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Customer Reviews

98
Panasonic H-FS45150K Lumix G Series Lens (Black)
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Price:$239.00+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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149 of 151 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon March 7, 2013
If I could give this lens 4 1/2 stars I would since it isn't without a couple of small flaws. When considering build quality, size, function, image resolution, and price it is deserving of 5 stars.

Build:
The build quality is excellent for a lens at this price. It has a metal mount unlike the 14-42mm kit lens and a brushed metal feel to the lens barrel unlike the cheap plasticy feel of the kit lens. I've played around with the Olympus 40-150mm lens which sells for a little less than the Panasonic 45-150mm. The Olympus in comparison has a plastic mount and a very cheap plasticy feel.

Size:
The Panasonic 45-150mm lens is very compact for a telephoto zoom with stabilization. The lens diameter is the same as the 14-42mm kit lens and it's length is only a centimeter longer which is astonishing. My Nikon 70-300mm lens in comparison is twice as long and almost 4 times the weight as the Panasonic 45-150mm. Compactness is a major selling feature with the Micro 4/3's system and this lens is the best telephoto zoom for allowing you to maintain that compactness. When comparing other Micro 4/3's, the Panasonic 45-200mm lens in is roughly 3cm longer than the 45-150mm and the Olympus 40-150mm is a centimeter longer.

Function:
The lens is designated with an HD basically saying that it is designed to work well when shooting videos. I haven't shot any videos yet with it but I can say that the zoom is very smooth and the focusing is near silent which is necessary when shooting videos. The smooth zooming is a huge improvement over the choppy zoom of the 14-42mm kit lens and much smoother than the Olympus 40-150mm as well. The stabilization is also designed to work continuously when shooting videos which is unlike my Nikon 70-300mm VR lens. The focus of the Panasonic 45-150mm lens is very fast. Not quite as fast as the kit lens which isn't a surprise considering it's a telephoto zoom. One thing that should be noted unlike most other telephoto zooms with stabilization this lens doesn't have a on/off switch on the lens itself. You have to go through the camera to turn the stabilization on/off.

Image Quality:
Before using the lens I read reviews on review sites that this lens was only sharp for portrait or zoo type photography because it wasn't sharp when shooting at infinity. Also that it wasn't sharp at 150mm. I found those both to only be partially true. From my test shots, I found the lens to be soft only when shooting at infinity at 150mm. When testing lenses I photograph a book shelf full of books straight on while the camera is on a tripod. I also use the timer so there isn't camera shake from me pressing the shutter button. With the Panasonic 45-150mm I photographed the bookshelf at 45mm, 60mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 150mm. For each of the focal lengths I photographed with the aperture wide open, f/5.6, and f/8. At 100mm and 150mm wide open was f/5.6 so I only took 2 photographs at those focal lengths. I found the image quality to be impressive at wide open with excellent center sharpness and very good corner sharpness. Oddly enough at f/5.6 with each of the focal lengths the image quality looked just a touch softer across the frame but still very good overall. At f/8 the image quality was excellent across the frame, including corners, even the center sharpness at f/8 was slightly crisper than wide open or at f/5.6. Knowing it can produce excellent images across the entire frame, including corners, at f/8, I decided to go outside and test the lens at infinity since that was a gripping point with some reviewers. For this I photographed a mountain range at f/8 at 45mm, 60mm, 75mm, 100mm, and 150mm. With each of the focal lengths except 150mm, the sharpness at infinity was excellent. At 150mm the image was obviously soft. Image quality dropping off at the extreme telephoto of a telephoto zoom is fairly common so I don't consider it a big gripping point especially considering it only occurs at infinity.

Price and Summary:
At the $220-$260 price range this is an entry level zoom. All things considered, build quality, size, function, resolution, this lens offers a lot of bang for your buck. The only downsides are image softness at infinity at 150mm and the lack of a stabilization on/off switch on the lens (I know some people that may bother but if you are used to not having it on the kit lens this lens is no different). Even considering those downsides I feel this lens is a no brainer for most potential users. It gives you the best of the Micro 4/3's, compactness and fast, near silent AF, plus it takes excellent images and has a solid build with smooth zooming for video work.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2013
This is a truly fantastic lens. It is small, compact, light weight, and sharp! I previously used the Panasonic 45-200, and immediately sold it after trying this lens. Despite having 50mm less reach, the compact size and improved optics make it the better of the two. And that's saying a lot -- the Panasonic 45-200mm lens is a great lens itself.

The lens is a great companion to the 14-42 kit lens included with many Panasonic cameras. With the two you'll be able to meet most of your outdoor photography needs. And if you really want a longer reach (for bird photography, for example), then adding the Panasonic 100-300mm will give you a complete package.
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96 of 110 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 8, 2013
Overall this lens has OK performance at a bargain basement price. There aren't other alternatives in micro 4/3 telephoto lenses that are much better, and they are almost all more expensive. But bad competition doesn't mean this is actually a good lens.

