Monday, June 3, 2013

Lumix 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH X Revisited

A friend who bought an Olympus OM-D recently, decided to supplement his 14-42 (Eqv 28-84) f3.5/5.6 "kit zoom" with a telephoto zoom. He had his eyes on the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm f2.8 zoom, he nearly fainted when he found out how much this chunk of a glass cost!

A whopping NZ$ 1,959.00 at our local Photo Warehouse in Wellington city! Since he is a poor photographer like me, who have to save up our pennies for photography addiction; he came and seek a second opinion on an alternative cheaper lens.

First, our friend wanted to know why his dream lens cost so much more than something nearly in the same range, a Lumix 45-175mm f/4-5.6; which is also a "X" lens! The zoom range of this cheaper lens is even longer than the 35-100!

At the same Photo Warehouse, the lesser lens cost NZ$ 748.00, that was what I pay for mine a year ago.

I explained to our irate friend that his dream lens is a zoom lens with a constant f/2.8 setting, even at 100mm setting; the cheaper 45-275 will drop to f5.6 once you zoom past 50mm! In low light situation, the difference of TWO f stops can mean getting or missing a good shot.

With a large and brighter f2.8 light gathering ability, I think the more expensive lens will also focus faster! Like him, if I can afford it; that will be my preferred M43 telephoto zoom too!

As you can see from the chart above, there is also a 45-150mm f4.0-5.6 zoom from Panasonic, this more compact lens is sold for NZ$ 399; however, this is not a "X" lens which have built in power zoom for a smoother effect in video filming.

However, before our friend bonk down NZ$ 750.00; he wanted assurance that the "cheaper" zoom lens is "sharp enough" to my standard!

I dug into my archives and see if I can show him some "sharp enough, to my standard" shots to make him happy ;)

Black bird at 175mm f8 1/400 sec, this is the full picture; I will crop and pixel peep below.

It look sharp enough to me, was it sharp enough for you?

The short end (45mm) of the zoom lens, f5.6 and 1/3,200 sec! Is the "short end" of this zoom as sharp as the "long end"?

This is nearly 150% of blowing up! Not bad at all, for a "cheaper" zoom ;)

Long end of 175mm and full aperture of f5.6; looking good!

Her hair could be sharper? Blame the Wellington wind, not the lens; they don't call this city Windy Wellington for nothing ;)

Straight off camera raw, no tweaking. Pretty spot on red rendition!

.... and yellow!

Pretty good resolution if it can resolve a spider web?

I find the "cheaper" zoom is also ideal as a portrait lens...

At 70mm (140mm eqv) full aperture of f5.6, this compact zoom is ideal as a portrait lens, well; may be a bit over sharp for that purpose?

Famous Last Words...

After using the huge, lighting fast; large aperture Canon L lenses when I was with the papers, focussing response of this $750 zoom is not as fast as I like. But then for $750, it did a pretty good job ;)

Me with the Canon BIG GUN, 300mm f2.8 L lens, covering the 1999 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The last I heard, our friend went and bought himself the "cheaper" lens ;)

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Lumix 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH X Lens on OM-D

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