Lumix G Vario 14-140mm as Replacement for both 12-32mm and 45-150mm for Travel - What are the cons?

Jack Parker

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Hi all,

This is my first post here. I found a post about the 14-140mm but I'd appreciate some specific advice about my situation that I didn't see covered there.

I am currently on a Panasonic DMC-GX80 (GX85 in US, same camera) with two lenses - a 12-32mm and a 45-150mm (links to official product pages). I also have the Olympus 60mm macro, but that feels separate to this discussion.

I am planning on doing a LOT of travelling over the next couple of years and I find it slightly frustrating having to constantly switch between the two lenses as I spin between landscapes/far away wildlife every few minutes. And at times I'll want to pack light. Hence the 14-140mm feels like the perfect solution so I have nearly the same range in one lens.

I'm a fairly amateur photographer taking my first or second attempt towards intermediate, and trying to figure out if there are any downsides to ditching my current two lenses for the 14-140mm. The lack of 12-14mm and 140-150mm feels marginal. The f/3.5-5.6 is the same aperture range as my 12-32mm.

I'd appreciate if anyone is aware of what I'd be losing, if anything, before I go ahead and make the investment.

Also, a side question to help me make that first step out of the amateur realm... I understand that f-stop is aperture. When I am using my lenses, the f-stop won't go below the number advertised on the product. i.e. the 12-32mm won't go below f/3.5 when I'm using it... makes sense. However even though the advertised upper f-stop is 5.6, the camera happily lets me go all the way up to 22. So what does that 5.6 limitation actually mean in practice?

Thanks! - Jack
 

JensM

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Also, a side question to help me make that first step out of the amateur realm... I understand that f-stop is aperture. When I am using my lenses, the f-stop won't go below the number advertised on the product. i.e. the 12-32mm won't go below f/3.5 when I'm using it... makes sense. However even though the advertised upper f-stop is 5.6, the camera happily lets me go all the way up to 22. So what does that 5.6 limitation actually mean in practice?
The quoted aperture numbers are max (how large they will go) numbers, so you will have a max aperture at 3.5 at 14mm and max 5.6 at 140mm, the aperture regulates basically how much light the lens is letting through, so a bigger max number is normally considered to be "better", it bring more leeway when setting up your shot. I think you will be fine with the 14-140, but you can also considering taking the 12-32, it is a bit wider and weights 70 grams so it is not going to bog you down.
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It is not unheard of to carry a small, fast prime for indoor shoots either, Pana-Leica 15mm or Panasonic 20mm, both with max apperture at f1:7, are quite popular for this.
 

ac12

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For ME, the con is at the wide end. The 14-140 stops at 14, the 12-35 goes down to 12.
That 2mm can make a difference. It does for ME. Since it does not bother you, then it does not apply.

For convenience, the 14-140 IS indeed much more convenient to use than two lenses.

I sorta split the difference by using the 12-60.
Wide 12mm on the short end (compared to the 14-140/150), and a longer 60mm on the long end (compared to the 12-35).

And as @JensM said, I would add a fast prime, for when the sun goes down or you are inside.
I use an Olympus 17/1.8. I don't use it much, but when the light is LOW, there is no substitute for FAST glass.
I selected the 17 with the logic that, if I were inside, it would be cramped, so I would want a wide 17 rather than a normal 25.
I would select the equivalent Panasonic lens.
 

Stanga

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The 14-140mm hasn't left my GX80 for more than a year now. For shots where I require something wider than 14mm I find that the Panoramic mode covers the majority of those occasions.
 

ex machina

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You'll find the 45-150 a tad bit sharper on the long end but the convenience of the 14-140II means I haven't shot with mine in ages; I should probably sell it. If I can only take one lens and I don't know what I'm going to shoot, the 14-140II is my go-to.
 

spdavies

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The 14-140 is a great lens and is always on my camera when I carry only one lens.
Take your 12-32 if you think you will need wider, but it is easy to take two shots and stitch them for width.
It would be a good idea to carry a wide fast prime for indoors, churchs, etc.
Olympus 12, 17, Panny 16, etc.
 

Jack Parker

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Thank you all for your suggestions and help! I am pretty confident I'm going to go ahead and purchase the 14-140mm.

The recommendation to get a wide-angle prime as close to the 12mm as possible and with a low f-stop makes sense. I can understand the benefit of that for low light situations, but I wouldn't have thought about it myself.
 

