The Magic 14mm.....

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Tom Swaman, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

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    I am looking for a comparison of results, i.e. image quality and gear handling of shooting the Panny 7-14mm, 14mm, 14-42mm and the 14-140mm at a focal length of 14mm. How do the results compare when these different lenses are shot at 14mm. Which lens produces the best overall results and what are the drawbacks of the other Panasonic lenses. Oh yes, i do realize that Panasonic makes other lenses that can be shot at 14mm and also that my list includes both 4/3rds and micro 4/3rds lenses.
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    Thanks for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs   Super Moderator Subscribing Member

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    I have the 14, have had the 14-140, and have shot with the 14-45 (not the 14-42). I haven't used the 7-14, but own and use the Olympus kit lens (well, I don't actually use this much), the 9-18, and the 14-150, so I've had 14mm pretty well covered. I've seen various people contend that the 14-42 is visually as sharp as the 14mm prime - I don't know that I've heard anyone claim quite the same for the longer or wider zooms. I'm not a big enough pixel peeper to really be able to tell you, but they're all decent optically and the 14mm is at least as good as any. In terms of handling, focus speed, and low light, the 14mm pancake is a fairly easy call. F2.5 is a good bit faster than any of the zooms, the lens is VERY fast and VERY quiet to AF, and it takes up only slightly more room than a body cap would.

    If I was looking for a zoom, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a zoom - they don't suck by a long shot. But if you want to spend the bulk of your time in 14mm and if you like shooting with primes, go for the prime.

    Not sure if this is the kind of input you're looking for, but its all I've got.

    -Ray
     
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  3. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

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  4. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

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    Thanks all. What about the 7-14mm 4/3rds zoom at 14mm and the 14-140mm at 13mm compared with the 14mm pancacke?

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  5. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

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  6. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

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    The 14-140 is a stellar lens. It's the one zoom lens I would definitely want to have along with a trio of primes (12, 25, 45). The 14-45 is fantastic and so compact, but the 14-140 is much more versatile with that nice long reach! Much bigger and heavier, though. The OIS system in the 14-140 is stunningly effective. I have repeatedly shot hand held, at 1/15th sec. the 14-140 at 140mm (280mm equivalent) with very crisp images resulting from the OIS. It works amazingly well.
     
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

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    If you can afford it,
    I'd choose this over the Olympus 9-18.....Just my personal preference...
     
  8. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

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    I just started playing with that slider and at 25mm it is incredible. That's one of the sharpest lenses I've seen. It's slow, but at around f5 or so it doesn't seem any different than the 20mm prime at 18mm. At the tele end it doesn't do so hot, but it is still pretty impressive on the wider angles. It's sharper and faster than the 14-45.

    Just going off of the MFT chart, this looks like it could make for a pretty nice lens.

    Edit: $800. Ah, there's the rub :)
     
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

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    Yes... the 14-140 is most economically acquired when you are buying your GH2! :wink:
     
  10. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

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    I agree, the 14-140mm is the best high zoom ratio lens I have seen. Also, I am amazed at both its AF speed and its low noise level. Overall, this is a totally acceptably sharp and acceptably contrasty lens for 90% of my shooting. "Heavy," you say. Prior to my GH2 I shot Nikon D 300 and used the 24-70mm and the 70-200mm most of the time. Both were excellent lenses and great in relatively low light at f/2.8. However, weight-wise, these are like a semi-truck compared to the lightweight 14-140mm. Suffice it to say, I love my 14-130mm.

    What I am trying to find out is which Panny Leica lens is their sharpest and most uniform at 14mm? Also, specifically, how does the 14mm compare with the 7-14mm at 14mm?

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  11. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

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    Tom... when I labeled the 14-140 as "heavy", that was meant to be taken in the context of m4/3, relative to other native m4/3 lenses, not in comparison to different camera formats.
     
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  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator Subscribing Member

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    I've owned the 14/2.5, 14-45, 14-140, and 7-14; and I've tested the 14-42.

