M4/3 System                                                                
(15th August 2023)
Panasonic PL100-400 lens & 2x TC + 16mm Tube

How much magnification do we really get?

As stated in a previous article regarding using the Olympus 1.4x TC with a PL100-400, it is not possible to fit any of the Olympus Tele-Converters to a Panasonic PL100-400 lens directly. This is because the front element of both Olympus (now OMD) TC's protrude forward into the lens body and prevent the Camera and Lens bayonet mounts from engaging by about 11mm!

However there is a workaround, but it does have some drawbacks...

The 2x tele-converter can be fitted if we add a 16mm extension tube between it and the lens. But this addition will also affect some of the lens operating parameters which the user need to be aware of.

Note: Some M4/3 16mm extension tubes need their inside diameter increased very slightly to allow the 2x tele-converter front element to be inserted. It is a simple job and requires either scraping, filing or sanding a little of the plastic away inside the hollow extension tube. 


Garden Light: PL100-400 @ 400mm.

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Garden Light: PL100-400 + 16mm Tube + 2x TC.

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A 2x TC would normally magnify our target by 2x and also push the minimum focus distance further away by a similar amount. Having the 16mm extension tube fitted on this long lens setup will increase the magnification even more and will decrease the minimum focus distance a tiny amount, but unfortunately it also limits the maximum distance at which a lens will focus on a subject a lot - approximately 50ft (16metres). So although this 2x TC addition is terrific for magnifying small close subjects such as some birds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees and hoverflies in flight, etc., we can not use this method to magnify distant subjects!

In conclusion:

If you have a PL100-400 lens and need more magnification for small birds, butterflies, dragonflies, or bees etc., then this is a great way to achieve that result as long as they are within the shortened focal range.  I think for some this will prove to be a real winner.

For those wishing more information on using Olympus TC's with the Panasonic PL100-400 lens, I highly recommend reading my previous far more detailed full test report which features the 1.4x TC here: 
PL100-400 +1.4x Tele-Converter +16mm Extension Tube - Full Test

 Article Adrian Harris