Oly 14-42 II vs 14-42 EZ

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Armoured, May 5, 2015.

  1. Armoured

    Armoured Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 5, 2015
    I am getting ready to dip my toes in the m4/3 waters with an OM-D EM-10, and trying to decide between the two different kit lenses. While I will probably eventually get a small prime lens or two, to start with I will stick with a kit lens - also, the prices where I am are such that it doesn't make sense to buy the body without a kit.
    I am very interested in real-world experience with the EZ (power) zoom in particular - I've never used a power zoom and generally haven't liked this on the compact P&S cameras I've used - but that was mostly a while ago, maybe they've got better. What is the feel like? Do I understand correctly that there is no way to manually zoom?
    I'd be happy to hear comments on the optical quality, but my main priority is size, followed by ergonomics (which I've liked on the OM-Ds I've handled). At this point, I'm willing to compromise on optics (within reason) as this is an experiment for me with m4/3 - I've always been a D/SLR type, and have a full-frame kit I use a fair bit, but I need something smaller for travel and casual use. I've always hated the P&S digitals I've used before handling the OM-D series though.
    If I end up being happy with the experience I might look at more exotic/expensive optics in future, but for now I want something with modest size, good handling and decent quality. I really like the idea of the pancake zoom but won't get a chance to handle, or at least not more than a few minutes, and the power zoom feature gives me pause. I've read reviews but few have said much on the handling experience of the power zoom.
    Comments/experiences?
     
  2. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    One source of info:
    http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Best...s/Best-zoom-lenses-for-the-Olympus-OM-D-EM-10

    With the power zoom, the EZ would be better for video use. Neither is among the better lenses for stills. I don't have either, but would opt for the EZ solely for its usefulness in videos, assuming that you are going to have other lenses one day, and that you will use the camera for video some. If no intent for video, go with the non-EZ.
     
  3. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    We have both lenses and have taken many good pictures with them. The EZ is on my wife's E-M10 and it makes a great travel camera. I personally think that the 14 - 42 II is slightly better optically, but perhaps we have a particularly good copy. I prefer the 14 - 42 II over the EZ if you don't need the smaller lens for travel. I have never tried to manually zoom with the EZ. One of the issues that I have with EZ's power zoom is that when zooming I find it hard to quickly get to the FL that I want. Most times there is micro-zooming back and forth to get to the desired FL. For the price of the EZ (non-bundled price) plus the very cool auto open lens cap you are right at the price of the O25 and a little more for the O17. It might make sense to get the less expensive 14-42 II bundle and add a prime sooner.
     
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  4. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    The zoom has a two speed switch: turn a little for slow speed, turn more for full speed. The ring turns for like...three degrees(?) then there is an hard stop and the spring push it back, just like a P&S lever. From the camera menu you can choose the zoom speed: slow, mid, fast. The movement is precise, the spring is nice, zooming stops immediately. No manual zoom. You can configure the camera arrow buttons to control the zoom.

    My opinion: I prefer manual zooms. It's just more natural, faster, fun. I'm used to sustain the camera with the left hand grabbing the lens from below. In this way the zoom ring is too close to the camera body to be comfortable: I have to use the thumb and the middle finger instead of the index. The option that works best is to hold the camera with the right hand and turn the ring from the left side with thumb below and index above. The MF ring is smaller but works better because is far from the body.
    I used it with no problem, I mostly go all wide, all in or set it around 25mm looking at the screen before taking the shot. You can zoom even by 1mm only but usually it jumps by 2 or 3 even more if you are in a hurry. You get used to it, it works fine, but it's different.

    IQ: I have many shots that looks fine to me, even wide open at both ends, like this ones for example (not mine): https://www.mu-43.com/threads/61907/page-2#post-763162
    Other times it looks a little "soft" and dull and need a lot of PP. I do not think is the lens fault(?). Maybe a missing hood? Or when it focuses at infinity (EXIF: 0x0638 = 100000). No idea, not diffraction.

    Is very small, IQ is good, AF is fast. I can keep the E-M10 in the jacket pocket. Is a little smaller then the Pana 20/1.7.
    IMO worth the price and issues only if size is really important. As soon as I'm carrying another lens or two, one extra battery, etc. the size advantage is gone.
     
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  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Adding to what Klorenzo wrote - you can change the power zoom speed for both stills and movie mode through the menu.
     
  6. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Dave
    I had both with my E-M10.

    Did not see much different in picture quality.

