LensTip.com

Lens review

Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.

17 March 2016
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality and image stabilization

Let’s start this chapter with a comparison between the tested lens and other macro instruments from the Micro 4/3 system in a form of the following chart. The Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. is undoubtedly the smallest and physically the lightest instrument in this group but it shouldn’t surprise you at all because it also features the shortest focal length. Still it is interesting how its dimensions and weight are similar to those of e.g. the Olympus or the expensive Panaleica. Partially it is caused by materials used in the casing. Although the Panasonic 2.8/30 is the cheapest instrument of all, there are no traces of shoddy workmanship or cheap materials – this lens features a lot of metal and glass and the whole construction was made in Japan.

In the photo below the Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. is positioned next to another system lens with a similar focal length, the Panasonic Lumix G 25 mm f/1.7 ASPH.

Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. - Build quality and image stabilization


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The tested lens starts with a metal mount which surrounds contacts embedded in a black, plastic ring; on that ring you see the serial number of the lens and information that the lens was made in Japan. A rear element is im mobile and almost 22 mm in diameter.

Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. - Build quality and image stabilization


The proper body of the Panasonic 2.8/30 starts with a metal ring which doesn’t move; on it you can find a red dot making an alignment with a camera easier. That ring increases its diameter and on its wider part there is a focal length marking, information concerning the focusing range (from 0.105m/0.345ft to infinity), the name of the company, production line, the mount type along with the logo of the lens. Once again you see the “Made in Japan” inscription.

A manual focus ring, as wide as 21 mm and completely covered by plastic ribs, is the next part of the lens. It doesn’t feature any distance or depth of field scale. It is a direct-drive linear stepping motor; running through the whole range takes a turn through an angle of about 360 degrees. That value increases noticeably if you turn the ring slower.

Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. - Build quality and image stabilization


 The macro capabilities of the lens are 1:1 life-size magnification scale; the photographed objects are situated about 2.5 centimetres from the front element.

The next part is a metal immobile ring on which you see an inscription with the name and parameters of the lens. There’s no hood mount; it seems the constructors of the Panasonic 2.8/30 Macro didn’t anticipate such a possibility.

The front element doesn’t move, it is 25 mm in diameter and surrounded by a non-rotating filter thread, 46 mm in diameter.

Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. - Build quality and image stabilization


When it comes to the optical construction you deal here with nine elements positioned in 9 groups, one of them aspherical. Inside you can also find a round aperture with seven blades which can be closed down to f/22 at the maximum.

Buyers get both caps and a soft pouch for the lens in the box.

Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. - Build quality and image stabilization


Optical stabilization

We made our standard optical stabilization test: by taking several dozen photos at every exposure time ranging from 1/80 to ½ of a second with the stabilization unit switched on and off. Then we calculated the percentage of blurred photos for every time of exposure. The appropriate graph, showing that percentage, correlative with the exposure time expressed in EV (and the 0 EV point corresponds to 1/60 of a second), is presented below. In this part of the test we used the Panasonic G7 camera.

Panasonic G Macro 30 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. - Build quality and image stabilization


What can be said: the stabilization performance is really strange. At one exposure time it works very well, at another, differing by just 1/3 EV from the first one, it is not efficient at all. Even for those points where you actually can determine the distance between two curves the efficiency never exceeds 2.5 EV. Such a result is not impressive; after all the best stabilized lenses can be as efficient as 4.5 EV.