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14-140mm Musings & Ambivalence

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jnewell, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I am tossing around the idea of replacing my 14-45mm/45-200mm pair with the 14-140mm and 100-300mm lenses and have been prowling around in archives here for information and food for thought. The real question in my mind is whether I want the 14-140, the 100-300mm would be a sort of inconsequential (other than in cash terms) follow-on result. Aside from the obvious cost issues, I think the questions I'd be interested in your feedback on are:'

    1. How do you feel about the added bulk and weight of the 14-140mm vs. either of the other two (especially the 14-45mm, which is really nice on the smaller bodies) - by the way, the bodies in question are a GF-1 and a GX-1.

    2. Do you think either of the standard kit zooms performs any better, optically or in focusing, than the 14-140 and/or 100-300? I'm pretty sure the answer is that there's nothing to notice between these lenses, but it never hurts to ask.

    I'm thinking that there are two potential benefits for me, though neither seems compelling. First, I'd probably be able to keep the 14-140 on one body almost full-time, which would be nice - always nice to spend less time changing lenses and risking dropping one or having dust or other things enter the camera while changing lenses. Second, I'd gain the extra reach from 200mm to 300mm. I doubt that's meaningful to me in practical terms, but having the option is always nice, I think.

    (For what it's worth, the bottom end of the lineup would continue to be my 7-14mm; what's up for grabs is how the range north of that gets covered.)

    Thanks for your thoughts!
    John
     
  2. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    John.... I think the 14-140 is an awesome lens. There are many times where the 14-45 cannot get the reach and the 14-140 is great. These times are not often for me, but once in a while.

    As for reach beyond 140, I pretty much almost never find the need for that. I tested out the 45-200 for a few days and felt its performance left something to be desired and realized I rarely need anything beyond the 140 I already had.

    I do think about photographing the moon at some point, where something longer would be good, but I don't much desire to capture images of birds or distant wildlife... therefore, the 140 (280mm equivalent in 135) serves my longer needs just fine on the occasion where I want longer reach.

    My 14-140 doesn't get mounted frequently, but often enough to keep it. Sometimes a 7-14 on one body and the 14-45 OR 14-140 on another body covers me quite well while traveling/touristing. I think these two lens are very nice to have! :smile:

    I think the 100-300 would be a fun lens to have, but personally, I would rarely ever use such a lens. My bread and butter lenses are 7-14, 9-18, 14-45 (likely to see less use once the upcoming 12-35 arrives) and 14-140. I like having the 12, 20, 25, and 45 for times when I can put them to effective use in situations for which they are well suited, but I don't like doing a lot of lens juggling when I'm covering a wide range of subjects and scenes and moving around a lot.
     
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  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    I don't have, and haven't used, the 100-300, so I can't address that part of the question. I do have, and have used extensively, both the 14-45 and the 14-140.

    The only negative to the 14-140 as far as I can tell is weight. Optical performance, AF, overall "quality feel" are all very close. I've seen at least one site that shows the 14-140 as slightly superior, optically, to the 14-45. In actual images, I can't see any real differences. It really is amazing for a 10X zoom.

    The 14-140 stays on my camera more than any other lens. The versatility can't be beat, and I don't feel I'm giving anything up in terms of performance compared to the 14-45. I thought I'd probably switch to the 14-45 for indoor use, just because it's smaller and lighter, but I find the longer zoom's ability to isolate a single person from across a room to be really useful. Candids are much more candid when the subject doesn't realize you're shooting them.

    The combo of 7-14 and 14-140 make a travel kit that will take care of almost everything except very shallow DOF.

    So how much of an issue is the weight? I think that's a very personal decision. Coming from an EOS with f/2.8 zooms, my GH2 and 14-140 is still very light. Compared to my wife's G3 and 14-45, it feels darned heavy. But: I rarely carry the 45-200 any more, and the 14-140 is smaller and lighter than the combination of 14-45 & 45-200 combined. My only concern might be how it feels on the much smaller GF and GX bodies, without the GH's grip.

    I expect to buy the 12-35 at some point, for the extra speed indoors, but it will be an adjunct to the 14-140, not a replacement.
     
