Lumix 14-140mm VS the world

archaeopteryx

Gambian sidling bush
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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.
Neither 12-60 is sufficiently well characterized to know the probabilities of these statements holding true across copies but they're not especially consistent with n = 1 measurements available (12-60 f/3.5-5.6, 12-60 f/2.8-4). So, unless you're planning to sell your copies to the OP, their experience is likely to differ. :laugh: From what's known about copy variation among μ43 lenses and copy variation among lenses within other systems it seems unlikely the MTFs of the two 12-60s are significantly different across most of the frame at most focal lengths in a statistically robust sense (p < 0.05, generously, p < 0.01 is usually preferred). What seems guaranteed for the extra size, weight, and cost is mainly the extra stop.

Additionally, measurements in other systems is there's a default 8% chance the long end will be sharper than the wide end (Cicala 2017b). There's also a decent chance any overall claim about corners won't hold for at least some corners at some focal lengths (Cicala 2017a).

While some people might insist on interpretations claiming important distinctions, I would say distortion, vignetting, and CA are pretty much interchangeable between the two 12-60s. So I would suggest, if one doesn't need the extra stop, what you're paying for in a functional sense is mainly some complex and not especially clear increase in the probability of getting higher MTF from the f/2.8-4. Personally, I don't need the extra stop. So Panasonic would have to radically improve their communication about the value proposition of the f/2.8-4 for customers for me to give much thought to spending 2.5-3x more on the f/2.8-4. Don't see that happening.

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.
In modern lenses the metal is frequently a skin over plastic to encourage a presumption of all metal construction for marketing purposes. I don't know of a teardown of the 12-60 f/2.8-4 which would confirm or deny in this particular case but it's 320 g compared to the f/3.5-5.6's 238 g. Assuming constant density under a cylindrical approximation as a baseline, all but 10 g of the difference is explained by the f/2.8-4's larger size. Ten grams is 4 cm³ of aluminum, so I would tend to guess the f/2.8-4 is metal skin.

One would hope, given Panasonic's lack of repair support, that the f/2.8-4 would have higher reliability commensurate with its higher price. But I too am sceptical about this and wouldn't at all be surprised if the innards of the two lenses are fairly comparable. If they're close enough to reuse some parts there would be a cost incentive to do so, after all.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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In modern lenses the metal is frequently a skin over plastic to encourage a presumption of all metal construction for marketing purposes. I don't know of a teardown of the 12-60 f/2.8-4 which would confirm or deny in this particular case...
Having a PL12-60 in-hand, I can tell you with some pretty good certainty that it's not "all metal" construction. When extended, the inner-barrel does not have the feel of metal, in that the shell of the lens has the "cool to the touch" feel that metal has, while the inner barrel does not, which is how non-conductive material like plastic would feel. Not a scientific measure, so if nothing else, I can say with even more certainty that whatever the the inner barrel material is, it is NOT the same material as the outer shell. Essentially, the premium material is for the surfaces you'll be touching. I suppose when retracted, the lenses should be a little more protected from impact, though that means the finish might wear more. Same is even true for the PL12-60's hood. The bottom half is metal, with the top half plastic.

I would say the PL100-400 is exactly the same build. Now the PL8-18 is an internal zoom, so that one is definitely anyone's guess, unless they feel like busting one open. I'd assume the PL50-200 is like the PL12-60/100-400, since it's a telescoping zoom as well.
 

oldracer

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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.
This. I had the original 14-140, then ditched it for the second generation due to its lighter weight. (I am a travel photographer mostly.). Informal testing using Air Force 1951 resolution targets told me that there was not much difference between the two optically. When the 12-200 came along, I lurked at the Olympus Store until a refurbished one came along and they were running one of their frequent 20% off sales. Net before sales tax: $579.99. I did the same testing between my 14-140 and the 12-200 and found little difference. Maybe a bit soft at 200, but shooting the Panny at 140mm and enlarging would probably have produced the same result. So I sold the Panny and kept the Oly. These super zooms are great lenses for travel unless you are cropping tiny areas out of your images or are printing to huge sizes. And for the latter at normal viewing distances, IMO almost any M43 lens is adequately sharp.
 

