Review: Panasonic 45-200mm f/4.0-5.6 Lumix G Vario MEGA OIS Zoom Micro Four Thirds Lens
Panasonic apparently do not believe in catchy names for their lenses. But it does at least tell you exactly what you're getting.
Since this is a micro four thirds lens you're looking at a zoom of 90mm to 400mm on the standard 35mm scale. That's a pretty good range and certainly brings things much closer to you.
I got the chance to really put this lens through its paces during my Disney World trip. I was regularly switching between this and my standard 14-45 kit lens.
Obviously it was great in the animal kingdom for getting really close to animals, but it also works rather well for parades when your view angles are somewhat limited due to the crowds. You can also take unposed shots without shoving your camera in people's faces. I got pretty good at doing on the fly swapping of the two lenses and it's certainly very practical to have them both handy even on long outings like that.
Of course like any zoom lens it does weigh quite a bit more than the smaller lenses and inevitably it makes the camera front heavy. Since it's a micro 4/3rds it's not really that heavy in comparison to mirror lenses, but this lens easily weighs more than the camera it's attached to.
That said, it's light enough that you absolutely can handhold and shoot even at relatively slow shutter speeds. I don't know if I would go much below 1/50th at full zoom if I wanted to be sure of getting a shot though.
As far as shot quality is concerned there's nothing but good things to say. Images come out sharp and I haven't noticed any distortions or fringing. It may be a budget price, but it's a quality lens.
If you're looking for a zoom lens for your micro four thirds camera this is the one you want.
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