Panasonic 45-150mm arrived today

Started Nov 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
carlosvp
Regular MemberPosts: 189
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Re: Panasonic 45-150mm arrived today
In reply to Albert Ang, Nov 8, 2012

Albert Ang wrote:

I would love to hear your comparison with other m43 telephoto zooms that you may have at the same focal length. I'm deciding whether to get the Olympus 40-150mm or this newer Panny lens.

Sure thing. The weather has not been cooperative today; it was overcast all day. The sun half-came-out for a few minutes after work so I managed to snap a few pictures. These are full-res OOC jpegs with no processing, 1 at 45mm and 2 at 150mm.



150mm

45mm

150mm

Based on the few pictures I've taken, it appears to be quite sharp at 45mm - I don't know MTF numbers for it, but it seems acceptably sharp at the wide end. I *think* it's sharper than the 45-200 at 45mm, but I didn't use that lens at the wide end very much so I don't have much to compare it to.

At 150mm, it's obviously not quite as sharp. But all things considered, it seems sharp enough - sharper than the 45-200 at 200, and probably sharper than the 45-200 at 150.

Re: comparisons to other m4/3 telephoto zooms...

I first bought a used Panasonic 45-200. I liked that lens, but not that long after I bought it, I found an unexpectedly good deal on a used Panasonic 100-300 and bought it. If I'd known I was going to buy the 100-300, I would have skipped the 45-200 entirely. Once I bought the 100-300, I found I wasn't using the 45-200 much, since the longer half of the lens (which is what you buy telephoto lenses for in the first place was completely overlapped by the 100-300, and the latter lens is so much longer again.  So when I heard about the 45-150mm coming out, I sold the 45-200mm and didn't miss it much.  The 45-150mm finally became generally available this week and I ordered it to fill the gap between 14-42 and 100-300 -- the 35-100 would be a better match, but that's in a whole different price league and way over my budget.

The Panasonic 100-300 is a beast of a lens. I find it's sharper, all the way through its range, than either the 45-150 or 45-200 is. But it's big, it's heavy, it's not the fastest AF on the planet (at least not with my old bodies), and you really can't use it as a walking-around lens. It's also really, really noticeable, especially when it's extended - enough so that you get a lot of looks if you're out in public trying to use it. You look like a paparazzo with it.  Birds and animals don't mind it so much :).

So: Panasonic 100-300: big, heavy, expensive (compared to the Panasonic 45-200 or 45-150), but probably optically superior to them.

The 45-150mm is not, I think, the most fantastic optics on the planet. But it's a very useful zoom range in a *tiny* package with acceptable quality, and OIS to boot. It's quite a reasonable price for what it is, too. I don't think I'll regret owning this one.

The TL;DR version and summary:

The 45-200mm is a good lens, too. But I don't think there's a lot of reason to own it if you own any of the other Panasonic telephoto zooms - if you've got one of the 14-42 or 14-45 lenses for the normal range, then you really could do with any of the 45-150mm, 45-175mm (which I've never used), or 45-200mm zooms -- or skip all three of them and jump straight to the 100mm-300mm.

If you have an Olympus body (and therefore IBIS), then one of the Olympus telephoto zooms, like the 75-300mm, is probably just as good a choice. Shooting the longer end of that range with no image stabilization (i.e. with the Olympus lenses on a Panasonic body) is likely to be somewhat frustrating hand-held.

As far as the Oly lenses go - I don't own any of their long zooms, but I've got a couple of their lenses (the 9-18mm and the 45mm) and I find that they're probably optically better than any of the non-PanaLeica Panasonic lenses. Olympus sure knows how to build a good lens when they set their mind to it.

That's my rather long-winded $0.02.

C.

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