The Micro Four Thirds system is now very comprehensive. Between Olympus and Panasonic, there are over 50 lenses to choose from. Additionally, Sigma, Samsung and Zeiss also make lenses with the MFT mount. Panasonic has collaborated with Leica for its high end lenses and the 45mm f2.8 Macro on our test bench this month is one of them.
Design & Build Quality
The 45mm f2.8 is a Leica designed macro. The lens is less than 2½ inches long and has a diameter of 2.48 inch. In other words, it is rather compact. Build quality is good. The lens mount is made from metal. However, the lens is not weather resistant. At 225 gms, the lens is also on the lighter side.
The lens consists of 14 elements in 10 groups. One aspherial element and one ED element is included. Apertures range from f2.8 to f22. Focussing distance ranges from 0.5 feet to infinity and image magnification is 1:1. The lens will accept a filter size of 46mm. Panasonic’s Mega Optical Image Stabilization system is provided in the lens. A square shaped hood is provided along with a pouch for the lens.
There are four positive features here:
• The lens does not rotate when focusing.
• The focus limiter switch helps to fasten focussing.
• ‘Focus by wire’ manual focus is useful for a lens that would largely be used in manual focus mode. It results in very precise manual focus.
• The focus ring is large and rotates very smoothly.