14-45 + 45-200 or 14-140

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Lauzers, Feb 7, 2011.

  1. Lauzers

    Lauzers Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2011
    Hi All,

    Been in a bit of a delima lately with replacing my 14-45 with a 14-140. I'm happy with the 14-45, however i do wish to have a bit more range at times, and i do want a lens that does it all.

    I've read reviews that the 14-140 is a bit slow in AF, and not that sharp overall, however i do believe that is debatable.

    I guess the question is, is it worthwhile to have both 14-45 & 45-200 and change lens to suit your subject? or have a heavier 14-140 to reduce the lens collection? Am i wrong to assume the 14-45 & 45-200 can replace the 14-140?

    Thank you all for any comments.
  2. walt_tbay

    walt_tbay Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi Lauzers:

    Here's my two cents worth! I've got the Panasonic 14-140mm zoom and I have to confess that it's my most used lens (followed by the 20mm Pany, which I use for low light situations). I do have the 45-200mm Panasonic as well as the Olympus 14-42mm and they hardly ever get used. Although the 14-140 is a "big" lens, it takes up less space than these two lenses and it serves me well in most photo situations. The lens actually feels good in my big hands!

    Also, with the types of photos I take, I rarely need a lens that has a reach beyond 140mm. If I did, I might favour the 45-200mm because of its built-in image stabilization. Finally, I occasionally shoot video and the 14-140mm is an excellent performer in that regard (I think it focuses pretty fast and is quiet compared to any of the other m4/3 lenses).

    I guess it comes down to the types of photos you're intending to take. If you don't intend to shoot video and you need the long reach, maybe the 14-45mm plus 45-200mm combo is your best bet. If the opposite is true, then I'd vote for the 14-140 zoomer.

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  3. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010

    I have a G1 with the 14-45 and 45-200 combination and love it. I tend, however, to mostly use the 14-45, say out on a walk. But then I have gotten in the mood to do the same walk with the 45-200 and zoom in on things. Both lenses are actually very sharp. I took the above photo with the 45-200. Sort of an old barn portrait. Both of these lenses are light weight and small - even the 45-200 - and using a LowePro Rezo 160 AW case I can bring both lenses along with a polarizer, cable release, liner gloves, and even a set of Nikon close up filters, and it still isn't all that heavy and everything fits in. I used just such an outfit on a photo workshop and was a very happy camper.

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  4. VasManI

    VasManI Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    How many lenses do you want to carry with you?

    I had both the 14-42mm and 45-200mm, but always ended up leaving one at home and regretting it later. With the 14-140mm lens, you'll only need that one lens to carry with you.
  5. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I just recently got the 14-140 when I bought the GH2 body. Figured I'd use it for video. Though I have only just begun to use it, I'm astounded at the effectiveness of the IS. I've shot it hand held 140mm at 1/15 sec and had sharp, stable results. Amazing. I also love the 14-45 for it's compact size, excellent sharpness, and good range. I think I might be inclined to go with 14-140 and 100-300 myself if I'm setting out for image making and I'm going to take gear. 28-600 equivalent with two good lenses. Add in the 7-14 to give you 14-600 equiv, for good measure! ;). I think with the 14-140, lens changes can be quite minimized, if you want them to be... But that could also be said of the 14-45.
  6. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I have had both setups. I started with the two lenses. I primarily taking pictures while traveling. What I found was that the break at 90mm equivalent length was very inconvenient. The 45-200 was often too long for me, but was still needed frequently. The result was a lot of lens-changing, usually outdoors. So I sold the two and actually got a bit more money than the 14-140 cost me. I do not miss the long end (280-400mm equivalent) that I lost.

    Another factor was that 28mm equivalent fl is really not wide enough for good interior shots. When I was more serious about photography (Nikon 35mm), one of my two favorite lenses was a 24mm 2.8. So my two-lens solution added the Oly 9-18. It's a spectacular lens -- great interiors and zooms long enough to be useful for street shots. I plan to pick up a Panny 100-300 prior to an African trip this fall, probably with an extra camera body.

