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14-54 MkII vs 12-40

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ricoh, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    After a reasonable amount of time spent searching, it suggests to me that the topic hasn't been raised previously, but apologies otherwise.
    Apart from faster focus (when coupled to an EM5 or EP5), and the obvious difference in focal length, is there any advantage in me changing from the ZD 14-54? I'm particularly thinking about optical performance of course. The difference in 'weight' isn't a big issue to me.

  2. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    You'd get F2.8 from 12-40; what is the max f-stop at 40mm on the 14-54mm?

  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    You need to consider what focal length is your most used and what sort of lighting conditions you favour. If you're not sure of what focal length is your most common, download ExposurePlot and analyse your photos: http://www.vandel.nl/. With the quality of sensors in m4/3 cameras nowadays, the extra 2/3 stop that the 12-40mm provides at the long end may not be that big a deal.
  4. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    speed wise, the 12-40 is much faster...
    image quality wise, I'd say they are both about equal
    build wise, they are both weather sealed, but the tactile quality of the 12-40 is much nicer.
    price wise, the 14-54 mki is dirt cheap, the 14-54 mkii is just cheap, and the 12-40 is WAY expensive
    focal length wise, I like the 12mm better than 14mm. Length wise, I can usually walk closer, so I'm ok with 40mm

    I owned the mk1 version when I was shooting 4/3...then I sold it when I bought the 12-60 because I wanted something faster, and I had that focal length cover...but it is a very capable lens.

    I would own this lens again only if I owned an EM1 and didn't own the 12-40.
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    If we are talking about the same lens, the 14-54mm f2.8-3.5, then the 12-40mm f2.8 isn't 'much' faster. It's only about 2/3 stop from around halfway in the zoom range of the 14-54mm to the longest end. I'm sure the E-M5/E-P5 will happily cope with the difference.
  6. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    12-40mm, is smaller, lighter, faster on the long end, wider on the short end, probably a bit sharper. Will focus faster and more reliably on all M43rds bodies other than the EM1, even on the EM1 the 12-40 is probably faster (its much faster than the MK1).

    14-54 is longer on the long end.

    I owned the 14-54 MK1 briefly and consider the 12-40mm the superior lens in almost every regard, not sure how it holds up to the MK2.
  7. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    Thanks everyone. As I have two bodies, an EM5 and an EP5, I'm finding the combo Panny 7-14 on one and the ZD 14-54 on the other works quite well, and optically I suppose I've been quite happy. I suppose the only downside is the focusing speed which, as everyone knows, is rather lethargic, even with the MkII. I suppose I have to weigh up the pros and cons, lots of money for the switch, less reach, but faster focus and better ergonomics.
    Thanks once more.
    (Apologies, by the way, for over use of the word 'suppose'.)
  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    I've owned all the high end "normal" zooms, the 12-35, 12-40, 12-60 and 14-54II. They are all optically excellent and while the two 4/3 lenses are slower they are also longer.

    The two m43 lenses are jewel like in their build quality. The 4/3 lenses are rugged but more industrial.

    Since they are all optically excellent and within a stop in aperture the only really defining characteristics are the way they handle on the body and the AF speed.

    The 14-54II has ok AF on m43 bodies and ironically it is slowest on the E-M1, where is only uses PDAF even though it is CDAF capable. The 12-60 is fast on the E-M1. The m43 lenses are both very fast.

    The 14-54 is the best balanced of the 4/3 pair as is the 12-35 of the m43. The 12-60 and 12-40 are both front heavy and feel remarkably similar mounted. If you have an E-M1 and you want a zoom the 12-60 really feels the same as the 12-40 and has more reach and is cheaper used.

    I ended up with the 12-35 as it is the lightest and most compact. The 14-54II would be my next choice on a CDAF body.
  9. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    I say, if you got the money burning a hole in your pocket, or if you need the lens for your photography buisness, go for the 12-40mm lens. Otherwise, save a bundle by sticking with what you got.
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