Lumix 14-140mm VS the world

Davijoh

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Hi everyone!

I've been following this forum since I got into photography, but this is my first post, as I really can't make a decision. I hope you can help me :)

My Lumix 12-60 died and I am looking for a replacement. I already have a 12-32 that a barely use and a 25mm 1.7 that I love.

My goal is to find a good travel lens that would stay on my camera for most of my shots during the day

I've read a lot of positive reviews for the 14-140mm ii and it seems pretty good. As I have a limited budget, that would probably be the only lens I buy for a year or so, and then my combo would be that 14-140 for the day + my 25mm 1.7 for the night.

As I don't do much interior photography and lens swapping is something that scares me, it seems like a good combo.

However, I am not a pixel peeper, but I also don't want that 14-140 lens to be too much of a step-down.

For those who have/had the 14-140, are you happy with how it performs in comparison with the 35-100 f2.8 or the PL12-60 2.8-4.0 during the day?

Any other recommendations? Some people recommended me the Oly 12-100 f4, but it looks big and I like my Panasonic IBIS.

Thanks in advance!
 

Biro

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I have the 14-140 II. What cameras would you be using it on? I ask because, while it is a fine lens, it is known to be a bit sensitive to shutter shock at certain shutter speeds. It's not a factor on the newest Panasonic bodies like the G9, GH5, GX9 - even the GX85. But it would be on older bodies. Otherwise, it's a solid all-rounder. But it won't offer you f/2.8 apertures.

I also have the PL 12-60. And while it is also a solid lens, I'm not sure it's worth the extra money unless you need the speed and plan to shoot in that focal range. But since you've been using the Lumix 12-60 up to now, maybe that's the way to go if you can get a PL 12-60 at a good price.

Other thoughts, which may or may not help: Do you need 12mm at the wide end more than you need 140mm at the long end? And have you thought about the Lumix 12-35 f/2.8 paired with the 35-100 f/2.8? You might be able to find the Gen I versions of these lenses in excellent condition at a very friendly price. The stabilization in the Gen I versions is not quite as advanced - meaning the Gen II versions work with the IBIS a bit better - but the consensus seems to be it's only about a half-stop difference.
 
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Davijoh

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I have the 14-140 II. What cameras would you be using it on? I ask because, while it is a fine lens, it is known to be a bit sensitive the shutter shock at certain shutter speeds. It's not a factor on the newest Panasonic bodies like the G9, GH5, GX9 - even the GX85. But it would be on older bodies. Otherwise, it's a solid all-rounder. But it won't offer you f/2.8 apertures.

I also have the PL 12-60. And while it is also a solid lens, I'm not sure it's worth the extra money unless you need the speed and plan to shoot in that focal range. But since you've been using the Lumix 12-60 up to now, maybe that's the way to go if you can get a PL 12-60 at a good price.

Other thoughts, which may or may not help: Do you need 12mm at the wide end more than you need 140mm at the long end? And have you thought about the Lumix 12-35 f/2.8 paired with the 35-100 f/2.8? You might be able to find the Gen I versions of these lenses in excellent condition at a very friendly price. The stabilization in the Gen I versions is not quite as advanced - meaning the Gen II versions work with the IBIS a bit better - but the consensus seems to be it's only about a half-stop difference.

Thanks Biro and sorry for the lack of information! I have the GX9 and I shoot a bit of everything (of that one doesn't help much).

I won't miss the 2mm between 12mm and 14mm.

The combo 12-35 + 35-100 f2.8 was my initial plan, but it has 3 problems for me:
- It's not cheap
- I feel like it might not have enough reach. But as I've been shooting at 60mm max, I don't know for sure.
- I don't know how much lens swapping this involves, but 35mm is a weird middle ground to me. If the 35-100 would be a 25-100, I would have 0 hesitation...
 

Biro

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Thanks Biro and sorry for the lack of information! I have the GX9 and I shoot a bit of everything (of that one doesn't help much).

I won't miss the 2mm between 12mm and 14mm.

The combo 12-35 + 35-100 f2.8 was my initial plan, but it has 3 problems for me:
- It's not cheap
- I feel like it might not have enough reach. But as I've been shooting at 60mm max, I don't know for sure.
- I don't know how much lens swapping this involves, but 35mm is a weird middle ground to me. If the 35-100 would be a 25-100, I would have 0 hesitation...
The 12-35 and 35-100 combo is the micro four thirds version of the classic 24-70 and 70-200 on full frame. But it sounds like the 14-140 would make a fine travel lens for you - especially since you have a fast prime for low light.