    One downside is that the 14-140 is a big and heavy lens. I don't think I'd be happy with it on a conventional neck strap. I've recently gotten the ring/sling strap bug, though, and on that type of strap the extra weight is unnoticeable. I haven't check the specs, but I wonder whether adding a extra body to the two-lens solution would be very much heavier than going to the 14-140. There are lots of advantages to carrying two camera, so you might want to consider that as well.
  7. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    I used to own the 14-45 and 45-200 on my G1 and I found that they were a pain to change and needed frequent changing. Like the previous poster said, the 45mm break point was really inconvenient. When I bought the GH2 I sold the 45-200 and got the 14-140. I took it on vacation right away and was thrilled with the versatility and not having to change lenses all the time.

    I did some analysis of my photos before making the decision. Of the keeper photos I took with the 45-200, only about 10% were longer than 140mm and the ones out toward 200 were noticeably soft and vignetted so it was an easy choice after that.

    The 14-140 is a very fast focuser, it's the one they tweaked with a firmware update to achieve the GH2's 1/10s "faster than light speed" focusing so I think whatever you heard about it's slow focus speed was misinformed.

    As for sharpness, the 14-45 and 45-200 are probably a bit sharper (the latter only if not zoomed to the long end in my experience) but again, the tradeoff for the versatility was minimal, I got a ton of great shots with it. It never felt anywhere near as soft as the 45-200 at 200.

    I kept the 14-45 because it is lighter and a bit sharper and faster so I can use that when I don't need the reach and want a lighter kit.

    I also agree with the earlier post that the 14-140 feels good to hold, it's solid and smooth.

    So my 2c, it's definitely worth it. Some day I'd like to get the 100-300 to go with it, but on my recent vacation, I was never really feeling short on reach.

    Here's a couple random shots from my trip at 140mm. I think it's pretty sharp, and definitely sharper than my 45-200 was at the long end.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/5305753082/" title="P1010437.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">"640" height="480" alt="P1010437.jpg" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zachpierce/5305182381/" title="P1010599.jpg by zach.pierce, on Flickr">"480" height="640" alt="P1010599.jpg" /></a>
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  8. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    Zach... That ape image is fantastic... The look on his face, in his eyes, his posture... Amazing creature, is he not! The 14-140 did a splendid job. It is an impressive lens with a fantastic focal length range. I like the size as well... nice to hold and easy to use and amazing IS capability. And I agree that having the 14-45 is equally useful... Very small, lightweight, great range, and super crisp sharpness. I love that little zoom.

    For vacation or setting out to create images, The 7-14, 20/1.7, 14-45, and 14-140 would be essential lenses for me. And I'm sure I'd take the Canon FD 50/1.4 legacy as well to create gorgeous, shallow DOF portraits and imagery.
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  9. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    Hey thanks! Your kit sounds identical to mine, right down to the Canon 50 :) Only I'm missing the 7-14, I'd love to have it, but haven't come up with the $$ yet.
  10. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    just want to say thanks for all the replies so far.
    i recently got the GF1/20 combo and have been debating between the 45-200 or 14-140 for a while now. fortunately i don't need to make my decision anytime soon because i'm still completely torn. i like the smoother max f-stop curve and price of the 45-200, but the convenience and range of the 14-140. tough decision....
  11. Alan_N

    Alan_N Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2011
    Yorkshire UK
    Real Name:
    I echo the above I also have recenty bought a GF1 with 20 and 14-45 and thinking about getting something longer. I was thinking about the 14-140 as I don't think I would need anything longer. I seen photos of the 45-200 fully extented and I am thinking it would be to big on the GF1 not seen what the 14-140 looks like at full lenght nice to see pics side of the lenes.
  12. Ducati_Don

    Ducati_Don Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 28, 2011
    Vancouver, WA
    I have the same dilemma! Trying to figure which one to add to my 20mm and 14-45..... rats..
  13. pboga

    pboga Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 6, 2010
    Apart from the video capacities, is the 14-140 really worth the extra 300 dollars over the 14-150 oly?
  14. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    I find that I can often use the 200mm focal length on my 45-200mm. On our last vacation (to Alaska), I took two bodies, and I often shot with two bodies simultaneously: G1 w/45-200mm and GF1 w/14-45mm. When my wife has the inspiration to shoot, she prefers the GF1 w/14-45mm, so I then use the G1 w/20mm as my main lens, and carry the 45-200mm with me in case I need to go longer.

