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14mm or 12mm? Your Experiences Please.

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Catscratch, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Catscratch

    Catscratch Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 1, 2012
    I am looking for some recent thoughts and experiences in relation to wide primes. I would like to soon purchase one to round out my lens options but I am stuck with choice.
    I know that 24mm and 28mm are different perspectives, however if your experience tells me that IQ is similar between the Panny 14mm and the Oly 12mm then affordability will have to side with choosing the 14mm.
    I am really happy with the Panny 25mm 1.4. It almost creates mood on its own.
    Cat Scratch Images
  2. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    Like you said I dont think IQ is significantly different and you are paying extra for the better build quality (which is awesome). I also prefer 24mm FOV to 28mm. The 14mm is priced really well, I believe its currently 1/3 of the 12mm so unless you really like shooting wide angles I would go with the 14mm.
  3. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I had the 14mm, it came with my GF3, and I really didn't like it at all. IMO, the IQ was less than that of the 20mm and wasn't as good in low lighting conditions which is why i would end up using the 20mm instead.

    I picked up the 12mm a couple of months ago and I actually prefer it to the 20. It's noticably wider than the 14mm, faster to AF than the 20mm and works better in low lighting conditions than the 14mm. The only areas, IMO, that the 14mm is favorable is price and size.

    The build of 12mm is outstanding, it looks and feels amazing. if you like WA lenses and you can afford the 12mm, I couldn't recommend it more.
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I own both lenses, but the 14mm is my most recently acquired lens and I haven't made many shots with it yet. Bearing that in mind, so far my impression is that there is a noticeable IQ edge to the 12mm, but it's not mind-blowing. It's a bit like comparing the 25mm f/1.4 versus the 20mm f/1.7 I guess... not a dramatic difference, but there is one, at least to my eye.

    The 12mm FOV is also appreciably wider than 14mm and if you are wanting a true wide angle then the 12mm will give more of "that look". And, as Mijo pointed out the build quality of the 12mm is in a completely different league. The manual focus snap ring may also be helpful for you if you do street photos and want to use zone focusing, or just like manual focus.

    Overall I agree that the 14mm is really only a clear winner in price, and size - it's a tiny lens. I don't care what color my lenses are generally, but the 14mm is less conspicuous for street/candid photos, since it's a tiny flat black pancake. If I were picking one solely on optical and build quality though, it'd be the 12mm all the way. That said, the question is whether it's worth several times the price to you. A 14mm can be had for $160-170 easily versus $7-800 for the 12mm.
  5. longimanus

    longimanus Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 29, 2011
    Madrid (Spain)
    Take a look at Steve Huff site. You will find a complete review 12 vs 14
  6. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    ALthough I've never experienced the Oly 12mm, I do own the Panny 14. That said, I thought I would join in the discussion and share my thoughts on the Panny...

    1. As several have already opined, the IQ is adequate but NOT exceptional (for instance in comparison to the Oly 45 /f1.8 -- which is a fantastic world class lens IMHO or the Panny 20/1.7 -- also an exceptional lens particularly when considering its price). The 14mm renders images in a somewhat soft & lower contrast way than optimal.

    2. IT is wonderfully compact (almost tiny) and its build quality is quite good -- especially considering its featherlike weight and mostly plastic body.

    3. On my E-P2 and or OM-D, there are often red / cyan chromatic aberrations along edges and highlight areas in images shot with it.

    4. Autofocus speed is fairly good -- in my experience, faster than the Panny 20/f1.7

    If given the choice between the Panny 14 or the Oly 12, based on what i've read and seen (image-wise) of the Oly 12 (and my preference for the wider 24mm perspective), it would be my first option. Given the radical difference in price between the two, the Panny is the real deal and is the main reason I opted to purchase one.
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I've had both. The 12mm is awesome. In fact, near perfect. Saying that, the 14mm is smaller, almost as sharp and the most important factor...dirt cheap!

    If you're a wide angle junkie, by all means get the 12mm, if you think you'll shoot wide only occasionally, save some cash and get the 14mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    Even though the Panasonic 14mm is not as bright as the Panasonic 20mm, f/2.5 vs. f/1.7, I find that the auto focus lock is much quicker and accurate on the 14mm. The 20mm fails on me more often than not in poor light, which kind of defeats the purpose of the f/1.7 a bit.

    YMMV, I only tried out the 20mm briefly.
  9. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    They are both wide enough for me. I use the 12mm most of the time but there are many times when I want to carry the camera in a coat pocket when only the tiny 14mm lens will work.
  10. izzat

    izzat New to Mu-43

    Aug 2, 2012
    hi guys, i'm too wondering between these two lenses, i'm looking for something that can be an all-rounder when you're going out with friends, let say going out to the city, i'm an international student so i do travel around. so which lens should i go if i want to capture the moment of having fun while still giving the impression that i am at a new place
  11. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    If you're looking for a combo that you can go out drinking with--14mm.

    Because if you scratched it or something, it's cheaper to replace :) .
  12. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    I think the real thing to consider here is the 12mm has a metal body and the 14mm doesn't. That means the pictures you take will feel heavier.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Well, it's silver... so they'll also be shinier. Always a give and take to these things.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    For an all around wide-ish angle and pocketability / replaceability I'd say the 14mm would be the better bet. 12mm is pretty wide for an only lens and I think of it as a bit more specialized focal length, whereas 14mm feels less like a true wide angle to me.
  15. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I've got the 12
    If I wasn't a spoiled rotten brat, I'd be all over the $176 eBay specials on the 14's!
    I would terribly miss the dof scale tho
    I LOVE it !
    But on a non spoiled budget, it's not worth an extra $625!
  16. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    The 14mm suits me very well. The 14 is a nice walk around or close quarters lens for the price and it is discreet. The 12 looks like a fantastic lens all around, but the price puts me off a bit for how much I would use it. I got the 14mm with my GX1 and I couldn't see getting rid of it considering my overall investment in it.

    I don't use wide angles a lot, and when I do, I want really wide. 12 isn't wide enough for me when I want to do UWA shooting, so I went for the 7-14 (which I use @ 7mm all the time).
  17. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    i was wondering this exact same thing. there should be a reason why the $500~ difference right?... is it worth. i used to have the p14 was my first pancake lens. i totally hate it. the lens is not really a good one compared to the cheap equivalent in FF (which is from where i come from)...but after some time got to like it till i sold it and now that i want/need an wide angle lens im thinking in between this two specially considering if its worth the jump onto the O12. any help is much appreciated.
  18. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Is $500 a big deal to you? Do you crave sexy metal build with dof scale? Is tiny good enuf? Or do you need pancake tiny?
  19. mav

    mav Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 2, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    If you have the money I would go for the 12mm. I do not own it but I hear great things. I have used one in the store and the MF is delicious on it.

    I do however own the 14mm and its image quality is so so. I hardly ever put it on my camera because its optically a bit meh compared to my 20mm.
    Also it has monstrous barrel distortion that needs to be corrected if you're shooting RAW.
    That said its cheap and tiny, also its moderately bright and it focuses very quickly.
  20. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    because it is is why im asking. But if there is a $500 difference in IQ of AF speed then i can do my best to get it. if its not that much of a real difference i would get the P14 again. :rolleyes: 
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