewer with exposure & contrast adjustments, noise filtering set to LOW and some sharpening. First photo is downsized from original size to 1600x1200, another one is 1:1 crop of the forehead. While the noise is of course there (in particular in the 1:1 crop), I think the quality is pretty decent for such high ISO which allowed to make this "portrait" without blinding my cat with flash. Add to this silent electronic shutter, and I can take photos of cats without bothering them or inspiring their curiosity to approach the camera - they just go about their business while I take photos. The same applies to skittish birds or other animals...
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Old Friday 7th April 2017, 06:25   #145
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So here is an update on my current situation.

I sent back the gx8 and pl100-400. I couldn't trust it and I am certain something was weird with my copy. It's easy to explain my poor performance with technique etc, but the fact is I have no issues with my new setup.

I decided to go with Fuji x-t2 and fuji 100-400. I am having no issues with shutter shock, sharpness is really good even at 400mm and at long distances.
Focus is fast and atleast as good as mft.

I am not saying other people aren't getting good results with the gx8 and pl100-400 but for me it wasn't good enough.

So that is that, thanks everyone for trying to help me out!
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Old Saturday 8th April 2017, 04:00   #146
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So here is an update on my current situation.

I sent back the gx8 and pl100-400. I couldn't trust it and I am certain something was weird with my copy. It's easy to explain my poor performance with technique etc, but the fact is I have no issues with my new setup.

I decided to go with Fuji x-t2 and fuji 100-400. I am having no issues with shutter shock, sharpness is really good even at 400mm and at long distances.
Focus is fast and atleast as good as mft.

I am not saying other people aren't getting good results with the gx8 and pl100-400 but for me it wasn't good enough.

So that is that, thanks everyone for trying to help me out!
Well, I for one am sorry to hear that. I am happy you have something that you feel works for you, but I am planning very soon to purchase the same lens with a G85. I would be very sorry if it does not work out well.

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Old Saturday 8th April 2017, 11:19   #147
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Well, I for one am sorry to hear that. I am happy you have something that you feel works for you, but I am planning very soon to purchase the same lens with a G85. I would be very sorry if it does not work out well.

Niels
Ime sure you will be very happy,here is an example of a cock up from me,no time to zoom struggled a bit to find the bird as i only had a short window of opportunity,but still salvaged this, full shot and crop.
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Old Tuesday 18th April 2017, 17:04   #148
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As for that... I find that the image quality from Olympus E-M1 Mk2 degrades quite gently at high ISO. I attach two photos of my cat taken in the evening at home, without flash at ISO 6400. Both photos were developed from RAW in Olympus Viewer with exposure & contrast adjustments, noise filtering set to LOW and some sharpening. First photo is downsized from original size to 1600x1200, another one is 1:1 crop of the forehead. While the noise is of course there (in particular in the 1:1 crop), I think the quality is pretty decent for such high ISO which allowed to make this "portrait" without blinding my cat with flash. Add to this silent electronic shutter, and I can take photos of cats without bothering them or inspiring their curiosity to approach the camera - they just go about their business while I take photos. The same applies to skittish birds or other animals...
I admit those are very decent examples. Perhaps the new processing engine and the removal of the AA filter from the sensor have improved dynamic range and shadow area noise by one-stop. If so, then iso1600 which in the changeable UK climate is sometimes necessary may not be a stretch for this newer generation of m43rds bodies.

Thanks for sharing the samples.

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