Lens comparison @ 14mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by eastspur, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. eastspur

    eastspur New to Mu-43

    Jan 1, 2011
    So I'm planning on getting the 7-14mm and considering the 14mm f2.5

    Just curious if anyone has done a comparison of lenses at 14mm.. say the 7-14, 14-45, and 14mm f2.5?

    I guess my real question is if I'm planning on getting the 7-14, would the 14mm f2.5 be worth it? I can definitely see myself shooting at this focal length a lot. The faster lens would be a plus but if the 7-14 is just as good (or better)... I might could live without it. If anyone has both lenses please chime in.

    Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks. :thumbup:
  2. 43hk

    43hk Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2010
    Curious about this myself.

    I have the 7-14mm and rate it very highly. Had it from day one of m4/3 ownership and it was the deciding factor in going for this format. I was using a Nikon D300 with the Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED for architectural and interior shots (both record and marketing material).

    The 7-14mm compares well despite being nearly half the size and requires only vertical perspective adjustment where the Nikon created a "w" barrel at 12mm, which was time consuming to correct in PS.

    Have found it to be ok for hand held night shots (due to it being wide and less prone to shake) and the lack of IS is not really an issue for the same reason btw.

    If price, size and brightness are important then it's the 14mm. If geometrical accuracy and massive width are required, then the G-vario 7-14mm is the only wide lens you'll ever need. Panasonic did some testing of the 14mm in HK after Photokina . The impression I got was that this lens barrels slightly and is a little blurry at the extreme corners.

    Another thing to consider is DOF, the Vario has huge DOF and creates a different type of shot to the 14mm pancake.

    Hope that is useful.
  3. Prof

    Prof New to Mu-43

    Jan 1, 2011
    Hi eastspur,

    At 43rumors Tom Hogan was quoted by the editors as 7-14 is a highly recommended lens. Read the full review:
    Short Reviews of Micro4/3 Lenses by Thom Hogan

    By the way, may be the brightness of 14 mm prime is a real advantage for you?
    I wear the same shoe, and voted both to get... :) The reason is imple: the 14 mm prime is a pencake, and may be held in a pouch instead of a larger case...

  4. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I would say that comparing the two lens would be like comparing apples to oranges; specifically, a big ripe, juicy apple to a wedge from a mandarin orange. Sure, they both will give you nourishment, but if you need a concealable bite, then the apple is just far too big, while if you need a full snack, the mandarin slice won't cut it.

    The 14mm is simply the smallest lens of the :43: family. It covers a single, useful focal length, provides better than the rest brightness, and gives reasonably good image quality. It won't give you ultra wide and if you need the highest IQ (from a pure stats point of view), it probably is a little behind. However, the 7-14mm, while small, doesn't exactly make a pocketable camera. As many have pointed out, a pure stats view of IQ does not always mean that you will have the best lens for your shots; some "faults" create character. The 14mm's are not bad at all, so if you need that small form-factor, it can't be beat.

    I guess what I'm saying is that the 7-14mm, if you already have it, will probably give you exactly what you need UNLESS you need that small size and/or larger aperture. In such cases, the 14mm seems to be plenty capable.
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    There is another difference between the choices.
    The strongest difference is not about CA, Sharpness, size etc.
    It's about Seeing. You will see different with a prime than with a zoom.
    There are advantages to both but the 14mm is the one we all are wanting. Well, atleast those that want it.

    You will see 28mm and that's it. Your mind will adjust the eye for framing like it can't do with the zoom. There is no option but to frame and frame correctly. You can't move the ring and crop. So that is the real advantage of the prime 14 over the zooms.
    This may be obvious to many and I applaud those that are aware of the prime/zoom issues but there exist many that are not aware of those issues.
  6. eastspur

    eastspur New to Mu-43

    Jan 1, 2011
    Thanks for the responses. I understand the advantages of a smaller prime. I am more interested in a pure IQ comparison. Specifically if I buy the 7-14 or 9-18 would it make since to also pick up the 14mm for better IQ at 14mm? Or would I only be gaining the speed and compact design? I'm just thinking that typically primes are sharper than zooms but it may be in this case that the pancake design makes it a wash. It would also be interesting to see how the distortion compares.

    Not that it would matter much in real world shooting but my curious side would love to see a comparison between all the lenses that overlap 14mm at that specific focal length.

    Of course that would take someone who owns all the lenses and has some free time.... I know it's wishful thinking. :biggrin:
  7. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France
    fixed versus tele

    I’ll just mention one point that has “brought it home to me”

    It depends on what kind of “day” you want to have when you take your camera out AND what subjects interest you

    In the city, I just like a fixed lens – I do not even like changing that lens or FOV – the word “intent” has been used – when I go out now, (thanks to learning from the Forum over the past 9 months), I just want to concentrate on taking “that” shot and I want the camera and lens to feel as familiar to me as possible.
    e.g in Bordeaux I prefer to take (mostly) my M8 plus 28mm, (effective 36mm), or sometimes a 35mm, (effective 46mm), I never take both (lens) – I do also take my EP-1 with the 20mm f1.7 – but I concentrate on using just one camera – the other is for back up.

    In the countryside it is different, (I use my D300 more), plus at night (socially) when a compact may be needed because of size

    (my preference) - I now find that for 80% of my time I use a fixed lens and am also now finding that even my S95 compact is beginning to annoy and confuse me, because of the tele function - maybe I should look for a fixed lens compact

    Just my (personal) views

    (I do crop too much (sticking to the conventional formats) - but I find that with a good quality fixed lens I can crop and still get the same or a better IQ than I would have got had I used a short or medium tele – if you see what I mean - I am trying to improve my photography to avoid excessive cropping - but it is difficult for me, even more so as I like the 16 x 9 format)
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I thought I had seen a comparison on here or dpreview forum, but not sure if it included the 14 pancake.

    The test reviews I have seen of the new 14/2.5 haven't been too impressive.

    But in the end, I guess it depends on what kind of photography you do. A lot of mine is travel, and I dont necessarily have the ability to find the right fearing with a prime, so a zoom is a huge advantage