Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 Mega OIS : The boy in the box.

Photography isn’t cheap these days considering the afflux of new models of cameras and lenses that are indeed more and more expensive. Many manufacturers clame this is the only way to survive with niche products that generate large gross profit marges. In fact many good entry level models in the small mirrorless planet have been phase out and not replaced if you carefully observe the MFT catalogs for example. Fortunately the lens selection remains almost untouched although we didn’t see cheaper new optic venues on the shelter lastly.

The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm Mega OIS is the king of little beast that is often part of a combination offer with the usual camera body/standard lens duet as a complementary telephoto zoom optic intended for a more infrequent or exceptional use. So accordingly its price point is very very low as  it is for its construction cost.

The Lumix G Vario 45-150mm Mega OIS is in fact a slow speed zoom lens considering its variable maximum aperture of F4-5.6. The compromise in low light situations can be fairly destructive for the quality level in its final imagery output. By using slower shutter speed and higher ISO the lost quality cost may be too strong to get more prestigious results. So this optic need more light and best support to be able to reach an acceptable picture. In that view your rate of success will decrease significantly if you compare it let say to your normal standard lens.

The lens construction seems surprisedly good for this price point. The control zoom and focus rings are smooth to use and offer a acceptable resistance that guaranty a good setting maintaining. The rear mount metal plate is another plus value. The auto-focus is quick and silencious. Manual focusing with the lens can be done accurately without too much control ring travelling.  Very close focusing is not available on this optic although you can work at a starting closest distance of your subject of 3 feet or 1 meter approx. which is good for near face portrait session.

Because the Lumix G Vario 45-150mm OIS is an easy lens to use doesn’t mean you will get outstanding pictures in every situations to say the very least. Dont be fool by the “look” of the picture on your camera rear screen after the shoot because in that small magnification all picture seem sharp and saturated. To be sure it is better to use the loupe option and examine fine details of the subject.  Fo moving subjects it is more advise to select first an higher shutter speed to prevent blurry results. Panning your main subject can help to stabilise the main subject and create a blurry background. Choosing an accurate aperture can be also a challenge especially if your main subject need an higher deep of field to be all in focus. The more you are zooming the lens to its telephoto limit the more you have to pay attention to the basic parameters selected (shutter speed, aperture, exposure, stability, etc).

Metal mount a good surprise at this price point.

Many people that are reviewing zoom lenses will say that this type of optics have a general tendency to loose its definition when you set them at their maximum telephoto ability. In fact any zoom lens is an optic compromise between all their focal position. Today with in-board camera auto-corrections it became more difficult to actually “see” the differences. As a personal general rule of thumb I wont invest on an optics that is not able to perform decently all over its focal length which is an absurdity if you pay for the partial use of a product. So what about the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm OIS lens? At 150mm focal setting, the lens can deliver average image output but nothing outstanding if you compare it to more professional products such as the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS. And that is also true that if you are selecting a lower focal lenght setting you will get better results. My modest advice is if you intend to work on a regular base with a telephoto optic you are far better to wait and get a more higher quality level product.

And the end what can we conclude regarding the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 Mega OIS zoom lens?  As a bonus product, this kit telephoto zoom lens can be an interesting part-time entry-level option. The optic is well build and easy to use. But the picture results are on the average-good level depending on the focal length selected. If you are considering to use such a product on a more critical and intensive base, you may look to the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 35-100 F4-5.6 OIS (or the Pro F2.8 version) as a better optically alternative optic.