Lumix 14mm/2.5 vs Lumix 14-45mm/3.5-5.6

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Reversed, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Reversed

    Reversed New to Mu-43

    Feb 22, 2012
    Hello all!

    I just recently got into the micro 4/3 world by purchasing a GF2 with the 14mm pancake lens.

    It is the only lens I have at the moment, and for a while, I won't be able to purchase another one. I love the 14mm so far, but I am not sure if I should be using it as my only lens, seeing how it is a wide angle.

    Would it be beneficial in this situation to trade it for a 14-45mm for a more versatile lens?

    I am still learning, so for questions like "What do you shoot?", I would have to say I am still exploring, I don't really know yet.

    Of course, I plan on having both later (or the 20mm), but for now (and the near future), I'm only able to have one.

    What do you guys think?
  2. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I'm in the same boat as you, and I say that having the tiny 14mm will allow you (or at least me) to pocket the camera more easily, and thus use it more often. A bit of a skewed way of thinking, but in practical use, the 14-42 is bulkier.

    I'll let the pros opine on the technical differences between the two.
  3. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    Panny 20 is a no-brainer. Or if you want the max reach of the 14-42 get the oly 45mm. Almost only trade-off would be the occasional lens changes and maybe the initial costs, but you will get the 20 and 45 anyway sooner or later so why not sooner? :tongue:
  4. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    The 45mm 1.8 is a great companion for the 14mm, I used just those two today with one in my pocket, and it was fantastic. The 20 is a great lens too, but you can create more of a different look with the 45 at a similar price point too.
  5. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    I was trying to get rid of my kit lens yet u want to buy one.

    May I suggest that u keep the 14mm and try out the ex tele conv feature? U would be surprised to know that not only will it do a zoom in on the subject, but it also allows for close-up and magnification. The only fall back is a drop in resolution which I think is bearable at times.

    Then your next add on lens would be 45mm. Or heck, just sell the 14mm and get the 12-35x when it is launched.
  6. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    At this moment, there are some 14-42's for sale in the forum's classified section. One listing shows a 14-42 next to a GF1. I am surprised at its length. Another listing has one priced for $100 USD shipped.

    I really like the 14mm F2.5 for its size. Rather than trade it and give that up, I'd suggest the OP try to put aside the $5-8 a week and buy a used 14-42 later.

    The 14-45 is a much better lens, but will cost 2X and if one is spending that much, better to save for the other ones (20mm, 45mm, long zoom.) A 14-42 will do fine.
  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I often say that a midrange lens is what 90% of photographers can shoot with, 90% of the time. If you're new to photography, then it's a great idea to get yourself a midrange zoom, which means 14-42mm. B&H and Amazon currently sells the Panasonic OIS for $140, so that should be your baseline.
    Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5 -5.6 Asph. / H-FS014042 Panasonic Lumix 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 G Vario Aspherical MEGA OIS Lens for Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Cameras: Camera & Photo

    If you can find a lens here for $100-$120 shipped, then go for it, otherwise you might as well just buy new with warranty. Stick with the Panasonic that I linked above or the Olympus 14-42mm II or R versions.
  8. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    a)Try not to think about your usage with it as your "only lens." Master what it has to offer you before you move on to others. I tend to stick with one thing for years before exploring the merits of others; whether it is the balance and heft of a katana, the signature recoil and accuracy of a 1911, or the bokeh and buttery-smooth focusing of the CV 25mm, f/0.95 . Knowing the merits of one will allow you to discover what it is that you desire in another. Let it be an extension of you rather than just something you carry.

    It depends on your situation. Are you able to succinctly articulate that? If not yet, perhaps it may be wise to further explore it. You have a good start by stating: "I am still learning, so for questions like "What do you shoot?", I would have to say I am still exploring, I don't really know yet."

    Many of my generation (post-baby boomer) began photography with a 28mm lens :)43: equivalent of 14mm). I spent two decades with this FL lens before I ventured into others. It provides a marvelous FOV. I now use the 24mm FL (Olympus 12mm, f/2.0).
    • Like Like x 1
  9. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    Would it be beneficial in this situation to trade it for a 14-45mm for a more versatile lens?


    What do you mean by more versatile?

    The zoom will give you some options re focal length but you can "zoom with your feet" with the 14, moving further away or closer in to frame the shot the way you like. It's not quite the same in terms of how the shot will look but provided you're prepared to play with working distance there may not be as much difference as you think.

    On the other hand the 14 is faster and that means it's easier to work with it in lower light situations so that makes it more versatile in that regard.

    It makes sense to go for the more versatile lens PROVIDED it's more versatile in ways that are useful to you. If versatility in focal length is more important to you than versatility in a wider range of lighting situations, go for the zoom. Otherwise stick with the 14 . Sooner or later you're going to get another lens and expand your options but if that lens is going to be something in the range from 14 to 45 or 50 mm or so, I'd stick with the 14 because that would mean that you'd be covering the important parts of the zoom range with the 2 lenses anyway.
  10. Reversed

    Reversed New to Mu-43

    Feb 22, 2012
    Thanks for all the input, everyone. I have been shooting like crazy with the 14mm and I really like it.

    Everyone made really great points. I think I'm going to keep the 14 and try to pick up the 14-42 when I get a little extra cash (it's really not too expensive).

    I'm going to be doing some major traveling this summer, so the 14mm will be a great thing to have for landscapes, and i'll have the kit lens for different situations.

    Now, is there a huge difference between the olympus and panasonic 14-42's? Is there disadvantages with using an olympus lens on a panasonic body?
  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Oly lens on Panny body = no IS.
  12. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have both, 14mm and 14-45mm. Both are great performers. I also have the Oly 14-42mm II R. The Oly is also a great lens but like what WT21 said, if you use it on a Panasonic body, there will be no image stabilization.

    I'd say look for a 14-45mm over the 14-42mm (either Panny or Oly).
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    An advantage and a disadvantage.

    Disadvantage: You won't get image stabilization because Oly does it in the camera body and not in the lenses. Panasonic the reverse.

    That said, image stabilization IMHO is not a big deal at these focal lengths. The old rule is your slowest shutter speed should be the reciprocal of the (35mm equivalent) focal length. So, probably 1/60th for the 42mm at full extension. My experience is if I'm careful I can go one stop slower and if I stabilize the camera by resting or leaning on something I can go slower yet. So unless you're doing a lot of low-light shooting, the lack of stabilization should not be a big deal.

    Advantage: The Oly lenses are smaller. The old 14-42 is only 44mm tall, vs the Panny 14-45 which is 60mm. That's a big difference. The Oly 14-42 II is 50mm and the Panny 14-42 is the behemoth at 64mm. So the Olys win in pocketablity.

    How do I know this? I made myself a little comparison table, which I fished out of the wastebasket when I saw your post. I just paid $60 (here) for an original Oly 14-42mm to play around with on a GF2 that's primarily intended to carry my Oly 9-18. The 14-42 is not the sharpest lens I've ever owned and there's no OEM lens shade for it, but it is even more compact than the 9-18mm. Small and cheap! I'm looking forward to playing with it.
  14. Reversed

    Reversed New to Mu-43

    Feb 22, 2012
    Thanks a ton for the in-depth answer. I'm going to look around and see what deals I can find for a cheap 14-42, oly or panny. At least it would give me a chance to see if I like kit lenses, and what focal lengths I like shooting at.
  15. chiquito3

    chiquito3 New to Mu-43

    May 23, 2012
    This info was very helpful for me. Thanks guys!
  16. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Shnitz is on the mark. +1