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Panasonic 45-200

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dixeyk, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I recently picked up a Panasonic 14 for a 45-200. I needed to do some work with a long telephoto and figured it would be a good option. I have taken the 45-200 out a few times and I have to say that I am...underwhelmed by the lens. Is there a trick to that lens? Does it function best under certain conditions that I am just not seeing. On one hand it seems to be very quick to focus and the reach is nice. It has what appears to be decent boken but to my eyes everything looks quite soft (and I'm not a sharp freak by any means). Is that just the character of the lens? It's not necessarily a bad thing but considering the performance of the 14-45 and the 20 it is a bit of a surprise.

    Any advice?
  2. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi dixeyk,

    it's certainly not up to the quality of the 20... by any stretch. But under the right conditions it's the best bargain in the native µ43 lineup.

    I created an import filter specifically for it in Aperture.. Once I got used to it I managed to achieve pretty good results.

    Here's some of my original test shots using the 45-200.

    Lens Test 45-200 - Mu-43 Gallery

    Here's a gallery that shows before and after using the preset.


    Cheers, Alan
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Remember that you're at 400 mm equiv - any little shake is going to result in softness. I have seen some amazing shots from this lens, and most all of them are tripod or monopod mounted
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Good points...I'll give it a go with a tripod. Alan...what's the preset like? I wonder if I could replicate it in Lightroom (although I wouldn't be heartbroken switching to Aperture).
  5. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England

    Everything you see there in both links is shot hand held. I've never put it on the tripod....:smile: Call me crazy...

    I'm not sure how to translate the Aperture setting into usable info for Lightroom... Let me think that one over.

    Though I am going to go back to the RAWS and try Color EFX "Pro Contrast" and see if it manages to do the same. I'll let you know.

    How were the test images compared to what you're seeing?

  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    here's a couple at 200mm, hand held.


    No secret sauce just a normal amount of sharpening. Both shot with an EP-2

    • Like Like x 1
  7. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi dixeyk,

    Nothing fancy or artsy here.. just did this as a quick test.

    One step PP using NIK Color EFX / Pro Contrast Filter.

    No Post Processing...


    NIK Color EFX / Pro Contrast Filter. So 1 step of PP

  8. MichaelShea

    MichaelShea Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2011
    Algarve, Portugal
    Over the course of nearly two years, I've been thoroughly unimpressed with my very soft results from the lens, and the effects of camera shake have had very little to do with it. However, I've recently found that taking off its usual UV filter has improved both sharpness and contrast markedly. I have no idea why this should be the case, because none of my other lenses behave in anything like the same way.
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    I have been playing with this lens now over the past few weeks and I REALLY want to love it. I have found there is a lot to like about it but sharpness is not one of those things. It's has nice bokeh, good color, is quite fast to focus (although not as reliable as I would like) and nice and compact but in my experience so far I would call it sharp.

    I currently have it up for sale of GetDPI because I am getting much better images from my Vivitar 70-210/3.5 than I do the 45-200 (and that is without the benefit of IS). I'm still trying to unlock the mysteries of this lens but at the moment I am mystified. I see nice images posted from time to time and I wonder "how in the world did they manage to get that image?".
  10. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    At the longer end, 150-200mm, I get better results using ois mode 2. With mode 1 I need to wait for it to focus then then wait for it to settle down. Even with mode 2 I try to keep the shutter speed up to at least 1/320 sec.

    I think it's sharper from 45mm up to the100-125mm range. Stopping down at least 2/3 of a stop helps a lot at the long end.

    The Oly 4/3 40-150 that I traded toward it was a better lens, but very slow to focus. The fast focusing and ois were worth the trade-off to me.

    I haven't tried one but the 100-300 is reported to be a better lens. Maybe you should give that a try.
  11. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    maybe you got a dud?

    i wouldn't call mine 'razor' sharp, like say, my 200mm micro-Nikkor, but my 45-200mm is acceptably sharp for me. The OIS is a definite bonus because it allows me to handhold down to very slow shutter speeds ( for the given focal length used.)

  12. Spanjaart

    Spanjaart Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2010

  13. Spanjaart

    Spanjaart Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2010

    I sold this lens because for tele action I prefer Nikon, but otherwise it's a great little lens, especially considering the size/range.
    Maybe yours is a lemon?




    • Like Like x 1
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Here's a sample from last weekend. Handheld with Panasonic G2. Shot raw, converted in Aperture with no adjustments. First a reduced full frame then a 100% crop.


    • Like Like x 1
  15. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    No PP, straight out of the can

    • Like Like x 1
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Holy Cr*p...I can't get anything close to that. I'll keep trying.
  17. VasManI

    VasManI Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    Disable (or turn down) noise reduction on your camera. On my G2, even at 0 (range -2 to 2), noise reduction makes details look blurry when you blow up the image.
  18. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Make sure you have EITHER lens IS OR IBIS on, but not both. Both will actually make the shots softer.

    My 45-200 was not sharp enough for me at the long end, either. Maybe it's down to unit variation?
  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I recently used this lens at a motorcycle race and got much better results that i previously had. I had the iso up and it was a bright day so I had a high shutter speed to freeze the bikes. My shots were much better. This indicates that, at least for me, camera shake was an issue.
  20. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    The 45-200 responds really well to Post Processing...



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