14-45 or 12-50mm or 14-42mm?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by weeowee, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    I want a standard zoom just for everyday use. I used to have a 12-50mm but i sold it. Anyway, i was thinking of waiting for the 12-40pro but its too expensive for me. so which one is the better deal
    A. 14-45mm around 175 dollars
    B. 12-50 around 155 dollars
    C.14-42mm oly 75 dollars

    I already have the 60mm oly macro so the macro feature of the 12-50mm doesn't matter that much to me. Other advise i got was to saveup for a used 9-18m which i could get for around 450 dollars
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've used them all. I think the 14-45 is a bit better than the others, but I didn't see the difference in IQ that others claim exists.

    For me, with an E-M5, the 12-50 is a no-brainer because of the weather-proofing. If I didn't have a weather-proof body I'd probably go small and cheap (14-42). You can save for the 9-18 and then sell the 14-42 when you are ready to upgrade, or just live without the zoom. Just a matter of how much you want/need a standard zoom in the mean time.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 14, 2013

    I had the following zoom lenses:

    oly 14-42 (came with the epl1)
    pana 14-45
    pana 14-42 pz
    pana 12-35
    oly 12-50
    and some primes (20 1.7, 25 1.4, 45 1.8)

    used all lenses on the em5.

    The 12-35 is hands down the best zoom. sharp, accurate, repeatable results. More predictable results than the primes. faster focus as well.
    The 14-45 was similar that way. good all rounder.
    The oly 14-42 was horribly soft. Stay clear.
    The 14-42 pz is quite close to the 14-45. Much better than internet forums will lead you to believe (no shutter shock issues for me)
    The 12-50 is a mixed bag for me. Some shots esp. macro came out terrific while wide angle shots turned terribly soft all over the image. The 12mm is a big plus but mediocre iq made it a no go for me.
    I just couldn't rely on it and stopped using it altogether.

    I ended up selling all lenses and staying with the 14-42pz for portability, 7.5mm fisheye and 12-35 2.8 for my best all rounder.
    The 14-45 would stay had I not got the 12-35 but as the 14-45 is closer to 14-42 pz iq than to 12-35 while weighing and having general bulk closer to the 12-35 I saw no reason to keep it.

    Hope this helps.
  4. TransientEye

    TransientEye Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 18, 2013
    We have both the 14-45mm and 12-50mm (both came with kits).

    The 14-45mm is *maybe* a little bit sharper than the 12-50mm at the same focal length. It is also significantly shorter. However, the difference is small enough that the 12-50mm is probably the better bet for the wider range and dust/weather proofing.

    We mostly shoot using primes (12/25/45 - all of which are much sharper as well as faster), and keep the 12-50 around for times when it is too risky to use an alternative. The weather sealing is pretty good - when trekking earlier this year we would rinse the camera and lens under a tap to remove layers of mud and dust after a day's hike.
  5. mring1

    mring1 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    John Taska
    The difference between 12 and 14 on the wide end is...a lot more than you might think. Even though the 12-50 goes 10 mm longer, that last 10 mm loses contrast and sharpness, which is why I pair it with a 40-150. It's also slow...pretty much f/8 and be there. The 12-25 range on mine is very good stopped down 1/2 stop, but since all three lenses are kit lenses, that's pretty much a wash.

    You didn't say what body you have. If you have the E-M5, then the WR combination is great. If you don't then it's not worth it. The 15-45 seems to be recognized as the best all around m4/3s kit lens, but you might have to get to 100% crops and pixel-peeping to prove that. I really think it's horses for (your) courses.
  6. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    im sorry, i have an em5
  7. I have kept my 12-50mm specifically because it is splashproof (combined with my E-M5). Overall I feel that if it has any problems it is corner sharpness at the widest angle and overall sharpness at the longest focal length. Shoot it with those limitations in mind and it will work fine. Overall I don't find that it is quite as crispy as my 14-140mm or the 14-45mm in their overlapping ranges.
  8. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    so would it be worth it to get the 12-50 for 155 even if i don't use tha macro and the waterproof feature, or just stick to a 14-42II oly, which i can get for around for only 75-80
  9. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    I think you'll end up liking the perks either way ;)  But do keep in mind you have to be realistic about the results; this lens is mediocre in the corners and mediocre at the long end. Look at the Flickr group for this lens. If you like what you see, jump for it. If you don't, get the 14-42II and don't mind it.
  10. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    I had the 12-50mm it was fine for me, but i sold it, then i regretted it. I was just intrigued by the 14-45mm so i was thinking of that too
  11. kevin boyer

    kevin boyer Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 26, 2013
    Bozeman MT / Winder GA

    If you don't mind me asking, where are you seeing the 12-50mm on sale for $155.00? I am also in the same boat as you, and really like the 12-50mm.

  12. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    the panasonic 14-42II is meant to be pretty decent as well (for a kit lens).
  13. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    here in our country the 12-50 is cheap. Im in the philippines.
  14. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    If you don't use the macro or the waterproof features, skip the 12-50mm, save your money, and get one of the 14-42mm lenses. I use an older Panasonic 14-42mm, NOT the collapsible one, and am very happy with it. The 14-45mm is better, but not better enough to pay double, especially since it is going to take a tripod to really bring out the differences.

    And if I were in your position and didn't need either feature of the 12-50mm, I wouldn't be willing to pay more for it than a 14-42mm costs, just to get lower image quality. The only reason I'd pick one up is to throw on my camera on cloudy days, so that I don't have to worry about it maybe raining.
  15. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Everyone keeps saying the 14-45 is much better than the 14-42, but has anyone posted pictures proving that? My 14-42 is pretty darn sharp, but not quite as contrasty as I'd like.
  16. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 19, 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  17. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yes, it's been exhaustively established, and beaten to death. Feel free to use any combination of creative search terms both on this forum and on google to get comparisons, discussions, and tests to your heart's content. I use the Panasonic 14-42mm as well, and I'm happy with it as my G2's midrange lens (as well as the one I convinced my father to get with his G6), but the 14-45mm is better. Is it double the price better? Well, as I wrote above, I don't think so.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    i was comparing the oly 14-42 II mm oly not the panny version to the panny 14-45mm, sorry for the mixup.
  19. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    I have both the Oly 12-50 and Pana 14-45.
    The Pana 14-45 is a bit sharper, smaller, reliable and have built-in stabilizer.
    Oly is soft at 50mm. At 12mm it have a reasonable IQ, but is very sensitive to flare. Macro function (fixed at 43mm) on this Oly is very good and produce very sharp pictures.
  20. weeowee

    weeowee Mu-43 Regular

    May 6, 2012
    I think ill get the 14-42II oly since there are only minor differences, then the money i save i'll put it towards my samyang fisheye and oly 45mm fund... :)  thanks everyone
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