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  4. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    244
    Dec 24, 2010
    Cliff
    I will second meyerweb's comments about size of the 14-140 on a GX1. I have both the 14-45 and 14-140. I typically use the 14-140 on my GH2 and the 14-45 on the GX1. the 14-140 feels large and front heavy on the GX1 to me. I think it will be very good on the GH2 or E-M5 with grip. The 100-300 is longer (about an inch) than the 14-140 but feels similar in weight. I picked one up for longer reach for wildlife. I can then have a 3 lens kit with the 7-14, 14-140 and 100-300 and cover a huge range with a body like the GH2.
     
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  5. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I might add that the OIS in the 14-140 is nothing short of astounding. I have hand held this lens indoors in dim light... at 1/6 second, with full-telephoto extension (280mm equiv.), and gotten sharp, crisp results. Amazes me every time. It really is a surprisingly great lens.
     
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  6. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    the 14-140 is certainly one of the heavier lenses for our system, but i really haven't found the weight or balance to be a problem with my GF1. granted, i don't have a GH2 or similar to compare to...
    but, with a zoom lens, my left hand is always on the lens because you are often adjusting the zoom. so i essentially support the weight of the lens and camera with my left hand and it feels very natural to me. it is a little less comfortable to shoot one handed with my right hand only.
    also, my wife has managed to have no problems using this combo and has never once commented that it felt off balance or awkward to her. she is left handed, incidentally.
    as far as IQ goes, i consider it very good. it isn't as quite as good as my primes and i don't have any other zooms to compare it to. but, considering the convenience that the super zoom offers, i find it very good. for a long time, i only used two lenses - this and the 20mm. a few months ago i picked up the Oly 45. so with those two fantastic primes and the 14-140, i am very content.
     
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  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I've only had my 14-140 a short while but this is the same thing I do with my 14-140 or 45-200 on the GF2. I believe 14-140 is the heaviest MFT lens out there right now and weighs something like a pound by itself despite being shorter than the 45-200 or 100-300. They're definitely front-heavy, so I just support the lens instead of the body, with my left hand doing more of the work. I don't find it to be a problem at all and as mzd indicated, it's a tradeoff for the convenience of a huge focal range zoom. If you've already got the 45-200, just think of the 14-140 as slightly shorter, but denser and heavier and you'll have a pretty good idea. I think as long as you have appropriate expectations you'll have no problem.
     
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  8. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Lots of great comments here, thanks to all - I probabaly have a few follow-up questions, but one thing jumped out at me here :) I see you own both the 14-45/45-200 pair and the 14-140...if you were choosing between the 14-140 and the 45-200, which would you choose? (I ask only about those two because given the relatively low cost of the 14-45 and its compact size and the excellent results I get from mine, I'd probably keep it regardless of whether I keep the 45-200 or sell it and buy a 14-140.)

    Thanks!
    John
     
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Bearing in mind I only JUST got my 14-140 and it'll be getting broken in this weekend...

    My reasoning behind picking up the 14-140 was to essentially replace the 45-200 and trade a little on the long end for having to swap lenses around as much. I find with the 14-45 (or 14-42 I had before that), I am frequently racking it out to the long end and feeling like it's too short, so the 14-140 may be just the ticket. Since I still have the GF2, if I'm setting out for a day of sightseeing + photography I'd likely carry the 7-14mm on one body and the 14-140 on the other, with a couple fast primes just in case. If I'm not setting out to do specific shooting I can see just bringing the 14-140 and a prime lens in a pocket for any low light stuff.

    I'm pretty sure ideally what I'd like is to swap the 45-200 for a 100-300 eventually. The 14-140 is a nice all around range, whereas if I'm shooting wildlife or something like that then I'm sure the extra reach of the 100-300 would be appreciated. Having played with the 45-200 a bit I have no complaints, it's just that it's a little long for anything except specifically long-range shooting. With that being the case, I'd just as soon pick up a 100-300 and have the ability to go that much longer with it.

    All that said, it depends on how it all works out in practice. I may find the 14-140 isn't my cup of tea after all, but I have high hopes :biggrin:
     
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  10. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    That's exactly why I sold my 14-45 and 45-200 after a trip to the Galapagos. Too much lens changing!

    jnewell, there is no "best" choice IMHO until you say what kind of photos you take. A hammer is a great tool if you want to pound nails but not so good if you need to tighten cylinder head bolts.

    For street photos the 14-140 makes for a pretty bulky pocketfull. For interiors like St. Basil's in Red Square it's not wide enough and, without using a monopod, not fast enough.

