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Lens Comparison: Panasonic 14-140 II vs 12-35/35-100

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by ijm5012, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    One of the best things m43 has going for it is the superior lens selection. In fact, it's what drew me to come to the system. Originally I had a Sony NEX-6, but I wasn't thrilled with the customization of the camera, and there weren't that many really great lenses available for the system. Last fall, I sold all my NEX gear (what great timing, as I sold my NEX gear right before Sony announced the A7 and basically abandoned APS-C E-mount) and jumped on a great deal for a brand new G6 with the 14-42 II kit lens. I also bought a 45-150 to go along with it, and it made a really 2-lens starter kit.

    While both lenses were great, I didn't like having to change lenses as much as I was. Fortunately Panasonic had just released the 14-140 II around the same time I got in to m43. So I purchased one when they became available, and was surprised at just how good the IQ was from a "superzoom" lens, and just how compact and light the lens was. So I sold the 14-42 II, and 45-150, and made do with 14-140 II and a prime lens for a while. A pair of lenses that had always interested me though were the 12-35 and 35-100 f/2.8 lenses. Over the past couple of months, I've managed to purchase both lenses. I wanted to test just how sharp the 14-140 II was when compared to these two "professional quality" lenses.

    To test the lenses, I shot the following focal lengths for both of the lenses at two apertures, the aperture of the 14-140 II wide open, and f/8.0. I also shot the 2.8 lenses wide open at both extremes of their zoom range, to see how consistent the lenses were. All pictures were shot in manual mode with a set white balance, with manual focus for all of the lenses. The images are RAW files that were converted through LR 5.5, with nothing altered. The camera was on a tripod, and all images were shot with the electronic shutter. The focal lengths tested were:

    14mm: 14-140 & 12-35
    25mm: 14-140 II & 12-35
    35mm: 14-140 II, 12-35 & 35-100
    50mm: 14-140 II & 35-100
    70mm: 14-140 II & 35-100
    100mm: 14-140 II & 35-100

    The pictures can be seen in the Flickr album I've linked to below, but I was genuinely surprised at just how good the 14-140 II is. It's decently sharp when shot wide open, and sharpens right up when stopped down a bit. The f/2.8 lenses were a bit sharper, but not much (pretty impressive for the 14-140 II, considering it is a 10x zoom lens). I also noticed what many owners of the 35-100 have said, that it doesn't seen that the lens is truly 100mm on the long end. Compare the shots between the two lenses at 100mm, and you will see just how much wider the 35-100 lens is compared to the 14-140 II.

    Overall, I am very happy with the performance I get from the 14-140 II, it's really a great little lens.

    Panasonic Lens Comparison Album on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 9
  2. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I use 14-140II and can't imagine needing more sharpness. The only reason to get 2.8 zooms is aperture and weather-sealing, IMO.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    The 2.8 zooms are a bit sharper than the 14-140 II, but you really need to magnify the image to see the difference. The 2.8 aperture makes a HUGE difference though, as does the weather sealing for shooting outdoors in crappy weather. The added DoF from the 2.8 aperture at longer focal lengths is a nice bonus as well.

    I don't plan on selling either of the 2.8 zooms, or my 14-140 II, as they both have their places in my gear bag. I just wanted to see how good the 14-140 II was when compared to the "professional" lenses from Panasonic, and I was quite surprised at just how well the 14-140 II did.
     
  4. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Eric Cote
    I didn't have time to check your pictures yet but how do they compare for contrast and color?

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Contrast and color is quite good on the 14-140 II (if you do check the pictures out, look at the lower FoV values. I had the change where the item I was photographing was placed to get roughly the same framing once I got out to 70 & 100 mm, and images lost contrast due to a change in lighting and the angle I was shooting at). Sharpness is definitely better on the 12-35/35-100 at mid-apertures (4-5.6), simply because the 14-140 II is wide open where the 12-35/35-100 are stopped down by one or two stops already.

    If you are looking for a great travel lens for taking pictures in good light, the 14-140 II is an excellent choice.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Eric Cote
    Thank you! This looks interesting.
     
  7. Mohun

    Mohun Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Sep 19, 2012
    It's the added flexibility in adverse lighting situations and the increased ability to islate your subject that you gain with the f/2.8 maximum aperture, but there is no "...added DofF from the 2.8 aperture at longer focal lengths...". In fact the depth of field, all else (subject distance, focal length) equal is diminished, not added, as the maximum aperture is increased, but those mentioned benefits are there.
     
  8. Vesku

    Vesku Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Sep 23, 2014
    Fin
    If you shoot some video all of those 3 lenses has bad stabilization for video. Why reviewers never test video features of the lenses. There is a nasty micro vibration in POWER OIS of these lenses.
     
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Not so with the 12-35 and GX7, mine anyway.
     
  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Not so with the 12-35 and GX7, mine anyway. The 12-35 is a superb lens with excellent OIS, for stills and for video.
     
  11. Vesku

    Vesku Mu-43 Regular

    84
    Sep 23, 2014
    Fin
    Maybe there is some sample variation of that lens but can you honestly say that when you shoot stationary subject at 12mm the videoclip is rock stable like it should be.