Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. Review

December 27, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | |

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. from around the web. »

Let's not beat about the bush: this is an amazing lens that has every bell and whistle, not to mention the Leica seal of approval. With a focal length that is twice the sensor diagonal, Leica's 45mm is ideally placed to offer a high-quality macro performance, much like the 90-105mm macros that are offered for full-frame 35mm cameras. The ‘macro' label in the lens name suggests this ought to be the case, but such labels don't always deliver what they promise. Leica's lens does: it is a true macro that works brilliantly in AF mode.
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The Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH Mega OIS is one of two compact lenses for Micro Four Thirds that Panasonic announced alongside the DMC-GF1 in September 2009, the other being the Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Pancake. Like its sibling it fits a lot into a very small space; the 45mm measures just 2.5" in each dimension, yet manages to to incorporate both optical image stabilization and true 1:1 macro focusing capability. Indeed this lens can focus to just 0.15m without changing in length - a feat made possible by a complex internal focusing system which uses three groups in a floating arrangement. The short telephoto focal length (equivalent to 90mm on full frame) is also ideal for shooting head-and-shoulders portraits with a flattering perspective.
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