Panasonic 45-150 owners...how do you like your lens? Alternatives?

LowriderS10

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Hi everyone!

I don't have anything beyond 75mm, and even that one I left in Canada. I generally don't shoot telephoto, but it would be nice to have it for lunar eclipses, nature walks, etc. I also want something small and light; the whole reason I got into M4/3.

So...my search has been narrowed down to the Pan 45-150. If you own or have owned this lens...what do you think of it? How do you/did you like it?

I've also been looking at the Oly 40-150R, but it seems to have roughly the same IQ with a tiny premium in size, and it's slightly more expensive in Korea, so there's not much point to going that route.

Anyways...chime in, I'd love to hear what you have to say!
 

WT21

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I have the O40-150R, and have a P45-150 in the mail to me for 3 main reasons:

The Oly has more CA than I would like, and the Panny is supposed to be a bit less
The Oly is not that strong at the long end, where I prefer to shoot, the Panny is supposed to be better there
The Panny has OIS, which I prefer

I will be testing them both when I get the chance, and will try to remember to come back and post my findings.

The other lens I have is a P100-300 which for my money is just gorgeous and I highly recommend, but I need a lighter lens for certain times when traveling.
 

Serhan

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I used it a couple times at local festivals and I think it was fine.. I have to check the photos.. It was last year and last Spring. I didn't compare to any other lenses. I am normally happy with 14-150mm. A few posted images, again small resized ones:

114mm
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150mm
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Thanks, yeah, I should have mentioned that I've read every single review I could find online. :D

How do you like the Panasonic 45-150's performance near the end of the range at 125-150mm?
 

charcoalblack

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for the few times that I have used it, I am very happy with this lens. I think it's underrated and overlooked. I have plans of using it more often.
 

LowriderS10

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Thanks for the replies, and especially for the samples. The background blur is especially good, considering the small sensors/small apertures. Surprisingly so!

Yeah, the P100-300 is definitely on my list, but I'm going travelling after my contract is done in the spring and I want something small and light. When I'm back in Canada I'll likely pick up that lens as well.
 

kwalsh

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Sorry that I don't have direct experience with the P45-150 to share, but I have tested the O40-150 and the P45-175 which both have very similar IQ to the P45-150 according to many reviews and people who have owned both.

Basically all three of the lenses fall into the "surprisingly good for the size and price" category.

Central sharpness out to 150 is good, especially if stopped down a bit. But given how small and inexpensive they are of course there are some compromises. Edge and corner sharpness is not particularly good, especially at the long end. However, for lots of shots this is irrelevant since the edges and corners are often out of focus anyway in wildlife or sports shots. I'm a landscape photographer and so I notice this corner softness for sure, but for the vast majority of users it is center sharpness that matters and all three do a good job in that department.

The other trade off is in what is sometimes called "micro-contrast" or "acuity". This is how much contrast there is in fine details rather than just the limits of resolution or "bluriness". This is what gives many images "pop". These less expensive super compact lenses don't do as well in this department, even stopped down, as a more expensive and heafty telephoto lens would. Some of this can of course be made up for in post processing.

In the end this category of lenses does great for something so small and inexpensive, I think something like the 45-150 belongs in the bag of anyone who is out hiking with their camera and is concerned about weight and size. But if you test these lenses against something like the O75-300 you will certainly see a difference in corner sharpness and overall micro-contrast when shot in the 75-150 range where these lenses overlap. But of course the O75-300 is significantly bigger and more expensive so no surprise there!

While I don't own it personally (I already have the 45-175 which covers the same range with the same IQ) in general I'd recommend the P45-150 as the best general use compact telephoto for m43 right now. Don't expect miracles, but expect what I said at the top - suprisingly good give its size and cost.
 

LowriderS10

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Sorry that I don't have direct experience with the P45-150 to share, but I have tested the O40-150 and the P45-175 which both have very similar IQ to the P45-150 according to many reviews and people who have owned both.

Basically all three of the lenses fall into the "surprisingly good for the size and price" category.

Central sharpness out to 150 is good, especially if stopped down a bit. But given how small and inexpensive they are of course there are some compromises. Edge and corner sharpness is not particularly good, especially at the long end. However, for lots of shots this is irrelevant since the edges and corners are often out of focus anyway in wildlife or sports shots. I'm a landscape photographer and so I notice this corner softness for sure, but for the vast majority of users it is center sharpness that matters and all three do a good job in that department.

The other trade off is in what is sometimes called "micro-contrast" or "acuity". This is how much contrast there is in fine details rather than just the limits of resolution or "bluriness". This is what gives many images "pop". These less expensive super compact lenses don't do as well in this department, even stopped down, as a more expensive and heafty telephoto lens would. Some of this can of course be made up for in post processing.

In the end this category of lenses does great for something so small and inexpensive, I think something like the 45-150 belongs in the bag of anyone who is out hiking with their camera and is concerned about weight and size. But if you test these lenses against something like the O75-300 you will certainly see a difference in corner sharpness and overall micro-contrast when shot in the 75-150 range where these lenses overlap. But of course the O75-300 is significantly bigger and more expensive so no surprise there!

While I don't own it personally (I already have the 45-175 which covers the same range with the same IQ) in general I'd recommend the P45-150 as the best general use compact telephoto for m43 right now. Don't expect miracles, but expect what I said at the top - suprisingly good give its size and cost.
Wow, thanks for taking the time to type out such a detailed response.

