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P14-45 or 12-35 or neither?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by DynaSport, Feb 21, 2014.

  1. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    Since buying the P14, PL25, and O45, I have become an almost exclusive prime shooter, which is a surprise to me because when I had a Canon dslr I shot 2.8 zooms almost exclusively. And for the record I am totally happy with my three primes. But, there are times when I wonder if the versatility of a zoom would be a better compromise than carrying around three primes and switching them out. I actually have two zoom lenses at the moment. I have the O14-42IIr that came with with my E-PM1 and I purchased the O40-150 when it was so cheap a while back. I have been blown away by the results with the 40-150 considering its cost and cheap construction. I have not been blown away by the 14-42. It is ok, but not great.

    So, I have been thinking about buying a normal zoom at some point in the future. I have read good things about the 14-45, with many considering it the best of the cheap kit zooms. I have even read that its IQ is not much behind the 12-35 if it is behind it at all. I can pick one up used on ebay for less than $200 all day long. Of course, the 12-35 is Panasonic's flag ship normal zoom and is priced accordingly. It is still a good deal compared with a Canon 24-70 2.8, but that is another story. I'm leaning toward picking up a used 14-45, but I'd be interested in hearing from people who have used both and their opinion on whether the 12-35 is really worth 5 TIMES the money. Also, I'd be interested in hearing whether the 14-45 is really much if any better than the O14-42 I already have. One point in the Panasonic's favor is the OIS, as my main camera at present is a G5. I've never really had a camera with IBIS that made much of a difference nor lenses with IS. I know that is amazing to some, as I see posts all the time basically commenting that without some form of IS, a camera/lens is worthless. I am obviously not in that camp, but I wouldn't mind seeing what I am missing. That is the reason I'm not really considering the otherwise excellent O12-40.

    Thanks.
     
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    If you value the compact size of the primes, stick with them. If you mostly shoot them all wide open (particularly the 25 and 45), the zoom isn't going to be a good replacement. I like having both - the 'normal' zoom (12-40 for me, owned the 12-35 until it was stolen) is a fantastic all-rounder for 'general' and above all travel shooting, where I tend not to want particularly shallow depth of field and versatility due to not being able to control your position at all times wins out over more light-gathering capacity. I shoot a fair amount of landscape (so more DoF = good), urban/city scenes, and snaps of people (which, in good light, the 12-40 is fine for). But I much prefer primes for low light, people shooting, and tripod work.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I have the same lenses as you and thinking of replacing Panny 14mm w/ 12-32mm compact zoom. The reviews of that lens are surprisingly good. OIS will be helpful and 12mm is nice to have. I'm gonna have to wait till the price comes down a bit. It's just nice to have zoom even if wider is most used. I often end up cropping my pictures a lot and use digital TC which affects IQ too much.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I was just thinking the same thing myself.
     
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I have the 12-35, but like many, I'm finding I use primes for a lot of my shooting. The 12-35 is useful for general walkabout, but I'm thinking I may sell it and get one of the new pancake 12-42 zooms (either Panasonic or Oly). It will be cheaper and smaller and above all smaller and lighter. I can live with the smaller aperture.
     
  6. unstable_rider

    unstable_rider Mu-43 Regular

    57
    Feb 9, 2014
    Land of Lakes
    I have the Panasonic 14-45 with OIS. I don't consider it a "kit lens", as they are still near $400 dollars new from some sources, and they are tack sharp. Kit lens are typically valued at $60-80 dollars, like the lesser 14-42mm.
    The 14-42 is indeed less desirable, and side by side with the better 14-45, you will immediately note the difference when cycling your telephoto, the 14-42 will feel like it's full of sand in comparison.

    I obtained my 14-45 "OIS" local from another 4/3 person for $175, with box and everything, just like brand new. It's a great lens.
    Is it a prime, NO. A very capable "vacation" lens though. That and a pancake 14mm in your pocket for more "creative" low-light shots and you are good.

    Lately, I have been experimenting indoors with just available light, and while I am still investigating, thus far I must say that ridiculous cheap, lightweight plastic Olympus 50-150mm constantly amazes me.
    Is it a blazing hot "sports-action lens"?

    Uhh, no.

    But, it does a great job on semi-static targets and impressive range INDOORS with available light. If you can hold still or fire from a table, etc.
    I detest tripods, but in a coffee shop, etc., I will take advantage of a table and shift my camera around on something, my stocking cap, etc, to take someone "covert" images at impressive tele-distances, and I am quite happy with the end result when I get back to the computer and see what I captured.


    I can't comment on the 12-35mm. It sounds like a sweet piece of glass too.

    Great original post.
     
  7. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    I have the P14-45 and the P12-35. The P12-35 is a much better lens because of the 12mm wider angle and speed.
    If you have the funds I highly recommend getting the P12-35, for daylight walk around the P14-45 will be also good. Both are considered optically better then the P14.
     
  8. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Dave
    What I heard:
    14-45 is one of the best :43: kit lenses.

    What I know:
    12-35 is one of my best :43: zoom lenses to date.

    HTH.