What Lens Should I Buy Next?

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

One of the most common questions that I hear when working store events for Panasonic is what lens should I buy next? Once we narrow down the type of photos the customers like to shoot, we can make a few choices in every focal length range.

This is the first in a series of blogs highlighting individual lenses, what they’re best for along with some real-world images. This will not be a lens review, because there are enough of those online already.

The first lens I want to talk about is the Lumix G Vario 45-150mm f/4-5.6 ASPH. MEGA OIS, a lens that’s frequently overlooked in the Micro Four-thirds line up. I confess that I never had much interest in using this lens probably due to its slow aperture and I tend to gravitate to wide-angle lenses. The 45-150mm is a 90-300mm equivalent in field-of-view. At 7 ounces, 4.5 inches long, the lens is easy and lightweight enough to carry around.

I thought this lens was a little boring, which is why I haven’t used it much. I can be as big a lens snob as anybody and this lens f/4-5.6 aperture, small size and low price ($250.00) brought out my “This can’t be good enough, I need a f/2.8 pro lens” attitude.

As you can see from these photos the lens is more than good enough. I’m very happy with the sharpness and shallow depth-of-field I could achieve with the 45-150mm. I found that it’s sharper when you shoot at f/6.3-f/8, but fine wide open. The closest focusing distance with this lens is 2.95 feet so if I wanted to get a close-up I just stepped back and zoomed in as you can see in the flower photos.