Olympus vs Panasonic overral Lens Quality

RevBob

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I have three Panasonic lenses that I am extremely happy with: a 14mm, a 25mm f1.4, and a 100-300mm zoom. I have a beautiful Olympus 45mm f1.7, a Rokinon fisheye and a Rokinon 85mm as well as a collection of adapted lenses. I wouldn't trade any of the m4/3 lenses, they are mostly primes and they cover all the range that I need. All three brands produce good glass.
 

Egregius V

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There is a lot of sample variation, plus different strengths in otherwise comparable lenses. Many Panasonic zooms have OIS, which can be an advantage with a Panasonic camera.

In the ultra-wide range, I prefer Olympus and Samyang for a variety of reasons - but it's very subjective.

I have to agree that the Pan. 12-32 pancake zoom and 12-60 Lumix lenses are special - but the 12-32 is brittle and tends to be decentered - and getting a good copy of the 12-60 is a horrible game of roulette. My good 12-60 focuses reliably from the AF target forward, my first one would only focus well in front of the AF target.

The Pan. 20mm is unique and wonderfully sharp, but suffers from high CA and vignetting wide open. And then there's that old banding problem with Sony 16MP sensors.

I've seen enough to believe the Oly. 14-150 II tends to be sharper than the smaller Pan. 14-140 II when comparing good copies - but the Pan. can be more even across the frame when stopped down, especially at the wide end. (I replaced my sharp but decentered 14-150 II with the sharper and more reliable Lumix 12-60.)

For kit telephoto zooms, my pick is the Oly. 40-150 R. But among long zooms, I like the Pan. 100-300 II over the Oly. 75-300 II, which I've tested extensively (I prefer the Oly. range and like that it seems just a bit less prone to decentering and vignetting, but love everything else about the Pan. lens).

I hated the copy of the Oly. 25mm/1.8 I once bought refurbished. The Leica easily won a faceoff with it, despite the trouble I was having with it for portraits. The two lenses were very different from each other - the sharper PL handling backgrounds and close focusing better, the Oly. handling foregrounds and certain landscape targets better.

The Oly. 45/1.8 and Pan. 42.5/1.7 are likewise comparable yet very different: the Pan. focuses closer and can be sharper wide open, but has harsher bokeh and can be more expensive. I have the 45 and am happy with it.
 
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PakkyT

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I was going to add:

- Panasonic 35-100 f/4-5.6 vs nothing - this is a fabulously small, lightweight, mid-telephoto zoom for travel, hiking, whatever
Virtually the same arguments for the Oly 40-150 "R" with better range. Thus showing there is not that much differences between Oly and Panny quality of lenses, it is just what each manufacturer wanted to design and produce, sometime offering virtually the same lenses as each other and sometimes offering very different lenses from each other that the other didn't make their own version.
 

GBarrington

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My experience with Panasonic is limited to the 7-14 f/2.8, so I can't speak to kit lenses, or the Leica branded Panasonics. But I think the IQ is quite good, certainly comparable to its Zuiko counterparts.

If there are measurable differences that make the Zuikos 'theoretically' better, I'm not going to worry about them. They don't affect my real-world usage in any way.
 
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Virtually the same arguments for the Oly 40-150 "R" with better range.
Panasonic also has a 45-150 (which I have and like very much).

There is a lot of sample variation, plus different strengths in otherwise comparable lenses.
From my experience, I had much more quality issues with Olympus lenses (14-42 EZ, 75 1.8, 25 1.2, some medium 17 1.8 and 45 1.8 but I guess it's normal for these two).
I had no problem with Panny lenses (14 2.5 / 20 1.7 / 25 1.4 / 42.5 1.7 / two 12-32 / 45-150).
It's probably not enough to draw any conclusions...
 

Mike Wingate

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I use a Panasonic GX80. I am really happy with my collection of lenses. I am sure that my Olympus 60mm is a good macro lens. I would like a Laowa 7.5mm rect uwa, despite having the very good P7-14mm. I will buy a P20mm, when they bring out a version that focuses quickly, and an Olympus 75mm when they drop below £500.
 

G3user

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Mike, have you tried a P20mm on a camera with DfD? I've heard that it focusses a bit faster on newer Panasonic cameras that have DfD.
 

Mike Wingate

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Yes, I tried it on my GX80 and on a G9 at a Lumix event at Dunham Park. I also have a friend with a Lumix G7 and GX80 who uses one. He is used to the focusing traits, claiming improvement with the GX80. But for me it lacks the instant focusing of my other lenses. Waiting for Mk.III to appear with a GX10 or a new version of a G9.
 

G3user

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Thanks Mike. It can hunt a bit on my G3, so when that dies it will be nice to think that it will work faster on a newer body.
 

mfturner

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Virtually the same arguments for the Oly 40-150 "R" with better range. Thus showing there is not that much differences between Oly and Panny quality of lenses, it is just what each manufacturer wanted to design and produce, sometime offering virtually the same lenses as each other and sometimes offering very different lenses from each other that the other didn't make their own version.
That's a great point. For cameras without an evf, like my PM1, I like the shorter range of the 35-100 because it's hard to aim and hold steady at full zoom. But for my M10 I would probably prefer the 40-150, maybe I'll wind up with both.

To the original topic, I think they both make great lenses.
 
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