Is the Panasonic 14mm 2.5 lens the best pound-for-pound champ in the Micro Four Thirds line-up?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jonathan F/2, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've gone through several 14mm lenses, but for some reason I keep coming back to it. It's not the best in any one category, but it's still fairly sharp, has a decent aperture speed, focuses alright, it's a pancake, has a fixed barrel length and is relatively affordable (under $200 USD). There really isn't a lens in the M43 line-up that can boast that kind of resume! In fact going through my photo archive, I feel some of my best photos were taken with that lens.

    What do you guys think? Does it deserve the title for best pound-for-pound champ?
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  2. Levster

    Levster Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I'd say the Sigma 60mm would rank at the top of my "best bang for buck" list. I'm constantly blown away by how sharp the images are, and all for £130! The 60mm is a great portrait lens and allows you to stand a little bit back from the action and still get great shots,
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
  4. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    This was the first M43 lens I had, along with an adapted Minolta, and a little GF3. Not the easiest kit to work with, but I've had such fun with it (and the 14mm still sits proudly on the GF3).

    I'll say its near-zero weight is very underrated, and its performance has never let me down.
  5. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    It's going to depend on focal length preference. But I think the Oly 45mm is the pound-for-pound champ, the Panasonic 14mm and Sigma 60mm are right there too.

    In a year or so when the Oly 25mm street/used price is where the Oly 45mm is now, then that will be in the group too.
  6. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I love the Panasonic 14mm - it has become my default lens.

    <a href="" title="Canal Reflections by lenses2005, on Flickr">[​IMG]"800" height="600" alt="Canal Reflections"></a>
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  7. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    I agree it is a great bargain. Other great bargains include the 45/1.8 and the Oly 40-150 zoom.
  8. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    If size, weight and price are the biggest factors the 14mm is an awesome lens.

    However, it doesn't really do any one thing exceptionally well. Its good optically but nothing exciting. Its barely any faster than the 2.8 standard zooms. Its just a little smaller than the 20/1.7 which is a better lens in most ways (except focus speed). It's not a particularly interesting focal length(IMO at least). I owned one briefly but I've got better lenses (12/2 and 17/1.8 or 12-40 if I'm not shooting in low light) that I prefer to use.

    So its the typical jack of all trades master of none.
  9. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    I think it's hard to make one of the Pana 14, Oly 45 or Sigma 60 out to be the "best" value for money as it will be different for each of us.

    For me it's the 45mm as it nearly lives on my camera (and was free with my camera kit) but my wife likes to get "closer" and the 14mm is almost glued to hers and only cost £105 new ($165 with tax and carriage).

    From the shots I've seen it would appear the Sigma 60 is a very good lens but between my 45mm and legacy Tamron SP 90mm (which I already had so only the cost of an adaptor) we have not "needed" this focal length.

    It's nice to be able to add good prime lenses without breaking the bank and these three lenses really help.
  10. Dave Reynell

    Dave Reynell Guest

    MM, Why is it that sooo many photographers still hanker for "nifty-fiftys" (i.e. the equiv. of the Oly 25) I find (found it in the past) an almost useless focal length; too tight for landscapes, too cramped indoors. Am I missing something ?
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  11. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    The Oly 40-150 zoom, without question offers the biggest bang for the buck.
  12. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I find 50mm eq. excellent for shots of people and kids. Not a tighter portrait (e.g. 85) and not an environmental portrait (e.g. 28-35) - but photos of people or kids doing some particular activity.

    For landscapes I don't find any particular focal length much better than any other - I do find I want a very wide range of focal lengths available though. On a landscape I'll shot 15-400 equiv on most every trip. They trend more to the wide end I suppose.

    For indoors I've actually found the "cramped" comment to not apply unless I'm trying to take a picture of people sitting around a table. The 50mm eq. provides better background control and a tighter more focused composition usually. Now if I'm where I want to include background then sure 28-35 is a nicer choice.

    The camera that sits around the house for indoor shots of our daughter has the 25/1.4 practically welded on it. When we are out and about I prefer context in the shots and often take the 17/1.8 instead.
  13. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I think it's pretty awesome. I don't understand why Panasonic is not packing it with GM1.
  14. yorik

    yorik Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 23, 2013
    Scotts Valley, CA
    Real Name:
    ... updating it (like the 20mm), and packaging it with the GM1. :smile:
  15. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    Tulsa, moving to Houston
    Real Name:
    Trying to decide between the 12/14 again .__. I love the size of the 14 and how cheap it is. But the 12 does have very nice IQ...decisions decisions...
  16. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I love my Pany 14. PL25 and P14 is my most used dual lens setup. P14 is great for indoor group shots. I am very happy its sharpness, colors and contrast. Outdoors, coupled with CPL, it can produce some great results. Fastest AF lens I own and the only lens I know of that does't struggle in video with C-AF.
  17. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Pound for pound yes, but only because you get about 40 P14s per pound.
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  18. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I'll say one thing - for IR shooting the 14/2.5 is definitely a pound for pound winner. That lens is excellent for IR - sharp, no hot spots, no loss of contrast.
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  19. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Real Name:
    Robert (Rob)
    It's a must have lens for me - I love to have this lens attached to a small body when I just want to take something reasonably pocketable out with me - if I am out with my 5 year old daughter for the day for example - produces great results and costs very little for what you get from it and much better value than the Olympus 17mm f2.8 which is very similarly priced in the UK
    I have had 3 and have decided my latest one is a keeper as I always miss not having one in the 'arsenal'
  20. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name:
    I've the 14mm and twice have had issues in museums with the lens being not quite wide enough and not quite fast enough. But the 12mm is currently $799 U.S. on Amazon (new with U.S. warranty) and that's a heckuva lotta money for an additional 2mm and .5 stop.

    Generally I want lenses that are just "good enough" and I think the 12mm may (for my purposes, YMMV) be 'way better than "good enough". When I shot Nikon I tended towards "best of breed" lenses but now I shoot snapshots and vacation photos so my criteria have changed along with my subjects.

    Still, sometimes there's no room to "back up two steps" without destroying a display, tearing down a wall, or falling overboard - and the extra 2mm would be very handy during those times.

    Duke, you nailed it when you said "decisions decisions" :2thumbs:.


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