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CL + TL 55-135mm or S 70-300mm OIS macro ?


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Has there anyone compared the Leica 55-135mm vs Lumix S 70-300mm ? 
the Panasonic is slightly cheaper, has longer reach and is way bigger and heavier than the APO-TL. 
But is it a good lens for the CL ? OIS might be useful at 300mm. Macro is a neat feature too. 

I am on a fence to rebuy the 55-135mm or to buy the 70-300mm. 

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So following a day of play with the 70-300,  I'm happy to have this focal range with pretty fast (as good as it gets on the CL) autofocus, both AFS and AFC.    Size and weight requires to my mind at least a grip on the CL I use the Lim's gripped half case and hot shoe mounted thumb grip which help to balance body and larger lenses.  So far I have found the lens to be sharp enough from 70 to 200mm, when shooting at the long end from my samples best results were with the lens stopped down to

I shared the desire for more length than the 55-135 for certain events - races, birds, etc. Tried the 100-400 for a week, and found it very difficult to use well. Ends up being too heavy for walk around, might be fine on a tripod, but I'm not planning to shoot like that. So I retreated to the 55-135, and found it just fine for many shots... just not the super long ones. But for now, just staying with this, and learning to use it better. Its a lens that has some "depth of character", surprisingly

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Why did you sell the lens you are now considering rebuying? That might inform advice given. 

I don't have the Lumix lens, but do have the Sigma 100-400 which is very good indeed. But for sheer convenience and a managemable package, I do prefer the Leica tele-zoom which is excellent.

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I sold the 55-135mm just to keep the TL 60mm. 
A macro lens were more manageable with a baby. 
Now my daughter is older so no need to get too close, on the contrary I need more reach now. 
 

So 70-300 or 55-135mm. Just need first hand opinions about those two.  Especially about the Lumix. 
 

 

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Well, I don't think that you need a lecture on the optical quality of the 55-135 ;)  I would be very surprised if the 70-300 reached that level.

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Posted (edited)

Lumix S 70-300 is more a competitor to sigma 100-400mm DG DN 

Panasonic OIS works flawlessly on the CL. 
But Sigma OS seems to be almost placebo effect. 
 

First reviews about the Panasonic are very nice :
- excellent IQ. Very sharp in the center at wide aperture at every focal length. 
- Still very sharp with 47MP sensor
- no chromatic aberrations. 
- OIS is very effective 
- macro mode 1:2 is very handy with excellent IQ. 
- weathersealed. The Sigma is not. 
- nice handling. 
 

So the Panasonic seems more manageable with the CL than the Sigma. 
It also gives the CL optical stabilisation. Which is compulsory at such long focal lengths. 
 

APO-TL is a bit too short at 135mm. And no OIS makes it less interesting with CL. 
That’s why I am wondering if any of you have the occasion to compare the Leica and the Lumix. 
 

By the way, camera compare has an issue with APO 55-135mm which not on scale. It is much bigger in reality. It seems shrunk by 25%

Edited by nicci78
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I can hardly see a 100-400 lens as a replacement for a 55-135, rather an addition. The same can be said to a certain extent of a 70-300, although there is quite a bit of overlap at the short end.

As for O.I.S., it may be the stability of one's hands or one's shooting technique, but I rarely if ever feel the need on the 55-135 and I find it quite adequate on the Sigma - I can easily shoot it down to 1/125  at 400.  And I'm a stickler for sharpness ;)  I'm sure the Panasonic is better - it was better on my Vario-Elmar 100-400 on the GX8, with O.I.S. and IBIS combined, but I cannot say that it made much difference in real use.

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That’s exactly my problem with 55-135mm f/3.5-4.5 (85-200mm) is too short. 
It still need another wingman like the Sigma 100-400mm f/5-6.3 (150-600mm) 
However Lumix S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 (105-450mm) should be able to replace both. 

500g + 1135g = 1635g for Leica + Sigma combo is way more than the 790g of the Lumix. 

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That is right, but it is a bit of an apples and oranges situation, as the Leica Sigma is a far wider two lens solution. The Panasonic is a bit of a huge lump at the short end. It all depends on the intended use. For portraits I would go for the 55-135, for indoor sports for the Panasonic and for birding the Sigma, to name a few examples. 

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We are arguing the merits of three specialist zoom lenses, for which most photographers have little or no genuine need.  They are of more interest to specialist sports and nature photographers than hobbyists. However I do see the appeal to generalist photographers, but question how often they are used in practice. I speak as an owner of the Leica tele-zoom and the Sigma 100-400mm lenses. The former sees more use than the latter.

Pandemic restrictions possibly account for my assessment. However, he is a bold optimist who can predict consistent easing of global travel restrictions. We could be living through a period in life, which could be considered the new norm.

If I was forced to choose one of the three contestants,  the Leica 55-135mm lens would be most valued by me.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, wda said:

We are arguing the merits of three specialist zoom lenses, for which most photographers have little or no genuine need.  They are of more interest to specialist sports and nature photographers than hobbyists. However I do see the appeal to generalist photographers, but question how often they are used in practice. I speak as an owner of the Leica tele-zoom and the Sigma 100-400mm lenses. The former sees more use than the latter.

Pandemic restrictions possibly account for my assessment. However, he is a bold optimist who can predict consistent easing of global travel restrictions. We could be living through a period in life, which could be considered the new norm.

If I was forced to choose one of the three contestants,  the Leica 55-135mm lens would be most valued by me.