All of what you've said is pretty much in line with what I'm expecting of this lens and in line with what I've been reading on review sites etc.

I'm not expecting it to blow me away in every possible way, but so long as it's a good, solid performer, I'll be happy (heck, the last time I owned a tele I DOWNgraded from a 70-200L to a Tamron 70-300 because I simply didn't use it enough to justify keeping a more expensive lens around).

But...the other day I went to shoot the eclipse...got nothing. I went to China to shoot pandas and had to use the 12-50 with the 2x DTC...not exactly ideal. I do want to get my hands on the P100-300, but it's just MASSIVE. It would take up more room and weigh more than the 3 lenses I usually travel with. Plus, I hate the way the P100-300 balances on my E-M5 without the grip (and the grip adds more unwanted weight/bulk to my travel kit, plus it's also back in Canada).

So...if the P45-150 is just as good as the O40-150R and the P45-175, I think I'm set on the 45-150. :D It's just as light as the rest of them, the smallest of the bunch, the cheapest and has MOIS in case I ever decide to pick up a Pana body (the GM5 is looking mighty tempting).
 

gryphon1911

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I've gotten acceptable to great results with the Oly 40-150/4-5.6R. I often need something longer and picked up a used Oly 75-300/4.8-6.7 and it is a great performer in good light as well. The 75-300 is a lot more expensive than the 45-150 as well.
 

kingduct

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I have the Panasonic 45-150, since it came with the G5 kit I bought last year. My usual walk around kit has been the Sigma 19mm, the Sigma 30mm and the 45-150 zoom. I don't use the zoom a ton, but I love having it in the bag just in case.

A few images:

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(At 150mm, cropped a fair amount)

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(At 103mm, also cropped)

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(At 109mm, and yes, cropped)


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(150mm)

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(150mm)
 

sammykhalifa

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I have the older Panasonic 45-200. I've thought about swapping for yours or the 175, the Oly 40-150 for size, or one of the longer xx-300 lenses. I could probably get about an even trade for one of the 150s but am not sure if I'd miss the extra reach or if the gain would really be worth the effort.
 

Darren Bonner

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I have the the Panasonic 45-150 and I like it, most of my pics are taken at the long end. I like the IQ, I like the build quality, id does feel well made, yet it is light in weight and it is about the same size of the old 14-42 & 14-45 zoom lenses Panasonic use to make. The zoom action and focus ring are buttery smooth in use.
 

LowriderS10

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Thanks for the input and the samples!

I'm quite surprised by the bokeh...honestly, I wasn't expecting it to do much of anything in that area. But it still pulls off a decent amount of bokeh in the right circumstances, and it's very smooth...much smoother than I had anticipated!

It also seems to have great colours and contrast (though some of that might be due to processing)...still...I think one could easily be forgiven for thinking any of the pics you guys have posted was taken with a much more expensive lens!
 

SojiOkita

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I like mine.
It's a good lens, considering the price, the range, the size & weight.

It's a very pleasant lens to use.
I compared it to the Oly 14-150 and the difference in terms of image quality (not only sharpness, but contrast) was largely in favor of the Panasonic.

The only thing I don't like is that my couple E-M10 / 45-150 is subject to shutter shock, so even with last firmware I have to avoid the range 1/1000s - 1/400s.
 

LowriderS10

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I like mine.
It's a good lens, considering the price, the range, the size & weight.

It's a very pleasant lens to use.
I compared it to the Oly 14-150 and the difference in terms of image quality (not only sharpness, but contrast) was largely in favor of the Panasonic.

The only thing I don't like is that my couple E-M10 / 45-150 is subject to shutter shock, so even with last firmware I have to avoid the range 1/1000s - 1/400s.
Thank you for your input! :)

Dang, that's too bad...during daylight hours with a slow-ish lens like this, 1/1000s to 1/400s is the majority of your working range! I wonder if it affects the E-M5...did you try using shutter delay?
 
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When I was in the market I looked at the samples people posted here of both the Oly and the Pany lenses and decided I liked the Pany shots better. I've been pretty happy with my choice, especially for the money, even if it's a bit soft compared to the new Oly 40-150 f2.8. ;)
 

WT21

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I just got my Panny 45-150. I got the Oly used for about $100 and the Panny used for about $150. If the IQ is the same, I would say I would prefer the Panny. It's slightly smaller but feels even smaller than it is. It has a better build feel to it, it's nice looking IMO and it has OIS (for my non-IBIS GX7). That alone makes it worth the extra $50. Hope to find some time to compare shots, too.
 

LowriderS10

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I just got my Panny 45-150. I got the Oly used for about $100 and the Panny used for about $150. If the IQ is the same, I would say I would prefer the Panny. It's slightly smaller but feels even smaller than it is. It has a better build feel to it, it's nice looking IMO and it has OIS (for my non-IBIS GX7). That alone makes it worth the extra $50. Hope to find some time to compare shots, too.
Thanks for your input! It's been a couple of months since you got this lens...how do you like it now? :)
 

kawhona

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Santa brought my 40-150mm Pro and I had a chance to play with it a bit today. I decided to try and get some hummingbird shots with it. Here's one I will try to post. If I can figure out how to post shots on here I will do some more if folks would like to see them. I don't think there is an alternative for this lens at the moment it is an impressive lens from what I can see.
https://ppcdn.500px.org/93563441/08f24ba12de1a39e0e898eb4086eaa9f3e6e25cf/3.jpg?v=5
 
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