Stanga

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In order to get my 14-140mm to go wider I use a wide angle converter that I found to work extremely well without adding any noticeable weight to the front of the lens, and it is a slim item. The converter works between the 14mm and 25mm range on the 14-140mm zoom.
It is the same converter that I use on the 12-60mm.
See https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/313672193327
 

ibd

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In order to get my 14-140mm to go wider I use a wide angle converter that I found to work extremely well without adding any noticeable weight to the front of the lens, and it is a slim item. The converter works between the 14mm and 25mm range on the 14-140mm zoom.
It is the same converter that I use on the 12-60mm.
See https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/313672193327
Interesting, could you post some samples both from the 14-140 and the 12-60 with that converter attached?
 

SVQuant

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@Jack Parker
I just went back to the Olympus version of this lens. It is a great travel lens. I had initially replaced it with the 12-32 and 40-150 because I wanted a smaller carry around combo and found that the 12-32 and 40-150 were ever so slightly better than the 14-150 in their shared ranges. But the convenience and quality are a winner and I think that my new copy will stay.

P. S. There is a used copy (not mine) of the Panasonic 14-140 for sale in the Buy/Sell forum if you are interested.
 
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Welcome, @Jack Parker. IMO, I think a wide-range zoom like the one you're considering would be very handy for travel. You give up a little IQ in exchange for convenience and not having to change lenses, which is an advantage when you're traveling or in a group. My one caveat is that I prefer weather-sealed gear for travel because I've encountered rain or humid weather fairly often when I've traveled. In fact, my trip to Japan in 2013 after I got my first M43 camera, an Olympus EM5, was plagued with many rainy days. My weather-sealed camera and lens allowed me to keep shooting even while getting rained on. Otherwise, it would have been put away and I would have missed many opportunities. We were prepared for rain, but one still gets wet. However, your GX-80 is not weather-sealed, so getting a weather-sealed lens won't make much difference. If you had a weather-sealed body, I'd definitely recommend getting a weather-sealed lens. At the time I bought my EM5, I had no idea that I'd encounter such weather on travel. It turned out to be a fortunate choice. On that trip, I had the Olympus 12-50, which is weather-sealed. However, I sometimes wished it had a longer telephoto range, but at the time, there were no wider-ranged weather-sealed lenses in the catalog. Now there are more choices. The 14-140 II is splash resistant. Maybe you can upgrade later to a splash resistant body.
 
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beameup

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Olympus makes a 12-200 and a 12-100. I would prefer a lens that goes down to 12mm. I just purchased the 12-32mm and am surprised how good it is. The only other zoom I have is the 40-150.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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:Welcome:

If your goal is simplicity and being economical, the 25mm 1.7 is typically the cheapest prime for indoors (especially used), and the 9mm BCL is a fun and tiny bargain if you can get along with a fisheye with a fixed aperture. I’ve used that BCL for landscapes more than I ever thought I would.
 
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@Stanga mentioned a wide angle converter lens for the 14-140. Panasonic doesn't make one for it, but I bet you can find plenty around that would fit a 58mm filter thread, like he did. The hard part is figuring out which one is best. May have to be trial and error. :)

This is no endorsement, but this Opteka at BH sounds reasonable. It's one of the few inexpensive ones that advertises multi-coating, which may be worth pursuing.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/825008-REG/Opteka_OPT45X58_0_5x_High_Definition_II.html
 
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Stanga

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That Digital King Pro 0.7X is the only one that I got working properly on the 14-140mm and the 12-60mm. Anything wider than 0.7x starts causing noticeable chromatic aberration, or/and starts picking up the edges of the lens at the widest settings.
 

RAH

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I have to say, if I were going to travel and wanted 12mm instead of 14, I wouldn't put an adapter lens like being discussed on an already somewhat lower-IQ super-zoom lens like the 14-140 or 14-150 (Oly).

If the 14-140 isn't enough range, I think it is a better idea to decide which you want more - the reach of 140 or the width of 12 - and pick one lens that does either but not both. My choice would be the Pan/Leica 12-60, the Pan/Lumix 12-60, or the Oly 12-100 (if you can stand the weight). If you want the width or reach occasionally, bring a separate lens (like the cheap Oly 40-150; or on the other side, maybe a 12-32).

I don't like to throw away too much IQ just because it is "only" for travel. I mean a person often travels to places they don't often (or ever again!) go to, so it seems to me you want at least very good IQ. I just don't think you'll get that with a wide adapter on a 14-140 lens. IMHO.
 
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Stanga

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I don't like to throw away too much IQ just because it is "only" for travel. I mean a person often travels to places they don't often (or ever again!) go to, so it seems to me you want at least very good IQ. I just don't think you'll get that with a wide adapter on a 14-140 lens. IMHO.
Fortunately thinking and knowing are two different things. I have posted several pictures over time where I used that particular adapter.
 
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