Panasonic Leica DG Macro 45mm F2.8 Specification Review

The Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH Super OIS is one of two lightweight contacts for Small Four Thirds that Panasonic declared together with the DMC-GF1 in Sept 2009, the other being the Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Hot cake. Like its brother they fit a lot into a really small space. the 45mm actions just 2.5″ in each sizing, yet controls to to add both visual picture stabilizing and real 1:1 macro concentrating ability. Indeed this lens can concentrate to just 0.15m without modifying in duration a task made possible by a complicated inner concentrating program which uses three categories in a sailing agreement. Rapid telephoto central duration (equivalent to 90mm on complete frame) is also perfect for capturing head-and-shoulders images with a perfect viewpoint.

Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8

The lens uses a complicated visual style of 14 components in 10 categories, such as an ED cup factor to reduce chromatic aberration and (unusually for a macro) an aspheric factor. The diaphragm procedure uses seven curved rotor blades, to give a round aperture for sleek version of out-of-focus areas of the picture.

Headline Features

  • 45mm set central length; F2.8 highest possible aperture
  • Compact design
  • Macro focusing: 1:1 highest possible zoom (2:1 Negatives equivalent)
  • ‘Focus by wire’ guide concentrate system
  • ‘Mega OIS’ visual picture stabilization
  • Micro Four Thirds install for Panasonic Lumix G and Olympus Pen systems

Panasonic Leica DG Macro 45mm F2.8 Body And Design

The first thing you will find on choosing up the 45mm F2.8 macro is just how small it is. The lens is little larger than Panasonic’s 14-45mm kit zoom capability, amazing for a 1:1 macro with picture stabilizing, but the typeface factor is amazingly small. The top quality marketing is subtle; the typeface used for the gun barrel marks is genuine Leica, the ’45’ is in a further lemon than is used on ‘standard’ Panasonic contacts, and the gun barrel is dark not greyish. From the is light and portable (weighing in at just 7.9 oz / 225g) but reassuringly strong, similar in feel to the 20mm F1.7 Hot cake, and the dark colour complete completely printed to that on the GF1.

Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 Body
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 Body

The lens is well presented too; the main concentrate band is extensive and magnificently sleek, and the two changes for the picture backing and the main concentrate limiter are huge and simple to use. The concentrate limiter is a welcome inclusion as opposed to Olympus 50mm F2 macro, however macro lovers may well be dismayed by the absence of any concentrate range tagging or duplication range. Focus is entirely inner so the lens remains the same duration throughout its amazing range range.

Lens body elements

  • The 45mm macro features the Small Four Thirds install, currently suitable for cameras from Olympus and Panasonic. Interaction with you is all-electronic, via the gold-plated connections. The lens installs by aiming the red dot to that on the camera’s install, and spinning clockwise to secure.
  • The narrow line is 46mm (the same as on the 20mm F1.7), and does not move on concentrating, which will be welcome to narrow customers. Around it is a bayonet install for the lens bonnet.
  • The Leica-inspired extensive, rectangle-shaped H-ES045 bonnet gets 10 out of 10 for style, but quite a lot less for functionality. It’s nowhere near as strong as it could be (and therefore probably less effective), and it can’t be changed back over the lens for storage space. If there’s one comfort, it’s that the bonnet is completely extensive to make eliminating and changing the center-pinch lens cap simple enough.
  • The guide concentrate band is 15 mm extensive, and extremely sleek and well-damped. The focus-by-wire system allows a extremely nice journey from infinity to nearest concentrate.
  • Two huge beneficial changes on the side of the gun barrel allow you to restrict the near concentrate to 0.5m, and turn the visual stabilizing on and off. In a minor stylistic artificial pas, the big typeface used to brand the change board doesn’t coordinate squared-off ‘Leica’ typeface used elsewhere on the lens gun barrel.

Panasonic Leica DG Macro 45mm F2.8 Test Results


Central sharpness is very high begin, but the sides are especially smoother. This design continues on avoiding down; the biggest main sharpness is obtained around F5, with the sides ongoing to improve up until F8. As is often the situation for Four Thirds, the the best possible aperture is about F6.3. Diffraction begins to break down the picture considerably at apertures of F11 and more compact, with F16-F22 very smooth indeed.


