14-150 and 14-140 lenses - what makes sense

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by witchcraftz, Jun 5, 2015.

  1. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm taking a trip to Europe in fall with a carry-on only and am looking for a versatile lens to put on my EM5 so I don't need to swap lenses.

    These are a couple of contenders I have found and my understanding of them, I would like to know if I got my details straight and which would you recommend?

    1. Olympus M.Zuiko 14-150mm F4-5.6 (rev II)
    Currently my top contender, really like what I've heard about this lens in both size, weight and quality.
    2. Tamron 14-150mm F3.5-5.8 Di III
    Seems a decent lens but with similar flaws to the previous generation of oly and pana lenses.
    3. Panasonic Lumix GVario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power IOS
    Heard good things about this one too, but since I have the EM5 I don't need the IOS and the higher price tag. This might get cheaper though as it's being sold with the G7 kit right now.
    4. Panasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm F3.5-5.6
    An older lens but very high quality. Heavy though and the zoom and focusing is slow.
    5. Other option I don't know about?
  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The 14-150 v2 has the advantage of weather sealing on the E-M5, so that's an advantage.

    The 14-140 v2 is slightly faster on the wide end, is apparently somewhat sharper throughout the range than the 14-150, and actually starts at a lower MSRP than the 14-150 ($549 vs. $599) in the US, though both of them are on sale for $499 at the moment. Not needing the OIS is obviously a factor, but the only actual advantage the 14-150 has is the weather sealing, so the OIS doesn't hurt you. If you ever see yourself getting a Panasonic body in the future, it's a bonus, if not, don't worry about it.

    In your position, the 14-150 vs 14-140 would come down to weather sealing vs. a marginal optical advantage in the Panasonic.



    I wouldn't really consider the Tamron or the older Leica. The Tamron doesn't actually have any advantages at all (besides a $50 lower price tag), and while the Leica is probably the best optically, but not worth the compromises in size, weight, price, and autofocus speed for a versatile walk-around lens.
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  3. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    I'd choose option 3. Superzooms represent a compromise optically, but the current version of the Lumix 14-140 is less compromised than others.
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  4. mossie

    mossie Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 14, 2012
    I've had both V1 of O14-150 and P14-140 and liked the images produced by P14-140 much more. The only comparative downside was its weight, but the V2 of P14-140 is about the same weight as O14-150. My vote would be #3 as well.
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  5. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    You say you're traveling with a single carry-on through Europe. Can you be more specific? If you're talking about a backpacking trip through Ireland, for example, the weather sealing may be much more important than, say, on a bus tour through Italy.

    That aside, however, I can tell you that I was recently trying to make the same decision, and ultimately chose the P14-140mm 3.5-5.6, mostly based on reports of sharper images, and a perusal of the images in the native lens forums, as well as its slightly smaller size and weight. I was also lucky enough to find a second-hand copy in excellent condition for <$350.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
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  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Looking on slrgear I'm not sure which lens is best: Pana is better at 14mm, Oly from 25 to 70. After 70mm, even stopping down, the borders go crazy with the Oly but there is a little sharpness in the center, the Pana is more uniform but quite low. At 140 Pana wins again. And the Oly is the old version and shot on a 12MP camera (version ii should only have better coating, and WP). I'd say it's a draw and probably depends on what you shoot most.
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  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    My basic travel kit is the Gen II 14-140mm (f3.5) and the Oly 9-18mm on Panny bodies, plus the 100-300mm in some circumstances. I'd add to the consensus here and point you towards the Gen II 14-140. If you can swing the bucks, though, I'd add the 9-18mm. It is a tiny lens, so no space or weight issues at all, and it would add a lot to your capabilities.

    You didn't mention the Gen I 14-140mm (f4), but if it pops up on your radar because of its low price remember that it is a LOT heavier than the Gen II. I sold my Gen I and got the Gen II for just this reason.
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  8. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Will be trains for travel mostly but will do lots of daytrips outdoors. Weather sealing might be useful but hard to know how much. there will be places with humidity and others with sand/dust.

