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Panasonic Telephoto Zoom

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by ZLJ2011, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. ZLJ2011

    ZLJ2011 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 18, 2015
    Hello -

    Seeking some feedback on which telephoto zoom to pair with my new GX8. I would like to take advantage of the Dual IS and fast focus ability of the body. I don't currently use a telephoto all that often but I would like to have one in the kit. Size/weight is a motivator as well. I think I am debating between the 35-100 f4-5.6, 45-150 f4-5.6, or the 45-175 f4-5.6. From what I have read from some older threads the 45-175 seems to be perhaps marginally sharper than the other option and better for video, which honestly isn't too much of a factor most likely, although I am not too sure what will come in the future as the kids get older. The 35-100 has some real appeal as well considering the size/weight, which will mean that I will likely carry it more and therefore use it more... so that is a real plus. But the PZ is presumably faster at comparable FL and has more reach obviously. Plus if it is sharper... By the way, are any of these particularly more or less prone to shutter shock?

    Anyway, curious about some feedback on the various choices. Many thanks!
     
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    What kind of pictures do you like to take?
     
  3. ZLJ2011

    ZLJ2011 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 18, 2015
    For the most part right now, snap shot type photos of family and sometimes landscape and architecture photos. However, my 4 year old is beginning to do more organized activities and I'd like to be able to capture that, be it playground activity, organized sports, swimming, etc. There may be some video needs for this as well although the video capabilities of the camera are an adjustment for me since I have never had a camera that was anywhere NEAR this capable. Anyway, I might also use the zoom for telephoto portraits outdoors so that I can get more compression and out of focus background. I do have the Meike flash but I think even with that, indoor portraits with any of these zooms might not be realistic given the speed.

    By the way, I currently have just one lens, the 25/1.7 but I plan to get the 12-35/2.8 and perhaps the 42.5/1.7.

    Edit: forgot to mention, I do like to take macro shots on rare occasions. Not sure if any of these might be better/worse as a stop-gap for macro. I will check into focus distance specs on them. I don't plan to get a dedicated macro lens so having something that works ok enough for now would be a positive, albeit not a very high priority.

    thanks!
     
  4. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Completely unscientific.

    From your list I think the 45-150 will get the dual IS support in firmware updates to older copies since they released a matte version of it to match the other newer offerings. The 35-100 f/4-5.6 is newer and might already have it. The older 45-175 might not. It's older and is Power OIS instead of Mega OIS. Yes there are other Power lenses that will get or maybe have gotten the firmware upgrade. I'd be surprised if the 12-35 and 35-100 f/2.8s don't get it, but they are in a different class. The 45-175 is also the only one with "power zoom" as well. That might add another wrinkle so updating that lens to work with only one camera (currently) would probably be low on their ToDo list.

    Looking for a 42.5 f/1.7? I have one for sale.
     
  5. ZLJ2011

    ZLJ2011 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 18, 2015
    Hi David, thanks a lot for your reply. It seems like you've been giving me great feedback every time I post an inquiry!

    From what I read on an old announcement on DPR: "Panasonic has promised to introduce similar updates for all of its current lenses except for the original 14-45mm kit zoom, 45-200mm F4-5.6 and 100-300mm F4-5.6 by February 2016."

    I haven't spent a lot of time trying to find something direct from Panasonic and therefore more official but it seems like all three of the telephoto options I mentioned above will be supported by Dual IS. I do get your point though and I guess there is a clear risk that plans change or the timeline for the firmware update gets pushed out for the more oddball lenses (such as the PZ).
     
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think the 35-100 is cool, but it has very short zoom and can be very expensive for such a slow/short zoom.
    The 45-150 is fantastic and is honestly not much bigger than the 35-100. It's about the size of a DSLR kit lens, like a Canon 18-55. Only weakness I found was vignetting at 150mm f5.6 and the fact that it extends quite a bit when zooming (not a huge deal for me). You can find this one very cheap, especially used.
    The 45-175mm may have marginally better image quality, and it is internal zooming. It is a little bigger, but it stays the same size at every focal length. The downsizes are electronic zoom which resets when you turn off the camera. The lack of normal manual zoom ring can be off-putting for some.

    Unfortunately, most m4/3 lenses have fairly poor close focusing. My Canon 55-250 did > 1:3 macro. Some of the older DSLR 70-300's did 1:2! Any of these are closer to 1:6. If you wanted to give up OIS, the Olympus 40-150mm has a matched macro adapter. You can buy something similar for any telephoto, though (i.e. Marumi 330). Macro is also one area where manual focus makes a lot of sense and old 50mm macros that are usable with adapters are well under $100 used.

    So after all that, I'd probably say just grab the 45-150 unless you need a specialty feature offered by the other ones. 35-100, I probably wouldn't do unless you really need a tiny lens for a GM5 or something. 45-175 if you can find a great bargain and don't mind the power zoom (or prefer it for smooth video zoom).
     
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    zlj2011, the reason I asked about what type of pictures you want to take is because I started in M43 with the 14-45 and 45-200 and only one camera body. As mostly a travel photographer, the "break point" between the two lenses was right in the middle of where I found myself shooting. So whatever was on the camera seemed to be always too short or too long. And with travel photography, lens changes can be a hassle or even impossible and the time spent changing a lens can result in a shot being missed. So I sold the two lenses and bought a 14-140. For me, much better, and if you were expecting to be in a similar situation I would have recommended it to you..

    It sounds like you anticipate shooting mostly in situations where a lens change is not a big deal. If that is the case, then you can probably do well with the recommendations that are being made here..
     
  8. ZLJ2011

    ZLJ2011 Mu-43 Regular

    25
    Nov 18, 2015
    Thanks a lot for all the feedback. I should add the 14-140 to the list, maybe. The two reasons that I hadn't is because of the jitter type issues with video that I've read about (not sure of the technical term for it) and because of the reports of shutter shock. I don't really have an issue with using the electronic shutter, especially with the new firmware that seems to auto switch between the mechanical and e-shutter (no idea how effective that really is but hopefully it works) BUT I do use a flash on the camera indoors, which means that I have to use the mechanical shutter. Given the speed of the 14-140, I think I would need to use it with flash indoors, which means mechanical shutter, which means the possibility of the shutter shock. But then, I guess I could use primes indoors rather than the 12-35/2.8 that I had been planning as my main lens.... I'll think it over... but given the cost of the super zoom, I am kind of inclined to stick with my original plan of the 12-35/2.8 and one of the less expensive tele zooms.
     
  9. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    IMO you are waaay too concerned about shutter shock. I have done a lot of testing -- you can find some of it by searching threads here. IMO shutter shock is real but is such a tiny factor compared to the many other things that affect an image that it can be neglected in virtually all real-world situations.

    Re the 14-140, the MK I version is a good lens and now quite cheap because of the introduction of the MK II. The MK II might pixel-peep marginally better but its main advantage is that it is quite a bit lighter. In your use cases, I don't think weight matters much, so I'd suggest that you price the MK Is for your decision making. For me, traveling, the weight saving is worth the extra money but having shot both versions extensively I don't think there is much practical difference in their optical performance. I know nothing about video so can't comment on their use there.
     
  10. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Panasonic has already posted new FW for Dual IS for the 35-100/2.8. The 35-100/2.8, as is typical for "pro" lenses, has a much more powerful AF motor than the 45-175 and can change focus significantly faster. (I have both lenses.) Not to mention the 2 stop larger aperture.

    As far as your 4 yo goes you've got a few year before it moves faster than S-AF and most consumer lenses can keep up.