We consider falloff to begin becoming recognizable when the area lighting drops to more than 1 quit below the middle. There’s 1.3 prevents begin here, which vanishes quickly on avoiding down.


The 45mm macro is near-perfectly fixed for rectilinear distortions, with just an insignificant quantity of pincushion distortions recognizable.

Macro Focus

The 45mm is able to real 1:1 macro, and on a Four Thirds indicator that’s quite something. You have to get near to your topic though – the calculated lowest concentrate range is a little bit less than 15cm, providing a working range of just 6.5cm from the top side of the lens to the topic.

Central sharpness is high even at F2.8, but the sides don’t equivalent – we suspicious a level of area curve. Highest possible main sharpness is seen around F5.6, although the sides are still a little smooth. Apertures more compact than F11 certainly start to experience poorly from diffraction, and should probably be ignored unless excessive detail of area is needed. (Click here for macro analyze graph photos at F2.8 and F22 – WARNING the latter is not fairly.)


Like many contacts with a relatively filter position of perspective, the 45mm isn’t at all satisfied when shiny mild resources are straight in taken – then again there are not that many images you’d want to take with it where this is the case (sunsets maybe). The outcomes are not fairly at any aperture, but as always various colored surface styles become ever more noticeable the further you quit down.

Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm Flare
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm Flare

Move the sun even a little bit out of the structure, though, and the outcomes enhance considerably. Even capturing into mild in very shiny circumstances we saw few problems with surface, and nothing that really ruined any photos. However little surface areas did sometimes appear in images, showing that the superficial lens bonnet is not as good as it should be.

Bokeh Quality

One truly suitable, but challenging to evaluate part of a lens’s efficiency is the capability to provide efficiently blurry out-of-focus areas when trying to separate a topic from the, usually when using a long central duration and huge aperture. The 45mm F2.8 macro is able to provide quite affordable qualifications blur; with its 16mm entry student, it provides identical detail of area features to a 60mm F3.5 lens on APS-C, or a 90mm F5.6 lens on full structure.

Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm Bokeh Quality
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm Bokeh Quality

When used for close-up capturing, bokeh is magnificently blurry, with an easy fade-off into out-of-focus areas. We’d anticipate that from a macro lens, but perhaps more remarkably remote bokeh is also very sleek, with no sign of hard-edged personality to out-of-focus features. At F2.8 it also has an attractive, ‘swirly’ personality with a “cat’s eye” impact towards the sides – a impact of actual vignetting by the lens gun barrel style (and a representation of the little size of that front side element).

Chromatic aberration

If you use a Panasonic camera, horizontal chromatic aberration is fixed in application when capturing either in JPEG, or raw with a completely suitable ripper (e.g. the provided SilkyPix, or Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom). However if you use this lens on an Olympus E-P1, or turn Panasonic raw information files with ripper which does not view the included modification information, you’ll see an indication of fringing. It’s testimony to how little horizontal CA there is that we hand to search far and extensive for a ‘real world’ taken that revealed this – even then it’s really nothing you’d fear about unless you’re making really huge printing.

Perhaps due to the relatively moderate maximum aperture, longitudinal chromatic aberration is also next-to-nonexistant on this lens. If you really look for it you can find it, in the type of minor fringing around features that is natural before the aircraft of concentrate, and natural behind. But it’s most unlikely to be a serious problem in regular capturing.

Panasonic Leica DG Macro 45mm F2.8 Specifications

Price • US: $900
• UK: £590
Manufacturer’s code H-ES045
Date introduced September 2009
Maximum format size Micro Four Thirds
Focal length 45mm
35mm equivalent focal length 90mm
Diagonal angle of view 27°
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 14 elements / 10 groups
• 1 ED element
• 1 Aspherical element
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus • Full: 0.15m / 0.50ft
• Limit: 0.5m / 1.64ft
Maximum magnification 1.0x (2.0x 35mm equivalent)
AF motor type • DC Micro motor
• ‘Focus-by-wire’ manual focus
Focus method Internal
Image stabilization Yes
Filter thread • 46mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories* • Front and rear caps
• Lens hood
• Lens case
Weight 225g (7.9 oz)
Dimensions 63mm diameter x 62.5mm length
(2.5 x 2.5 in)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds