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Panasonic X 45-175mm full-size test shots

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by addieleman, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
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    Here you can find a number of full-size test shots made with the new Panasonic X 45-175mm. Click on the picture shown right and choose "O" for original size at the top and "Show Details" -> "Info" for technical data. All shots are taken with a GH2 on a tripod with OIS switched off. Lighting varies a bit, this is due to the constantly changing weather. The raw files were processed in Adobe Camera Raw with my default settings and converted to jpeg in Photoshop.

    From past experience I know that I'll need months of use to really know if I like a certain lens or not. For now this lens doesn't seem too bad: I'm neither floored nor disappointed by its IQ. It's a pity that my sample is somewhat unsharp at the far right border; I'll have to keep that in mind in critical situations and allow room in the picture for cropping at the right. At 45mm it needs to be stopped down to f/5.6 for optimum IQ, f/4 is just a little bit soft. At 100mm and above it's fine wide open, so that in practice I'll probably set the aperture at f/5.6 and forget about it.

    The following is largely copied from an earlier post that didn't seem to attract much attention. I was a bit surprised to find out that the zoom ring actually operates the internal zoom motor(s). Nevertheless I have no issues with it, other than that I cannot see at what focal length the lens has been set: no scale anywhere, and there's no new firmware yet for neither the GH2 nor G1 showing the focal length in the finder or screen. The rocker buttons for zooming don't suit me, I expected as much. When taking stills, the buttons offer two zooming speeds. When slightly pushed, it zooms slowly and pushed further it goes faster. There's no OIS switch, OIS mode has to be set in the camera's Quick Menu.

    This lens feels very light and comfortable on the camera, the combo handles great, you don't have the idea that you're working with a long zoom lens at all. The 45-200mm is much clunkier and heavier. Focussing seems quick and positive, I didn't see any hunting. It takes somewhat more time with dark subjects when I cover up the focus-assist light and it sometimes plainly isn't able to focus. Overall focussing seems much quicker and more assured than that of the 45-200mm.

    I'm happy that Panasonic came forth with this lens. I'm OK with primes, but I need a zoom in the 50-150mm range because often I find myself unable to foot-zoom when using those focal lengths. There's mostly something in the way, like other people, a fence, a ditch or a valley. That's the main reason I didn't go for the Oly 45mm. I'll probably buy the 35-100mm as well if it's any good. Having said that, I'll probably continue to use my Minolta legacy 50mm and 100mm lenses for situations where I have the time to go for optimum results.
     
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  2. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    Thank you for the post. Most informative from a real world aspect - I dislike charts :)

    How does the AF speed/efficacy of the new lens compare to the 14-140mm?

    I'm interested in this lens for casual dog action work (stills - no video), as its focal length range is more attractive to me than that of the older zoom.

    Thank you.
     
  3. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    492
    Aug 5, 2011
    This is exactly what I do with my 40-150.


    Same here. I would probably sell my 40-150 in that case. I was interested in reading your review to see if it was worth selling the 40-150 and getting the 175mm regardless, but I don't really see a need to do so.
     
  4. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
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    I just compared the two on the GH2 and I don't feel that there's much a difference, I really can't tell which one is faster. I compared at 45mm and at max. focal length (140 and 175mm resp.).

    BEGIN RANT *** On another note: Panasonic, stop this nonsense of thin lens caps and return to the old ones! The thin ones fall out of my hands all the time! What's the use anyway, apart from some stupid marketing reason?! :mad: *** END RANT
     
  5. Holmes375

    Holmes375 Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Jan 6, 2010
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    Thank you for taking the time to do this for me.

    I'm looking forward to the new zoom becoming available in my region. Should be a very nice compact walkabout lens for what I want to do.
     
  6. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    That's good to hear. Most telephoto zooms seem to suffer at the long end, which I believe is where most of us use them.

    Does the zoom ring feel heavy when turning as a consequence, or is it no more difficult to turn than the typical zoom ring on a long telephoto? I'm glad that there is an alternative to the silly power zoom switch.

    I'm guessing that part of the reason is that the lens barrel doesn't extend out like on other tele-zooms that lack internal focusing. I think that feature alone would be a real attraction for the m43 segment.
     
  7. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks for the review. One question though, where did you get it? I'm not aware of any shop in the Netherlands that has it in stock.
     
  8. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
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    The zoom ring has the right amount of friction for me, it feels fine. Most importantly it's smooth, much unlike the Panny 14-45mm which isn't smooth at all, but sticky.
    I bought it in Germany at topfoto, but it's already out of stock there. Koch in Düsseldorf still lists it as in stock. Like you I haven't seen it anywhere in The Netherlands. I checked a number of stores daily and topfoto and Koch came up with it the same day.
     
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  9. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    You folks in Europe are lucky. I thought I may pick one up in Japan on an upcoming business trip, but the Yodobashi Camera's website is showing this lens as a pre-order for future release. Amazon Japan likewise gives a release date of October 13 which isn't too far away. The weak dollar means $525 through Amazon Japan compared to Amazon U.S. pricing of $449, but it looks like a wait of 1 to 2 months here.

    One more question Ad: Does the front of the lens barrel rotate? I like using my polarizer, and it is a PITA when it rotates on focus.
     
  10. Thanks!

    Ad, thanks for the initial impression review and images. Any follow up impressions with the passing of time & use of the lens would be appreciated. Especially comparisons against the 45-200mm. Similar images, less clunky factor and quicker focus speed relative to the 45-200mm. Time to save some $$s.

    Do you feel this lens is better sealed from environmental elements than the 45-200mm?
     
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
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    I'm a little late :rolleyes: in answering this, sorry! :redface::redface: No, nothing moves on the outside when it's focussing. Apart from what you move yourself (ring or buttons), nothing else is moving during zooming either. But you've probably found out in the meantime :smile:.
    I haven't used it since I bought it, I'm waiting for the firmware update, which is due tomorrow, so that OIS may be useable. The last weeks I've done stationary subjects only and consequently I've used my legacy lenses almost exclusively. Can't say from experience if it resists rain and dust better than the 45-200mm; I guess it should because focussing and zooming are internal so there's hardly anything through which dust and rain can come inside. Let's wait for the first brave/unlucky user who can present factual evidence :smile:.