Showcase Leica 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 D Vario-Elmarit

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I picked up a copy of this lens up recently for $400 which I figured was not too shabby compared to how much they cost when new. It's a fantastic lens - very sharp with smooth OOF areas and is right up there with some of the best zooms that I've used. The autofocus on a m4/3 body is too slow though and in size and weight it dwarfs my E-P1. This lens make it worthwhile to keep a 4/3 SLR body and I'd love to match it with something like an E-30 or E-620 when they come down in price.


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5505335293/" title="P3062089-PPR3 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="640" alt="P3062089-PPR3 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3" /></a>


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5505931134/" title="P3062073-PPR4 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="360" alt="P3062073-PPR4 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3" /></a>


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5509057802/" title="P3062099-PPR Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="480" alt="P3062099-PPR Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3" /></a>


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5505932210/" title="P3062096-PPR Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="480" alt="P3062096-PPR Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3" /></a>


I don't have a 'stock' photo of this lens so the best I can do is a Camera Porn style image to show relative size with an E-P1.


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5498070705/" title="IMG_3370-PPR2 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 Leica 14-50mm by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="426" alt="IMG_3370-PPR2 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 Leica 14-50mm" /></a>
 
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Leica 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 D Vario-Elmarit O.I.S.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5480724137/" title="P2091814-PPR3 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="640" alt="P2091814-PPR3 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3" /></a>


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5556059206/" title="P3202288-PPR2 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="360" alt="P3202288-PPR2 Olympus Pen E-P1 Micro 4/3" /></a>


From the same lens on an Olympus E-410. Results are almost as good as what can be achieved with an E-P1, although the autofocus is much, much faster.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5533978231/" title="P1010074-PPR Olympus Evolt E-410 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="640" alt="P1010074-PPR Olympus Evolt E-410" /></a>


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5533979021/" title="P1010085-PPR Olympus Evolt E-410 by Lucky.penguin, on Flickr">
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"640" height="426" alt="P1010085-PPR Olympus Evolt E-410" /></a>
 

soundimageplus

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Yes its a brilliant lens. I had one for shooting video at weddings on a GH1 with manual focus.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/45203414@N06/5080069243/" title="Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 by soundimageplus, on Flickr">
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"500" height="427" alt="Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm f2.8-3.5" /></a>

I also used it on a G1.

Real shame it doesn't focus faster on m4/3. I gather it does now AF on G2/GH2 but only at the same speed as on the Pens. At various times I've had all the PanLeica D series lenses and they are all huge but excellent quality. Like yours can be picked up for good prices S/H. The 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 is just as good optically as the f/2.8-3.5 but slower. It does however AF really well on m4/3.
 
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I believe the f3.8-5.6 version is a CDAF optimised lens so your comments on the AF speed make sense. I've never used one though so I wasn't aware of how it compared optically to it's big brother.
 

soundimageplus

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I believe the f3.8-5.6 version is a CDAF optimised lens so your comments on the AF speed make sense. I've never used one though so I wasn't aware of how it compared optically to it's big brother.
It is yes. Its the last lens they made in the series as the kit lens for the L10, and its has the best AF for m4/3 + adapter.

There's very little in it, as they are all good, but I had the feeling it was the best of the lot optically. I sold it & kept my 14-150mm, as its the most useful, but the f/3.8 is very impressive.
 
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If the f3.8-5.6 has the edge on this one then it must be seriously impressive for a kit lens (although the f2.8-3.5 was also a mere kit lens - on the L1). It just goes to show that if the 4/3 SLR system was deficient compared to other APS and full-frame digitals the problem was in no way due to the lenses.
 

Armanius

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Agreed Nic. Always bummed that the sensors didn't do justice to the lens.

On the other hand, maybe the lens were/are this good, because the sensor is smaller.
 
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You may well be right, Armando. It will be a shame to see the 4/3 system discontinued (as it appears it will). I was a bit sad to see recently that a camera shop I like to go to which used to have a display cabinet full of the most fantastic 4/3 lenses e.g. 14-35 f2, 35-100 f2, had a few weeks ago replaced them all with a bunch of Nikon compacts or somesuch. They didn't even have a half-price sale first! We just need ONE more 4/3 camera - an E-620 body stuffed with as much of the E-5 internals as will fit.

At least it can be said that the possible demise of 4/3 is what gave birth to Micro 4/3.
 

flash

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Just missed out of an auction for one of these with a body on eBay as my tv died and had to be replaced. Too bad as this is a lens I'd really like to try.

Gordon
 
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I just checked my eBay watch list; an auction for one of these (in Australia) finished a couple of days ago, including a Panasonic L1 for...$385 including postage. Damn, that would have been a good deal! I don't know what I would have done with two of the same lenses but still, L1 + 14-50 for that price...

I imagine it was the same one you were talking about, flash.
 

Armanius

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Nic, you score a PL14-50?? Nice! How do you like it? And way to revive an old thread!
 
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Nic, you score a PL14-50?? Nice! How do you like it? And way to revive an old thread!
It's same lens that I've had since 2011. I used it a bit on my E-P1, then last year on an E-510 before the DSLR thing got old for me, and now I wanted to bring it out again and try it on my E-M5 to see how it performed on a higher resolution sensor, and see whether I'd want to keep it in light of the newfound support of PDAF lenses on Micro 4/3 cameras.

This made me stop and stare.
I wonder how these lenses would perform AF wise on the EM1.
I suspect it should work quite nicely, although it's not going to be Micro 4/3 fast. The 14-50mm uses a micro motor for autofocus which isn't the newest, fastest, or quietest autofocus technology but it shouldn't be annoyingly slow like it currently is using CDAF.
 

lemalk

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Figured I'dd add some more to this thread.
My Digilux 3 is starting to fail and autofocus is problematic, so this lens has been moved over to my only mu-43 body, my trusted E-P2.
Autofocus isn't as slow as I remember it being.

E-P2
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E-P2
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E-P2
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This lens and the original D-Summilux 25mm 1.4 are the only real reason I hold on to my mu-43 system. I'll wait until the E-M1 comes down in price and bring this lens back to action. It's a gem!
 
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This lens and the original D-Summilux 25mm 1.4 are the only real reason I hold on to my mu-43 system. I'll wait until the E-M1 comes down in price and bring this lens back to action. It's a gem!
Thanks for adding your images to this thread. When I attended an E-M1 launch session I took my 14-50mm lens along to try it out on the new body. As long as the light levels are okay the autofocus is MUCH improved compared to any older Micro 4/3 body, but when it is too dark it reverts to CDAF and the usual hunting behaviour. Still, when it is using PDAF the focusing speed is perfectly acceptable and breathes life back into this wonderful lens.
 

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