Shooting with the Panny 45-200

So while Nick is currently traveling around Italy taking photos, I thought its up to me to keep some updates coming from here in San Francisco. I will post some pictures from around San Fran in a future post but for now I thought I would do a post about the Panasonic 45-200mm telephoto lens. This is not so much an in depth review as it is just a discussion about this lens.

45-200mm @ 200mm and f5.6

I recently took this lens around South Africa for 6 weeks and now I am currently putting it through its paces in San Francisco. The first thing I must say about this lens is if you are tight for cash and want a telephoto, buy this one. It is not the best lens I have ever used and in fact at 200mm often it struggles quite badly, but the value for money is incredible. For such a cheap lens there are not many that can beat it.

The above image was shot at 200mm and came out quite well, however there are a few things this lens struggles with at full extension. The first being the sharpness disappears towards the long end of this lens. The colour and contrast also start to diminish. Through photoshop and lightroom or which ever software you prefer, however often images are un-saveable.

45-200mm @ 150mm f5.3

At 150mm the lens performance greatly improves, As you can see from the image above the sharpness colour reproduction and contrast are much more crisp and vibrant. It is at 150mm that I feel this lens is worth the money. Clear and sharp at 150mm for the minimal price of $225USD from This lens was a great companion on safari in South Africa and became one of my hated and most loved lenses; hated because it was the cheapest but most used lens, and loved because of being able to capture images like the ones above. Memories I will have forever.

45-200mm @ 115mm f5

This lens however is often a little hit and miss. Its puzzled me for a while now trying to find the reason for the production of sub par images. As with the above image shot at 115mm the reproduction of the thorn bush seems very average. It seems the high contrast and strange definition and clarity of certain images struggle with this lens. However the average images seem to be few and far between so I still recommend this lens as a good cheap choice in a telephoto.

45-200mm @ 140mm f5.2

This lens has been my only long telephoto for the last few months. I am currently heavily on the hunt for an upgrade. Ive been shooting a lot of the Americas Cup lately and wishing I had a slightly nicer lens, however in the m43 range my options are very minimal. The Panny 100-300 or the Oly 75-300 just seem a bit meh. Not so much of an upgrade over the 45-200 for the price. Currently my ideal lens would be the 50-200mm four thirds lens. Im hoping Olympus will re release this lens in m43 format. Rumour has is something is coming in September so fingers crossed! untill then I plan to keep pushing the 45-200mm.

Q: Im on a budget and I'm going on safari, Should I buy this lens or just stick with my standard kit lens and crop zoom?

A: You are an idiot. For the price this lens is an absolute no brainer. Its no 70-200 F2.8 L series canon but it will cost you petty change and create some images that you will savour forever. I know I will.

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