Davijoh

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Thanks a lot for all your suggestions! While I'd love to have the 35-100 2.8 or the 12-100, I've decided to go for the latest version of the 14-140. It seems like it's the lens that ticks most of my boxes when it comes to weight, versatility, minimal lens swapping, and reach, without compromising too much on quality.
 

Darmok N Jalad

Temba, his aperture wide
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Thanks a lot for all your suggestions! While I'd love to have the 35-100 2.8 or the 12-100, I've decided to go for the latest version of the 14-140. It seems like it's the lens that ticks most of my boxes when it comes to weight, versatility, minimal lens swapping, and reach, without compromising too much on quality.
Let us know how you get on with it. I’ve often thought about getting one myself. I tried the 14-150ii from Olympus a while ago, and it just didn’t do it for me.
 

Vermont3133

A New Lens Will Fix It!
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Yes, reading this has sparked my interest in his lens, particularly after seeing Melanie's work with one.
I've always been dismissive of super zooms but Panasonic seems to have excelled again, with this, in the non-pro lens division.
Something to watch when buying:
There is the original f/4-5.8 version.
Then it seems the ii [2], f/3.5-5.6, version includes the first upgrade, H-FS14140E [no *weather sealing*]
And the *weather sealed* version, H-FSA14140
 
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Vermont3133

A New Lens Will Fix It!
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What else could I do?
I had to try one [new, EOFY sale, *splash and dust proof* version]
Actually dust proof is more important than splash proof.....hopefully the zoom mechanism sucks in less dust!
The question now is: Where does my 45-175mm stand up by comparison and usefulness?
 

Variable

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Sep 3, 2020
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Ok, look. If swapping lenses is not your thing, then the 14-140 II is.

Super happy with my 14-140 II. It's small and light for its range, the AF and sealing work well, and results are satisfying. It actually does ok in low light with dual stabilization, but a short, fast prime like you have already is much better for capturing movement. I usually swap out the 14-140 II around dusk, or just raise the ISO into the 1600-3200 range. Then I denoise in Photolab if it bothers me. 140mm is...workable, unless the point of the photo is to show something in detail or high contrast. I usually rack it to 140mm, then pull it back to about 120mm.

It's what m43 should be- small, light, practical.

Its mini-miracle is the bokeh, which it should not show much, but is present when you close focus at widest aperture. Actually that's true for many lenses, but still a surprise when I see it on this 10x zoom lens. As for contrast, if your pace is slow, you can give it an edge with a polarizer when there's sharp glare in full sun, or off water. The polarizer is more hassle to adjust with the hood on, but helps suppress contrast-robbing reflections inside the lens.

Compared to other lenses on the market, the only lens that makes me a bit wishful is the fully manual Samyang/Rokinon 135mm f/2. That lens is literally everything the 14-140 II is not, but it gets solid images where the 14-140 II falls down, except for fast focusing. In reality, I pair the 14-140 II with the 100-300 when I can leave the 100-300 behind if needed. That's a lot of range, but you need stable atmosphere to make carrying the pair worth the trouble, compared to cropping the 14-140 II image. Using the 100-300 in warm weather, I wound up with a lot of very detailed images of heat waves with interesting things behind them.

I'm glad I got my 14-140 II used. Its new price is a bit strong.

Have fun with it!
 
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Krbo

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one more vote for a 14-140 II as a great travel lens
solid IQ and very fast response to AF

sorry, but it's IQ is visibly behind 35-100/2.8 but seeing a price range and f2.8 it is expected
(I have both, 14-140 is most of the time mounted on my GX8, it's hard to beat 10x during an unspecific photo walk)

I also have Pany 12-60, although a very nice lens it's range is too short for my need so it mostly seats in the drawer except in a very rare conditions when 12mm is better the 14mm
 
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