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Love of 14mm

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Amin Sabet, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've always liked the 35mm equivalent angle of view (AOV), enjoying many primes at this focal length on various cameras. With the Micro 4/3 system, I avoided it because the Panasonic 14mm lens (28mm equivalent AOV) offered a combination of AF speed, size, and sharpness I couldn't get with a 17-18mm lens for our system.

    Enter the new Oly 17/1.8:
    -Almost as small as the Pana 14
    -Similar sharpness to the Pana 14
    -A stop faster than the Pana 14
    -That 35mm equivalent angle of view I always loved

    Funny thing - the new Oly helped me realize I now prefer the 28mm to the 35mm equivalent AOV. I've sold the new Oly and gone back to my beloved little Pana 14.

    Petteri Sulonen wrote a nice essay about the charms of the 28mm (equivalent) prime: Focal Length Fun: 28 mm

    28mm gives me just a bit more of that wide angle attitude than 35mm but not so extreme as a 24. It's as wide as I can go for general use including people photography, which is my thing. Plus if I ever want that 35mm framing, it's just a moderate crop away in post.

    If you want to get a sense of what 14mm gives you, there's no better place than this: https://www.mu-43.com/f80/panasonic-14mm-f-2-5-image-thread-8118/
    • Like Like x 12
  2. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    You know, I was never a fan of the 28mm FoV with either my film or APS-C bodies. I got the 14 because it was so small and fairly cheap. Once I put it on the E-PM1 it became one of my favorites, especially for indoor work but also for some street work. I think my preferences changed with time and it took a new lens with (in this case) a size advantage to get me to use it enough to really appreciate it.
  3. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    P14 is why the E-PM2 makes sense. Otherwise I rather have an OM-D.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 29, 2012
    I, too, am quite fond of 28mm equivalent as an everyday lens. I think part of that is that with the rise of ultrawides, the public (and especially the photographic public) is just more comfortable with wide-angle distortion, so the moderate WA effects that you see with the 28mm don't seem abnormal for everyday images. 28mm used to be WIDE. Now it's...wide?

    Personally, coming from a photojournalistic background I find wide angles to be more intimate--to get a good image, you often have to get close.
  5. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    The 14mm is a great little lens! It's economical, small (making the smaller :43: cameras pocketable) and it is surprisingly sharp. It has great color and good contrast. I tend to prefer longer/telephoto lenses but this one is definitely a keeper. :smile:
  6. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    I love my 14, as I learned photography on an OM-2 with only the 28/3.5, its kind of how I view the world when a camera is protruding from my face.

    It would be nice if the 14 focused a bit faster, I don't find it lightning quick (like the 45-175 X) and as such its not quite fast enough for kid live action without some serious anticipation.

    However at that price and weighing all of 50g, its just about perfect.
  7. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    I love shooting with 14mm on my P14-45.
    Should I buy the P14 to complement it, or the P14-45 is good enough.
  8. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    Ditto, I really enjoy my 14. Used it more than the 20, and now forms an ideal spread for me with a 14, 25, and 45 combo. And you can't beat the size! Fits in my jacket pocket. I think it focuses plenty quick for me on my GX1, and it was actually adequate on the E-P1. Thumbs up!
  9. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    It's apparent that there is a degree of sample variation with the P14, some complain that it's softer than their kit zooms at 14mm whilst others claim it is very sharp and in the P20/PL25 ballpark. That really is quite a disparity. Mine luckily is amazing and even though I have wanted to sell it and buy the all black version I simply will not take the risk...that's how good I think my copy is !

    I have purchased the new O17 but am away on holidays at the moment and missed the delivery by 2 days, my brother has been collecting my mail and my lens is waiting for me on his kitchen bench. I don't expect it to be any better optically than my P14, probably on par...but I got it for the 'snap to focus' mechanism which if I enjoy, I will then keep the lens.

    But man, regardless of how much I end up liking or disliking the the new O17...none of it will change my opinion that the P14 is simply incredible value for money.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    I'm actually selling mine and my 45 and replacing w/ 14-45 as a good walk around. I think the 2 14's are really close if not equal in IQ. The 45mm oly is sharper( slightly ) and way faster, but not having to change lens and way less money are worth it to me. I still have the 25 PL for indoor stuff and a Rokkor PG 50-1.4 is coming.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. I tend to make allowances for the softness of the extreme edges on my P14 and crop them away, so I probably end with a 16 or 17mm lens anyway :smile:

    Below is one of the most handy features of the 14mm: ease of storage.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I think a good copy of the P14 is slightly sharper, but the main differences are about a stop faster speed and smaller size.

