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Panasonic 45-200mm in real world use?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Chat' started by Staropramen, May 2, 2011.

  1. Staropramen

    Staropramen Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have observations on the performance of the Panasonic Vario 45-200mm please?

    Web-wisdom suggests it's not quite as sharp as the 14-45mm Panasonic (not surprising), but that overall it seems a well behaved if unexceptional lens. I have tried several manual focus primes and zooms, but they are a real fiddle to use 'on the hoof', apart from the obvious lack of OIS and AF . . . .
  2. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I have very limited experience of this lens on my mum's GF1. The above comment sums it up quite well I think. If the OIS and extra reach isn't essential, I have heard that the Oly m.Zuiko 40-150 is optically marginally better, and much smaller too of course.
  3. spangler

    spangler Well-Known Member

    More than happy with the 45-200 on my GF1, good value for money IMHO!

    Toodle pip! Andrew
  4. Staropramen

    Staropramen Well-Known Member

    Sadly there is (still) a pretty poor choice of true M43 lenses, so it's more-or-less 'take it or leave it' with regard to the 45-200mm. OIS is a real benefit for my work, but I rarely need a lens that long.

    For me the ideal range would be the old 3:1 ratio, 70-210mm (F) class of lens, which was very popular and quite practical. So I am less than impressed with the M43 zooms and the general lack of overlapping ranges. 14-52mm and 35-105mm seem more logical to me.

    OK - I'll give it a whirl. Thanks.
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    I'm seriously considering a G2/G3 at the moment (if the rumors are correct and the G3 is to be announced imminently).

    With my Nikkors and Pentax lenses I would have 28mm to 400mm covered, but from 84-400 only with manual focus, hence I have also been umming and ahhing about whether I should just go for the 45-200 or not with the kit. Part of me says to hold out for the 100-300 which would likely get less use but be of more use, if you know what I mean - not so much an everyday lens but a great option for wildlife and abstract landscapes. Getting back to the point... If Panasonic could plug the gap with a 35-100 f2.8 or even f3.5 the Lumix system would be a much better proposition.
  6. Staropramen

    Staropramen Well-Known Member

    Zou, Cameraworld have a few 45-200mm left at £219.99 (Chelmsford only) - that's a very attractive price.
  7. JohnATR

    JohnATR Member

    I have the lens as it came with my camera along with the standard 14-42, I have tried it and it seems good but I would really need to try it in a situation that required it as within the city the 14-42 is sufficient. But its nice having it there in the camera bag for when it might be used. Got the twin lens kit for only £75 more than the standard kit so I think it was worth it :D

    some pics on my flickr page are done with the 45-200 when I was trying it out, but rarely at 200mm. Need to go to some air-shows, bird watching or covert spying to try it on full length :p

  8. Staropramen

    Staropramen Well-Known Member

    First impressions.

    Well made, and complete with decent hood and case. Quite heavy, but handles well on the G1. AF is quite fast and nothing to complain about.

    Vignetting - illumination fall-off - is very pronounced at focal lengths over c100mm and the wider apertures (f5.6 to f8) and which is still evident in blue sky shots at f11 @ 200mm. Vignetting is less noticeable in the shorter range at f5.6 onwards, but a trace remains.

    Sharpness appears fine for most (of my) purposes, and is good across the frame: shallow depth of field hides much corner softness. As with almost all Lumix images (going back to earlier models) a small amount of sharpening during processing is usually required, though with this lens this still leaves a little softness of fine detail in the image. Contrast is consistently good throughout the focal range.

    I haven't looked at distortions yet.

    Overall it seems a thoroughly decent lens which appears to have no significant bad habits, and 'out of the camera' images are good, though they do need little extra work to deliver best results.

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