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Really impressed with Panny 45-200mm zoom...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Adams.rt, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. Adams.rt

    Adams.rt Guest

    Well, I have to admit to being stunned at the results of my most recent lens test. I just picked up a beautiful copy of the Olympus E.Zuiko 135mm F/2.8 Auto-T and set up a tripod test with my cheap-o 45-200mm that I picked up for $199 on Amazon. I went into the test with an expectation that the beautiful older lens would really show well against the newer lens. I couldn't have been more wrong.

    I ran through all of the aperture settings with both lens and had the same custom white point set on the camera (another big surprise was the results of the color renditions of each lens. I posted the comparison that presented me the greatest surprise, the cheap-o zoom shot wide open at 135mm (or as near as I could achieve (actually registered as 144mm when matching the fields of view against the other lens). The E.Zuiko was shot at f/5.6. Not only is the "kit" lens sharper across the frame, the contrast is better and the color rendition is far more accurate.

    I not only have a much greater appreciation of the potential of the 45-200mm lens, I now have no real reason to keep the 135mm except to shoot in low light handheld, where it really doesn't excel anyway. I wasn't sure if there were others who might appreciate the test but I can honestly say that it really increases my enthusiasm for a lens I didn't really give much credit!

    The first shot is from the E.Zuiko and the second is from the 45-200mm for both the full frame shots and the 100% crops. Pretty surprising to me. Way to go Panasonic!

    Attached Files:

  2. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    If you have a "good copy" of the 45-200 it is actually an excellent lens with excellent resolution at focal lengths below 150 to 175mm. Modern zoom lenses are pretty amazing when it comes to sharpness. Usually the larger question is how they do in the corners and edges, but the 45-200 is actually very respectable there as well.

    Older adapted lenses, sometimes even primes, suffer from the fact that they were designed for a 35mm frame and so often their resolution doesn't look great when used on a 2x crop sensor. Depending on the lens you can even have an older prime lose to a newer zoom on contrast because modern coatings are very good. Not only that but modern design and software allows for much better baffle and glare stop design, apparently there is a whole art to that as well.

    Anyway, your results tend to match mine. Most legacy primes don't offer anything at the same apertures as the modern zooms and at the wider apertures they often soften up and lose contrast. The legacy primes that do perform really well tend to also be so expensive it is a questionable trade compared to more compact native primes with AF and electronic apertures. Still, adapted glass is a lot of fun regardless!

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  3. Mr.Kilawin

    Mr.Kilawin Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 23, 2012
    I have 45-200 myself but not a good copy and I was not happy with it but after reading more about the lens I found its a decent lens when you know how to deal with its minor issues.
  4. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I had one for a while that was very, very impressive. All I can say is if you're getting good results, enjoy and hang onto it!
  5. tm3

    tm3 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2011
    given that most vendors have a 30 day return period, how do you go about determining if the lens you received is a "good copy?"

  6. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I fully agree.I had this lens and loved it but I sold it as I wasnt using it too much . I had a pretty good copy actually .
    Here are two pics shot with my EPL2 and this lens

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  7. greyelm

    greyelm Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2010
    I love my 45-200. Here's a recent shot with my G3.

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  8. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    The 45-200 was the worst m43 lens I ever had but I must say that below 100mm it was very sharp. Sold it and bought myself 3 takumars instead.
  9. absolutic

    absolutic Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 21, 2011
    I used to own 45-200 which was ok, as some of the posters here posted, up until around 120 or so, and then it would become gradually soft toward 200 end. So this time when I got back in m43 I got olympus 40-150 instead which are cheaper (at least refurbs from Cometa) equally as sharp at the same range, and lighter in weight and smaller. Shooting with Olympus, image stabilization is not an issue
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