Finally, here's a quick look at the PL 12-60, the Lumix 12-60 and the Lumix 14-140 on a GX9:

https://camerasize.com/compact/#770.625,770.569,770.931,ha,t
 

frankmulder

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I bought the 14-140mm as a kit lens with my Panasonic G80. I sold it once I got the 12-35mm f/2.8 and the 35-100mm f/2.8. Main reasons:
  • The IQ of the 14-140mm is OK, but not very inspiring. By contrast, I have liked everything that came out of the f/2.8 combo. Then again, the 14-140mm does very well for what it is.
  • f/5.6 on the long end can be limiting. If you want sharp pictures, you want to raise your shutter speed when hand-holding at 140mm, and then because the aperture is closed down, you also have to raise your ISO.
  • The zoom ring of the 14-140mm is quite stiff, and especially at the short end, there isn't much distance between focal lengths (e.g. it's hard to distinguish between 17mm and 20mm). The zoom rings of the f/2.8 lenses are very smooth, and you can be very precise with your focal length selection. The build quality feels very professional to me.
  • The weather-sealed version of the 14-140mm wasn't out yet when I bought mine, so the f/2.8 zooms were more versatile in that regard.
  • I never have a problem changing lenses, but if you want to avoid it at all costs, then of course a superzoom is better. Depends on your situation really. If you are taking snapshots while travelling with a group and they cannot wait for 10 seconds for you to change lenses, then it's an issue. But if you are carefully selecting your compositions and/or waiting for the right moment to take the picture, then those few seconds do not really matter. Unless there is a lot of action in what you are photographing of course. You might miss the shot while changing lenses. If this is an issue, you could even get a second (used) camera body so you can use both lenses without changing them. I got a Panasonic GX80 for less than € 200. Makes for a very flexible setup together with my G80.
  • The 14-140mm is lighter than most combinations of two lenses that cover that range. It may also be cheaper (it is when compared to the f/2.8 combo). Then again, as @Biro said, you can get the Mark I versions for quite cheap nowadays. I got the combination for € 700 two years ago.
 

Alex2

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I own both the 12-35mm + 35-100mm 2.8 set (both Mark I), and the 14-140mm Mark II. They serve on an Olympus E-M5 Mark II, and on a Panasonic G9. I much prefer the 2.8 set, in really all aspects, except portability. Especially the output from the 35-100mm has something special. I guess the focal length helps, compared to the 12-35mm, but I like the 12-35 a lot; it is my most used lens.

I only use the 14-140mm on some hikes in the mountains, and while traveling by bike (I carry the camera on its strap on my back) or on the beach and in the dunes, so when I do not want to change lenses.

For its extreme range, the 14-140mm delivers extremely well! It is a quick (and close) focussing, nice to operate, and well balanced lens. And plenty sharp. But it misses the 'wow' that photos from the 2.8 lenses sometimes have.
 
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I bought a 14-140ii (an earlier non weather sealed one) recently from craigslist for $170. I had low expectations but I really needed something for backpacking, hiking, and I had an upcoming bike packing trip. Surprisingly, this lens blew me away in portability, range, convenience and even IQ- I can't stop raving about it.

I am a longtime user of the 12-35, 35-100 f/2.8's and recently added 8-18, and 100-400. I am a pro zoom snob especially with the 35-100. The 2.8's are what I will grab when I need fast shutter speeds in low light, and already quite small for what they are. But for the vast majority of my shooting I'd rather use the 14-140 because typically I'm shooting f/4-5.6 anyway.

Looking at my metadata and the focal lengths I used on the 14-140 are all over the place in a short span which explains my frustrations with the f/2.8 combo. I absolutely love the 35-100 and sometimes pair it with PL8-18 but I find that 35 is not wide enough and 100mm is too short. The extra 40mm is a big difference and although I despise 14mm (iPhone focal length) it has been a refreshing constraint as I'm usually pinned at 12mm or 8mm. I think us m43 users are spoiled when it comes to the telephoto end. 28-280mm equivalent in a ~265 gram lens- On my bike packing trip my buddy who shoots A6600 and had recently downsized from FF Sony and f/2.8 zooms was green with envy.

