Which tele zoom?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by itami, Aug 9, 2015.

  1. itami

    itami New to Mu-43

    Jul 10, 2015
    I was going to get myself a used Panasonic 45-200 but the reviews seem to be a bit mixed. Is the 45-150 a much better lens? I see that the latter doesn't have an IS switch - will this be a problem on an Olympus body with IBIS? I currently use a Panasonic camera but always like to keep my options open.
  2. I've been using the Pan 45-150 for the last 3 months now and I have to say it's got a lot of bang for the buck. Bought mine used for a very good price and in excellent condition. It may not have quite the reach of the alternatives, but it will give you very sharp images. It's also small and travels nicely. I consider both the 14-42 and 45-150 Panasonics as keepers in my system..even if I somehow fell into a ton of money and could afford the pro lenses. Not a problem on Oly bodies either..just configure the IS priority in the menu.
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I had a 45-200 that I bought when I got one of the first G1s. As a lens it was fine, but I found that the 45mm end was too long for a lot of my usual tourist photography outdoors and that constantly swapping with the 14-45 was at best a pain, sometimes impossible or impossibly slow to catch a subject. So I sold 'em both, bought a 14-140mm Mk 1 and had money left over. I have never regretted it. I now have the 14-140mm Mk II which is considerably lighter and is said to have better resolution. It's pretty much permanently attached to one of my GX7s, with the other GX7 body carrying my 9-18 or my 100-300 depending on circumstances.
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I bought a used one off the forum and it is very good at 200mm, outresolves my already good 40-150.
    (The stablisation I'm not impressed with)
    Be lucky Itami!
  5. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    May 25, 2010
    I found the 45-200mm to be about the same as the 45-150mm where they overlapped, in my own tests. Obviously, it goes longer, but weighs a lot more. The weight of the 45-200mm is actually an advantage in some ways, as I found it easier to hold steady at the longer focal lengths than the lighter lens.
  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    The 45-200 and 100-300 are older designs that don't handle CAF burst shooting (whether with DFD or PDAF) as well as newer designs like the 45-150 or 45-175.
  7. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    FYI The Oly 40-150mm R is on sale for $99USD.

  8. itami

    itami New to Mu-43

    Jul 10, 2015
    I hadn't considered a super-zoom. Is the resolution as good as the lenses with shorter range?
  9. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 28, 2013
    I have used a Panasonic 45-150 which was OK and nothing great so I sold it off. Now I have a 100-300 and it's way sharper from 100 to 150 all the way to 280mm.
  10. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Short answer:
    I don't know in any quantitative sense and I don't care.

    Long answer:
    When I was racing, I had my engines done by one of the two top engine builders in the country. I often wished that air freight shipments earned frequent flier miles! Early on, I learned not to ask Charlie about how much horsepower an engine was making on the dyno. His answer was always the same: "Adequate." What he meant was that if the car and I did our jobs properly, the engine would put us in the front row every weekend. And he wasn't kidding.

    The photography analog for me might be winning National Geographic's annual travel photo contest. I have owned maybe 8-10 different m43 lenses and (with the possible exception of the Tokina 300mm mirror) they have all been "adequate" to win at Nat Geo. It's just that I haven't been able to do my part.

    To your question: The 14-140 is adequate.

    Measured somewhat differently, all the lenses have been capable of producing a 15" x 20" print with entirely adequate sharpness unless the image was very heavily cropped, something I never do. Also, I guarantee that the bird or animal that you crop out of the center of an image shot at 42mm (because that's what you had on the camera) will be clearly inferior to the bird or animal that I fill the frame with at 140mm -- regardless of the MTF of the two lenses.

    Really, the only shortcoming I feel with the 14-140mm is that it isn't wide enough to give a sense of space when shooting interiors. My 9-18mm takes care of that.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    The Olympus 40-150 at the current $100 price (new!) might be the best value among all :mu43: lenses. I would put it up against any of the other (non-Pro) zooms in the system in terms of image quality. On the other hand, it doesn't have and image stabilization, doesn't offer as much reach as the Panasonic 45-200 and it has a bit of a "cheap" feel to it. I once saw someone refer to the O40-150 as a "gumball machine" lens, meaning presumably that it feels in operation as though it could have been sold for $0.25 in a vending machine; that comparison seems apt to me. Still you can't really go wrong at that price.

    My personal favorite among the non-Pro tele zooms is the Panasonic 45-175 PZ for two reasons: 1) I love the internal zoom mechanism, so that I don't have to worry about the front element extending, and 2) the 45-175 takes 46mm filters (as do the bulk of my other :43: lenses) which allows me to carry a single set of filters. I don't love the power zoom feature of the P45-175 but it still maintains the ability to zoom manually, and the power zoom is nice for shooting video.

    Regarding the IS switch on the 45-200, this will only be an issue on older Olympus cameras (those released prior to the EPL5/EPM2). With these older Olympus cameras there is no way to activate the lens' built-in OIS -- the built-in IS in the camera is your only option. With the more recent Olympus cameras you can choose to activate the lens IS in the menu system. So, if you think you may pick up a previous generation Olympus body, you may want to prioritize the 45-200, but otherwise there's no real reason to care about the IS switch.
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