The Good:

It's compact, lightweight, inexpensive, has a metal mount, and has in lens optical stabilization. The focusing is fast and silent making it pretty decent for shooting video (hence the HD designation). The distortion, vignetting, and chromatic aberration are all excellent. It includes a lens hood that fits on both forwards for photos and backwards for storage. The lens cap has center squeeze points so you can easily remove the lens cap while the lens hood is on.

The Bad:

Sharpness is not very good. I'd suggest going to dxomark or ephotozine and looking at the test results. In my experience they bear out with what I'm seeing with the lens. Basically at 45mm it is a little less sharp than either of the 14-42mm or 14-45mm kit lenses are at 42/45mm. So you don't want to use it unless you need more reach. Which brings me to the 150mm sharpness. It can only be described, depending on your point of view, as mediocre or poor. At 150mm it is a bit more sharp at f/8 than at f5.6. But even comparing the f/8 sharpness it is still significantly less sharp than it was at 45mm, which is less sharp than the 14-42/45 kit lenses were, and keep in mind the kit lenses are significantly less sharp than any of the prime lenses including the Panasonic 14mm/20mm/25mm/45mm or the Olympus 45mm/75mm. It is just not sharp zoomed in to 150mm.

The light transmission on this lens is 5.2TStops, which is quite bad. It means you will be jacking up your iso a lot more than normal. At 150mm outdoors in direct sun shooting something that doesn't move from a tripod you can probably keep your iso down at 200. As soon as you take it hand-held you need a shutter speed faster than 1/200 to compensate for motion blur from the lens instability, I found 1/500 seemed necessary. You'd need that kind of speed for fast moving objects shot off a mono-pod or tripod too. Don't get me started on shooting into partial shade. Even wide open, which loses more sharpness, you will be likely shooting at iso1600 in these situations. iso1600 adds a lot of graininess to most micro4/3 cameras.

So what about the use case? What would you use a slightly blurry kinda dark 150mm (300mm full frame equivalent) lens for? In most cases you'd be better off using a sharper and brighter lens, pretty much any other lens you own, and walking closer to the subject. The cases that come to mind where you can't walk closer are sports and birds. The real question is if poor sharpness is good enough for these applications and if the lens has enough reach for these applications. I spent half a day trying to photograph herons on a river. I could get close enough that you could make out there was a heron in the photo, but never close enough to actually get any detail of the bird itself. Every time I would try to get closer the heron would fly away. I kept dreaming of the 100-300mm Panasonic telephoto and being 2x more zoomed in and how I might actually be able to make out a few feathers on my subject.

The Competition:

Panasonic 100-300mm - Costs 2.5x as much. More zoom. Sharper at 200mm and 300mm than this lens is at 150mm, 100mm sharpness is poor but 200mm f8 is sharper than any zoom/aperture combination on this lens. Similar light transmission issues.

Panasonic 45-200mm - Just a shade more expensive. A little more zoom. A smidge sharper in the centre but way more sharpness falloff to the edges. Also a little less compact.

Panasonic 45-175mm - Costs 2x as much. Teensy bit more zoom. Noticeably Sharper at 175mm than this lens at 150mm.

Panasonic 14-140mm - Costs 3.4x as much. More versatile covering down to 14mm. Better center sharpness at 140mm but poor edge sharpness at all focal lengths.

Olympus 40-150mm - Cheaper, costs 0.75 as much. No in-lens stabilization (OK for Olympus Cameras, but not most Panasonic). Terrible, atrocious edge performance at 40mm. Better at 70mm than this lens, at 150mm better center sharpness than this lens and edge sharpness falls off a lot but still almost as good as this lens. If you don't need the lens stabilization feature this lens is a better buy.

Olympus 75-300mm II - Costs 2.75x as much. No in-lens stabilization. Sharpness is great at 75mm and 150mm, much better than this lens, but at 300mm is even worse than this lens. If you have the money buy it and ignore the last 100mm of zoom.

Olympus 14-150mm - Not much solid information on this lens, but some people seem to really like it.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2013
This lens is my first m4/3 telephoto lens, as I purchased it bundled with my new Panasonic G5. The lens itself is incredibly compact, only a few millimeters longer than the stock 14-42 lens. It has a nice purple sheen that makes it stand out from my camera, and it looks absolutely beautiful to hold.