In terms of IQ the rendering is surprisingly good paired with my em1iii (natural photo profile) and if there is a difference in overall sharpness I'm having a hard time distinguishing. There was an interesting YT video where he compares the 14-140 vs PL12-60 and he couldn't tell much of a difference in IQ. Maybe I got a sharp copy like he did...

All images are the Oly jpegs, natural profile, -1 sharpening

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davidzvi

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The 12-100 is a much better lens. BUT it is bigger, heavier, more $$$$$, and some of the "better" come with using it on an Olympus body, most notable Sync IS. There are reviews that show 1 to as much as 10 second handle held shots.

But that said the 14-140 II is not a bad lens. Optically I think the Lumix 12-60 is a little better than the 14-140 II, it's also a little lighter. But I used the 14-140 II the GX85 for a number of years and assuming it has the latest firmware it does give you Dual IS and great range.
 

retiredfromlife

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I have both the Oly 12-100 and the Panasonic 14-140
While the Oly 12-100 is the better lens the Panasonic 14-140 is a very good travel lens

The dual IS with my G85 is very good. I would not hesitate to get the 14-140 for use with a Panasonic body.
 
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melanieylang

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For years I have debated adding the pro zooms to my 14-140 mkII, but I still haven't, as whenever I've used the superzoom the results have been good enough for me in fair light (in Australia), even when shooting events (as paid or voluntary photographer).

It's very lightweight, and it's hard to give up the range, especially when paired with a good prime, or UWA or tele zoom to extend the range either way. It's also cheaper to buy used than the pro zooms, which was important to me.

If you're interested, the photos in these links were mostly shot with that lens. Where other lenses were used, it gives you an idea of how it might be limited.

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/my-visual-diary-2020-suffolk-ram-sale-in-australia.109554/

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/my-visual-diary-2021-blacksmithing-demonstration.110983/#post-1465511

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/my-visual-diary-2020-nye-crop-harvest.110261/
 

archaeopteryx

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Any other recommendations?
Make at least a small size-weight-cost table in a spreadsheet or whatever to quantify the tradeoffs among suggestions here.

Personally, current lenses are good enough I don't see any reason to stay with the limited zoom ranges of the classic 24-70+70-200 mme configurations and prefer 24-120 + 100-400 mme type setups. The 14-140 is the one lens implementation of that. The other low cost alternative in Panasonic would be replacing the 12-60 f/3.5-5.6 and possibly adding the 45-200. If you have access to a larger used market, both of those can often be found at low cost in close to unused condition from people dumping them off kits.

It may also be a good exercise to go through an m43 lens list and put interesting ones in your table. In Olympus there's the 12-200, 14-150, 12-50, and 40-150 R, for example. Tamron also makes a 14-150. You'd lose dual IS with those, though.

(edit: forgot the 12-200)
 
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ac12

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I have the P-Lumix 12-60 and really like it.
For ME, I valued the extra 2mm going down from 14mm to 12mm, more than the extra on the long end.
Olympus did not have a comparable lens, so I went with the Panasonic lens.

But, if you don't use the wide end as much, and want the long end, then the 14-140 makes sense.

I have the Olympus 12-100, but as was said, it is NOT a small/light lens. So for ME, it is not my travel lens.
My travel lens is the smaller/lighter P-Lumix 12-60.

Being an Olympus shooter, if I were to replace the P-Lumix 12-60 with a super zoom, it would be the Olympus 14-150.
Though I would miss the wide end.
 

Biro

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Being an Olympus shooter, if I were to replace the P-Lumix 12-60 with a super zoom, it would be the Olympus 14-150.
Though I would miss the wide end.
You don't have to give up the wide end. Olympus makes a 12-200 f/3.5-6.3. I have one and it's a great travel lens. It even has WR. Lists at $799 but can be found on sale or through Olympus's own refurb channels.
 
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For years I have debated adding the pro zooms to my 14-140 mkII, but I still haven't, as whenever I've used the superzoom the results have been good enough for me in fair light (in Australia), even when shooting events (as paid or voluntary photographer).

It's very lightweight, and it's hard to give up the range, especially when paired with a good prime, or UWA or tele zoom to extend the range either way. It's also cheaper to buy used than the pro zooms, which was important to me.

If you're interested, the photos in these links were mostly shot with that lens. Where other lenses were used, it gives you an idea of how it might be limited.

