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How Good is a Lumix G Vario Zoom Lens?

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How good is a micro four thirds Lumix G Vario zoom lens?

Micro four thirds lenses for electronic viewfinder interchangeable-lens or EVIL cameras like that manufactured by Panasonic and Olympus are increasingly getting popular among photographers. Micro four thirds lenses are smaller and lighter than those used for digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras.

For Panasonic EVIL camera photographers who are fond of taking pictures of wild life, there is a need to include a tele zoom lens in their arsenal of micro four thirds lenses. A Lumix 45-200 mm G Vario tele zoom lens is one of these relatively smaller lenses that fit the Panasonic G series and Olympus Pen E series of camera housing.

Considering that a tele zoom lens as Lumix G Vario is not easy to keep stable when shooting subjects from far distances, manufacturers integrated a stabilizing featurein the lens to enable photographers to take still good pictures even with a little shake from an unsteady hand. A Mega Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) switch in the tele zoom lens was provided to compensate or counteract the involuntary (and undesirable) movement while taking pictures.

With this integrated feature, how good are the pictures taken using the Lumix G Vario zoom lens?

In order to find out how the zoom lens performs, the author took a picture of a distant kingfisher using RAW mode. The maximum focal length was used to focus as close as possible to the bird. The picture was taken in an open field so the author had to take the shot at about fifty meters to prevent the bird from flying away.

The original RAW picture with a little tweak is shown below.

kingfisher on mangrove twig

Since this picture was taken at a high resolution of 12 megapixels, it is possible to crop further and enlarge the kingfisher. Using Silkypix Developer Studio 3.1, the picture was cropped and the resulting picture is shown below.

kingfisher on mangrove twig

Notice that even with a generally bright background, the kingfisher can still be made distinct with some adjustment on exposure bias. The bird could be easily identified. It is the white-collared kingfisher (Halcyon chloris) perching on a twig of the firefly mangrove Sonneratia alba.

The Lumix G Vario tele zoom lens therefore is an ideal companion outdoors when taking pictures of wild life. Just make sure that you switch the integrated mega OIS feature on to avoid getting blurry pictures.

If your hand is not that steady and your pictures are blurred despite your best effort to keep the camera stable and with the mega OIS switch on, then it's time to bring with you your tripod. Don't forget to switch off the mega OIS function when you do mount your camera into a tripod. If it is switched on while the camera is mounted on the tripod, the counterbalancing mechanism still works. This could spoil your picture.


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About This Article

Patrick Regoniel

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