Ebro Delta with OM-1 + Olympus 100-400

I’ve spent the last week in the Ebro Delta with my second OM-1 that now sports an Olympus 100-400 lens. My wife stole “adopted” my original OM-1 that has a PL100-400 glued to it.

For the second body, I went with the Olympus lens primarily because I wanted to have the 1.4x TC as well. Plus, I was curious to compare anyway. My main apprehension was additional weight and size vs the PL. But before giving in to buying a second OM-1, I actually tried a Sigma 150-600 lens on my full-frame Panasonic S1. Trust me: after that experience for a few week, a few hundred grams aren’t even noticable…

Quick notes/impressions on the lens:

  • Overall quite like it
  • Love the short focus throw
  • I got used to the “wrong” (Panasonic view) zoom ring rotation very quickly. Was a non-issue
  • Stabilization is noticeably worse than the PL. Even with Body supposedly helping. I even used IBIS only for the first few days. Now I settled on Lens Prio On with IBIS. Still clearly worse than the PL. This is annoying for many reasons: first, because it means I need to be more careful with shutter speed. Second, because OMDS would have such a winner if they just would have more sync IS lenses. It baffles me. Maybe I use the wrong settings? Happy to hear any tips!
  • At first, I was a bit disappointed. I thought it was noticeably less sharp than the PL. But that was a mix of a) poor technique on my part, b) a LOT of wind the first days, making hand-holding tough and c) not adjusting SS due to worse stabilization. It’s plenty sharp, as some of the photos can attest
  • Rendering is different. Feels a bit “colder” in the color. But it doesn’t really matter if you shoot RAW.
  • In some cases, I noticed the OOF areas can become busy/swirly.
  • FOV is actually a bit tighter than the PL at 400mm wide open.
  • I cannot find any appreciable difference in focus speed/accuracy between the two tbh
  • we swapped lenses for one afternoon. I don’t think I could pick out one lens over the other in a “blind test” of the photos. It’s a wash.

Overall it’s a keeper. The option for the TC is great, I didn’t mind the extra weight/size. Love how it balances in on my hand with the tripod collar: my fingers can easily adjust zoom or manual focus.
If OMDS would have sync IS, it’d be a sure winner. This way, you cannot go wrong with either and the trade offs are rather price, weight, TC or not…

Hope these non-technical non-pro impressions are useful for some.

Anyway, here are a few birdies:


Thanks for the thorough review/comparison and terrific sample photos! I would be thrilled to get results like that. Meanwhile, my 75-300 just started to give up the ghost today, probably due to a failing ribbon cable. I am not really in the market for a pro/near-pro lens, but maybe one of the 100-400s is in my near future. Neither is really a walking-around lens, though…

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If it’s any consolation: without subject detection and 25 FPS w/o blackout, I highly doubt that I would be able to catch a swallow.

Even with those, I got a small handful of sharp good shots out of several THOUSAND captures :slight_smile:

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