This blog is a user's perspective on the Micro Four Thirds camera system. Read more ...

Lens Buyer's Guide. Panasonic GH4 review.

My lens reviews: Olympus 9mm f/8 fisheye, Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, Leica 25mm f/1.4, Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8, Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8, Sigma 30mm f/2.8, Sigma 19mm f/2.8, Lumix X PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, Lumix X PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Panasonic Lumix G 100-300mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Leica Lumix DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro, Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm f/4-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f/2.5 pancake, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/4-5.8, Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6, Panasonic Lumix G 8mm f/3.5 fisheye, Lumix G 7-14mm f/4, Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye, Tokina 300mm f/6.3 mirror reflex tele, Lensbaby 5.8mm f/3.5 circular fisheye lens
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Tuesday 20 December 2011

Sharpness of Lumix G 45-200mm and Lumix X 45-175mm

I have previously tested the sharpness of the Lumix G 45-200mm and Lumix X PZ 45-175mm lenses. My test images then were fairly low contrast, and not too challenging for the lenses. To put them to a more difficult test, I've tried to test them head to head with a backlit subject. This is taken at approximately infinity focus, which is perhaps not the most realistic usage of these lenses.

Lumix G 45-200mm (left) and Lumix X PZ 45-175mm (right)

@ 45mm

The first set of images are taken at 45mm with both lenses. I used the Panasonic GH2 at ISO 160, and a tripod. The shutter speeds were fast. This is what the whole frame looks like:

Lumix G 45-200mm @ 45mm f/4
Lumix X 45-175mm @ 45mm f/4

Here are 100% crops from the centre:

And from the left corner:

I've also made a similar comparison at maximum zoom extension. First, the full images:

@ 175mm and 200mm

Lumix G 45-200mm @ 200mm f/5.6
Lumix X 45-175mm @ 175mm f/5.6

Here are 100% crops from the centre:

And from the left corner:


While my first test indicated that the lenses were fairly similar in terms of sharpness, these tests, taken at more challenging lightning, show a consistently better performance from the newer Lumix X PX 45-175mm f/4-5.6. The newer lens shows less Chromatic Aberration (CA) artifacts, and a better sharpness in the corner, especially in the longest zoom reach.


  1. Now, if the X model had equal or better image stabilization, then it would make it an easy choice. I'd hate to loose that extra sharpness if the OIS can't keep up when shooting at less than 1/focal length.

    It's hard to be a scientific when hand-holding,however. Any thoughts of conducting some test similar to above but without tripod and at slower shutter speed, perhaps 1/2 focal length??

  2. >Now, if the X model had equal or better image stabilization, then it would make it an easy choice

    It does have better IS. While the G lens has MEGA OIS, the X lens has the second generation POWER OIS which performs much better.

  3. I currently own the GX lens (replaced my copy of the GF lens). OK...after the IS firmware fix on the GX the lens seems to be so much sharper and better contrast with much lower chromatic aberration than the GF lens. My shots just have a snap to them that the GF lens NEVER had...(that is why I got rid of it a while back)....although I will say...I would prefer the mechanical performance of the GF lens any day of the week to the "new" power-zooming GX lens....but the incredibly small size (with internal focusing and zoom!) ....make the GX lens simply amazing! It takes up such a small space in my bag.

  4. The X has it. Sharper, smaller, lighter, faster.

  5. It seems to me that a good comparision--and one that I think is missing--would be to shoot them both at 175mm, which is the max. for the GX lens. Comparing the sharpness of images at 200mm versus 175mm seems skewed to me.

  6. I've seen reports of the Power OIS causing blur even with the latest firmware. I've also seen reports of the 45-175 X lens showing blur due to shutter vibration at around 1/60s-1/160s.

    I used to own the 14-42 X and that lens is catastrophically flawed. I'm therefore somewhat wary of the 45-175 X zoom. Although it does look to be optically superior.

  7. Interesting, but slightly strange choice of subject for this kind of test? Is there no other long distance subject you could repeat the test with at max focal length and infinity focus? The Are the branches or the bird what you focussed on?

  8. Can you compare these lenses to the Oly 40-150mm and Panny 45-150mmm lens? Please?

    1. I don't have any of those lenses, so no, I cannot help you with that.