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Preliminary review of the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom
Introduction

 

 

The lack of a Leica brand doesn't appear to detract from the 'budget' kit tele zoom for the Lumix G1

In this article we take a first look at the Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom for the Panasonic Lumix G1. We will be testing the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 more thoroughly at a later date. However, we have had some limited time with the lens to get an idea of what the lens is like to use and to have a taste of its performance. Below is a gallery of pictures to give you a feel for the lens itself and on page 2 of this article we have full-resolution 36 sample images taken with the lens. Thanks go to Dennis Pitchforth, who lent us his own lens while Panasonic UK was still waiting for extra press evaluation units to be delivered.

As we have come to expect from the G1 and its standard zoom kit lens, the 45-200 is impressively small. It has an equivalent zoom range of 90-400mm. With a maximum aperture ranging from f/4-5.6, the 45-200 is not very fast, but Panasonic's in-lens Mega Optical Image Stabilisation (Mega OIS) is effective at maintaining sharpness when the shutter speed has to drop.

Shared 52mm filter thread size

Like the 14-45 standard zoom, the 45-200 shares the same size 52mm filter thread. The filter mount end of the lens does not rotate when focusing, which is good news for users of polarising filters, though the supplied lens hood does not have a door in its side so you can access the filter and rotate it without removing the hood. Incidentally, besides the lens and hood, a lens pouch is included in the box.

No Leica branding

Although the 45-200 is classified as a 'budget' choice lens, with no Leica branding, I was very satisfied with the performance of the lens in the limited time I had to use it. Sharpness and contrast throughout the zoom range appear good. I was also able to enjoy some good bokeh from the de-focused areas the frame and the aperture blades produced circular highlights. Unlike some entry-level lenses from other brands, a metal lens mount is afforded to the 45-200. As construction quality goes, the 45-200 is as good as it gets in this class of lens.

Fly by wire manual focus

Although the lens is compact and light, it handles well on the G1. The generous sizes of both the focus and zoom rings is certainly positive. Like most Four Thirds family lenses, the focus ring is not mechanically connected to the focus motor in the lens, instead actuating the focus motor electronically. Autofocus performance was generally very positive, with little evidence of hunting, though it did struggle occasionally when the focus was extremely out initially.

Image samples for you to download

I look forward to testing another sample of the 45-200 more intensively in due course, but in the mean time please enjoy the selection of original camera images we have for you to evaluate on page 2.

Product tour gallery

Below is a gallery of views of the 45-200 lens itself. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger view of the picture, plus a caption describing each picture.

 



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Check the latest price or purchase options for the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro via
Buy through Amazon and you will help fund this site
Amazon Germany is currently the only European Amazon outlet that supplies electronic goods like cameras, printers and scanners priced in Euros.
Each Amazon outlet can ship to most countries in the world.


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Preliminary review of the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom

Four Thirds User editorial team Preliminary review of the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom
Here at Four Thirds User we've had a chance to try out the 45-200mm Panasonic Lumix G kit tele zoom ... (more)

DennisP Re: Preliminary review of the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom
Ian - Thanks for posting the images from the Lumix G1 with the 45-200mm lens. Incidentally you got... (more)

Ian Re: Preliminary review of the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom
My profound apologies, Dennis! It's corrected now :) But thank you once again for the use of your... (more)

alfred_uyb Re: Preliminary review of the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom
Hi Ian, From what I read ( at other sites and several user's review), it seems that the Olympus kit... (more)

Ian Re: Preliminary review of the Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds telephoto kit zoom
I'm not sure that is the case. The Lumix G 14-45 seems every bit as good as the Digital Zuiko 14-... (more)