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VINE VOICEon 18 June 2010
I have a full frame DSLR and an Olympus PEN for travel shots; my wife has a Lumix G2 so this lens made sense for us to share.

I mention the SLR because because for those thinking of getting smaller gear instead of full size it might be relevant.

Firstly, this is quite a big lens compared to other micro 3/4rds lenses - much bigger and heavier than the kit zooms. With a reach equivalent to a 400mm in 35mm terms, this is to be expected. However, it is very well made and considering the reach the reach the actual size is not too bad.

The image quality is very good - I've read some reviews that say it lacks contrast but I don't think this is the case. So far then, on both the Pen and the G2 it scores really well.

So why 4 and not 5 stars? The OIS image stabilisation works, but not as well as the 70-300mm zoom on my Canon. At 200mm (400mm equiv. on a full frame) it's quite hard to keep it steady without high shutter speeds, which requires good light or high ISO.

Having said that it's the only game in town as far as long zooms go for micro 4/3rds; I'm glad we have a good one from Panasonic!
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on 9 November 2009
The G1 is just an amazing camera, but I was a little diasspointed with the range of zoom that came with the standard lens. This is a must have lens to really make the most of the fabulous picture quality of the G1.
Great zoom (although Id still like a little more), nice, light and compact. Good optical stability on maximum zoom although in poorer light the definition is lost somewhat (though this is not necessarily a fault of the lens, it is bound to happen, just a bit of a shame).

All in all, a great lens, and a real must for anyone wanting to make the most of their G1 for anything other family snaps.
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on 28 August 2009
Considerably heavier than the camera it's designed to work with and those with chubby fingers may have problems as the lens body comes very close to the hand grip. However, the images produced are very good and I was surprised at the quality on maximum zoom, better than similarly priced Sigma lenses for DSLRs in my opinion but then the G1 produces excellent images anyway!!! Compliments the kit 14-45 lens and the image stabilisation works well. It's worth noting that if you own a blue or red G1, the lens is only available in black AFAIK!
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on 22 January 2010
I bought this lens to use with my GF1 on a recent trip to South Africa and the results are amazing. I have the 20mm, 14-45mm and now this lens. I must say i rarely use the 14-45mm lens as the 20mm produces stunning images and this adds the extra range I need. When shooting RAW the photos are crisp and clear and I think even better than my brothers more expensive nikon dslr.
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on 23 August 2010
While this lens represents excellent value for money, it follows the usual pattern of compromises that effect most consumer telephoto lenses in being very sharp from the wider end in this case 45mm toward its mid point but then slowly gets softer toward 200mm end.

With this format I found that there are very few alternatives within a sensible price range that are a comparable to the cameras body using them, many alternative from Olympus and Leica are 3 or 4 times the cost of the camera body. Given the price point I think you get good value with this lens. If you are planning normal sized prints and not looking to crop too deeply at the long end its unlikely you will be dissapointed.

As with all zoom lenses there is a weakness and with this its the long end of the zoom where it is quite soft, the autofocus hunts a bit at the log end as well, again common to other similar lenses.

To sum up, Good value, effective stabilisation but nothing special optically at the long end, but unbeatable at this price.
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on 23 February 2012
I bought a Panasonic G3 with the standard Made in China 14-42mm lens and quickly did a few trades on eBay to end up with the earlier, and superior, 14-45mm MIJ version which is just a little sharper but much better on the construction side with a metal mount and smooth zooming action. The 45-200mm is just as good as its MIJ little brother with very smooth action and, unusually, no zoom creep. Very sharp indeed and excellent colour even at the 200mm extended range which is where most tele-zooms loose a noticeable amount of contrast and appear soft. The image stabiliser works well and I have not noticed any blurring even at the 200mm setting. The lens is a little on the heavy side for a Micro-4/3rds lens and may defeat the object of downsizing from an APS-DSLR. It comes with a nice lens hood which would be a very expensive option for a Canon or Nikon lens. Overall--very pleased and happy to give a 5 Star rating taking into account incredibly low price, quality feel and results at the long end that are as good, if not better, than my previously owned gigantic Canon EF 70-300mm IS. Micro 4/3rds is becoming more popular so don't hang about as prices will start to rise as Panasonic cannot keep producing a quality zoom in this price range for long. Even worse, they might switch to "Made in China" which could make the older MIJ versions soar just as the 14-45mm MIJ is doing already on ebay. And no, I don't work for Panasonic!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 November 2009
I normally use a Nikon D700 SLR but for when I want to go ultra light I swap to my Panasonic GF1. The 20mm lens with that camera is great for general purpose but not good for distant detail.

So I bought this lens - at £249 I didn't expect amazing image quality but I was plesantly surprised!

I compared it to my partner's Fuji s8000 super zoom and also my Nikon D700 with 70-300mm lens. The Fuji's max zoom is around the same as this Panasonic lens - 400mm. The results from the Fuji are appalling! Soft image even in the centre of the image. The Panasonic was nice and sharp in comparison. However the Nikon cleanly beat both of them with a phenomenal image quality - very, very sharp.

However my Nikon is 2000g in weight with the 70-300 lens - the Panasonic + lens just 750g - I know which one I enjoy carrying on a long hike!

I also compared image stabilising - the Panasonic's is nowhere near as good as the Nikon's but still better than nothing. The Nikon stabilising lets me shoot 3 stops lower - I find the Panasonic its just 1 stop on the whole. Its also a very quiet lens - which I appreciated when shooting some nervous deer recently and got some acceptable shots with the Panasonic lens.

So while this lens may not beat a top SLR it does produce images far better than a compact SuperZoom camera and a worthy addition to your camera bag.
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on 3 December 2009
I use with a Panasonic Lumix GF1 12.1MP Digital System Camera 20mm Lens Kit - Black. Results are very good considering the small size and weight. Much much sharper compared with a Canon Powershot S5. Some vignetting / purple fringing at max zoom when taken against a light sky or white background but not drastic.
Overall not bad. Adds a fair bit of weight to the GF1 but is still a very light set-up and very portable. OIS works well but is not fantastic in poor light - you'll need a tripod. On good bright days however the results are excellent.
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on 1 September 2010
I have had the Lumix G for several months and was frustrated by the lack of a longer lens. This beauty is easy and quick to fit and gives my photography a much wider range than before. Can't fault it and strongly recommend it for price, quality and ease of use.
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on 23 April 2010
I needed a longer focal length lens for use with my Olympus at equestrian events. This Panasonic lens appeared to offer the best value for money in the range I was looking for.
It appears to be fully compatible with the Olympus, having first remembered to disable the lens antishake device ( not required with the E-P1)
I have been very pleasantly surprised with the consistency and quality of the results, many taken at full apperture and maximum focal length.
The lens certainly meets the range of my requirements and, in my opinion, is probably the best buy!
It also appears to confirm that the entire range of Panasonic micro four thirds lenses can be used with the Olympus cameras!
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