    My kit for traveling is the 9-18mm and the 14-140. The 100-300 is a specialist lens which I bought and used heavily on an African trip last fall, but I sold when I returned. If you are a birder, though, or routinely shoot wildlife it is probably a good one to keep in the kit.

    I lust after the 12mm F2 for interiors but since I carry a monopod when we travel and the 12mm is less flexible than the 9-18mm, its hard to rationalize the expense.

    YMMV widely depending on what kind of photos you want to take.
     
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  11. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    That pretty much sums up the state of my thinking so far. 7-14 on one body, 14-140 on the other...I seldom feel like I need >300mm on my DSLRs, so 140/280eff is likely to be fine, and I wouldn't find myself lens-swapping at the 45mm break. :thumbup:
     
  12. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I think you've also hit the nail(s) right on the head, as far as my thinking has progressed. In terms of what's currently available, for flexibility where grim light is not an issue (but note DHart's post above about the effectiveness of OIS), a UWA zoom and a superzoom make a ton of sense. I have an M8 and what I think of as two sets of lenses: 35/2, 50/1.4 and 90/2 (first set) and a Tri-Elmar 28/35/50/f4. The TE is the most-used lens, because often the time needed to change a lens means the shot has come and gone. The same sort of theory is what I'm thinking in this case.

    The 100-300 probably really isn't necessary...I almost never need anything longer than ~300mm effective...the 7-14/14-140 could be a great pair...wish the 14-140 were faster but we are where we are right now... :wink: :thumbup:
     
  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    If they had a 14-140, or even better 12-140 or similar, with a larger aperture it'd probably be just about permanently attached to my camera :tongue: I'm a lens junkie (as my signature probably indicates!) and I pretty much love them all for different reasons, but a fast super zoom would be flat awesome for travel and general use.
     
  14. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    My 14-140 came attached to a used body I bought. My original intention was to keep the body and sell the lens. But after playing with it a bit, and taking some test shots, I decided to keep it. Between this and the 45-200, I would choose the 14-140. But that's me, your needs may vary.

    I find the 280mm FOV to be plenty long for the vast majority of what I shoot. I rarely feel the need for a 400mm equivalent. The 14-140 is also significantly better optically than the longer zoom. The 45-200 isn't bad, but the 14-140 is noticeably sharper and more contrasty if you compare closely.

    But if you frequently use the 45-200 at full zoom, the 14-140 might not cut it for you.
     
  15. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    Also consider the Olympus 14-150mm - it's the same barrel diameter as the Panasonic 14-45 and only around 15mm longer. It's light and feels far better suited to a non-gripped camera (I have E-PL1/E-P3). You do sacrifice OIS though. Not a big deal for me as my subjects tend to be moving and OIS doesn't really help with that.

    Background - I have the P 14-45, P 14-140, and now the O 14-150. I will be losing the 14-140 soon. If I didn't have the smaller zoom with OIS things might be different as I do want something that's stabilized for video in that range.

    For what it's worth here are some quick weight measurements -

    14-45 c 200g
    14-150 c 260g
    14-140 c 460g
     
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  16. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    It's a capable lens. I don't do video, so I'm not qualified to speak to that, but for still work, it does a lot. Like some others here, I rarely push it out to the 100-140 range (and yes, it is a bit softer there).

    I spend most of my time with primes, but this is my most used zoom. When the new 35-100mm lens comes out I wil look carefully at that; but until then, this covers so many situations.

    Here's a 14-140 portrait:

     
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  17. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Bill, I like that portrait a lot, think I've seen it in another thread here someplace before too. What were your settings on that if you don't mind my asking, especially interested in what focal length that was at as it looks plenty sharp to me :)
     
  18. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Wow, hair-popping sharp, as they say in another hobby interest of mine. :D

    I sold a lens for one of my no-longer-owned film SLRs tonight and ordered one of these. I will likely move the 45-200mm on and keep the 14-45mm because of its size. The 14-140mm and 7-14mm on the GF1 and GX1 should make a very easy travel combo for London this summer! :)
     
  19. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Heh, looks like you and I hang around some of the same forums elsewhere :)

    Congrats on the new acquisition, hope you enjoy it a lot!
     
  20. robertro

    robertro Mu-43 Veteran

    223
    Apr 22, 2010
    Another consideration; the 45-200 is almost 1 stop faster at 100mm. The 14-140 goes to f5.6 very rapidly as you zoom in from wide angle.