Some of us "hobbyists" get more carried away with our interest than others🙂 and I can't see them as specialist at all, that title I would reserve for a fast prime in a specific focal length for portrait/wide angle/macro etc, all three zooms mentioned can be used to a wide variety of photographic subjects, just some do it better than others.      As someone who uses her camera/s every day I could easily make a case for all three (and possibly will).  

To me the 55-135 is often too short, the 100-400 often too big/bulky (on the CL anyway),  I was hoping the Pan 70-300 would sit nicely in the middle, making it a really good walk around option, trips to the zoo etc.  

The pandemic has only changed my photography in as much as travel is restricted so nothing new to point my lens at, and less interaction with people/family, but that is a small part of my photographic life anyway.  For me photography is my way of keeping a diary... I often spend an hour or so looking through my catalogue to see what I was doing on a certain day over the period of several years, how was the weather and the light, how did that tree look then, what's changed in my landscape/surroundings.   

Anyway I celebrate anything new that the L mount alliance brings to the table and luckily for the manufacturers will continue to spend more than I should on my hobby😀.

 

Edited by Boojay
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24 minutes ago, wda said:

We are arguing the merits of three specialist zoom lenses, for which most photographers have little or no genuine need.  They are of more interest to specialist sports and nature photographers than hobbyists. However I do see the appeal to generalist photographers, but question how often they are used in practice. I speak as an owner of the Leica tele-zoom and the Sigma 100-400mm lenses. The former sees more use than the latter.

Pandemic restrictions possibly account for my assessment. However, he is a bold optimist who can predict consistent easing of global travel restrictions. We could be living through a period in life, which could be considered the new norm.

If I was forced to choose one of the three contestants,  the Leica 55-135mm lens would be most valued by me.

|I would hardly call the 55-135 specialist.

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6 minutes ago, Boojay said:

I was hoping the Pan 70-300 would sit nicely in the middle, making it a really good walk around option, trips to the zoo etc.

I think it would fit that purpose perfectly.

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Happy to see that I am not alone wondering if 70-300mm might the best middle ground between 55-135mm and 100-400mm.

@Boojay hopefully you will be able to give us soon a first hand impression about the Lumix

What also interested me is the macro 1:2 because I have been spoiled by APO-Elmarit-R 100mm + APO-Extender-R 2x as long distance macro lens. So being able to reach 1:2 at 300mm (450mm equivalent) range is kind of a dream. 

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I still cannot understand that the company that gave us the  "Leica Gun Rifle", the "Trombone" Telyts, the Televit, the Apo-Telyts, the APO-Telyt Modular system (still the best tele system ever built), the last iterations of the R zooms and as a sort of coda the SL 90-280 -I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of things-, now seems to have abandoned any focal length beyond 135...

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1 hour ago, Boojay said:

Some of us "hobbyists" get more carried away with our interest than others🙂 and I can't see them as specialist at all, that title I would reserve for a fast prime in a specific focal length for portrait/wide angle/macro etc, all three zooms mentioned can be used to a wide variety of photographic subjects, just some do it better than others.      As someone who uses her camera/s every day I could easily make a case for all three (and possibly will).  

To me the 55-135 is often too short, the 100-400 often too big/bulky (on the CL anyway),  I was hoping the Pan 70-300 would sit nicely in the middle, making it a really good walk around option, trips to the zoo etc.  

The pandemic has only changed my photography in as much as travel is restricted so nothing new to point my lens at, and less interaction with people/family, but that is a small part of my photographic life anyway.  For me photography is my way of keeping a diary... I often spend an hour or so looking through my catalogue to see what I was doing on a certain day over the period of several years, how was the weather and the light, how did that tree look then, what's changed in my landscape/surroundings.   

Anyway I celebrate anything new that the L mount alliance brings to the table and luckily for the manufacturers will continue to spend more than I should on my hobby😀.

 

Jayne, you are an industrious, versatile and talented photographer who falls outside the generalization in my post above. I had in mind photographers who tend to buy, sell and rebuy the same lens in a flowing mood of uncertainty in their direction of travel. I, too, look forward to reading your assessment of your new lens and discovering how it will fit into your 'optical armoury', although I am not sure, at the moment, that it meets my future requirements.

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3 minutes ago, wda said:

Jayne, you are an industrious, versatile and talented photographer who falls outside the generalization in my post above. I had in mind photographers who tend to buy, sell and rebuy the same lens in a flowing mood of uncertainty in their direction of travel. I, too, look forward to reading your assessment of your new lens and discovering how it will fit into your 'optical armoury', although I am not sure, at the moment, that it meets my future requirements.

Thank you David, industrious or more likely addicted!   I do try to read/watch/reason out any lens purchase, I have to because I am not good at returning purchases when they don't suit.

I just returned the Sigma 28-70 after only a couple of days testing.   I had expected it would replace the Panasonic 24-105 for both the SL2 and the CL but quickly realised that the IS advantage and longer/wider range of the Panasonic zoom was more useful to me even if it is slightly large for the CL.  I found some softness in the centre of the frame (likely down to sample variation) that pushed me to return it, disappointing.  

Hoping the 70-300 fills the gap in my bag.   As a Canon shooter the 70-300L was probably my most useful lens, I use it now with MC-21 on my SL2 but AF is appalling (some lenses adapt better than others) and it can only be used wide open and fully manual on the CL, even so I still use it now and then.  I will share my thoughts on the 70-300,  I haven't been totally convinced by the reviews I have seen, DPReview found it weakest at 300mm but I'm keen to try for myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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