Panasonic 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 Lumix G Vario MEGA OIS Zoom Micro Four Thirds Lens – Product Description:
Lumix G VARIO 45-200mm/4.0-5.6 zoom lens w/MEGA Optical Image Stabilization covers the 35mm equivalent from 90-400mm to help the user capture crisp, blur-free, shots when shooting sports events, wildlife and other distant subjects
|Product Features :
Panasonic 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 Lumix G Vario MEGA OIS Zoom Micro Four Thirds Lens – Review:
EXCELLENT LENS WITH LATEST FIRMWARE!
I have five lenses for my G1, but this is my favorite. Overall, it’s quite sharp and produces images with an excellent feel to them, particularly for such a comparatively low price.
Initial test reports indicated noticeable softness at 160-200mm, but this appears to have been fixed. One possibility is that the latest firmware may have improved the autofocusing at long focal lengths. This has not been verified by Panasonic, but many owners of new or updated copies of the lens are routinely getting sharper images at 200mm than the early test reports would indicate, so it seems to be the best guess at the moment.
It’s important to have realistic expectations for long lenses. If you’ve never shot with a really long lens on an SLR, it’s easy to assume that such a cute little lens will be just as easy to hand hold as its 14-45mm brandmate. It isn’t.
At 200mm, it has the same long reach and very narrow angle of view as a 400mm lens on a full frame 35mm. I still have one of those from my film days, and it’s 13 inches long, heavy, and almost impossible to hand hold! This Panasonic lens at 200mm is subject to the same laws of physics and optics as those old 400mm bazookas, even though it is so much smaller and lighter.
The optical image stabilization is superb, so you CAN hand hold it in good light, but you need to be well-braced and use good technique, and there’s no point in even trying to hand hold it at 200mm at very low shutter speeds. (When I’m shooting at 200mm, I increase the ISO if necessary to make sure my shutter speed is at least 1/125, and I really prefer 1/250 or faster.)
If you’ve never shot a long tele before, consider using a tripod, turning OIS off, and touching up the autofocus results manually to nail the exact part of the image that you want to be the sharpest. Either that or try to get closer to your subject – sharp hand held shots at 100-150mm are much easier to get.
In summary, this lens is an exceptional value and the zoom range is great for a wide range of subjects, from portraits to wildlife. If you treat it with respect at the long end, you’ll get many great pictures with it.