Beginner question: Switching between 14mm and 14-42mm kit lens with GX1

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by craniac, Jun 9, 2014.

  1. craniac

    craniac Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2013
    Orem, Utah.
    Real Name:
    Mark Crane
    I am an amateur and a dabble, so I don't have much money invested in the hobby. I've got a GX1 and found a great deal on a 14mm Lumix lens (f/2.5). I just bought the standard kit lens (14-45mm f/3.5-5.6). [Whoops, it is actually a 14-42)

    Both lenses have their strengths and limitations. I like having the ability to zoom with the kit lens, but while taking pictures of the stage for my son's graduation, my shots were a little underexposed and noisy--this is my fault.

    I like the sharpness of the 14mm, and it is great at night, but everything in the distance, especially in very low light, looks pretty nasty when I crop.

    So I'm going to Europe for the first time with my family in July, and I'm just looking for tips on which lens to shoot with in which situation. One reason I use a Panasonic GX1 is because it is smaller, and irritates my wife less than a full DSLR, but has better image quality and more control than my old S95 (loved that thing).

    To begin to answer my own question, I need to get more practice with the camera and learn to shoot in manual. I welcome any other advice, even if is "You need a super fast lens that costs more than your first car" :)
  2. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I have the same kit as you can see. 14mm is a great all around lens. I can easily use it for everything. For just walkaround pictures of buildings and things , it's great . Bright enough for evening walks too, though I would also bring a small tripod that can be used for evening photos of scenery to even better effect. When I use the 14-42 , its mainly on the wide end. Do you have the viewfinder ? That really increases the enjoyment of photography IMHO . The last thing is post processing - it can really make the best of your photos or make the not so interesting ones more so. Good luck.
  3. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 19, 2012
    IMHO you can keep 14-45 and disregard the 14. The 14/2.5 image quality never made me feel good but the 14-45 is really great.

    Sent from my XT886 using Tapatalk 2
  4. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    The 14mm is a great lens, compares well to my Nikkor 12-24 when both are at the same FOV. For destination attractions, like churches or other historic sites including museums the 14mm would be my choice. The kit zooms are actually very good, but with the 14mm you will get a sharpness advantage as well as size. I would second Stevens point of a viewfinder, in bright sun it will really help you compose. If you don't have LightRoom, well it the least expensive and best way to improve your images.
  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    Hi, if you want to do a lot of low-light photography, instead of cropping consider getting another prime lens such as the 25mm, 42.5mm, 45mm, 60mm, or 75mm or one of the Sigmas.

  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    One thing to recognize is that the GX1, even at base ISO, applies pretty significant noise reduction, which most people here choose to reduce by setting the JPG settings to -2. Obviously there's a difference between optical softness and noise reduction-produced softness, but the GX1 is prone to some of that going on.

    I like the look of my GX1 images when the NR is set as low as possible, as the grain is very fine and looks a lot like film grain.
  7. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I think you have two good lenses. Because the 14mm is faster. it will have less depth of field and if you are focused on a near subject at f2.5, the background may well be out of focus. Read up a bit on depth of field, take a few test shots and you'll get it quick.
  8. craniac

    craniac Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2013
    Orem, Utah.
    Real Name:
    Mark Crane
    Thanks, everyone, for the advice. It looks like both lenses have fans. One thing I like about the 14-42mm h-hfs1442A is being able to zoom in a little in museum settings, and the fun and easy bokeh. I also have a 50mm Olympus prime with an adapter but don't use it much. It's a little soft, but creates interesting, "vintage" images.