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differences in Oly 14-42mm versions?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by flamingfish, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    I bought a used EPL-3 with 14-42mm lens on eBay. Turns out that instead of the Mk II R, which is the kit lens with the EPL-3, the seller sent the first version of the 14-42 lens (Mk I, I guess). Should I care? Other than the fact that the early version is 40.5 diameter and the later ones are 37, are there any significant differences? All I've been able to find on the web are discussions of the differences between the MkII and MkII R (answer: cosmetic only).

    (Note -- the seller did not specify which version of the lens he/she was sending, so any fault is mine for not looking closely enough at the pictures to see the itty-bitty 40.5 on the front.)

    Obviously, since I'm fretting about a kit lens, I'm pretty much of a noob in the micro 4/3 world -- just upgrading from a P&S.

    I have added a 17mm Oly, and I jumped on the recent $99 deal for the 40-150, but I think the 14-42 is the range I'm likely to use most.

  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The original version uses ED (extra-low dispersion) glass, whereas the newer ones moved to aspherical. ED is better for overall image quality, Aspherical is better for wide angle. The quality of the original is good, the only real complaint about it is that it feels looser in the barrel and has a rotating front element instead of the faster internal-focusing MSC design. It won't be as fast to AF as the MSC models, but it is fine.

    Personally, I prefer the 40.5mm filter. That is a more standard rangefinder size for me to find accessories for. Although, the 37mm filter would allow you to share accessories with your upcoming 17mm, plus the rotating front element and loose barrel of the 40.5mm version makes mounting accessories difficult in the first place.

    I just hope they sent you the very original metal-mount version as opposed to the plastic mounted version which shipped with the E-PL1. The Mk I plastic mount is the least desirable of all the kit lenses. The metal mount one has at least that as an advantage.

    Once you get the faster 17mm prime though, the kit zoom may not get much use anyways. ;) 
  3. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    My understanding is that perhaps the original 14-42 is a little sharper than the later versions, but that it doesn't offer the MSC silent focusing for doing video. Likewise it focuses a little slower and obviously extends in two sections instead of one. Also, it rotates while focusing so you can't really use polarizing or graduated ND filters mounted to it. All that said, I've been pretty happy with mine (which is the even less desirable plastic mount version), though I think that its generally accepted that the newer version is the more desirable lens.
  4. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
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