Best 14mm option

dhazeghi

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I've been using the Panasonic 14-45 as my main walkaround lens on the E-P2. It's a decent enough lens, but I've not been fully satisfied with the performance at the wide-end, and it has a fair amount of chromatic aberration.

Based on a number of recommendations, I ordered the Olympus 14-54II. I've only had it for a day now, but so far, I'm a bit disappointed. Sharpness at 14mm is still lacking at the edges of the frame, and CA remains high. In addition, the autofocus speed of the 14-54 is much slower than with the Panasonic.

At this point, I'm wondering if there are any reasonable options for the E-P2 that offer better performance at 14mm. Has anybody compared the new pancake against the 14-45? How about the new Olympus 14-42 from the E-PL1s kit? I know the 12-60 will be better, but it's more than a tad unwieldy on the E-P2 and autofocus performance is even worse than the 14-54.
 

bilzmale

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The sharpest zoom lens by far is the expensive and hard to find PanLeica 14-150 for 4/3. It is an uncorrected lens so will have some distortion and CA and the same focus speed problems of most 4/3 lenses. Boyzo (member here) uses one.
 

~tc~

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Either the Panny 7-14 or Oly 9-18 would be better choices if you are into wide angle photography. There is also the new 14 mm prime
 

dhazeghi

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The sharpest zoom lens by far is the expensive and hard to find PanLeica 14-150 for 4/3. It is an uncorrected lens so will have some distortion and CA and the same focus speed problems of most 4/3 lenses. Boyzo (member here) uses one.
Looks like a very nice lens! Unfortunately the price is a bit of a nonstarter, considering that m4/3 is my backup system...

Thanks!

DH
 

dhazeghi

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Either the Panny 7-14 or Oly 9-18 would be better choices if you are into wide angle photography. There is also the new 14 mm prime
I'm not really into UWA photography. 12 or 14mm is wide enough for me. I just hate blurry edges :-(

The 7-14 looks nice for UWA, but unless I'm misreading photozone, it wouldn't really improve IQ at 14mm compared to the 14-45mm either...

Thanks,

DH
 

Streetshooter

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Any reviews or samples, especially compared to the 14-45?

Thanks,

DH
Well, I sold my 17 & 14-45 tonight because I realized that the 14 would be a great street companion to the 20.
I didn't do a test of the 14 against the 14-45 because it is a good lens and I don't like comparing things like that.
Ya either like something ya have or ya don't have it anymore.
I still have the 14.
 

rainyseason

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New to the m-ft, just ordered a GF1 with the 20mm kit lens. You guys mention the 14mm prime. What is it? Thanks
 

dhazeghi

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Well, I sold my 17 & 14-45 tonight because I realized that the 14 would be a great street companion to the 20.
I didn't do a test of the 14 against the 14-45 because it is a good lens and I don't like comparing things like that.
Ya either like something ya have or ya don't have it anymore.
I still have the 14.
Fair enough. But since I'd keep the 14-45 either way (need a standard zoom), the only thing that would interest me in the 14 is significantly better IQ.

Enjoy your pancake!

DH
 

~tc~

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The 7-14 looks nice for UWA, but unless I'm misreading photozone, it wouldn't really improve IQ at 14mm compared to the 14-45mm either...
All the reports I've read lead me to believe the 14/2.5 won't really improve on the 14-45 either
 

~tc~

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I think that speaks more to how good the 14-45 is than how poor the prime is ...

(oh, and to be clear, I'm referring to the m43 14-45 "kit" lens)
 

carpandean

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The 14mm f/2.5 pancake was clearly designed, first and foremost, to be small. It is the smallest, lightest lens in the :43: system. The restriction in size meant that it would not have quite the same IQ and speed of the 20mm f/1.7. However, it does take very good pictures and is still at least full stop faster than any other native 14mm option. The 14-45mm's OIS may make up for (some of) this in terms of low light performance, but it will not be able to achieve as narrow a depth of field as the 14mm.

If you are considering only image quality and nothing else, then the 14mm is probably not worth its price to you. If size and speed are also concerns, then it is definitely an amazing little lens. As with all lenses, it depends on what you want to do with it.
 

addieleman

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... the only thing that would interest me in the 14 is significantly better IQ.
What I'm missing in the discussion so far is any reference to the aperture you use. Wide open my 14-45mm is not completely sharp in the edges at 14mm, stopping down to f/5.6 cures this problem. The 14-45mm is one lens I won't let go because it's so good, provided you stop down a bit, to f/5.6 everywhere and to f/8 at 45mm for good edge sharpness. So far I haven't seen complaints about sample variability of the 14-45mm, but of course you may have a worse than average sample.

I don't own the 14mm pancake. Judging from a number of reviews and sample pictures it won't offer much improvement on the 14-45mm; especially edge sharpness doesn't seem better if not worse at comparable apertures, so you only really gain an extra stop of low-light performance and smaller size.
 

dhazeghi

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What I'm missing in the discussion so far is any reference to the aperture you use. Wide open my 14-45mm is not completely sharp in the edges at 14mm, stopping down to f/5.6 cures this problem. The 14-45mm is one lens I won't let go because it's so good, provided you stop down a bit, to f/5.6 everywhere and to f/8 at 45mm for good edge sharpness. So far I haven't seen complaints about sample variability of the 14-45mm, but of course you may have a worse than average sample.
This is my second sample, so I doubt it's my copy of the lens. Like you I use f/5.6 at 14mm. I'm not saying it's a bad lens and center sharpness is definitely good, but having tested it against the 12-60 at 14mm, there's just no comparison in the corners - the 12-60 is significantly sharper wide open than the 14-45 is at any aperture.

Cheers,

DH
 

Streetshooter

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The 14-45 is a great lens but....the 14mm is soooo small and unobtrusive, quiet and fast. That's what makes it work for me. I'll bet that means something to more than a few shooters.
 

~tc~

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Any zoom will be better within its range than at the end.

Hopefully, the new m43 12-50 comes out soon!
 

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