    The compact size of the M43 equipment makes it easy to shoot and carry two cameras.

    I considered the 14-140mm, but ultimately decided against it because of the cost, and I didn't want the bulkiness of it when it's being used as my main lens.

  15. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Real Name:
    I can't comment on the IQ diff, but for Panasonic bodies, I think the image stabilization is really worth it's weight in gold.
  16. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    I'm loving my 45-200. It's Great For the Price

    I'm going to put in my 2 cents and tell you I doubt there's a better bang for the buck than the 45-200.

    I took my new 45-200 for a spin today in Westport, Ma. and posted some of the images in the native lens gallery appropriately placed.

    A few in the landscape and travel as well. The full gallery is here on MU-43.

    Here's a link to the Mobile Me Gallery: MobileMe Gallery

    Can't go wrong for the price on this lens...


    Life Ring 45mm


    Life Ring 200mm

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  17. New GF-1 user, similar lens situation.

    Searching around I could not find a GF-1 body or GF-1 with the 20mm/f1.7 from an authorized Panasonic dealer with USA warranty. Ended up purchasing the kit with the 14-45mm lens. Was thinking about a kit containing the 7-14mm and 14-140mm. Just shooting some test shots with the 14-45mm lens. Happy with it. So like a number of other people I'm flip-flopping around trying to decide on the 45-200 or 14-140. Mixed reviews and impression on both these lens is not making the choice any easier.

    Have a bad feeling it will be trial and see process. Upcoming trip in April for ~month. I pack light. No checked luggage. Every gram of weight and liter of volume counts. Has me leaning to the 14-140mm as the one lens kit for this trip. Zack thanks for posting the images. Another push toward the 14-140mm. Crunch time. Need to get some shutter time using the lens. Lumix LX transition to GF-1 has been nice. GF-1 is sweet little camera.
  18. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    The Oly 14-150 is actually video optimised, but apparently doesn't handle aperture changes as well. There are a few comparison articles around. I think they find the Panasonic lens better at the wide end, but they're similar through the rest of the range.

    A big difference is image stabilisation. If you have a Panasonic body, then hand-holding with the Olympus lens will require a shutter speed of around 1/60s or faster at full zoom. You should be able to hand-hold the Panasonic lens with OIS enabled at around 1/20s. On an Olympus body with built-in image stabilisation, then they should be similar with perhaps a slight advantage for the Panasonic lens.

    Size and weight is very much in favour of the Olympus. That's why I bought one (for an E-PL1).
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    The 14-140 is a sweetie. On several occasions, indoors, I've used the lens, at full telephoto extension of 140mm (280 equiv.) HAND HELD at 1/15 sec. with sharp images as a result. The IS feature on this lens is amazingly effective!

    Here's one from yesterday. Living room scene, windows behind the subject, interior of the room behind me with no windows behind me or to either side. GH2, ISO 2500, 14-140 @ 140 and hand held at 1/15th second with no extra-ordinary effort to minimize camera movement, just raised the camera to my eye and clicked the shutter. 1/15th sec! I've seen the 14-140 do this at full telephoto (280 equiv.) at 1/15th sec. enough times to know it's not a fluke... the IS is that good.

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  20. Lauzers

    Lauzers Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2011
    Thanks for all your responses so far. It looks like it is a common 'issue' if you want to call it, for people wanting a zoom lens.

    I think it is a case of personal preference. Buy it, try it, then 1) don't like it = sell it, 2) like it = keep it.

    The 'issue' is really for those who already owned the 14-45, thinking of 14-140 as a potential option. For those who are looking for a zoom lens, and CAN justify the money, it is 'THE' lens.

    More similar discussion on the dpreview forum here