Thursday, December 30, 2010

In Love with E-P2 again…

(…thanks to Panasonic Lumix 45-200 f/4-5.6!)


I bought E-P2 in Dec-2009 thinking that I will have the same advantages of E-30 (my main DSLR at that time) with lot less weight. However I was not completely right in my expectations and here are the reasons why;

  • The Kit lens (14-42) was extremely slow in focusing, and in low light it pretty much gave up. I assumed that all Oly m4/3 lenses will be like that so never bought another one.
  • Recently I was at a safari and since I didn't have a DSLR (E-30 was out of commission), I relied on E-P2 to provide me the same service. But attaching 50-200 SWD on E-P2 is not same as attaching it on E-30. So it was not a very good experience to say the least. It was oddly bulky and hard to handle. Again I had the issue with slow focusing (on E-30, the 50-200 is pretty fast).
  • The in Body IS is not as effective in E-P2 as it is in E-30 or E-5. Because of the small size the the camera shake is lot more pronounced than in E-30 or E-5, when bigger lenses (especially 4/3 lenses)are attached.
  • Unreliable focusing, especially in low light, with kit lens and other 4/3 lenses

As a result my E-P2 was relegated to some dark corner in my cupboard….until…

Until I bought the Panasonic Lumix 45-200 f/4.0-5.6. Here is what I found it to be.

  • Extremely light weight, its like a feather in hand - you can hardly feel it.
  • Amazingly fast internal focusing AF, even in low-light.
  • Extremely reliable AF. With my 14-42, I can never be sure if it has really focused where I want it to, even when the camera has beeped. With Lumix 45-200, its fantastic experience to see it focus reliably without any effort.
  • Fantastic image quality. Beats my 14-42 in image quality definitely, which shows the optics used are far superior to Oly 14-42.
  • Fantastic MEGA OIS performance. In all the (un-scientific) tests I have done in low light using the MEGA OIS and E-P2 in body IS, I found that up until 1/15s both the IS perform well. However the MEGA OIS starts gaining advantage anything below 1/15s. Infact I could get reasonably sharp images even @ 1/1.6 with MEGA OIS where the in body IS image was completely unusable.
  • Lastly the cost – @ $250 i think its a steal when you see how it performs.

Here are some sample images which I took from the lens

ISO-2000, 1/1600, f/4.9 115mm. About 30% Cropped
Was trying to capture pigeons in flight so was using high ISO for fast shutter.
ISO-200, 1/40, f/5.6 200mm about 20% cropped.
Only Contrast adjusted in CS4. I love the clarity
ISO-200, 1/25, f/5.6 200mm No CROP.
Adjusted contrast in CS4.  Lovely clarity at full ZOOM
ISO-1600, 1/25, f/4, 45mm No CROP.
Shot in available kitchen light
Adjusted contrast and vibrancy in CS4.  Clarity is brilliant @ lowest end of the barrel as well!!
ISO-1600, 1/6, f/4.5, 84mm No CROP. SOOC. Soft Focus Art filter.
Shot under tungsten light in a room. Very very reliable focusing and amazing MEGA OIS
The Lens….
E-P2 with the lens…Looks big, but is light as a feather….

All I can say is that, this lens has made me fall in love with E-P2 all over again. In fact so much so, that I have now ordered LUMIX 100-300 f/4-5.6 :-)

Hope you enjoyed the pics!