    Want to sell it to me for the same price? :D

    Based on all these comments I'll be putting the Pana 14-140 II back towards the top.
  9. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
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  10. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    The Panasonic Leica D Vario Elmar is a brilliant lens but it is tough to recommend it over the native options for size and autofocus reasons. It has sharper corners at wide-angle and is sharper across the frame at telephoto when compared to the Panasonic 14-140mm, and is just better everywhere compared to the Olympus 14-150mm. However, it does weigh somewhere near 600g. The phase-detect autofocus in the E-M1 is still a bit primitive and fails to achieve focus with 4/3 lenses more frequently than I would like. Autofocus on a contrast-detect body is not fast but at least is more reliable.
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  11. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    I've just been travelling through Europe and the 14-140 f3.5-5.6 ASPH on an EM1 has performed very well indeed.

    Here's a comparison shot I took in Monaco between the Olympus 45mm f1.8 prime and the 14-140 f3.5-5.6 ASPH. While the prime has a little more contrast SOOC it's really nothing that couldn't be fixed in Lightroom etc. You need to be pixel peeping to say one shot is technically better than the other.

    If you're travelling I would assume that memories are more important than pixels.

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  12. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Absolutely, I know it's a compromise but the picture are more important than whether they are the clearest when compared to another lens.
    That lens does seem great given it's got such a range. I'm going to make it a tie between the Oly II and the Pana II, I'll buy whichever I can find for the best price. :)
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    ephotozine rated the Tamron pretty highly. I think it is one of the better ones, but is overlooked because it has no stabilization for Panasonic cameras.


    I would pay special attention to the wider end for a travel lens. Having telephoto is nice, but for scenery and cities, I would expect the bulk of your shots to be in the 14-30mm range.

    And I would immediately cross option 4 off your list. It's a big 4/3 lens. If you are going to lug all that weight around and use an adapter, you might as well carry 2-3 native m4/3 lenses and forget the superzoom.
  14. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    Did you pick one? I have to admit I haven't used the Oly, though I did post more info on my findings on the 14-140 here: Lumix 14-140 f3.5-5.6 ASPH - Review

    It includes sharpness comparisons at all the full-stop apertures at 14mm, 46mm, 100mm and 140mm.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2015
  15. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    As a little more praise for the 14-140, I just published my short Lumix 14mm f2.5 review and the 14-140 compared quite favourably to that too @ 14mm. Other crops from the 12-35 and Lumix 7-14 f4 (all crops shot at f5.6).

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  16. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm still shopping around. It's a toss up between the Oly or Pana. Whichever I can get for about $300-$350 first.
  17. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 26, 2011
    I'd choose the Oly 14-150 MKII. That has become my walking around lens on my EM5 MKII. Weather sealing is a plus.
  18. deltakilo

    deltakilo Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 12, 2014
    Perth, Australia
    Real Name:
    Going holidays myself in around a month and trying to decide between these zoom lens options too. Looking through Flickr at real life images rather than mathematical 'test results' to my eyes has the Oly, Panny and Tamron all giving fairly good results.
    Maybe it's due to the subject matter but I put the Tamron and new Panasonic ahead of the Olympus. Adding to the buying dilemma is whether one gets a good copy of the lens or a bad one.
    In Oz, The Tamron is some $120 cheaper than the Panny and a further $50+ cheaper than the Olympus.
  19. So Thankful

    So Thankful Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2015
    The Oly 14-150 II is on sale for $399.00 right now. That may be the nudge you need to get the Oly.
  20. _BG_

    _BG_ Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 16, 2011
    Viseu - Portugal
    I also have this doubt (Panasonic 14-140mm v2, Oly 14-150 v2 or the Tamron), but I will also shoot video. So, my question is: isn't the Pana 14-140 v2 bad for video?

    Does anyone knows how any of the three I talked behaves when shooting video?