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Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm/F2.8 ASPH Lens with MEGA OIS for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
| 9 answered questions

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DPReview Silver Award
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 89%
See review summary and sample images
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Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.


  • 45mm focal length; equivalent to 90mm on a 35mm film camera
  • Uses both an aspherical lens and an ED lens comprised of fourteen lenses arranged in ten groups
  • Inner focus motor system makes action smooth and silent when capturing still and video content
  • Minimum focus distance can instantly be changed to 150mm or 500mm
  • Used with Lumix G Micro System Cameras, allows for use of the advanced contrast Auto Focus (AF) system
22 new from $472.91 12 used from $449.00
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Technical Details


Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Silver Award October 2009
It's a very appealing little lens, and its diminutive size captures the gestalt of the format perfectly. Optically it is, if not quite top of the class, still very competent indeed
Andy Westlake Andy Westlake
89%

Conclusion

In many regards the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH is a very appealing little lens, and its diminutive size captures the gestalt of the format perfectly. Optically it is, if not quite top of the class, still very competent indeed - and the 1:1 magnification offers intriguing creative possibilities.

Reasons to buy

  • Very good, if not quite outstanding, optics
  • Extremely compact and lightweight
  • True 1:1 macro
  • Reasonably effective image stabilization (but really need to use mode 1)

Things to consider

  • 'Focus-by-wire' manual focus gives no tactile feedback
  • No distance or macro ratio scale
  • Rectangular lens hood doesn't reverse for storage
  • Slow maximum aperture not ideal for portrait use
  • Image stabilization ineffective at macro distances
  • Expensive

Suggested for

True 1:1 macro work, where this lens's strengths really shine.

Not suggested for

Everyday photography, where the somewhat ineffective O.I.S. stabilization and relatively slow maximum aperture are limiting.
Poor Excellent
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Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
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Product Description

Product Description

For LUMIX G Series Digital SLR Cameras Micro Four Thirds Mount 90mm Equivalent In 35mm Format Capture Subjects in Actual 1:1 Size Minimum Focus Distance 0.5'

From the Manufacturer

The world's first Leica Micro Four Thirds lens, the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm/F2.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S., features exceptional image quality in a compact size.

The Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm/F2.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. (equivalent to 90mm on a 35mm film camera), features outstanding image quality that meets the renowned Leica standard. The new Leica lens uses both an aspherical lens and an ED lens comprised of fourteen lenses arranged in ten groups. This lens takes advantage of the Micro Four Thirds specifications to achieve a dramatic size decrease, while also minimizing distortion and glare. Panasonic's Mega Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) suppresses the blurring that is commonly caused by hand-shake, making it easy to shoot sharply-focused macro shots even in dimly-lit places without the need for a tripod.

The Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm/F2.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens incorporates an inner focus motor system that makes action smooth and silent when capturing still and video content. By flipping a switch on the lens barrel, the minimum focus distance can instantly be changed to 150mm or 500mm (approximately 5.9 inches or 19.7 inches respectively). This lens excels when taking portraits, mid-range snapshots and landscapes, in addition to macro shots.

When mounted on Lumix G Micro System Cameras, the Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm/F2.8 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. lens allows for use of the advanced contrast Auto Focus (AF) system, which includes Panasonic's Face Recognition functions. It's comprised of seven blades, which produce an attractive and smooth background blur effect when shooting at larger aperture settings. These lenses also feature a highly-reliable metal mount, and use multi-coated lens elements to minimize glare and further enhance optical performance.

Product Details

Warranty Offer [PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches ; 8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • ASIN: B002NKM29C
  • Item model number: H-ES045
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: September 1, 2009

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
The Panasonic/Leica Elmarit 45mm F2.8 macros is a little bit controversial because of it's price. However there are a lot of considerations. Built by Panasonic but designed by Leica and built to Leica supervised quality standards.

