Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. Review

April 16, 2015 | Mark Goldstein | |

Introduction

The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. is a macro lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. Offering a 35mm camera equivalent focal length of 60mm, the Panasonic 30mm lens is comprised of 9 lenses in 9 groups including an aspherical lens, with multi-coated lens elements to help minimise ghosting and flaring. The macro capabilities are 1:1 life-size magnification and a focusing distance starting at 0.105m. It incorporates a direct-drive linear stepping motor, whichr makes the focusing action smooth and silent for use in both photo and movie recording, a 240 fps Drive Auto Focus (AF) system, and a built-in MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer). The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens is available for £299.00 / $399.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. is quite small and light for a macro lens offering a 35mm equivalent focal range of 60mm, easily fitting in the palm of your hand. It's also very light at only 180 grams.

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens attached to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens attached to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens attached to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens alongside a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

In terms of features, the lens is pretty sparse. It doesn't have a distance scale or a focus limiter switch. There is MEGA O.I.S image stabilisation, though, which is turned on and off via the camera body's menu system, rather than more conveniently via a switch on the side of the barrel.

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S Side of the Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S Front of the Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S Rear of the Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens

The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens has a mostly metal construction and the lens mount is also made of metal. Panasonic does not claim any sort of weather resistance for this lens, though, and indeed you cannot see a rubber seal around the mount.

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S Side of the Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S Side of the Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens in-hand

Usefully the lens comes with a cloth storage bag, but no hood is included, and it accepts 46mm filters.

Focal Range

The lens has a diagonal angle of view of 40°, equivalent to that of a 60mm lens in a 35mm system.

Panasonic LEICA DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45mm F2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S Field of view at 30mm

Focusing

The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens offers almost silent focusing. In use, we have also found the system surprisingly quick on the DMC-GX7, taking around 0.5 sec to focus, which is pretty good for a dedicated macro lens.

The 46mm filter thread does not rotate on focus, which is good news for users of polarisers and graduated neutral density filters.

Manual focusing is possible in a focus-by-wire fashion. This should not put you off using it as it feels pretty natural in use, and actually enables the camera to display a magnified view of the subject automatically, i.e. without your having to press a dedicated button or enter the menu. The focus ring is generousl sized given the overall dimensions of the lens.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are only conspicuous by their almost complete absence, as shown by the 100% crop below.

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

Light Fall-off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture, there is some light fall-off in the corners, which disappears completely by f/5.6.

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

Macro

The Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. has a closest focusing distance of 0.105m / 4.13in. and a maximum 1.0x magnification rating.

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

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. lens, Panasonic employed a diaphragm with 7 rounded blades, which has resulted in a pretty nice bokeh, at least in our opinion. However, recognising that bokeh evaluation is subjective, we have provided a few examples for your perusal.

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

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Entry Tags

lens, compact system camera, micro four thirds, lumix, panasonic, f2.8, macro, 30mm, close-up, close up, dmc-gx7, gx7, Panasonic LUMIX G MACRO 30mm f2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S., panasonic 30mm

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