"Bosque del Apache is a premier waterfowl area in North America. Each year, starting in October, hundreds of thousands of snow geese and tens of thousands of sandhill cranes typically migrate to this location to spend the winter. I chose Bosque del Apache for the number of birds I would have access to. Although this season the numbers of birds are down, due to warm weather in the northern part of the US, there were still an ample number of subjects to test the new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm / F4.0-6.3 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-RS100400)."
LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm / F4.0-6.3 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S. HANDS-ON IMPRESSION
“Auto focus accuracy and speed with the new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm / F4.0-6.3 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-RS100400) and the LUMIX GX8 as well as the GH4 was exceptional. There’s not much I have to say about this since it was so good. The speed is rocket fast and generally very accurate. I’m guessing future cameras will make this lens even more impressive. ”
“The focus ring on the LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm / F4.0-6.3 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-RS100400) is superb, silky smooth and very precise. There is nothing here I can think of for improvement. The manual focus ring on the lens was exceptional.”
“The lens is very well balanced and a nice compromise for such a tremendous reach of effectively 800mm. In a prefect world, I would prefer the lens not extend beyond the end of the outer barrel when racked out to the 400mm position. I do realize that this would have required a much larger and longer form factor. As it is I believe the tradeoffs are very acceptable and the current design is quite functional and still rather small when retracted.”
"The weight of the 100-400mm is a bit heavy but very necessary for a quality optic and once based on its effective reach of 800mm is quite amazing. It feels solid and well built like the other LEICA lenses I have used with the LUMIX system."
“I have not done any scientific tests on the optics of this lens but overall it seems to be extremely sharp. There were several situations where atmospheric aberrations were effecting image quality. I do think that 800mm effective range is probably the maximum any lens should be. Once you get past 800-900mm, atmospheric heat waves and other anomalies begin to effect image quality. This is not the fault of the lens rather it relates to issues from extreme magnification.”
“Overall I’m very excited about this lens. I believe the new LEICA DG VARIO-ELMAR 100-400mm / F4.0-6.3 ASPH. / POWER O.I.S.(H-RS100400) will finally convince many, many wildlife and nature shooters that it’s time to make the switch. ”
Daniel J. Cox has been pursuing his lifelong dream of photographing nature in
all its elements for over 35 years. He’s traveled to all seven continents, plying his craft in search of the images that help tell the stories and inspire his art.
Dan has used his exceptional vision and passion for nature to bring it to life for
the viewers of publications such as National Geographic, BBC, National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer and many others around the world.
His conservation work includes over twelve years as an advisory board member for Polar Bears International as well as being the director of their Arctic
Documentary Project. He’s published over twenty books and in 2013 was
awarded Outstanding Photographer of the Year by the North American Nature