The lens, given the micro four thirds limitations, does not perform well in low light, and a sunny day is necessary to bring out its potential, but given the right conditions this lens is incredibly sharp and has a decent bokeh. The sharpness does drop off from about 120-150mm, but not horribly.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2015
Before buying this I had the Panasonic 45-200. That lens was not very sharp, the autofocus was slow, and it was a bit large and cumbersome. This lens doesn't zoom quite as much, only going to 150. However, it's drastically smaller and lighter. The image quality is a vast improvement, and the autofocus is really fast and quiet. If you really need that extra reach, there are other lenses out there. If you can afford the 35-100 2.8, you should probably get that. But if you are shooting micro 4/3, and aren't rich, you can pair this with the 14-42 f3.5-5.6 and have an incredible zoom range with quality that far exceeds the price you are paying.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2013
The mount is metal and feels good connecting to the body, the lens is smooth in movement and quick working with the autofocus. I had an Oly E-PL2 with Oly 40-150 and was pretty pleased, but as good as it was I prefer the Panasonic as it just feels smoother when using. I received this lens when I upgraded my E-PL2 for a Panasonic DMC-G5, the body had the non-PZ Vario 14-42mm lens. Super deal and the two have seen duty on several outings already. I love the near perfect overlap of these two lenses together. If your going for a walk you can shoot everything with this lens, from close up (focusable at 3ft to infinity) as a 90mm traditional lens all the way out to 300mm. (check into the way micro 4/3rd lenses are actually a 2x equivalent to the traditional 35mm standard most of us grew up with.) Anyway, I love this lens, sure there may be better lens available for more $ but again for the price this is a very serviceable lens.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2013
I purchased this lens as part of combo deal along with the camera. This lens if very high quality and is definitely worth the price. I am surprised at the size of the lens !! It's slighly longer than the 14-42mm kit lens that comes with Panasonic DMC-G5 inspite of it's long range. Very well worth the price.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2014
A perfect telephoto (zoom) lens for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC). The O.I.S. engages while REC is activated and works surprisingly well handheld on the BMPCC. Image quality and sharpness is up to par for a slow telephoto lens. All in all GREAT value for the money. I highly recommend this lens!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 12, 2014
PROS
> Sharp, inexpensive, very compact.
> Comes with a nice rigid plastic reversible lenshood which bayonets in place (whether reversed or in use)--these are all good things.
> Front lens cap (included) may be used simultaneously with the lenshood (whether reversed or in use).
> Rear lens cap included.

SHARPNESS
According to test results on the web, the image quality is unusually good (for a zoom) at maximum zoom, i.e., at 150mm (= 300mm in 35mm camera equivalent). Its more expensive cousins (the 45-175mm and 45-200mm) are not so good near the top end of their ranges. So, an image taken with the 45-150mm at 150mm, magnified and cropped to match the same image taken with the 45-175mm at 175mm or with the 45-200mm at 175mm or 200mm, should be of comparable sharpness and quality.

COMPACTNESS
At about 3 1/2" long (including the reversed lenshood, and front and rear caps), the 45-150mm is considerably more compact than the 45-175mm or the 45-200mm. (Length without the caps: 45-150mm = 2.87"; 45-175mm = 3.54"; 45-200mm = 3.94"). Coincidentally, the difference was critical for me. I had great difficulty in finding a truly compact case for my system. It turns out that a Lowepro Edit 110 Lowepro Edit 110 Camcorder and Camera Bag is perfect for me, but it could not have fit the 45-175mm or 45-200mm. I also purchased an Edit 130, which I use when I also want to carry around my Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro.

If the lens doesn't fit in your camera case, I suggest a Pearstone Oxyx 10 Case Pearstone Onyx 10 Lens Case (which I purchased for my macrolens)---you can wear it from your belt, or clip it to your case-strap with a carabineer.

> Even with image stabilization, it can be difficult to frame and focus at 300mm (35mm equivalent). Moreover, even with image stabilization, physical stabilization can greatly improve the quality of your images.
> I've found monopods to be very helpful. My favorate for travel is the tiny Norazza Norazza Monopod-lightweight TD140], The larger AmazonBasics monopod [[ASIN:B00FAYL1YU AmazonBasics 67-Inch Monopod is better for birding. For hiking I use a Stansport Outdoorsman Trekking Pole Stansport Outdoorsman Trekking Pole.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Lumix 45-150 yields a lot of reach within a petite form factor, allowing for stealthy transport into places where DSLRs dare not tread. Nobody blinks at my tiny Lumix GX1 "point 'n shoot." Once inside the venue, I mount the 45-150 and have 90-300 full frame equivalent reach in the palm of my hand! I can shoot wide open and nail sharp images.

I was surprised at the quality of this inexpensive zoom: excellent fit and finish, attractive design, 2 to 3 stops of effective OIS (optical image stabilization), hood included and very good image quality. The black 45-150 lens looks a lot nicer than the Amazon product image. There is no on-off switch for OIS, so you'll have to dive into the menus to disable image stabilization for tripod use. Although the barrel is primarily plastic, the metal (aluminum) shell on the main barrel is a nice flourish and the mount is metal. The zoom and focus rings turn smoothly, making precise control a snap. AF is quick, silent and silky smooth. Video buffs will groove on the smooth focus transition.

This telezoom offers a lot of magnification and even with image stabilization I need relatively fast shutter speeds or to use a tripod for sharp images. For example, shooting at 150mm I need 1/250 of a second or faster shutter speeds for crisp images. I find small cameras harder to hold steady than larger ones due to lower mass and grip area. I suspect reviewers complaining about soft images were experiencing camera shake, especially if shooting with the LCD at arm's length. For free standing shooting, I get more keepers using the EVF since I can steady the camera against my face.

Wonderful little telezoom: sharp, easy to travel with and a nice price!
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