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Review Panasonic 45-175 mm 4.0-5.6

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The number of lenses for micro-43 cameras is increasing steadily. In September 2011 Panasonic released the Panasonic 45-175 mm zoom lens, which at first sight overlaps in focal length range with the Panasonic 45-200 mm. A big difference between these two lenses is that the Panasonic 45-175 mm lens is equipped with a Power Zoom, making it more suitable for the photographer who also wants to make videos. Note also that the Panasonic Power Zoom 45-175 mm lens weighs 210 grams only and is much lighter than the Panasonic 45-200 mm lens, which weighs 380 grams. If you buy the Panasonic PZ 45-175 mm together with the Panasonic 14-42 mm X lens, then this combination - in terms of zoom range- can compete with the Panasonic 14-140 mm. But will it make a difference in image quality?

Panasonic-45-175-review-blog

Panasonic-45-175-review-FOV1
Panasonic 45-175 mm f/4-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ @ 45 mm
Panasonic-45-175-review-FOV2
Panasonic 45-175 mm f/4-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ @ 175 mm
The 4x zoom range of the Panasonic PZ 45-175 mm is equivalent to the range of a 90-350 mm zoom lens on a camera with a full frame sensor. For a lens with a focal length of 350 mm (@ full frame), this lens is remarkably small and light.

Construction and autofocus

 
The lens body is largely made of plastic, in order to save weight as much as possible, but the lens mount is made of metal. The lens comes with a pouch to store the lens in and a lens hood. The supplied lens hood can be placed upside down on the lens, which is useful during transport.

Focusing with the test camera's (Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-M5)  is fast and quiet. The latter is especially important for those who want to use this lens for video. Zooming in or out using the switch on the lens is very fast and therefore requires some time getting used to it. In the beginning you will quickly zoom past the focal point that you really wanted. Fortunately, you can also manually adjust the focal length with a wide zoom ring. The Panasonic 45-175 mm has a built-in image stabilization (OIS Power), which you control via a menu on the camera.

Specifications
Panasonic 45-175 mm f/4-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ
Image Stabilization:+
lenses/ groups:14/10
length x diameter:90 / 62
filter size:46
Weight:210
Lens hood:+

Vignetting

 
Up to aperture 5.6 you can observe some very light vignetting, as shown in this image. The Panasonic 45-175 mm performs good, here. Especially when you consider that Imatest measurements of uncorrected RAW files yielded exactly the same results for vignetting as jpg files that came straight out of the camera. Apparantly here is no in-camera correction of vignetting applied to the jpg files.

Move your mouse over theimage in order to see the Imatest results for vignetting.

Panasonic-45-175-review-vignet-sample

Distortion

 
We have analyzed the distortion of jpg files from a Panasonic GX1 measured. Over the entire zoom range, the distortion is negligible! This is a very good performance. RAW files are processed in Lightroom or Photoshop show the same good values.

But if you open the RAW files with a RAW converter that no correction of the distortion run it, then show the images taken with a 70 mm focal length greater than 1% distortion. That is still very common, but less perfect than the deformation of RAW files in Lightroom / Photoshop or jpg files.

Move your mouse over the image for the deformation of unadjusted RAW files.

Panasonic-45-175-review-distortion

Bokeh

 
We look at each test the background blur with a fixed test setup, which includes a number of lights in the background are processed. The bokeh of the Panasonic 45-175 mm is us, all at a focal length of 175 mm, very expected.

Bottom left you can see the bokeh at a focal distance of 45 mm, which is slightly more rings are visible. Bottom right you see the bokeh at a focal length of 175 mm. The bokeh is pretty smooth, but not quite round.

Panasonic-45-175-review-bokeh2
Panasonic-45-175-review-bokeh1a Panasonic-45-175-review-bokeh2a

Flare

 
The Nano Surface Coating on the lens elements, according to Panasonic, ensures reduction of ghosting and flare, maintaining an extreme brightness in your images. Yet we are able in the studio to induce ghosting and flares at focal lengths  across the entire zoom range. Here is an image made at a focal length of 45 mm. 45mmflare
Here is a image made at a focal length of 175 mm. About the radiation is limited to a much smaller area than at a focal distance of 45 mm. In practice, we test, thanks to the supplied lens hood, no ghosting or flare encountered. 175mmflare

Resolution

 
Over the entire zoom range delivers sharp images, notably at the extreme focal lengths 45 mm and 175 mm, the angles uitesrte something behind in sharpness at the center. But at the other focal lengths you will see no difference in sharpness between center and corners. Panasonic-45-175-review-Resolutionmini

Chromatic aberration

 

The Panasonic 45-175 mm X includes ED glass lenses, designed to suppress chromatic aberration. Sometimes Panasonic applies in-camera correction of chromatic aberration. With the Panasonic 45-175 mm you will not suffer from chromatic aberration.

Below at the left is a high contrast image with on the left a red rectangle. At the right you see the corresponding 100% image area, which indeed no chromatic aberration is visible.

Click on the image.

Panasonic-45-175-review-CA-mini
CApraktijkoverview CApraktijk

Conclusion Panasonic 45-175 mm f/4-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ review

Support CameraStuffReview with a purchase @ Amazon

Look in our list of reviewed lenses or in our list of reviewed micro-43 lenses to compare the performance of this lens with that of other lenses.
ECWYSIWYG score: This table shows the performance of this lens when you save the files in the camera as jpg, including all in-camera lens corrections (distortion, chromatic aberration). This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".
68
135
8.1
7.1
9.2
8.8
9.9
100
200
7.2
6.0
8.9
9.0
9.8
150
300
7.5
6.3
9.5
8.5
9.8
175
350
7.3
6.2
9.0
8.4
9.9
45
90
7.3
6.2
9.3
8.7
9.2
Overall
Overall
7.0
5.9
9.2
8.7
9.7

Pros

  • Good optical performance
  • For video: Powerzoom
  • Optical Image Stabilization

Cons

  • More expensive than the Panasonic 45-200 mm, which also has a larger zoom range

With the design of the Panasonic PZ 45-175 mm, Panasonic has succeeded in further miniaturizing a telephoto zoom lens without compromising on quality, as is shown in our review. At a focal length of 68 mm, the Panasonic 45-175 mm, like the Olympus 75-300 mm at 75 mm, is better than many fixed focal length lens on a camera with an APS-C sensor.

