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Panasonic Lumix S 28-200mm f/4-7.1 Macro O.I.S. review: the travel photographer’s new best friend

Panasonic Lumix S 28-200mm f/4-7.1 Macro O.I.S. review: the travel photographer’s new best friend

Every camera system has its own compact wide-tele superzoom lens – are they the most talked about or most beloved lenses, no, but still that doesn’t stop them from being some most useful lenses for any camera.

The Lumix S range has been missing its own compact superzoom lens, although thanks to the open L-Mount, there have been a couple of third-party options to fill this gap. But Panasonic has decided it’s time to offer up its own first-party solution with the Lumix S 28-200mm f/4-7.1 Macro O.I.S., and never a company to do things by halves, this is also the world’s smallest and lightest 7x zoom lens for full frame cameras.

With wide to tele focal lengths covered in one package, these lenses allow photographers to travel light, with one lens doing the work of several, so are incredibly useful if you don’t have much space in a bag – or just loathe frequently changing lenses.

With some recent impressively compact optics from Panasonic, the company has clearly seen this as the opportunity to expand on its experience making smaller and lighter lenses to deliver Lumix shooters a do-it-all lens. However, the pursuit for size and weight reductions has come at the cost of some focal length ranges versus rivals, with other systems offering 24-240mm ranges – although in physically larger lenses. But has Panasonic done enough to make a convincing case that small size trumps bigger range?

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

Specifications

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Mount L-Mount
Aperture 9 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
Lens Construction 17 elements in 13 groups (1 aspherical lens, 4 ED lenses, 1 UHR lens)
Aperture f/4.0 – f/32
Image Stabilization Dual I.S. 2
Closest Focusing Distance 0.14m/0.46ft (at focal length 28mm)
Maximum Magnification 0.5x (at focal length 28mm)
Dust and Splash Resistant Yes
Filter Size 67mm
Size (L x W) 93.4mm / 3.68inch x 77.3mm / 3.04inch
Weight 413g / 0.91lb (excluding lens cap, lens rear cap and lens hood)

Price

At $899 / £899 / AU$1,599, the Lumix S 28-200mm comes in at a competitive price compared to the competition – and while it has a slightly shorter focus range, it has some size savings and technical advancements to justify any additional price tag. On other systems – Canon‘s RF 24-240mm costs the same money, although Sony‘s 24-240mm lens is considerably more expensive than either of these by about $150 / AU$300.

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