    Yep, I love the combo. Perfect together. I do 90% of my photography with this kit:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    DSC_2168 by Amin Sabet, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 1
  13. thelaxong

    thelaxong Mu-43 user

    Jan 13, 2011
    Melbourne - Australia
    I love this lens also. I got the 14,25,45mm but found the 14mm nearly on the Em-5 all the time. It's so compact and ... nearly pocketable.
  14. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I lucked out, got a black one that's very sharp! :smile:

    Sent from my phone. Please pardon my brevity!
    • Like Like x 1
  15. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I agree! The P14 turned me on to that AOV. I now have a P14 for m43 and a Canon 28/1.8 for my 5D. It's a great AOV, IMO.
  16. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Is 14 the new 35?

    I haven't done the math or a test on this but I'm wondering if your experience isn't the results of how Mu43 works?

    First these lenses auto correct of distortion w/ most RAW converters. On the 14, reviewers show it has 5% barrel distortion so you lose that much FOV w/ correction. Then the 4:3 format is a bit narrower than FF @3:2 so we lose a bit more of the edges.

    So together the 14 has a visual feel that is narrower than a 28 on film by a noticeable amount.

    In my film days, I too did lots of street photos w/ both 35mm & 28mm & loved both!
    • Like Like x 1
  17. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    If I've got this right, a 5% barrel distortion correction means we effectively have a 16.4x13mm sensor. With the use of a FOV calculator, I found that the horizontal FOV of a 14mm lens w/ 5% barrel distortion is 60.7 degrees. That's almost exactly between a 28 & a 35mm on a FFer. In that format, those 2 lenses have horizontal FOV of 65.5 & 54.5 degrees. But in 4/3 format the vertical FOV of a 14mm is taller than either a 28 or 35mm in FF - 50 degrees vs 46.5 & 37.9 respectively.

    Interesting & helpful at least to me.
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I'm a total 28mm junkie, although I'm only mildly crazy about the Pany 14mm. I had a GRD3 with a fixed 28mm, I had a GXR-28 which was a fixed 28 with a 3:2 aspect ratio. I now do a LOT of my shooting with an X-Pro with the 18mm lens, a roughly 28mm equivalent (slightly wider), also in 3:2. I also have an LX7 with a multi-aspect sensor and and a step zoom and I spend most of my time at 28mm in 3:2. I think 28mm with a 3:2 aspect is what my brain is wired for - I just seem to see totally naturally and instinctively in that frame.

    And on my m43 gear I spend more time with my 12mm than with the 14 because its not all that much wider and its such a perfect lens for the type of shooting I do. Even at 4:3 its still slightly wider than a 14 at 3:2, but not by enough to matter. And when I sometimes crop down to 3:2, it comes out very similarly...

    I'm expecting a 17mm fairly soon from Olympus - I got it for $369 during their accidental sale, so I may have to wait a while, but it'll get here. But I probably won't use it nearly as much as the 12 or the 28mm equivalents on my other cameras. I expect to react to it about like Amin did, but I'll probably keep it as a good mid-length lens that's reasonably good in low light. And small enough to stick on my EPL5 and stick in a pocket for those occasions when I just want to have a small camera with one lens on hand and want more low light capability than the body cap...

  19. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    According to cameralabs' test:

    Panasonic Lumix G 14mm f2.5 (H-H014) lens review: real-life sharpness vs Lumix G 14-42mm (H-FS014042) | Cameralabs

    the 14mm performs pretty much identical to the Lumix 14-42 at 14mm, so if you would rather have the handiness of the zoom you're mostly only giving up a little on the maximum aperture in exchange for not having to swap lenses. I thought about selling my 14mm, but I ended up keeping it because of the small size. My copy might not be all that hot, it's not going to win many sharpness contests, but like my Olympus 17mm f.28, it's sharp enough. I would probably rather have the Olympus 12mm, but YIKES!!!11!!!1! it comes at a pretty dear price.
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    No, 14mm is not the actual focal length. It corresponds to the focal length which would give the angle of view corresponding to the final, distortion-corrected JPEG image. It's just like a 28mm lens on full frame (same diagonal angle of view, slightly less horizontal AOV, slightly greater vertical AOV). The same is true for all MFT lenses - the nominal focal length corresponds to the final image, not the image prior to software correction.
    • Like Like x 2
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