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

Jonathan F/2

Mu-43 Legend
Joined
Aug 10, 2011
Messages
5,013
Location
Los Angeles, USA
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?
 

Levster

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Aug 24, 2012
Messages
1,331
Location
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
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,
 

broody

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
388
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.
 

madmaxmedia

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2010
Messages
346
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.
 

QualityBuiltIn

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Messages
350
Location
Edinburgh, Scotland
I love the Panasonic 14mm - it has become my default lens.

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/lenses2005/13063380553" title="Canal Reflections by lenses2005, on Flickr">
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
"800" height="600" alt="Canal Reflections"></a>
 

EarthQuake

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
934
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.
 

WasOM3user

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Oct 20, 2012
Messages
458
Location
Lancashire, UK
Real Name
Paul
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.
 
D

Dave Reynell

Guest
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.
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 ?
 

kwalsh

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
832
Location
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.
 

Steven

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
May 25, 2012
Messages
1,603
Location
USA
I think it's pretty awesome. I don't understand why Panasonic is not packing it with GM1.
 

duke

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
425
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
Real Name
Duke
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...
 

Art

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,385
Location
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.
 

kwalsh

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2012
Messages
832
Location
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.
 

Robstar1963

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
2,734
Location
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'
 

Fmrvette

This Space For Rent
Joined
May 26, 2012
Messages
2,216
Location
Detroit, Michigan
Real Name
Jim
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...
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:.

Regards,

Jim
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom