Top positive review
30 people found this helpful
The most underrated lens in the entire lineup!
on September 20, 2012
I've been using this lens for the last couple of months with Olympus E-PM1 to great success. Very sharp wide open at all focal lengths even for distant objects. I have not experienced any OIS issues others have been reporting. OIS is disabled on Olympus bodies so I wouldn't know anyway. The lens is light and compact (46mm filter thread), the zooming is internal so the lens does not extend. Power zoom feature (optional) is very useful for video and also for stills. I find it very precise and superior to manual zooming. I use power zoom exclusively with this lens. The pace of zooming is control by how hard you tilt the toggle conveniently located on the left. Image quality is superb. Great color, contrast and sharpness across all focal lengths wide open, no need to stop down (it doesn't get visibly better anyway). My experience is in agreement with many reviews which said that the lens is optimized for wide open shooting. This is important because it is not a bright lens and one would have to watch the shutter speed so using apertures as large as possible is recommended.
Compared to Olympus 40-150mm (I used to own one), Panasonic 45-175mm is better in every way:
- Better optics. The lens is sharper especially for shooting at a distance (you would need to stop down Oly 40-150 to f8 to get acceptable corner to corner sharpness, plus Oly is not that sharp at full zoom)
- Has noticeably better contrast and color
- Slightly faster AF especially at full zoom but more so in lower light (tested on same body). The AF is significantly faster during video (C-AF) vs Oly 40-150mm (same E-PM1 body)
- Internal zoom (IMO, all zooms should be like this, we're in 2012)
- Power zooming (invaluable for video). Yet regular manual zoom is still there
- Useful additional zoom range (175mm vs 150mm)
- The lens is supposedly a little longer than Oly 40-150mm but it feels smaller due to much smaller filter thread (46mm vs 58mm) and feels much smaller in actual use due to internal zooming (Oly feels gigantic when extends and easily overwhelms small m43 cameras)
- MUCH better build quality, rubberized zoom/MF ring, solid metal mount, made in Japan
- Comes with a very nice and compact reversible hood, pinch lens cap (perfect for use with the hood) and a lens pouch