Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mmThere’s that dynamic duo again. Legendary Leica and Panasonic are a photographic marriage made in heaven and they are together again in the form of the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 lens.

With this lens, Panasonic and Leica have created an answer for photographers that are are struggling to capture far away subjects with a run of the mill wimpy telephoto lens.

Panasonic Lecia LensThe Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 lens is a super telephoto lens that is perfect for a paparazzo, sports or serious bird photographer or anybody else needing to get up close to a subject from a significant distance.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mmOf course, being a product of Panasonic and Leica, this is not just any super telephoto lens. The quality associated with the products of both companies means it should surprise nobody that the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 lens provides excellent optics and has an very special Optical Image Stabilizer.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mmThe lens is very easy to hold in the hand in situations that have been impossible with other 400-800mm lenses. The smaller sizes makes the lens so manageable  but it doesn’t use that size as an excuse to compromise quality. Indeed, this is not just any super telephoto lens. The quality that Lecia and Panasonic bring means that it is solidly built.

Okay, I admit that this lens is not the fast large aperture behemoth that you see supported on the sidelines of sporting events. Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mmHowever, the beauty is that you can crank up the ISO on Micro 4/3rds with the current M4/3rds models.

In the case of this review, I was shooting with a Panasonic GH4. Together with the excellent magical stabilizer you can hand-hold this lens in situations that have been previously impossible at 80mm.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm

That magical optical image stabilizer pleasantly surprised me when I was shooting at the beach in Malibu on a particularly stormy day. Shooting hand-held in dwindling stormy dusky light at 80mm should have truly been impossible.

The Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm F4-6.3 len pulled it off!


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Ralph Elliott Starkweather
Originating from Santa Monica, California, Ralph Elliott Starkweather is a professional photographer with over 40 years experience. His photographs have featured in LIFE Magazine, Gourmet, Food and Wine, Smithsonian, Cheshire Life and many more. He's had a great number of amazing life experiences including haveing traveled to Australia with Muhammad Ali and photographed some of the Royals in Great Britain.