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on January 12, 2013
I bought this lens fully aware of the reputation it has. For those of you unaware, this lens has a serious flaw in the Power OIS that renders it unuseable between 1/60 to 1/200 second. So why a four star rating and not a one? For me, I can live with it. I have had weak IS before (my EF 70-300 never seemed to be that effective) but when this thing works it works amazingly. I have never owned a telephoto that would allow me to beat the 1/focal length rule significantly- this lens will allow you to hand-hold down to 1/4th at the full 175mm! It is true what the other reviewers said- you shouldn't use the Power OIS beyond 1/30 of a second, but above 1/200 it works perfectly fine for me. The current GF3's firmware even actively avoids these problem shutterspeeds so long as you are in auto ISO.

That said, from an optics standpoint this lens works great. I feel it is easily a match for my EF 70-300, but at a bare fraction of the weight. Like most zooms, it does help to stop down, but with the smaller image circle on the Micro Four Thirds this stopdown is generally a full stop wider than with an APS-C system. For this lens, I have found that for lengths up to 150mm it sharpens up at f5.6 and doesn't improve much beyond that. At 175mm, the lens is noticeably softer (but certainly still useable) and can be further sharpened at f8.

The build quality is good- not "L" grade but decent. A very nice feature is that there are no moving external parts, so there is no risk of developing play in any of the lens tube elements as often happens with extending lenses (again, my 70-300 is terrible in this regard). This also allows you to attach fairly heavy filters or closeup adapters to the front without fear of damaging anything. It is very lightweight and small- so small in fact that I can always have it in my Domke satchel bag (as opposed to the Canon telephoto which is too big and heavy to carry without a large camera bag or lens case). Having the 46mm filters is a real plus as well (saves a ton of money and space for filters).

Where this lens really shines is in the fast and reliable autofocusing. On my GF3, I have gotten many more keepers out of this lens than out of the EF 70-300 simply due to the contrast-detect autofocusing and ability to use high-magnification on the viewfinder/screen. While this is true for all Micro-Four Thirds lenses, this is especially valuable on long lenses like this where even slight calibration issues will lead to disappointment.

So in summary, if you are looking for a light-weight walkaround telephoto for hiking and can live with having to plan your shots, this lens is a great choice. There are other obvious options out there (Olympus and Panasonic both make several lenses in this range) but to date this seems to be their best option if size and inherent ruggedness are your considerations. That- plus the fact that it tends to be heavily discounted due to the IS flaws- makes this a steal if you can get it under $300.
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on February 28, 2012
The best lens is the one you have on your camera when photo opportunity arises. This lens is very compact (smaller than it appears) so that you can literally slip it your coat pocket (with GF3) and take it anywhere. You can get a lot of candid "street shots." I read that the Panasonic 45-200mm is just as good and cheaper but it appears a lot heavier.

I updated the firmware (with GF3) right from the beginning and never have problem with diplopia (double images) at the reported "trouble" shutter speeds (1/100, 1/160, 1/200).

I'm a "plane spotter", shooting photos of fast-moving airplanes. I usually shoot with the Canon 70-200mm II f/2.8 IS, which is razor sharp. But sometimes when my shoulders start to protest (70-200mm is heavy), I use the GF3 + 45-175X. If the Canon 70-200mm is a "10", I would say that the 45-175X is probably a "8".

I highly recommend it as a travel and take anywhere lens.
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on May 12, 2012
Compared to 45-200mm much smaller, lighter and doesn't extend when focusing. Nice touch - even though the filter/cap size is 46mm, with the hood attached in reverse position, it accepts 52mm lens cap (the smallest available white balance with white milky dome in the center "Canon style"). In addition to better portability compared to 45-200mm, better balance on G1, perfect on G3. The 45-200 makes both "nose heavy". Depending on your shooting style that may be an advantage, Ken Walsh reviewing the black lens on Amazon found that its heft helped him to steady the camera (an excellent review!).

Not sure if it's nano-coating or additional default in camera image correction (v1.1 firmware) but pics shot in shady woods look brighter/contrastier with true to life colors, the way my eyes see w/o post processing. Couldn't believe when first saw it...

G1 (v1.5 firmware): not as bad as on G3 but visible doubling in the range 1/30-1/200. Over 1/500 excellent sharpness (handheld), photos of flowers at max zoom comparable with my best macro lenses on K-5 (both resolution and color). In broad daylight the lens seems brighter than other lenses, almost too bright. In P mode at ISO100 and 1/2000 f-stop goes to >>11. One needs ND filter for shooting light-colored/white objects.

G3 (v1.2 firmware): inconsistent tele focusing in S mode (misses close focus, gets confused in the midrange), better in P, no such "mechanical" problems in iA+ (except for the tendency to shoot at 1/30-1/50 which is evidently too long for 350mm). Also, both G3 and the lens run hotter than usual and there is a visible lag after pressing Play button. It looks like in S-AF the lens is in constant unnecessary communication with the camera (focusing, IS or ...) overloading the and other processor. I double checked all the settings, disabled all suspicious options (Qaf etc), to no avail. Never had any problems with 6 other lenses.

With recent prices around 0.02k 45-200 vs. 0.03k 45-175 the latter looks like a very attractive choice. The 45-200 looks like a Zepellin next to 45-175! Unfortunately its quality seems to be inconsistent (mine was Made in Japan).

If anyone had similar problems or have a suggestions/solution, please comment.

