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Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 Telephoto Lens Video Review

David Thorpe puts the long reach of the Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 Micro Four Thirds lens to the test.

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For sports and wildlife photographers, the Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 telephoto lens for Micro Four Thirds camera could be ideal but for the average joe who, on occasion, may shoot some images at the nature reserve, it might seem a high price to pay. 

 

Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 Telephoto Lens Video Review : Panasonic Leica 200mm F2 8 Lens (1)
 

To see if the extra stop of speed and an extra 50mm of reach, when compared with the '...-300mm' zooms, is worth splashing the cash, David Thorpe has put the telephoto lens through its paces in his latest video review

As always, David covers everything from how the lens feels to how it performs and if it's really worth its price-tag. Click 'play' on the video above to hear his verdict. 

 

Panasonic LEICA DG ELMARIT 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S Sample Photos

 

Panasonic LEICA DG ELMARIT 200mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
Lens
Focal Length200mm
Angle of ViewNo Data
Max Aperturef/2.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size77mm
StabilisedYes
35mm equivalent400mm
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnification0.2x
Focusing
Min Focus115cm
Construction
Blades9
Elements15
Groups13
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight1245g
Height174mm

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Comments

ChrisV Avatar
ChrisV 16 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
14 Aug 2018 2:16PM
Interesting that David [but not all that surprising] mentions the Canon 200mm f2.8 but says "it's a third of the price, but not directly comparable".

I wonder... Now that you can buy AF adapters for E mount to MfT it would be very interesting to see how the two compared. My guess is there probably wouldn't be a great deal of difference optically, but I would not expect the AF speed to be up to much on the Canon [because it's designed for PDAF rather than the contrast detect the Panasonic uses].

You could of course also compare it another way by sticking a 2x adapter on the Canon on one of their 35mm bodies. Yes that would then make it an f5.6 lens, but that would yield [within small tolerances] precisely the same DoF characteristic as the lens in this review and also collect an equal amount of light which in turn would equate to theoretically similar low-light performance. Once on a native body I'd also expect AF speed to be somewhere close to matching it [or in certain circumstances exceeding dependant on the body it's mounted on]. The lens does after all have the expense of an AF mechanism built into it which presumably means similar cost of manufacture.

Whichever way you slice it, the lens in this review is far from being a 'low cost option', extremely expensive. It could of course be reflective of the fact there is going to be more of a market for this sort of optic in the CaNikon world, but at these sorts of prices that becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
lemmy Avatar
lemmy 16 2.9k United Kingdom
15 Aug 2018 3:08PM


Quote:this review is far from being a 'low cost option'

I didn't say that, did I? I hope I didn't. The Micro Four Thirds standard says nothing about it being low cost.

The flagship equipment in any manufacturer's range always costs more than its strict specifications would seem to justify. If you leave out the converter, the Panasonic's price is roughly in line with the Olympus 300mm's initial price. Both lenses are specialist items that will not sell in quantity and would therefore never be cheap.

A 200mm f/2.8 Canon will sell far more copies than a Panasonic 200mm f/2.8 because there are many more Canon owners and a 200mm is not a specialist lens on a 36x24mm sensor. You can adapt the Canon lens, true, but it will be a very different experience from using a native lens and I doubt many would prefer it.

So what it amounts to is that the very best costs a lot but its existence does not impinge on cheaper alternatives, so no harm done.

It's not only photographic equipment. I have just bought an electric Brompton folding bicycle at an eye-watering £2,800. I can get an electric bike for half that. I can get a folding bike for a quarter of that. But the Brompton is by any objective standard faraway the best of breed and since I use it as my main form of transport around London - making a tedious experience enjoyable - in the long term not expensive at all. Ditto the 200mm f/2.8.

There's no bridging our opinions, I don't think, Chris. You simply think it is too expensive and that's that, a point of view I understand. I think that there are plenty of alternatives and if you want the best, you'll pay for it. Having said that, I'd never buy one of these or the Olympus 300mm because I have no use for them. On the other hand, if I did, I'd buy the 200mm. I'd be enjoying using the lens and its results long after I'd forgotten the price.
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