A new low . . .

Out in the morning with the Sigma 100-400mm/TC-1411 combo in moderate to bright overcast light, I was witness to the weakest performance by a modern zoom lens in recent memory. Actually, it may have been the worst ever.

Without going too far into descriptives, suffice it to say that ISO at f/9 languished in mid to high four digits, dipping to high threes during a brief moment when the sun poked through the clouds. On a white sign with fine black print, where the Leica 180/2X (358mm) can cleanly resolve 36-point type at around 45-50 yards, the Sigma/1.4X (560mm) made a smudge out of 72-point type.

The bright spot of the day was in the afternoon when I saw that my new AF settings worked well with the Lumix S 70-300mm, especially near MFD where AF had left performance lacking a bit. Once again, a couple of my avian pals gave me ample time to explore various setting options to see what would work best.

That leaves me back where I started in my search for a bit more reach and/or speed than the Lumix zoom or 180/2X can provide. Other than the 280mm APO-Telyt-R, the only options would be from other brands, a slippery slope down which I’d rather not start. What I have now may be a bit short in some instances, but in decent light the zoom and combo both give pleasing results.

SL2/180mm APO-Elmarit-R/APO 2X