14mm f2.5 vs 14-45mm f3.5-5.6

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by manju69, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Hi. I have the Panasonic 14-45mm but wondered about swapping it for a 14mm pancake - the 14mm pancake pics on the archive look way sharper than this kit zoom and the main reason I carry around the zoom is for those wide angle shots. Are my eyes deceiving me or is the 14mm pancake noticeably better? Thanks
     
  2. Dan Lopez

    Dan Lopez Mu-43 Veteran

    201
    Aug 12, 2011
    The 14mm is a full stop faster/sharper and it being a prime lens give it the advantage so no I dont think your eyes are deceiving you. With that said the 14-45mm is a favorite of mine for its versatility and overall sharpness for being a "kit" lens.
     
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I suspect it's the latter. Every review I've seen shows the 14-45 to be sharper. My 14-45 was actually sharper than the Olympus 12/2 (though not quite so wide).

    DH
     
  4. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    May 28, 2011
    Did you mean "former" ("my eyes deceiving me") or "latter" ("the 14mm pancake noticeably better")?
     
  5. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    I mean the pancake looks better than the 14-45. I this the case In actual use and experience (as well as tests/reviews)
     
  6. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    and it looks as if the 14mm pancake can focus closer too..
     
  7. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator

    661
    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    Zach
    I picked it up recently and have been underwhelmed. I see no major sharpness advantage over my 14-45. It's not anywhere near the same league as the other Panasonic primes. It seems like they may have made a lot of compromises to get the size they wanted.

    This review is consistent with my admittedly limited experience with the lens thus far:

    Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. review - Summary - Lenstip.com
     
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  8. TonyB

    TonyB Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Jun 6, 2010
    I have both....

    and if I had to choose one it would be the 14mm F2.5. It's very much an under-rated lens. It's tiny, sharp and great fun to shoot with. It's useable wide open and I believe it to be better than the 14-45mm, especially when you stop down from F2.8 onwards.
    It does fade a bit at the far edges but it's nothing that bothers me to be honest. There is some vignetting but that can work for creative purposes and it's very easy to remove if you don't want it.
    The only dilemma is whether you'd miss the reach of the 14-45mm. If you have other primes that shouldn't be an issue. I use mine in conjunction with the 20mm and 45mm and they make a great trio as a lightweight, sharp lowlight kit. Personally I don't feel the need to get the 12mm as I have the 14mm and I don't think there is an awful lot between them in terms of IQ. 14mm is a good fov for me and preferable to a 12mm prime, YMMV.
     
  9. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Thanks, I love working with primes and already have the 45mm Oly so am fine for that end. I want to eventually get the PL25mmm, so this wide end may suit me well. It's odd how different folk rate this lens...and the reviews are mixed too. Looking at the archive though, and i loved what i saw, it looks sharp at the centre and the extra bit of light would help a lot. They are cheap second hand....I'll play around more with the 14-45 and see.
     
  10. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    And if you ever do video the OIS on the 14-45 is very good. I just bought the lens on that basis. Even at 14mm camera shake on these small cameras (without a rig) can be annoying.
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I meant that appearances can be deceiving :) The 14mm pancake lens has advantages (size mainly), but sharpness isn't one of them.

    DH
     
  12. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    594
    Oct 18, 2011
  13. FastCorner

    FastCorner Mu-43 Veteran

    310
    May 28, 2011
    Seems to me that even at f2.8 on the 14mm, the center is sharper and the corners are about the same as the 14-45mm at f3.5 Wide open, the 14mm is still sharper in the center, but you lose it in the corners. Admittedly, the differences may be marginal in real life usage, but the charts indicate they are measurable.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Am I missing something? Based on the SLRGear website, the 14mm is sharper than the 14-45 at the same aperture, and is about a stop faster and much more compact, if you are looking for 28mm eq. (like I am). Of course, the zoom is much more versatile and has OIS for video purposes.

    Screen_shot_2011-11-16_at_12_45_28_PM.

    Screen_shot_2011-11-16_at_12_45_39_PM.

    Screen_shot_2011-11-16_at_12_45_50_PM.

    Screen_shot_2011-11-16_at_12_46_01_PM.
     
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  15. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I've had both 14 and 14-45. I found 14 is sharper in the center at f2.5 than the zoom at f3.5. More importantly 14mm has better color and way more contrasty. Not to mention it's much smaller, better continous AF for video and way better AF performance in low light. Also 14 can focus almost 2x closer than the zoom making it far more versatile lens for walkaround.
     
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  16. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Veteran

    493
    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Pete
    Thanks - This is what i thought. The samples I have seen on this site have a zing to them, in the way that the 20mm has (almost). More contrast i guess. 2x closer is a huge bonus as is better low light and AF. I am being converted...Not that the 14-45 is not a good kit lens...
     
  17. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    14 produces very similar images to 20 except that the 20 gives that nice 3d pop when use wide open due to f1.7 and longer FL. Color, sharpness, contast and character are all very similar. Of course, 14 is about 2x smaller, 2x ligter and 2x faster AF (and 1.5x cheaper, lol).
    14-45 is still a very good kit zoom which is sufficiently sharp throughout its focal range and all apertures, and it's very nicely built
     
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Look at the tests on photozone. Unlike slrgear, photozone's results tend to be repeatable, and comparable within the given category.

    It's not a huge difference, but there's little point in getting the 14/2.5 if your main goal is sharper results than the 14-45. In fact, short of the 7-14, none of the WA options seem to offer much of a step up. It's a shortcoming of m4/3.

    DH
     
  19. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I've used both sites for a while. Why do you think that Photozone's results are more accurate than SLRGear? Not sure that I understand what "repeatable, and comparable within the given category."
     
  20. TonyB

    TonyB Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Jun 6, 2010
    Hmmm.......

    I have to respectfully disagree completely on that one. Wide ange is actually quite a strength of m4/3's. The smaller sensor means it is easier to design lenses that are sharp across the frame. Yes it cannot go as wide as FF but 7-14mm is pretty damn wide, as is 9-18mm, more than enough for most people.
    As for the 14mm F2.5, it's a prime lens and does perform like one. It is definitely sharper than the 14-45mm in my experience and worth buying if you like that biting sharpness that primes can give you. The 14-45mm is a nice lens and has it's own advantages but, as with any zoom, sharpness is not consistent through the range. The 14mm F2.5 is very close to the 20mm wide open and then gets very sharp with just a little stopping down, at least mine does.
    I enjoy zooms as well as primes but there are very few zooms that can compete with a decent prime on a sharpness level. The most notable exception in my experience is the Zuiko 12-60mm, which is like having a bag of primes in one lens.
     
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