Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens review - Part 1

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens

I'm now an X-man!

My trip to the Hampshire coast reawakened my interest in telephoto zooms, though the weight of my Nikon 55-300mm on my D7000 was a bit off-putting. Yesterday I saw Amazon were selling the new Panasonic 45-175mm X zoom via an audio-visual company I'd never heard of. However it was a good price and it arrived this morning.

The first thing to mention is its very light. Not particularly small as you can see from the pictures, but its not heavy. Its 210g which is slightly heavier than the 14-42mm zoom which is 165g. 

There are some comments I've seen that say it doesn't manually zoom, well it does. Its a strange action though, it feels like its "floating". Thats the best way I can describe it. Its an unusual action but works well enough. The power zoom switch works well too, and I will see how it works for video in a later post. It is however something I'm not used to and I always use the lens barrel to zoom. I'll force myself to use the switch and report back on that. There is also a firmware update for these X lenses and I'll load that and see what it does.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
144mm f/5.5 ISO 160 1/10 sec.

If you've noticed the settings for the above picture you'll realise that the mega OIS is very good indeed. 1/10th. sec. at a 35mm / full-frame equivalent of 288mm is pretty impressive. There is some slight movement, but that was the horse. Other images I took at these slow shutter speeds were equally successful, so well done to Panasonic with this.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
175mm f/6.3 ISO 160 1/640 sec.

Image quality is pretty good. This isn't prime lens sharpness, but its way better than the 45-200mm I had a while ago and its encouraging to see that it doesn't become soft with vignetting fully extended, as many lenses of its type do.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
122mm f/5.3 ISO 160 1/100 sec.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
175mm f/5.6 ISO 160mm 1/800 sec.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
107mm f/6.3 ISO 160mm 1/500 sec.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
175mm f/5.6 ISO 2000 1/400 sec.

PPanasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
45mm f/7.1 ISO 160 1/640 sec.

From my initial impressions, it seems an excellent lens. Operationally its very good, and I'll get used to the somewhat different zooming action in time. The stabilisation is very good indeed and the image quality, sharpness etc. is good while not spectacular. However it is somewhat better than I was expecting. The lens certainly produces nicer looking files for me than my Nikon 55-300mm. It doesn't become unusable at its longest end and when its good, its very good. I've yet to find the "sweet" aperture, but I obviously need more time with it. 

I'll post again when I've worked with it some more.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
175mm f/5.6 ISO 160 1/500 sec.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
116mm f/5.3 ISO 200 1/250 sec.

Panasonic G3 Lumix 45-175mm X lens
175mm f/5.6 ISO 160 1/500 sec.