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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 27 November 2016
Fantastic lens! It fits my LUMIX GX7 just perfectly, taken some lovely distance and close up shots with this one. I would have shared some but I don't have them to hand. I'd definitely recommend if you're looking for a lens to add to your current collection. I have a 45mm lens and now this beauty that reaches 200mm.
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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 12 December 2012
I have just made the move from an APS-C DSLR system, a Canon 40D, to the Lumix G series. Swapped my 40D body for two G Series bodies, the G1 and GF1. The 40D was an impressive camera, great for motorsports but it was such a brick. Bolt on the Canon 70-300 IS or Sigma 70-200 F2.8 and you have a real heavy lump of a setup. Decided to have a change in direction, already love my Panasonic FZ48, so decided to go the G Series route.
Absolutely no regrets. Image quality is simply superb from the G1/GF1. The standard 14-42 lens does a good job but needed something with more reach to replace the Canon 70-300 IS USM. Budget was tight so the options were small, in fact it took mere seconds to realise that the Panasonic 45-200 was the only sensible option. And was fortunate to pick up one for £199 and still get the £50 money back deal.
Have to be honest, i was only expecting cheapo 70-300 quality, something along the lines of the Canon 70-300 MkIII or Sigma 70-300 DG. Cheap lenses with mediocre image quality, poor zoom action and bargain basement build.
But was very pleased with what arrived. Nicely boxed, complete with hood and pouch. Nice manual. A good start.
Once on the camera it felt right at home with the G1. Complete outfit still feels light and manageable. Zoom action is superb, really smooth with no stiction. Build is also very good with tight tolerances.
Autofocus is fast and reliable. While the Mega IOS works like a charm, allowing some silly low shutter speeds in lower light. Have no scientific figures to say whether its as good as the Canon system but the lowest shutter speeds seems comparable to what i managed with the Canon 55-250 IS and 70-300 IS lenses.
I have no complaints with image quality. Yes it is sharper from 45-150 and then tails off a bit there after but nothing like the Canon 70-300 tails off beyond 200. I was always mildly disappointed with the Canon 70-300 as i thought the Canon 55-250 was actually a better performing lens for a fraction of the price. The Panasonic 45-200 is a bit like the Canon 55-250 in that performs beyond what its price point would suggest. So is superb value for money.
Nice lens, definitely recommended!
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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 5 August 2011
The standard lens supplied with the Panasonic Lumix G2 is limited to 14 to 42 mm, so I wanted to expand the range. The 45 to 200 mm lens allows for a wider zoom range, while offering the same quality of photographs as the standard lens.
The lens is easy to use and offers automatic focussing with the Lumix G2 camera. It has inbuilt image stabilization, which can be switched off. Zoom is via a twist grip on the lens, which is a natural mechanism to use. Manual focussing is also possible, using a second twist grip, if automatic focussing is switched off on the camera.
The only drawback is the weight and bulkiness of the lens. To get a smaller and lighter lens of same quality would have cost much more. Since it is designed for the Panasonic Lumix series, it was the most suitable lens to buy. However, 200 mm is still rather limiting.
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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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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 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 6 March 2011
When you purchase the Panasonic Lumix G2 it has a very high quality lens, the only thing it misses is the capability to zoom in close to items in the distance. The Varion 45-200 gives you all that, the quality is fantastic even with moving items. Highly recommended even at the present cost.
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