    Loved the EZ version and may get another one just for travel. I also had the auto lens cap and it is very cool the way the lens extends and the cap opens when the camera is powered on (and the opposite when powered off). The electronic zoom did not bother me as the zoom range is pretty short and it can adjust from 14 to 42 fairly quickly.

    My choice would be the EZ version.
     
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  7. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I am finding the various opinions on this very interesting. I have never had the 14-42 but I did have the Oly 12-50 EZ, which is similar. I found that the power zoom was good for video, for which it was designed, but it drove me nuts when shooting stills. I just couldn't get as accurate adjustments with the power on as I could with it off and zooming manually. I am surprised to hear the 14-42 EZ doesn't have the same push-pull auto/manual zoom feature. I kept it turned off all the time except when shooting video.

    I'd suggest the EZ if you shoot a lot of video but the non-powered zoom lens if you are primarily a still shooter.
     
  8. Armoured

    Armoured Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 5, 2015
    Thanks, all - I'm most concerned with the point the Jfrader made, it just driving me nuts in power zoom, since I mostly shoot stills. I'm going to have to ponder a bit more.
     
  9. Lindsay D

    Lindsay D Mu-43 Veteran

    242
    Jan 2, 2013
    West Sussex, England
    Lindsay
    Regarding the EZ pancake zoom, I have found it to be quite disappointing optically - really not sharp at any setting. I don't use it. On the other hand my 14-42II is significantly better and really quite impressive.

    I also have the Panasonic PZ pancake zoom - and I rate this quite highly as well - much better than the Olympus version.
     
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  10. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Dave
    I wonder if I lucked out with a sharp copy? Used it in Europe in the summer and was pretty pleased in good light.
     
  11. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Today I took the EZ on E-M10 for a test ride. I've uploaded three samples here: http://imgur.com/a/vuLbI
    Full size sooc jpg. They look fine to me, for a kit zoom even wide open.

    I took 98 pictures. I was shooting from 1/100 to 1/300 so I did not expect any problem and I shoot with the EVF with not special care. About half had micro motion blur. Maybe the problem is holding the camera with the right hand only and pressing the shutter at the same time.
     
  12. Savageajc

    Savageajc Mu-43 Rookie

    19
    May 1, 2015
    Aron
    I haven't received my M10 yet, I have the 14-42II coming with it. But the power zoom on my NEX 6 I did not like one bit. Maybe I just wasn't used to it, but I always seemed to zoom in too much only to zoom out too much. I'm sure it just took more time getting used to it.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2015
  13. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    297
    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    The 14-42 II I have for my EPL2 is very sharp. Great little kit lens.
     
  14. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    Don't forget to check out the Showcase threads for the lenses. They are a great resource. 14-42II and 14-42EZ
     
  15. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I've said it before but my copy of the 14-42EZ pancake was quite sharp and if you like a zoom that pops out when powered on ... this is rather impressively smooth in operation. You could just play with that for hours.
    (Kit zooms aren't my thing so I sold it.)
     
  16. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    Agree with this 100%

    I found the EZ to be optically extremely disappointing unless stopped down past f/6 and even then there is something a bit mushy about the output, whereas the 14-42II was a nice surprise for a kit zoom lens. Unsurprisingly the 12-40 is in a completely different league :) and the Oly 14-150 is much better then most people would have you believe (IMHO).
     
  17. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Just out of curiosity: do you find the samples I posted good or bad?

    I'm asking to understand if the different opinions are due manily to sample variation or to different expectation/needs.
     
  18. Yes, I know what you mean. I had a NEX6 with the power zoom lens. Photos were OK, but it never inspired any confidence. It felt like it was going to come apart in my hands every time I used it. Perhaps I was prejudiced by a floor demo unit I saw where the housing was coming apart already!

    The Olympus EZ however feels much more solid. The photos seem as good as what I remember from my 14-42II from a few years ago. I've since added the 12-40, however, and it hasn't come off the E-M1 body yet. :) I'm keeping the EZ for the time being, however. It will make a great lens for a second-hand or refurbished PEN of some sort, for even greater portability.
     
  19. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    I have a similar plan for my EZ lens, get the smallest, cheapest body that i can find for a pocket friendly m43 camera
     
  20. MadMarco

    MadMarco Mu-43 Veteran

    298
    Oct 30, 2014
    Guildford, England
    Have you turned on the zero shock setting? My 14-150 shows really bad shutter shock without this enabled and it's very difficult to get a pin sharp shot. I leave zero shock enabled at all times, there doesn't seem to be a negative.