    My impression is that the 14/2.5 and 14-45 are the sharpest of the bunch at 14mm. The 14-42 and 14-140 aren't far behind. The 7-14 is extraordinarily sharp at the wide end and middle of its focal length range but weakest at the 14mm setting where it is bested by these other lenses.
     
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  13. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

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    Interesting, I would have thought the 7-14 would have been among the best. Are you referring to the Panny, Oly, or Oly II 14-42 as being not far behind?
     
  14. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

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    Don,

    Please know your comments regarding the mft comparisons are very appropriate!!!

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  15. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

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    Amin,

    Thank you for your reply. Frankly, you solved my curiosity about the 7-14mm.
    Do you have an image quality or handling preference between the 14mm f/2.5 and the 14-45mm? Thanks again in advance.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

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    Tom... I will offer a comment on the Panasonic 14-45... I view this a superb lens. I won't have my 14 until Monday, but I've used the 14-45 for nearly two years now and I'm continually pleased with how exceptionally well it performs, especially so for such a small, light, easy to have-on-hand lens.

    Though I am fortunate to have a lot of great lenses for my m4/3 system, I still consider the 14-45 as an essential, core lens because of it's versatile range (28mm to 90mm equiv.), compact size, and excellent image quality. If (God forbid) I were limited to just one lens in the m4/3 world, I think it would have to be the 14-45.

    I have no doubt that the 14mm is a wonderful lens to have, and if you already have the 14-140, then choosing between the 14 and the 14-45 as an addition to the 14-140 would be made a little easier. There is a lot of overlap among many of the lenses that are available, though each offers its own, slight, unique advantage over the others - making the decision of choosing between them come down to particular suitability to specific photographic purposes.
     
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  17. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

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    Don,

    Thanks for your great comments. I hope these help a number of us here.

    Don I originally bought the 14-140mm at the beginning of the year as a recommendation from both B & H and the Panasonic marketing manager. I have gotten excellent results with this lens. It is a bit slow as you know. I have not used this for any wider angle shooting. I plan to do a good bit of wider shooting and this is why I am asking my questions. Your help is most appreciated.

    By the way, I see a whole lot of folks complaining about something being wrong or too expensive with the Panasonic lenses. Quite frankly, these are about the best quality and best valu lenses I have eve ever seen since the old Minolta days.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  18. WT21

    WT21 m43 Boom-a-rang Subscribing Member

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    I've not used all the lenses you mentioned, but I've used the 14/2.5, Oly kits, Oly 14-150 and Oly 9-18. I've not touched the 7-14 or the 14-140 for reasons of price. I've also used a lot of WA lenses on my previous Canon purchases, including the Canon 17-40, Sigma 18-50, Tamron 17-50, and Tokina 12-24 and also the Canon kit lens.

    For the money and size, the 14mm lens is very nice. It also focuses very closely. For me, the size is the #1 advantage. The price is #2. But, I feel it has a bit more distortion (lines don't stay straight near the edges -- barrel distortion) and PF in use than I'd like. It would also be great to be a bit faster than 2.5.

    I also had the Oly 12/2.0 for week, and I would prefer the 12 over the 14, but for the price. I think I will end up buying the Oly again within 6-12 months when prices come down a bit, but in the meantime, the 14 is a nice fill-in for casual/personal shooting. If you are going commercial, I think the Oly 12/2.0 is probably the best WA IQ in m43 at this current time.
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer Charter Member

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    Tom... I shoot portrait clients daily with long fast glass on a 5DMkII and I love that look of subject isolation and bokeh backgrounds. But for general personal shooting, I sure do love the wide views... And in that regard, I think the 7-14 is stellar and greatly look forward to Monday's arrival of the 12/2.0. If you don't mind the expense, either of these two lenses will most surely impress you... Of course, the 14 is an excellent choice as well. I happen to prefer 24mm equiv. to 28mm equiv, but there is no right nor wrong to that.
     
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet   Administrator Subscribing Member

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    I was referring to the Pana 14-42 as not being far behind.
     

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