Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm f/4-5.6 OIS Review

I just receive a new Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-200mm lens from my dad, even though i specifically asked him for the ‘Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95’, chances are, i won’t be able to get the lens anytime soon due to it being not in stock right now. I am however very please to find another lens to use on my GF-1 after using the default 14-45mm lens for more than 3 years now. Now, this review is based on a not so technical camera user with a lot of information in his head. So just enjoy and read ahead.

First Impression:
Having to live with 14-45mm lens for so long, i had to either move closer to the action or miss the action all together. Having the 45-200mm lens really makes life easier, not only it zooms further, it also have a somewhat shallower ‘Depth Of Field'(DOF) despite having an aperture range of f/4-5.6, which enables me to create bokeh which i dreaded so much. (one of the reasons i want the Nokton), but i need to be atleast 1m away from a person just to focus on the head.

Build & Mechanism:
Just like the 14-45mm lens, the lens is a mixture of plastic and metal finish with rubberized zoom and focus control. It’s makes for a silent mechanism which minimally interfere with the audio when you are recording a video with your camera. It also allow you to take pictures without anyone knowing, save for the sound of the shutter. When fully extended to 200mm, the extended parts shows little to no loosening sign, in other words, it is quite sturdy. It offers a build-in auto focus mechanism, which does not work when there is no connection between the lens and the camera ( when using an extension tube). There is also a build-in image stabilizer, the Panasonic O.I.S which works wonder especially when using the lens free hand.

Pros: Silent, Pretty Quick, Sturdy, Zooms pretty far

Cons: Focus hunting in low light, rubberized ring may get loose after some time, needs connection between camera and lens to work

A shallow ‘Depth Of Field’ is really fantastic when you want to differentiate your subject from the surrounding. And this lens have a very good ‘Depth Of Field’, while normal lens can do macro, a telephoto lens can do telemacro, i.e you can achieve the same effect as macro from meters away,

But having an aperture range of f/4-5.6 really does have an effect when using the lens indoor or during a bright daytime, your picture are more likely to be underexposed or overexposed during those times. So what i did was cranking up the iso or use flash indoor and use higher shutter speed and the lens hood during daytime.

Creating Bokeh:
Unlike the 14-45mm lens, this lens can actually make decent bokeh effect, the circular blurring effect, whether it looks good or not is anyone’s guess. The only bad bokeh in my mind is the donut bokeh or the ones with bright centered bokeh, neither of which is produced by this lens.

out-of-focusing a picture is the easiest way to create bokeh, i intentionally created one just to assess the bokeh effect of the lens.

Edge: Slightly Bright
Double Lines: Slight
Aperture Shape: None
Overall Effect: Pleasing

Sample Pictures:


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