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/my-visual-diary-2020-suffolk-ram-sale-in-australia.109554/

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/my-visual-diary-2021-blacksmithing-demonstration.110983/#post-1465511

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/my-visual-diary-2020-nye-crop-harvest.110261/
I wish I would've bought the 14-140 first prior to delving into the more expensive stuff. Though G.A.S. is a powerful phenomenon and I probably would have succumbed anyway. What I learned from the 14-140 is that I enjoy doing more with less, which is what drew me to M43 in the first place. Personally, It is more rewarding to get a great image from a cheaper lens than simply have my higher expectations met with the more expensive pro option.

I think the 14-140 + a prime in one's fave focal length or in the 10-12mm range is a powerful minimal two lens setup that doesn't break the bank or the back.

In all of your examples you could tell me it they were shot with the 2.8's or PL's and I'd believe you. It's possible in some of the longer focal length examples that you could get better background separation. But as they stand they are great images, never stumbled upon them on these forums...
 

ibd

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If it's helpful to you, I made a comparison of m4/3 superzoom lenses here: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/superzoom-shootout-oly-12-100-oly-12-200-pana-14-140.107412/

Take it with a grain of salt, as zooms in general tend to have more sample variation than primes.

Tl;Dr: Go with the Olympus 12-100mm if you want the best image quality. Go with the Panasonic 14-140mm for a budget option or if you value compactness and lightness more.

By the way, the Olympus 12-100mm worked just fine on my Panasonic GX80, albeit it was a bit heavy and unbalanced without an extra add-on grip. But it should be wonderful on bigger bodies like the G9.
 

DAEMANO

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I own all 3 of the lenses you're considering.

The Panasonic Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 is easily the best bargain of the 3. It is sharp in the center from 12-40mm at f/5.6 - f/8. It renders slightly more muted colors than the other two lenses. This lens can be found online for $150 USD all of the time. It is better for travel photography than nature due to the limits of it's 60mm focal length.

The Panasonic Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4 is best if you need f/2.8 at the wide end. It is not appreciably sharper at the center than the Lumix 12-60 under 40mm, but from 40-60mm it is noticeably sharper at the center than the cheaper Lumix version. The Leica version is sharper in the corners at all focal lengths than the Lumix if that matters to you. The Leica version also has better contrast and more vivid colors than the Lumix (which really can be adjusted in post so this is of dubious value.) Finally the Leica is an all metal build so it feels nicer in the hand than the Lumix, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Lumix version is more durable due to it's all plastic construction.

The Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 renders center and corners as sharp as the Lumix 12-60mm at all focal lengths. It gives up sharpness in the center from 40-60mm to the Leica lens as well as ~1 stop of light at 14mm (which isn't much due to both lenses being stabilized.) From 60-100mm the Lumix 14-140 retains it's sharpness so long as you shoot from f/5.6 - f/8. Above 125mm the corner sharpness begins to fall off to the point where it's best used as a portrait tele lens than a landscape tool. This lens renders fairly saturated colors albeit less contrast than the P Leica 12-60mm. This lens is the obvious choice for shooting wildlife that will let you get within 50-70 meters. Any further and more reach is needed. It's light, well made, and an excellent travel companion. Only buy the mk.2 version if you really need weather sealing. Otherwise, get the mk.1 version used and it will be a great travel friend.
 

spdavies

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I have a pile of lenses - pro and non-pro, Panasonic and Olympus -
the Oly 14-150 and Pan 14-140 are on my cameras all the time -
they are my daily carry.
You can't go wrong with them - you'll love the convenience and the range.
 

Mike Wingate

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I bought the kit GX80 years ago. It had the 12-32 and 35-100 lenses. I was not happy constantly changing theses two lenses, so read reviews of the P14-140. They said it was a very good lens. So I bought one. I have been very pleased with it. It combines well with a Raynox dcr250 for macro shots, has a great zoom range, yes 12mm wide would have been nice. It is my general lens. I had thought about a P or PL12-60, but they are larger, then they don't go past 60mm. I am happy with my 14-140, a fine lens.
 

threeOh

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I think your goal makes a lot of sense. If you don’t take many indoor shots, a 25/1.7 works for your only fast lens. The fact the 12-32 gets little mounted time suggests the P12-35/2.8 is probably not going to work for you. I use a GX9 and have both zooms plus the 14-140 II. Had the P12-60 which, my copy, couldn’t hold a candle to any of the aforementioned.

I had my doubts on the 14-140 but was very pleasantly surprised with its weight and balance for an all day carry, a sharp, modern render and does little to nothing wrong. My out west USA lens as I normally shoot normal to wide.
 

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