P.S. Net search pointed to the fact that G3 by itself is smaller than G1/GH-1,2 with much smaller grip (and much more slippery because of absence of rubberized coating). Thus, it is more difficult to keep it steady during focusing that further aggravates the inherent OIS problems of the 45-175. Someone recommended avoiding the minimal size focusing area (cross-hair) at max zoom to make focusing more reliable.

6-14-2012. Send for exchange to Amazon, instead a new one received a box from Return Departments with new address label slapped over an old one with a used lens returned by someone to them. No surprise its IS was even worse that of my 1st one. Apparently Amazon "recycles" the returns in hope to get rid of them. Makes no sense since they are wasting their money and our time. My first negative experience with Amazon withing >10 years. Will file a complaint and keep exchanging until I get a good copy. Painful but the lens is worth the efforts!
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on May 15, 2012
I'm using this with my GH2 (lens firmware 1.3). I like it very much for the following:

- Very pleasing bokeh on closeups
- Smooth powered zoom in video mode; it would be nicer if the speed can be reduced further.
- Light weight and compact size

I haven't experienced any 'double image' issues so far.
I was a a bit concerned about a sort of a clicking noise when the lens is shaken lightly. It seems to be normal - the replacement I got also had the same noise.

About noise when zooming:
When power-zooming in video mode, it is very quiet until I reach 175mm, then there is a slight noise and a change in exposure. But this does not happen while recording! (see the attached clip)
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on July 9, 2013
OK, I am NO EXPERT (yet, there is hope!) but I love this lens for a several reasons. I like how it's solid, I like how it fully uses all my Lumix Camera's abilities, I liked how it had very good reviews from people who know camera stuff WAY MORE Than me, I like how it was affordable, I like how I can hold my camera by the lens easily when not using the camera (very few controls and barrel does not move easily) and I like that I am finding non flash photos are decent - light wise. I only got this recently, so I can't comment on sharpness, but one can read the (seemingly) endless reviews you can find online. Based on a ton of reading, and NOT wanting to spend $500-$1000 on a lens, this lens (under $200 purchased used from Warehouse deals, excellent as usual) was the right choice to MODESTLY increase my Lumix 'kit'. Would I love some of the prime and or pancake high end lenses too, sure. How about a Leica Lumix lens, Maybe some day... I have a red GF5 with this lens and bought is with the 14-42 (The "X" one, not the long one... the one that closes down when not in use and is very small).

I plan a few trips this summer and will try and update this review when I have more experience with this lens and results in the form of photos!
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on February 24, 2013
This lens is incredibly small for the focal length it represents. The lens produces is very sharp images and a power zoom feature which is great for video production.
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on January 10, 2014
Good lens but not as sharp as some reviewers make it out to be. The power zoom is cool and works well. The zoom speed is also adjustable for both picture and movie mode. The internal zoom is nice too. It doesnt look like one of those cheap barrel zooms that extend when zooming.
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on November 5, 2012
This len is fantastic. It works very well in daylight and the i.s. system is designed perfectly for people who used to shoot on hand.
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on October 25, 2013
Great Lens!!! Not going by the specs and putting the lens to use in a professional Still and Video environment it performed flawlessly! Hand held long lens is a breeze with its image stabilization. Setting my GH3 to a 5.6f I was able to do zooms without any jump or decline in f stop. Although it's not para focal I was still able to get very usable shots. I would recommend to the micro 4/3's video shooter that needs the capability of a power zoom! Really nice long end of the bottle wide open Boaka! Can't beat it for the price!
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VINE VOICEon February 15, 2013
I have just gotten into micro 4/3. I was impressed by the reviews of newer micro 4/3 bodies. I am an old 35mm user and I previously had an E-volt 410 which I really liked. But I wanted something smaller and that would capture video. There are some great point and shoots. But I wanted faster focus, crisp and fast shooting, and to have access to a wide variety of lenses and creative control. I also wanted something that took good video.

But I also wanted to go light and compact. So here is why in my opinion someone wanting a telephoto for their m43 should consider this over the 45-200. Light and compact. That had to be one of the reasons you went for m43. This weighs I believe 210 grams compared to 380. It is also remarkably compact. It takes astounding video. Probably you went m43 to also have good video capabilities.

I watched many YouTube videos of the 45-175 in action compared to the 45-200. You can see a definite edge to the 45-175. It focuses faster when zooming in and out and is a much smoother zoom. The video quality is also professional quality. Well I can say outside I have gotten the best video I have ever shot from cameras and even stand alone camcorders. Panasonic calls these lenses 'HD' and they were designed with pictures AND video in mind. And it shows.

Pictures are incredibly detailed and vibrant. I am using a DMC-G3 and outside there is a very fast focus. It locks quickly. I haven't noticed the problems of double images. This lens was shipped with firmware 1.1 so maybe that is why. I was concerned about that but ultimately even if it had been an issue I think the positives and the 95% of the time when it probably would not have been an issue were okay with me. There is good bokeh. I have uploaded a pic of leaves taken the day I got the lens on intelligent auto on the G3. I think pretty impressive.

Is the lens perfect? No. Indoors it can hunt for focus and the video is good indoors but not superb like the outdoors. But I did not intend this to be my indoor lens. Don't get me wrong I have taken many good pictures and videos indoors trying out the abilities of the lens, it is just better suited to outdoors.

Overall given how light and compact it is, the excellent picture results, and the even better outdoor video, I highly recommend this lens. I feel like I am getting a lens for the next 5 to 10 years of m43 use. I personally like taking video. Maybe because I have a 2.5 year old. So spending a little more for a nano-coated much more compact lens was worth it. Check out the YouTube videos. If video and picture quality is important as well as size and weight this is the definite zoom lens you should get for your m43.
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