Panasonic 45-200mm

The Panasonic 45-200mm lens is the first telephoto zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds camera.

This lens is used to be sold as one package with the Panasonic G1 camera, but it is also available separately. When used with the micro 4/3 sensor, the effective focal length will be 90-400mm.

Panasonic 45-200mm

Lens Score (Micro Four Thirds Sensor)
Optical Quality: 4 Stars (4 / 5)
Build Quality: 4 Stars (4 / 5)
Value for Money: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

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That focal length is fantastic for sports (outdoor), wildlife and portraiture photography. Due to the small, non-constant aperture of this lens, I would not recommend this lens for dim light shooting though.

Personally, I use this lens more often than the 14-140mm because it delivers better quality for still photography (the 14-140mm is better for video shooting).

I always bring this lens along with the 14-45mm lens whenever I am shooting out.

To see my Panasonic 45-200mm review, read on.

Technical Specs

Official Name:
Panasonic 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Mega O.I.S

Focal Length Markings:
45, 60, 75, 100, 150, 200mm

Features:
Micro Four Thirds Mount – Only compatible with Micro Four Thirds camera

Mega O.I.S – Panasonic’s term for Image Stabilization. This is the technology to counter camera bluriness caused by unsteady hand during shooting. Will help in making image sharper as a result.

Full Technical Specs (from Olympus’s website):

Technical Specifications
Groups / Elements 13 / 16
Angle of View 27 – 6.2
Number of Blade Diaphragm 7
Minimum Aperture f/22
Minimum Focusing Distance 1m
Filter Thread 52mm
Weight 380g
Dimension (Diameter x Length) 70 x 100mm
Macro Magnification Ratio 0.19X

Optical Performance

Panasonic 45-200mm Sharpness

Sharpness is great on the center at any focal length and aperture.

Border sharpness is good as well at any aperture and focal length.

The sharpest aperture on this lens is f/5.6.

Sharpness Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Excellent
(4) Great
(3) Good
(2) Fair
(1) Poor

Center Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/4-4.7 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
45mm Great Great Great Great
100mm Great Great Great Great
150mm n/a Great Great Good
200mm n/a Great Great Good

Border Sharpness

Focal Length / Aperture f/4-4.7 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
45mm Good Good Good Good
100mm Good Great Great Good
150mm n/a Good Good Good
200mm n/a Good Good Good

Distortion

Being a telephoto lens, distortion (especiall barrel) can be ignored on this lens. It is not visible at any and focal length.

See the distortion test result below.

Distortion Test at 45mm

Distortion Test at 45mm

Distortion Test at 100mm

Distortion Test at 100mm

Distortion Test at 150mm

Distortion Test at 150mm

Distortion Test at 150mm

Distortion Test at 150mm

Vignetting

Being a zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds format, vignetting is apparent, especially on the widest aperture at any focal length.

To reduce vignetting greatly, stop down to f/8 at any focal length. At f/5.6 the vignetting is reduced greatly from the widest aperture, but to get the best, cleanest result, go with f/8.

See the full vignetting test result below.

Vignetting Test at 45mm

Vignetting Test at 45mm

Vignetting Test at 100mm

Vignetting Test at 100mm

Vignetting Test at 150mm

Vignetting Test at 150mm

Vignetting Test at 200mm

Vignetting Test at 200mm

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is very well controlled on this lens. It can only ranges from very low to negligible which is excellent.

It is just ever so slightly apparent at 200mm but you can easily correct this with any post processing software.

See my chromatic aberration test result below.

Chromatic Aberration Scale (from Best to Worst):
(5) Negligible
(4) Very Low
(3) Low
(2) High
(1) Very High

Chromatic Aberration

Focal Length / Aperture f/4-4.7 f/5.6 f/8 f/11
45mm Very Low Very Low Negligible Negligible
100mm Very Low Very Low Negligible Negligible
150mm n/a Very Low Negligible Negligible
200mm n/a Low Negligible Negligible

Build Quality

Materials

Good quality plastic with metal mount.

Zoom Ring

The zoom ring operates very smooth on this lens. There is no zoom creep. The lens dimension will change during zooming towards the telephoto end.

Focusing

Focus ring also operates very smoothly. Autofocus speed is fairly fast, silent and accurate on this lens.

The front filter thread does not rotate so you can use a polarizing filter easily on this lens.

Image Stabilization

Panasonic added the Mega O.I.S image stabilization on this lens. With this lens, I was able to get up to 2 to 3 extra stops.

If you are using an Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera, be sure to turn off either the In Body Image Stabilization on the Olympus body or this lens’ Mega O.I.S.

Do not turn on both Image Stabilization function.

Compatibility

This lens is only compatible with Micro Four Thirds camera: both Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds can be used with this lens.

Note that this lens is not compatible with regular Four Thirds DSLR camera.

Sample Image

Below are some sample images taken with this lens.

Sample Image 1

Sample Image 1

Sample Image 2

Sample Image 2

Sample Image 3

Sample Image 3

Sample Image 4

Sample Image 4

Sample Image 5

Sample Image 5

Conclusion

OK, we’ve arrived at the conclusion section of this Panasonic 45-200mm lens.

As the first telephoto zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds format, this lens really does not disappoint.

In terms of optical performance, it is very good. Sharpness is great both on the center and on the borders. This is true at any focal length and aperture.

Distortion and chromatic aberration are both controlled very well at any focal length and aperture.

The only issue would be the visible vignetting at the first 2 widest aperture (f/4.5 and f/5.6 namely). It will not be noticeable if you are not a “pixel peeper” though.

Build quality is very good on this lens, especially for a budget telephoto zoom lens. With the Mega O.I.S I can get extra 2 to 3 f-stops depending on how chilly the weather outside is :D

Overall, I would prefer this lens over the 14-140mm if you are not shooting HD movie.

I always carry the 14-45mm and this lens when I am using my Micro Four Thirds cameras.

If you are looking for a sharp telephoto zoom lens for still photography, this is the lens to get.

Drawbacks

  • Visible vignetting at f/4.5 and f/5.6 at any focal length and aperture

Positives

  • Good overall sharpness at any focal length and aperture
  • Good distortion control at any focal length
  • Excellent chromatic aberration control at any focal length and aperture
  • Fast, silent and accurate autofocus performance
  • Good build quality
  • Excellent value for money

Good For

  • All around telephoto lens
  • Portraiture
  • Sports photography on bright light
  • Wildlife photography

Not So Good For

  • Shooting anything under dim lighting condition

What Others Are Saying…

by “Draper Kauffman”

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…
Click here to see the full review

by “L. Rothman”

I have no idea why anyone would have this lens and not sing it’s praises. Perhaps, for some reason they did not get a good copy. I’ve now worked with 2 and both were stunningly fast to focus, sharp throughout…
Click here to see the full review

Where to Buy

Panasonic 45-200mm

Lens Score (Micro Four Thirds Sensor)
Optical Quality: 4 Stars (4 / 5)
Build Quality: 4 Stars (4 / 5)
Value for Money: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

Visit Website

Below are some links where you can get some really good price on the Panasonic 45-200mm – be sure to check them out!

Alright, thanks checking out this Panasonic 45-200mm review and I will catch you in the next review!

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