This lens is quite small and light, a perfect match for the mFT (Micro Four Thirds) cameras as size and weight are design considerations to match the systems. It is very well built solid construction with a blend of plastics and metal. Compared to better quality Macro lenses it is smaller and lighter by a good margin. It is most often compared to the Olympus Zuiko 50mm F2 which is one of the finest macro lenses built for the four thirds sensor systems or any system for that matter. The 50mm is heavier, larger and requires an adapter to be used on mTF cameras. On olympus mTF 50mm autofocus works erratically, on Panasonic mTF autofocus of the Olympus 50mm does not work at all, you must use manual focus . Auto aperture works with both. This same applies to any other "legacy" macro from other manufacturers. You can get adapters for about 90% of all legacy lenses made to use them with mTF cameras but most will be either fully manual, standard four third lenses will work with auto aperture but only some will provide autofocus. However, as of this writing, the 45mm F2.8 Elmarit is the only macro lens designed and built specifically for the mTF system cameras (Olympus and Panasonic). Some mTF zooms provide some very close focusing but none of the zooms provide true macro.

The 45mm is an internal focus lens. This means that regardless of focus distance the front element of the lens never extends or changes position.
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I've had the Panasonic 45mm/f2.8 lens for a month now and have taken many thousands of pictures with it on my GH1. Macro photography is challenging, but I've gotten some great macro pictures of insects and plants and even some marginal 1080p24 macro movies of insects in action. And with minimal effort I have gotten by far the best indoor and outdoor portraits of any that I've taken with the 14-140mm kit lens or the 20mm/f1.7 lens.

Initially I purchased this lens for macro purposes after seeing Microcosmos for the umpteenth time but over the past month it has become my favorite all-around micro 4/3rds lens. It's faster than the GH1 kit lens and it does not have the wide angle distortion of the 20mm/f1.7 or the 7-14mm/f4.0. It has the best color rendition and the most pleasing bokeh of those other lenses. This lens provides the best portraits and the best macro shots, so it's my favorite walk-around lens. I still use the 20mm/f1.7 for extreme low light and confined quarters, but I have developed an aversion to the way that its 20mm focal length distorts people's faces.

As a macro lens, the 45mm/f2.8 provides 100% magnification, autofocus, and autoaperture. I don't use the autoaperture for macro shots because the camera prefers f2.8 which results in slight vignetting and unusably shallow depth of field. Nor do I use the autofocus for extreme 100% magnification macro shots because it hunts too much and manual focus is more effective for such situations. I use autofocus for more moderate 25-50% magnification macro shots and for portraits and other non-macro pictures. Autofocus hunts at macro distances but is fast and accurate at regular (non-macro) distances with the focus limiter.

This lens is better used for macro stills than macro movies. To achieve maximum 1.
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I will keep this quick as well - I have used many truly excellent lenses for my DSLR(s), and like prime lenses for their clarity and bokeh. In micro 4/3, I currently use the Lumix GF1 - and love the Panasonic 20 mm lens for use with it - a sharp, excellent lens that amounts to a 40 mm effective length in use (highly recommended).

I like taking portraits of people, and wanted a little more reach than the 20 provides - admittedly, I did not purchase the lens for strictly macro work - I like head-and-shoulders images.

The lens is fantastic, ultra sharp with terrific colors - small, fast-focusing and VERY accurate in focus. Bokeh looks great, and I am now torn when going out trying to decide which lens to have on the camera - this really says a lot, as the 20 mm is so very good and has been the one to use up to this point. IF you are wondering if this lens is really worth the higher price, I have to say that yes, I am sold - color, clarity, sharpness, speed - all tops.

Also, I am a bit surprised about how much I like the OIS - it works very well, and really helps a lot - I have more "keepers" in tougher, lower shutter speed situations. I feel that anyone who wants to get closer but keep the narrower depth of field this f 2.8 lens provides will really like this lens - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED -

Steve
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Verified Purchase
I purchased this lens based on the reviews on the Internet and this site. I've taken a variety of pictures in different settings in the last day and I must say the lens exceeded my expectations. I've paired it with my Panasonic GH1 and the auto-focus is very fast. The lens really is a light sponge taking low-light photos of exceptional quality. I've attempted to take photos in various light conditions and lengths and I can say this lens produces the best quality photos I've taken with the camera. While it is expensive, if you are interested in taking the best pictures you can with a compatible Micro Four Thirds body, this is the lens for you.
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Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm/F2.8 ASPH Lens with MEGA OIS for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras
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