Telephoto Lens for Fall Trip to Yellowstone NP

Hey all, I’m going to be renting a telephoto lens to take on a family trip to Yellowstone in September. I’m debating between the Oly 100-400 or the PL 100-400 to pair with my E-M1 Mark III. Any concerns with pairing the PL with my 1.3? Will I have to deal with the purple blob?


What “purple blob”? I’ve used the PL100-400 with an EM1mkII and OM-1 for over 5 years and have nothing but great experiences.

I am not sure but think the Oly 100-400 will work with C-AF in Pro Cap. The PL100-400 doesn’t. If you are shooting birds, that might be a consideration.

If you decide to rent the PL100-400 you should test the zoom twist tension as some copies have had issues (mine doesn’t). I would guess that a rental will be working correctly.

AFAIK the PL 100-400 never provoked the purple blob issue with Oly bodies, unlike the Panny 7-14 and some other lenses.

Personally, I would go for the Oly 100-400 simply because it is likely to perform most optimally on your Olympus body.


“Personally, I would go for the Oly 100-400 simply because it is likely to perform most optimally on your Olympus body.”

I second that. There is even a degree of collaborative image stabilsation between the lens and the body. It’s not quite the full IBIS but it works all the same.

Image quality is excellent for the price. Thank you Sigma!

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I have both on two OM-1 bodies. Unless you care deeply about in-body focus stacking, there is no practical advantage of the Olympus lens over the Panaleica on an Olympus body. It does however support teleconverters and the Oly 1.4x TC isn’t very expensive.

So my suggestion:

  • If you care about weight/size: PL
  • If you care about using TCs: Oly
  • If you care about price: depends on who currently has an offer
  • If you care about focus stacking in body: Oly

Regardless, with my copies there are no discernible IQ differences I could easily pin point, let alone identify in a blind test.

Here’s some of my recent experience when I bought the Oly lens for the second body:

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Here is a comparative review that may help.

Hey thanks everyone. I just put in my rental request for the Oly 100-400. Thanks for the insights.



Looking forward to seeing your photos!

Make sure you plan some time to practice with the lens. If you’ve never shot at 400mm, it takes a fair amount of trial and error to get competent. At least, it took me some time. Pigeons or seagulls are good.