We’ve been checking out the Panasonic Leica 200mm f/2.8 lens with the 1.4x Converter to see how much of an option this is for shooting wildlife and sports.
We were using the 200mm lens with the Panasonic G9 which is a micro four thirds system so that 200mm was giving us a full frame equivalent of 400mm and with that 1.4x Converter on, that’s giving us a focal length of 560mm - perfect for some wildlife or sports.
We’d normally start by talking about the image quality of the lens but in this case, I think it’s important to talk about the construction because it’s such a big part of what makes this lens so impressive. The lens itself is a full metal construction so it feels solid in the hands and the tripod mount means you can mount it at the centre of gravity. Even with a full metal construction, it’s not too heavy, it’s actually very manageable and I found myself shooting handheld for the best part of a day without any problems.
The lens is weather sealed so it’s perfect for use in the great outdoors and things like a nice wide focus ring and an aperture ring make it a joy to use.
The main thing that surprised me was how easy it was to shoot handheld at 560mm. The size and the weight of the lens definitely play a part in that but the OIS really helps when it comes to shooting handheld. Usually with a 560mm or a 600mm I would naturally use a tripod to shoot otherwise I would expect to see a lot of camera shake but with this lens, I was happily shooting handheld all day without any problems of camera shake. I actually went so far as to be able to shoot handheld video at 560mm which is something I would never normally dream of.
This lens is sharp, even shooting wide open it’s super sharp right across the frame. The bokeh is nice and smooth and looks great. Obviously at this focal length, it’s easy to get some lovely compression in the background and it looks fantastic.
There’s some nice contrast and colour using this lens and in terms of autofocus, it was nice and fast and very accurate. I had not problem at all locking onto flying birds and fast moving subjects.
With the 200mm f/2.8, Panasonic have made a lens that is robust, it’s exceptionally well made and it delivers incredible image quality while being an extremely reasonable size for wildlife or sports. With the Converter that comes with it, you’ve got 560mm to play with but it’s still so incredibly manageable, even without a tripod. Obviously, that’s the beauty of the micro four thirds system but it’s still impressive.
You can watch our video review below for more impressions.
By Park Cameras on 04/05/2019
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