Since we haven't tested the Panasonic 45-200 mm yet, we dare not advise on the choice between the Panasonic 45-200 mm or the Panasonic 45-175 mm PZ. See the review @ m43photo in our review-overview above, But if I had to choose between the combination of the Panasonic 14-42 mm X with the Panasonic PZ 45-175 mm or the Panasonic 14-140 mm lens, I would buy the power zoom combination. Although you will occasionally have to change the lens, you'll have a much more compact camera and a higher image quality in return.

Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

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Comments (13)

  1. Anthony

Hello,<br /><br />I just wanted to know if this DMW-GTC1 teleconverter will fit on this lens.<br /><br />thank you

 
  1. alex shoe bookseller

hello,<br />i was going to purchase a 14-140mm thinking i will have all in one, but my lady think is to heavy even for a few hours shooting, i think she is right, it is why i will ask you this question.<br />i am not a expert...but i am studying...

hello,<br />i was going to purchase a 14-140mm thinking i will have all in one, but my lady think is to heavy even for a few hours shooting, i think she is right, it is why i will ask you this question.<br />i am not a expert...but i am studying to be... i thought i would buy a 14-42 ( or 14-45 what the best? and a additional PZ 45-175 to shoot object as far may be the 14-140mm will do or approx , i am not really sure if it would work.<br />i can really find a book showing samples, and i am bookseller ( used ) !<br />what do you think?

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  1. alex shoe bookseller

my name is alex, from switzerland, and i live in florida.<br />i am 60.

 
  1. Archie

Thanks. short and sweet review, one of the best online. Surprised that I am the first one to comment.

 
  1. Ivo    Archie

Hi Archie,<br /><br />Thanks for the compliments for our Panasonic 45-175mm review. We really appreciate it, and are flattered by your opinion.<br /><br />Since we're a relatively long website with a small team, we're gradually working our way up...

Hi Archie,<br /><br />Thanks for the compliments for our Panasonic 45-175mm review. We really appreciate it, and are flattered by your opinion.<br /><br />Since we're a relatively long website with a small team, we're gradually working our way up in Google. The amount of comments increases accordingly.<br /><br />Greetings from Holland!<br /><br />Ivo

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  1. Frank

A very useful and insightful review. I recently purchased this lens partially because of this review. Its an amazing little lens on my G5. It is quite close to my canon 70-200 L f4 lens at f8. Thanks for a great review.

 
  1. Ivo    Frank

Hi Frank,<br /><br />Thanks for your feedback. We really appreciate that!<br /><br />Ivo

 
  1. Bil Whelan

Came by this lens when I purchased a Lumix GX1 in excellent used condition. The lens is an excellent size to use in conjunction with the PZ 14-42 lens. Together they make a great travel package. Both work smooth for stills as well as motion. Very...

Came by this lens when I purchased a Lumix GX1 in excellent used condition. The lens is an excellent size to use in conjunction with the PZ 14-42 lens. Together they make a great travel package. Both work smooth for stills as well as motion. Very light combo. Do recommend getting firmware update.

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  1. Ivo    Bil Whelan

Thanks for your contribution Bil, <br /><br />Greetings from Holland,<br /><br />Ivo

 
  1. Reginald Williams

I can't get image stabilization to work. Have tried IS auto, IS-1, etc., as well as IS-OFF on camera body. Are there other settings I must change? HELP!!! Desperate in Costa Rica! Thanks.

 
  1. Ivo    Reginald Williams

Hi Reginald,<br /><br />The IS settings you mention are for the in-body Image Stabilization of the E-M5. It should work if you choose the settings you mention. If the IS works, there is a small hiss you can hear.<br /><br />After a firm-ware...

Hi Reginald,<br /><br />The IS settings you mention are for the in-body Image Stabilization of the E-M5. It should work if you choose the settings you mention. If the IS works, there is a small hiss you can hear.<br /><br />After a firm-ware update for the camera (if I remember it well), there was also an opportunity to choose "lens IS" (I have seen it at the OM-D E-M1). But I am not sure whether you have this choice on your E-M5 and the lens IS is less efficient than the Olympus IBIS.<br /><br />From such a large distance it is difficult to help. I wish you luck!<br /><br /><br />Ivo

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  1. Steve Spitzer    Ivo

I have had this lens for a few years, but seem to remember from either the documentation or a firmware update that the image stabilization will not work unless the lens is mounted on a Panasonic camera.

 
  1. Ivo

i don't have an e-M5 avaialable to check it, but from reading the manual I expect in lens IS could work:<br /><br />The E-M5 manual: <br /> When using a lens with an image stabilization function, turn off the image stabilizer function of either...

i don't have an e-M5 avaialable to check it, but from reading the manual I expect in lens IS could work:<br /><br />The E-M5 manual: <br /> When using a lens with an image stabilization function, turn off the image stabilizer function of either the lens or the camera.<br /><br />It defintely works with the E-M1From the E-M1 manual:<br /> <br />"When using a lens with an image stabilization function switch, priority is given to the lens"<br /><br />Regards,<br /><br />Ivo

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